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Showing posts from April 16, 2007

What does Hindu Goddess Durga mean?

Goddess Durga is one of the most important deities in the Hindu pantheon. But what is the meaning of Durga? The word Durga literally means ‘difficult to access,’ ‘impossible to overcome’ or ‘hard to reach.’

According to Devi Rahasya Tantra, the goddess got the name after killing a demon named Durgama or Durga. तत्रैव च व्धिश्यामी दुर्गामख्यम महासुरम |
दुर्गादेवी ती विख्यातम तन्मे नाम भविष्यति ||

She is ‘difficult to access’ because she resides atop the VindhyaMountain, which was very difficult to reach. Therefore, she is also known as Vindhyavasini.

Amarnath Yatra

The annual Amarnath Yatra to the renowned cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir attracts thousands of people. The cave shrine is noted for the formation of a natural Shiva Lingam. The natural ‘ice lingam’ is formed by the ice droplets from the rooftop of the vast cave.

Amarnath Yatra begins on the Jyeshta Purnima day (June) and ends on the Raksha Bandan day (Shravan Purnima) (August).
The cave shrine can be accessed from Baltal and the traditional Pahalgam route. The Baltal route is shorter but the climb is steep. The traditional Pahalgam route passes through Sheeshnag and Panchtarni – both are important mythological places.
There are helicopter services from Baltal and Srinagar. The round trip from Baltal to the cave shrine will cost around Rupees 6,000 per head. From Srinagar, it is around Rupees 19,000. Tents, huts and toilets will be set up at the base camp for devotees by the shrine board.