## A

Aanchal/Anchal . . . . protective shelter, chador

Aapti . . . . fulfilment

Aarati/Arati . . . . form of worship

Aastha/Astha . . . . faith

Aayushi/Ayushi . . . . one with long life

Abha/Aabha . . . . lustre, shine, glow

Abhaya . . . . fearless

Abhijita . . . . victorious woman

Abhilasha . . . . wish/ desire

Achal . . . . steady, mountainous, constant

Achala . . . steady, mountainous, constant

Adarsh . . . . ideal

Adarshini/Aadarshini . . . .idealistic

Adishree . . . . exalted

Aditi . . . . mother of gods

Aditi . . . . free and unbounded

Adrika . . . . celestial

Agrata . . . . leadership

Agrima . . . . leadership

Ahalya . . . . wife of Rishi Gautam, a woman who was saved by Lord Rama

Ahladita . . . . in happy mood

Aishwarya . . . . prosperous

Ajala . . . . the earth

Ajanta . . . . a famous Buddist cave

Ajita . . . . a winner

Akanksha . . . . wish

Akanksha/Aakanksha . . . . desire

Akriti/Aakriti . . . . shape, diagram

Akshita . . . . permanent

Akuti . . . . princess

Alisha . . . . protected by God

Alka/Alaka . . . . a girl with a lovely hair

Aloki . . . . brightness

Alpa . . . . little

Alpana . . . . beautiful

Amba . . . .Parvati

Ambi . . . . a goddess

Ambika . . . .Goddess Parvati

Ambu . . . . water

Ambuja . . . . born of a Lotus; Goddess Lakshmi

Ameena/Amina . . . . trustworthy; faithful

Amisha . . . . pure

Amishi . . . . pure

Amita . . . . limitless

Amodini . . . . joyful

Amolika . . . . priceless

Amrita . . . . nectar

Amshula . . . . sunny

Amulya . . . . priceless

Anahita . . . . graceful

Anamika . . . . name of fourth finger, ring finge

Anandi . . . . jovial

Anandini . . . . joyful

Anandita . . . . the happy one

Ananta . . . . infinite, eternal (woman)

Ananya . . . . matchless

Anasuya . . . . wife of Rishi Atri

Anchal . . . . the decorative end of a sari

Anchita . . . . honoured, worshipped

Angana . . . . an suspicious or handsome woman

Anika . . . . very beautiful, graceful

Anima . . . . the power of becoming small

Anindita . . . . perfect, beautiful

Anisha . . . . continuous, eternal

Anita . . . . grace

Anjali . . . . offering with both hands

Anjana . . . . mother of Hanuman

Anjika . . . . blessed

Anjini/Anjani . . . . mother of Hanuman

Anju . . . . one who lives in the heart

Anjuli . . . . blessings/ inconquerable

Anjushri,Anjushree . . . . dear to one's heart

Ankita . . . . conqueress; empress; one with auspicious marks

Annapurna . . . . Goddess Parvati; generous with food

Anshu . . . . rays

Anshula . . . . sunny

Antara . . . . the second note in Hindustani classical music

Anu . . . . a prefix, atom

Anuhya . . . . something unexpected - in a pleasant way - and valuable

Anuja . . . . younger sister

Anumati . . . . consent

Anupama . . . . unique, unparalleled

Anuprabha . . . . brightness

Anupriya . . . . beloved

Anuradha . . . . a bright star

Anusha . . . . beautiful morning, a star

Anushri/Anushree . . . . pretty

Apala . . . . most beautiful

Aparajita . . . . undefeated

Aparna . . . . Goddess Parvati

Apsara . . . . celestial maiden

Apurva/Apoorva . . . . unique

Aradhana . . . . worship, prayer

Arati/Aaarti . . . . worship, divine fire in ritual

Archa . . . . worship

Archana . . . . worship

Archisha . . . . a ray of light

Archita . . . . one who is worshipped

Arpana . . . . offering

Arpita . . . . dedicated

Aruna . . . . dawn

Arundhati . . . . star

Aruni . . . . dawn

Arunima . . . . glow of dawn

Aryaa . . . . civilised, best

Aseema/Ashima . . . . limitless

Asha/Aasha . . . . hope, expectation

Ashrita . . . . Sheltered

Ashwini . . . . name of a star

Asita . . . . the river Yamuna

Askini . . . . daughter of Prajapati Virat

Aslesha . . . . a star

Asmita . . . . pride

Atasi . . . . a blue flower

Atmaja . . . . daughter

Atreyi . . . . name of a river

Avani,Abani . . . . earth

Avanti . . . . ancient city of Ujjain

Avantika . . . . princess of Ujjain

Avinashi . . . . indestructable

Ayati . . . . royal

Ayushi . . . . long life

Ayushmati . . . . one who has a long life

## B

Bageshri . . . . name of a raaga

Baidehi . . . . Sita

Baijayanti/Vaijayanti . . . . garland of Lord Vishnu

Baisakhi . . . . of the month Baishakh

Bala/Balaa . . . . an ever 9 year old girl, a young girl

Banamala . . . . forests

Bandana/Vandana . . . . worship

Bandita/Vandita . . . . adored, praised

Banhi . . . . fire

Banita . . . . woman

Barnali . . . . Dispersion of seven colors

Barsha,Varsha . . . . rain

Baruna/Varuna . . . . wife of the Lord of the sea

Baruni . . . . Goddess Durga

Basabi . . . . wife of Lord Indra

Basanta . . . . spring

Basanti . . . . spring

Basudha/Vasudha . . . . earth

Basundhara . . . . the earth

Beena/Bina . . . . a musical instrument (Beena)

Bela . . . . time; creeper plant

Bela, Beli . . . . a flower-jasmine

Bhadra . . . . gentle

Bhadraa . . . . galaxy

Bhagirathi . . . . the river Ganga

Bhagwanti . . . . lucky

Bhagya . . . . fate

Bhagyashri/shree . . . . fortunate

Bhairavi . . . . a melody in classical music; Goddess Durga

Bhakti . . . . devotion

Bhamini . . . . woman

Bhanuja . . . . river Yamuna

Bhanumati . . . . full of lustre

Bhanuni . . . . charming woman

Bharani . . . . Name of a celestial star

Bharati . . . . Goddess Saraswati

Bhargavi . . . . Goddess Parvati

Bhavana/Bhawana . . . . feelings, sentiments

Bhavini . . . . Goddess Parvati

Bhavya/Bhabya . . . . grand, splendid

Bhawanee/Bhawani . . . . Goddess Parvati

Bhoomi . . . . earth

Bhumi/Bhoomi . . . . the earth

Bhumika . . . . earth

Bhuvana . . . . the earth

Bhuvi . . . . heaven

Bibha/Vibha . . . . radiance

Bidya/Vidya . . . . Knowledge

Bimala . . . . pure

Bina/Beena . . . . a musical instrument

Binata . . . . the wife of Sage Kashyap

Binaya/Vinaya . . . . modesty

Bindhya/Vindhya . . . . knowledge

Bindiya . . . . Tika on women's forehead, drop, point

Bindu . . . . point, droplet

Binita . . . . modest

Binodini . . . . handsome; beautiful Radha

Bipasha . . . . a river

Bishakha . . . . a star

Brinda . . . . Tulasi

Brinda/Bindya . . . . Radha

## C

Chaand . . . . moon

Chahana . . . . desire

Chaitaalee/Chaitaly/Chaitali . . . . born in th month of chaitra/ ancient city

Chaitan/Chetan . . . . consciousness

Chameli . . . . jasmine

Champa . . . . a white fragrant flower

Chanchala . . . . unsteady, Lakshmi

Chandaa . . . . moon (female)

