শারদ সম্ভার ১৪২৩
Sharad Sambhar 2016
The Cyberabad Bangali Association
Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman 2016- Rest of India Category
The Cyberabad Bangali Association Durga Puja 2016
CBA Durga Puja 2016
CBA Durga Puja 2016
CBA Durga Puja 2016
CBA Durga Puja 2016
Sri Anand Kumar Ghosh
Fondly remembered as Ghosh Kaku by the volunteers of The Cyberabad
Bangali Association, he was a mentor, motivator and committed member.
We pray for his departed soul and will miss his enthusiasm and vision for the
Congratulations to you on The Cyberabad Bangali Association winning the Biswa Bangla
Sharad Samman Award 2016 (Rest of India Category). This is awarded by the West Bengal
Government and I and my fellow volunteer Sh. Amit Ray was honored to receive it from Ms.
Mamata Banerjee on Nov 8th at Nazarul Mancha, Kolkata.
An award is an acknowledgment of exceptional achievements but behind this is the active role
played by the Organizing team, Volunteers and the support of the Members, Patrons and
Sponsors.This is the second major recognition for CBA, the other being the Hyderabad Times
Durga Puja Award (Recent Entrant) in 2013.
November and December have been challenging for the common man standing in bank
queues due to demonization. Suddenly the whole nation is talking of Digital Cash Economy
and technology to achieve it. CBA has always valued the role of Information technology in
solving problems and disrupting existing models. We were the first puja committee in
Hyderabad to connect to our members online in 2008, first to hook on to online social media in
2010, first to get a mobile app in 2014, first to organize a selfie contest in 2015 and this year
the first to live stream the event through FB live and live updates through WhatsApp. What’s up
next? Well if you have any great ideas shoot them at us.
With that nice pat on the back, let me remind you that 2017 will be the 10th year for our Durga
Puja. Lets make it a special one so that it is remembered for a long time in Hyderabad.
Before I close, I would like to pay homage to the departed soul of Sri A K Ghosh who left for
the heavenly abode this year. He was one of CBA’s early team members and a key contributor
for many years. Personally for me he was a motivator and a mentor and instrumental in me
getting involved in cultural organizations and events.
Please Take Care
I congratulate you all on The Cyberabad Bangali Association winning the Biswa Bangla Sharad
Samman 2016 award (Rest of India Category). It is due to the hard work and commitment of
the organizing committee with support of members, patrons and sponsors.
We have had a fulfilling journey of nine years and I am honored to be part of an energetic and
happening organization. I look forward to your participation in 2017 Durga Puja and other
events, which will be a milestone 10th year for CBA.
With Love and Best Regards
S. N. Guha
Dear Members and Patrons,
Let me begin by congratulating all of you as CBA received the Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman
from Information and Cultural Affairs Deptt, Government of West Bengal. The felicitation was
done by Honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms Mamata Banerjee. This has been
possible because of the tireless efforts of our Executive Committee members and Volunteers
consistently over the years. All our members have played a significant role in popularizing CBA
Durga Puja across Hyderabad through various Social media platforms.
With the support of all of you, we once again celebrated Durga Puja with the grandeur that CBA
is known for. Our Pandal and Idol have always been unique mainly because of our Pandal and
Idol committee who spend countless hours for months before the event to get the
implementation of our in-house design complete to perfection. The cultural programs have been
improving year over year and this year was no different. The internal talents as well as
professional artists have mesmerized the audience for all the days of the Durga Puja. CBA also
initiated a partnership with Bengali in Hyderabad (BiH) group for our Ananda Mela event which
is a good partnership for all Bengalis.
This year we had a record number of devotees during Pushpanjali and Bhog mainly on Maha
Ashtami. We have got great support from our members who added up as volunteers on the spot
to help us manage the events smoothly. The other interesting development for this year’s Durga
Puja has been the CBA WhatsApp group which we started a month before the event. For almost
a month before and during the puja, we were getting immediate updates about events and
status. It felt like a big family celebrating an event together.
One of the most satisfactory event for me personally is the Special Bhog arrangement for Senior
Citizens that we have been organizing since the last few years. The blessings of our elders for
this small gesture is invaluable to CBA.
I have reiterated in many of our events like Taranga, Picnic, and previous Durga Puja meetings
that CBA is an inclusive association which welcomes all members to come forward and join the
core working committee. At the start of this year’s Durga Puja celebration, we started to see the
results as we were joined by many new members who actively participated in key activities from
planning to execution. This is a positive sign for an association like CBA which is growing
manifolds every year.
Next year we are going to organize our 10th year celebration which will be special for all of us.
We have come a long way from where we started. I would request all of you to support us as
you have been doing since the past so many years in making the 10th year celebration
memorable for all of us.
Thanks again and have a great year ahead.
