5 Tips For Travelling To India For The First Time

So this year the number of FTA’s (Foreign Tourist Arrivals) in India is expected to rise well beyond 7 million. The reason? India is mysterious, unfathomable, exquisite, crazy and mind-boggling – A roller-coaster ride you won’t forget soon! Like every other place, though, India has its unique quirks and traditions and comes with its very own “operating manual”. So if you’re planning on visiting the “Land of Diversity” soon, here are a few things (thanks to our friends at distancesfrom.us for compiling this list for us) you need to keep in mind while touring India:

  1. Make a bucket-list of destinations

Truth is, India has so much to offer, you’re going to ultimately have to make a check-list of places you want to visit and then plan your route wisely according to that. Otherwise you can get lost in a maze of colorful distractions and end up getting exhausted and detracted. The Taj Mahal, The Golden Temple, national parks, tiger reserves, the Kumbh Mela (the biggest religious congregation in the world), The Rashtrapati Bhavan (the residence of the president of the biggest democracy in the world), the beaches and holiday resorts in Goa, and the Yoga asylums in Rishikesh can top the list.

  1. Timing is everything

Based on your reason for visiting India, it’s very important to know the seasons and weather forecasts. Your safest bet is to avoid the peak of the summer (between May and July) when temperatures can rise up to an unbearable 50.6 °C (123 °F), and monsoon (usually August) when delayed flights, floods and traffic jams can pose a problem for those on a tight schedule. Its also a good idea to look up the important dates for every place you plan on visiting. For example, the Rashtrapati Bhavan is open for public only on weekends and the tigers are best spotted from May to June if there isn’t too much dust and you can take the sun. So to sum it up, don’t jump into something without considering the timing.

3.Look after your health

Make sure you are properly vaccinated against any ongoing epidemic. You can find great health facilities in India so don’t worry on that account. But be sure to drink bottled water as cholera, rotaviruses, dengue are not uncommon. Wash any freshly bought fruits with bottled water too. India is famous for its delicious, spicy street food, but don’t sample anything unless you are sure of the hygiene factor of the food. There is always a slight chance of catching gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Also, don’t travel without a trusted mosquito repellent lotion

4.Pick your attire wisely

India is so culturally diverse that there is a very little chance that you could wear something that’ll be considered completely outrageous. Western clothes aren’t frowned upon either, but women should take care to dress modestly. Women should also carry a scarf and cover their hair while entering places of worship. It also helps protect from the sun on hot summer days. Men can use a wide brimmed hat for that purpose.

 

  1. Brush up your knowledge of Indian customs

Locals are welcoming, hospitable and very eager to help. They are fairly well versed in English too. But India is home to Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains and Christians. Make sure that you don’t do anything that’s offensive to any of them. Generally speaking:

  • Avoid hitting or insulting animals (some of them are sacred). Be specially respectful toward temple animals
  • Take off your shoes while entering temples. Women should cover their hair.
  • It’s considered inappropriate for men and women to touch, so be careful in offering your hand to anyone – even for a friendly shake.
  • Using your left hand for eating or touching sacred objects is a big NO-NO
  • Milk is a sacred beverage and drinking alcohol at public places is not encouraged
  • Its very unethical to disrespect beggars, priests, temple animals, eununchs, elders and Ficus religiosa or sacred fig (“Peepal” tree)

So just keep these few things in mind and enjoy your trip to India. Namaste!

Narkanda Himachal Pradesh

Situated 65Kms away from Shimla, on the Hindustan -Tibet road, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, is the town of Narkanda. It is famous for winter sports and skiing. One can get a splendid view of the snow covered peaks of the Shivalik Ranges from Narkanda. Many tourists visit this place every year. It is 16Kms from Kotgarh, which is famous for apples. The apple culture was brought to Kotgarh by Satyanand Stokes and thus helped to improve the economic situation of the area.

Reaching Narkanda

  • By Air – The nearest airport is the Jubbarhatti Airport and it is 155 Kms away from Narkanda. Jubbarhatti Airport is connected to major cities in India. One can get a bus or a private taxi from here to Narkanda.
  • By Rail – Kalka is the nearest railway station and it is 125 Kms away from Narkanda. One can take the toy train from Kalka to reach Narkanda.
  • By Road – Narkanda is connected to major cities such as Shimla and New Delhi by bus. Buses to Narkanda are also available from Fagu, Kinnaur, Theog, Kufri, Rampur and Matiana.