Chandana . . . . sandal wood

Chandani . . . . moon light

Chandika . . . . Goddess Durga

Chandni . . . . moonlit

Chandra/Chandrama . . . . moon

Chandraleksha . . . . a ray of the moon

Chandrani . . . . wife of the moon

Chandrika . . . . moonlight

Chapala . . . . restless; lighting

Charu/Chaaru . . . . beautiful, attractive

Charulata . . . . beautiful creeper

Cheshtaa . . . . desire

Chetana . . . . consciousness

Chhabi . . . . picture

Chhaya . . . . shadow

Chintan,Chintana . . . . meditation

Chitra . . . . drawing, picture

Chitralekha . . . . beautiful design; a celestial maiden

Chitrali . . . . a row of pictures

Chitrani . . . . the river

Chitrarekha . . . . picture

Chitrita . . . . picturesque

## D

Damayanti . . . . Nala's wife

Damini . . . . lightning

Darpan/Darpana . . . . looking glass, mirror

Darshana . . . . sight

Darshita . . . . displayed

Daya . . . . kindness, mercy, pity

Dayanita . . . . merciful

Dayita . . . . beloved

Deeba . . . . silk

Deekshya . . . . initiation

Deepa . . . . light

Deepali . . . . row of lamps

Deepamala . . . . row of lamps

Deepaprabha . . . . fully lighted

Deepika . . . . a little light

Deepta . . . . shining

Deepti/Dipti . . . .glow, shine, brightness

Devaki . . . . mother of Krishna

Devangana . . . . celestial maiden

Devangi . . . . Like a goddess

Devashree Goddess Lakshmi

Deveshi . . . . Goddess Durga

Devi . . . . Goddess

Devika . . . . mother of Krishna

Devyani . . . . daughter of Shukraacharya

Dhanashri . . . . a raga

Dhanishta . . . . a star

Dhanya . . . . greatful

Dhanyata . . . . success, fulfilment

Dhara (Dhaaraa) . . . . constant flow

Dhara (Dharaa) . . . . the earth

Dhara/Dharaa . . . . earth

Dharana (Dhaaranaa) . . . . view, notion

Dharani . . . . the earth

Dharinee . . . . the earth

Dharini . . . . earth

Dharti . . . . Earth

Dhatri . . . . Goddess Parvati

Dhavalaa/Dhawala . . . . fair complexioned

Dhriti . . . . patience

Dhwani . . . . sound;voice

Dibya . . . . heavenly, brilliant

Diksha/Dikshya . . . . initiation

Dipali/Deepalee . . . . lamps, a row of lights

Dipashri . . . . beauty of the lamp

Dipti (Deepti) /Dishita . . . . focus

Diti . . . . wife of the sage Kashyap

Drashtaa . . . . one who sees

Draupadi . . . . wife of the Pandavas

Drisana . . . . daughter of the sun

Dristi . . . . sight

Durga . . . . A goddess

## E & F

Ekata/Ekta . . . . unity

Ela . . . . earth

Elina . . . . pure, intelligent

Enakshi . . . . dear-eyed

Esha . . . . desire

Eshita . . . . one who desires

Falguni,Phalguni . . . . born in Falgun, a Hindu month

## G

Gajra . . . . a string of flowers

Gandhali . . . . fragrance of flowers

Ganga . . . . river Ganga

Gargi . . . . an ancient scholar

Gauri . . . . Goddess Parvati

Gaurika . . . . a young girl

Gautami . . . . wife a sage Gautam; river Godavari

Gayatree/Gayatri . . . . a sacred verse, a goddess

Geeta/Gita . . . . Holy book of the Hindus

Geeti . . . . melody

Geetika . . . . a little song

Girija/Girisha . . . . Goddess Parvati

Gitanjali . . . . collection of poems

Godavari . . . . sacred river of India

Gopika a cowherd; cowherd woman

Govindi . . . . a devotee of Lord krishna

Gulab . . . . rose

Gunjan . . . . humming, resounding

Gunjana . . . . humming, resounding

Gunjita . . . . humming, resounding

Gyanada . . . . Goddess Saraswati

## H

Hansa . . . . swan

Hansika . . . . swan

Hansini . . . . swan

Harhsa . . . . joy

Harini . . . . deer

Harita . . . . green

Harshini . . . . joyous

Harshita . . . . joyful

Hasina . . . . beautiful woman

Hasita . . . . happy

Heera/Hira . . . . diamond

Hem . . . . gold

Hema . . . . golden

Hemaadri/Himadri . . . . mountain of gold

Hemakshi . . . . golden eyes

Hemangi . . . . golden bodied

Hemangini . . . . with a golden body

Hemani/Himani . . . . Goddess Parvati

Hemanti . . . . early winter

Hena . . . . a flower

Hima . . . . snow

Himaadri . . . . snow mountain

Himani . . . . Parvati, snow

Hiral . . . . lustrous

Hita . . . . lovable

Hiya . . . . heart

## I

Iha . . . . the earth

Ikshu . . . . sugarcane

Ila . . . . earth, daughter of Manu

Indira . . . . Lakshmi, bestower of wealth

Indrani . . . . wife of Indra

Indrayani . . . . the name of a sacred river

Indu . . . . moon

Induja . . . . Narmada river

Indumati . . . . the full moon

Inu . . . . attractive

Ipsa . . . . desire

Ipsita . . . . desired

Ira . . . . earth, daughter of Manu

Isha . . . . Goddess Durga; the female energy; one who protects

Ishana . . . . rich

Ishani . . . . Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva

Ishika . . . . paintbrush

Ishita . . . . mastery; wealth

Ishwari . . . . Goddess

## J

Jagadamba . . . . mother of the world

Jagatee . . . . the earth

Jagrati . . . . awakening

Jagriti . . . . vigilance

Jahnavi . . . . Ganga river

Jala . . . . water

Jalaja . . . . lotus

Jamuna . . . . holy river

Janaki . . . . Sita; wife of Lord Rama

Janani . . . . Mother

Janhavi . . . . river Ganga

Jasmin . . . . A Flower (muslim)

