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Panch Kedar Pilgrimage -Shiva Temples in the Garhwal Himalayas

Panch Kedar shrines are located in the deep Himalayas in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and dedicated to  Lord Shiva. These temples are located on high altitudes in remote places particularly Madhyamaheswar, Rudranath & Kedarnath. Tungnath and Kalpeswar are easily accessible out of the five temples.

This pilgrimage, known as Panch Kedar Yatra where Pandavas visited during their visit in the Himalayas before securing the place in heaven.

Detail Itinerary 

Day 1 Rishikesh to Sonprayag ( 215 m/ 7 -8 hrs)

You start from Rishikesh in the private car for Sonprayag, it is a long journey through Himalayan zig-zag road. en-route you visit some famous places like Raghunath Temple and Dhari Devi Temple,  upon arrival check in the hotel or Guesthouse, dinner, and overnight.

Day 02: Sonprayag -Kedarnath(Trek-20km).

After Morning Breakfast, proceed for the Sonprayag and en-route Lunch Break. Upon arrival check-in and Dinner and overnight stay in hotel/lodge.

Day 02: Sonprayag -Kedarnath(Trek-20 km).

After breakfast trek to Shri Kedarnath(20 km). Lunch will be packed. Dinner and overnight stay in a tent, Kedarnath.

Ukhimath Temple
Ukhimath Temple winter seat of Lord Kedarnath

Day 03: Kedarnath-Sonprayag (ReturnTrek-20 km)-Ukhimath(Drive-43km).

After breakfast at Kedarnath trek down (18km). Lunch will be packed and will be served on the way. After reaching Sonprayag, drive up to Ukhimath (43km). Dinner and overnight stay in hotel/lodge.

Day 04: Ukhimath to Ransi Village (Drive-26km)-Gaundar(Trek-6km)

After breakfast,  drive up to Ransi village (26km) and start to trek for village Gaundar(6km). Lunch will be at Ransi Village. Overnight stay at Gaundar in Lodge/Camps.

Madhyamaheshwar Temple
Madhyamaheshwar Temple

Day 05: Gaundar-Madhyamaheswar Temple(Trek-10km).

After breakfast, trek up to Madhyamaheswar Temple(10km). Lunch will be packed. Overnight stay in the camps.

Day 06: Madhyamaheswar-Gaundar-Ransi(ReturnTrek-16km).

After breakfast,  trek down up to Ransi(16km). Lunch will be packed. Overnight stay in hotel/lodge at village Ransi.

Day 07: Ransi-Chopta (Drive-83km).

After breakfast, drive up to Chopta (83km). Today’s lunch will be hot at the campsite and overnight stay in the camps.

Day 08: Chopta-Tungnath(Drive-3km)( Round Trip Trek 8km)

After breakfast drive(3km) up to Chopta, is a tiny market, and start your trek(4km) up to Tungnath Temple. Lunch will be packed and later on trek down up to Chopta and overnight in the camp.

Day 09: Chopta-Sagar Village(Drive-31km)-Lwiti Meadow(Bugyal)(Trek-5km)

After breakfast drive up to village Sagar(31km) and start your trek for Lwiti Bugyal(5km). Lunch will be packed and Dinner and overnight stay in the camps.

Day 10: Lwiti-Pannar-Rudranath Temple(11km)

After breakfast, trek up to Rudranath Temple(11km). Lunch will be packed. Dinner and Overnight stay in the camps.

Day 11: Explore the area and Return Rudranath-Pannar Bugyal/Lwiti Bugyal

After breakfast,  trek down for Panaar/Lwiti,  Lunch will be packed and hot dinner and overnight at Panar Bugyal or Lwiti Bugyal

Day 12: Lwiti-Sagar Village(Trek-5km)-UrgamVillage(Drive-42km).

After breakfast trek down to Sagar village(5km) and drive up to village Urgam(42km).  en-route lunch break. dinner and Overnight stay in the camps.

Kalpeshwar Temple Uttarakhand- A concealed sacred temple in the Himalayas
Kalpeshwar Temple Uttarakhand- A concealed sacred temple in the Himalayas

Day 13: Urgam-Kalpeshwar Temple (Trek-3km)-Rudraprayag(Drive-86km)

After breakfast trek up to Kalpeshwar Temple(3km). Today you will have a drive (86km) up to Rudraprayag(Confluence of River Alaknanda and River Mandakini). En-route Lunch Break and overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 14: Rudraprayag-Rishikesh(Drive-110km)

After breakfast drive back to Rishikesh (110km). En-route lunch break and Upon arrival in Rishikesh. Tour ended.

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An ideal travel route for the Yoga lover in India

Yoga became intrinsic in India for many centuries. In fact, many scriptures and books described the benefits of the essential need to practice yoga. According to the ancient Hindu tradition, Yoga is not a physical exercise but a spiritual union with a supreme soul with the meditative process. However, In recent times the word yoga represents the Hatha yoga branch of yoga which teaches Asanas (physical exercises). Moreover, in this article, we will see some of the prominent yoga routes in India.

