Venkateswara Temple

Venkateswara Temple (construction going back to 300 AD) is a major pilgrimage destination of Hindus, especially Vaishnavites. It is said that we must visit Adi Varaha Swami temple before visiting Lord Venkateshwara Temple and Sri Padmavathi Ammavari temple after. It’s is dedicated to the Supreme God Narayana / Maha Vishnu, who is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from trials and troubles of Kali Yuga. Hence, the place has also got the name Kaliyuga Vaikuntham and Lord here is referred to as Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam. Temple is located in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati. The Hills (853m above sea level) comprises of seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple lies on the seventh peak -Venkatadri, on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. Hence the temple is also referred to as “Temple of Seven Hills”. The Temple is constructed in Dravidian architecture follows Vaikhanasa Agama tradition of worship. The Garbagriha(Sanctum Sanctorum) is called Ananda-Nilayam where the presiding deity, is in standing posture and facing east. The temple is one of the eight Vishnu Swayambhu Kshetras and is listed as 106th and the last earthly Divya Desam. The temple is visited by about 50k – 100k pilgrims daily (30-40 mill visitors annually), while on special occasions & festivals, like Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500k, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.



Tiger's Nest Monastery

Tiger’s Nest (Bhutan) is known by many names like Paro Taktsang, Taktsang Palphug Monastery & Taktshang Goemba. This cliffside glorious monastery situated in the upper Paro Valley is a must visit place for a Spiritual Tourist. Legend has it that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche(one of the holiest figure in Mahayana Buddhism) flew to this site on a tigress’ back to subdue a local demon. Thereafter, he meditated here for 3 years, 3 months and 3 days. This sacred monastery surrounded by a beautiful forest of blue pine and rhododendrons was built in 1692, around the cave where Guru meditated.

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