Jaya . . . . victory

Jayahree . . . . honour of victory

Jayani . . . . a sakti of Ganesha

Jayanti . . . . victory

Jayaprada . . . . giver of victory

Jayashree . . . . the goddess of victory

Jayati . . . . victorious

Jayita . . . . victories

Jhankar/Jhankaar . . . . tinkling sound

Jharna/Jharana . . . . waterfall

Jiwan . . . . life

Joshita . . . . pleased

Juhi . . . . a white flower

Jyoti . . . . flame, lamp

Jyotika . . . . light; a flame

Jyotsna . . . . moon light

## K

Kadambari . . . . the moon

Kadambini . . . . an array of clouds

Kajal/Kaajal/Kajol . . . . Surma, Kohl, eyeliner

Kala . . . . art

Kalavati . . . . artistic

Kali . . . . a bud

Kali/Kaali . . . . a name of Durga/black

Kalika . . . . a bud

Kalindi . . . . Yamuna river

Kalpana . . . . imagination

Kalpita . . . . imagined

Kalyani . . . . blissful, fortunate

Kamakshi . . . . a Devi, same as Lalita

Kamal . . . . lotus

Kamala . . . . Goddess

Kamalakshi . . . . one whose eyes are beautiful like lotuses

Kamalika . . . . lotus

Kamalinee/Kamalini . . . . a lotus plant

Kamana/Kaamana . . . . desire

Kanan/Kaanan . . . . a garden; forest

Kanchan . . . . gold, pure

Kanchana . . . . a celestial Apsara, gold

Kanta . . . . beloved, beauty

Kanti . . . . lustrous, light

Kanya . . . . a maiden

Kapila . . . . name of the celestial cow

Karishma . . . . miracle

Karuna . . . . merciful, compassionate

Kashika . . . . the shiny one

Kashvi . . . . shining

Kasturi . . . . musk

Katyayani . . . . Goddess Parvati

Kaumudi . . . . moonlight

Kaushalya . . . . Lord Rama's mother

Kaveri . . . . name of a river

Kavita . . . . poem

Kesari . . . . saffron

Keshika . . . . a woman with beautiful hair

Ketaki . . . . a monsoon flower

Ketana . . . . home

Kinjal . . . . river bank

Kiran . . . . ray of light

Kirtana . . . . hymn, a song in praise of god

Kirti . . . . fame

Kishoree/Kishori . . . . a young girl

Komal . . . . tender

Koyel . . . . the cuckoo

Kranti . . . . revolution

Kripa . . . . mercy

Kriti . . . . a composition, creation

Kshyama . . . . forgiveness

Kshyanika . . . . momentary

Kumari . . . . virgin, unmarried

Kumkum . . . . vermilion

Kumud . . . . lotus

Kumudini . . . . a lotus

Kunda . . . . name of a flower

Kunja . . . . forest

Kunjal . . . . nightingale

Kunjana . . . . forest girl

Kuntal . . . . lock of hair

Kuntala . . . . a woman with luxurious hair

Kunti . . . . the mother of the Pandavas

Kushal . . . . safe, happy, expert

Kusum . . . . a flower

Kusumita . . . . flowers in bloom

Kusumlata . . . . flowering creeper

## L

Lajja . . . . modesty, shyness

Lajjawati . . . . a sensitive plant; modest woman

Lajjita . . . . modest, shied

Lakshan . . . . one with auspicious signs on her

Lakshita . . . . distinguished

Lakshmi(Laxmi) . . . . Goddess, consort of Lord Vishnu

Lakshya . . . . aim, destination

Lalana . . . . a girl

Lalima . . . . redness

Lalita . . . . variety, beauty

Lata . . . . creeper, vine

Latika . . . . a small creeper

Leela/Lila . . . . divine drama

Leena/Lina . . . . a devoted one

Lekha . . . . writing

Lipi . . . . script

Lipika . . . . a short letter

Lochana/Lochanaa . . . . eye

## M

Maanika/Manika . . . . ruby

Madhavi . . . . a creeper with beautiful flowers; springtime; daughter of Yayati

Madhu . . . . honey

Madhubala . . . . sweet girl

Madhul . . . . sweet

Madhulata . . . . lovely creeper

Madhumati . . . . full of honey

Madhumita . . . . full of honey

Madhur . . . . sweet

Madhuri/Maadhuree . . . . sweetness, melodious

Madhurima . . . . sweetness

Madhushri . . . . the spring

Magana . . . . engrossed

Mahi . . . . the earth

Mahika/Mahita . . . . earth

Mahima . . . . glorious

Maina . . . . singing bird

Maitreyi . . . . name of a woman scholar

Maiya . . . . little girl

Mala . . . . necklace, garland

Malati . . . . Jasmine

Malavika . . . . princess of Malawa

Maliha . . . . strong, beautiful

Malika/Mallika . . . . flower, queen

Malina . . . . dark

Malini . . . . florist, a river

Mamata . . . . affection

Manasa,Maanasa . . . . mind

Manasi . . . . goddess of learning, product of the mind

Mandakini . . . . a river

Mandara . . . . mythical tree

Mandeep . . . . light of heart

Mandira . . . . cymbals; home

Maneeshi/Manishi . . . . wise

Mangala/Mangalaa . . . . auspicious, bliss

Manika . . . . ruby, jewel

Manisha . . . . sharp intellect, genius

Manjari . . . . Tulasi; blossom

Manjira . . . . ankle-bells

Manju . . . . pleasant, sweet

Manjula . . . . melodious, sweetness

Manjulika . . . . a sweet girl

Manjusha . . . . lady with a sweet voice, a box

Manjushri/Manjushree . . . . Goddess, Saraswati

Manorama . . . . attractive, beautiful

Manushri/Manushi . . . . Lakshmi

Marisa . . . . mother of Daksa

Matrika . . . . mother, name of goddess

Mausam . . . . season

Mausami . . . . seasonal

Maya . . . . illusion, Durga

Mayuri . . . . peahen

Medha . . . . intelligence, Saraswati

Medhaavi . . . . wise

Medini . . . . the earth

Meena/Mina . . . . precious blue stone

Meenakshi . . . . one with fish shaped eyes, Parvati

Meera/Mira . . . . a saint, devotee of Lord Krishna

Megha . . . . cloud

Meghana . . . . cloud

Meha . . . . rain

Mehal . . . . cloud

Mela . . . . religious gathering

Menaka . . . . celestial damsel

Minal . . . . a precious stone

Mita . . . . a friend

Mohana . . . . attractive, charming

Mohini . . . . most beautiful

Mohita . . . . attracted

Monal . . . . bird

Moti . . . . pearl

Mridu . . . . gentle

Mridula . . . . tendreness

Mrinal . . . . lotus

Mrinalini . . . . stem of lotus

Mudita . . . . happy

Mudrika . . . . ring

Mugdha . . . . spellbound

Mukta . . . . liberated; pearl

Mukti . . . . freedom from life and death

Muna . . . . bud

Muneera/Munira . . . . illuminating; shedding light

## N & O

Nagina . . . . jewel

Naina/Nayana . . . . eyes

Nalika . . . . lotus, pipe

Nalini/Nalinee . . . . lotus

Namita . . . . humble

Namrata . . . . politeness, modesty

Nanda . . . . happiness, a daughter

Nanda. . . . happiness, joyful

Nandana . . . . daughter

Nandi . . . . the sacred cow, Shiva's vehicle

Nandika . . . . Lakshmi

Nandini/Nandinee . . . . bestower of joy, Ganga

Nandita . . . . cheerful, happy

Narayani . . . . Goddess Lakshmi

Narmada/Narbada . . . . same as Gayatri , river Narmada

Nashita . . . . energetic and full of life

Navaneeta/Navanita . . . . new rule

Naveena/Navina . . . . new

Nayan/a . . . . eyes

Nayantara . . . . iris

Neeharika/Niharika . . . . dew drops

Neela/Nila . . . . blue

Neelam/Nilam . . . . sapphire

Neelanjana . . . . blue

Neelimaa/Nilima . . . . blue complexioned

Neeraja/Niraja . . . . lotus, Goddess Lakshmi

Neeta/Nita . . . . within rules

Neeti/Niti . . . . moral philosophy

Neha . . . . love, rain

Nehal . . . . rainy; handsome

Nidhi . . . . same as Gayatri, treasuire

Niharika . . . . dew, nebula

Nikhita . . . . the earth

Nilasha . . . . blueness

Nilaya . . . . home

Nileen . . . . surrendered

Nilima . . . . blueness

Nimisha . . . . momentary

Niranjana . . . . name of a river; Goddess Durga; the night of the full moon

Nirmala . . . . clean, virtuous

Nirmayi . . . . without blemish

Nirupa . . . . same as Gayatri

Nirupama . . . . unique, uncomparable

Nirvana . . . . deep silence, ultimate bliss

Nischita . . . . certainty

Nisha . . . . night

Nishita . . . . alert

Nishtha . . . . faith, devotion

Nita . . . . moral

Niti . . . . morality

Nitu . . . . short form of any name starting with "Nit…"

