Mountains are christened the land of gods, Dev Bhumi. Kailash Parvat in Tibet is mentioned as the most sacred place in the Hindu relics and scriptures. Kailash is revered as the holy centre of the earth, the seat of spiritual power, the manifestation of heaven itself or the abode of Shiva, Mahadev (the Great God) by Hindus.
Apart from the ultimate pilgrimage of Kailash Parvat, there are 4 other Kailash yatra that get a mention in Hindu mythology – Adi Kailash, Kinner Kailash, Shrikhand Kailash and Manimahesh Chamba Kailash.
Standing tall amidst the magnificent Himalayas, at 5155 metres, is a Shivalinga atop Shrikhand Peak. Despite snow falling round the year, the Shivalinga is never blanketed by snow.
Legend has it that a demon called Bhasmasur pleased Lord Shiva through hard penance and asked for the power to turn everything to ashes. Lord granted him basma kangan, a touch of which turned anything into ashes. Bhasmasura thereupon attempted to touch the head of Shiva. Shiva fled to a mountain top (Shrikhand Peak) and asked Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu transformed himself into Mohini to enchant and trick the demon to touch his own head and burn himself.
Pilgrimage to Shrikhand Mahadev
Pilgrimage to Shrikhand Mahadev is an intense spiritual experience. The 28-35 km Shrikhand yatra commences at Nirmand (Kullu) and Rampur (Shimla). It takes at 4-5 days to complete the pilgrimage. For safety reasons, devotees need to register with police before and after the yatra.
The journey to Shrikhand Mahadev passes through high mountains, deep valleys and along the trail lie spots of great religious significance, including Parvati Bagh, Bheem Taal and Nain Sarovar. The region is a part of The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), and the pristine valleys leading up to the Shrikhand peak are well-preserved.
Shrikhand yatra is regarded as the toughest pilgrimage in India. Pilgrims undergo an enlightening transformation during the spiritual journey, something that can only be felt and is indescribable. Moreover, sojourn to the abode of the Supreme Being helps you to peek into your own self. When you return, sure you will have a little bit of Shiva in your heart and mind.
मनो बुद्ध्यहंकारचित्तानि नाहम् न च श्रोत्र जिह्वे न च घ्राण नेत्रे
न च व्योम भूमिर् न तेजॊ न वायु: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् ॥
I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor the reflections of inner self. I am not the five senses. I am beyond that. I am not the ether, nor the earth, nor the fire, nor the wind (i.e. the five elements). I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.
May Lord Shiva shower his blessings on you. Om Namah Shivay!