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A Journey Towards Moksha...Char Dham..The Most Worshipped Dham...Kedarnath

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The Land Of  Myths And Legends... Uttarakhand..Abode Of Gods...

 
Wherever you are is home
And the earth is paradise
Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
You don't live off it like a parasite.
You live in it, and it in you,
Or you don't survive.
And that is the only worship of God there is.


Part VII..Towards Kedarnath...Gaurikund To Kedarnath



We all set up to go to Kedarnath very early in the morning..Started at 6.30 a.m. towards Gaurikund.First we went to Sonprayag, 5 kms away. The effects of the change in altitude can be felt. The cold and the soberness of nature warned the entrant of divine territory. As if on cue, the road got steeper and rougher, requiring constant maintenance because of the regular upheavals of nature. This is the last place before Gaurikund where pilgrims can find board and lodging. The road passed through extremely dense forests with the occasional stream flowing over the road itself. The curves were tighter. There was a marked change in the temperament of the drivers as they concentrated on the road. In the silence was heard only the sound of nearby waterfalls. Passing vehicles carrying pilgrims on their way down boasted exhausted and happy faces.  At last the vehicles reached Gaurikund - a small clearing in the mountains with a parking place..


                                               Mile stone



                     Bright  morning sun on the way to Son prayag 


We reached at Gaurikund in an hour.I was keenly aware of the howling winds, the strong drizzle and the biting cold.During my subsequent visit in October of the same year I saw it as a warm and endearing place! Open for pilgrims for 6 months in a year, there are several lodging houses. GMVN has a good guesthouse closer to where the trek route to Kedarnath begins. The river Mandakini flows past and its roar is almost frightening initially, though on the return journey it sounds soothing.


                            Confluence Of SonGanga And Mandakini At SonPrayag


                            Confluence Of SonGanga And Mandakini At SonPrayag


One can buy provisions for the trek as well as woollens, film, dry-fruits and Puja samagri. There is a hot water spring called Taptakund where one can deservedly soak one's feet after returning from Kedarnath. The water is drained out each night and thoroughly cleaned for the next day's crowd. There is a beautiful temple of Gauri where the evening arati is performed with great devotion. 


                        Gaurikund stop-starting point of Kedarnath trek



                        Gaurikund stop-starting point of Kedarnath trek


Having taken bath at gaurikund we started for Kedarnath from Gaurikund and having heard exaggerated tales about the legendary trek, considering that we had to return the same day we engaged dolis/palkis for this leg of the journey. However, in my opinion the trek to Yamunotri is far more difficult as the gradient is not only very steep but is also very narrow as compared to that of Kedarnath. Although the road is lengthy (14 Kms.)and almost double the distance from Yamunotri trek (7 Kms.) but the climb is much gradual and roads much more wider and properly laid out. Having passed the congested bazzar of Gaurikund one reaches the open stretch wherefrom all the ponies and other means of transport converge & start.



                                           Gaurikund


              The narrow Road Passes from Bazar Of Gaurikund



After several cups of tea in the chilly atmosphere we arranged for a young cheerful porter to carry our belongings, and started off at the late hour of 8.30 am. The path to Kedar is well paved, quite wide and mostly of low gradient. With great expectations in our hearts, the bright sunshine was a morale booster for my parents. I trudged along slowly with pilgrims from every corner of our diverse country who were loudly cheering, "Har Har Mahadev", "Jai Kedar", and "Bhole Baba Paar Karega". I was enjoying the crisp morning air, aware of the comforting regular familiar thumping of my heart in my chest and the tingling of sweat drying on my face. The atmosphere was charged with chanting, creating bonhomie and camaraderie. At bottlenecks along the path, the ponies made it rough for those on foot. 


                    Gaurikund stop . Begining of 14 KM trekking



                                         Kedarnath  trail


Gaurikund to Rambada, midway to our destination, is an elevation of 2,000 m and a distance of 2 kms along amply tree-covered paths.The porters who carry pilgrims are mostly Nepalis and migrate to Kedarnath in late March early April and stay in batches at Gaurikund. The rooms are provided by the local hotel walahs who do not charge anything forlodging, but these porters have to compulsorily pay fordaily fooding for night at pre-determined rates. Therefore, these porters seek out the daily day fooding expenses from the pilgrims apart from their fee. The porters having got past Gaurikund usually head towards Rambara which is midway at around 7 Kms. from Gaurikund where they take a break for having breakfast..