Nivedita . . . . one dedicated to service

Nivriti . . . . becoming liberated

Nutan . . . . new

Ojal . . . . vision

Ojasvi . . . . bright

## P

Padma/Padmaa . . . . lotus

Padmavati . . . . Goddess Lakshmi

Padmini . . . . lotus

Pallavi . . . . New leaves

Pampha . . . . a flower

Pankaja . . . . Lotus

Panna . . . . emerald

Parameshwari . . . . Goddess Durga

Parimitaa . . . . a moderate woman

Parinita . . . . Expert

Parnita . . . . auspicious Apsara

Parvati/Parbati . . . . wife of Lord Shiva

Pavana . . . . Holy, sacred

Pavitraa/Pabitra . . . . Pure

Payal/Paayal . . . . anklet

Piya . . . . beloved

Pooja/Puja . . . . worship

Poonam . . . . Full moon

Poornima/Purnima . . . . Full moon

Prabha . . . . radiance, splendour

Prachi . . . . east, morning

Pradeepta/Pradipta . . . . glowing

Pragati . . . . Progress

Pragya . . . . wisdom

Prakriti nature

Prama . . . . knowing truth

Pramila . . . . one of Arjuna's wives

Pramiti . . . . knowledge of truth

Pranati . . . . prayer

Prapti . . . . gain, achieve

Prarthana . . . . prayer

Prashansa . . . . prasie

Prashanti . . . . peace

Pratibha . . . . talent

Pratigya . . . . Pledge, vow

Pratikshya . . . . to wait, expectation

Pratima . . . . icon, idol, statue

Pratishtha . . . . preeminence

Pratiti . . . . faith

Preet . . . . dear one

Preetal . . . . Loved one

Preeti/Priti . . . . love

Prekshya . . . . looking at, observing

Prema . . . . Love

Premala . . . . loving

Prerana . . . . inspiration

Prisha . . . . dear one

Prita . . . . dear one

Priti . . . . Love

Pritika . . . . beloved

Priya . . . . Loved one, darling

Priyanka . . . . beautiful or lovable act, symbol or body

Priyasha . . . . dear one

Pujita . . . . worshipped

Punam/Poonam . . . . full moon

Punita . . . . Pure, holy

Punya . . . . auspicious, virtuous, meritorious

Purnima/Poornima . . . . Full moon

Pushpa . . . . flower

Pushpanjali . . . . flower offering

Pushpita . . . . decorated with flowers

## R

Raakhi . . . . symbol of protection;full moon in the Sravan month

Rachana . . . . creation

Rachita . . . . created

Radha . . . . Krishna's lover, prosperity

Radhika . . . . Radha

Ragini/Raginee . . . . musical mode, tune of classical music

Rajalakshmi . . . . Goddess lakshmi

Rajani/Rajanee . . . . night

Rajeshwari . . . . Goddess Parvati

Rajkumari . . . . princess

Rajyashree/Rajashri . . . . queen

Rakhee/Rakhi . . . . a protective talisman, thread of brother-sister bonding

Rakshita . . . . protected

Rakshya . . . . protector, guard

Rama/Ramaa . . . . Goddess Lakshmi

Rambha . . . . name of an apsara

Rameshwari . . . . Parvati

Rangana . . . . a flower

Rani . . . . Queen, Princess

Ranjana . . . . delightful

Ranjini . . . . pleasing

Ranjita . . . . adorned

Rashmi . . . . ray of light

Rasika connosseur

Rati . . . . most beautiful lady, wife of cupid

Ratna . . . . precious stone

Reema/Rima . . . . Goddess Durga; white antelope

Reena . . . . gem

Reena, Riena queen

Rekha . . . . straight line

Renu . . . . atom, grain of sand

Renuka . . . . wife of Jamadagni rishi

Reshma . . . . silky

Reva . . . . a star

Revati . . . . wife of Balarama, a star

Richa . . . . a Vedic hymn

Riddhi . . . . fortunate

Riju . . . . innocent

Rijuta . . . . innocence

Rima . . . . Goddess Durga

Rishika . . . . saintly

Rita . . . . way of life

Riti . . . . course, way, style

Ritika . . . . movement

Ritu . . . . season

Rochana/a . . . . splendid

Rohana . . . . sandalwood

Rohini/Rohinee . . . . a star

Rohita . . . . Brahma's daughter

Roma . . . . Goddess Laxmi

Romila . . . . heartfelt

Roshni/Roshani . . . . light

Ruchi . . . . lustre; beauty; taste

Ruchika . . . . shining; beautiful; desirous

Ruchira . . . . beautiful

Ruchita . . . . splendorous

Rudrani . . . . a wife of Shiva

Rukminee/Rukmini . . . . wife of lord Krishna

Ruma . . . . vedic hymn; wife a Sugriva

Rupa/Roopa . . . . beauty

Rupali . . . . beautiful, pretty

Rupashi/Rupashri . . . . beautiful

Rupika . . . . gold-coin

## S

Sabita . . . . sun

Sabitri/Savitree . . . . Vedic verse addressed to Savitr, the sun

Sachi . . . . Wife of Indra

Sachita . . . . consciousness

Sadhana/Sadhanaa . . . . Long practice/study, fulfilment; worship

Sadhika . . . . achiever

Sadhvi . . . . virtuous woman

Sagarika . . . . wave; born in the ocean

Saguna . . . . possessed of good qualities

Sahana . . . . Patience; a raga

Saheli . . . . friend

Sajala . . . . clouds

Sajani/Sajni beloved

Sakhi . . . . friend

Salena . . . . the moon (muslim)

Salila . . . . water

Samata . . . . equality

Sameena/Samina . . . . happy (muslim)

Samhita . . . . a vedic omposition

Samidha . . . . an offering for a sacred fire

Samita/Samhita . . . . composition

Sananda . . . . happy

Sanchita . . . . collection

Sandhya . . . . dusk, twilight

Sangita . . . . musical

Sanjana . . . . in harmony; gentle

Sanjita . . . . triumphant

Sanjna . . . . wife of the Sun

Sanjula . . . . beautiful

Sanoja . . . . eternal

Sanskriti . . . . culture

Santoshi/Santoshee . . . . satisfaction

Sapana/Sapanaa/Sapna . . . . dream

Sarala/Saralaa . . . . straight; honest

Saranya . . . . surrendered

Saraswati/Saraswatee . . . . a goddess of learning

Sarayu . . . . a holy river

Sarayu/Saryu . . . . A river in Ramayana

Sarbani . . . . Goddess Durga

Sarika/Saarikaa . . . . a bird

Sarita . . . . river

Sarjana . . . . creative; creation

Sarmistha . . . . a daughter of Vrsaparvan

Saroj . . . . lotus

Saroja . . . . lotus

Sarojini/Sarojinee . . . . cluster of lotus

Sashi . . . . Moon

Sasmita . . . . smiling

Sati . . . . chaste woman

Satya . . . . truth

Savarna/Sabarna . . . . daughter of the Ocean

Savita/Sabita . . . . Sun

Savitri/Sabitri . . . . a river; Goddess Saraswati

Seema . . . . border; limit

Sevati . . . . white rose

Sevita . . . . cherished

Shabana . . . . decorated

Shabnam . . . . dew (muslim)

Shaila . . . . mountain, daughter of the mountain

Shailaja . . . . Goddess Parvati

Shaili . . . . literary, artistic style

Shakti . . . . Goddess Durga; power

Shakuntala . . . . a name in hindu mythology

Shalini . . . . modesty

Shama . . . . flame

Shameena . . . . beautiful

Shamitaa/Shamita . . . . peacemaker

Shanta/Shantaa . . . . Peaceful

Shanti . . . . Peace

Sharada . . . . Goddess Saraswati

Sharika . . . . Goddess Durga

Sharini . . . . earth

Sharmila . . . . shy

Sharmistha . . . . wife of Yayat

Shashi . . . . the moon

Shaswati . . . . eternal

Sheela . . . . cool

Sheetal . . . . cool

Shefali . . . . a flower

Shibani . . . . Goddess Durga

Shikha . . . . Flame

Shila/Sheela . . . . statue

Shilpa . . . . perfectly created

Shilpita . . . . well- proportioned

Shivani . . . . Goddess Parvati

Shobha . . . . splendour

Shobhana . . . . ornamental, splendid

Shraddha . . . . veneration, trust

Shree . . . . Goddess Lakshmi

Shreela . . . . beautiful

Shreya . . . . auspicious

Shreyashi . . . . good

Shridevi . . . . goddess

Shrijani . . . . creative

Shristi/Sristi . . . . creation

Shruti . . . . hearing; Veidc text

Shubha . . . . auspicious

Shubhadra . . . . wife of Arjun

Shubhangi . . . . handsome

Shubhra . . . . white; the Ganga

Shuchita . . . . purity

Shukla . . . . Goddess Saraswati

Shukti . . . . pearl-oyster

Shushma/Sushma . . . . exquisite beauty; tiny

Shweta/Sweta . . . . white

Shyama . . . . dark as cloud; Goddess kali

Shyamal . . . . dusky

Shyamala . . . . dusky

Shyamali . . . . dusky

Sibani . . . . goddess Parvati

Siddhi . . . . achievement

Sindhu . . . . goddess Laxmi, river

Sita . . . . wife of Lord Rama

Sitara . . . . a star

Smirti . . . . recollection

Smita . . . . smile

Smriti . . . . recollection; memory

Sneh . . . . love

Sneha . . . . love, affection

Snehal . . . . friendly

Snigdha . . . . soft

Sohini . . . . beautiful

Sona . . . . gold

Sonal . . . . golden

Sonali . . . . of gold

Sonia . . . . Golden

Sonika . . . . golden

Soniya . . . . golden

Sourabhi . . . . fragrance

Sraddha . . . . respect; faith

Sridevi/Sreedevi/Shreedevi . . . . Goddess Lakshmi

Srijana/Shrijana/Sirjana . . . . creation

Sristi . . . . creation

Stuti/Stutee . . . . praise

Subhadra . . . . A wife of Arjuna

Subhagya . . . . lucky

Subhashini . . . . well-spoken

Subhi . . . . lucky

Sucheta . . . . with a beautiful mind

Suchi . . . . radiant

Suchira . . . . tasteful

Suchita . . . . beautyful, auspicious

Suchitra . . . . Beautiful picture

Sudeepa . . . . bright

Sudeepta . . . . bright

Sudesha/Sudeshaa . . . . good country

Sudeshna . . . . wife of king Virata

Sudevi . . . . Wife of Krishna

Sudha . . . . nectar

Sudhi . . . . scholar

Sudipta . . . . bright

Sudipti . . . . brightness

Sugita . . . . beautifully song

Suhasini . . . . ever-smiling

Suhina . . . . beautiful

Sujala . . . . affectionate

Sujata . . . . good caste, well born

Sujaya . . . . victory

Sukriti . . . . good deed

Sulakshana . . . . well brought up

Sulalita . . . . very pleasing

Sulekhaa . . . . good composition (female)

