Shrikhand Mahadev Kailash: An Incredible Journey to Heaven
After Mount Kailash, Shrikhand Mahadev Kailash is thought to be the hardest of the five Kailash to reach. It is located in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district. A 46-foot-wide, 75-foot-tall rock known as a shivlingam is perched on top.
Ravan used to visit this location for Lord Shiva’s tribulation and would cut off his head as an offering, hence the name Shrikhand. Shiva eventually bestowed Ravan with the gift of immortality.
Another legend claims that Bhasmasur, who had attempted to destroy Shiva, fled to the mountains via Devdhank and took samadhi in this huge boulder (aka Shivling). Shiva eventually emerged from here after Parvati, Ganesh, and Kartikeya underwent a great ordeal. Likewise, rock can be seen to have cracks.
About the Yatra: Shrikhand Mahadev
One of the five Panch Kailash yatras, the others being Kailash Mansarovar, Manimahesh, Kinnar Kailash, and Adi Kailash, is Shrikhand Mahadev. One of India’s most difficult shrines, Shrikhand Mahadev, is located in the Himachal Pradesh district of Kullu, between 16404-16864 ft above sea level.
When you get to the peak, a Shivling-shaped rock that is naturally created and stands about 75 ft tall mesmerizes you. Breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges, including those in the Parvati valley of Kullu, Kartik mountain, Jorkandan, the Rangrik ranges of Kinnaur, Kinnar Kailash, and other nearby peaks southeast of Sutlej, may be seen from the summit.
According to the Hindu Vikram calendar, the Yatra typically starts on the Ashada Poornima or full moon day in June or July. The Shrikhand Mahadev trust and the Himachal Pradesh government organize a 15-day yatra together. The travelers are given every arrangement. Before the yatra starts, a medical examination and enrollment are completed.
Mythology Regarding Shrikhand Mahadev
For many years in the Himalayas, a demon named Bhasmasur used to worship Lord Shiva. Due to his dedication, Lord Shiva was impressed and demanded a boon from him. The demon pleaded with Shiva to grant him the ability to instantly reduce any living thing to ashes by putting his hand on its skull. He was encouraged by Lord Shiva to do as he wished (TATHASTUH).
After receiving such a blessing, the demon became arrogant and attempted to make Lord Shiva his first victim. As soon as Lord Shiva saw what had happened, he disappeared and took refuge in the Deodhank cave near the town of Nirmand. Lord Vishnu, the universe’s protector, appeared to save Lord Shiva.
Lord Vishnu approached the demon while posing as the lady Vishwamohini and began dancing in front of him. The demon became entranced by Vishwamohini’s beauty and began dancing in response to orders. In one motion, Vishwamohini instructed the demon to place one hand on her head and the other on her waist. The demon became mesmerized and behaved, which caused him to burn himself to ashes.
All of the gods of the universe visited Devdhank immediately following the burning of Bhasmasur to see Lord Shiva. They discovered Lord Shiva imprisoned in a cave that was incredibly challenging to escape. But, as Shakti Swaroopa, Lord Shiva used his strength to emerge from the cave as Shrikhand Kailash. Devdhank was that cave.
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Various Yatra Routes
- The route of the Yatra is Shimla – Rampur – Nirmand – Bagipul – Jaon Village (from this village walk begins – Kullu District).
- Rampur, Jeori, Ganvi, and Fancha Village are all in Shimla. This path, which is in Shimla District, is very difficult.
- Bathad Village, Mandi, Aut, Banjar, Bhimdwari, Majhali, Muniropa, Shrikhand, Thachru, Tharla, Sarahan, Bachleo Pass, and Bathad (This is in Kullu).
- Route from Jhakri to Shrikhand
Kullu to Manikaran to Barshaini through Great Himalayan National Park and Kheerganga.
