region. There are several Kshetra in India, but
four Kshetra are considered main and holy.
Present Kaashee, or Vaaraanasee, or Banaaras. It is believed that Kaashee is
separate from the whole world. When Pralaya (deluge) comes Kaashee is not affected.
It is one of the seven Holy Cities also - (1) Ayodhyaa
(UP), (2) Dwaarakaa (Gujaraat), (3) Haridwaar (UP),
(4) Kaancheepuram (Tamilnaadu), (5) Mathuraa (UP), (6) Ujjain
or Avantee (MP), and (7) Kaashee or Vaaraanasee or
Agni Puraan, 28
describes 8 A-Vimukt Kshetra.
Ashtaakshar Kshetra -
Vishnu Swayam Vyakt Kshetra
"Om Namo Naaraayanaaya" - this is the Ashtaakshar Mantra. As Jyotirling
which are Swaayumbhoo Kshetra there are 8 Ashtaakshar Swayam Vyakt Kshetra of Vishnu
as said by Swaamee Raamaanujam. The Shlok is as follows:
Srirangam Venkatadrishcha Shree Mushnam Totaa Parvatam
Shaalagraamam Pushkaram cha Nar Naaraayan Aashramam
Naimisham Cheti me Sthananyasau Mukti Pradhaanivai
Yetuswashtaaksharaik Aka: Varn Moortirvasaamyaham
Tishtaami Krishn Kshetre Punya Saptako Gaathaa:
Ashtaaksharasya Mantrasya Sarvaakshara Maya Sadaa
In this verse Naaraayan points out that the eight Swayam Vyakta Kshetra of Shree
Rangam, Tirupati, Shree Mushnam, Vanamamalai, Shaalagraamam, Badaree and
Naimishaaranya, Pushkar grant liberation to those who visit these places. The
Lord as the Archaa Moorti (main Deity) at each of these Kshetram signifies one
Akshar of his Ashtaakshar Mantra. Excellent places to visit and worship to attain
the blessings of the Lord. Locations of these places are as follows
1. Shree Rangam Ranganaath ----------------------
Sri Rangam, Trichi District, Tamil Naadu
2. Venkataadri Venkateshwar Swaamy -------------
Tirupati, Chittore District, Aandhra Pradesh
3. Sri Mushnam Bhoo Varaah Swaamy ---------------
Sri Mushnam, Cuddalore District, Tamil Naadu
4. Totaa Parvatam Vanamamalai Perumal --------------
Nanguneri Tirunelveli District Tamil Naadu
5. Saalagraam Chakrapaani
---------------------------- Muktinaath, Dhaval Giri, Nepal
6. Pushkar Vishnu -------------------------------------
Pushkar, Near Ajamer, Raajasthaan
7. Nar Naaraayan Aashram ----------------------------
Badaree Naaraayan Swaamy, Badaree Naath, Near Naineetaal, Uttaraakhand
8. Naimish Chakra Naaraayan -------------------------
Nimisaar, Near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Asht Veeraatan Kshetra
These are certain places where Shiv assumed Rajo Gun and performed heroic
deeds for destroying evil forces. There are eight such places specifically
mentioned and collectively called Ashta Veerattan Kshetra. They are --
(1)Tirukkoyilur Andhakaasur Sanhaar
(2) Tiruvadigai Tripur Dahan
(3)Tirrukadavur Kaal Sanhaar
(4) Parasalur Daksh Sanhaar
(5) Kurrukai Kaam Dahan
(6) Valuvur Gajaasur Sanhaar
(7) Virkudi Jalandhar Sanhaar
(8) Kandiyur Brahmaa's head was plucked
Prayaag - read Shankhaasur's
story for it.
There is a village Gandhi Gaam in Kutch area of India. It was known by another
name before Gandhians stole the glory of this Vaidik village by changing its
name to Gandhi Gaam. There is a small Temple outside of the village in the
middle of low hills that are like desert. At this temple every day rice is
cooked and served at a platform. The coyotes and jackals from around the hills
come regularly there to eat this rice every day.
How the temple was made and why feed this rice to coyotes? A few centuries
ago, a saintly man was traveling on this path when there was no village nearby.
When the evening fell, he sat down to eat his dinner - rice. a hungry coyote
came to him and sat in front of him. The man saw that the animal was hungry.
Knowing that these animals are meat eaters, and he does not have meat, the man
cut his hand and served it to the coyote. What a compassion. The coyote however,
did not eat or even smell it, and just sat there looking at the rice. so, the
man served some rice to him. The coyote ate it happily, and went away. That was
a Vaishnav coyote. Yes, some animals are Vaishnav too, in the Dev Bhoomi. When
the people of the area knew this, they realized that the area had some Vaishnav
animals, so they built this temple at the spot where this coyote ate the rice.
Ever since the temple serves the rice to the coyotes.