Let me begin my letter to you by saying that I am pleased and honored to serve as the
Cultural Secretary of CBA for the year 2016-17. I have great hopes that, for this period, our
organization will continue the strong tradition of team work with passion and dedication. All the
activities that we organised evoked a very warm response from the members and from public
and we started new charity project. My heartiest congratulations to all CBA members for
winning “WB GOVT BISWA BANGLA SHARAD SAMMAN-2016”. I would like to thank our
sponsors and all the CBA members for their encouragement and support to make Durga Puja
2016 and cultural events a grand success.
This year we have celebrated in JPN Nagar community Hall. Our cultural team organized
series of cultural events for four days, stared with Anandamela where more than 25 members
have displayed their cooking skill with delicious food, Ladies groups, children groups of CBA
showcased their theme based performance like professionals, Bangla Natok by CBA members
which can be compared with any theatre group. CBA in-house orchestra Symphony-The
Musical Evening and Orchestra by Debanjan and Group was a grand success. A grand Dandia
event with DJ HARI on Astami and a melodious performance by well-known singer Akaash
Sen and Tanushree from Kolkata was organized.
Thanks to Joint Cultural secretary Mrs Bhavna Ghosh, and cultural team members-Sajal
Ghosh, Kaushik Barua, Moulika Das and Anjana Chanda for all support. With a deep sense of
humility and appreciation to the Anchors and judges for their support, I would like to thank each
one of you.
Lastly I would like to mention about the competitive events that were held for the children. We
had a whopping 100 unique participants competing in different events over the 4 days of Durga
Puja. The children kept us engaged during the day-time with their competitive spirits till the
Bhog was served. For us, each participant is a winner and we had certificates and prizes for
everyone. On the last day of the puja, it is a fulfilling achievement to see the smile on each
child’s face when they come on the stage to collect their prizes on Dashami noon. A BIG
thanks to all volunteers and members of the Cultural team for a job well done.
I would like to extend thanks to our General Secretary for his hard work and dedication. Also
thanks to Treasurer for the good financial control.
I would like to take this great opportunity to thank our President, EC members and advisors
team collectively for their undying hard work for the Organization and also thanking to
Coordinators, Women’s Wing, Children Wing and Members. I can say we succeeded not only
by my efforts but because of your faith. You have all been exceptional. I hope you will keep this
I thank each one of you once again for this great opportunity to lead our Organisation giving
me the opportunity to serve the association as Cultural Secretary and thank all those who have
come before me in this prestigious capacity and given so much of their time and expertise. It
has been a great experience working with all of you.
On Behalf of the Committee I wish all our members a happy and prosperous New Year 2017.
Wish you all SUBHO VIJAYA and VERY HAPPY DIWALI. Another great and successful
celebration of Durga & Lakshmi Puja, it was a humble effort of CBA to bring smile and joy to
our members, patrons and well-wishers. On the onset of winter with beautiful cool and bright
weather, we wish “Let the celebrations continue.” And to fulfil our wish, another celebration
followed, with the recognition of CBA as one of the best Durga Puja of 2016 in the Rest of
India category by Govt. of West Bengal. Our representatives received the coveted trophy and
prize from the Honorable Chief Minister of Bengal, Smt. Mamata Banerjee, on 8th Nov. 2016 at
Nazurul Mancha, Kolkata. It was proud moment for CBA and all Bengalis of Hyderabad.
First of all, I would like to thank our sponsors, members and other patrons for their continued
unconditional encouragement and support to CBA. Without them, we could not have reached
where we are today.
CBA is one of the distinguished Bengali Associations in Hyderabad today. This year our Durga
Puja has been a grand success, celebrated in JPN Nagar Community Hall. Puja was
performed strictly as per Nirghanta. Our pandal was great, Idol was unique, our cultural team
organized big events with well-known singers from Mumbai and Kolkata – Tanushree and
Akash, our Bhog committee made flawless food arrangement for all five days, lighting was
Thanks to our sponsors and members who have extended their whole hearted support and
contributed for Durga Puja. Special thanks to all the EC members who have put tremendous
effort to bring the sponsorship.
We declare CBA as financially transparent and disciplined. All our contributions received and
spending are captured, well documented, officially audited with reputed auditors and posted in
our website for public scrutiny. We have got our 2015-16 accounts audited and presented
during the last AGM in Sept. 2016. The event wise consolidation of 2016-17 accounts is in
process and will be completed after the end of the current financial year.
We will continue to uphold the clean and transparent image of CBA and are committed to build
a comfortable financial base of the association for the years to come. I would like to thank all
EC members and advisors who have given me the opportunity to serve the association as
Treasurer for second consecutive year.
With best wishes,
Namoskar to all.
