Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shrikhand, the Kailash of Himachal

Come monsoon and mountain lovers and pilgrims ready themselves to undertake treks and pilgrims, as that is the best time to scale mountains. While lakhs brave the tough hilly terrain to reach Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir, thousands undertake the strenuous trek to 5425-metre-high Shrikhand peak, which is known as the Kailash of Himachal Pradesh.
It is a 70-km two-way track passing through dense forests, water streams, sprawling meadows and lofty mountains. The climb is difficult but it offers a panoramic view.
The peak, called Shrikhand Mahadev by locals, is located in Shimla district. The journey to the place can be undertaken from two sides, from Baghipul village in Nirmand, Rampur, or from Arsu in Rampur, which is 115 km from Shimla.
The track from Arsu is quite difficult but the Forest Department is planning to build a track to the peak from this side. Though the track from Baghipul side is also not very good but the local organisers of the yatra and the Forest Department make arrangements to provide basic facilities to visitors at several places.
It is advisable to undertake this journey when the Shrikhand Management Committee puts up camps at different places in July where they provide food, tea and water besides night shelter. Local people also pitch tents and offer food and stay for the night on payment basis.
At other times when such facilities are not provided, yatris have to make all arrangements at their own.
This year the Shrikhand Kailash Yatra Samiti made arrangements for travellers from July 16 to 22 and established camps at Singhgad, Thachdu and Bheemdwari.
From Baghipul, Javan village in Kulu district can be reached by vehicle. From there, one can head for the base camp 3 km away at Singhgad. For night stay, there’s tented accommodation as well as a forest hut. A jagrata at night comes as a treat for the journey-weary pilgrims.
After spending the night here yatris can start their journey early morning. The trek from Singhgad to Barati Nalah along the splattering river is lined with a variety of plants, and trees.
It would be wise to carry water for the way since the track from here becomes a bit difficult. At the next point Thachdu, 8 km away, a resting place has been constructed. During the yatra period, the organisers provide food at this place too.
From Thachdu one has to make an almost vertical ascent called Danda Dhar (straight like a stick), till Kali Ghati, which can be quite exhausting. On the top of the hill is a temple of Kali.
Though locals go up to Bheemdwari, the next resting place, in a single day but others must break journey at Kali Ghati or Kunsha Dhar. Again, one passes through sprawling meadows laden with wild flowers.
The path till Bheemdwari from Kunsha Dhar is quite tortuous. After spending the night at Bheemdwari, one should head for peak quite early as one has to return to the camp before nightfall as there is no shelter on the way.
The 3-km track beginning from Bheemdwari is slippery and a rivulet has to be crossed too. All precautions have to be taken since this track becomes unsafe after the rains.
After reaching Nain Sarowar, the ascent through boulders is steep and quite tough. The rare wild lotus grown amidst the boulders is an endangered species but locals pluck them for religious beliefs.
A few glaciers also have to be crossed before reaching the majestic peak of Shrikhand, where pilgrims perform puja. The view from 5425 metres is simply splendid — one literally feels on the top of the world. The surrounding snow-covered peaks and mountains add to the grandeur.
One cannot stay on the top for a long time as the winds there are very strong and bone-chilling. The downward journey from the top should start before 2 pm as the weather starts worsening in the afternoon.
Though getting down seems easier, precaution has to be taken while descending the steep.
The difficulties of this journey may deter some but the peak besides holding religious significance offers one a chance to witness majestic snow peaks and enchanting landscapes.