Sulochana . . . . one with beautiful eyes

Sumana . . . . good natured

Sumanta . . . . wise

Sumati . . . . wisdom

Sumita . . . . friendly

Sumitra . . . . friendly; name of the mother of Lakshmana

Sunanda . . . . very pleasing

Sunandini . . . . happy

Sunandita . . . . happy

Sunayana . . . . a woman with lovely eyes

Sunayani . . . . a woman with lovely eyes

Sundari . . . . beautiful

Suneeti . . . . mother of Dhruva

Sunetra . . . . one with beautiful eyes

Sunita . . . . one with good morals

Suniti . . . . good principles

Suprabha . . . . radiant

Supriti . . . . true love

Supriya . . . . Beloved

Suraksha . . . . protection

Suranjana . . . . pleasing

Surekha . . . . beautifully drawn

Sureshi . . . . goddess Durga

Suruchi . . . . good taste; good appetite

Surupa . . . . beautiful

Sushanti . . . . peace

Sushila . . . . well-behaved

Sushma . . . . beautiful woman

Sushmita . . . . smiling

Sushobhana . . . . very beautiful

Susila . . . . wife of Krishna

Susmita . . . . smiling

Swapna . . . . dreamlike

Swarupa . . . . truth

Swasti . . . . name of a star

Swati . . . . star

Sweta . . . . fair complexioned

## T

Taapasee . . . . a female ascetic

Tamanna . . . . desire

Tamasi . . . . night

Tanu . . . . body

Tanuja . . . . daughter

Tanushri . . . . beautiful

Tanvi . . . . a delicate girl

Tapani . . . . the river Godavari

Tapasi . . . . a female ascetic

Tara . . . . star; wife of Lord Brihaspati

Tarana . . . . a musical composition

Tarannum . . . . melody

Tarika . . . . starlet

Tarini . . . . Goddess Parvati

Tarpana . . . . offering

Tarulata . . . . a creeper

Teertha/Tirtha . . . . place of pilgrimage

Tejasee . . . . energetic, brilliant

Tejaswi . . . . lustrous

Tilottama . . . . a celestial maiden

Tripti . . . . satisfaction

Trisha . . . . thirst

Trishna . . . . thirst

Tulasi . . . . the sacred plant

## U

Udipti . . . . on fire

Udita . . . . one who has risen

Uditi . . . . rising

Ujjwala . . . . bright, lustrous

Uma . . . . goddess Parvati

Upama . . . . comparison; example

Upasana . . . . veneration

Urjita . . . . energized

Urmi . . . . wave

Urmila . . . . wife of Lakshmana

Urvashi/Urvasi . . . . a celestial maiden

Usha . . . . dawn, sun rise

## V

Vaijayanti/Baijayanti . . . . a garland of Lord Vishnu

Vani/Bani . . . . voice; Saraswati

Vanita/Banita . . . . lady

Varuna/Baruna . . . . wife of the lord of the sea; name of a river

Vasanti/Basanti . . . . of spring

Vedika . . . . altar; a river in India; relating to Veda

Vibha/Bibha . . . . night

Vidya/Bidya . . . . wisdom, knowledge

Vijaya/Bijaya . . . . victorious

Vinaya/Binaya . . . . modesty

Vindhya/Bindya . . . . knowledge

Vineeta/Binita/Vinita . . . . humble

Vipasa . . . . a river

Vrinda/Brinda . . . . tulsi, basil; Radha

## Y

Yamini . . . . night

Yamuna . . . . Jamuna river

Yasoda/Yashoda . . . . mother of Lord krishna

Yasodhara . . . . mother of Lord Buddha

Yuvani . . . . Youthful

Yogita . . . . one who can concentrate

## Shore Temple

Location: Mahabalipuram

State: TamilNadu

Principle Deity: Lord Shiva

Shore Temple

It is believed that there were seven magnificent temples what are known as the seven pagodas, built near the sea share. But the lonely survivor is the shore temples. It was originally constructed during the 7th century and later it was Narasimha Varman II, (Rajasimha) completed the skilled work in his rule. This is one of the oldest of the south Indian Temples which were structural temples constructed in the nature Dravidian style. This shore temple has gained popularity and tourists gather here because it has been listed among the world heritage sites of the UNESCO. The temple is full of designs made by carvings.

There are three temples of which two Shiva Temples face east and west respectively. The other one is the Vishnu Temple. The Vishnu temples were built by Narasimha Varman I and the other two were built by Narasimha Varman II. One can find the beautifully carved twin Dwarka Palaks (gate keepers) at the entrance of the east facing Shiva Temples. On both sides of the temple inside are the marvelous sculptures of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu with their better halves. The top part of the Shivalinga figure inside the temple is found damaged. There are sculptures of Somaskanda - lord Shiva with his better half, Parvati, and his sons, Skanda and Ganesha are found on the near wall. Apart from Lord Shiva’s sculpture, one can find the sculptures of Narasimha and Goddess Durgha also.

The central shrine is in the form of a rectangle. It has a magnificent statue of lord Vishnu which is known as Sthala Shayana Perumal or Ananthasayana which means sleeping Vishnu. The peculiarity about this particular temple is - Vishnu reclines on the floor listening silently the sounds of names. The figure of Vishnu is found in segments which are to be looked through various doors. The other sculpture is portrayed in such a may that Lord Vishnu seated in mount Garuda helping Gajendra, the elephant, found in the southern wall and the northern wall is the portrayals from the life of lord Krishna. The grand temple is surrounded by mandapas and compound walls. There is a rock-cut of a lion rode by two young women. The lion has a small cut, a square shaped cut in its belly. A Huge rock near by the temple has been the target of the waves to touch it from the ancient days. There is also a carving of a buffalo demon running with a stick in his hand, located in the northern side. The temple looks beautiful due to the lights during weekend evenings.

## Ramanatha Swamy Temple

Location: Rameshwaram

State: Tamilnadu

Principle Deity: Sri Ramanatha Swamy(Lord Shiva)

Ramanatha Swamy Temple outlook
Ramanatha Swamy Temple interior

 Canon PowerShot SD1100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Blue) Price: \$199.00List Price: \$179.99 Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black) Price: Too low to displayList Price: \$749.99

This Shivastalam is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in India. It represents the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India and has been a time honored pilgirmage center held on par with Banaras. The island-temple town is located off of the Sethu coast of Tamilnadu (south eastern). This shrine is regarded as the 8th of the Tevara Stalams in the Pandya region of Tamilnadu.

This temple is assocated closely with the Ramayana and Rama's victorious return from Sri Lanka.

Rameswaram is an interesting temple both from the standpoint of its association with Rama and from a structural standpoint. A. huge temple in the island of Rameswaram (reached via the Pamban bridge across the sea), Rameswaram is known for its long ornate corridors and towers and 36 theerthams.

Legend has it that Rama worshipped Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam made of earth by Sita, while returning to Ayodhya. Legend has it that Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Viswanathar from Benares. Anticipating delay in Hanuman's return from Benares, Rama is said to have offered worship at a pre-chosen auspicious moment to a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth by Sita. This lingam is referred to as Ramalingam and the town is known as Rameswaram.

