Monday, March 30, 2015

Ancient Sitaram Bagh Temple, and its overwhelming architecture.

My last blog post was on Sri Rama Navami Festival which we celebrated yesterday, 28th March 2015. As I mentioned in that article, Sri Rama Navami festival is to celebrate the birthday and marriage day of Lord Sri Rama and seek the divine couple’s blessings. Today as I was thinking of writing on some interesting subject I was reminded of Sitaram Bagh Temple in Hyderabad, where these celebrations are held differently. While almost all the Temples in the State including the most important and popular one at Bhadrachalam perform Sri Sitarama Kalyanotsavam (wedding ceremony) in the morning, here at Sitaram bagh temple the birthday related pooja/celebration is performed in the morning and the marriage ceremony late in the night. This interesting fact has reminded me of the beauty of this temple and prompted me to post this article.
Sitaram Bagh temple is over 180 years old and even today it stands out magnificently. The attached photographs will give you an idea of its overwhelming architecture. The temple complex is a labyrinth of interconnected quadrangular courtyards, each accessed through imposing gateways. The main Gopuram is a complex collage composed of elements representing myriad architectural styles comprising Rajput, Mughal, Kakatiya, Qutub Shahi and Classical European, which all come together creating an impressive fa├žade. Courtyards open up dramatically, surprising the eyes at every turn with abrupt variations in scale and proportion creating a constantly changing environment. The diverse architectural styles represented in the numerous structures of the temple complex which include portals, sanctums, mandapams, rooms, inns and step-wells, make the temple complex a rare treat for visitors who are overwhelmed by their grace and beauty. Traversing through the maze of quadrangles, one finally arrives at the innermost court, the sanctum sanctorum where you can have darshan of the deities of Sri Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna, as at the time of Sri Rama Pattabishekam (Coronation). There are Utsava Vigrahalu of Sri Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshmana and deities of Lord Venkateshwaraswamy, Padmavathi Devi and of Lord Krishna and Radha Devi, and also deities of Hanuman and Garuda. Adjoining this temple are the temples of Sri Varadarajaswamy with his consorts and of Sri Hanuman.
Sitaram Bagh Temple is built by Seth Punarmalji Ganeriwal. He is the son of Seth Mahanand Ramji, scion of Ganeriwal family. Seth Mahanand Ramji migrated to Hyderabad from Rajasthan and set up a financing firm in Hyderabad in 1802 and was soon recognized as a very prominent and noble person. His son Seth Punarmalji was also an astute businessman. He acquired a large plot of land around 1825, over 25 acres on the then outskirts of the city, near the village of Mallepally. There he constructed this beautiful temple complex and laid out a garden in the remaining grounds. A garden is called Bagh in Hindi and as the temple in it is of Sita and Rama, this temple complex is called Sitaram Bagh. Sitaram Bagh is well maintained even today by the Ganeriwal family, as you can see in the attached photographs.
It is must-see temple/place in Hyderabad. 





































Friday, March 27, 2015

Happy Sri Rama Navami.

Today is the festival of Sri Rama Navami. It is a festival to celebrate the birthday of Lord Sri Rama and also of his marriage anniversary. On this auspicious occasion I wish all readers of my blog ‘A very happy Sri Rama Navami’.
Every Indian knows Lord Sri Rama very well and needs no further introduction but for those readers of my blog who have not heard of him I have the following to say in short - Sri Rama is the seventh Avatar and a very prominent one of the Supreme GOD Lord Maha Vishnu. Sri Rama is an all-time favourite God of Hindus. He is the most popular symbol of chivalry and virtue. He is the embodiment of truth, of morality; he is an ideal son, ideal husband and above all an ideal king. To know about Sri Rama and Sri Rama Navami in detail and to view images of Lord Sri Rama and his consort Sri Sita Devi and a number of our photographs at their temples you may click on the following links to my articles:



Sunday, March 22, 2015

World Water Day - Water is life, water is happiness!

Today, 22nd March is World Water Day. United Nations General Assembly declared 22nd March as “World Day for Water” in 1993, and since then the day is being observed to address critical water issues.  
Its purpose is to ensure clean water to everyone to safeguard health, conserve water and to protect the water resource bases – aquatic ecosystems management.  Each year with a different theme the United Nations and several countries are doing their best to take care of water. I do not know where India stands in this movement, but I know for sure that there are multitude water related problems in India. Within our own city of Hyderabad there is tremendous scarcity of water since decades. We get municipality water only once in two days and that too for just one and a half hour. And there are many places within the city where water is supplied only once in a week, for a short time. People have to depend on bore-water or get water in tankers. And the quality of this water is not to be trusted, so in almost all houses there are a variety of water purifiers to obtain safe drinking water. And in rural areas the problem is much more serious. Our city’s once upon a time most beautiful lake, Hussain Sagar is now a stinking, toxic sewage pond. Similar situation can be seen all over our country. Go to the villages anywhere in our country and you will see womenfolk carrying water to their houses from distant wells, lakes or rivers. These simple observations tell that not much is being is done by the authorities in our country to tackle water related problems.   
We all know that water is life and water is happiness. India should tackle water problems on a war footing. It is not gold; it is neither oil nor gas, which will determine the political, economic and social development of nations around the world in the future, but access to a constant supply of clean water. Every Government and society all over the world should realize this, especially India.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ugadi Festival - 2015.

Today is Ugadi festival. It would be more appropriate if I write “Today was Ugadi festival day” because I am about to retire for the night. Ugadi festivities and the day passed off very happily among new family members. The new family members are our daughter-in-law’s parents and her eldest sister’s family.  The attached photographs are of some main events of today. And as is my practice I am writing about this significant day and posting today’s photographs to this web log of mine, to be stored here and to be seen by us - family, friends, relatives and well-wishers at any time and anywhere in the world!
Casual visitors to this blog post of mine who do not know about our Ugadi festival may please click here: "All about Ugadi Festival", an article I wrote about Ugadi festival on 13th March 2010.














Kamadhenu – the sacred cow which grants all wishes and desires!

Universally it is a well known fact that Hindus venerate and worship cows.  Cows are considered as eternal sustainer...