BAIJNATH TEMPLE - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Baijnath Temple

The Baijnath temple has been continuously under worship ever since its construction in 1204 A.D. by two local merchants named Ahuka and Manyuka. The two long inscriptions in the porch of the temple indicate that a temple of Siva existed on the spot even before the present one was constructed. The present temple is a beautiful example of the early medieval north Indian temple architecture known as Nagara style of temples. The Svayambhu form of Sivalinga is enshrined in the sanctum of the temple that has five projections on each side and is surmounted with a tall curvilinear Shikhara. The entrance to sanctum is through a vestibule that has a large square Mandapa in front with two massive balconies one each in north and south. There is a small porch in front of the mandapa hall that rests on four pillars in the front preceded by an idol of Nandi, the bull, in a small pillared shrine. The whole temple is enclosed by a high wall with entrances in the south and north. The outer walls of the temple have several niches with images of gods and goddesses. Numerous images are also fixed or carved in the walls. The outer doorway in the porch as also the inner doorway leading to the sanctum of the temple are also studded with a large number of images of great beauty and iconographic importance. Some of them are very rare to be found elsewhere

BHAGSUNATH TEMPLE - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Bhagsunath Temple

Just 11-km from the town center of Dharamsala is the ancient temple of Bhagsunath. There are many fresh water springs close to the temple, which are considered sacred by the Hindus.

Bhagsunath Temple, an ancient temple 3 km east of Mcleodganj and 11 km from Dharamsala , Himachal Pradesh. This is a quiet temple and the numerous pools in the vicinity are considered sacred by devout Hindus. The annual fair in September is famous. Bhagsunath, an attractive tourist spot, is located at the outskirts of Mcleodganj.

Other major attractions here are a serene spring and a small but majestic waterfall. Many slate quarries are located in and around Bhagsunath. The region offers breathtaking views of surrounding hilly ranges and woody forests. The ambiance of the place is dynamic and the atmosphere is cool and pleasant. Cool breeze from the Himalayan ranges soothe the body and mind.

CHAMUNDA MATA TEMPLE - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Chamunda Mata Temple

The demons ‘Chand” and “Mund” were killed by hence known as “Chamunda”. Meri Maiya Chamundadevi Mandir is seven hundred years old; build by a Maiya bhakt from the village, who was asked by Meri Maiya Herself in his dream to fetch the idol across Ban Ganga and place it in the temple over “Holy Meri Maiya Pindi” and worship Her. The Mandir is a holy shrine of ‘Shiva and Shakti’ and is known as ‘Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham’. Meri Maiya Mandir is a seat of spirituality since ancient times and is situated on the bank of Ban-Ganga. Meri Maiya Mandir is surrounded by natural beauty, peace and bliss and as such a natural refuge for saints and meditators since time immemorial.

This in only Meri Maiya Mandir where Meri Maiya Puja and Cremation of Dead body is done at the same place. Here the great Lord ‘Ashutosh Shiv Shankar’ in the form of death, destruction and devourer is sitting with Meri Maiya Chamundadevi. Ancestoral worship (Shradha Ceremony) is also performed here. After taking a dip in Ban Ganga it is auspicious to listen or recite ‘Shat Chandi’ Path (Hymns). The story is when Demons Chand and Mund came to conquer Devi Mahakali and in the fight that ensues, the Devi cut their heads and presented these to Maa Ambika, who in turn told Mahakali that you will be worshipped as Chamunda Devi.

BRAJESHWARI TEMPLE - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Brajeshwari Temple

The Brajeshwari Devi temple, located in the old Kangra Township, is said to have been built over the charred breasts of Sati. This shrine, once renown for its great wealth, has been plundered relentlessly over the ages. The first of the plunderers was Mahmud of Ghazni, who looted it in 1009. A mosque was built on the ruins and a garrison was left behind. 35 years later, the local king regained its possession. The shrine was repaired and a replica of the idol was enshrined. The temple was filled with gold, silver and diamonds only to be ransacked again in 1360 by Firoz Tughlaq. Later Emperor Akbar visited the shrine with his Dewan, Todar Mal and restored it to its former grandeur. The temple was razed to the ground by an earthquake in 1905, but a new one came up the very same year, thanks to the Kangra Restoration Committee.