The Cyberabad Bangali Association
Executive Committee 2016-17
President - Sri S.N. Guha
Vice President - Sri Dipak Chandra Das
Sri Prabir Ranjan Paul
General Secretary - Sri Subhro Mukherjee
Joint Secretary - Sri Sirsha Haldar
Treasurer - Sri Kingsuk Kumar Roy
Joint Treasurer - Sri Amit Ray
Cultural Secretary - Sri Debabrata Bala
Joint Cultural Secretary - Smt Bhavna Ghosh
Sponsorship Secretary - Sri Sayan Jana
Media Secretary - Sri Susmit Sarkar
Executive Member - Sri Tapas Biswas, Sri Shovan Saha, Sri Siddhartha Das, Sri Subhranshu
Tripathi , Sri Surojeet Sengupta, Sri Apurv Mukherji, Sri Siddhartha
Mukherjee, Sri Sumantra Chanda, Sri Ramen Mitra, Sri Tirthankar
Chattopadhyay, Sri Arindam Roy, Smt Soma Roy, Sri Koushik Borua
- Sri A.K Hom, Sri Arya Roy Chowdhury, Sri Sumit Biswas, Sri Kaushik
Bhattacharya, Sri Asim Chakraborty, Sri Sabyasachi Sengupta, Smt
Sharad Sambhaar 2016 Editorial Team
Sri Surojeet Sengupta
Printed and Published by
Sri Surojeet Sengupta on behalf of The Cyberabad Bangali Association
Cover page Design
Sri Debabrata Dey
The Cyberabad Bangali Association and the Editors of the Magazine Sharad Sambhaar are not
responsible for the content supplied by the various contributors to the Souvenir. All logos and
trademarks of various sponsors have been published with their permission. All other logos and
trademark used in the Souvenir are acknowledged.
“The Cyberabad Bangali Association” and the CBA logo are the property of The Cyberabad
Bangali Association which is registered with the AP registrar vide. no 863/13. Use of the Logo
and the name without permission is prohibited. No part of the souvenir Sharad Sambhaar 2016
be reprinted, published or used without permission of The Cyberabad Bangali Association.
Radha Kunj, Huda- B-3/12/33, Chandanagar, Hyderabad 500 050, A.P
Phone: 9949414295, 9849488212, www.cyberabadbengalis.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Journey to Kailash & Mansarovar:The Ultimate Pilgrimage
The day was somewhere in February 1993. I was enjoying the late winter sun after a good lunch provided
by Company Canteen where I was working as a Senior Cost Officer. The place was located at the bank of
stunning Rupnarayan River at Anantapur Village which is about 70 kms away from my home at Sovabazar,
Kolkata. During our recess time after lunch, we used to read the newspaper at the entertainment area.
My eyes were stuck in a news published in the eminent Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika.,China
Govt. agreed to open routes for Indian pilgrims to visit Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar located at Tibet, first
time after the strategic mountain pass was closed following 1962 border war between the two countries.
Being an avid mountain lover and having Bengali DNA, could not ignore the call for a trek or travel in the
lap of nature. I am not a so called theist but getting overwhelming sensations of peace, love, and hope
when in the midst of nature with unimaginable boundaries, core fragrances, colors and sounds of nature
always attract me.
Next day was Saturday, day to come home at week end. After reaching home, I started filling application
form for attending Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra and finally sent to Ministry of External Affairs(MEA). At the
month end, received a telegram from MEA stating that I am the lucky person who have been selected for
the first batch of Kailash Manas Yatra based on lottery conducted at MEA, South block, New Delhi. It was
also intimated that copy of passport and medical certificate have to be submitted within 7 days. Somehow,
special appointment with PRO of Passport office was made by showing the telegram from MEA and met
PRO with a request to issue the passport immediately. Yes, it worked, Special branch, Lord Sinha Road
cleared my file next day with a commitment from my side that I will share some quantity of Mansarovar holy
water with the officials. With similar commitment, passport officers handed over the passport at passport
office counter next day within a period of around a week from my application.
Now the major hurdle that I faced was to seek my parent’s permission for the journey. They were not quite
willing as the journey was known as dreadful and there was no immediate feedback of the route as after a
long time gap of around 30 years, China reopened the route. Finally, I got their blessings and also funding.
With all the preparations done and full of excitement, reached Delhi in a hot May Day and got myself
accommodated at Delhi Kalibari.
Mount Kailash (also Kangrinboqê or Gang Rinpoche in Tibetan) is a peak in the Kailash Range (Gangdisê
Mountains), which forms part of the Trans Himalaya in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It lies near
the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of
the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the River Ganga). It is
considered a sacred place in four religions: Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The mountain lies
near Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet Autonomous Region, China.
