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2017 theme
Replica of Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali

Ballaleshwar Temple (Pali)

Ballaleshwar temple is one of the eight temples of Lord Ganesha. Among Ganesha temples, Ballaleshwar is the only incarnation of Ganesha that is known by his devotee’s name. It is located in the village of Pali which is at a distance of 58 km from Karjat in the Raigad district. It is situated between fort Sarasgad and the river Amba.

The original wooden temple was renovated in 1760 to make way for a new stone temple designed by Shri Fadnis. Built in the shape of the letter Shri, it was made by mixing lead with the cement during construction. The east-facing temple was carefully positioned so that, as the sun rises, sun rays fall directly on the murti during worship. The temple contains a bell that was brought back by Chimaji Appa after his defeat of the Portuguese in Vasai and Sasti.

2016 Theme :: kunkeshwar Mandir

Kunkeshwar Mandir (Devgad)

Kunkeshwar is a village in Maharashtra, India.
This town is situated on the bank of Arabian Sea. There is a temple for the Hindu deity Shiva in the town. This temple is holy place in Konkan, and is also known as Konkan Kashi. Kunkeshwar is built along the sea. Kunkeshwar produces Alphonso mangoes.
Kunkeshwar is located in the Sindhudurg district. Kunkeshwar is 16 kilometers away from Devgarh, 54 kilometers from Malvan and 60 kilometers from Kankavli. The nearest railway station is in Nandgaon which is approximately 42 kilometers away from Kunkeshwar.

The temple of Kunkeshwar was built many years back. According to legend, a sailor traveling in the sea for trade came near the beach of Kunkeshwar. Suddenly a havoc appeared in sea. The sailor was a Muslim. The ship seemed to sink in the sea. He saw a lamp on that beach. He prayed to that lamp “I don’t know who you are. But if you will help me and stop the havoc I will build a temple for you”. And his ship came to the seashore of Kunkeshwar without any problem. He built the temple as promised. The Lingam was already there. As the Sailor was a non-Hindu, he thought that his religion will not accept him. Therefore he committed suicide from the top of temple.

2015 Theme :: Ambaji Temple Gujarat
Ambaji Temple (Gujarat)

Ambaji is an important temple town with millions of devotees visiting the Ambaji temple every year. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. Ambaji mata temple is a major Shakti Peeth of India. It is situated at a distance of approximately 65 kilometres from Palanpur, 45 kilometres from Mount Abu and 20 kilometres from Abu Road and 185 kilometres from Ahmedabad 50 kilometer from Kadiyadra near the Gujarat and Rajasthan border.

In the holy temple of “Arasuri Ambaji”, there is no image or statue of goddess the holy “Shree Visa Yantra” is worshiped as the main deity. No one can see the Yantra with naked eye. The photography of the Yantra is prohibited. The original seat of Ambaji mata is on gabbar hilltop in the town. A large number of devotees visit the temple every year specially on Purnima days. A large mela on Bhadarvi poornima (full moon day) is held. Every Year from all over the country people come here walking all over from their native place just to worship MAA AMBE in September.The whole Ambaji is lighted up as the whole nation lights up at the festive time of Diwali.

2014 Theme :: The Palace of Mysore
The Palace of Mysore

The Palace of Mysore (also known as the Amba Vilas Palace) is a historical palace situated in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, southern India. It is the official residence and seat of the Wodeyars - the Maharajas of Mysore, the former royal family of Mysore, which ruled the princely state of Mysore from 1399 to 1950. Construction of the current palace was commissioned in 1897, completed in 1912 and expanded around 1940 (including the addition of the present Public Durbar Hall wing) during the reign of His Highness Maharaja Sri Sir Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the last Maharaja of Mysore Kingdom.

The architectural style domes of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, and blends Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-stone structure with marble domes and a 145 ft five-story tower.The three-story stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes has a facade with several expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars. Above the central arch is a sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck and abundance with her elephants.

2013 Theme :: Ranjangaon Mahaganapati Temple
Ranjangaon Mahaganapati Temple

Ranjangaon Maha Ganpati is one among the Ashtavinayak, celebrating eight instance of legends related to Ganesha. Ranjangaon is situated on Pune-Ahmednagar Highway. According to the history the temple was built in between 9th and 10th century. The temple was erected during the rule of the Peshwas. Later on Sardar Kibe of Indore renovated it. Madhavrao Peshwa made a room in the basement of the temple to keep the idol of the lord Ganesh. There is a local belief that the real statue of Mahaganpati is hidden in this vault and this statue has ten trunks and twenty arms.

The temple faces east. It has an imposing main gate which is guarded by two statues of Jay and Vijay. The temple is designed in such away that during Dakshinayan (the apparent movement of the sun to the south) the rays of the sun fall directly on the deity. Managanapati is potrayed, seated on a lotus, flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Ridhi.

2012 Theme :: Dilwara Temple
Dilwara Temple

The Jain Dilwara temples of India are located about 2 and a half kilometers from Mount Abu, Rajasthan. These temples built by Chalukya between the 11th and 13th centuries AD are world famous for their stunning use of marble. The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred pilgrimage place of the Jains. Some consider them to be one of the most gorgeous Jain pilgrimage sites in the planet. The marble temples have a rich entrance, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. The temples are in the midst of a range of forested hills. A high partition shrouds the temple compound. Although the Jains built some attractive temples at other places in Rajasthan, some believe that none come close to these in terms of architectural perfection. The ornamental detail spreading over the minutely carved ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels is simply marvelous.

