How to do poojas

Pranayam and yoga classes are held on line on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 to 9:30am.

If you wish to participate, please send an email to [email protected] to register your credentials and get login details.

You must sign a Waiver (which will be sent to you) prior to attending the session which will be sent to you.

Please connect 10 minutes before start time to avoid “bunching”.

e-pooja is available for all services provided by the Temple. Please call the Temple to book a time and get further information.

If you need help setting up e-transfer, please send us an email and we will help you.

To donate using a credit card, click on the Donate button below and follow instructions. A short message can be entered with your donation including your email so we can send you a receipt.

A copy of the Newsletter is available. Please click on the link above to download your copy. We do not plan to mail any Newsletters

We do not share email addresses, nor use it for any other purpose than to notify you of Temple activities.

Health Seminars are cancelled until further notice in compliance with government guidelines to contain spread of Corona virus covid-19.

Sunday Programs: Mostly same as before except i n place of singing Bhajans, there will be recorded bhajans on play .

Private poojas ( b oth inside and outside the temple ) can be booked by calling the T emple (same as before). All the rules have to be followed in all poojas . The total number of people gathered at private poojas outside the T emple will be limited to only 10 people.

Sessions are cancelled until further notice in compliance with government guidelines

Dhaval Kumar Purohit

Managers 613-822-1531

Bhushan Lal Seth

Sohan Lal Arora

Brahma Vidya

Introduction to Bhagavat Gita, along with all the 18 chapters, Introduction to Upanishads, Isavasya Upanishad, Kato Upanishad, Keno Upanishad, Taittiriya Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad and Ka i valya Upanishad are available on this site. Hard copies are available in the Temple Library to borrow. These can also be printed off the web.

Here is a transliterated version for those not familiar with Sanskrit. All Sanskrit words have transliterated words in English beside them.

The Kotilingeshwara Temple lies in a very small village named Kammasandra in the Kolar district. The temple is extremely famous because of the largest and the tallest Shivalinga present in Asia. More than 2 lac devotees visit this temple every year.

Maha Shivaratri is a special occasion and a large number of devotees make it a point to be there on this auspicious day. The temple can be easily reached from the gold fields of Kolar.

How to do poojas

Kotilingeshwara. Image courtesy Mithila

The Shivalinga is 33 mts and is the tallest in the World. It has an accompanying Basava statue which is 11 mts tall and is surrounded by a large number of Shivalingas spread across the area. The project involves an establishment of one crore shivalingas hence it is named Kotilingeshwara and currently, there are about a hundred lakh shivalingas.

How to do poojas

Kotilingeshwara Temple. Image courtesy pponnada

Quick Facts about Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

  • The best time to visit: between July and January.
  • Address: Kodilingam Temple Road, Ghattakamadenahalli, Kolar-563121 (Map)
  • Timings: 6:00 AM- 9:00PM
  • Entry Fee: INR 20 per person
  • Camera Fee: INR 100 per camera
  • Parking Charges: INR 30
  • Linga Installation Fee: Starts from INR 6,000

How to do poojas

Panoramic View of Kotilingeshwara Temple. Image courtesy Visurao4all

History of Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

This temple has been constructed by Swami Sambha Shiva Murthy in the year 1980. The first linga was installed in 1980 and since then there have been many lingas present in the temple. There is also a huge and tall Nandi installed beside the linga. The Nandi is 11 mt tall and sits over a huge platform.

Within the premises of the temple, there are about eleven other temples for different deities. The first of them includes the temple of Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, and Lord Maheshwara temples. This is followed by a temple of Lord Kotilingeshwara.

How to do poojas

Kotilingeshwara Temple. Image courtesy Pponnada

The temples include Goddess Annapoorneshwari Temple, Goddess Karumaari Amma Temple, Lord Venkataramani Swamy Temple, Lord Panduranga Swamy Temple, Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana Temple, Lord Panchamukha Ganapathy Temple, Lord Anjaneya Temple, and finally Goddess Kannika Parameshwari Temple.

The Government has declared this temple as a tourist spot so that hundreds of tourists from across the World can come and pay their respects to the largest Linga in Asia. Two flower trees, named one Nagalinga and Cannon Ball are located here, and many unmarried women pray for a blessed and happy married life.