According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of evil, resides at the summit of a legendary mountain
named Kailāśa, where he sits in a state of perpetual meditation along with his wife Pārvatī. He is at once
the Lord of Yoga and therefore the ultimate renunciate ascetic, yet he is also the divine master of Tantra. In
Jainism, Kailash is also known as Meru Parvat or Sumeru. Ashtapada, the mountain next to Mt. Kailash, is
the site where the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhadeva, attained Nirvana/moksa (liberation). Tantric
Buddhists believe that Mount Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok (also known as Demchog or
Chakrasamvara), who represents supreme bliss.There are numerous sites in the region associated with
Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), whose tantric practices in holy sites around Tibet are credited with
finally establishing Buddhism as the main religion of the country in the 7th–8th century AD. The Bön, a
religion native to Tibet, maintain that the entire mystical region and the nine-story Swastika Mountain are
the seat of all spiritual power.
Hence starts the Trail ………
With the final whistle of Purba Express, I started my journey and reached New Delhi Station next day.
Accommodation was arranged at Delhi Kalibari. Next day, reached MEA, South Block Delhi and got
temporary permission for a week to enter south block who are arranging the trip. People from different
corner of India gathered here with only one desire to becoming part of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. MEA
deputed liaison officer under whose leadership we have to complete yatra. From the very next morning,
arrangement for group VISA, foreign exchange and medical test were underway. SBI took the lead for
arranging foreign currency and Indo-Tibetan Border police (ITBP) Hospital welcome us for medical check
up and finally they allowed 29 aspirants out of 35 to proceed further.
Another couple of days we spent at Delhi for final arrangement before leaving Delhi. MEA organized a
high tea get together in the presence of Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Salman Khurshid. Minster greeted
us and intimated about the significance of this yatra as we were the first batch who were entering China
territory as a pilgrimage after around 30 years.
We were busy with last minute purchase during whole day and finally at 20:30 hrs gathered and ready to
move. Considering the yatra as a significant event and ministers presence for flag off, media was present
to capture the event. Finally our bus wheel moved at 21:30 hrs.After a semi sleep night, we arrived at
Kathgodam in early morning for freshen up and breakfast and proceeded to Nainital. Lunch was arranged
at Alomorah and finally ended the journey for day at Kausani.
The next morning, started for Baijnath temple. The temple was situated on the left bank of the Gomti. Next
temple was Chandika Temple.A beautiful temple dedicated to Goddess Chandika .Finally, we proceeded
to Chaukori for night stay. The rest house was pretty nice. Chaukori is a dream, surrounded by the
towering Himalayan peaks and dense forests. The charming little town of Chaukori is unlike any other hill
station you have seen. Chaukori is a somnolent, peaceful hamlet in Pithoragarh district of the Kumaon
Hills of Uttarakhand. Journey continues as usual. There were lots of land slides on the way which were
just cleared or were being cleared as we reached. It was late by the time we reached Dharchula.
Dharchula is a border India and Nepal on the bank of river Kali. At Dharchula, the requirement for pony
and porters has to be given as we will be on foot from tomorrow onwards.
After morning breakfast we have started our journey towards Pangu from where we have to continue our
journey on foot.At Tawaghat we left River Kali and started going along Dhauli Ganga. We walked for
around four hours and reached our day end destination where temporary rooms under corrugated sheet
were built. KMVN welcome us with a glass of orange flavored Rasna followed by hot lunch. Day passed
and after dinner went to bed.Journey continues, next day we had a plan to visit picturesque Narayana
Ashram in the vicinity of Sosa, a village belonging to the indigenous people of the region called Shaukas
or Rungs. The ashram was established in 1936 by a hermit and a social worker, Narayan Swami. After
some Bhajans at the Ashram Temple, some snacks and mind blowing Suji Ka Halwa, it was time to
continue towards Sirkha. The trek was as beautiful as it could be, nature was at its best and the cloudy
weather made it ideal for walking. Initially the trek was a gradual ascent but after some time it got steep.
Slowly and steadily we reached Sirkha. The journey to Gala was mostly through up and down trail. Early
morning mist was magical and we were so busy watching streams and waterfalls enroot that we did not
even realize that we were almost at the top of the mountain. At the KMVN guest house we were greeted
with a refreshing welcome drink and then lunch was served.
Next day was supposed to be one of the most exciting and adventurous days of the entire journey. We
had to descend down 4444 steps (as told by the locals) carved out of the mountain, to reach Kali river.
The steps were carved out of the mountain to make it a bit comfortable but still it was not easy coming
down a steep descend, it was really hard on knees. Soon came Lakhanpur where we had our breakfast.
The route was becoming narrower. At some places it was only as wide as 2 feet. One side of the road
was mountain wall and on the other side, just beneath was river Kali waiting to swallow anyone who fell.
What added to the adventure were the water falling right on the track. Not just did the water make the
track slippery but it also made our shoes, clothes and everything else wet. The excitement slowly finished
and we reached Malpa.
