Monday, August 27, 2012

A Pilgrimage Part 1: Trimbakeshwar: Holiest of Jyotirlingas

My mother wanted to visit a Jyotirlinga for quite sometime. Finally, I decided to travel with her. There are 12  jyotirlingas in India. Jyotirlinga is a shrine where Lord Shiva is worshiped in the form of a pillar of light. According to Shiv Mahapuran, once Brahma (hindu god of creation) and Vishnu (hindu god of survival) had an argument over supremacy. To decide it, Shiva appeared as an infinite column of light. Out of the two arguing gods, whosoever manages to find the end of this column, would be considered supreme. So, when we worship a Jyotirlinga, we are basically worshiping this endless fiery column of light.

 The decision on which Jyotirlinga to visit was pretty easy for me. The fresh greens of Maharashtra in this Monsoon season was an absolutely clear choice. We reached Nashik after a 20 hour train journey having boarded Hardiwar-LTT AC train from Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi. Any train journey above 10 hours makes me restless and this was no exception. Thankfully, train scratched to a halt at Nashik on time and my restlessness wasn't enhanced. A small drive to Ginger Hotel on Trimbak Road with a cool breeze blowing was a brilliant change from soaring heat of Delhi. Early next morning, we were to leave for Trimbakeshwar.
Kushawart Teerth

The drive to Trimbakeshwar from Nashik is quite scenic on an undulating road finding its way through hills covered with fresh green vegetation. Trimbakeshwar is a town lying in the lap of Brahmagiri hills about 25 kms from Nashik. Godavari river, also known as Ganges of the south emerges on land here only. The point at which it emerges is known as Gangadwar, and can be reached after a small trek of one hour to a temple that seems like Indian version of Tiger Monastery of Bhutan. 

Holy abode of Lord Trimbakeshwar
We reached there early for Kal Sarp Yog pooja to be performed on my brother. This yog is considered very detrimental to a person's well being as it leads to negative energy within oneself. It happens when all the planets in a person's horoscope fall between Rahu & Ketu. Trimbakeshwar lord is highly revered for this procedure and people come from all over India to perform this here. Before the actual procedure, one has to take a dip into the holy water of kushawart teerth. While the pooja was going on, I took a walk around town. The town is like most hindu pilgrim sites: clustered and crowded but still full of some sort of a positive vibrancy all around. 

Main entrance before the crowds arrive
After the pooja procedure was over, we went to the holy temple. As this was in Saavan month of hindu calendar, which is considered quite auspicious for worshiping Lord Shiva, we had to negotiate through a long queue to finally get a minute with the deity. Trimbakeshwar is the only shrine where the jyotirlinga is below the ground level and its difficult to see it clearly as you are forced to move quickly by the temple staff. The best view can however be achieved in a glass that has been put up to provide a magnified view of the jyotirlinga. Even though you will see lots of people clicking pictures inside the temple area, but its officially forbidden. I took a few pictures while I was taking a walk along the temple's outer boundary. 

That temple up there is Gangadwar
After visiting the temple, we contemplated on whether to trek to Gangadwar or not and finally decided against it. A small half hour drive and we were back in our hotel.


Shridhar Mhatre said...

The World famous Kumbh Mela is held at an interval of 12 years on the banks of the river Godavari. It is the biggest festival here. According to the astrological calculations, Mahakumbh is held when the Sun and Jupiter enter the Leo star sign (called Sinhasth). The last Mahakumbh was held in August-September 2003, and the next one scheduled in 2015. Amazing Maharashtra

sachin dixit said...

Thanks Shridhar. I would love to visit the Kumbh in 2015. Also, this reminds me that I have to write a blog post on my visit to MahaKumbh 2013 in Allahabad. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Can you please recommend any hotel/ashram for accommodation and pandit contact (if any) for kal sarpa pooja.

sachin dixit said...

I stayed at Ginger Hotel which is located on the outskirts of Nasik on the Trimbakeswar Road. Its a good budget option.
As for Kal Sarpa Pooja, you can find any local pandit there who will do that. All of them do it the same way almost. I had it done for my brother but have lost the contact of that pandit.

pound1 said...

hi, am told its a 3 day procedure for that right? also how much do they charge? are they greedy?

sachin dixit said...

No.This pooja can be completed in just a few hours. As for costing, its pretty much negotiable and can have a really wide range. YES, THEY ARE ALL GREEDY

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anjali gupta said...

Hi..Very Nice blog post. Trimbakeshwar is a beautiful temple town located in the heart of Maharashtra, people visit here to experience of peace and tranquility. Click here to know about various hotels in Trimbakeshwar.

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Ashwin said...

Great trip!! its really awesome place to visit, thanks for sharing this informative post in your blog. Loved reading this blog. Book your Bus Tickets and explore to those places.

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Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga