Thursday, April 2, 2015

Vriddh Jageshwar

On our way from Chaukori to Jageshwar we took a turn from Barechina to reach Vriddha Jageshwar. This temple is approximately ten kilometers from the turn of Barechina. Our driver Prem  suggested that before Jageshwar we must visit Vriddh Jageshwar. It is believed that before going down in the valley for His Tapasya Lord Shiva took rest on the hill where this temple is built. The temple is said to be older than temple of Bal Jageshwar.
It was a day before the festival of Holi. Most of the roadside shops were closed as people must have gone down to their villages to celebrate the festival. It was a quiet afternoon. We crossed some villages on the way but for most of the stretch the road was flanked by trees on both the sides.and then suddenly we were face to face with the magnificent snow clad peaks of Himalaya. What a fantabulous view....and I thought I had left behind the peaks at Chaukori. View of those snow clad peaks with a simmering silken radiance was simply intoxicating.
 When I write about mountains, hills, peaks and snow, I feel, I repeat and reuse  adjectives and phrases but while watching those peaks.....just a change of place and they unravel themselves in an entirely new way. It never fails to amaze me.

                                  Panoramic view of Himalayan peaks. [ click on the pic to enjoy the full view]

And this was the dining table laid by Mr Bisht, proprietor of Himdarshan, a lodge on the side of the road.

When we reached Vriddh Jageshwar temple, Pujari ji was satting there alone. We were the only ones besides him. He told us that just yesterday people from nearby four, five villages visited the temple along with their Gram Devtas. It's a local tradition that one or two days prior to Holi festival nearby Gram Devtas are brought to the temple to pay homage to Vriddh Jageshwar. Villagers assemble there in large number, sing and dance, wish each other and then return with their Gram Devtas to their respective villages. I wish, I was there a day before. Cultural variety and versatility of our land fascinates me.

It was a cool, bright day. Cerulean sky above smiled brightly while tall, green trees encircling the temple stood rapt in meditative tranquility.

On one side of temple in the valley lay nestled a village. Small houses, the terrace fields, a ribbon like stream sparkling with golden touch of sun looked picturesque. Complete silence reigned.

Sanctum sanctoriam at Vriddh Jageshwar. Nandi here was inside the temple building though outside the Garbh Grah.

some other temples in the vicinity and the Vriddh Jageshwar from the back side.

These were few smaller shrines. Above each of these a bell and a fan or say chandelier of cloth with frills was hanging.

Behind the temple was a small covered verandah where this Havan kund was placed. The fragrant smoke of the previous day was still there. Sunder and Pujari ji were in front of the temple. I sat there alone for some time feeling the reverberation of the mantras and shlokas chanted by Pujari ji perhaps early in the morning. Felt as if I had always belonged there.

The motorable road culminates at the temple. Adjacent to temple a pedestrian walk way runs down to the forest in the valley. This three kilometer trek leads to the temple complex of Jageshwar where one of the twelve Jyotirlingas is situated.

Some day I will love to trek on that path. 

(pics by sunder iyer and namita sunder)

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