There is yet another Shivalingam here - Viswanathar said to have been brought by Hanuman from Banares. This Shivalingam is referred to as Kasilingam and Hanumalingam. Prayers are offered to Viswanathar before they are offered to Ramanathaswamy.

## Brihadisvara Temple

Location: Thanjavur

State:TamilNadu

Principle Deity: Brihadeeswarar (Lord Shiva)

Brihadisvara Temple

Thanjavur became a center of learning during 10th to 14th century AD. The Brihadeeswara temple is the major center of tourist attraction at Thanjavur. Thanjavur is the ancient capital of the Chola kings. King Rajaraja Chola constructed the Brihadeeswara Temple in 10th century AD and the architect Sama Varma designed it. The Cholas were great patrons of art. During their reign, the most magnificent temples as well as exquisite bronze icons were created in south India. Sama Varma designed a unique structure because no shadows of the temple were cast on the ground at any time of the year. It is symbolic of the fact that the Supreme is considered to be there and yet not there. The temple is the finest contribution of the Chola dynasty to the Dravidian style of temple architecture.

The Brihadeeswara temple is within a huge compound with walls rising above 15m. The temple is made over a 29 m square base and has a soaring vimana and a stunted gopuram. The inner sanctum and the gopuram were constructed over a period of 12 years. It was constructed from a single piece of granite weighing around 80 tonnes. The dome was hauled into place along a 4-km earthwork ramp in a manner similar to the Egyptian pyramids. The lofty sanctum tower known as the Srivimana, is enclosed by a rectangular prakara or corridor consisting of two squares. The main tower occupies the center part of the rear square, with the center vimana or tower having 16 tiers, which rises to a height of 200 ft. The tower is considered to be symbolic of the mountain Meru. The inscriptions on the walls of the vimana record the contributions of Rajaraja Chola and his sister. Several stucco features also decorate the vimana.

## Ekambaranathar Temple

Location: Kanchipuram

State:TamilNadu

Principle Deity: Ekambaranathar(Lord Shiva)

Ekambaranathar Temple

Ekambaranathar Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city. The architecture of this temple is amazing. The gopuram of this temple stands as a massive landmark, spanning a height of 57 metres - one of the tallest in South India. The vast temple premises introduce you to many wonders, one after another.

The first is the "Aayiram Kaal Mandapam" or the hallway with a thousand pillars. The next is the array of 1008 Siva Lingams that decorate the inner walls of the temple. The most important, of course, is the "sthala-virutcham", a 3500 year old mango tree whose branches give four different types of mangoes. This temple bears the work of practically every dynasty which ruled Kanchipuram.

This temple, unlike the Kailasanathar temple, lies right in the middle of the busiest intersection in the city and is filled with people almost all the time. It is located diagonally opposite to the Sankara Mutt. It will be extremely crowded on Sivaraathri.

According to legend, this temple is located around the 3500 year old mango tree. Hindu mythology says that Kamakshi Amman performed a penance here under the mango tree to get married to Lord Shiva. In Sanskrit, "Eka" means One, and "Amaram" means "Mango Tree". Hence, Ekambaram literally means "One Mango Tree".

Because of its age and vastness, not all places in the temple are accessible to Tourists. Some places can be accessed with special permission.

Recently, this temple hit the news owing to the visit of Queen Elizabeth in October 97, to see the 3500 year old mango tree and the weaving of Silk Sarees in handlooms. Silk Sarees of Kanchipuram have apparently been one the the Queen's favorites for a very long time.

## Chamundeswari Temple

Location: Mysore

State: Karnataka

Principle Deity: Chamundeswari (Lordess Durga)

Chamundeswari Temple Vicinity

Chamundeswari Temple is located on the top of Chamundi Hills about 13 km from the palace city of Mysore in the state of Karnataka in India. The temple was named after Chamundeswari or Durga, the fierce form of Shakti, a tutelary deity held in reverence for centuries by Mysore Maharajas.

The original shrine is thought to have been built in the 12th century by Hoysala rulers while its tower was probably built by the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century. In 1659, a flight of one thousand steps was built leading up to the 3000 foot summit of the hill.

At the temple are several images of Nandi (the bull mount of Shiva). There is a huge granite Nandi on the 800th step on the hill in front of a small Shiva temple a short distance away. This Nandi is over 15 feet high, and 24 feet long and around its neck are exquisite bells.

The temple has a seven story tall 'gopuram' decorated with intricate carvings. The idol of the Chamunda Devi is said to be made of solid gold and the temple gates are made of silver.

## Bull Temple

Location: Mysore

State: Karnataka

Principle Deity: Nandi(celestial bull)

The Bull temple of Mysore

The Bull temple of Mysore is located in the Southern part of India in the state of Karnataka. It was constructed in the 6th century and is dedicated to Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva. The Structure of the holy bull is carved out of a single block of Granite rock. The temple reflects the specimen of the Dravidian architecture. The Gigantic bull measure 4.57 meters in height and 6.10 meters in length. The temple houses Nandi the Vahana or vehicle of Shiva, along with sculptures of God Surya and goddess Candra on their chariots drawn by horses. Also there is a small lingam shrine bedecked with the exquisite Gopuram. The Bull temple, Mysore comes to liveliness during the Shivratri festival.

## Tirumala Sri Venkateswara Temple

Location: Tirupati

State: AndhraPradesh

Principle Deity: Sri Venkateswara(Lord Vishnu)

Sri Venkateswara Temple

The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini.It is by the Lord's presidency over Venkatachala, that He has received the appellation, Venkateswara (Lord of the Venkata Hill). He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills.

The temple of Sri Venkateswara has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. The Sastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally declare that, in the Kali Yuga, one can attain mukti, only by worshipping Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateswara.

The benefits acquired by a pilgrimage to Venkatachala are mentioned in the Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas. In these epics, Sri Venkateswara is described as the great bestowed of boons. There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala.

History There is ample literary and epigraphic testimony to the antiquity of the temple of Lord Sri Venkateswara. All the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th - 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord and they competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich offerings and contributions. It was during the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty that the contributions to the temple increased. Sri Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the temple, and these statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple.

Temple Legends Sri Venkatachala Mahatmya is referred to in several Puranas, of which the most important are the Varaha Purana and the Bhavishyottara Purana. The printed work contains extracts from the Varaha Purana, Padma Purana, Garuda Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Markandeya Purana, Harivamsa, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana, Brahmottara Purana, Aditya Purana, Skanda Purana and Bhavishyottara Purana. Most of these extracts describe the sanctity and antiquity of the hills around Tirumala and the numerous teerthams situated on them. The legends taken from the Venkatachala Mahatmya and the Varaha Purana, pertaining to the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala, are of particular interest. According to the Varaha Purana, Adi Varaha manifested Himself on the western bank of the Swami Pushkarini, while Vishnu in the form of Venkateswara came to reside on the southern bank of the Swami Pushkarini.

Pilgrimage Attractions at Tirupati Tirumala

Padi Kavali Maha Dwara The Padi Kavali Maha Dwara or Outer Gopuram stands on a quadrangular base. Its architecture is that of the later Chola period. The inscriptions on the gopuram belong to 13th century. There are a number of stucco figures of Vaishnava gods like Hanuman, Kevale Narasimha and Lakshmi Narasimha on the gopuram.

Sampangi Pradakshinam The path for circumnavigating the temple is called a pradakshinam. The main temple has three prakarams. Between the outermost and middle prakarams is the second pathway for circumambulation known as the Sampangi Pradakshinam. Currently, this pathway is closed to pilgrims. The Sampangi Pradakshinam contains several interesting mandapams like the Pratima Mandapam, Ranga Mandapam, Tirumala Raya Mandapam, Saluva Narasimha Mandapam, Aina Mahal and Dhvajasthambha Mandapam.

Ranga Mandapam Ranga Mandapam, also called the Ranganayakula Mandapam, is located in the south-eastern corner of the Sampangi Pradakshinam. The shrine within it is believed to be the place where the utsava murti of Lord Ranganadha of Srirangam was kept during the 14th century, when Srirangam was occupied by Muslim rulers. It is said to have been constructed between 1320 and 1360 AD by the Yadava ruler Sri Ranganadha Yadava Raya. It is constructed according to the Vijayanagara style of architecture.