The great philosopher and spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda introduced the great knowledge Pantajali Yoga sutra to the western world. Nevertheless, yoga is not just a poster based on physical exercise, stress reliever, and relaxing technique. It is a process to understand human life and unite with god.

North India yoga route in India

Delhi

The capital city of India welcomes yoga lovers with warm hands, also it is the starting point to all the yoga routes in the Northern region of India. In Delhi, there are many renowned spiritual yoga and meditation ashrams where you can learn different techniques in Yoga and mediation. Indeed in your free time while learning yoga you can also visit the popular sightseeing places like monuments and few mandirs.

Everything You Need To Know About Yoga Trips To Rishikesh India
Everything You Need To Know About Yoga Trips To Rishikesh India

Rishikesh

The yoga capital of India is renowned throughout the world. Yearly, thousands of tourists visit here to learn yoga and meditation. Rishikesh locates under the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the holy river Ganga. It gives the Yoga lovers a divine and serene atmosphere. Here one can find numerous ashrams that offer courses on yoga. Besides this, you can go for adventures activity during your free time here. Also, visit some divine Dhams and go for trekking in the majestic Himalayan mountain trails.

Dharmshala
Dharmshala

Dharamshala 

A picturesque and divine place famous for the Tibetan monastery. Located in the Himachal Pradesh state of India. Moreover, this is one among other places where you can get perfect training to become a yoga trainer, or even you can learn different yoga techniques. Yoga lovers never miss a chance to learn yoga in such a peaceful and scenic place.

Agra

This historic city is famous for one of the seven wonders of the world Taj Mahal. For yoga lovers, there are numerous famous yoga centers located in Agra. It not only attracts tourists for its monument and Mughal architecture but also for Yoga learning.

Pushkar

Pushkar in Rajasthan is one of the divine places in India. This place is famous for the Pushkar lake which is surrounded by holy shrines. Whereas Pushkar meditation temple is one of the best meditation centers in India. Therefore, Yoga enthusiastic people should visit this place to know more about different mediation techniques.

Udiapur

This city is famous for its artificial lakes, hence it is also known as the city of Lakes. Udaipur offers many yoga retreat centers for yoga learns across the country. Besides these, there are many sightseeing places around Udaipur if you are a wildlife lover then visit the wildlife sanctuaries in close vicinity.

South India yoga route in India

Mumbai

Finical capital of India, the city which never rests also provides yoga training for the yoga lover. One such center is the KaivalyaDham. This place not only famous for yoga and meditation training but also here they offer Naturopathy and Ayurveda courses for interested people. Besides these, they are other yoga retreat center to visit and sightseeing places along with beaches and other scenic places.

Hampi 

A historic place that has strong connectivity with the great India Epic Ramayana. Doing yoga or learning yoga from such a holy place sure brings a big change in your spiritual life. Hampi is said to be Kishkinda, a monkey kingdom in Ramayana where Lord Hanuman was born. Apart from this, there are historic sightseeing places. The ruins of the architectural marvel of the Great kingdom Vijayanagaram ruled by the Empire Sri Krishnadevaraya.

Mysore 

A beautiful city in Karnataka not only known for the Maharajas and palaces but also for a few holy shrines. There are many eco-friendly retreat centers and yoga ashramas in Mysore on the banks of the river Cauvery. One of the best places to learn yoga in south India.

Trivandrum 

God’s own country is well known for the Ayurveda and surreal atmosphere. Besides these, Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala offers an ample opportunity for the yoga lover. In fact, here they are numerous yoga retreat centers and yoga ashramas that offer numerous courses. For all levels of people like from beginners to advanced level.

Coimbatore

A beautiful city located in the western ghats of Tamil Nadu well known for its natural beauty. In recent years this place gained a lot of popularity in the field of yoga after the construction of the Adi yogi ashrama which is an Isha yoga main center. It is the best place for learning Isha yoga from the serene atmosphere amid the forest and mountains.

Coastal yoga route in India

Goa

Moreover, Goa is not only famous for beaches, parties, and adventure actives but also for the Yoga ashrams and wellness centers. That gives a tranquil experience to the yoga learners in the sandy beaches facing the vast blue oceans. The good centers in Goa are one of the best Coastal yoga ashramas anyone can ask for.

Gokarna

 A spiritual town which in recent times gained popularity as the people from goa descended down towards the South. It is one of the largest yoga centers in the coastal line. Gokarna Yoga school is one of the best yoga learning centers. On the other hand, you can also visit some of the beaches here. Nonetheless, you also participate in adventure activities at the beach.

Varkala  

This is one of the famous coastal spiritual towns in Kerala. Famous for the beach resorts to relax during vacation and the Janardana Swami Temple. Whereas this temple is 2000 years old Vaishnava temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Varkala has many Yoga retreat centers and a yoga school which offers a wide variety of yoga learning courses.

Conclusion

India is well known around the world for its inherited knowledge of Yoga and Meditation from the Great gurus from the past. Many people around the world visit India to learn divine knowledge and put that into practice. The above mentioned are a few of the Yoga travel routes in India. I hope you enjoy your spiritual journey in India to the fullest.

 

 

 

 

Everything You Need To Know About Yoga Trips To Rishikesh

Rishikesh is the yoga capital of India, and people from all over the world come here to witness the thrill and relaxation of this mindful art. The Yoga fever in Rishikesh has led to yoga cafes, yoga hotels, yoga retreats and even yoga courses to pop up over the last few years. From luxury yoga resorts to special yoga dresses, your Yoga Tour in Rishikesh will be much more than just yoga.

Here is a list of things that you should know before heading off to Rishikesh on a Yoga Tour:

Expect Crowds

If you are planning a Yoga trip to Rishikesh then make sure that you start planning a couple of months ago. As even though Rishikesh is filled with wonderful Yoga retreats and resorts, they are highly in demand. You might find most of them booked out if you wait till the last minute during the peak season. So, if you are planning to come for a Yoga tour in the summer months, then pre-book your stay at your preferred Yoga resort or ashram.

You Will Only Benefit If You Do Your Part

The best part about a Yoga tour in Rishikesh is the stunning scenery, the fresh greenery and the rejuvenating air. Practising Yoga in such serene locales, flanked by the mighty Himalayas will not only cleanse your body but also heal your soul. But to do so, you should also play your part. Before your Yoga tour commences, make sure to keep away from meat and eggs, and other toxic substances. This will make your yoga tour in Rishikesh even more impactful.

You will also not find any non-veg or alcohol in Rishikesh.

Yoga Tour in Rishikesh
Yoga Tour in Rishikesh

The Satsang Season in Rishikesh

The famous spiritual event of India- Satsang is quite engaging. This raging event starts in Rishikesh from early February to mid-March. This is perhaps the best tip to plan a Yoga tour in Rishikesh. You will be blessed with spiritual workshops, question-answer session with the teachers and also a trance-like feeling that will show you the best of Yoga.

There Are Many Types Of Resorts To Choose From

There are different types of yoga resorts in Rishikesh, which might confuse you. Make sure you pick the best one according to what you wish to get out of this experience. If you wish to find peace then go for an off the radar guest house, if you wish to be pampered opt for the luxury yoga retreats, Volunteer Travel if you wish to follow a strict diet and yoga routine, then Rishikesh has many options for that as well. To get the most out of your Yoga Tour make sure to pick a resort that focuses on yoga and Ayurveda.

Rishikesh Is Not Quiet During The Yoga Season

With all the tourists, the crowds and people looking for a breath of fresh air, Rishikesh can get a little crowded. This can easily discern your peace that ups felt while practising your Yoga. However, you can opt for a quieter area. Just find a more off beaten place to stay and relish in the serenity of the mountains.

Expect Worn Out Yoga Mats

While several yoga mats are lying around in the yoga ashrams at Rishikesh, you might want to stay away from them. Just get your mat or you can buy one in Rishikesh. These mats are not that expensive, and you can easily donate them as well if you please. You can also choose from various mats, and get the one that best suits you.

The Stunning International Yoga Day

The famous International Yoga Day is perhaps the best possible time to visit Rishikesh for a yoga tour. The entire city is converted into a Yoga studio and everyone is practising mindful yoga everywhere you look- at the ghats, at rooftops, and even at cafes. It is quite stunning, however, it is crowded as well. Do not expect peace during this time.

Yoga Retreats Are Not Always Relaxing

A lot of people tend to think that Yoga ashrams and tours in Rishikesh are all about relaxing and unwinding. That is not always true. You might get tired, as some of the retreats follow a strict schedule and will make you do yoga, meditation and heavy exercises throughout the day. This might tire you, however, the result is fabulous which makes all the effort worth it. You have to do your bit to get the results, Yoga tours cannot magically heal you and guide you.

Every Place in Rishikesh Doesn’t Take Credit Card

Rishikesh doesn’t have a lot of fo ATMs, so make sure to carry enough cash with you. Many places in Rishikesh like cafes and guest houses, do not take credit cards, so you need to carry a decent amount of cash with you. Rishikesh also has withdrawn limits in their ATMs, so be well prepared. You should be all calm and ready to cleanse on your yoga tour.

Planning a Yoga Tour in Rishikesh?

It is quite a magical experience. Every day you will learn something new, and witness a lot of wonderful things. From chaos to warmth you will feel all of it. So just be open to whatever is coming at your and let the Yoga Tour in Rishikesh open your senses.

 

Haidakhan Baba Ashram: A Revelation In The Himalayas

The pristine ashram of Sri 1008 Haidakhan Wale Baba was founded between 1970 to 1984. This stunning and huge ashram now attracts thousands of peace seekers and path seekers from all over the world, who come here for one purpose- to seek guidance. This lovely ashram was once quite small, but today it is resplendent with multiple rooms, shrines and even a university. Just by entering this ashram you will feel a sense of peace flow into your body as the bliss slowly starts to seep in. Surrounded by the majestic Himalayas and serene rives, this ashram is quite a mystical experience.

 The Idea of how to visit the Ashram 

Once you enter the ashram you will realise it is all about modesty, placed and kindness. Here you will find these ideologies repeated several times. To practice these values, you will have to take part in a Sadhana, which is not only purifying but will also erase all your burdens and help you become a better person. From the moment you start the Haidakhand Sadhna, you will start feeling a shiver run down your spine, as gradually your entire body starts to feel light and weightless. Practising the Sadhana is a mandatory requirement if you wish to visit and stay at this stunning ashram

 Who is  Haidakhan Baba?

Haidakhan Baba was a highly renowned Yogi, who was also known by names like Babaji, Maharajji, Mahamunidra, Sri Sadguru, Sri Sadashiva, Mahavtaar, Traymabak Baba. According to popular local stories, Babaji came from Nepal, where he used to stay in the caves. It is believed that most of his penance was done in these mysterious caves. He was said to have magical powers and could heal anybody just by looking at them. His lifestyle was based on honesty and simplicity, which he also preached to his followers.

This idea of a simple lifestyle is also propagated in the ashram, as it urges you to accept the simpler and humble pleasures of life.

Haidakhan Baba Ashram in Nainital
Haidakhan Baba Ashram in Nainital

 The Ashram Opening Time 

The wonderful Hariakhan Ashram opens up to you as you cross the Gautami Ganga river and traverse the hidden caves in Nainital. Many believe that Babaji was last sighted in these caves. You can entire these caves and feel a positive a wonderful aura radiate all around you. The damp and isolated caves are quite wonderful to just sit for some time and practice some introspection. It is quite something to meditate in the same cave where Hariakhan Baba had once appeared. You might even feel his presence at times just softly floating around you.

Once you reach the ashram you will find it filled with both Indians and foreigners who have come from all over the world. There is an intricate statue of Haidakhan Babaji which you will encounter as soon as you enter the through the gate. The statue is so lifelike, that you will find yourself wondering if Babaji himself is in here somewhere. You can sit down and meditate in front of this holy statue, and calm your mind before proceeding on.

The Settings of the Ashram in Nainital 

The infrastructure and the setting of the ashram quite magnificent. Everything is laid out in order, and you can witness the mountains all around the ashrams. It is quite a magical setting, and you will start to feel the bliss of the ashram and the mountains.

Across the river, you will find a temple as well. This temple has been recently renovated and now looks quite stunning. The temple complex has nine interpretations of Hindu Gods. These intricate idols are so beautiful that as you keep walking you will feel a sense of tranquillity creep into your spine and make you calmer and calmer. With each passing idol, you will feel more at ease, and your body will start to relax. Some people even tend to have an epiphany and an out of body experience when they reach the ninth and final statute. However, every experience is personal, and you must chart your path once you visit the ashram.

The Haidakhan Ashram itself is quite huge and has three levels- the main Ashram, Fakirabad, and the Gufa Side. All of these places are open to the public and you can visit all of them at least once. There are five guest rooms, where people can stay for a while. These rooms are quite high in demand, so you need to pre-book if you wish to spend a night here. There is also a ration shop, hospital, and Sri Babaji‘s Kutir. It is like a whole world inside the Haidakhan Ashram.

The Experience in the Ashram 

The Haidakhan Ashram is a life-changing experience for anyone open and willing to embrace the preachings of Babaji. The intense Sadhna and humble livings are an important part of this ashram. Once you visit this ashram, you will a change coming over you. You will find yourself more at peace and focused. The Haidakhan Ashram is both a rejuvenating and soul-touching experience.

How To Reach Haidakhan Baba Ashram in Nainital

From Delhi (369.9 km) To reach the serene Haidakhan Ashram, you need to first reach Delhi. From Delhi take a train to either reach Kathgodam or Haldwani (these are the closest stations to the ashram) There are two trains that go to Kathgodam or Haldwani from Delhi- one in the morning and one night. After reaching Kathgodam or Haldwani, you need to hire a cab to reach the stunning ashram. From Haldwani, the ashram is about 40 km.

From Rishikesh: (283.8 km) From Rishikesh, you need to reach Haldwani by train, from where you can hire a cab to the Haidakhan Ashram.

The Haidakhan Ashram is a life-changing experience for anyone open and willing to embrace the preachings of Babaji. The intense Sadhna and humble livings are an important part of this ashram. Once you visit this ashram, you will a change coming over you. You will find yourself more at peace and focused. The Haidakhan Ashram is both a rejuvenating and soul-touching experience.

 

 

 

Siddhashram: The Elusive Abode For The Enlightened Ones

Some places in India are so mysterious and mystical that only the highly profound visitors can witness it. One can only reach to such places after intense Sadhna and deep meditation. Siddhashram is one such heavenly place that is impossible for ordinary humans to visit. Said to be the land of Gods, this ashram is magical in every sense. From breathtaking views to eternally blossoming flowers, Siddhashram is akin to heaven on earth. Read below to know more about this elusive place.

