Continued from part two of the article Next day waking up at Bheem dwari seems a much difficult task if one can manage to keep the body warm during the night but it is an early call so as to proceed. One has to reach the same point by evening after reaching the peak before day light vanishes. Else one can choose to stay at tents pitched by locals at Parwati Baug which is about 2 hours from Bheem Dwari. Staying at Bheem Dwari while returning is suggested as you can lighten your rucksack and leave the heavier things here. The trek ahead is demanding and does not allow to carry much weight. Only necessary things like umbrella, stick, wind-cheater, water bottles, small bag, glucose, pain killers, some eatables etc. must be carried along.
As the journey begins in the morning everything seems frozen but as day progresses sweat starts playing its role. Just ahead of Bheem Dwari there is a glacier to be crossed. It should be there if global warming hasn’t played it’s role this year! After crossing the glacier a small rivulet has to be crossed. In evening time the flow and water level rises up in this rivulet making it difficult to cross. After this a steep climb starts taking you through medicinal grass and plants. In day time due to vaporisation of these herbs one may feel uncomfortable due to inhalation of this vaporisation, so it is advisable to cross it early in the morning.
Meanwhile one can witness extraordinary beauty of two Parwati Jharana. The conscious does not allow to pronounce the water as ‘’water’’ flowing through these two jharanas as it seems like milk flowing in the form of water. This steep climb may be slippery which makes it more difficult to climb. The climb ends at Parwati Bagh. One can take rest and have tea if available at tents pitched by locals. This is the point if fog allows you can have a sight of Srikhand Mahadev Peak. After this point the vegetation starts ending and lack of oxygen increases.
In this area you can find wonder plant Brahma Kamal which is used in rare medicines and rituals. Fragrance of this area sometimes can be dangerous due to inhalation. Therefore one should not take much time to cross this area. After crossing this area one more climb waits for you to take you towards Nain Sarovar, which is believed to be made up of tears of Goddess Shakti Parwati. After reaching at Nain Sarovar one can enjoy the mesmerising beauty of this place where the sarovar is surrounded by glaciers. One has to take rest here to recharge for next challenges. This is the place for holy ceremonial bath. People take here bath in the freezing cold water and offer prayers to Goddess Parwati. Do not forget to carry water from this place as possibility of finding water afterwards is nil. You may require water later as there is lack of Oxygen in this area which can be fulfilled only by water and glucose.
Trek ahead involves of steep climbs covered with heavy stones, deep gauges. Vegetation totally vanishes and only few herbs and Brahma Kamals remain. This is the area where you need to mind your every step carefully and balance your inner strength so as to complete this trek. After two hours one reaches Bheem Bahi where you can find rocks with some work. It is believed that these sculptures have been written by the Bheem himself. This area is mostly covered with fog and if you are lucky you may get a chance to sight many of rare creation of God around.
Another two hours takes you to result of all your efforts. Much awaited curiosity fulfils as you have the first sight of much awaited Srikhand Mahadev. Mind is the knot tying consciousness and matter this is set free here. If lucky, one can have the sight of full face on Shiva Lingam from five sides. Along with Shiva you may witness here Maa Parwati with Ganesha and Kartikeya Swami, though it is not possible to reach Kartikeya Swami due to a big glacier between Sri Khand Mahadev and Kartikeya Swami. As per legends when Lord Shiva was running to save himself from demon Bhasmasur then Lord Shiva hid himself in a cave at Devdhank of Nirmand village of Kullu District and appeared here at in the form of Shivalingam at Srikhand Mahadev. Round the year snow falls here is approximately 25-30 feet but it does melt from Shivalingam.
One should not spend much of time here as weather can change any time and may be dangerous. After worshiping the Sri Khand Mahadev step back towards Bheem Dwari. While climbing it’s always a pressure on the heals and knees but while coming back it’s always a test of your knees which till the time are helpless by all means. One needs to concentrate and gather energy as steps on glacier and stones may slip and can be fatal. At times high altitude causes headache which can be overcome by your will power but if attitude sickness becomes unbearable than only solution is to move down to a lower altitude place.