Tirumala Raya Mandapam Adjoining the Ranga Mandapam on the western side, and facing the Dhvajasthambha Mandapam is a spacious complex of pavilions known as the Tirumala Raya Mandapam or Anna Unjal Mandapam. It consists of two different levels, the front at a lower level and the rear at a higher. The southern or inner portion of this Mandapam was constructed by Saluva Narasimha in 1473 AD to celebrate a festival for Sri Venkateswara called Anna Unjal Tirunal. This structure was extended to its present size by Araviti Bukkaraya Ramaraja, Sriranga Raja and Tirumala Raja. It is in this Mandapam, that the utsava murthi Malayappan, holds His annual darbar or Asthanam during the hoisting of the Garudadhwaja on Dhwajastambham to mark the commencement of Brahmotsavam. Incidentally, the prasadam distributed on this occasion is still called Tirumalarayan Pongal.

Tirumala Raya Mandapam The Mandapam has a typical complex of pillars in the Vijayanagara style, with a central pillar surrounded by smaller pillars, some of which emit musical notes when struck with a stone. The main pillars have rearing horses with warriors mounted on them. Some of the best sculptures of the temple are found in bold relief in the Mandapam. The bronze statues of Todermallu, his mother Matha Mohana Devi and wife Pitha Bibi, are kept in a corner of the Mandapam.

The Aina Mahal The Aina Mahal is on the northern side of the Tirumala Raya Mandapam. It consists of two parts - an open mandapam in the front consisting of six rows comprising six pillars each, and a shrine behind it consisting of an Antarala and Garbhagriha. It has large mirrors which reflect images in an infinite series. There is an unjal in the middle of the room in which the Lord is seated and festivals conducted.

The Daily Routines - Tirupati Tirumala Balaji Temple The daily program starts with 'Suprabhatam' (awakening the Lord) at three in the morning and end with the 'Ekanta Seva' (putting the Lord to sleep) at one in the night. Daily, Weekly and Periodical 'Sevas' and 'Utsavams' are performed to the Lord. Interested pilgrims can choose from the list and pay to get the Sevas or Utsavams done on their name. Devotees offer their gifts and donations in the "Hundi", which is the main source of income. Festivals of Tirupati Everyday is a day of festivity at Tirumala. The most famous is the annual festival called 'Brahmotsavam', which is celebrated on grand scale for nine days in September, attracting pilgrims and tourists from all parts of the country. The fifth and ninth days of the festival are especially significant in as much as Garudostavam and Rathotavam takes place on those days.

## Sabarimala Temple

Location: Sahya hilly regions, Pathanamthitta District

State: Kerala

Principle Deity: Lord Ayyappa

Ayyappa swami Temple and its dwaja sthamba

Raja of Pandalam constructed the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala based on the advise of Lord. It is also believed that there already existed the DharmaSastha temple at Sabarimala, one of the 64 temples established by Parasurama, and Lord Ayyappa merged into the deity there. The King (Raja) of Pandalam renovated/ reconstructed the temple, supervising the work by staying at Perunadu. He constructed an Ayyappa temple there also for performing his daily pooja of the Lord. Deities of Malikappurathamma, Kadutha swami and Vaver swami were installed as also the 'pathinettampadi' (holy 18 steps) and 'bhasmakulam'. The legend behind Malikappurathamma is that Leela, daughter of Galavamuni, under curse of her husband Dathan, was reborn as Mahishi, an "asura' female with a buffalo's face. Upon having killed by Lord Ayyappa, the curse was revoked and the beautiful woman rose out of the corpse. She thanked the Lord and prayed to be with Him as His wife. However, the Lord told her that He is a 'brahmachari' and so her desire would not be fulfilled. However, He allowed her to remain in Sabarimala, a little distant from His abode, as His sister - Malikappurathamma. The Vaver temple at Erumeli, the beginning of the forest route was also constructed. Various rituals were fixed, believed to be on the advice of Agasthyamuni. Legend also says that Parasurama himself came down to install the Ayyappa deity. The 'vrutham' and other practices to be followed before and during the Sabarimala pilgrimage were also prescribed as dictated by the Lord. Arrangements for monthly poojas were made.

Once in a year, during Makaravilakku, the Raja visits Sabarimala along with the holy ornaments (Thiruvabharanam) from the Palace, which are, adorned on the Ayyappa deity and 'deeparadhana' conducted. It is at this time that the 'jyothi' appears on the eastern horizon. During Mandalam-Makaravilakku season, by custom, nobody starts on pilgrimage after the Raja of Pandalam sets out for Sannidhanam on 28th Dhanu, along with the Thiruvabharanam. In addition, pilgrims are restrained from going to Malikappuram after the 'guruthi' there on 6th Makaram.

The period of Ayyappa is considered to be somewhere between 300-400 M.E. (1125-1225 A.D). Since Pandalam was assumed by Travancore in 1820 A.D, the administration of all the temples within the kingdom, including Sabarimala was done by Travancore govt., which was subsequently handed over to the Travancore Devaswom Board after Independence. As per the Travancore State Manual " the understanding arrived at when the particular temples were founded and endowed are followed". Thus the Raja of Pandalam even now continues to function in the dual status of the father of the Lord and the founder of the temple.

The important pilgrimage season in Sabarimala is from 1st Vrischikom to 6th Makaram M.E. (mid-November to mid-January). Devotees irrespective of religion, cast, creed, nationality or social status are equals in His abode and are all addressed by His own name, namely 'Ayyappa'. In fact, the pilgrimage includes worship at Vaver temples at Erumeli and Sannidhanam, managed by Muslims. This stands as a glittering example of Hindu-Muslim unity. However, women in the age group 10-50 shall not go to Sabarimala. Other women devotees are permitted to trek the hill and are called as 'Malikappurams'.

## Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Location: Trivandrum

State: Kerala

Principle Deity: Sri Padmanabha(Lord Vishnu)

Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple

Padmanabhaswamy temple (aka Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple),is a famous Hindu temple of Lord Vishnu, located inside the East Fort in city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The temple is one of the 108 divya desam, the holiest abodes of Lord Vishnu and the main deity, Padmanabhaswamy is a form of Vishnu in Anananthasayanam posture (in eternal sleep of yognidra). This is an ancient temple and the city of Thiruvananthapuram derives its name from the name of the presiding deity enshrined in the temple. History

King Marthanda Varma, Maharaja of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore, did the last major renovation. He dedicated his kingdom to the deity, and pledged that he and his descendants would serve the kingdom as Padmanabha Dasa, meaning "servants of the Lord Padmanabha". With this, Sri Padmanabha became the nominal head of the state of Travancore, assuming the title Perumal, the Emperor. The British Government saluted the Lord with 21-gun salute, a military tradition of colonial days, which was continued by the Indian Army until the abolition of the privy purses by Government of India with Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister. The royal insignia of the Lord, The Valampiri Shankhu or sinistral conch-shell, served as the State emblem of Travancore and even continued so for some time after the re-organisation of the States. Sri Padmanabha is still regarded as regional deity of Travancore[citation needed]. The two annual festivals of the Temple culminates with a grand procession, with the three deities (Sree Padmanabha, Narasimha Swamy and Krishna) carried on flower-decked and aesthetically decorated Garuda Vahanas to the Shankhumukhom beach, for 'aaraattu' (sacramental ablution). The 'aarattu' days are declared as local public holidays in Thiruvanathapuram.

## Madurai Meenakshi Temple

Location: Madurai

State: TamilNadu

Principle Deity: Goddess Meenakshi

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated toLord Shiva (in the form of Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord) and his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Minakshi). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai, home of the Tamil language.

The temple has a stunning architecture and a significant testimony for Vishwakarma Brahmins for their master architecture in sculpting this temple. This was a frontrunner in the election for the modern seven wonders of the world for its architectural importance. The complex houses 12 magnificent gopurams or towers that are elaborately sculptured and painted. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believed to have been built only recently in the early 17th century.