                                 Foliage at the high altitude of kedar



                                           Midway path along the Kedar trek



        Beauty along the trek..Raging Mandakini Along The Path


From Rambada, at 2600 m, the gradient becomes steeper. The Mandakini remains a constant companion as it carves gorges on its way, well below the trekking path. There are plenty of tea stalls serving tea/coffee, parantha-subji, aloo-puris, pakoras and Maggi noodles. Bottled mineral water, cold drinks and chocolates are available everywhere. Thereare covered benches, and toilets in sheds at intervals. Closer to Kedarnath, electric lights illuminate the path. Having passed Rambara the sun started making its appearance just behind the lofty mountain peaks and with some clouds drifting around, the natures paintbrush was at its best -


                                            Mountains enroute Kedar



                Grazing at the height of 10,000 ft--Kedar

  
Enjoying the play of light & clouds, I did not notice that we had climbed almost to the vicinity of Kedarnath.Awestruck by the scenic beauty all around and totally engrossed in imbibing the ambviance I did not realise that we had reached the footsteps of Kedarnath and temple of Garud appeared at Garud Chatti.

                                             The Beauty On The Trail


                              Distant view Of Garud Chatti Along The Trail


At Garud Chatti, the top of the distant Kedarnath temple is visible and hence the place is also called "Deo-Dekhani"! From here onwards there are no more trees. Ice sheets can be seen in the crags. I see a solitary shepherd's hut on the opposite mountain and wonder how lonely it must be. Soon, the path flattens, and the last couple of kms are on a concrete road. The last point for ponies is prior to the bridge across the Mandakini. There are shelters here for them and accommodation for the porters.

                                            Garud Chatti


                                                   View From Garud Chatti


The scenic beauty was phenomenon and experience was unforgettable. Before my yatra I have seen clouds in the sky, far away which can only be seen and never touched. I was witnessing cloud just 6ft overhead, surrounding the place and protecting the yatris with their umbrella formation. Never in my life, could I have imagined about experiences of these kinds. The snow capped  peeks were getting nearer and nearer and the beauties of that place was unmatched and divine.

                                             The Snow Clad Mountains


                                                 The Foliage Along The Path

Every imagination which leads a person to have a view of heaven cannot be compared with that place. Before going there I didn’t knew a place can be as beautiful as that. I wish dictionary had few words by which I could have expressed my feeling which I got when I saw the glowing snow cap Kedarnath peaks between little gaps among the clouds 6ft over my head..

                                                      View Of Kedar And Kedar Dome Range



                                  Beauty Of Kedarnath Landscape


I was speechless and tears rolled down my cheeks, perhaps I didn’t have any words of admiration and thankfulness for the almighty. I was so desperate to reach the destination and hated the pony ride but the views I was witnessing made me hope that the ride never ends. Sometimes journey is more enjoyable than destination.


                                                An Idol Of Kaal Bhairav Before Entering Kedarnath Town

                         Closer Look At Kedar And Kedar Dome Range



On the concrete path just before the bridge I experienced a sense of great joy as I saw the temple Dhwaja and heard the peals of the numerous bells.Approaching the bridge, on the left was a turbine powered by a small stream. The small hydel power plant lent abundant kinetic energy for electrification of the area, except when the streams are frozen over. Across the bridge on the left, the mountain slopes were verdant and dainty trails criss-cross the mountainside. On the right of the bridge a path on a severe mountain slope lead to the temple of Bhairavnath..


                                    1 km Before Kedarnath



              Stop For Ponies Before Entering Kedarnath Town



The small village of Kedarnath is situated at the far side of a soup bowl shaped clearing with the temple literally at the foot of the Kedarnath mountain. The temple stands etched against the splendid backdrop of the ice-capped mountains. The icy winds had left me chilled to the bone. It had taken more than 6  hours to reach Kedar. Exhausted, we retired to the Maharashtra Mandal emerging from there only for the evening arati.We  went towards the temple after having a refreshing tea at Maharashtra Mandal A little walk in the narrow lanes led us to the beautiful mind-blowing, ancient, historical, masterpiece architectural temple of Kedarnath constructed by the Pandavas. We saw a huge queue of people waiting for darshana.

                                           Kedarnath Town...


