Month of journey: May 2008
Starting from: Bhilai
Crew: Pawan, Rajkumar, Rishikant, Raja and Vasu.
We started our journey from Durg station by a train and went to Howrah. We stayed at a Railway’s Yatri Nivas in Howrah. Howrah is an industrial city, a municipal corporation in the Howrah district, West Bengal. It is the headquarters of the district, and also the headquarters of Howrah Sadar subdivision of the district. Located on the west bank of the Hooghly River (also spelled as Hoogli or Hugli) it is a twin city of Kolkata. It is West Bengal’s second largest city in terms of both area and population. The two cities are connected by the Howrah Bridge (also known as Rabindra Setu), the Vidyasagar Setu (also known as the second Hooghly Bridge) and ferry services between various jetties in the two cities. We took a steamer and crossed the Hooghly River to reach Kolkata. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of West Bengal. It is located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly. When referred to as “Kolkata”, it usually includes the suburbs, and thus its population exceeds 15 million, making it India’s third-largest city and urban agglomeration. This also makes it the world’s 14th largest metropolitan area. Then, we took a taxi and reached the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. The temple is situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River and the presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Kali. The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls. There are twelve shrines dedicated to the aspects of Shiva, Kali’s companion, along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river, a bookshop, a shrine to Rani Rashmoni, and a parking lot. The chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples, is where Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa spent a considerable part of his life. After visiting the temple at Dakshineshwar we took a boat and decided to go to Belur Math. Here, you can see the view of Dakshineshwar temple from the boat:
Belur Math are the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda—a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal. then, we went to the Kalighat Kali Temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. It is situated in Kalighat. This is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. The right toe of Dakshayani is said to have fallen here. The Shakti here is known as Kalika, while the Bhairava is Nakulesh. It is a very famous place and a pilgrimage for Shakta followers. The next day we took a train to reach Guwahati. Guwahati (also spelled as Gauhati) is a major city in eastern India, often considered as the gateway to the North-East Region (NER) of the country and is the largest city within the region. Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam is situated within the city. We hired a hotel room in Guwahati. We decide to go to Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati. Just near the temple there is a natural pond full of turtles in Kachapukhuri. Nobody knows as to how, when, why and who brought these amphibians from the plains to so high an altitude. Here, you can even find 1000 year old turtles.
Then, we went to see the Kamakhya Temple. The Kamakhya Temple is a shakti temple situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati. It is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to different forms of the mother goddess that include Bhubaneshwari, Bagalamukhi, Chinnamasta, Tara, etc. It is an important pilgrimage destination for general Hindu and Tantric worshipers. The current temple structure was constructed in 1565 by Chilarai of the Koch dynasty in the style of medieval temples.
After the darshan we hired a sumo and reached Shillong. Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya, one of the smallest states in India. It is also the district headquarters of the East Khasi Hills District and is situated at an average altitude of 4,908 ft (1,496 m) above sea level, with the highest point being “lum shyllong” at 1965 m. Shillong is a beautiful place where you can find nice hotels, gardens and churches. We visited the Cathedral Church. The Cathedral Church of Mary Help of Christians is the principal place of worship of the Catholics. The Cathedral Church was built over 50 years ago. Since it also has the “cathedra” – the seat or throne of the Bishop – it is known as a Cathedral Church. This place of worship stands on the very site of the first Church built by the German fathers.
Then, we went to a garden. Check out this view:
After that we hired a taxi and decided to go to Cherrapunji. On the way we took some nice shots:
This post was contributed by: Pawan