Nestled in the snowy bosom of the Himalayas, over the tall trees and across the enchanted rivers, this mystical ashram is perhaps the most ethereal place you will ever come across. People lucky enough to visit the Siddhashram have described it as a paradise on the earth. Mentioned in thousands of ancient scriptures, Siddhashram will touch your soul and capture your heart. A great sage like Vishwamitra has described is as the real beauty of life.

Where Is It?

As per the Holy Sages, the ashram is nestled near Mansarovar lake and Kailash. As per belief, one cannot see it with their naked eyes and you can only reach there if you can take the spiritual path and have an awakening. It is hidden deep in the Himalayas, where yogis and guru sit in penance. Siddhashram finds its mention in texts like the Veda, Upanishads and Puranas and the Rigveda.

To see this place, you will have to reach the highest level in your sadhana and seek the blessings of a guru who has come to this place before.

siddhashram
Siddhashram

A Bit Of Myth of Siddhashram 

Siddhashram is so popular that it finds its mention in texts like the Mahabharata. Even Bhishma’s last wish while lying on a bed of arrows was to enter the mystical Siddhashram. Yudhistir too wished the same from Lord Krishna.

Siddhashram is so magical the most of the famous yogis, ancient sages and gurus have once wanted to enter into this realm and spend some moment cleansing and purifying themselves. It is believed that every avenue, every nook and every corner of Siddhashram is sacred and pious. There is also a divine lake that glitters every eternally. With such mystical visuals, sights worth marvelling at, Siddhashram has caught the fancy of many travellers. People also say that the weather here is always pleasant and beautiful, as the cycle of seasons doesn’t pass through this ashram. It is like time comes to a complete stop, and the only constant thing is bliss, tranquillity, stunning beauty and happiness. Siddhashram is held in such high regard, that no one can even fall sick here. It is devoid of any negativity, sadness or worries.

The Management of the Ashram 

The entire maintenance and management of Siddhashram are under Yogiraj Swami Satchidanandji, who is still as young as he was thousand of years ago. His magical powers are world-famous. People even believe that every time he appears he radiates an aura that blessed the entire valley of Siddhashram.

The Area of Siddhaashram 

Siddhashram is nestled right in the basket of nature. It feels as if nature has gifted this place with all its bounties and love. From different coloured roses to daisies that sway with the wind. Legends say that there is also a protective shield that covers the entire area, and because of this shield, no flower has ever died or withered away.

The soft dewy grass near the ashram is as soft as a Turkish carpet. You can just lay there and forget all about the hustle-bustle of life. Some exotic birds float with the clouds and sing the most melodious and beautiful songs you will have ever heard.

If you look at the horizon, you will find it dotted with little straw huts and humble abodes that will remind you about the modesty of the renowned sages.

The Ashram

When you are in the ashram you will face no restrictions or prohibitions. Every person has their own free will and can act in the way they want. Unlike other ashrams, in Siddhashram, everyone is bound by an unsaid law that makes sure that they are within their boundaries and limits. No one has any shred of negativity, and everyone is filled with kindness and warmth. Most of the people are engrossed in their world as they meditate and introspect to reach a higher order existence.

To enter Siddhashram there are five mandatory criteria that you will have to pass:

  1. The person should have there Kundalini up to ‘Sahastrar’
  2. The person should be well versed with two Mahavidyas and should have basic insight about the eight Mahavidyas.
  3. The person should have enough knowledge about the ideas of Mantra and Tantra.
  4. The person should have strong Indian values and be noble in every way.
  5. The person should also be a follower of a guru who had entered the Siddhashram.

For an ordinary person to enter this ashram ie beyond impossible, however, many yogic owing to their intense efforts have reached this place. Even people with highly materialistic ideologies have entered into this realm for a few hours.

 

Satsang by spiritual Guru Mooji Baba at the Swami Swatantranand Ashram in Rishikesh

Rishikesh, an ancient holy town in India that is renowned around the Globe for its yoga training centres. There are many holy shrines and the ashrams around Rishikesh. Popular ashram in Rishikesh is Swami Swatantranand Ashram where Baba Mooji conducts the Satsangs. If you want to attend the Satsang then plan a visit to this pious place where one strives for self-realization with the teachings of baba.

This pious place is located near to the holy river Ganga. The serene atmosphere inside the ashram promotes one towards the mediation and self-realization. Here they don’t provide the homestay at the ashrama. The prior booking at the ashram is not available. So it advisable to book a room near to the ashrams as it will be easy to attend the Satsang.

How to reach Swami Swatantranand Ashram?

The nearest airport to this Jolly Grant Airport, whereas the nearest railways are Rishikesh railways. Along with this it as good bus services with all the major cities. After reaching Rishikesh one as to take local transport to reach the Swami Swatantranand Ashram. This place is quite popular in Rishikesh for it four weeks Satsangs by the Baba Mooji.