                        Lord Kedarnath...12th Jyotirling

The temple of Kedarnath stands on a large raised platform, rectangular in shape, with tall snow clad mountains guarding Kedarnath from three sides. There are two flights of stairs. The one in front has a rectangular archway with bells of various sizes and shapes. When they are rung in unison during the arati, the sound of the bells and the blowing conches are echoed by the surrounding mountains creating a rare moment of devotional ardour. The numerous halogen lamps light up the premises in the evening, giving it an ethereal look. I was deeply aware of the sense of serenity and wonder when I left the temple after the evening arati... 


                                              Lord Kedarnath


                                Kedarnath In The Evening

After having the darshan and evening aarti we  returned to Maharashtra Mandal to have our dinner.A hot and tasty Khichadi ,Aloo mutter,Arhar Dal,Papad,Pickle...dinner was awaiting for us..We had this tasty food and returned to bed dreaming of tomorrow morning's Puja and darshan again ..Just feeling heavenly..
                                    
                                             ||ॐ नमः शिवाय||


                                    ॥ अथ श्री शिवमहिम्नस्तोत्रम्‌॥


                       जन्मानो   लोकाः किमवयववन्तोऽपि जगतां
                          अधिष्ठातारं किं भवविधिरनादृत्य भवति।
                         अनीशो वा कुर्याद्‌ भुवनजनने कः परिकरो
                     यतो मन्दास्त्वां प्रत्यमरवर संशेरत इमे॥ ६॥

O, Best Of The Gods, are the seven Lokas (It is believed that there are seven worlds in this Universe,  namely, Bhooloka, Bhuvarloka, Svargaloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapaloka, and Satyaloka) unborn ? Was the birth of the Universe independent of its Lord (ie, You) ? If it was so, then what were the means by which it was created that the stupid critics are creating doubts about you? (ie, you are the only creater of the whole Universe). ||6||


                       त्रयी  साङ्ख्यं योगः पशुपतिमतं वैष्णवमिति
                    प्रभिन्ने प्रस्थाने परमिदमदः पथ्यमिति च।
                   रुचीनां वैचित्र्यादृजुकुटिल नानापथजुषां
                 नृणामेको गम्यस्त्वमसि पयसामर्णव इव॥ ७॥

The different practices based on the three Vedas, SaMkhya, Yoga, Pashupata-mata, VaishhNava-mata etc . are but different paths (to reach to the Greatest Truth) and people on account of their different aptitude choose from them whatever they think best and deserved to be accepted . But as the sea is the final resting place for all types of streams , You are the only reaching place  for all people whichever path,straight or zigzag, they may accept .||7||

                         महोक्षः  खट्वाङ्गं परशुरजिनं भस्म फणिनः
                         कपालं चेतीयत्तव वरद तन्त्रोपकरणम्‌।
                       सुरास्तां तामृद्धिं दधति तु भवद्भूप्रणिहितां
                     न हि स्वात्मारामं विषयमृगतृष्णा भ्रमयति॥ ८॥

O, Giver of the Boons, the bull, the parts of a cot, chisel, the elephant-skin, Ashes, the serpent, the skull : these are the articles of your house-hold . And yet gods get all their riches merely by the movement of your eye-brows . Really, false desires for worldly things do  not deceive (mislead) one who is always is absorbed in  his soul ( ie, the Yogi- in fact You ).||8||


                      ध्रुवं कश्चित्‌ सर्वं सकलमपरस्त्वध्रुवमिदं
                  परो ध्रौव्याऽध्रौव्ये जगति गदति व्यस्तविषये।
                 समस्तेऽप्येतस्मिन्‌ पुरमथन तैर्विस्मित इव
                स्तुवन्‌ जिह्रेमि त्वां न खलु ननु धृष्टा मुखरता॥ ९॥

O, Destroyer Of  ( Three ) Cities, some persons call this Universe eternal ( ever lasting), others call it temporary, and yet others call it both eternal and temporary . Hence, being surprised ( perplexed ) by  these contradictory opinions on this subject, I am really becoming immodest in loquaciously praising You.||9||                            


                          तवैश्वर्यं  यत्नाद्‌ यदुपरि विरिञ्चिर्हरिरधः
                     परिच्छेतुं यातावनलमनलस्कन्धवपुषः।
                   ततो भक्तिश्रद्धा-भरगुरु-गृणद्भ्यां गिरिश यत्‌
                       स्वयं तस्थे ताभ्यां तव किमनुवृत्तिर्न फलति॥ १०॥