Malpa is the site of the tragic landslide of 1998 where around 400 people including yatris lost their life. Last
stretch of the route was across a quaint bridge which leads to the Budhi camp. Budhi appeared pretty close
from here but on mountains the distances can be deceptive, it still took us a while to reach Budhi. Next day
initial 5 kms of the journey was indeed very steep. If you notice the elevation map you could see that within
that distance we had a height gain of almost 2000ft. We found our way through dense forest with rocky trails
and finally arrived at Chailekh, which is also known as the valley of flowers as here you could find a lot of
varieties of flower in their full bloom.We crossed Garbiyang which is an important village on the Indo-Tibetan
and Indo- Nepal trade route. Garbiyang was also known as the “Sinking Village”. Soon we saw the camp of
Gunji, but it was on another hill and we had to cross a river in between. From this point, we were under the
command of ITBP. We were all supposed to go in a group and reach our destination together, not like
previous days when the last person is reaching 5 hours after the first person reached the camp.
We started from Gunji for Kalapani. With plenty breaks and walking at a steady pace we reached Kalapani.
This is supposed to be the origin of River Kali. ITBP constructed a beautiful temple here. From here one can
see the “Vyas Gufa”, according to mythology this is the cave where Sage Vyasa meditated. The cave is on a
sheer 90 degrees cliff of a mountain. Also from Kalapani one can see the “Nag Parbat”. The mountains peak
resembles the fangs of a Cobra. At Kalapani we went through Indian emigration and while we had breakfast
our passports were stamped and returned back to us.
Next day we started our journey towards Nabhidhang. The route got a bit more tough here or maybe it was
just that we were above 13000 feet. Hence we were feeling it, nevertheless we carried on. After a journey of
2 hours we reached the place to see the spctaculous “Om Parbat”. Actually on this particular mountain the
snow falls in such a way that it forms the symbol of “OM” . Also the mountain next to Om Parbat is called the
Nabhi Of Parbati (Navel of Parbati) hence this region is called Nabhidhang. We had dinner, organized our
warm clothes for the next day, checked our torches and were off to sleep. We will be in Tibet tomorrow.
Entering Tibet …..
We started journey at 0230 hours. Apart from it being total darkness, it was raining and it was freezing too.
Slowly we moved ahead in torch lights. Slowly the morning light appeared and now we could actually notice
where we were going. The path was really bad and was looking even more treacherous with so many water
crossing, slippery boulders and barren surroundings. We started the walk again and soon we were almost at
the top. We left India behind and were in a foreign territory. We crossed lipulekh pass and no mans land. We
just had to descend 1km down and one small truck was waiting for us. This descent of 1 km made a lot of
difference in the altitude too and we were getting our energy back. The jeeps took us 4 kms down and then
we had been transferred to a big bus that took us to Taklakot.
After reaching Taklakot, we arrived at Chinese Immigration, where our passports were submitted and
changed our currency from dollar to Yuan at adjacent Chinese Bank. After completing all the formalities we
were taken to accommodation Taklakot accommodation was the most comfortable accommodation of the
trip. Electricity was available throughout the day.Our group was divided into two, one half proceed for
Kailash Parikrama while the other half do Mansarovar parikrama .
Mt. Kailash Parikrama ……..
Journey was started for Darchen by Bus. Once we crossed Taklakot town, barren Tibetan plateau was
visible. There was a pass to be climbed and as we descended on the other side of the pass, deep blue water
body was ahead that was Rakshas Tal and first view of Mt. Kailash was transpired .We moved ahead and
next was Lake Mansarovar. Everyone was thrilled after realizing that their dream came true.After a transitory
stop at Lake Mansarovar, we moved to Darchen, the base camp for starting Kailash Parikrama. Mount
Kailash is situated to the North of Himalayan barrier, wholly within Tibet. It is the perfect mountain with
awesome beauty and 4 great faces.
It is also believed that when the two continental plates met (the big bang theory), this is the place where the
plates met and Kailash was born. So it’s also considered to be the center of the universe or the navel of the
world around which the world revolves.
On the top, the most revered God, Shiva and his consort Parvati resides. Mt Kailash is isolated from other
High mountain peaks in the area and is surrounded by many trivial peaks. This exceptional isolation and its
peculiar contours of black granite makes the Mountain to stand apart. Also due to this isolation a parikrama
is possible around the mountain. It is said that from four faces of Kailash , four major rivers flows in all four
cardinal directions. Strangely enough 4 major rivers do originate around Kailash i.e. North : - River Of Lion
Mouth – Indus, East : - River Of Horse Mouth – Sutlej, South: - River Of Peacock Mouth – Karnali and
West : - River Of Elephant Mouth - Brahmaputra or Yarlong Tsangpo. The day was a special day for all
Yatris, as we would be starting our Parikrama around Kailash. The weather was almost clear and there
was bit of sunshine around. The parikrama route is divided in to 3 days and today we will be covering 20
kms of the total 50 kms of the Parikrama stretch.
After 8 kms of bone shattering journey in the bus we reached Yam Dwar. It is believed that Parikrama
around Yam Dwar is equivalent to a parikrama around Kailash i.e only if you are not fit to do the Kailash
Parikrama. Just after Yam dwar ,Tarboche appears, from where our 12kms trek by foot was resumed.