How to do poojas

Kotilingeshwara Temple. Image courtesy Pponnada

Poojas at Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

Daily poojas are performed at all the installed Shivalingas by the priests every day. The pooja is carried out with music and drums and all the priests recite mantras as well as pour water on the lingas.

The devotees can also offer special poojas by installing the lingas. These lingas can be installed on any day chosen by the devotees in their names. Regular poojas will be carried out and offered to all the lingas installed.

How to do poojas

Kotilingeshwara Temple. Image courtesy Pponnada

Facilities at Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

There are rest houses constructed for devotees in the temple premises. In addition, free mass marriages are performed here every year. This is carried out by priests with drums, music and chants. Currently, there are around twenty weddings performed every week. There is also a meditation hall built for devotees who wish to meditate in peace.

How to do poojas

Kotilingeshwara Temple. Image courtesy Mithila

How to Reach Kotilingeshwara Temple, Kolar

By Air

The nearest airport to Kolar is located at Bangalore. From the airport, travelers can hire cabs or rely on public transport to reach Kolar.

By Rail

There is a well-connected rail network from Bangalore, Mangalore, Hassan, Kolar and Hubli.

By Road

If you want to reach the temple by road, you need to head through Kolar. Kolar is at a distance of 2.5 hours from Bangalore.

This Devasthanam has introduced schemes for performance of following poojas with their names and Gothrams of the donor Once in a year as per their choice by utilizing the interest amount only.

1. Sri Swamy vari Saswatha Brahmothsavam 10,116/-
2. Sri Swamy vari Saswatha Kalyanam 6,000/-
3. Sri Swamy vari Saswatha SahasranamaArchana 1,116/-
4. Sri Andal Ammavari Saswatha Nijabhishekam 1,116/-
5. Sri Swamy vari Saswatha Nijabhishekam 1116/-
6. Sri Swamy vari Nitya prasada Vitharana 1116/-
7. Sri Anjaneya Swamy Aku Pooja 2000/-
8. Sri Swamy vari Nitya Nijahishekam 10,116/-
9. Sri Swamy vari Saswatha Nitya SahasranamaArchana 10,116/-
10. Sri Andal Ammavari Saswatha Nitya Archana 10,116/-
11. Sri Andal Ammavari Saswatha Nijabhishekam 10,116/-
12. Sri Anjaneya Swamy vari Shaswatha Archana 10,116/-
13. Sri Swamy vari Annadhanam 1,116/-(and above)

Nitya Annadanam Scheme:

The Deavsthanam Is maintain Annadanam Scheme Since 1989 .All the donations received from the donars are being deposited and interest derived thereon is being spent towards Anna prasadam. Daily feeding 500 pilgrims on an average .Daily feeding on Temple festival days i.e Bramhostavams and Karthika Pournami not less than 1000.
Donations are also offered for Construction of cottages & Choultries in the name of donor. Donations have been fixed for the types of construction value. The income Tax Exemption certificate U/S 80(G) will give from this Temple for their Donation amount.

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December Taurus 2021 General Horoscope:

Employed Taurus natives may look forward to job promotions and improved finances in December. You will be able to do your work well this month. Engineering students are also likely to perform well in their exams and score good marks. Money flow will improve, and expenses, too, will be less. Health may cause some concern. Read your free tomorrow horoscope on Astroved.com.

How to do poojas

Love and Relationships

Those in love may have some misunderstandings with their partner. You can look forward to the support of your family members. You may have a harmonious relationship as you will adopt a flexible and accommodative approach towards your spouse.

Finance

Finances look promising, and there will be a good improvement in your money flow in November. Past investments may bring handsome gains, and there may be some profits from share trading. Heavy expenses are likely during long-distance journeys.

Career

Government employees may perform well and gain the attention of their bosses. Those in the private sector may get a promotion and advance in their career.

Business

A promising month for business and tradespeople. Substantial profits are possible from joint ventures or partnership businesses, as well as garment businesses. Natives who trade in gold jewelry may expand their clientele and boost their profits.

Professionals

Those in the medical, media, engineering, and entertainment fields could perform well this month. The economic status of those running a business may improve considerably.

Health

Your health may pose problems this month. So be careful about your fitness. Some may suffer from migraines, colds, and fever. Drink more water and consume healthy food to ensure sound health.

Students

A good month for school students who could shine in academics. Those pursuing higher studies will have good grasping power, and they may be successful in their exams. But, research students will have to work hard to achieve success.