Brahma and VishNu wanted to measure your wealth i.e.greatness . You took the form of Fire and your whole body was a column of fire extending over space . While Brahma took the form of a swan and flew high to see the top(head), VishNu took the form of a boar and dug up downwards to see the bottom (feet).Neither could succeed.(While VishNu confessed the truth, Brahma falsely claimed that he had found the top and persuaded the Ketaki flower to bear false witness.Shiva punished Brahma by removing one of his 5 heads and ordered that henceforth the Ketaki flower should not be used for his worship).When ultimately both praised you with full devotion and faith, you stood before them revealing your normal form . O, mountain-dweller, does not toeing your line always bear fruit? ||10||

                                                     ||शुभं भवतु ||

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A Journey Towards Moksha...Char Dham..The Most Worshipped Dham...Kedarnath

Published by amitap under , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1:31 AM
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The Land Of  Myths And Legends... Uttarakhand..Abode Of Gods...


Part VI..Towards Kedarnath..Till Rampur..Via Gupt Kashi..


You can't force simplicity; but you can invite it in by finding as
much richness as possible in the few things at hand.  Simplicity
doesn't mean meagerness but rather a certain kind of richness,
the fullness that appears when we stop stuffing the world with things.


After a stay of a day in Uttarkashi we started our journey towards the third and the divine dham...Abode Of Lord Shiva..Kedarnath..One has to start from Uttarkashi early in the morning to reach at the base point of Kedarnath early in the evening as the road is beyond difficult to travel..It now traverses along the Tehari dam..and the new Tehari village..and quite a long journey until we reach Srinagar...So we started early in the morning at 6 a.m. from Uttarkashi..Saying good bye to Holy Gangotri..we started off.. 


                                              Morning Sun Rays


Early in the morning we started for Kedarnath and choose the Lambgaon route which is shorter. Having started early in the morning and the tract being scantily used, the route was not only picturesque but we also encountered jungle pheasant foraging for food & water just next to the road. Further, as we continued our descent through the hills having passed Lambgaon, before reaching Ghansali we crossed the newly constructed bridge across Tehri dam reservoir 

                                                  
Beautiful spruce trees all over this part of the country. Just awesome landscape!



The very mention of Tehri dam brings one person in my mind, Sundar Lal Bahuguna. His satyagrahas, hunger strikes and the struggles for more than two decades went in vain when the Government succeeded in building massive dam at Tehri across Bhagirathi River.Our journey from from UttarKashi to Srinagar passed along the Tehri dam backwaters for more than 3 hours.
                                  
On our way from Gangotri we passed through Tehri, one of the biggest Dams ever built in India



We were getting passed beauty and at some places we were into the clouds and could see nothing in the front except white cool smoke. We were passing beautiful villages and eye soothing greenery of the hills. Suddenly I saw a stagnant massively wide river. I asked Amit about it. He said the river was Ganga and it was stagnant because of Tehri dam which was a few kilometers then.

                                         
Mid portion of the lake. Land is being cleared to build a 5 star hotel on the lake



The Tehri dam is located in the Central Himalayan Seismic Gap, a major geologic fault zone. This region was the site of a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in October 1991, with an epicenter 500 km from the location of the dam. Dam proponents claim that the complex is designed to withstand an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude, but some seismologists say that earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.5 or more could occur in this region. Were such a catastrophe to occur, the potentially resulting dam-break would submerge numerous towns downstream, whose populations total near half a million.Since 2005, filling of the reservoir has led to a reduced flow of Bhagirathi water from the normal 1000 ft³/s to a mere 2 ft³/s. This reduction has been central to local protest against the dam, since the Bhagirathi is considered part of the sacred Ganges whose waters are crucial to Hindu mythology.

                                                 
                                               Tehari Dam



Tehri Dam is the primary dam of the Tehri Development Project, a major hydroelectric project centered near Tehri Town in the state of Uttaranchal in India. Located on the Bhagirathi River, the principal tributary of the sacred River Ganges, the Tehri Dam has a height of 855 feet (261 m), making it the 5th tallest dam in the world. The dam's intended capabilities include a power generation capacity of 2400 MW, provision of irrigation to an area of 270,000 hectares, irrigation stabilization to an area of 600,000 hectares, and a supply of 270 million gallons of drinking water per day to the industrialized areas of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. There is another smaller dam 14 km downstream at Koteshwar that will produce 400 MW of electricity, and is still considered part of the TDP hydroelectric plan.

