Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Mysterious Himachal

Land of God & Faith

Srikhand Mahadev – The abode of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva in the Snowy Himalayas

On the great heights of Himalayas is the natural shivalingam known as Srikhand Mahadev, considered an abode of Hindu God Shiva. The Shrikhand Mahadev Peak is located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh and is one of the revered pilgrimage sites.

Srikand Mahadev
Srikhand Mahadev

Kullu is also home to several other ancient temples and holy sites making the district a Hindu yatra place visited by thousands of devotees throughout the year. The popular direction that tourists and pilgrims follow is from Shimla to Rampur and then to the Jao village. The trekking up Shrikhand Mahadev Peak starts from the Jao Village.

About Srikhand Mahadev Yatra

The rock-made shivalingam is around 70 feet in height and situated at an elevation of 19,000 feet above sea level. The yatra is steep and there is low oxygen on the top. This pilgrimage tour is also popular as Srikhand Kailash Yatra in Himachal Pradesh. The dates for the yatra or pilgrimage are only between July and August and lasts for 15-20 days in a year. Guru Poornima is the eve when the yatra starts. The road to the peak remains closed after this period. Heavy snowfall and storms begin by the month of October.

Srikhand Mahadev Yatra
Srikhand Mahadev Yatra

Travelers need to carry sufficient dry food and glucose with them. It is also necessary for them to get a health check up done before they actually go on the yatra. There is hardly any medical aid center on the way and only Shrikhand Mahadev Seva Dal serves free meals to the pilgrims.

Legend behind Srikhand Mahadev Yatra

According to Hindu mythology, Bhasamasur did a hard penance and meditated for several years before the Mahadev or Lord Shiva became pleased with him. When Bhasamasur tried to use the bhasama kangan (the invisible powder) on Lord Shiva due to his pride and ego, Mahadev vanished into a cave and later appeared on a hill top that is presently known as the Srikhand Mahadev Peak presently and the cave into which he had vanished is known as Devdank and is situated near Nirmand.

Places around Srikhand Mahadev Peak

There are several places of religious and cultural importance to stop over before you finally reach the peak.

Devdank – The gufa or holy cave near Nirmand where Lord Shiva disappeared after Bhasamasur chased him with the bhasma kangan.

Srikhand Mahadev Peak

Thachru – Singhad is around 11 km from Jao Village (the yatra starts from here) and is well known for a temple dedicated to the Van Devata or the Jungle God. There is also a resting place for the pilgrims at Thachru established by the Vikas Khand Nirmand. Legend also reveals that the Pandavas had undertaken the yatra.
Nain Sarovar – A natural reservoir that offers spectacular views during winter. The source of water here is believed to be the tears of Goddess Parvati. People take a holy dip and carry the sacred water with them.

Bhim Shila – Large sized boulders lie between the Srikhand Mahadev Peak and Nain Sarovar Lake. According to local folklores, Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers was building a staircase that led to heaven.