We provide opportunities to participate in daily poojas and Hindu spiritual activities.
Our scholarly priests are available for performing Hindu dharmic rituals at the temple or homes of devotees.

How to do poojas

The Temple

Shri Krishna Vrundavana is one among the 6 branches of Udupi Puthige Matha in USA. Puja is offered thrice daily to Udupi Shri Krishna, Mukhyaprana and Shri Raghavendra Swamy.

How to do poojas

Swamiji

Shri Shri Shri 1008 Suguneendra Theertha Swamiji is the 29th pontiff of Udupi Shri Puthige Matha, one of the Ashta (8) Mathas started by Shri Madhwacharya.

How to do poojas

Community

Join our community, participate in events and get the latest information about the temple and its activities.

Announcements

Book Seva Online

Upcoming Events

Dec 01, Wed Dwadashi Sunrise 7.04am, Dhanvanthari Jayanthi
Dec 03, Fri Amavasya Durga Lakshmi Pooja 6.00PM Book Seva Online
Dec 04, Sat Maha Abhisheka Panchamrutha Maha Abhisheka 10.30am Book Seva Online
Dec 08, Wed Subramanya Shashti Ashlesha Bali 6.00PM Book Seva Online
Dec 14, Tue Ekadashi, Geetha Jayanthi Sampoorna Geetha Parayana 6.00pm
Dec 15, Wed Dwadashi, Dhanu Sankramana Parane at 7.16AM
Dec 18, Sat Samoohika Satyanarayana Pooja 6.00PM Book Seva Online
Dec 22, Wed Sankatahara Chathurthi Mahaganapathi Homa 08.00AM Book Seva Online
Dec 25, Sat Taratamya bhajane 6.30 PM – 7.30 PM Download the bhajane document
Dec 29, Wed Ekadashi Day of Fasting
Jan 01, Sat Maha Ganapathi Homa 10.30am, Durga Namaskara Pooja 6.00PM Book Seva Online
Special Events
Dec 01, Wed Dwadashi Sunrise 7.04am Dhanvanthari Jayanthi
Dec 03, Fri Amavasya Durga Lakshmi Pooja 6.00PM Book Seva Online
Dec 04, Sat Maha Abhisheka Panchamrutha Maha Abhisheka 10.30am Book Seva Online
Dec 08, Thu Subramanya Shashti Ashlesha Bali 6.00PM Book Seva Online
Dec 14, Tue Ekadashi, Geetha Jayanthi Sampoorna Geetha Parayana 6.00pm
Dec 15, Wed Dwadashi, Dhanu Sankramana Parane at 7.16AM
Dec 18, Sat Samoohika Satyanarayana Pooja 6.00PM Book Seva Online
Dec 22, Wed Sankatahara Chathurthi Mahaganapathi Homa 08.00AM Book Seva Online
Dec 25, Sat Taratamya bhajane 6.30 PM – 7.30 PM Download the bhajane document
Dec 29, Wed Ekadashi Day of Fasting
Jan 01, Sat Maha Ganapathi Homa 10.30am, Durga Namaskara Pooja 6.00PM Book Seva Online

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Temple Timing and Schedule

Temple Schedule

Monday to Friday

Morning: 7.00am – 1.00pm
Evening: 5.00pm – 8.00pm

Saturday and Sunday

Morning: 7.00am – 2.00pm
Evening: 4.00pm – 8.00pm

Timing to call

Phone: (408) 416-3624/ (408) 416-3521
8.00am to 1.30pm & 5.00pm to 9.00pm

Pooja Schedule

Daily

7:00 AM – 8:30 AM Maha Pooja
NOON – 12:00 PM Madhyahna Pooja
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM Saayam Pooja

Weekly

Mon 6:30 PM Rudrabhisheka
Wed 6:30 PM Vishnu Sahasranaama
Thu 7:00 PM Raghavendra Sthothra
Sat 7:00 AM Panchamrutha Abhisheka

Monthly

Full Moon Day 5:30 PM Samoohika Shri Sathya Narayana Pooja
Every Sankashtahara Chathurthy Day 8:00 AM Ganapathi Homa
Every Amavasya Day 5:30 PM Shri Durga Pooja

How to do poojas

The maximum number of participants at any religious gathering at a time should not exceed 50 according to the new 31-point health guidelines circular. The maximum limit of 50 worshippers are permitted only for the holy mass in churches, bana preaching and bodhi pooja on Poya days in temples, Friday Jumma prayers in mosques, Friday prayer days in Hindu temples and weekly prayer sessions in other religions. In all other instances individual worshipping should be done.