From Ramjhula Suspension Bridge -located at Walkable distance 500 meters along the down streams of the Ganges.

From Laxmanjhula Suspension Bridge 1 and a Half km far, at walkable distance along the bank of the Ganges or one can take Tuktuk from Tapovan Saray up to Ramjhula Parking and just get down there from the Tuktuk and jus besides Omkarananda Ashram take downstairs and 10 minutes walk with the flow, down streams along the Ganges to reach the Ashram.

Mooji Open Satsang Rishikesh
Mooji Open Satsang Rishikesh

What are Satsangs by Mooji?

In simple words, it is the gathering of the people who seek self-realization through the guidelines of the Guru. Generally in Satsangs Guru (Teacher) read and explain the holy scripts or listening to the devotional music and promotes one towards self-realization through meditation. Besides this, it is an interactive section where one can ask any spiritual doubts towards self-discovery to the Guru he will answer every question with the wisdom he possesses.

It is very important that only people who really striving for self-realization alone should attend. It is not just a normal social gather it is spiritual gather where one interacts with others who as similar seeking towards spirituality. Anyone wants to gain some spiritual knowledge can attend this event. It is not recommended for the atheists who are just curious about the event.

About Mooji Baba

The real name of the Mooji Baba is Tony Moo-Young he was born in Jamaica. He was raised by his uncle as his father died at a young age. He started his career as a street artist and later became an art teacher. Once he visited India and met Papaji during the Satsang and from that year he started regularly attending Satsang conducted by the Papaji. In the year 1999, he became a spiritual guru with a group of followers.

He is lives in Portugal, baba conducts Satsang in the UK and Portugal. He runs an ashram by name Monte Sahaja which covers an area of 30hectares. Baba invites people around the world who are curious to know about the true self through the teachings of the Advaita Vedanta.

Tips to follow to attend open Satsang at Swami Swatantranand Ashram

  • It is not a general social gathering it is a spiritual interactive section to know about the true self, therefore attendees should maintain silence inside the hall.
  • India is a country that bound with the culture where dressing plays an important role. The dress should be in Indian attire. If not make sure the dress is not tight or revealing.
  • Taking photos and videos is restricted inside the ashram. If you want to see the recap of the Satsang. One can find it on the Mooji baba TV and website which was kept by ashram authorities.
  • Attendees must turn off their Cellphones as it distributes the serene environment of the ashram during Satsang.
  • One should not carry large size bags and glass bottles. They have to place it in the lockers provided near the entrance of the ashrama.
  • Apart from these roaming alone during the night is not advisable especially for women who are attending Satsang.
  • Satsang is not a therapy for any kind of disease so if your suffering from any kind of illness it is advisable to take proper precaution while attending Satsang.

 How to participate in open Satsang at Swami Swatantranand Ashram?

  • There are two ways to Participate in the open Satsang, One is physical presence whereas the other one is virtual via Mooji TV on the internet.
  • If you are planning to participate in the open Satsang at Swami Swatantranand Ashram then you have to arrange your own accommodation and food.
  • There won’t be any prior seat reservations to anyone. All, as to reach the venue by time whereas seating arrangements, is down via lottery system.
  • There won’t be an entrance fee as the open Satsang is free to all.

Conclusion

If your a self-realization seeker than visit the Swami Swatantranand Ashram where Mooji baba organizes free Satsang for all the true self-seekers.

 

 

Lakha Mandal Temple Dehradun District 

The pilgrims who visit the Uttarakhand, Deva Bhoomi feel a deep reverence and devotion towards the god as they visit the explicit spiritual sites and divine temples. Apart from these, this place provides exciting adventure activities in the Himalayan mountains. However, one such amazing sight which makes visitors wonder stuck with its mystery and the architectural brilliance is Lakha Mandal Temple of Lord. The uniqueness of the temple is that you can view hundreds of Shiva Lingas with different shapes and sizes. Hence one can feel the holy vibes and experience the serenity of the place. Whoever wants to experience a peaceful and divine vibe should visit this temple.

How to reach this place?

This temple is located in the Chakrata hill station which elevated at an altitude of 2,118  m in Dehradun district. The nearest airport to this temple is Dehradun airport whereas the nearest railway station is Dehradun railways. From here one can take a taxi or bus based on individual convenience.

Why visit Chakrata?

This bewitching hill station invites adventures, enthusiastic people, with activities like mountain climbing, trekking, and the famous skiing during winter at the Mundali. This place offers a dazzling view of the Himalayan mountains which captivates visitors. Apart from these, it as an ancient and sacred temple that dates back to Mahabratha time. One such temple is Lakha Mandal Temple.

Lakha Mandal Temple Dehradun District
Lakha Mandal Temple Dehradun District

Legends of the Lakha Mandal Temple Dehradun District

The legends of the temple are related to the Mahabharata. The envies Duryodhana tries to kill Pandavas to gain the emperor’s position. Duryodhana pursuing them to stay in the palace which was built by the wax. There is a secret cave Dhundhi Odaari near the temple which was a hiding place of the Pandavas.

