> Pilgrimages by Deities
> Pilgrimages of Vishnu
Pilgrimages of Vishnu
- Divya Desams
- Badarikashrama (From Skanda Purana - Badarikashrama Mahatmya) - Uttarakhand
- Pancha Badris - Uttarakhand
- Charbhujaji (Famous pilgrimage of Charbhujaji) - Rajasthan
- Venkatachala (Famous pilgrimage of Srinivasa) (From Skanda Purana - Venkatachala Mahatmya) - Andhra Pradesh
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The Divya Desams are the 108 sacred shrines of Sri Vishnu where Perumal has been praised by the Alwars. These songs of the Alwars are recorded in Divya Prabandhas (sacred scriptures of the Vaishnavas).
- Andhra Pradesh:
Thirupathi (Tirumala) -
Thiru Singavel Kundram (Ahobilam)
Thiru Dwaraka (Dwaraka)
Thiruvaaran Vilai (Aranmulla Temple) -
Thiruvalvaazh (Thiruvalla) -
- Tamil Nadu - Chennai side (Tondai Nadu):
Thiru Kadalmalai (Mahabalipuram) -
Thiru Nindravoor (Thirunindravur) -
Thiruevvuloor (Thiruvallur) -
- Tamil Nadu - Cuddalore side (Chola Nadu):
- Tamil Nadu - Cuddalore side (Nada Nadu):
- Tamil Nadu - Kanchipuram side (Tondai Nadu):
Thiru Ashtabhuyakaram -
Thiru Vekka -
Thiru Velukkai -
Thiru Ooragam -
Thiru Neeeragam -
Thiru Kaaragam -
Thirukkaar Vaanam -
Thiruparameshwara Vinnagaram -
Thiru Pavala Vannan -
Thiru Nilathingal Thundam -
Thiru Paadagam -
- Tamil Nadu - Madurai side:
Thiru Moghur -
Thirumaalirunsolai (Alagar Kovil) -
Thiruppullanni (Ramanathapuram) -
Thiruthankaal (Sivakasi) -
- Tamil Nadu - Mayiladuthurai & Mayavaram side:
Thiru Indhaloor -
Thiru Sirupuliyar -
Thiru Naagal -
Thiru Thalaicchanga Naanmathiyam
- Tamil Nadu - Seerkazhi side:
Thirukaazhi Cheeraama Vinnagaram -
Thiruvellakkulam (Annan Kovil) -
Thiru Devanaar Thogai -
Thiruvaali Thirunagari -
Thiru Kavalampaadi -
Thiru Manikkoodam -
Thiru Paarthanpalli -
Thiru Manimaada -
Thiru Arimeya Vinnagaram -
Thiru Thetri Aambalam -
Thiru Sempon Sei -
Thiru Vann Purushothamam -
Thiru Vaikunda Vinnagaram
- Tamil Nadu - Thanjavur & Kumbakonam side (Chola Nadu):
Thiru Thanjaimaamani -
Thirukkavithalam (Kabisthalam) -
Thiruppullam Boothankudi -
Thiru Aadhanoor -
Thiruvinnagar (Oppiliappan) -
Thirunarayoor (Nachiyar Koil) -
Thirunandhipura Vinnagaram (Nathan Koil) -
- Tamil Nadu - Tiruchirapalli side:
Thiruvarangam (Srirangam) -
Thirukkozhi (Uraiyur) -
Thiru Anbil -
- Tamil Nadu - Tirunelveli side:
Thiruvaikuntham (Sri Vaikundam) -
Thiruttholai Villimangalam (Twin Thirupathis) -
Thirukkurugur (Alwar Thirunagiri) -
Thiruvaramangai Vaanamaamalai (Nanguneri) -
Thiruvanparisaaram (Nagercoil) -
Thiru Vattaaru (Marthandam)
- Uttar Pradesh:
Thiru Ayodhi -
Thiru Naimisaranyam -
Thiruvaaipadi (Aayarpadi) -
Thiru Vadamathura (Govardhanesan)
Thirukkandam (Devaprayag) -
Thiruppirudhi (Joshimutt) -
Thiruvadhari Ashramam (Badrinath)
Thiru Salagramam (Mukthinath)
- Celestial Abodes:
Thiruppaarkadal (Vyugam) -
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Badarikashrama from Skanda Purana - Badarikashrama Mahatmya:
Badarikashrama Mahatmya from Skanda Purana:
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Badarikashrama Mahatmya 2): Beginningless: In the dialogue between Lord Shiva and Skanda, Shiva told about Badarikashrama to Skanda. The sacred place of Badari is beginningless like the Vedas where Hari Himself is the presiding deity.