It says the religious places should have floor markings at least one metre apart at the entrance, lobbies, waiting areas and prayer halls to ensure the physical distancing of persons in all directions. Similarly, pews/benches should be marked at least one metre apart to ensure the physical distancing of persons. Wearing face marks is a must.

Places of religious worship should provide enough space on the sides of the preaching hall or prayer hall of the religious places to allow the worshipers to leave, starting from one end of a row up to the exit, without the need to pass between other worshippers.

“Ensure good ventilation at the religious places. Persons should avoid handshakes, hugs or any other forms of physical greetings or contact. Should not have or distribute any kind of food or drink inside the religious place. Stay at home if you have even slightest symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath etc. Worshipers or staff should not attend the religious places if under quarantine or an immediate close contact of a positive person. No special religious activities such as possessions, festivals,food distribution (Annathanam), ‘Kavadi’ are allowed until further notice. Hand to hand passing of flower trays and water pots during Buddha Poojas and Bodhi Poojas or any other activities are also not allowed,” the guidelines explained.

“During the Holy Communion in churches, priests should distribute the consecrated host to the communicant’s hand instead of keeping it on the tongue. Sharing of wine during communion should not be practiced.

Priests should not apply holy ash (vibhuti) or any other material on the forehead / body of worshipers in kovils and devalayas or any other religious place,” it added.

VVGC Priests
Pandit Ganesh Shasthry
925-209-7637

Pandit Sivasankar Hemmanur
408-724-3577

Pandit Bhaskaran Ganeshan Janardhan
669-350-5788

Pandit Anantha Rama Krishnan
425-559-0666

VVGC San Martin Loan Program
If you would like to extend a loan to VVGC, you do so for a minimum of $10,000 on a 4 year term or more. VVGC will pay a 5% intereset rate at the end of the term. Click here for the Temple promissory note. Please call the Temple for any qustions about this loan program.

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VVGC is a registered non-profit organization (CA Tax ID: 61-1449457) and your donations are always 100% tax deductible.

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Stocks Donation You can save on your capital gains tax by directly donating your appreciated stock rather than cash. Brokerages such as Schwab provide facility for stock donations via their charities arm. Use the VVGC Tax ID 61-1449457 to direct the donation to the temple.

Festivities include sharing sweets, lighting sparklers, and creating rangolis.

Every year in October or November, millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains all across the world celebrate Diwali, a five-day festival that marks one of the biggest and most important holidays of the year in India. The religious celebration, which is also referred to as the Festival of Lights, is an auspicious occasion that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and hope over despair.

During this time, Sri Maha Lakshmi—the goddess of wealth, abundance, and well-being—is the main deity worshipped, so across India, many people light lamps and candles (known as diyas) to entice Lakshmi to visit their homes. Additionally, many Hindus will perform offering rituals called pujas, or poojas, to pray to the goddess.

While some of the Diwali festivities take place in large community gatherings (for example, families will dress in new clothes and go to the Temple for worship services), many of traditions and celebrations take place at home, according to Asha Shipman, the Hindu Chaplain at Yale University. In addition to lighting lamps, “People visit with neighbors, relatives, and friends, bringing platters of sweets and other foods. The night sky glitters and rumbles from firecrackers. It is a time of prayer, fellowship, and feasting.”

While the dates vary annually based on the Hindu lunar calendar, Diwali usually occurs in October or November. This year, the biggest day of festivities (Lakshmi Puja) will take place on November 4, 2021. So before you send your friends and neighbors “Happy Diwali” wishes, learn about the five-day celebration, including the meaning behind the lights, the sweets, and rituals that make Diwali such a joyous occasion.

Diwali is a 5-day festival, but the main day of celebration is day 3—also known as Lakshmi Puja.