Another legend is the giant statues with weapons situated near the entrance are said to be Dwarapalakas of the temple. The name of the statue is Manava(human) and Danava(Devil). These two status is compared with the doorman of Lord Vishnu Jaya and Vijaya. Here in this temple, the locals believe them to be Arjuna and Bhima.

Lakha Mandal Temple

This ancient temple is related to the Lakshagrah of Pandavas which was built to kill them by Duryodhana. Apart from this, there is a very unique and holy shiva linga which reflects like a mirror when the water pours on it. One can see themself in the linga. Near to the temple, one can view the tunnel used by Pandavas and their mother Kunti Devi to escape from the fire. On this hill, there are many other tunnels as well. Moreover, Visiting this temple leaves visitors perplexed.

Weather in Chakrata 

Summer is the best time to visit this place as the temperature here varies from 30 degrees to 10 degrees. Chakrata is the best summer vacation spot to spend the holidays. If you are planning to visit here in summer, carry light woollen clothes during summer.

In winter this place is covered with snow, the best place for winter sports like skiing. If you’re planning a winter vacation here to view the skiing are want to participate here then carry warm clothes are the temperature varies from 15 degrees to 5 degrees.

Monsoon is nature lovers season during this time of year you can witness the dazzling colours of nature and the lovely chirping of birds. But as it is a hill station, it is advisable not to travel during this time of year as the landslide is possible during heavy rains.

Places to visit near Lakha Mandal Temple Dehradun District

Tiger falls

This amazing waterfall was not much visited by the tourist as it is in the midst of the forest. Trekkers visit this place while trekking apart from the people who want to enjoy the serenity of the place plan a picnic here and enjoy nature’s amazing view and calmness here.

Kanasar

A scenic picnic and honeymoon place which is in the amid of the dense forest of deodar trees and green meadows. Here you can just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Along with this, you can opt for trekking as well here.

Mahasu Devta Temple

This main deity in the temple is Lord Shiva. Once a demon used to trouble people of this region. One of the devotees of the lord suggested to the people that they should pray to Lord shiva. Then lord instructed a resident of this place Deolari Devi. The instruction was to send her four sons to fight with a demon after a long battle they killed the demon. After a few years once while ploughing the field they found four shiva linga in the land from that day. They call Lord shiva here as Mahasu Devta.

Conclusion

Lakha Mandal Temple in Dehradun District is an amazing spiritual and mystic place with marvellous scenic beauty.

Binsar Mahadev Temple –Ranikhet, Almora, Uttarakhand

Binsar Mahadev Temple is an ancient and popular temple in the Ranikhet town of Almora district in Uttarakhand. This temple is famous not only for its sacredness but also for the scenic beauty surrounding the temple. The main deity in the Sanctum is Lord Shiva in the form of Bindeshwar. Other deities at Binsar Mahadev temple are Ganesh, Goddess Gauri, and Goddess Mahisasuramardini.

Almora is a beautiful hill station in the Himalayan mountain ranges of Uttarakhand. This hill station attracts many tourists as it provides a great view of the Himalayas from the hilltops. When you visit Uttarakhand, plan a visit to Almora which is a captivating hill station with many divine pilgrim places. Almora is located at an altitude of 1,638 meters above sea level. Almora is popular for its temples. One of the holy temples in Almora is Binsar Mahadev Temple of Lord Shiva.

Since the temple is located in the midst of pine and oak trees near the edge of the forest and a beautiful stream follows near temple giving captive view to pilgrims. One will surely enjoy the serenity in the temple where you can sit and meditate. Near this Binsar Mahadev Temple, there is a Binsar Mahadev Ashram. and Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

How to reach Binsar Mahadev Temple?

Road transport is the best route to reach this place as the frequency of airways and the train is less. Pilgrims can hire a taxi from Soni Binsar or may drive directly to Ranikhet and reach this temple. The nearby airport is Pantnagar which is 125 km from Ranikhet whereas nearby railway service is Kathgodam 90 km from Ranikhet. This has train services from Delhi and Dehradun.

Binsar A Walk Through The Wildlife Sanctuary
Binsar A Walk Through The Wildlife Sanctuary

Legends of Binsar Mahadev Temple

Binsar Mahadev Temple near Ranikhet has many stories. During the exile period of Pandavas, they built this divine temple in one night. Whereas the second story goes like- Once there lived a King by name Pithu. During the 10th-century he constructed this temple in remembrance of his father, King Bindu. Another legend is that this temple was built by the Vishwakarma(Devas architect). The strange inscription on the out walls of the temple is written by him.

Recreation activities at Ranikhet

Golfing

Hill golf course is an Army golf course. Hence anyone can play golf by paying the fee. It is considered as a famous tourist attraction spot in Ranikhet. The distance between the golf course and Ranikhet is 5km.