Climate – There is temperate climate in Narkanda. Summers are pleasant while winters are extremely cold and it snows heavily. Narkanda gets moderate rainfall. The best time to visit Narkanda is from April – June.

kinnaur narkandaPlaces to Visit

  • Kacheri – Located 7 Kms away from Narkanda at a height of 1810 meters, Kacheri is famous for the ancient Mahamaya Temple.
  • Hatu Peak – The Hatu Peak is 8 Kms away from Narkanda, at a height of 3300 meters. It offers a magnificent view of the Himalayan Ranges and snow covered mountains. The road to the Hatu Peak is surrounded by spruce and pine trees and one can hike to the top of the hill. The Hatu Mata temple is located on the top of the hill. One can see apple orchards, lush green fields and dense forests.
  • Jallori Pass – Located 90 Kms from Narkanda, at a height of 3550 meters, going through the Sutlej Valley to Luhri, Khanag, Ani through one of the most magnificent sceneries in the Kullu Valley, is the Jallori Pass. The Sirolsar Lake is a 30 minute walk from Jallori Pass. It offers a lot of natural beauty.
  • Kotgarh and Thanedhar – Kotgarh and Thanedhar are famous for apple orchards. They are located 17 Kms away on a link road diverting from Narkanda. The famous Stokes Apple Farm is located here and the best varieties are the Royal delicious, golden delicious and the red delicious apples.

Paonta Sahib Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh

Located at a height of 389 meters in Himachal Pradesh, to the south of Sirmour district, is a small town called Paonta Sahib, named after the famous Gurudwara Paonta Sahib. It is an important industrial town and holds great religious significance for the Sikhs. Gurudwara Paonta Sahib is located on the banks of river Yamuna, which forms a boundary between Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Climate

Paonta Sahib experiences a sub-tropical climate. The summers are hot and winters are slightly cold. It receives low to medium rainfall. One can visit Paonta Sahib throughout the year.

How to Reach

  • By Rail – Dehradun is the nearest railway station and it is 45 kms from Paonta Sahib. Yamunanagar is the other railway station which is 56 kms away from Paonta Sahib. Both railway stations are well-connected to all major cities of India.
  • By Air – Jolly Grant Airport and Jubbarhatti Airport are the nearby airports and they are 70 kms and 145 kms from Paonta Sahib and one can hire a cab from there. Both airports are well-connected to all major cities.
  • By Road – NH-72 passes through Paonta Sahib. One can get buses from Dehradun, Chandigarh and Rishikesh.

History

Paonta SahibGuru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, came here on his horse. The horse is believed to have stopped here and Guru Gobind Singh stayed here for some time. During his stay, he wrote religious books for Sikhs. After this he went to establish the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib. The name Paonta Sahib has also been derived from here, since ‘Paon’ means feet. There is a museum in the Gurudwara and one can find Guru Gobind Singh’s weapons in this museum.

Places Near Paonta Sahib

Places that can be visited near Paonta Sahib include Mussourie, Dehradun. Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kasuali, Chandigarh, Kufri and Shimla.

Rajgarh Sirmaur Himachal Pradesh

Located in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful town, Rajgarh. It is an average height of 5102 feet. It is often referred to as the Peach Valley. This beautiful valley is 40 kms away from Solan. It is a great place for trekking and camping. Apart from guest houses and private hotels, one can also stay in the Forest Department and PWD rest house. The local people worship Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. The local people religiously visit the Lord Shirgul Temple. Lord Shirgul had initially come to the Shaya Village but later he took his seat at the Churdhar Mountain

Climate

Summers are not very hot but in the winters, the temperature often drops down to the freezing point. It can be visited throughout the year

How to Reach

One can take a bus or taxi from Solan. The Jubbar Hatti airport is the nearest airport. The nearest railway station is Solan.

Places to Visit

  • Habban – Located 70 Kms away from Solan via Rajgarh, this is a picturesque spot with a very pleasant climate. It can be visited at any time of the year. It is really a sight to see the snow covered peaks of the kail, pine fir and baan trees and the deodar forests. One can also see orchards of peaches and apples.
  • Baru Sahib Gurudwara – The Baru Sahib Gurudwara is 29 Kms away from Rajgarh. The gurudwara on the banks of the Giri River is a splendid sight.
  • Nohradhar – Located 27 Kms from Rajgarh, Nohradhar is a trekking base. One can go to Churdhar while trekking – 14 Kms. There are many other trek routes also.
  • Haripurdhar – Haripurdhar is famous for the Maa Bhangayani Temple, which is 63 Kms away from Rajgarh. Maa Bhangayani is believed to be the sister of Lord Shirgul.

Manikaran – A Holy Spring

Situated at a height of 1737 meters, Manikaran is 85 Kms away from Manali and is a popular place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Sikhs. It is located on the bank of the Parvati River. Every year, thousands of pilgrims come to take a dip in the holy waters of Manikaran. There are some hot sulphur springs in Manikaran which are believed to cure all kinds of skin diseases. The food (langar) that is served here is cooked over the hot springs.

Manikaran Holy SpringThe legend of Manikaran states that while roaming around, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, once chanced upon a place that was surrounded by mountains and was lush green. Enamoured by the beauty of the place, they decided to spend some time there. It is believed that they actually spent eleven hundred years here.

According to the Sikhs, during third Udasi, his founder Guru Nanak came to this place in 15 Asu 1574 Bikrami with his disciple Bhai Mardana. Mardana felt hungry and they had no food. Nanak sent Mardana to collect food for the langar (the Community Kitchen). Many people donated atta (flour) to make Roti(bread). The one problem was that there was no fire to cook the food. Nanak asked Mardana to lift a stone and he complied and a hot spring appeared. As directed by Nanak, Mardana put the rolled chappatis in the spring to his despair the chappatis sank. Nanak then told him to pray to God saying that if his chappatis float back then he would donate one chappati in His name. When he prayed all the chappatis started floating duly baked. Nanak said that anyone who donates in the name of God, his drowned items float back.

Reaching Manikaran

  • By Air – Bhuntar is the nearest airport, at a distance of 44 Kms and has regular flights to and from Pathankot, Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla and Dharamshala. One can take a taxi from Bhuntar to Manikaran.
  • By Train – Pathankot and Chandigarh are the nearest rail heads, located at a distance of 150 Kms and 268 Kms respectively. Both stations are well-connected to major cities. One can get a taxi or bus from both the stations.
  • By Road – Taxis are available from major cities like Kullu, Chandigarh, Pathankot and Manali.

Climate

Winters are very cold and the minimum temperature is as low as -8°C. Summers are pleasant and the temperature is not very high. The ideal time to visit Manikaran is from April – October.

Places to Visit

  • Chandrakhani Pass – A great to see natural beauty with colorful flowers blossoming, this beautiful pass is located on the Eastern side of Katrain.
  • Khirganga – Khirganaga is also famous for hot springs which is believed to possess lot of medicinal value.
  • Malana Village – Located slightly beyond the Chdrakhani Pass is the unique Malan Village, which is famous for the Jamlu Devta Temple and its distinct culture.
  • Pulga – This place is ideal for those who like adventure. One needs to trek from Kasol to Pulga (16 Kms) and it is a pretty difficult stretch.
  • Shoja – Shoja is located 69 Kms from Manikaran. One can get some panoramic views of the beautiful Kullu valley from here.

Konark Sun Temple – Essence of the Corners

Konark Sun Temple, also known as Black Pagoda was built in the 13th century in Orissa. The Eastern Dynasty King, King Narasimhadeva I constructed it using sandstone. The temple is a perfect example of Orissan architecture from the Ganga Dynasty. It has been declared as a World Heritage Site and also voted as one of the seven wonders of India. According to an old legend, the temple was built by Lord Krishna’s son, Samba when he was suffering from Leprosy due to a curse by his father.  He was ill for 12 years and thereafter the sun god, Surya cured him. Samba built the splendid Konark Sun Temple to honor him.

How to Reach

By Rail – Konark Railway station is well-connected to all major cities of India.

By Air – The nearest airport is Bhubaneshwar and it is well-connected to all major airports. One can hire a private taxi or take Volvo buses from Bhubaneshwar.

By Road – Konark is well-connected to all major cities through state and national highways.

Climate

In the summers it gets very hot and all tourists avoid this season. In the winters, it gets very cold and the temperature goes to as low as 12 °C. Konark receives medium rainfall during the monsoons. The best time to visit the city of Konark is from September to March.

Architecture of Konark temple Sun Temple

The temple is in the form of a chariot of the Sun God, Surya, which is drawn by seven horses on twelve pairs of wheels which are beautifully decorated. The temple has stone carvings all over it. The wheels of the chariot are a major attraction, since they serve as sundials. There are many erotic sculptures in this temple which remind one of Khajuraho. The famous Orissan architecture can be seen all over the temple.

The entrance of the temple has two huge lions which are shown as crushing a war elephant each. There is a Nata Temple at the entrance of the temple. It is believed that dancers used to dance here to please the sun god. There are lots of geometric and floral patterns all around the temple. Some sculptures of the temple are kept in the Sun Temple Museum. This museum is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. This beautiful temple is worth a visit.

History

The fall of the Konark temple is often linked to the Kalapahad, who was the general of Bengal Sultan Sulaiman Khan Karrani. Some legends state that Kalapahad was originally a Hindu Kayastha but had converted to Islam. He attacked Orissa in 1568 and demolished the Konark Temple, along with other Hindu Temples. After this Orissa was under the Muslim rule and Hindu Temples continued to be destroyed. The Priests of Konark buried the deity of the Sun Temple under sand for many years to save it. This image was moved to Puri later on and placed in the Indra Temple in the Jagannath Puri Temple Complex.

Since the image of the sun god was not present in the temple, people stopped worshipping there and the number of devotees who visited there, also reduced considerably. The city was deserted.

A Maratha Sadhu took away the Aruna Pillar in 1779 and placed it in the Jagannath Temple at Puri. The entire glory of Konark was lost and it became a shady city, where people feared to go.

Kiarighat Himachal Pradesh

Kiarighat is a tiny hill station, located 27 kms before Shimla on the Kalka – Shimla highway, in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is 19 Kms away from Solan. Tourists usually stop over at this site for one night. It has a guest house, which was earlier a Dak Bungalow.

Climate

Summers are not very hot and only light cotton clothes are required, while it can get freezing cold in the winters. One needs to pack heavy woolens for winters. It can be visited throughout the year.

How to Reach

Since it falls on the route to Shimla, all buses to Shimla can drop you there. Jubbal Hatti airport is the nearest airport and nearest railway station is Kandaghat, which also falls on the Kalka-Shimla railway line.

Places to Visit

  • The Glen – The Glen is a famous picnic spot, just 4 Kms from Kiarighat. There is a deep narrow gorge, through which a small stream flows.
  • Maharaja’s Palace – The Maharaja’s Palace is located on top of the Rajgarh Hill. One can get a magnificent view of the surroundings from here.
  • Sadhupal – Located between Chail and Solan, around a small bridge over the Ashwini River, is a small village, called Sadhupal.

Khajjiar – The Switzerland of India

Located in the Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh, about 24 Kms away from Dalhousie is a small hill station, Khajjiar, which is often referred to as the Switzerland of India. This is so because Khajjiar has similar topography as that found in Switzerland. It is 2000m above sea level. It is surrounded by thick deodar forests. Khajjiar derives its name from a 12th century temple which is devoted to Khajji Naag. One can find life size images of the Pandavas in this temple.

 

Climate

Summers are pleasant and one can do with some cottons and light woolens. Winters are very cold, since it often snows here. Heavy woolens must be worn during the winters. The best time to visit Khajjiar is from February – April.

 

How to Reach

  • By Road – Khajjiar is connected to all major cities of Himachal Pradesh through the state transport corporation service. It is only 24 Kms from Dalhousie and 26Kms away from Chamba.
  • By Train – Pathankot is the nearest railway station and one can hire a taxi or take a bus from there. Khajjiar is 120Kms away from Pathankot.
  • By Air – The nearest airport is Gaggal Airport in Kangra and it is 180 Kms away. One can hire a taxi from here.

 

Places to Visit

  • Golden Devi Temple – The Golden Devi Temple is located in the centre of the golf course and is adorned with a golden dome. It adds to the scenic beauty.
  • Khajjiar Lake – The Khajjiar Lake is an ideal picnic spot, since it is only 20 kms away from Dalhousie and is surrounded by cedar forests. It is at a height of 1950 meters above sea level.
  • Khajji Nag – This ancient temple is devoted to Khajji Nag and is considered very sacred by the local people. This temple was constructed in the 12th century and it has been decorated with wood carvings beautifully. The mandapa of the temple is something one just can’t miss. It displays the figures of the victorious Pandavas and the Kauravas who were defeated are seen hanging from the ceiling.

 

Things to Do

  • Zorbing – This is a new sport which is gaining lot of popularity in India nowadays. The huge slopes of Khajjiar are best suited for Zorbing.
  • Trekking – There are various valleys in Khajjiar that are suitable for trekking. There are many breath-taking views, which can be seen only through trekking trips.