Everyone can witness both the joy of encountering the vastness and purity of nature as well as the difficulties through travelling at high altitude during the Yatra. The vast open spaces may give rise to inner experiences, so few negative events may suddenly rise in the conscious. Therefore it is not a holiday or trek, where one usually tends to forget about personal experiences. Here the journey may arouse memories and one might find oneself taking a conscious look at events in life and realizing how much we are connected to nature. Hence this Yatra can be a platform to consider issues seriously, while enjoying an open contact with others, knowing that everyone may be challenged to the utmost and is limited by personal capacity. To observe each other in this way is a most dignified way of sharing characters. This is called a real Yatra. While coming back one has a feel of life time achievement and can enjoy endless panoramic views around. Even the agnostics shall discover new balance amidst the fathomless serenity. One has to experience it. The common belief is that those who are ordained only could be here. Most of these pilgrims who take up this Yatra, usually forget that they also need to prevent themselves and fellows from polluting the trek. Pilgrims carry polythene bags and discard food leftovers which affect the place. Pollution in our living places has affected this place which is miles away from habitat as I have seen vanishing of monster glaciers and rare herbs in last few years. Therefore one must take a pledge to save this trek from pollution and must contribute towards its pure and holistic charm. It’s not a picnic or a trek which can be taken casually. Every object in this area is sanctified and each one is related to gripping legends. Complete it with all your pure intentions and dedication towards Sri Khand Mahadev. Please consider following points before you plan this Yatra:
Best Time to Visit
July 15 to August 30 is the best time to visit.
How to Reach By BusCarBikes Rampur is 125 Km from Shimla Rampur to Bagipul is 35 Km Bagipul to Jaon is 7 Km
On Foot app. 64-74 Km two way & at least four Nights halts in self tents or tents pitched up by locals
Singhgad-Thachdoo-Kunsha-Bheem Dwari-Parwatibagh After Parwatibagh there is no provision of tents and staying at those heights not advisable. One has to come back to Parwatibagh or Bheem Dwari after having darshan of Srikhand Mahadev
1. Water proof trouser with cotton from inside + windcheater
2. Glucose+bottles for water above Nain Sarovar
3. Warm clothes for night halts (keep these clothes dry as there is lots of moisture and rain may wet these then these will be burden instead of help)
5. Anti acidic tabs.
6. A good long and strong umbrella which can work as a stick also else you have to carry a strong stick.But remember on higher altitudes metal used in umbrella can attract lightning which can be lethal and sometimes strong wind makes umbrella useless on these heights.Therefore you need to choose this option wisely and only metal less umbrella be used.
7.A good pair of shoes with nice grip and must have ability to dry faster as shoes gets wet on the way, two-three pairs of dry socks so that you can feel comfortable.
8. Start every day early in the morning so as to cover maximum distance and reach your destination well in time.
9. Acclimatize your body by taking night halts from starting points and climbs gradually so as to avoid high altitude sickness.
10. Drink water so as to avoid fatigue and lack of oxygen
11. A good water proof bag so as to keep your belongings dry.
12. Enjoy the tiredness and balance your mental strength as this is a Yatra which tests your physical as well as mental strength.
13. Keep your heavy belongings at Bheem Dwari if you want to come back to Bheem dwari else you may choose to stay at Parwati Bagh which is two hours away from Bheem Dwari. Your night halts depends upon your stamina. Minimum four night halts are advised for this Yatra.
14. Carry a sunscreen along with you for higher parts on sunny day.
15. Consult your doctor before you plan to go as highest point is at app. 18500 feet above sea level, if you have any cardiac, breathing and ortho problem then you should not go.
16. Please contribute towards the cleanliness and holistic charm of this place. Don’t let your God’s place become dirty by all means. Last but not least may Bhole Baba bless you with his divine power.
Read Part one of the Srikhand Kailash travelouge.
Read Part Two of the Srikhand Kailash travelouge.
Pawan Thakur is a trekker from Shimla and has trekked to Srikhand Kailash trek 8 times. He can be contacted at email@example.com