From Tarboche we could see the South face of Kailash, but as we continued our parikrama clockwise
around Kailash, slowly the west face was visible and then the North face. Walking in the shadows of Mt.
Kailash was truly a magical experience. From Derapuk on a clear day you can see the North face of
Kailash.Charan Sparsh (feet of Kailash) .
Next day we were above 18000 ft and we were blocked by a wall of ice covered with mud, loose stones
and boulders. This had to be it; this had to be the feet of Mt. Kailash. Climbing the wall of ice mud and
boulders with bare hands was close to impossible, so the kailash peak is still unconquered.
As directed, next day we started our jouney at 0530 hrs and as we got closer to Dolama la, morning light
started to set in and we could see the barren vistas around. We had reached the highest point of our
trip.After spending some time, we proceeded and reached the magnificent emerald green lake “The Gauri
Kund” After such magnificent journey we ended our trek at Zutulpuk.
We started our final parikrama day. The route as mentioned earlier was pretty simple and pretty flat. After
some more walking we finally came to the point where the bus was waiting for us to take us to Darchen.
Lake Parikrama ………..
We started our parikrama for Mansarovar .First parao was a Gompa (monastery) situated on the Southern
banks of Lake Mansarovar. After another stop by the banks of Mansarovar we reached Trugho. After lunch
we took first dip in the lake, but it was too cold. Next day was full moon night (Purnima), We all took bath
at Mansarovar and seen fishes playing in the water and also saw golden ducks floating in the lake.
Surprisingly color of lake changes in every three hours on an average, from light pink in the morning to
orange then blue, green dark green and finally dark blue, it is mesmerizing Moon was so bright and much
bigger in size due to clear sky. It was a bit difficult to see straight at moon. Gradually moon was moving up
and after some time we saw double moon , one in sky and other in lake. All of us were busy for clicking the
camera and tried to click in natural light with B2 shutter speed . Next day we have completed our parikrama
and went back to Taklakot.
OM NAMA SHIBAYA!
Evolution of practices
of Idol Worship in Hinduism
- A. K. Hom
Synopsis – In this article, an attempt was made to present a picture starting from the Vedic era
on the evolution processes of the practices of Idol worship by the Hindus in the Indian sub-
continent. The processes of transition over the centuries and as it gradually evolved are
presented here. References were also taken from the historical developments and from the
authoritative views expressed by the experts. The references taken so were duly acknowledged
at the end. In-depth philosophical concepts could not be given, as same being beyond the
capability of this writer.
Hindu Sanatana Dharma (later termed as Hinduism by famous German Indologist Max Müller) and its
rituals and practices were gradually evolved over many centuries during the Vedic times, which were
mostly spread over in the regions of North and North-Western parts of the India. There were no
practices of worship of Idol forms as Gods during the evolution process of the Vedic scriptures which
mostly indicate worshipping of phenomena of nature in the form of nature gods. [ From Yajurveda
Chapter 32, Verse 3 - “na tasya pratima asti” i.e. “There is no image of Him”; It further says, “as He is
unborn, He deserves our worship” ]
Notable is the Gayatri Mantra from Rig-Veda1 and also from Yajur Veda2 -
“Aum Bhuh Bhuvah Svah Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat”
i.e.,"May we attain that excellent glory of Savitur the God, So May he stimulate our prayers". The
mantra is also a prayer to the "giver of light and life" - the sun (savitur).
Further, from Svetasvatara Upanishad, Chapter-4, verse-20 –
“na saṃdṛśe tiṣṭhati rūpam asya na “His form is not an object of vision;
cakṣuṣā paśyati kaścanainaṃ……”. No one beholds Him with the eyes…. “
Out of many nature Gods, important were - heroic god Indra, Agni, Surya, Varuna, Soma, Yama,
Vayu, Prithvi and Usha. Generally the people prayed by chanting of Hymns of praise
and performing of fire-offerings (yajna) and by conducting other elaborate rituals. The Yajna- Vedi ( altar,
where the offerings are given in fire ) for conducting Yajnas used to be constructed with great details
following certain mathematical formulae which were prescribed for constructing them 3.
Some of the yagna rituals practised during Vedic period were Agnihotra (oblation to Agni),
Agnićayana ( sophisticated ritual of piling the fire alter), Ćaturmasya ( New and Full Moon as well as
the Seasonal sacrifices), all meaning to worship for the nature Gods,
People used to pray by chanting of Hymns for pleasing the Gods and prayed for abundance of
children, rain, cattle, long life and an after-life etc.
Though various nature Gods were worshipped, the single God concept was also proposed during vedic
times , as indicated in Verse 10.129.7 of the Rig-veda 14 :
iyám vísṛṣṭiḥyátaḥ ābabhūva yádi "He, the first origin of this creation,
vā dadhé yádi vā ná whether he formed it all or did not,
yáḥ asya ádhyakṣaḥ paramé vyómansáḥ He who surveys it all from his highest heaven,
aṅgá veda yádi vā ná véda he verily knows it, or perhaps even he does not "
Such contradictions of God concepts might have crept-in because of gradual evolution of the
scriptures over centuries and the contributions by different Rishis and sometimes with different
The central feature of these religious practices was however for seeking blessings from the perceived
Gods. It was also felt necessary by the continually warring groups (tribes) of population of those
times and they believed that the sacrifices if made would grant boons from Gods, essential for their
welfare and for winning over their enemies. [ Incidentally, even many other ancient people also
believed so, e.g., the Aztecs of South- Americas, used to sacrifice humans in pyres.4].
Backdrop - Now, for conducting various rituals and practices of worship, very important
roles used to be played by the highly influential priest class that existed in the society during those
times of India. The influence of this priest class on the kings, the kingdom and on the society used to
be exceptionally significant, because as per societal classification, only the priest class was
entrusted to study the scriptures and then advise the people on the appropriate applications of
scripture based religious practices, to interpret them and for conducting the rituals etc. Their
advice used to be followed by the society with all reverence.
Often the expected boons like winning over the enemies etc. used to fail even after going thru’ some
pre-campaign elaborate religious rituals and later on, when the victims of the situations used to
come back and question the priests, the responses often used to be tactical, with explanations of
some possible deficiencies in the rituals conducted earlier !
Following this, they used to prescribe for increased and more elaborate rituals and for additional
ceremonies6. Added with selfish and economic motives, gradually the powerful priestly class slowly
transformed the simple Vedic religion into an intricate ritualistic religion of complicated hymns, with
various sacrifices and even filled with superstitions etc. Gradually, the Vedas passed from sages to
priests 5 . Strategically, those progressively added additional rituals etc. were also conveniently
included in the original / existing religious scriptures. Over centuries, these expanding religious
practices gradually swelled into various forms of complicated religious systems and practices and
they reflected in different
manners in different regions ( even today, we may observe certain different worship practices or
different idol forms for same God in different parts of India ).
Transition - Over a period of time, the developing background negative factors gave
rise to gradual discontent among the masses and people started showing deeper interests for
alternate simplistic religious approaches when era of reformers like Bhagwan Mahavira and Gautam
Buddha started during 600 BCE and importantly, these new-era faiths even started gathering ever
increasing influences on vast population across India. Expanding influence of Buddhism was also
corroborated by famous Chinese traveller Faxian ( between 399-412 CE ) in his writings.
This was a challenging situation to the majority of the followers of Hinduism when even the
powerful emperors (e.g. Samrat Ashoka, 268-232 BCE) started embracing the new emerging
Buddhist religious orders which suggested far simpler religious messages with stress on equality of
people in comparison with already made complicated vedic systems with its allied practices.
Challenges were intense and there was desperate need to revive supremacy of Hinduism and its
social class system (varnashram) by the priest class and further backed by the Ruling class
(Kshatriyas). Acceptance of Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu (considered as 9th avatar) by
Hinduism was a well-conceived strategy to shake-up the expanding influences of Buddhism 7. Adi
Sankaracharya (788 - 820 CE) founder of Hindu Monasticism (established four Mutts at four strategic
regions of India) revived the Hinduism to very large extent.
• Idol worshipping - During the days of Samrat Kanishka (78 to 120 CE), the Mahayana branch of
Buddhists raised Buddha to a position of saviour God and started worshipping the Idols of Buddha
with great rituals8. Buddhist stupas (a mound-like structure and a place of meditation) were also
built at that time [ earliest one, late 400 BCE in India ] , where the presence of representative
images ( aniconic9 ) or figures of Buddha also used to be quite common.
When Buddhist religion started gaining much popularity, the people following Hinduism also
gradually realised that the presence of figure representation of Gods could be a factor for
popularity and could be more appealing for devotees for their prayers etc. Thus the concept of Idols
of Gods gradually emerged and became popular amongst the population. As by that time practices
of Idol worshipping got reasonably picked-up, we find even elaborate guidelines for constructions of
Idols of various Gods as described in Brihat Samhita by Varahmihira (Mathematician-astronomer-
505CE to 587CE) added with quite precise methods of measurements like use of certain “finger-
Units” width (1 unit = 8 barley grain size)10. These observations were also corroborated by Al-Bīrūnī
( the great scholar and Indologist from central Asia) in his treatise on India and who visited this
country during 1017 CE.11
Gradually the earlier nature god concept from vedic era lost their links with nature and the human
forms of Gods started getting conceived. Over the centuries, the God figures even took shapes of
extraordinary human forms, often holding weapons or other objects which emanated from
conceptual visualisation and imaginations of the people. The intellectual conception and
representation of God figures in various forms were left with the ascetics and philosophers and
people accepted them with all reverence and the traditions continued over the centuries. (in
current times too, we see a gradual trend has already started for constructing of Idols with most
non-standard materials and depiction of Gods in highly artistic forms and in other imaginative
ways. The transformations of representing
various Gods must have happened in similar ways over previous hundreds of years as the Hinduism
Mundeshwari Temple in Bihar – at Kaura of
Kaimur District of Bihar Is the oldest known
functional Hindu Temple. Archaeological Survey
of India (ASI) dates it as of built in 108 A D. The
roof of the temple was renovated after‘sikhara’
(tower) got damaged. The sanctum sanctorum
of the temple has an idol of Devi Mundeshwari.
There is also a ‘Chaturmukha Shivlinga’ and
other Idols of Ganesha, Surya, Vishnu.
Thousands visit the temple during Navaratri
Images of Gods and their worship also gradually infiltrated into Aryan homes through their non-aryan
wives. The superior beauty of Vedic hymns, their language and poetry retained its hold, while the
God’s images of stone or clay etc. were adopted because of their immediate and inescapable aesthetic
appeal and greater realism 12.
The Bhagavad Gita says - Self-realization is more difficult for those who fix their mind on the
impersonal, un-manifest and formless Absolute, because worship of the un-manifest is difficult for
ordinary human beings” 13(sloka-12.5)
Well, over the centuries till date, Idol forms of Gods have proven to be very popular to we the Hindus,
who are mostly just ordinary human beings and we all are also very satisfied by worshipping the Gods
in Idol forms at our homes and at other places of worship.
However, there had been certain historical conflicts on belief systems in the country on the different
practices of worship i.e., on formless (“Nirakar”) or with forms (“sakar”) of God. Probably the core
philosophical concept about the ‘oneness’ of both these two forms of Gods could only be explained
very lucidly by Parampurush Sri Ramakrishna.
May I reverently quote here in Sri Ramakrishna’s words, an extract from the Autobiography,
“Kathamrita” 15,written by Sri Mahendra Chandra Gupta, ( record dt: on Sunday,11th March,1883, at
Dakshineswar ) ,
“..Sachchidananda is like an infinite ocean. When it becomes cold, ocean water
freezes into ice, which floats on the surface in different shapes. In the same way, when the cold of
bhakti affects the ocean of Sachchidananda, one sees God with form. For the devotee, He is with form.
But when the sun of ‘jnana’ (higher awareness) rises, the ice melts; it becomes water as before – water
above, water below, water everywhere…”
--------- श्री श्री रामकृ षणाय नमः ---------
Grateful Acknowledgements -
1 Rig Veda - Gayatri Mantra partly-shloka 3.62.19 & 20-
< http://www.ancientvedas.com/chapter/3/book/62/ >
2 Shukla Yajur Veda - Gayatri Mantra – Pg-140- Chapter 36, Shloka-3 -
3 Sulabha Sutras by Baudhayana (around 800 BCE to 600 BCE) –(Pythagorean Triples)-for
building right angles of Alters- <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shulba_Sutras>
4 The Evolution of Gods- By Dr. Ajay Kansal
5 The Secret of the Veda- Sri Aurobindo - Chapter-2, pg-16-para-2
6 Ancient History Encyclopedia – The Vedas- Para, Later Vedic Period - sub-Para-2
< http://www.ancient.eu/The_Vedas/ >
7 Studies in the Buddhistic Culture of India During the 7th and 8th Centuries A.D. -By Lal Mani Joshi
(professor of comparative religions and Buddhist studies) – Chapter- Studies in Buddhist Culture-
pg 322-para -4 ( also corroborated by reputed historians like R.C. Mazumdar )
8 Google Book – Bright’s’ General Knowledge Digest-2010 –pg 101 , pt- 9
9 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniconism_in_Buddhism >
10 Google Book - Brhat Samhita of Varahamihira - By Varahamihira, M Ramakrishna Bhat –
Chapter LVIII - pg 549 –
11 Idol worship –Alberuni's India: An Account of the Religion, Philosophy ..., Volume 1-
Chapter- XI –pages 117 to 120-By Edward C. Sachau
12 The Indian Theogony ( Cambridge Univ. Press)- Prof. Sukumari Bhattacharjee, Jadavpur
Univ.- Indologist and Sanskrit Research Scholar – [ Introduction –Chapter-II- pg-5- para 2- ]
13 The Bhagavath Gita –shloka- 12.5 < https://prabhupadagita.wordpress.com/category/108-
14 Hymns of Rig Veda- Translated by TH Griffith - < http://www.ancientvedas.com >
15 Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita – by Sri Mahendra Chandra Gupta- Volume-II / Section II /
Chapter Conversation with Vaishnava Goswami / part “God with form and without form” - Para-2 .
< http://www.vivekananda.net/PDFBooks/katha2.pdf >
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