The five days of Diwali are as follows:

  1. Dhanteras: On the first day of Diwali, people will perform rituals called puja or pooja, place tea lights around the balconies or entryways of their homes, and purchase kitchen utensils, which are believed to bring good fortune.
  2. Narak Chaturdashi: Different regions celebrate this day in various ways, but many people will spend time at home and exchange sweets with friends or family. They may also decorate the floors of their home with rangolis—intricate patterns made from colored powder, rice, and flowers.
  3. Lakshmi Puja: The main celebration is believed to be the most auspicious day to worship the goddess Lakshmi. Families will dress up and gather for a prayer to honor her, which is usually followed by a delicious feast, spectacular fireworks displays, and more festivities.
  4. Govardhan Puja: This day is associated with Lord Krishna and the Gujarati new year. A mountain of food offerings are prepared for Puja.
  5. Bhaiya Dooj: The last day is dedicated to celebrating the sibling bond. Traditionally, brothers will visit and bring gifts to their sisters, who honor them with special rituals and sweets.

Although the exact date of Lakshmi Puja changes every year, it is always held on the night of the new moon preceding the Hindu month of Kartika, according to Shipman, and on this day, Hindus will dress in new clothes and host worship services to Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. This puja often involves preparing a clean and sacred space, offering prayers to invoke the deity, plus meditative prayers, offerings like sweets, songs, and more.

In 2019, Indian-American chef and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi gave her Instagram followers a peek into how she does her own Diwali puja offerings.

“We just did an offering to Lakshmi,” explained the star of the Hulu series Taste the Nation. “We did all the things, we did honey, milk, water, turmeric, kumkum. We did this sweet with cinnamon, sugar, banana, and milk. We made all these offerings. We had all the children to do one thing, and then we all threw flowers.”

The holiday’s celebrations involve a lot of lights—including tea lights, sparklers, and even fireworks.

The presence of lights in many different forms is crucial to celebrating this five-day festival. “Diwali derives its name from the clay oil lamp called a diya. Diyas are hand-crafted little cups with flattened rims painted in bright colors and filled with oil. A cotton wick is placed half in the oil and half on a small shelf on the rim of the diya,” explains Shipman, who notes that in modern times, many people now use tea lights instead.

“Across India, families place rows of oil lamps along the foundations, entry paths and balconies of their dwellings,” Shipman continues. “And that gives forth another name for the celebration: Deepavali. Deep, another name for the oil lamp, and avali which means ‘rows or clusters of lamps.'” These rows of diyas (or tea lights) are intended to dispel the darkness, fear, and ignorance, as well as entice Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and well-being into the home.

In addition to these lights and decorations, on Lakshmi Puja day, people will set off sparklers and fireworks to celebrate. (Though, in recent years, these activities have been scaled back due to concerns about pollution and air quality.) But it’s not just all for show. According to Shipman, “the firecrackers symbolize a way to let things go,” and to help release negative emotions.

Other Diwali traditions include dressing up, creating rangolis, and sharing sweets.

According to Shipman, many families will dress up in new clothes on the main day of Diwali before hosting religious worship rituals or going to temple. In addition to looking sharp, sharing delicious desserts with friends and family is important. “Sweets are very, very important in our Diwali celebrations,” notes Shipman, who says she gets treats like mysore pak, a crumbly chickpea flour based sweet, and barfi from the Indian grocery store to share with her students at Yale. “The sweets signify forgetting any bitterness between us and letting bygones be bygones.”

Visual decorations like rangolis (an art form using colored sand, flowers, or other materials) are also popular ways to celebrate Diwali. According to Shipman these designs are often placed near the entrance of the family home and contain “motifs favored by Lakshmi, including lotuses, elephants, conches, om, and footprints.” Last year, actress Mindy Kaling took to Instagram to share a picture of her own rangoli—along with a glimpse of her daughter—captioning the cute photo: “When you’re drawing Diwali Rangolis and your daughter leaves with all the chalk.”

I was born and brought up in India and currently living in USA with a wife and two children.

I have a bachelors degree from IIT, Madras and a masters degree from Rice University, Houston and live in greater Boston where I work as a senior engineering manager at a top semiconductor firm.

I received “Sanskrita Bhasha Kovida” and “Sanskrita Bhasha Visharada” diplomas equivalent to BA degree in Sanskrit, at an age of 11. I also received “Rashtrabhasha Praveena” diploma equivalent to BA degree in Hindi, at an age of 12.

I combine my Sanskrit knowledge with scientific temper to conduct fresh research into the teachings of rishis.

Personal Life

I got married in August 1993 to my wife Padmaja Bandaru. She is a Computer Science teacher at a charter school in greater Boston. She has a bachelors degree in engineering. She is active in state and national Computer Science Teachers Association activities. She is a good organizer and organizes our saamoohika (mass) Satya Narayana poojas.

My daughter Sriharini was born in February 1996. She did BS with a double major in Computer Science and Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University and works at Microsoft in Seattle. Her hobbies include Carnatic music (south Indian classical music) and Kuchipudi dance. A few Carnatic and western pop songs sung by her can be heard/viewed here.

My son Sriharish was born in August 1998. He did BS with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Philosophy at Rutgers University. His hobbies include computer programming, music, basketball and football. He likes to compose music. You can listen to an album composed by him (and sung by a friend).

He was also briefly interested in film making. “The Chase”, a 2-minute short film made by his team, can be viewed on youtube.

How to do poojas

There is a small story behind the name of my son. My wife wanted to give him the name of Lord Hanuman (a Hindu deity – Monkey God). My Jyotish guru suggested naming him after Lord Vishnu (another Hindu deity). My father wanted to name him after Lord Narasimha (the Lion-Man God). I wanted to name him after Lord Hayagreeva (Horse-headed God of knowledge).

My father suggested a name which satisfies all the requirements! The word "hari" means monkey, lion, horse and Lord Vishnu and "Sriharish" can be interpreted to mean all the four suggested names!

Spirituality Interest

One of my interests is to enable anybody interested in spiritual progress to do rituals such as homa (fire ritual), pitri tarpana (oblations to ancestors) and Satya Narayana vratam by themselves. There are a lot of free resources, such as manuals, audio and video, on this website. Thousands of people are doing a daily or weekly homa by themselves around the world now, using those resources.

How to do poojas

Though I am a Vedantin (philosopher) inherently and emphasize internal transformation over external things, I recongize the usefulness of some external rituals in facilitating internal transformation and particularly the efficacy of Fire. Apart from the traditional ritual of homa, I also teach Fire Yoga, a religion agnostic method to worship God through Fire.

How to do poojas

My spiritual guru is Dr Manish Pandit from Pune (living in UK now – with me in the picture on right). His guru was Sri Nakhate Maharaj from Pune (right bottom in the big picture). His guru was Yogiraj Sri Vamanrao Dattatreya Gulavani Maharaj (left bottom). His two gurus were Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Sri Vasudevananda Saraswati, famously known in Maharashtra as Sri Tembe Swami (top left in the picture), and Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Sri Loknath Tirth Swami Maharaj (top right in the picture).

Astrology Pursuit

I have been passionately conducting researches in India’s Vedic astrology since 1993. My father Sri Pingali Venkata Subrahmanyachalapathi Rao is a brilliant astrologer. I learnt astrology from him. I learnt the basics when very young, but I always had doubts about astrology’s worth. Several things did not make any sense to me. Sometimes I would be impressed with astrology and sometimes I would think it was just a superstition. I vacillated from admiring and believing in astrology to doubting the very basics of the subject.

From second half of 1993, I pursued astrology in depth and I have studied and researched many classic and modern works and schools of thought. Apart from Dr B.V. Raman’s books, guidance from Pt Sanjay Rath of Sri Jagannath Center helped my progress in particular.

I am not yet satisfied that we have understood the words of rishis correctly, even in some key fundamental issues, and my research continues. Even as I continue research, I continually keep sharing the little I know.

I wrote a textbook and many articles in “Astrological Magazine of India”, “Jyotish Digest”, “Express StarTeller” and “Modern Astrology” magazines. I wrote a lot of research articles on internet discussion groups. I teach free weekly Jyotish classes near Boston.

Astrologers among you may be interested in my birthdata. I was born in Machilipatnam, AP, India (81 E 08, 16 N 10) on 1970 April 4 at 5:50:40 pm (IST: 5 1/2 hrs ahead of GMT). Originally recorded birthtime was 5:50 pm and I rectified it by 40 seconds. This data should be enough for astrologers among you to figure out why I became an astrologer.

The grandeur of Karnataka can be witnessed in its full glory during the Mysore Dasara festivities. This 10-day festival is celebrated with great pomp and show, attracting tourists from far and wide. With magnificent processions, cultural events, fairs, and exhibitions, Mysuru Dasara is India’s most extraordinary Dussehra celebration. The festival is celebrated during Navratri and reaches a grand finale on Vijayadashmi. Whether you are a religious soul or love to explore different cultures and regions, Mysuru Dasara will delight you to the core.
Mysuru was once called ‘Mahishur,’ as it is believed to be the place where Goddess Chamundeshwari (a form of Durga) killed the buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura. Since then, the nine days have been celebrated with much fervour.