Come monsoon and mountain lovers and pilgrims ready themselves to undertake treks and pilgrims, as that is the best time to scale mountains. While lakhs brave the tough hilly terrain to reach Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir, thousands undertake the strenuous trek to 5425-metre-high Shrikhand peak, which is known as the Kailash of Himachal Pradesh.
It is a 70-km two-way track passing through dense forests, water streams, sprawling meadows and lofty mountains. The climb is difficult but it offers a panoramic view.
The peak, called Shrikhand Mahadev by locals, is located in Shimla district. The journey to the place can be undertaken from two sides, from Baghipul village in Nirmand, Rampur, or from Arsu in Rampur, which is 115 km from Shimla.
The track from Arsu is quite difficult but the Forest Department is planning to build a track to the peak from this side. Though the track from Baghipul side is also not very good but the local organisers of the yatra and the Forest Department make arrangements to provide basic facilities to visitors at several places.
It is advisable to undertake this journey when the Shrikhand Management Committee puts up camps at different places in July where they provide food, tea and water besides night shelter. Local people also pitch tents and offer food and stay for the night on payment basis.
At other times when such facilities are not provided, yatris have to make all arrangements at their own.
This year the Shrikhand Kailash Yatra Samiti made arrangements for travellers from July 16 to 22 and established camps at Singhgad, Thachdu and Bheemdwari.
From Baghipul, Javan village in Kulu district can be reached by vehicle. From there, one can head for the base camp 3 km away at Singhgad. For night stay, there’s tented accommodation as well as a forest hut. A jagrata at night comes as a treat for the journey-weary pilgrims.
After spending the night here yatris can start their journey early morning. The trek from Singhgad to Barati Nalah along the splattering river is lined with a variety of plants, and trees.
It would be wise to carry water for the way since the track from here becomes a bit difficult. At the next point Thachdu, 8 km away, a resting place has been constructed. During the yatra period, the organisers provide food at this place too.
From Thachdu one has to make an almost vertical ascent called Danda Dhar (straight like a stick), till Kali Ghati, which can be quite exhausting. On the top of the hill is a temple of Kali.
Though locals go up to Bheemdwari, the next resting place, in a single day but others must break journey at Kali Ghati or Kunsha Dhar. Again, one passes through sprawling meadows laden with wild flowers.
The path till Bheemdwari from Kunsha Dhar is quite tortuous. After spending the night at Bheemdwari, one should head for peak quite early as one has to return to the camp before nightfall as there is no shelter on the way.
The 3-km track beginning from Bheemdwari is slippery and a rivulet has to be crossed too. All precautions have to be taken since this track becomes unsafe after the rains.
After reaching Nain Sarowar, the ascent through boulders is steep and quite tough. The rare wild lotus grown amidst the boulders is an endangered species but locals pluck them for religious beliefs.
A few glaciers also have to be crossed before reaching the majestic peak of Shrikhand, where pilgrims perform puja. The view from 5425 metres is simply splendid — one literally feels on the top of the world. The surrounding snow-covered peaks and mountains add to the grandeur.
One cannot stay on the top for a long time as the winds there are very strong and bone-chilling. The downward journey from the top should start before 2 pm as the weather starts worsening in the afternoon.
Though getting down seems easier, precaution has to be taken while descending the steep.
The difficulties of this journey may deter some but the peak besides holding religious significance offers one a chance to witness majestic snow peaks and enchanting landscapes.

This article by Shri. Dharm Prakash Gupta
Courtesy: The Tribune, Chandigarh (Sunday, August 19, 2007)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Surender Paul said...

Correction:
Shrikhand Mahadev peak is located in Kullu District, not in Shimla district as mentioned in above article. This peak is the part of Great Himalyan National Park.

lokesh said...

You must be knowing that the trip is organised by shrikhand seva dal members .Providing link having contacts of seva dal samiti can actually help people in planning their journey as they will be able to contact seva dal people. I may help you in giving the addresses and phone nos. if u need.

Surender Paul said...

Dear Lokesh
I know very much about the Shrikhand Sewadal and I am closely associated with the members of sewadal. Plese check my older posts on this blog, I have mentioned about Sewadal. Thanks for your proposal for providing me the Contact Details of Sewadal members. I have already the list of sewadal members, But most of the members don’t want to disclose their Contact Details on NET, thats why I am not posting their details. Your valuable suggestions are always welcome.... Thanks
S. Paul

Laxminarayana said...

one really challenging. The treck is tougher than kailas manasa sarovar yatra.

ishu said...

need to know the dates for this year of yatra, please guide

arvind kaundal said...

hi sir can you send me the dates of yatra for this year . and how many days it takes.

arvind kaundal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surender Paul said...

Hi Arvind
New dates of yatra are from 15 to 25 july 2010 plez check my letest post for detail

ashwani negi said...

Hi i'm from sarahan i have many photos n experince of shrikhand yatra. i track from bagi pul side. I belong to this place so if any one want my help i'm happy to help all shiva devotes.
HAR HAR MAHADEV!!!

Surender Paul said...

Hi Dear Ashwani Negi
Jai Bholenath
I am really very delighted to know that you belong to Sarahan, as I am also the native of same place. I belong to village Arsu (Nirmand). But in your comment it is not cleared that whether you belong to Kullu Sarahan or Shimla Sarahan. I
f you want to share information and contribute to this blog; you are most welcome. As a devotee of Lord Shiva and native of the Shrikhand region, my motive is to popularize the Holy Shrikhand Mahadev Kailash Yatra. Your valuable suggestions are always most welcome. You can mail me the information on surendersml@gmail.com.
Thanks
Surender Paul

Anil said...

Jai Bhole Nath
I am willing to visit Shrikand Kailash Please give me more info how can I visit there as the fastest but safe way .
Anil

Neeraj Sambyal said...

hi ashwani i m planning to go for shri khand mahakailash yatra this year but i don't know much about it. So i need ur help to plan my trip to this splendid and exotic abode of lord shiva.