Churdhar in Sirmaur is regarded as the abode of Shiva (Mahadev or Great God) in the Shivalik Himalaya.
Shiva creates souls and world through emanation from himself, ultimately reabsorbing them in his oceanic being, as water flows into water, fire into fire, ether into ether. – Saiva Siddhanta
Churdhar or Choodi Chandni (translates to Bangle of Snow) is the highest peak on the Shivalik Himalaya of the Great Himalayan range, with an altitude of 11965 feet (3,646 mts) above sea level. Atop the Churdhar summit lies the lingam of Chureshwar Mahadev, one of the manifestations of Lord Shiva.
Legend has it that Lord Krishna had placed the decapitated head of the great warrior Barbareek atop this peak so that he could watch the battle of Mahabarata at Kurukshetra, as a part of boon granted to him.
Ironically, Churdhar happens to be the highest peak climbed by Sir George Everest, The Surveyor-General of India and in who’s honour Mount Everest is named.
A foreign explorer who climbed the peak in 1842 hailed it ‘one of world’s noblest mountains’. Lt. George Francies White, writer of Views in India, Chiefly Among Himalayan Mountains, who climbed the peak in early 19th century, describes Churdhar ‘is the most lofty eminence belonging to the secondary Himalaya, running south of the great snowy range, from whatever point it may be seen it forms a grand and prominent object, towering majestically amidst host of satellites.’
Legend has it that Churdhar was the nearest point from Delhi where snow could be found even till early summer. The Mughal Emperors used to organise horsemen to pick up snow from Churdhar and ride to the Red Fort in Delhi so that the emperor could have a chilled drink.
The way to the summit winds up through the Churdhar sanctuary, which has some of the most enchanting landscapes, flora and fauna.The trail to the peak is well laid out and marked with most of it falling within treeline and with ample sources of water en route. The scenery around turns out to be a paradise for nature seekers, specially during monsoon when the greenery is at its highest.
Churdhar gives an excellent panoramic 360-degree view of the Great Indian Plains, Shivalik ranges, cities and snow covered Pir Panjal and Kinnaur ranges. On a clear day one can also view the peaks of Uttarakhand.
Photo: Karun Pandey
Take a trip to the place of the blessed. The peak is inaccessible during winters and so there is time for yogi Shiva, the Yogeshwara to meditate.
May lord Shiva always bestow you with his blessings and be with you.
Om Namah Shivay!
HOW TO GET HERE: The trek can be attempted from two base camps. One from Chopal in Shimla and Nohradhar in Simaur. Since the trek is comparatively easier from Nohradhar, one can take take a bus from Solan to Nohradhar via Rajgarh.