                                                
Shot of the bridge from far. Was scared to learn that our car is going to pass through it



The relocation of more than 100,000 people from the area has led to protracted legal battles over resettlement rights, and ultimately resulted in the project's delayed completion.This reduction has been central to local protest against the dam, since the Bhagirathi is considered part of the sacred Ganges whose waters are crucial to Hindu mythology. At some points during the year, the tampering of Bhagirathi waters means this tributary stops flowing.

                                                                
Learned that it was a one lane bridge over the lake. Surprised to notice that no one was controlling the traffic on either end.



We finally reached the Great Tehri dam. And believe me I really felt proud to see the dam.. The beautiful massive engineering wonder was just in front of my eyes, and in dazzling lights Tehri town and her crown the dam was looking like a princess.I salute those behind the dam and thousands of technical personals who are associated with it. India needs to have more structures like these, which will contribute towards her growth and prosperity. Off course while planning these projects, nature must be taken care of.

                                                               
               Heard that Tehri city was relocated up over on top to build this Dam




After reaching Ghansali, which is a very congested bazar and important transit point of the area and having overcome a short traffic jam due to visit by local MLA, we again proceeded onwards for journey to Gaurikund.We had some refreshments in pipaldali in a good hotel..near Tehari..and proceeded further. After negotiating some really tortorously bending roads we proceeded upto Tilwara, whereafter the road became somewhat even and straighted out.

                                                             
                                Pipaldali...Tehari..



We finally reached the beautiful town of Srinagar. The place is situated on the banks of river Alaknanda. I found the place to be a modern town with school, colleges, hotels, nice looking markets and health care centre. It was quite hot there and there was no need for any kind of clothing we got used to in previous three days then. We had our breakfast in Srinagar and I bought few packets of cigarettes for the coming days. I didn’t want to pay more for cigarettes in the hills above. When I got back into the van I found out from Amit that we were towards Rudraprayag which was 34kms from Srinagar. The drive as usual was full of beautiful locations and we finally reached Rudraprayag. Rudraprayag is a very important town in Hindu mythology, situated at the confluence of River Mandakani and River Alaknanda

                                              
                                  Srinagar - Uttarakhand


Nestled in the foothills of majestic Himalayas and on the banks of Alaknanda River sits the historic town of Srinagar. Srinagar received its name from Sri Yantra, a mythical giant rock so evil that whoever set their eyes on it would immediately die. The rock was believed to have taken as many as thousand lives before Adi Shankaracharya, in the 8th century AD, as a part of an undertaking aimed to rejuvenate the Hindu religion across India, visited Srinagar and turned the Sri Yantra upside down and hurled it into the nearby river Alaknanda. To this day, this rock is belived to be lying docile in the underbelly of the river. That area is now known as Sri Yantra Tapu.

                                           
                                        Srinagar - Uttarakhand


We had our lunch in Srinagar..And proceeded towards Rudraprayag which was 34kms from Srinagar. The drive as usual was full of beautiful locations and we finally reached Rudraprayag. Rudraprayag is a very important town in Hindu mythology, situated at the confluence of River Mandakani and River Alaknanda. Amit stopped, and we all went forward to see the place of confluence. The site was beautiful but I was wondering what the river meant in our religion.


                         Road From Srinagar To Rudraprayag

                                          
                                             Rudraprayag


I came back towards the van and asked Amit about it. I was already impressed by Amit’s knowledge about these locations and was sure of an answer. As I knew, he had the answer and told three major rivers form river Ganga, River Bhagirathi having source in Gaumukh, River Mandakini having source from Kedarnath and river Alaknanda coming from Badrinath. He also told me about the ancient temple of Rudranath in Rudraprayag.

                                        
            Confluence Of Alaknanda and Mandakini..Rudraprayag



We rolled towards Tilwara.  Through a tunnel we hit the road along the bank of river Mandakini. The road appeared to be a slide hit road with huge chunks of rock lying on one side of the road. It was looking very awful and the road seemed weak to hold on to the amount of vehicles passing on it. Little ahead I saw JCBs were operating, which confirmed what appeared to me. It did not took us long to get passed that road and move towards Tilwara.