It is a huge complex consisting of five marble Jain Temples and is the biggest attractions of Rajasthan. These pleasant temples were built during 11th to 13th century and are devoted to Jain Tirthankaras. Visiting these temples will take you to the world of devotion and you would feel so calm that your trip would come alive.

2011 Theme :: Akshardham Temple
Akshardham Temple

This year, our Mandal will create a replica of the ancient Akshardham temple located at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat. Like every year replica will be made by world famous, "Taj Mahal" fame, Art Director Mr. Anant Shinde.

A specimen of fine craftsmanship, the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar is one of the largest and most prominent temples in the entire state of Gujarat. Located in Gandhinagar city, the famous Akshardham temple is a place, which consists of a number of things under one roof like art, education, architecture, exhibitions and research. It is truly an architectural masterpiece. Established in the year 1992, the Akshardham temple was built in the dedication of Lord Swaminarayan.

This year Andhericha Raja Utsav Samiti had invited world famous Mr. Manmohan Mahapatra the sand sculpture to create the following replica

For the last 34 years, the end-result of all of Manmohan Mahapatra's work has been a curious zero. He has an unfathomable nothing to show for the innumerable sculptures he has created - from sprawling Jain temples to gypsy scenes, from a pair of tablas to Rabindranath Tagore's bust, from apsaras to a replica of Gandhi's birthplace. "I have nothing to show. That's how it should be," says the creative genius.

Mahapatra belongs to a family of temple artists, 'rupokar vishwakarma' , who have for generations been art caretakers of Puri's Jagannath Temple. Surely then Lord Jagannath would have been a more natural choice for his first sculpture? "I don't make Jagannath. Woh tang karta hai (He troubles me). Anyway, who's interested in making family members? I don't make my wife's sculpture either," he says in all seriousness, allowing a peek into both philosophy and dry Oriya humour.

2010 Theme :: Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple

The temple is situated at such a place that there is no land in straight-line between Somnath seashore till Antarctica, such an writing in Sanskrit is bring into being on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh erected on the sea-protection wall at the Somnath Temple. This Baan-Stambh mentions that it stands at a point on the Indian landmass, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that scrupulous longitude.

The Somnath Temple is situated in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal", having been destroyed six times and rebuilt six times lately it was rebuilt in November 1947, when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel visited the area for the incorporation of Junagadh and mooted a plan for restoration. After Patel's death, the upgrading continued under K. M. Munshi, another minister of the Government of India.

According to the legend, Soma or the Moon God built the temple in gold, Ravana in silver, and Shri Krishna in wood. Soma was cursed by his father-in-law Daksha to wane as Soma loved only one of his wives, all of whom happened to be Daksha's daughters. His other wives complained about this slack behavior of Soma to their father Daksha, and thus the curse.

2009 Theme :: Mangueshi Temple
Mangueshi Temple

Mangueshi temple is one of the largest, most enchanting, calm and most often visited temples in Goa. The temple is devoted to Lord Mangueshi, an life of Shiva. He is a kuldevta of many Hindus in Goa specially of Saraswat Brahmins. He is also referred to as Saib (The Lord of Goa) by Hindus.

The Mangesh Linga is said to have been set apart on the mountain of Mangireesh (Mongir) on the banks of river Bhagirathi by Lord Brahma, from where the Saraswat Brahmins brought it to Trihotrapuri in Bihar. They carried the linga to Gomantaka and settled at Kushasthali, the present-day Cortalim, establishing their most sacred and ancient temple of Mangesh on the banks of the river Gomati or Zuari as it is called today. Lord Mangesh is worshipped here in the nature of a Shiva linga. According to the mythology Lord Shiva had manifested in to a tiger to scare Parvati. Paravati who was suspicious at the sight of the tiger went in search of Lord Shiva. Parvati was supposed to say "Trahi maam Gireesh" but instead out of nervousness she said: "Trahimangeesh".

The 400-year-old Shri Mangesh temple devoted to Shiva stands out with its simple and yet exquisitely elegant structure. The temple is noted for the pillars which are considered to be the most beautiful among the temples in Goa. There is a prominent Nandi Bull which is considered to be the Vahana of Shiva. A beautiful seven-storeyed deepstambha (lamp tower), stands at the gates in the temple compound. The temple also has a glorious water tank, which is believe to be the oldest piece of the temple.

2008 Theme :: Saras Baug Temple
Saras Baug Temple

The Sarasbaug temple houses the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak ("God who makes wishes true"). A sacred ground of faith for millions of devotees in Pune and around the world, on an average the Sarasbaug temple receives ten thousand visitors a day and this figure goes up to eighty thousand devotees per day on Ganesha Chaturthi and other special occasions. Various dignitaries and luminaries throughout India have made it a point to visit this sacred temple to seek the blessings of Shri Siddivinayak.

In the 18th century, soon after completion of Shree Devdeveshwar Temple on Parvati hill, Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa turned his attention towards the development and beautification of environs of Parvati hills. He decided to construct a lake at the foothills of Parvati. An island of about 25000 Sq.ft. area was retained in the middle of this lake. Later on, a beautiful garden was created on this island. Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa gave it a poetic name, “Sarasbaug”.

legends says that Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshwa and his perceptive consultants, conducted secret meetings and discussions while on the boat ride in this lake. The persons who rowed the boat at such times were either Habshis (Negros), who didn’t understand a single word of Marathi or Hindi, or were stone deaf and dumb. The purpose was to prevent any leaking of the secret discussions. Even if this is just a myth, it is believed that it has mentions in historical archives. Historical credentials mention of many such confidential discussions between Shrimant Peshwa, Mahadaji Shinde and Nana Phadnis.

*content source en.wikipedia.org

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