Hills and mountains (Parvat) have special significance within Himachal Pradesh. Mountains have traditionally been regarded as abodes of gods. Mountains are also held sacred due to their association with deities, mythology and legends. Sri Khand Mahadev is one such revered mountain peak in Himachal about which not much has been written.
Kailash Parvat is considered to be the most sacred and important as per Hinduism, Jains and Buddhism. In Sanskrit Kailash means crystal. According to Rudra Samhita of Shiv Maha Puran Once Lord Shiva vanished from the sight of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Brahma transformed into the appearance of a swan and Vishnu transformed his appearance that of a boar with the purpose of commencing the process of creation. Brahma created the water. Afterwards an egg manifested which consisted of all the twenty four elements. This egg was enormous in size which made Brahma confused. He did penance for several years. Vishnu appeared and Brahma requested him to bring the egg to consciousness. Vishnu entered the egg. As a result Kailash Mountain, and all the seven worlds came into existence. Once Kubera The lord of wealth was doing tremendous penance. Lord Rudra became happy with his penance and appeared in front of him. When Kubera saw Lord Rudra before himself, he offered his seat. Rudra was so pleased with Kubera that he decided to stay near him. He called Vishwakarma and ordered him to conduct his abode at Kailash Mountain, so that he could live in the vicinity of his great devotee-Kubera. Vishwakarma constructed a beautiful city as per his instruction. An auspicious moment was chosen and Shiva went to live at Kailash Mountain. He was coroneted by the deities.
It is believed there are total seven Kailash mountains. The well known Mansarovar Kailash in Tibet, Adi Kailash in Pithoragarh district of Uttrakhand, Amarnath Kailash in J&K, Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Mani Mahesh Kailash in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh,Sri Khand Kailash in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Seventh one is believed to be Boorha Kailash andis yet to be located.
The very fact of the thought of proceeding to Sri Khand Kailash is a call from within. Thousands of sages, ordinary mortals, and even the Gods have submerged in blissful trance at the very Bight of this divine grandeur. It is the SWAYAMBU – the self-created one. This point is considered as the point of spiritual renaissance. The entire area echoes with spiritual vibrations. Even the agnostics shall discover new Balance amidst that fathomless serenity. One has to experience it. The common belief is that those who are ordained only could be there.
Sri Khand Kailash is situated at 18500 feet above sea level. It is usually undertaken to coincide with the Ashada Poornima or, full moon day of June to July) as per the Vikrami calendar.It can be accessed from Bathad, Gushani, Jeori and Jaon. The easiest and most travel starts from Jaon Village of Kullu district which is 167 Km. from Shimla and can be reached by Car, bus or bikes. Jaon is the starting point of this trek, where temple of goddess Shakti is situated. It is a 64-74-km app. two-way track passing through dense forests, water streams, sprawling meadows and lofty mountains. The climb is difficult and offers a panoramic view. 3 Km. from Jaon there is village called Singh gad, which was named after a brave man who dared to live their and established a village. Singh gad is the last habitat of civilization on this route and Sri Khand Kailash is a three full days trek from this place.
This is the first article of the three part travelogue. Pawan Thakur is a trekker from Shimla and has done the Srikhand Kailash trek 8 times. To put in his own words, he is never satiated with the magnificence of this entire area.