                                           
                                                Rudraprayag

                                        
                            Road To Tilwada From Rudraprayag



We got passed the beautiful town of Tilwara and after 10km drive we were to reach a place called Agastya muni.It’s believed that Rishi Agastya meditated and stayed there for a long time..And after his name the place is named ‘Agastyamuni’. He is also worshiped in a local temple of Agastya ,a very pious and powerful saint called Rishi Agastya or better known as Agastyamuni..Who made King Vindhyachal  to bow him and remain in its bowing position till he comes back..As King Vindhyachal made himself bigger causing an obstacle for sun rays and the whole mankind was in distress due to lack of sun rays..By the greatness and purity Agastya muni caused Vrindhyachal to get shorter in the sake of mankind..


                                       
                                       Road To Agastya Muni


                                     
                        Agastya Muni On The Banks Of Mandakini



                                Cultivation Near Agastya Muni



We were by passing beautiful villages and small towns of the hills. We crossed a place called Kund and reached Guptakashi.The legendary town of Guptakashi at an altitude of 1479m above sea level. Sonu told after lord Shiva vanished from Kashi (Varanashi, UP) he lived in Guptakashi for a while. There are two ancient temples in there, one is of Sri Chandra Shekhar Mahadev and another one is of Ardhanarishwara. “Secret Kashi, that’s what Guptakashi means”, I thought but the obvious question was why did lord Shiva fled from Kashi.


                              
                                              Town Of Guptakashi


In Guptakashi we all went in for the dharsana in Viswanath temple. Stairs from side of the road took me to the beautiful temple of Viswanath. It is an ancient temple and inside there is a kund (tank), where there are two bull head structure made up of probably brass. From one bull head mouth the water from the Yamuna flows into the kund and from the other one just adjacent to it, flows the water from river Ganga.

                                            
                             Vishwanath Temple @ Gupta kashi..


After the visit . We moved towards Gaurikund, a place 1982m above sea level.We went passed a town named Nala.At there goddess Durga is worshiped in the form of Lalita Devi.All these places are somewhat related to the Epic..Mahabharata..After Pandavas won the war in Kurukshetra defeating Kauravas and successfully ruling there, they decided to repent for their sins committed during the war. They all set out on a yatra to Varanasi in order to be blessed by lord Shiva and be absolved from the sins of killing their own brothers, Guru and killing holly cow. Lord Shiva, unwilling to give them any dharsana fled to Guptakashi in Uttarakhand..

                                               
                                Vishwanath Temple @ Gupta kashi..


On getting detected by the Pandavas who were looking for him all over, Shiva went to Kedarnath. Pandavas followed him and went to Kedarnath. Shiva didn’t wanted to give dharsana to the Pandavas and assumed the form of a bull and started grazing among the cattle, but even then couldn’t escape the detection by the Pandavas. At dusk, when it was time for the cattle to get back home, Bhima, the gigantic stature and of great courage and strength, stretched his legs across the mountains, which stands on either sides of Kedarnath valley, in order to identify Shiva. All the cattle passed under his legs except Shiva, whom Bhima noticed. As Bhima bent down to catch hold of him, Shiva sank into the earth and only his back portion, the hump, could be grabbed by Bhima. Shiva being pleased with the determination of the Pandavas, exonerated them from their sins and gave them dharsana and asked them to worship his hump..The temple of Kedarnath was constructed by the Pandavas..In fact all the temples of panch kedar are also constructed by Pandavas..

                                                  
                          Landscape enroute Guptakasi -Kedarnath



The effects of the change in altitude could be felt. The cold and the soberness of nature warned the entrant of divine territory. As if on cue, the road got steeper and rougher, requiring constant maintenance because of the regular upheavals of nature.The road passed through extremely dense forests with the occasional stream flowing over the road itself. The curves were tighter. There was a marked change in the temperament of the drivers as they concentrated on the road. In the silence was heard only the sound of nearby waterfalls, apart from the occasional screeching of the hot brake shoes and the groans of the heavier vehicles.

                                                   
                       Morning mist enroute Rampur to Kedarnath



We reached a place called Ramapur which was few kilometers from Gaurikund..Heera sing Rawat was waiting for us ...Heera sing is having a beautiful and cozy homely small but sweet hotel..He is rendering services to the tourists from last 25 years.It was 8.30 in the evening and all of us were tired..Had a hot and refreshing tea..After getting freshen up all of us headed towards our dinner...oh!what a tasty menu it was...hot fulkas,Tasty Aloo Gobi,Pickles,Dal Khichadi,and Curd..It was very tongue tasty and we were very satisfied by the menu..We were supposed to start early in the morning for Kedarnath so we all got into our rooms and started arranging the stuffs to be taken for Kedarnath..tomorrow we were supposed to halt at Kedarnath itself ..All the nights in the tour, rivers played the melody to help me sleep and In Gaurikund, river Mandakini was doing the same task for me. I set a morning alarm at 4 o’clock