According to Hindu legend, Shiva came down to earth in the form of Sundareswarar to marry Meenakshi, an incarnation of Parvati. Parvati had earlier descended to earth in the form of a small child in response to the great penance of Malayadwaja Pandya, the ruler of Madurai.After growing up to adulthood, she began ruling the city. The Lord appeared on earth and proposed to her. The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Vishnu, the brother of Minakshi, was traveling to preside over the marriage from his holy abode at Vaikuntam. Due to a divine play, he was tricked by god Indra and delayed on the way. Meanwhile, the marriage was presided over by a local god Koodal Azhaghar. This angered Lord Vishnu, and he swore never to enter the city, settling on the outskirts at a beautiful hill called Alagar Koil. He was later appeased by other gods, and he proceeded to bless the divine couple - Shiva and Parvati.

Both the marriage and the Vishnu's pacification are still celebrated as the biggest festival in Madurai, called Chithirai Thiruvizha also called as Azhakar Thiruvizha (the festival for the Beautiful Lord). The divine couple are believed to have ruled the region for a long time. It is not clear what happened to the place after they left.

Another legend says that Shiva's idol, in the form of the lingam, was discovered by the God of heaven, Indra, who built the original temple. This tradition is still followed in the temple - the deity is accompanied by a model of Indra's vehicle, during festive processions.

Indra who was suffering from Bramakarthi dosam was traveling in a Puspavimanam over a KadambaVanam(Forest full of Kadamba Tree), suddenly his dosam get relieved. He get down there and saw a Siva Lingam & a tank full of lotus. He worshiped the god there and placed his vehicle Iravatam(White Elephant) as pillar and constructed the shrine of sundereswar. The White elephants are still visible on the side walls of the swami srine. Kadamba Tree is the Stalavirutchan(Tree of the Temple).

## Somnath Temple

Location: Prabhas Kshetra, Saurashtra

State: Gujarat

Principle Deity: Lord Shiva

Somnath Temple

The temple of Somnath, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva is situated 79 Kms. from Junagadh and 25 Kms. from Chorwad. According to the legend, Somnath is as old as creation, built by none other than the Moon God himself. The remains of the temple of Somanath "withstood the shocks of time and survived the attacks of destroyers. The temple has imposing architecture and is a beautiful sight facing the blue expanse of the Arabian Sea. A short distance from the Somnath temple is Bakhla Tirth, where Lord Krishna was said to have been struck by the stray arrow of a Bhil tribal. The Present Temple, Kailash Mahameru Prasada is built in the chalukya style of temple architecture and reflects the inherent skill of Sompuras, Gujarat's master masons.

Soma is the name for the moon, the son in-law of Daksha. Once Soma disobeyed a certain instruction of his father-in-law. Daksha was so angry that he cursed him, saying, "Thou shalt wane!" The moon, who used to shine in full splendor every night till then, started to shrink. However, before the curse brought about an absolute end to the moon, many a god requested Daksha to revoke his curse. Daksha asked Soma to take a bath in the sea at the mouth of the river Saraswati and then to pray to Lord Shiva. Hence at Prabhasa, Shiva came to be known as Somanath, the Lord of the moon.

It is believed that the Somnath temple here was originally built by Somraj, the Moon God himself, out of gold, and then rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then by Krishna in Wood, then by Bhimdev in stone. Somnath is also known by several other names -- Deo pattan, Prabhas Pattan or Pattan Somnath, which it acquired during its long and eventful history. Somnath was once the most revered shrine in the country, for it had one of the twelve pre-eminent Jyotirlingas (the glowing Lingas), which held a special significance for the Hindus. Somnath's glory and fame are legendary. It is said that people from the remotest parts of the country came to worship at the shrine; revenues collected from ten thousand villages was spent on the maintenance of the temple. Two thousand Brahmins (priests) served the idol and a golden chain attached to a huge bell plate announced the commencement of prayers.

## Khajuraho Temples

Location: Khajuraho,Chatarpur district

State: Madhya Pradesh

Principle Deity: medieval Hindu and Jain Gods and Goddesses

Lakshmana temple at Khajuraho,a panchayatana temple.

The city was once the original capital of the Chandela Rajputs, a Hindu dynasty that ruled this part of India from the 10th to the 12th centuries. The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of a hundred years, from 950 to 1050. The Chandela capital was moved to Mahoba after this time, but Khajuraho continued to flourish for some time.'

The whole area was enclosed by a wall with eight gates, each flanked by two golden palm trees. There were originally over 80 Hindu temples, of which only 22 now stand in a reasonable state of preservation, scattered over an area of about 8 square miles (21 km²).

Unlike other cultural centers of North India, the temples of Khajuraho never underwent massive destruction by early Muslim invaders between c. 1100-1400 AD. Due to overgrowth following their abandonment, a number of them survived to be discovered by the British in the 19th century. Today, the temples serve as fine examples of Indian architectural styles that have gained popularity due to their explicit depiction of the traditional way of sexual life during medieval times. They were rediscovered during the late 19th century and the jungles had taken a toll on all of the monuments.

The Khajuraho temples, constructed with spiral superstructures, adhere to a northern Indian shikhara temple style and often to a Panchayatana plan or layout. A few of the temples are dedicated to the Jain pantheon and the rest to Hindu deities - to God's Trio, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and various Devi forms, such as the Devi Jagadambi temple. A Panchayatana temple had four subordinate shrines on four corners and the main shrine in the center of the podium, which comprises their base. The temples are grouped into three geographical divisions: western, eastern and southern.

With a graded rise secondary shikharas (spires) cluster to create an appropriate base for the main shikhara over the sanctum. Kandariya Mahadeva, one of the most accomplished temples of the Western group, comprises eighty-four shikharas, the main being 116 feet from the ground level.

## ISKON Temples

Location: Various locations in India

Principle Deity: Lord sri Krishna

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the founder acharya of the hare krishna movement. Completed in 1998, this is a complex of temples. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was initially raised as a spiritual society in New York to Propagate the message of the Bhagwad Gita. It was founded by Swami Prabhupada. In India there are about 40 ISKCON temples. Contemplating the traditions of the ancient Vaishnava tradition, its philosophy and practice, these spiritual temples have left a mark on all mankind. Visiting these temples proves to be a pleasant and revealing experience.

ISKCON temples are dedicated to Lord Krishna and were built by the Hare-Rama Hare-Krishna cult followers. These complexes are elegantly built and are few of the largest temple complexes in India. There are beautiful paintings of Russian artists on the different past times of Radha Krishna, Sita, Ram, Laxman, Hanuman and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Special programmes like Kirtan, Aarti, Pravachan and Prasadam are held every Sunday.

Famous ISKCON Temples In India :

ISKCON Temple, Delhi For many this is just a temple, for finding solace, peace and quiet. Sitting amongst Lord Krishna and his devotees with Hare Krishna chants going around is indeed an experience. But for those who are seeking more, there is so much to learn and see, than what meets the eye.

ISKCON Temple,Delhi

ISKCON Temple, Bangalore, Karnataka The ISKCON Temple was built recently by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. As you climb the granite steps you will encounter three small shrines before the main temple. The three idols of Lord Krishna in the main shrine are made of brass.

ISKCON Temple,Bangalore

ISKCON Temple, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh It is located within the premises of the Krishna-Baldev Temple in Vrindavan. Beautiful paintings depicting the life of Lord Krishna adorn the galleries leading to the main temple. ISKCON devotees from various parts of the world can be spotted manning the library or ISKCON book stalls and partaking in temple rituals.

ISKCON Temple,Vrindavan

ISKCON Chandradoya Mandir, Mayapur, West Bengal This is the international headquarters of ISKCON. Surrounded by: a Vedic city, the main Deities are Sri Radha Madhava. The Deities are larger than life-size. There are also eight Gopis, four on each side of Radha-Madhava. Also on the main altar is a small set of Radha-Krishna Deities. On the left altar are Deities of the "Pancha-Tattva-Advaita Acarya", Lord Nityananda, Lord Chaitanya, Gadadhara, and Srivasa Thakur. To the left of this altar is another altar with an impressive Deity of Lord Narasimha.

ISKCON Chandradoya Mandir,Mayapur

© Blogger templates Shiny by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP