Tag Archives: shiva

Dhyaneshwar yatra as I remember

Dhyaneshwar Mahadev as I remember..

I have been to Dhyaneshwar Mahadev once in 1987-88.I had gone there with my Father, Brother, Grandmother and a very close friend-Sunil.We took a bus from Srinagar to Bandipura, from there, we traveled to the base of the Mountain, where the Holy shrine is situated.

I don,t remember all the names of the places that came enroute. But, Whatever I remember had an indelible imprint on my mind.

As I ascended from the base, I could see beautiful vistas all around me. The narrow trek that lead us towards the cave passed through the tall trees as well as through thick forest of Deodars .It was already dark, when we had started our Hike. The ascending trek pleteaued near a Hutment of Gurjars. It was a sight to behold. The full Moon, it seemed had covered everything around us in the golden Hue. There was a pleasant nip in the air.

I had with me a camera by the name ‘Hot Shot’. It was a compact camera and was in vogue 3 decades back. Enroute, I shot many pictures with it including that of the Full Moon.

That year some Muslim volunteers too had come to assist and support the Hindu Devotees.
All the devotees had gathered at a house(or Ashram/Dharamsala) which was very close to the cave. Devotees were waiting for their turn to have a Darshan of lord Shiva. Some group/s of Devotees were singing Bhajans. I was too tired to join them, I sat down at the corner of the room and pretended to listen to them. Slowly but steadily, from the sitting position, I stretched my legs straight, and after a while, I further recumbented myself as I could no longer resist sleep.

After few hours, my Grandmother, shook me by my shoulder and woked me up. It was time to enter the cave.

The Muslim volunteers were carrying a torch(lesh in Kashmiri/Mashal in hindi), and lighting the path for their Hindu contemporaries. The Hindu-Muslim bonhomie looked real at that time.

Finally, our turn too came.

I remember, the entrance of the cave was around 6 and a half feet in height;and maybe 5 feet in width. My bare feet had become wet from the frigid brook that comes from inside the cave. The brook starts from-what was known as Shraan kuth of parvati(the palace, from where mother Parvati takes a bath).There is a tunnel that starts from the mouth of the cave that is also the sanctom sanctorum and ends at the entrance of Dhyaneshwar. The shape of the tunnel is tapered(shape of hollow cone), with the wider section at the entrance of the cave. The roof of the cave is rough, with rock icicles hanging at places. I was up-right when I entered the cave; but as I moved further inside the tunnel, it became dark- pitch black dark. A volunteer with a torch was somehow managing to show us the path inside the tunnel. Since, the shape of the tunnel is tapered, first I had to bend my shoulders, then I had to bend my back and eventually I was crawling. The ice-cold water of the brook was getting hard to bear. At the ingress of the cave, It was like an adventure for me; but as I proceeded further, the hanging icicle-type-ceiling and the ice-cold brook, on which I was crawling forced me to chant the name of “Shiva”.I was Chanting aloud,”om namah shivaya”.
It is a very long dark tunnel, may be 100 or 200 mts long; and opens inside another natural cave known as Dhyaneswar. The area is modest inside the cave. It must be 8-9 feet in height,6 feet wide and may be 6 feet in length. . At a time,not more than 10 people can stand inside the cave. There is a natural partition inside the cave.The front part belongs to lord shiva and the rear natural raised part is the place of Parvati. The brook starts from the raised rear part.There is Ganesha and Kartik(not sure) also inside the cave.

One thing is guaranteed-an Atheist will become a believer after visiting this Holy cave. It is a Place, that should be visited at least once.

The only regret pertaining to the Dhyaneshwar pilgrimage is that I could not develop the reel of the camera. When we left for Jammu in Jan 1990, because of terrorism, The camera was left behind with so many other things.

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Amarnath Yatra(Kashmir)

Amarnath yatra
Amarnath is yet another name of lord Shiva. I had the pleasure of going to Amarnath twice. You can go to Amarnathji via The beautiful town of pehalgoan(pehalgam).This route will take you around 2-3 days to reach Amarnathji depending on your pace. This particular route have some of the best vistas one can see and enjoy. The typical route is pehalgam-16kms-Chandanwari- 12kms-Pissu top&sheshnagh-(12kms)-Mahagunus top&
Panchtarni -6kms-Holy cave.(total 46 kms from pehalgam)
There is a shorter route also available which has its base at Baltal. Nowadays it is mandatory to get yourself registered which you can do from Delhi, Jammu And Srinagar.From Jammu one can go directly to pehalgam.This beautiful town is situated at
The height of 7200 feet above sea level. Pehalgam is a part of lidder valley and one can easily get lost in the natural beauty
of this area. This town is surrounded by thick deodar tress and the smell of these trees is blissfully intoxicating. The beautiful lidder river flows right through the town.Chandanwari
is around 16 kms from pehalgam and is situated at around
9500feet above sea level. One can walk through the distance or even drive up to chandanwari. Actual ascend starts from Chandanwari and the stretch between chandanwari to pissu top is indeed very steep and thus makes it really
difficult for the pilgrims.Pissu top is situated at the height of around 11500feet above sea level.From pissu top till amaranth cave one can hardly find trees. From pissu top till sheshnag(12000feet) It is relatively easy walk.Sheshnag lake is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. It’s crystal clear
blue waters are very soothing to eyes. According to Rajtarangni, there is another lake just above shashnag which is known as zamturnag(son-in-law of Sheshnag).The route from sheshnag to panctarni(12500feet) is easily the most difficult stretch
as one has to pass through Mahagunus top. Mahagunus means the great snake in kashmiri.This is the highest point of this yatra
and the height at Mahagunus top is 14800 feet above sea level. One finds exhausted at this height due to lack of oxygen.
The name of this top has been changed by India army to Mahaganesh top as they were not aware of the local history & culture and they could not understand kashmiri.From Mahagunus top till panctarni, the route is descending .Panchtarni is the last stop before amarnath cave.From panchtarni there is again ascend, but not as steep as pissu top or Mahagunus top. One has to pass through a glacier which is approximately half kilometer long, before one reaches the holy cave(13500 feet). Before having the darshan, one has to take a bath in Amravati river which flows right in front of the cave.Inside holy cave, there is a natural Ice linga of lord Shiva. According to local kashmiri legend which we have heard from our elders, It was here in this holy cave, lord shiva had narrated the story of secret of creation which makes one amar(immortal).Legend also says that there was a pair of pigeons(unlike some news channels which claimed that there were eggs of pigeons who heard the story?) who overheard this story and hence they also became”amar”. One more thing which I would like to share with you is that there has been occasions in the past when shiva linga was not formed(last year also same thing happened and again due to lack of local Kashmir history regarding this yatra the present governor Mr. Sinha had ordered an artificial linga which created controversy.Mr sinha is an able man & has done a lot for development of SASB-Sri amaranth shrine board ).One can go back through pehalgam or through a shorter route from baltal, which was earlier 14kms and now this distance is reduced to 12kms.From baltal one can go to srinagar.One should carry woolens for this yatra as the weather is really unpredictable. have a great journey……….