                                                    
                           Mountains enroute Kedar


                                                  
             Mountain goats relaxing Enroute  Kedarnath

                            ॥ ॐ नमः शिवाय॥
             अथ श्री शिवमहिम्नस्तोत्रम्‌॥

महिम्नः पारं ते परमविदुषो यद्यसदृशी
स्तुतिर्ब्रह्मादीनामपि तदवसन्नास्त्वयि गिरः ।
अथाऽवाच्यः सर्वः स्वमतिपरिणामावधि गृणन्‌
ममाप्येष स्तोत्रे हर निरपवादः परिकरः॥ १॥
O, Lord Shiva, remover of all types of miseries, what wonder is there, if the prayer to you, chanted by one who is ignorant about your greatness, is worthless! Because, even the utterance ( speech ) of Brahmaa and other gods is not able to fathom your merits ( ie, greatness ). Hence, if persons with very limited intellect ( and I am one of them ) try to offer you a prayer, their attempt deserve your special favour . If it is so, I should not be a exception . Hence, (thinking like this ) I begin this prayer . (1)

अतीतः पंथानं तव च महिमा वाङ्मनसयोः
अतद्व्यावृत्त्या यं चकितमभिधत्ते श्रुतिरपि।
स कस्य स्तोतव्यः कतिविधगुणः कस्य विषयः
पदे त्वर्वाचीने पतति न मनः कस्य न वचः॥ २॥ 

 O, Great God, so great is your majesty that it cannot be reached by speech and mind . Even the Vedas also, having become surprised, confirm your greatness by only saying `Neti', `Neti' (not this, not this) while describing you . Who can praise this type of greatness of yours? With how many qualities is it composed? Whose subject of description can it be ? And yet even then whose mind and speech are not attached to your this new Saguna form(2)                             

मधुस्फीता वाचः परमममृतं निर्मितवतः
तव ब्रह्मन्‌ किं वागपि सुरगुरोर्विस्मयपदम्‌।
मम त्वेतां वाणीं गुणकथनपुण्येन भवतः
पुनामीत्यर्थेऽस्मिन्‌ पुरमथन बुद्धिर्व्यवसिता॥ ३॥ 
O, Paramaatmaa (Greatest Soul), as you are the very creator of speech of the Vedas, which is like highest type of nectar and as sweet as honey, how can even the speech of Brahaspati (Guru, or spiritual guide of gods) surprise you ? (ie, the speech of even Brahaspati is worthless before you). O, Destroyer of Three Cities of the demons, thinking that my speech may become purified by this act, my intellect (Buddhi) has become prepared to sing your greatness .(3)

तवैश्वर्यं यत्तज्जगदुदयरक्षाप्रलयकृत्‌
त्रयीवस्तु व्यस्तं तिस्रुषु गुणभिन्नासु तनुषु।
अभव्यानामस्मिन्‌ वरद रमणीयामरमणीं
विहन्तुं व्याक्रोशीं विदधत इहैके जडधियः॥ ४॥

O, Giver of Boons, your greatness is the cause of creation, maintenance, and destruction of the whole universe; this is supported by three Vedas (ie, Rigveda, Yajurveda, and Saamaveda); it is distributed in the three qualities (ie, Satva, Rajas and Tamas) and three bodies (of Brahmaa, VishhNu and Mahesha). Such is your greatness but certain stupid persons in this world are trying to destroy it by slander, which may be delightful to them but is really undelightful .(4)  

 किमीहः किंकायः स खलु किमुपायस्त्रिभुवनं
किमाधारो धाता सृजति किमुपादान इति च।
अतर्क्यैश्वर्ये त्वय्यनवसर दुःस्थो हतधियः
कुतर्कोऽयं कांश्चित्‌ मुखरयति मोहाय जगतः॥ ५॥
If the Paramaatmaa (the Greatest Soul) creates the three worlds (ie, thewhole Universe), what is his gesture ? What is his body ? What is his plan? What is his basis (support)? What are his means (instruments,resources) ? These are the useless questions raised by some stupid critics, in order to mislead people, against one (i.e., you) who always remains incompatible to senses .(5)


http://www.ms.uky.edu/~sohum/sanskrit/mahimna/mahimna.htm 


Continued...





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