Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Posted On 2/17/2015 by Team iCynosure.

Thank you for your love and wanting to know about my #RannUtsav after my posts, 10 Things To Do During Rann Utsav in Kutch and A Day At The Kalo Dungar, #RannUtsav. Today being Maha Shivratri, I thought it would be most apt to tell you about my day when we decided to pay our respects at two of the most sacred Hindu holy places; Narayan Sarovar Lake and temple that is devoted to Lord Vishnu and the Koteshwar Temple that is a renowned Lord Mahadev temple. 

As we embarked on our journey we literally sailed through the road which stretches straight ahead for almost 60 kilometers until we reached the Narayan Sarovar temple complex. The temple houses innumerable deities but the main shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who as per the legend created the lake during his stay there. Hence the name Narayan Sarovar, as Narayan is another name for Lord Vishnu. It is also believed that the water originates from River Saraswati which is scared as per the Panch-Sarovar mythology. Narayan Sarovar is one of the five lakes (Panch-Sarovar) that form a holy pilgrimage for Hindus. The other lakes include the Mansarovar in Tibet, Bhubneshwar in Orissa, Pushkar in Rajasthan and Pampa in Karnataka. 

We arrived just in time as the temple is closed in the afternoon between 1 to 4 pm. Photography inside the temple is not allowed and so we just got a shot of #PrincessHeer entering it. As we went further towards the lake we were disappointed to see that it wasn't kept well and was almost dry. Locals mentioned that due to low rainfall the lake had remained dry since the past three years. 

A few kilometers away is the ancient Koteshwar Temple beyond which is a salt marsh and finally a land mass opening into the vast ocean. Practically every place in India has a legend around it's existence and the same is true for the Koteshwar Temple. 

It is believed that Ravana, the king of Lanka (now Sri Lanka) was blessed by Lord Mahadev (also known as Lord Shiva) for his sincere, strenuous and gruelling meditation. Ravana was gifted a miraculous Lingam with a boon of immortality lest it not be dropped until he reached home. All the other gods fearing Ravana's supremacy, coerced into him dropping the Lingam which dispersed into a million illusions. Unable to identify the original, Ravana picked the wrong one, leaving the original at Koteshwar. 

The Koteshwar Mahadev Temple was built around the original and even some illusions have now become part of the Koti (million) Lingams in and around the temple. 

The vast ocean that is visible at the end holds an invisible border between India and Pakistan and this can be witnessed on clear nights when boats bearing their country flags patrol around.

Since it was a day when we were to visit holy places, and temples have an extremely strict dress code needs I decided to go traditional. Opting for colors that are regarded as perfect for such places I wore my yellow-red-blue Kurti-Chudiar and draped a dupatta that can be easily used to cover the head when inside the temple. 

Would you travel to the Narayan-Koteshwar should you visit #RannUtsav?

Until more from #iCynosureInKutch,
- Heena


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