One of the world’s hardest and most challenging treks is the Shrikhand Mahadev Trek in the Himalayas. As you climb to Shrikhand Kailash, another name for Shrikhand Mahadev, you will constantly be accompanied by groups of stunning valleys and ravines. The hike passes through forests and glaciers, adding to the adventure and spying up the journey. Whereas the varied flora and fauna of the woodland paths enchant people’s eyes in the first half of the walk, the adventure-filled trek through the snow and glaciers casts spells on them in the second. The Himalayan Range’s ethereal beauty can be seen while trekking through Parvati Valley.
The trek can be started from one of two paths. The one from the Jaon village side trek is generally favored because of the breathtaking views of the valleys and the priceless experience it offers. One starts from the Jaon village of Nirmand, and the other from the village of Arsu.
How to Reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is in Jubbarhatti, Shimla. The Jaon town of Nirmand, where the hike starts, is reachable further out through road transportation.
By Rail: Shimla is once again home to the closest train station. The journey’s starting point, Jaon Village, is 170 km from Shimla and, as previously indicated, is reachable by road.
By Road: A well-established bus network links Shimla with Jaon village, where the Shrikhand Mahadev yatra starts. It takes five hours to travel by car. In addition to the bus, there is also a taxi option from Shimla to Rampur (130 km), which travels to the village of Jaun through Nirmand (Kullu). However, the final 8 km from Bagipul to Jaon is on a stretch of kutcha road.
The final village in the Kullu district with a road connection is Bathad in the Banjar Block. The Bashelu pass is located further up from Bathad on a very steep track. Thus getting there requires a stroll. This is the last place where buses or taxis would drop off passengers. Then it opens up to the lovely village of Saharan, from which it is once more possible to take cabs or taxis to Jaon, which is located 210 km away from Saharan. So the journey to Shrikhand Mahadev starts from Jaon.
Shrikhand Mahadev Facts
- Altitude: 5,227 mt, or 17,150 ft, above sea level.
- Location: Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
- Total Distance: 32–35 km on one side, totalling 70 km.
- Initial & Finish Point: Shimla
- Trail Type: The trek’s elevation passes through routes through steeply sloping forests and continues to rocky moraines and glaciers. It is not advisable for anybody without prior trekking experience or medically unfit to undertake the trek.
- Base Camp: Singhgad or Jaon Village.
- Level of difficulty: Moderately challenging
Best Time to Visit
Even though the trip begins to see human activity in early March and lasts until late October, the best time to see large groups of pilgrims traveling these Himalayan trails is from June through August. Additionally, these months are ideal because of the ideal weather, which makes it a relatively safe experience.
The expedition is typically planned according to the Hindu calendar, starting on the Ashada Poornima full moon day in July and ending on the full moon day in August (Shravana Poornima). The schedule fluctuates yearly depending on the weather forecast, but the dates commonly come between July 1 and July 15.
Due to the enormous number of pilgrims that arrived during this time, the government also took additional safety precautions.
Off-season trekking is not advised because, for the most part, the weather is unfavorable, making the activity more challenging and risky.
Along with worshippers, this untamed region is also home to hikers, adventurers, and climbers who do not pass up the chance to see and feel its bizarre beauty.
Difficulty Level of Shrikhand Mahadev Trek
One of the most strenuous treks in the world is the Shrikhand Kailash Mahadev trip. The trek’s difficulty can be reasonably inferred from its passing through a dark forest and ferocious glaciers.
The deep jungles start as soon as you pass Kurpan Khad from Barhati Nala. The journey to Shrikhand is fairly challenging because it is further from Nainser Lake and quite vertical. One challenge that demands a lot of stamina to overcome is the glacier-like first section of the lake. After that, the section followed is a route with moraines and occasional patches of snow.
Additionally, in the “Bheem ki Sidhiyan” or “Bheem’s Stairs” stretch near the journey’s finish, one must navigate around the enormous stones strewn across the path to reach the magnificent view of the Shrikhand Mahadev.
The oxygen shortage makes the trek much more difficult as the altitude rises. The severe weather encountered only a list of challenges. Despite the difficult terrain, the devotees’ unwavering faith prevents them from being deterred from their trek.