Divya Desam means Divine places. They are 108 in number. The 105th one is in
Muktinath (see Mukti Kshetra below).
Each of the Nava Graha is also said to have prayed to the emperumaan of these
9 Divya Desam
Thaayar and Graha
(1)Thirukurugoor -- Aaadinaath Naayaakee and Kurugoor Naayakee - Guru
(2) Thirukoolur -- Kumudhavalli and Koolur Valli - Chevvai
(3) Then Thirupeerai -- Kuzhakadhu Vallee Naachiyaar and
Thirupperai Naachiyaar - Shukra
(4)Thiru Vaikundam -- Vaikundavallee and Chora Naayakee - Soorya
(5)Thirukkulandai -- Kamalavathi and Kulandai Vallee - Shani
(6) Thiruppulingudee -- Malarmagal, Nilamagal and Puliangudi Vallee - Budh
(7) Thiruvaragunamangai -- Varagunavallee Thaayar and Varagunamangai Thaayar -
(8 and 9) Thirutholaivillimangalam (a) Srinivaasar / Dev Piran -- Alarmelmanga
and Padmaavatee - Raahu
(b)Aravindalochanar/ Senthamarai Kannan -- Karunthadanganni Thaayar and Bhoo Devee - Ketu
Its name comes in
Skand Puraan, 1/5 in the reference of Barabareek (Bheem's grandson and Ghatotkach's
son). Krishn sent him to this place. The Puraan says - "This Kshetra has been told
as 7 Kos long." It is called Mahee Saagar Sangam Kshetra and there live nine Durgaa
invited by Naarad Jee. It is located in Eastern part.
Sonpur - This is Harihar Kshetra. This comes in Kuru Kshetra also. Here a large
fair is organized at the Sangam of Gangaa and Gandak River.
It is not a Kshetra in the real sense, but still there are 3 Kaashee in 3 parts of Bhaarat -
(1) in northern part is Swarg =Tri-vishtap (Tibet) having Kailaash, place of Moksh.
(2) In central part (Bhuvar) it is Kaashee, the center of knowledge and the capital of
Bhaarat in times of Devaasur wars and where Divodaas ruled.
(3) In southern part it is Kaanchee (Golden) which was centre of riches, called Dravid
since the money (currency) flows like Drav (liquid). Now it is called liquidity of currency.
Kedaar Kshetra is where Kedaar Naath Temple is. It is known as Kedaar Kshetra.
Many Rishi and Asur have done Tapasyaa here.
This region was inhabited by King Kuru, the ancestors of Paandav and Kaurav (that
is why they were called Kaurav). It is located near Dehlee, in Hariyaanaa. Before
Kuru Kshetra, it was called Samant Panchak Kshetra. See also
Mukti Kshetra are those areas where one can get Mukti - salvation.
(1) There is a Vishnu Mandir on the banks of Kaalee Gand River. It is built on the
border of Nepaal at the source of Gandakee River - This is Mukti Kshetra.
(2) Mukti Naath.
Mukti Sthal are those places where if a man dies, he gets Mukti - salvation.
These are the places where one is supposed to get Mukti (salvation). There
are seven Mukti Sthal in number - (1) Ayodhyaa (UP), (2) Kaashee (UP), (3)
Kaancheepuram (Tamilnaadu), (4) Dwaarakaa (Gujaraat), (5) Mathuraa (UP), (6)
Ujjain or Avantee (MP), (7)
At another place the following places are given as seven Mukti Sthal --
1. Parashuraam Ghaat - Chiplun - Konkan Mahaaraashtra
5. Shankar Naaraayan
7. Kumbasee (Annegudde)
9. Parashuraam Kund (Arunaachal Pradesh)
Near Nanjangud is the Sangam, where the Kapilaa and Kaundinya rivers meet. This
place is termed as Parashuraam Kshetra which is where the sage Parashuraam is
said to have cleansed himself from the sin of beheading his mother. A small
rivulet called Swarnavatee also joins the rivers here. Here is a temple also
dedicated to Lord Parashuraam.
Nava Graha Kshetra
Nava Graha Moorti are
worshipped to appease the Nine Planets, or to obtain their blessings to
acquire peace, wealth, progeny etc. For this reason, their temple is set
up separately for all planetary Deities in all Shiv temples. They are
installed on a single platform with the Sun God as the Presiding Deity
in the center. There are, however, some temples where individual Graha
Deities may be found.
