Madhya Maheshwar – June 2018 – Part 3
On day 3, I wake up in the morning from our somewhat modest accommodation with aching limbs that I barely notice. I want to do three things today.
- Ascend the 2.5 kms or so to reach Buda Maheshwar or Vriddha Maheshwar which is a very small ramshackle structure that is supposed to house the original Madhya Maheshwar linga. The linga is considered the original or the older one and hence the name Vriddha which means old.
- Of course, go to the main temple and perform a pooja and a rudra abhishekam – wherein we consecrate the Lord’s idol with various liquids like milk, honey and the like.Shiva is called as Abhishek priya – He loves Abhishekam.
- Trek all the way back to Ransi and go back to the hotel at Ukhimath from where I intend to proceed back to the plains the next day.
But as they say, though the mind was willing, the flesh was weak. So I was not sure whether I would indeed be able to accomplish all the three objectives. Anyways, after a quick shower I set out to see the temple that we have ascended all this way up and then embark on this 2.5 kms journey albeit with much more weakened limbs.
It was a beautiful day and the temple was looking so great. It was set in a meadow like valley at the base of imposing mountains at an altitude of 3500 m approximately. It was supposed to be built by the Pandavas – in particular by the second one, Bhima. I cannot imagine how a structure of this type can be built in such a remote location. Everything that the traveller needs here has been brought by horseback up all the trail that we had braved through the previous day.
The village itself consists of a few cottages and the residents here stay for about 6 months a year. During the winters, they move down to Gaundhar when the temple closes. They subsist on the meagre tourism that happens during the summer months. There are two smaller temples at the back side dedicated to other Gods.
The Path up to Buda Maheshwar beckons you up to explore the vistas that will potentially open up as you trudge your way upward.
I set out on the morning walk up these meadows along paths that I could barely discern. As you go up, you can get a full view of the picturesque Madhya Maheshwar settlement down.
The valley is indeed amazing. Someone took the trouble to find a haven like this in the middle of these imposing mountains and constructed this beautiful temple here. It is indeed a place that makes you think a bit.
The Path Up to Buda Maheshwar
This path is one of the most seductive of all paths that you can ever go to. You see a hill and decide that if you go up that hill you would see the little temple. Then as you ascend to the top the next hill becomes visible and so on for quite sometime till you become weary and question if you will ever reach the top of the hillock. In between, there are views of sheep grazing.
There is an endless bouquet of flowers lays sprawled on the verdant ground. These flowers are tiny and extremely colourful.
As you trudging your way up, you get rewarded with the first glimpse of the mighty Chaukamba. It is 7000m tall which shows itself behind other peaks. Its ridge like top is covered with snow.
The weather changed several times as I walked up with beautiful blues to clouds lightly brushing past me. There was no rain thankfully and I finally made my way to the top. By then, the Chaukamba was shrouded by clouds. However, I was at journey’s end and could see this little makeshift temple in an undulating meadow on literally the top of the world.
It is amazing and I felt great. We lighted a little incense there and sat for sometime in silent meditation. The journey back was quite swift and I came back to the temple to offer my prayers there.
Back to Ransi and Ukhimath
The journey back was relatively easy. It took about 6 hours to come back to Ransi with the only stretch between Gaundhar and Ransi being stressful. There was a big cloud burst in between but as such the journey was uneventful. I came back to Ransi and found a way to come back to Ukhimath. The next day, it was back to the plains with one more awesome Himalayan sized experience under my belt.