Monday, August 11, 2014

Organ Donation Day – August 13th, 2014

The Times of India in partnership with Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital has taken the initiative to create awareness of organ donation and to get more people to register as donors.

Did you know? More than half a million Indians are estimated to be in dire need of an organ transplant – kidney, liver, heart, pancreas and so on….

The donation rate of the deceased is 26 per million population in the US, 35 in Spain and 36.5 in Croatia – the highest organ donation rate in the world.

Comparatively, the donation rate of the deceased is just 0.26 per million population in India. The lack of awareness is probably one of the biggest reasons for this low rate.

When you sign up for organ donation, you sign up for saving up to nine lives. That’s nothing short of a miracle ! And yet, we need more.

There are simply far too few organ donors in the country. We need more miracle workers like you! And you can help with that. 

Once you have registered yourself in the organ donor registry, please invite and encourage your friends, family members and colleagues to register as well. After all, lakhs of patients die every year for the want of organs. We need all the help we can get!

When you choose to give life after you have gone, you choose to live forever! If someone, were powerful enough to save lives, if someone did it all, knowing, fully well that they would get nothing in return, what would that make them ? GOD –LIKE.


Every Life Matters!

Join hands to give hope to thousands waiting for a fresh lease of live!



Source: The Times of India

Varalakshmi Vratham

Every ‘Shravan’ season (which usually occurs in July or August) I look forward towards the occasion of Varalakshmi Vratham puja. This is one puja which I diligently perform.

Varalakshmi Vratham is a festival wherein married women perform the Varalakshmi (Goddess who bestows boons = Lakshmi devi) puja.
Varalakshmi puja at my house.

This ritual is celebrated in most parts of South India, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. And was observed, on August 8, this year.
It usually occurs on the second Friday or the Friday before the full moon in the Shravan season. 

This puja is performed  to seek Varalakashmi devi’s blessings for the well being of the family and prosperity.

I love to decorate the Goddess on this day. 
The decorated Goddess!
And am amazed at the creativity of many talented women , who take great efforts to decorate the Devi, beautifully!


Here are some of the Varalakshmi devi’s, decorated, as part of the Vratham celebration at various households. 

Varalakshmi devi in her grandeur, at my mother's place.
The Goddess of Wealth! Puja at my sister, Parimala's house.
The Devi in resplendent glory! At my dear friend, Gayathri's house.

Decorated Devi at Deepthi's place (my neighbor and pal) 

Jai Varalakshmi Devi !!

Monday, August 4, 2014

World’s largest Hindu temple - Akshardham Mandir


Dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, a Jain deity, the magnificent Akshardham temple is located on the banks of River Yamuna. It is a part of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha’s (BAPS) initiative to promote Indian art, culture and values.


The majestic entrance to the temple.

The beautiful temple is constructed entirely with pink marble, without any concrete or steel! It enshrines a huge eleven foot, gilded statue of Bhagwan Swaminarayan made with five different metals (Panchadhatu)
The temple and its surroundings are masterpieces of art! It reflects Indian spirituality and heritage. 


Don't miss the gardens!

Photography is not allowed inside the temple, so I could not capture the majestic temple in its grandeur. However, I have reproduced photos of the temple as printed in the temple brochure for your viewing.

Souvenir shop

An overview of the temple complex
 It hold the The Guiness World Record for being the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple.
The temple has been described as follows in the Guinness World Records: 
·     The largest Hindu temple is the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham with a total area of 8,021.43 m² (86, 342 ft²) built by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in New Delhi, India and inaugurated on 6 November 2005.
·         BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India, is the world’s largest Hindu temple. It measures 356 ft long, 316 ft wide and 141 ft high. The grand, ancient-style temple built within 5 years by 11,000 artisans without structural steel was consecrated on 6 November 2005 by its creator His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS. The temple showcases the essence of India’s ancient art, traditions and wisdom.
The perimeter...

Inside the complex



The fountain!

The cultural journey....


Beautiful artistic carvings along the walls

Unparalleled craftsmanship!

The illuminated temple

Inside the temple


The ornate gates!

Tips:
-          -The temple is closed on Mondays
-          -To witness the beautiful ride inside the temples complex which showcases India’s glorious heritage, reach early, as many a times, there are long queues for these rides.
-          -Plan to spend a full day at this magnificent temple.
-          -Snacks and refreshments are available with the temple complex.
-         - Travel light as mobile phones, cameras and refreshments are not allowed inside the temple and its surroundings. A cloak room is available to store electronic items.
-Nearest Metro station is Akshardham which is located at a walkable distance from the temple. There are rickshaws also, near the station, which are very convenient for those who do not prefer to walk.


For more information about this majestic temple, please visit its website: http://www.akshardham.com/





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