Highlights Of Mysore Dasara

Jambu Savari

How to do poojas

The Jambu Savari or the Elephant procession is one of the most prominent events of this festival. During this procession, 12 trained elephants adorned with colourful attire are taken around the streets. One of them carries Chamundeshwari’s idol atop a golden mandap. The procession starts from the Mysore Palace to Bannimantap. Performances like traditional dances, musicals, and displays of swordsmanship can be witnessed throughout the procession – indeed a sight to behold. As it travels through the city streets, it spreads zeal and joy throughout the city.

Torchlight Parade

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The Jambu Savari parade comes to a halt at the sprawling Bannimantap Grounds with a welcoming torchlight parade. This dazzling parade displays the grandeur of the former rules while offering a glimpse of the state’s glorious history. There are spectacular fireworks, bike shows, cultural programs, and laser shows that will leave you spellbound. It is the most integral part of the festival that brings down the curtains for this 10-day Mysuru Dasara celebration.

Mysore Palace Lighting

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During this cultural extravaganza, the Mysore palace (the royal residence and the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore) is illuminated with thousands of lights, making it a treat to the visitors. The beautifully embellished palace with around 97,000 bulbs is an unmissable spot while you are in Mysuru to participate in the festivities.

Exhilarating Exhibition

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An enthralling exhibition takes place on the Doddakere Maidana. It starts during Mysuru Dasara but remains open till December. The exhibits showcase the cultural and religious heritage of the city most beautifully. You can also buy clothes, kitchenware, and other souvenirs. There are a lot of options for entertainment as well, such as Ferris wheel and other thrilling rides. Apart from this, you can enjoy mouthwatering delicacies and authentic cuisine. After all, a festival always remains incomplete without delicious food.

Durga Puja

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In Mysuru, Dussehra marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the devil, Mahishasur. Thus, this festival is celebrated to honour the Goddess in her warrior form. The idol of Chanundeshwari is worshipped in the Mysore Palace by the royal couple before the Jambu Savari. You can also participate in various rituals and poojas that are held in numerous temples across the state.

Dasara Wrestling

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Wresting has always been an integral part of the traditional Dasara festivities. The Nada Kusti event is a significant attraction that aims to promote this classic art. Wrestlers from across the country compete to win the titles. Witnessing a wrestling event can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many.

Mysore Dasara Flower Show

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Mysuru Dasara Flower Show is one of the most prominent attractions, drawing visitors from different parts of the country. This show usually takes place in Nishad Bhag or Kuppanna Park. An exquisite collection of flowering plants is showcased during this event, offering visitors a visual treat. The pristine beauty and colourful environment of the Mysuru Dasara Flower Show are hard to resist.

Other Events

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During the ten days of Mysuru Dasara, you can find a plethora of events and celebrations held throughout the region. From sporting events and film festivals to heritage tours, yoga, and wrestling. These events will keep you entertained during these ten days.

Another integral part of the Mysuru Dasara festivities is the Cannon Firing. The 21-gun salute is carried out as a mark of paying respect to the Chief Guest. Amidst the sound of cannon fire, the Jumbo safari traces its path with music bands and dance groups. The City Armed Reserve police personnel carry out this salute when the National Anthem is played. Before the Mysuru Dasara celebrations, rehearsals are conducted to make the elephants and horses familiar with the loud sound. The state has preserved its age-old tradition, adding more charm to the festival.

According to legend, the sacred Suyambulingam discovered by the king of Gods indira at Kadambavanam, was later enshrined by him in Madurai. The fact that the Lord is seen on the vehicle of Indira in this temple is said to be proof for this. Many historical evidences of the temple have been found dating back from early A.D. The temple was almost completely destroyed in the year 1310 following the invasion of the Islamic conqueror Malikkapur.As kings who were followers of Islam were noted for their intolerance towards other religions, the invaders destroyed most of the ancient sculptures of the temple.