Kapalamochana: During Kritayuga Lord Brahma looked at his own daughter with lustful eyes. Lord Shiva in great fury cut off the fifth head of Brahma. But due to the sin of severing the head of Brahma, the skull (kapala) stuck to the hands of Shiva. Shiva went to various tirthas in heaven, earth and nether worlds and resorted to various penances to get rid of the skull. But he was not successful. Finally he went to Vaikuntha and told Hari about his distress. Hari advised him to go to Badari. Shiva went to Badari and his sin was at once removed and the skull dropped off from his hands (kapala mochana). Lord Shiva told that his linga was established there in the form of Kedara which is resorted to by the devotees of Shiva.
Penance of Agni at Badarikashrama (Agnitirtha): Once Agni wanted to get rid of his sins due to his omnivorousness. He consulted an assembly of great sages. Sage Vyasa told Agni to go to Badari. Agni went to mount Gandhamadana and arrived at Badari. After taking bath in the holy waters of Ganga, he went to the hermitage of Narayana and eulogized the Lord. Lord Narayana was pleased and told Agni to choose a boon. Agni asked about a way of redemption due to his sin of omnivorousness. Lord Narayana said that seeing this holy spot his sins will get destroyed and by His grace he will not incur any sin. Thereafter Agni made his abode there (at Agnitirtha).
Penance of sage Narada at Badarikashrama (Naradi shila): Once sage Narada performed a severe penance at Badari to get the vision of Lord Vishnu. He stood on a rock taking only air and products of trees for sixty thousand years. Lord Vishnu initially came in the form of a brahmana and later revealed His true form to sage Narada. Narada eulogized the Lord with various hymns. The Lord told Narada to ask for a boon. Narada asked for unflinching devotion to His lotus feet and His presence in the rock where he performed penance. The Lord granted the boon and thus was Narada tirtha created.
Penance of sage Markandeya at Badarikashrama (Markandeyi shila): During Tretayuga, sage Markandeya knowing himself to be short-lived worshipped Lord Vishnu. He repeated the twelve-syllabled mantra of the Lord. He visited various pilgrimages and met sage Narada at Mathura. Narada advised him to go to Badari where Hari is perpetually present. Markandeya went to Badari and after taking bath in the holy river, sat on a rock and repeated the eight-syllabled mantra of the Lord. Within three days, Lord Janardhana appeared in His true form holding conch, discus, club and lotus. Markandeya was charged with devotion and he eulogized the Lord. He invoked the grace of the Lord to save him from the miseries of the samsara. The Lord became pleased and told Markandeya to choose a boon. Markandeya prayed to the Lord to grant him steady devotion and make His abode in the rock where he performed his worship. The Lord granted the boon.
Penance of Garuda at Badarikashrama (Garudi shila): Garuda wanted to become the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. He performed penance on mount Gandhamadana on the southern side of Badari. Taking only fruits, roots and water, he stood on only one foot and performed japa for thirty thousand years. The Lord appeared to him in His true form but Garuda could not hear His voice due to absorption in meditation. Then the Lord blew His conch, but still Garuda was not awakened from his meditation. Finally the Lord entered through his breath and made his mind extroverted. Seeing the Lord, there was horripilation on his body due to devotion. Garuda eulogized the Lord with various hymns. Then Garuda invoked Ganga and washed the feet of the Lord. The Lord was pleased and told Garuda to ask for a boon. Garuda asked for great strength and the boon to become His vehicle. He also asked the Lord to make the rock where he performed penance to be known after his name. The Lord granted the boon and told him to go to Badari. By taking holy bath there and observing fast for three days with purity it is easy to get His vision. Thereafter Garuda went to Badari and after performing the holy rites saw the Lord stationed at Narada tirtha.
Presence of Lord Varaha at Badarikashrama (Varahi shila): After killing the demon Hiranyaksha and recovering the earth from the nether world, Lord Vishnu came to Badari and stayed there till the end of the kalpa. The Lord stationed Himself there in the form of a rock (Varahi).
Presence of Lord Narasimha at Badarikashrama (Narasimhi shila): After killing the demon Hiranyakasipu the devas were frightened to see the terrible form of the Lord. They eulogizd the Lord from a distance. The Lord was pleased and asked them to choose a boon. They prayed the Lord to withdraw His terrible form and assume the benign form with four arms. The Lord went to Badari and stationed Himself in the middle of the waters. Then the sages came there and eulogized the Lord. The Lord was pleased and told them to ask for a boon. They prayed the Lord to stay permanently at Badari. The Lord granted the boon and stayed there in the form of Narasimhi rock.
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The Pancha Badris are located in the Garhwal Himalayas in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The Pancha Badris are:
1. Badri Vishal (Badrinath): This is the most famous of the Pancha Badris lying between Nara and Narayana mountains on the bank of river Alakananda. According to legend Sri Vishnu in his incarnation as sages Nara and Narayana has been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of the living beings.
2. Adi Badri: It is believed that Lord Vishnu stayed in Adi Badri during Satya, Treta and Dwapara Yugas, and then shifted to Badri Vishal during Kali Yuga. After Kali Yuga, during the next Satya Yuga, the Lord will shift to Bhavishya Badri.
3. Bhavishya Badri: It is believed that at the end of Kali Yuga, a landslide will collapse the Jaya and Vijaya mountains and will block the path to Badri Vishal. Lord Vishnu will then shift to Bhavishya Badri. This will happen when the right arm of the idol of Narasimha at Joshimath (which is getting thinner and thinner day by day) will detach from the body.
4. Vriddha Badri: According to legend, sage Narada meditated here on Lord Vishnu who appeared before him in the form of an old man (Vriddha). Hence the name Vriddha Badri.
5. Yoga Badri: According to legend, king Pandu (of Mahabharata) incurred great sin by killing two mating deers who were ascetics in their previous lives. To absolve himself from the sins, the king meditated here on Lord Vishnu. The image of Vishnu here is in meditative posture.
- Famous pilgrimage of Charbhujaji: Charbhujaji Temple is a famous temple of Lord Vishnu located in the Garhbor village in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. The village is situated in the Aravalli mountain ranges and the temple is situated near the bank of river Gomti. According to legend the idol of Charbhujaji is very old and was worshipped by the Pandavas in the past. It was installed by Gang Dev who received divine instructions in a dream from Lord Vishnu to recover the idol. Gang Dev is said to have recovered the idol from water. The image of Vishnu is 85 cm high and has four hands (hence the name Charbhuja). The four hands hold Conch, Discus, Mace and a Lotus flower. One characteristic feature of the temple is the extensive mirror works inside.
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- Festival: Every year on Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Ekadasi (Jhaljhoolani Ekadasi) (Aug-Sep), the Lord is specially worshipped after giving a ceremonial bath in a nearby lake. A large number of pilgrims take part in this bathing procession. A large fair is also held during this ocassion.
- Charbhujaji is located in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan.
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Venkatachala from Skanda Purana - Venkatachala Mahatmya:
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 5): Story of Vedavati: Devi Sita who was abducted by Ravana at Panchavati was not the real Sita. Agni Deva knew beforehand the intention of Ravana to abduct Devi Sita, so he took Her to Patala and entrusted Her to his wife Swaha. She replaced Her with Vedavati. Formerly Vedavati was touched by Ravana and therefore She had cast off Her body in fire. She was now recreated to kill Ravana. After Ravana was killed, She entered the fire once again and Agni Deva handed over the real Sita to Ravana. Agni Deva requested Sri Rama to give a boon to Vedavati since She has remained in the custody of Ravana at Lanka for the sake of Devi Sita. Devi Sita requested Sri Rama to make Her His wife. Sri Rama told that He would accept Vedavati as His wife in the twenty-eighth Kali Yuga, when She will be born as the daughter of king Viyat (Akasha Raja).
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 3): Story of king Viyat (Akasha Raja): On the twenty-eighth Kali Yuga (after the Mahabharata war) there was a great king born in the lunar race known as Mitravarman. He was the king of Tundira Mandala and resided in the city of Narayanapura. He was a very righteous king and during his rule the earth produced fruits and vegetation in plenty. There was no natural calamity and the people were very virtuous. He had a great son named Viyat (Akasha) who was the ornament of the race and was married to Dharani. In due time king Mitravaran handed over his kingdom to Akasha and went to Venkatadri to perform penance.
Padmavati emerging: After Akasha became the king, once he was ploughing the ground on the bank of river Arani for performing a Yagya. A beautiful girl came out of the land lying on a bed of lotuses. The king who was childless made Her his daughter. An ethereal voice also confirmed that She is his daughter. When the girl entered the palace, the queen conceived and in due time a son named Vasudana was born to the king.
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 4): Narada meeting Padmavati: Since the girl was born on a bed of lotuses, king Akasha gave her the name Padmini. During Her youth, sage Narada once came to Her garden and saw Her hand. Seeing Her beautiful features, he said that She appeared like Devi Lakshmi and is the match of Vishnu.
Srinivasa appearing: After sage Narada vanished, Padmini went to the flower park accompanied by Her companions. They saw a huge elephant there, and being frightened took shelter under a tree. During that time, Srinivasa of dark complexion came there riding a white horse and chasing a wolf. He was extremely attractive and held a golden gem-studded Saranga bow and a golden arrow. He enquired about the maidens and came to know of them. He in turn told that He resided in Venkatadri. Seeing Padmavati He became enchanted.
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 5): Srinivasa asking Bakulamalika to find about Padmavati: When Srinivasa reached His abode, He bacame absent-minded thinking about Padmavati. His attendent Bakulamalika noticed this and asked the reason. Srinivasa told her about Padmavati Who was previously Vedavati, and how He is enchanted by Her. He told Bakulamalika to go and find whether Padmavati was suitable for Him. When Bakulamalika asked the way, Srinivasa told her the route to Narayanapuri - From the cave of Sri Nrisimha, getting down the mountain, reaching the hermitage of sage Agastya, visiting the Agastya Linga on the bank of river Suvarnamukhari, reaching the forest of sage Suka along the bank of the river, reaching the holy lotus pond named Padmasaras, visiting sage Chaya Shuka performing penance there, saluting Krishna and Balarama worshipped by the sage, crossing river Suvarnamukhari, passing through forests and gardens and reaching the bank of river Arani, then crossing the parks and gardens of Narayanapuri and reaching the palace of king Akasha.
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 5 - 6): Bakulamalika leaving for Narayanapuri: Bakulamalika left for Narayanapuri mounted on a red horse and following the path mentioned by Srinivasa. When she reached the Agastyeshwara Linga, she met the attendents of Padmavati and in course of conversation came to know that Padmavati was also enchanted by Srinivasa and after Srinivasa left She swooned. The king consulted an astrologer who told that the girl has been enchanted by an excellent man with whom She will be united. That person had deputed a maiden who will come to the palace and it is beneficial for the king to follow her advice. The astrologer also suggested to perform the holy bathing rite of Agastya Linga. Thus the attendents of Padmavati came to bathe the Shiva Linga. When they came to know that Bakulamalika wanted to meet queen Dharani, they told her to join them.
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 6): Queen Dharani meeting a Pulindini: In the meantime queen Dharani saw a Pulindini in the street who claimed that she can tell the past, present and future. Dharani called her and asked her to tell the future. She told that her daughter had been enchanted by the Lord of Venkatadri and He will soon send an attendent to her.
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 7): Bakulamalika meeting queen Dharani: In the meantime the maidens returned to the palace with Bakulamalika and introduced her to queen Dharani. The queen was impressed by the divine lady. She asked her purpose of visit. Bakulamalika told her how Srinivasa was enchanted by Padmavati, and had sent her to ask for the hand of Padmavati. The queen was delighted and called king Akasha. They met the ministers and priests and all agreed to this divine marriage.
Marriage arrangements: Brihaspati, the lord of the devas was consulted for the auspicious time of marriage. Brihaspati suggested the Uttaraphalguni day on the month of Vaisakha as the auspicious day of marriage. For the purpose of marriage, Vishwakarma decorated the city, Yama made the people free from illness and various gods filled the place with wealth and foodgrains. In the meantime, Srinivasa sent a garland to Padmavati through Shuka. Shuka told the message of the Lord to Padmavati that He is going to come on the day of the marriage.
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 8): The Marriage of Srinivasa and Padmavati: On the day of the marriage, Devi Lakshmi Herself adorned Srinivasa. Then the Lord proceeded towards Narayanapuri accompanied by Brahma and many gods, sages and devotees. The gandharvas sang, the celestial dancers danced, the devas played divine music and the sages recited Vedic Suktas. When the Lord reached the city of Narayanapuri, the king made Padmavati sit on the Airavata elephant who took her around the city. Then the bride and the bridegroom entered the palace in the marriage chamber. They exchanged garlands. The marriage ceremony continued for four days. Then the Lord went back to Vrishabhachala mounted on Garuda and accompanied by the goddesses.
Srinivasa giving boon to Akasha Raja: When Srinivasa asked king Akasha to choose a boon, he asked for unswerving devotion to His Lotus Feet. Srinivasa granted him the boon. The Lord also honoured Brahma and other devas appropriately.
Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:
1. Stotras by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha -
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu -
Tridevis: Saraswati -
(Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) -
Others: Murugan -
Final: Vedas -
2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu -
Tridevis: Saraswati -
(Parvati - Shakambari)
3. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints
4. Sadhana: Sadhana - Penances - Others
5. Sacred Geography:
7. Religious Life:
8. Other Aspects:
Sanskrit - Arts - Music - Dance - Medicine - Architecture - Astronomy