(1) Sooryanaarcoil - Soorya Dev (Sun)
(2) Tirvaroor / Tingaaloor - Chandra Dev (Moon)
(3) Vaitheeswaran Kovil - Mangal (Mars)
(4) Tirvenkadu - Budh (Mercury)
(5) Alangudee - Brihaspati or Guru (Jupiter)
(6) Kanjanoor - Shukra (Venus)
(7) Tirunallar - Shani (Saturn)
(8) Keezhperupallam - Raahu
(9) Tirunageswaram - Ketu
Nava Narasinh Kshetra
See also Narasinh Avataar
Here is a travelogue to Nava Narasinh Temple, also called "Dakshin Ahobilam"
at Avaniyapuram near Vandavasi / Cheyyar:
The place is called Ahobilam, Ahobalam, Singavel Kundram and Nava Narasinh Kshetra
etc. This is a small center in the Karnool District of Aandhra Pradesh near Kadappaa,
While the original 9 shrines are on the hills of Vedaadri (Vedachal or Vedgiri)
and Garudaadri in Nallamalai ranges of Eastern Ghaats. Though it is known as
Nava (9) Narasinh Kshetra, there are some additional shrines also on the hills
and one is at the foothills (base) which is the most important.
The 9 temples referred to are dedicated to Lord Narasinh in 9 Bhaav or aspects
namely (1) Jwaalaa (fiery), (2) Ugra (angry), (3) Malola (beloved to the mother
Lakshmee - where the Lord is with his consort in his lap and calm), (4) Krodh
(Varaah - face with that of Varaah - wild boar), (5) Karanj (resting under the
Karanj tree (Pongamia pinnata, Ponga tree, Honge, Unghu tree), (6) Pavana (also
pronounced as Bhavana), (7) Yoganand , (8) Chatravata and (9) Bhaargav Narasinh
The additional structures are Jwaalaa Stambh (the pillar from where the Lord is
supposed to have come), Prahlaad Paathshaalaa (school), Chenju Lakshmee shrine
and the important temple of Prahlaad Varad, Lakshmee Narasinh or Lower Ahobilam.
Samant Panchak Kshetra see Kuru Kshetra
Sapt Vidang Kshetra
Sapt Vidang Kshetra is the seven places where the seven Ling said to
have been brought by King Muchukund from Dev Lok are worshiped. These
Ling Moort's are called "Vidang" because they were created
by Maayaa without a chisel (Vi means without and Dang means Chisel).
Further each of these places are identified with a dance form of
Tyaagaraaj (Shiv). They are :--
(1)Tiruvarur Veedhi Vidangar Ajapa Natanam
(2)Tirunallar Nagar Vidangar Unmattt Natanam
(3) Naagaapattinam Sundar Vidangar Para Veer Tarang Natanam
(4)Tirukuvalai Tirukkaraivasal Biring Natanam
(5)Tiruvaimur Avani Vidangar Kamala Natanam
(6)Vedaaranyam Neel Vidangar Kukkut Natanam
(7) Bhuvani Aadi Vidangar Hansapad Natanam
This Kshetra is mentioned
in Padm Puraan,
5/14, but nothing is mentioned about its location. It is also mentioned
that even donkey, if lives there, gets 4-armed form.
Gokarn area (see above), Sataaraa District in Karnaatak Stae of India, where
is, is called as Siddhi Kshetra. It is called Mukti Sthal also - see above Mukti
Swayam Vyakt Kshetra
Swayam Vyakt Kshetra are those areas which have manifested themselves to the
world. The central shrine of Sri Muktinath, predominant among all 108 Hindu
Vaishnav Divya Desam is considered one of the eight most sacred shrines for
Hindu Vaishnav known as Swayam Vyakt Kshetra, the other seven being - (1) Shree
Rangam, (2) Shree Mushnam, (3)
Tirupati Dev Sthaan, (4) Naimish Aranya (UP), (5) Totadri, (6) Pushkar Jee
(Raajasthaan) and (7)
Badaree Naath (Uttaraakhand).
It is believed that Vishnu took Varaah Avataar here at Jhelam, in Kashmeer.
There is a Varaah Temple there even today.
Southern Indian people claim the
following Kshetra very important (in that order):
(1) Srimushnam near Vriddhaachalam / Chidaambaram in Tamilnaadu - this is
the first and foremost of the Varaah Kshetra. Considered fourth among
the eight Swayam Vyakt Kshetra. It is said that Lord Varaah came out of the
ocean from this place after retrieving Earth. The sweat from his body is
said to be the Pushkarinee close to the temple. A visit to temple is said
to destroy all accumulated sins.
(2) Shree Varaah Temple in Tirupati - though it is a small shrine adjacent to
Baalaajee Temple, the first Darshan should be done here before going to Shree
Nivaas Temple. Tirupati is also known as Aadi Varaah Kshetra.
(3) Shree Nitya Kalyaan Perumal Temple, Thiruvidanthai, near Chennai - this is
in between Chennai and Mahaabalipuram. It is crowded these days as it is a
Parihaar Sthal for marriage. A visit to the temple (along with a prescribed
procedure) is said to accelerate marriage/finding of spouse.
(4) Shree Varaah - There is another small beautiful temple just 2-3 kms away from
Padmanaabh Swaamy Temple in Trivendrum, Kerala.
(5) There is another famous Varaah Temple near Mysore, Karnaatak.