Thirugnanasambandar the Hindu Saint has mentioned the temple in his songs which go back to early 7th century. The Lord has been described as Alavai Iraivan in his songs.The temple was restored to its pristine glory in the late 14th century when the Hindu Kings came back to power in Madurai.This can also be termed as a new beginning of a new era in the history of the temple, when it was almost rebuilt. The King Thirumalai Naicker played an important role in the construction of the new form of the temple according to records. The Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple is now under the administration of the HR and CE department of Tamil Nadu.

The presiding Lord of this sacred shrine

The presiding Lord of this sacred shrine was in the times of yore known as Chockanathar, and Chockalinga Perumal.

Now the deity is known as Sundareswarar, Meenakshi Sundarar, Somasundarar, Kalyana Sundarar, Shanbaga Sundarar, Attavai Shevagan, Chockalingam, Adiyarku Nallan, Adhiraveesi, Vilayaduvan, Abhideka Chockar, Azhagiya Chockar, Kadambavana Chockar, Puzhugu Neidhu Chockar, Kadambavaneswarar, Karpoora Chockar, Madureswarar, Irayanar, Peralavayar and other names.

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The corona ‘curfew’ from 11 p.m. till 5 a.m. has been relaxed completely on Christmas eve and Christmas. On December 30, 31 and January 1 and 2, the night curfew is relaxed up to 2 a.m.

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Fresh guidelines: Beach Road and parks in Puducherry will remain open, except during night curfew time. File photo

The corona ‘curfew’ from 11 p.m. till 5 a.m. has been relaxed completely on Christmas eve and Christmas. On December 30, 31 and January 1 and 2, the night curfew is relaxed up to 2 a.m.

The government in Puducherry has allowed some relaxations for social- and cultural gatherings in connection with Christmas and New Year in the Order extending COVID-19 lockdown guidelines till January 2.

The Order issued by Ashok Kumar, Secretary (Relief and Rehabilitation), said social- and cultural gatherings are allowed on December 24 and 25 and December 30 and 31 and January 1 subject to COVID-appropriate behaviour being followed by all concerned.

“The corona ‘curfew’ from 11 p.m. till 5 a.m. has been relaxed completely on Christmas eve and Christmas. On December 30, 31 and January 1 and 2, the night curfew is relaxed up to 2 a.m.”

“Restaurants/hotels/bars/liquor shops/hospitality sector establishments shall be permitted to operate by strictly following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. However, with the approval of the Licensing Authority concerned, operations may be carried out beyond normal hours on New Year eve.”

“They shall be responsible for strict adherence to the prescribed SOPs and all instructions/guidelines issued by the government from time to time as well as compliance of COVID-appropriate behaviour (viz. wearing of masks, maintaining social-distancing, regular hand washing and use of sanitiser etc.,) to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus.”

“In case, any violation is found, strict penal/criminal action shall be taken against the owner of the restaurant/bar. They shall also ensure vaccination of all the eligible staff at the earliest.”

“All religious places/places of worship shall be opened for public for darshan and poojas only upto 10 p.m. However on Christmas eve and Christmas, churches are permitted to be opened for public after 10 p.m. for prayers. All religious places/places of worship are also allowed to be opened for public after 10 p.m. for darshan/prayers on New Year eve.”

“Beach Road/parks/gardens shall remain open all the time on all days, except during night curfew time. The walkers shall compulsorily wear masks and maintain social-distancing norms.”

“Marriages shall be permitted to be conducted in religious institutions but with a maximum of 25 members only at any point of time. Essential poojas and prayers are permitted to be conducted only by the priests/employees of the respective religious place. However, relaxation is given to conduct temple or religious festivals that are normally performed in the UT of Puducherry by following Covid-appropriate behaviour. The religious institutions shall strictly abide by the SOP prescribed by Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.”

“Marriage related gathering shall be permitted but with guests not exceeding 100 at any point of time. Funeral/last rites are permitted with participants not exceeding 20 at any point of time.”

“Industrial establishments, manufacturing centres and construction activities are permitted under the following terms and conditions.”

The Order has directed all Administrative Secretaries/HODs shall ensure vaccination of all eligible staff under them. It states that the Health Department shall ensure 100% coverage under vaccination for staff in the health facilities. “The Health Department shall vaccinate all eligible persons in the population urgently.”

“The educational institutions shall scrupulously follow Standard Operating Procedures and ensure 100% vaccination. All private business/commercial establishments shall operate but shall ensure 100% vaccination of all eligible staff, the Order stated.”