Dalhousie – A place of Scenic Beauty

Located at an average height of 2036 meters, in the western part of Himachal Pradesh, is the town of Dalhousie. Dalhousie is name after the British Governor General, Lord Dalhousie. It has been built on five hills – Patreyn, Kathlog, Balun, Tehra and Bakrota. This beautiful hill station has a lot of charm and is skirted by diverse flora, such as oaks, pines, deodars and rhodendron. There are some magnificent churches and exquisite colonial architecture. One can also view the picturesque snow covered peaks of the Dhauladhar range. It is an enchanting town and has lots of scenic beauty. The Ravi River moves below Dalhousie.

Climate

Winters are really cold and it usually snows here. In the summers, it is pleasant and moderate rainfall is received during the monsoons. Dalhousie can be visited throughout the year.

 

Reaching Dalhousie

  • By Road – Dalhousie is connected to major cities via state transport system. Luxury buses are available from major cities and towns.
  • By Air – There are two airports near Dalhousie – Pathankot (80 Kms) and Jammu (180 Kms). Both airports are connected to major cities in India. One can hire a private taxi or take a bus from here, to reach Dalhousie.
  • By Rail – Pathankot is the nearest railway station, 71 Kms away from Dalhousie. It is connected all major cities in India via rail. One can get a taxi or a bus from Pathankot to Dalhousie.

 

Places to Visit

  • Panchpula – Located 3 Kms from Dalhousie, It is a stunning sight to see a stream which feeds a series of pools. There is a monument which has been built in memory of Sardar Ajit Singh, who was a freedom fighter.
  • Subhash Baoli – It is 1Km away and is named after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who spent some time at this spot in the year 1937. It is a majestic spot surrounded by beautiful tress.
  • Kalatop – It is a wildlife sanctuary 10 Kms away from Dalhousie and is the home of the Himalayan Black Bear, also known as Ghoral.
  • Churches – Dalhousie is famous for its churches. There are four magnificent churches here – St. Patrick’s at Balun, St. John’s at Gandhi Chowk, St. Francis at Subhash Chowk and St. Andrew’s Church.
  • Shopping – One can get beautiful Tibetan Handicrafts and carpets at Dalhousie. The Chamba Town in Dalhousie is known for its shawls and rumals.

Do’s & Don’ts in Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra

Do’s & Don’ts in Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra

This small list of do’s & don’ts for those devotees who are going for Rath Yatra to Jagannath Puri. I hope my & my friend’s last year experience will help you for flawless journey:

Do’s

1. For Gundicha Marjan buy a big pot – as big as you can for cleaning Gundicha Temple. If possible take bhoga’s pot.. Why big???

For cleaning you have to take water in pot from hand pump (that is outside of Temple) to inside Temple. So with small pot u have to do in-out-in-out many times. Means waste of time.
After 1-2 pm Pandas (Pujari of Temple) close the Temple.
(Note: People with medical condition, children should avoid big pots)

2. Try to book yr hotel nearby Temple. Just to save time of internal traveling in Puri dham.

3. On Rath Yatra day get up early like 5 am & try to get in Temple before 6-7 am. The ceremony call Pahandi in which Panda (Pujari of Lord) carry Jagannath from alter to Ratha,starts after 7 am. In this ceremony Jagannath wear nice Mukuta (TIARA) which is get removed inside of Temple only. Mainly Jagannath do dance in side of Temple. Its most beautiful scenes you will ever see. SO DON’T MISS IT. There will be ticket for entering inside the Temple, so book it one day before. It will be around 500 Rs. but its worth of paying it.

4. Make a group of 6-8 & book an auto (TamTam) to take a tour of all holy Gaudiya Vaishnavas spots in Puri. There are around 8 spots. Auto driver will take 200-250 per person & he will take you to all spots. At each spot wait for 10 mins & sit & chant 1 round. Take this tour on 2nd or 3rd day when most of roads are open for autos. This tour will take 5-6 hours with auto.

5. Check 7 Wonders of Jagannath Temples as follows (keep yr scientific brain aside & then read it. Still if you don’t believe this then check yrself in Jagannath Puri) –

a) Flag always flap in opposite direction of air
b) From any place in Puri you will find Sudarshan Charka (Charka at top of Temple) is facing to you only
c) Normally in day air comes from sea to land & at evening opposite way but in Puri it’s totally opposite
d) No bird or planes fly above the Temple
e) The shadow of the main dome is not visible at any time in any direction
f) The quantity of cooked food inside the Temple remains same for entire year. But same prasadam can feed few thousand people & 20 lac people also; still it won’t not get waste or never lag
g) In Jagannath Temple kitchen, 7 pots are kept on each other & cooked on wood fire. In this process top pot get cooked 1st & bottom one last. After entering from Singhadwara’s first step inside the Temple you can’t hear any voice of ocean & when you cross the same step outside you can hear it. Mostly we can notice this at even time clearly.

Prasadam is cooked by Laxmidevi herself every day; only pure devotees of Lord can see her inside the Temple kitchen.

Don’ts:

1. If you are going in group then don’t order or arrange food (prasadam) in particular hotel or Bhojanalya for entire group. Pay individual each time where ever you eat. Why not in group???

In Puri there are many hotels and bhojanalayas. Jagannath Puri is too big & during Yatra times mostly you have to travel by walking from hotel to Rath Yatra marg or any other spot. So if you order yr food at any particular hotel then you have to travel to that hotel from wherever you are every time, so again waste of time. Anyway you have to pay to for food then don’t waste yr time in traveling, just eat at nearest hotel or bhojanalaya every time.

2. Don’t carry money & mobile in bead-bag or money belt. Again Why????

Local thefts know that Gaudiya Vaishnavas are becoming more & more fashionable nowadays. They know we are using zipper pocket bead-bag so they just steal our bead-bags. Many of my friends lost their bead-bags & money like that.

3. Don’t carry Initiated beads for Rath Yatra. If you are carrying then keep it inside of yr room only, don’t bring them outwith you on Rath Yatra day. Why so???

In the crowd of around 25 lac people, it is possible that we may lose it or thieves may still it

4. Don’t dare to pull any of Rath on 1st day. Now this is big WHY??? We are going to pull Rath there so why not to pull it on 1st day????

A – 20 Lac people come for 1st day to pull Rath & many times new devotees have lost their life in stamped. So pull Rath on 2nd day, that time most of people leave Puri. Mainly all local Orissa people come for 1st day only, 2nd day it’s almost clear. Even on my 1st Rath Yatras 2nd day I got kicked by crowd several times, many punches on face & stomach. So be careful.

5. Don’t put yr step on Yamaraj step after completing Temple parikaram while going out from Temples Singhadwara (main gate exit side -east opening)
Why so??? And how to identify which step is Yamaraj step???

Jagannath Puri is holy Dham, if anyone does parikrama to Temple his/her liberation is confirmed. His/her all senses get clear, so in past Yamaraj saw that all people are visiting Puri & getting liberated & going back to godhead. As everyone was attaining Liberation by the Jagannath Puri kshetra, Yamraj was becoming ideal in his work so he complains to Jagannath. And as you know Jagannath is so kind he accepted request of Yamaraj & kept one step in exits side of main gate (Singhadwara). So if anyone keeps his/her feet on that step his/her all pious karma get nil & they will get back all old karmas.

Q – How to identify which step is Yamaraj step???
A – Before entering to Temple ask any panda (pujari of Temple). We made sure, we didn’t cross it as we were informed well in advance. The Yamraj step is the only black coloured step.

6. Don’t argue with Pandas (Pujari of Lord).
A – They are pure devotees of Lord. They are born in specific families which are appointed by Lord himself to worship him at the time of Indradumaya Maharaj. They born in such families & we are born in some city outside of Puri, that only shows that we are not qualified. While entering in Temple Pandas hit you by stick on yr head, accept that hit if they don’t do it then ask them to hit you. That hit represents yr ego to get crush before entering in Lords Temple. As per Vedas one should enter in Temple without ego if anyone has it then it must get crush before entering.

7. Don’t travel alone. Complete Big NOOOOO Why???
A – For yr safety purpose & you will easily get lost.

8. Don’t buy anything on M.R.P. or shoppers price; do bargain like – ask for half of a price. Why???
A – During Rath Yatra most off shopkeeper double the price of all things in shops so do bargain. And besides its fun to bargain especially for Matajis…

9. Don’t consider that all devotees around you in Yatra are normal human being.
Why???

A – Many times demigods come in form of human to serve Lord. Demigods are not allowed to take darshan or eat Lord’s mahaprasad in normal days. They are allowed in Rath Yatra time only. So be careful with other unknown devotees. Don’t do any vaishnava aparadha.

Have a wonderful yatra & chant the maha mantra !!!