Located at an altitude of 615 m, the Kangra town is around 15 km away from Dharamshala. The town was the erstwhile capital of the Chand dynasty and has been through tremendous upheaval due to its prosperity. Time and again, invaders turned their evil eyes to the accumulated wealth of the famous Brajeshwari Devi Temple. Each time the temple and the town were plundered, but recovery too was quick to take place. Few of the prominent historical personalities who laid a siege on the temple included Mahmud of Gazhni (1109 AD) and Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1360 AD). Later in the 17th century, under the rule of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Kangra made immense progress. Afterwards, local rulers ruled the land till the time the Britishers made it their garrison. The Britishers made Kangra district ( Kangra, Lahaul Spiti, Kullu and Hamirpur) a part of the Punjab province with its headquarters at Kangra town.

JWALAMUKHI TEMPLE - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Jwalamukhi Temple

Jwalamukhi Temple is situated 30 km south of Kangra valley. It is dedicated to Goddess Jwalamukhi. There are natural flames in the temple which are worshipped as a manifestation of the nine Goddesses – Mahakali, Unpurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi. These flames burn continuously without any fuel or assistance and may be seen erupting from a rock-side.

Ancient legends speak of a time when demons lorded over the Himalaya mountains and harassed the gods. Led by Lord Vishnu, the gods decided to destroy them. They focused their strengths and huge flames rose from the ground. From that fire, a young girl took birth. She is regarded as Adishakti-the first ‘shakti’.

In this temple there is a copper pipe through which natural gas comes out. After Daksha Yoga Bhagna, Lord Shiva placed the burnt dead body of Sati on his shoulders and started wandering about in a state of madness. To save the world from the destructive wrath of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu started cutting the limbs of the dead Goddess Parvati one by one. The places where they fell became sacred centers for the worship of Shakti. The tongue of Sati fell at the place where the temple of Jwalamukhi is situated. The flames that come out of the openings in the earth?s surface are regarded as the manifestations of the fallen tongue of Sati and are worshipped as “Jwalamukhi Devi” (Goddess, who emits flames from her mouth)

CHINTPURNI TEMPLE - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Chintpurni Temple

When Lord Vishnu cut up the body of Sati into 51 pieces so that Lord Shiva would calm down and stop his Tandava, the pieces were scattered over various places in the Indian subcontinent. It is said that the feet of Sati fell at this place and is thus considered one of the most important of the 51 Shakti Peeths. The temple dedicated to Mata Chintpurni Devi is located in District Una of Himachal Pradesh. Mata Chintpurni Devi is also known as Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi. Devotees have been visiting this Shaktipeeth for centuries to pray at the lotus feet of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi. They bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi. It is believed that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be granted.

Apart from the holy shrine, according to Manav Bhardwaj, the place is full of picturesque surroundings. Some very nice places for sight seeing, indoor and out door activities are situated in and around Chintpurni. Chintpurni is very well connected through roads and with good number of hotels and dharamsalas erceted in and around chintpurni, accommodation is not a problem at all. You can come here for religious visit, on a holiday or for both, you would enjoy your time there and should return with everlasting memories.

MASROOR ROCK TEMPLE - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Masroor Rock Temple

The rock-cut temple is a unique example of monolithic structure in the sub-Himalayan region. The beautiful and complex structure of this temple stands magnificently on a hill crest and was erected around in 8th century. The entire complex comprises more than 15 Shikhar temples and a large rectangular water tank known as ‘gan’ in the local dialect. Unfortunately, most of the Shikhars of this historical temple have lost their base owing to a massive earthquake in 1905.

In the centre of this complex, stands the main temple, the most elaborate carved shrine, the Thakurdwara that enshrines the black stone images of Lord Ram, Sita and Laxmana facing east. The main shrine consists of a square Garbhgraha. This structure also includes a rectangular “mandappa’ with four massive columns and mukhmandappa, with four subsidiary shrines on either side. The main door is the witness of beautiful ornamental works on its surface. Each side of the mandappa gives way to a stair case, which ascends, to a roof terrace.

As per the archaeological evidences, it appears this temple was originally dedicated to Lord Shiva but after the earthquake, it was converted into the abode of Lord Rama. But in the absence of inscription, any other contemporary, epigraphic or literary records of the patronage, the exact period of the construction of the temple can not be ascertained, however, on the basis of architecture and sculptural decoration, this temple has been assigned a date somewhere between 8th and 9th century AD.

TASHI JONG MONESTARY - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Tashi Jong Monestary

In 1958, having foreseen the imminent coming of the communist Chinese, the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche, Kalzang Dongyu Nyima, left for India with a group of 16 monks and reincarnate lamas. In Eastern Tibet he had been the head of Khampagar Monastery, which had over 200 branch monasteries, nunneries and retreat centers. It was considered one of the foremost monasteries of the Drukpa Kagyü lineage.

In India, they settled first in Kalimpong in West Bengal, where many lay people from the Khampagar area in Kham came seeking refuge, and affiliated themselves with the newly formed community. In 1969, they moved to Himachal Pradesh in North India. There they settled in the peaceful Kangra valley on 37 acres of land, which was named Tashi Jong, Tibetan for Auspicious Valley. The late Tokden Amtin mentioned that at the time of the initial consecration of the land of Tashi Jong, both H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and H.E. the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche clearly felt this place to be the pure land of the Five Manjushris.

A monastery of recent origin, Tashijong is a community rather than a monastery. It encompasses a small stratum of the Tibetan refugees where one can see the dwellings of the people in exile. This monastery depicts structures at different levels, there is a college for freshers and a Tibetan restaurant. The main shrine is placed on a top platform at the fag end of a garden.

SHERABLING MONASTERY - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

SherabLing Monastery

Sherab Ling Monastery is located at Baijnath in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. It provides a complete range of facilities for monks to study and practice. The monastery has shrine halls, a monastic college, school, library, museum, exhibition hall and dispensary. Accommodations are available in rooms and apartments. There are full retreat facilities for monks, nuns and lay people.

The monastic college offers seven years long basic education. Debates are organized regularly for the students. The exhibition hall displays photographic exhibits, art and other presentations that show the life at the monastery and spirituality and works of the Tai Situpa, one of the main disciples of Buddha.

The craft center intends to teach traditional Tibetan arts, religious paintings, metal-work, wood carvings, sculpting and tailoring. Direct buses are available from Kangra. Baijnath Paprola Railway Station is the nearest railhead.

BIR, DIRRU SAKYA MONASTERY - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

Bir, Dirru Sakya Monastery

The centre belongs to the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism which was founded in 1073 by the great Tibetan Master Khon Konchok Gyalpo. The Sakya lineage has been a stable force that has greatly enhanced and preserved, in a pure form, the teachings of the Buddha. The head of their lineage is His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, a great Spiritual Master. His Eminences Gyalsay Rinpoche and Dungyud Rinpoche are the joint Spiritual Heads of Sakya Tharpa Ling.

Barot also forms the gateway to the Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary which lies across the Uhl. The sanctuary is home to the monal, black bear and ghoral. Within it are forest rest house s at Thaltuckhod and Silbandhwari. Through woods of cedar and pine a trek route cuts across the sanctuary to Kullu.

Its 40 kms from , our pilgrims went to Bir, staying all too briefly at Dirru Sakya Monastery, the seat of His Eminences Dungyud Tulku Rinpoche and Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche. We were all deeply touched by the immense generosity of the monastery in their hospitality.

ST. JOHN’S CHURCH - Spritual Experience - Taragarh Palace Hotel

St. John’s Church

This Church stands on the Gandhi Chowk approximately 2 kms. from the main bus stand of Dalhousie. This Church was the first to be built after the town of Dalhousie was founded. Prior to 1863 a wooden structure stood at this place. The idea to build a stone structure took birth with the arrival of Rev. John H. Pratt who came to Dalhousie on 11-04-1863 and inspired the Christian community to build a permanent church building at this place. Building of this church is a copy of Roman Catholics church of England but this church belongs to Protestants. The church building stands in a good condition but its surroundings demand much better care. Service is conducted on every Sunday.

St. John’s Church has decorated glass windows. These glass windows add to the beauty of the church. The glasses are covered with a fine mosaic of patterns, which are a delight to the eye. These glass windows are Belgian in origin and have been specially gifted by none other than Lady Elgin. You will also find a necropolis in the vicinity of the church which is typically of the Christian style.