Fishing

If you like fishing then plan a visit to Bhalu Dam when you are in Ranikhet. You need to get permission from the Chief wildlife warden for fishing.

Trekking

Ranikhet is popular for its trekking trails. Therefore, tourists can enjoy trekking from Chaubatia Orchards to Holm farm with family and friends. Then the other trekking trails are Bhalu dam to Ranikhet, Meghdoot to Jhula Devi temple and Chaubatia to Bhalu Dam.

Places to visit near Binsar Mahadev Temple

Chaubatia Orchards

This beautiful orchard is a farm for apples, plums, peaches, and apricots. The view of Nadha Devi Peak, Nilkanth, Trishul and Nandaghunti from this Chaubatia orchards will make the tourist awestruck.

Jhula Devi Temple

The main deity in the temple is Goddess Durga. Tourists visit this place to fulfil their wishes. Thus Jhula Devi is popularly known as wish Fulfilling Goddess.

Bhalu Dam

Bhalu Dam is a popular fishing spot in Ranikhet amid the forest and valley covered with ice caps. This is the best picnic spot to spend time with family. To reach this place you need to trek 3km. Since it is a Dam, the monsoon will be the best time to visit this place.

Conclusion

When you visit Almora in Uttarakhand, keep Binsar Mahadev Temple in your wish list and get the blessing of Lord Bindeshwar and experience the serene environment near the temple.

 

Swargarohini: A Stairway To Heaven

There are some places in life that not only challenge you to the core but are so beautiful and magnificent that they are worth the challenge. One such place is Swargarohini. This heavy destination is exactly what one dreams of. Located in the Himalayas, and blessed with breathtaking views, Swargarohini is unique. Yet, the trek to reach this place is not too easy. So, are you up for the challenge?

Swargarohini: A Stairway To Heaven

The word Swargarohini translates to “Way To Heaven” and there is no doubt that it truly looks like a way to the heavenly abode. Nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas, this wonderful place of Swargarohini is one of a kind.

Located in Uttarakhand, this mountain range I hugely popular among trekkers who are not afraid to climb great heights just to reach this paradise. The mountain range itself is made up of four different peaks- Swargarohini I, II, III, and IV, out of which Swargarohini I are most visited.

Situated at an elevation of 6252 m, it is highly advised that only experienced trekkers with proper gear embark on this challenging yet stunning journey. So, just pack your trekking gear and get ready for a journey of a lifetime as you traverse crystal clear lakes, huge boulders, moraine debris, snowy peaks and bone-chilling wind- to finally reach Swargarohini.

The Myth: Swargarohini

This beauteous mountain finds its mention in the great Indian epic- Mahabharata. It is believed that to reach heaven in the form of a human you must go through Swargarohini. Swargarohini is the only way to reach paradise.

The Route to Trek 

The trek to Swargarohini starts from the holy town of Badrinath: Badrinath – Mana – Lakshmiban – Chakratirtha – Satopanth Lake – Swargarohini Base Camp.

The Trek Journey to Swargarohini

Your journey will begin from the sacred town of Badrinath. There you will also meet your guide. If you are trekking for the first time then it is highly recommended that you get yourself a trekking guide to show you the way. If you want you can also quickly visit the Badrinath Temple, and after seeking its blessing, you can embark upon your journey.

From Badrinath, you will have to reach Mana. This little town is the first leg of the trek. From here you have to start walking on foot. Mana is also the place where you will find India’s last tea shop. From Mana, you have to proceed to Laxmiban. The trek from Mana to Laxmiban is extremely picturesque and right through the bounties of nature.

Throughout this trial, you will be accompanied by the eternally gushing Vasundhara Falls on one side. You will be following the serene Alaknanda River and after some time you have to cross it and reach Mata Murti Temple. Legends believe that Mata Murti Temple is the shrine where Draupadi breathed her last breath. After this, the road continues and you will come across some majestic green meadows that will take your breath away. Finally, as you follow the River once again you will reach Anandvan which is a great place to stop and have some lunch at.

Side Note: You will have to carry your food and tents.

Anandvan is blessed with stunning sceneries and trees that are strikingly green and luscious. With the falls as your background, and the lovely trees to keep you company just dig into your lunch and take a much-needed break. The trail from here gets even more magical if that’s even possible, so after a good nights rest, wake up the next morning to a golden sky and fluffy clouds.

This trek is not undertaken by many, thus there is a sense of peace and calmness in the air. You won’t be able to hear a single noise, and the pollution of the city is replaced by clean light air. Gorge on some lovely breakfast as you admire your surroundings and then leave for the next leg of the journey From here we have to trek towards the Narayana Parvat. This leg of the trek is relatively easier and extremely scenic.

Mesmerising views of the Sesha Mountain and the Alkapuri Mountain Range will keep you motivated and energised as you push yourself to forward. Once you reach Narayana Parvat you will be able to witness the source of Alaknanda River in the form of a mystical glacier.

Your next stop will be Chakrathirth. Chakrathirth is the perfect place to stop and relish the views that lie in front of you. You will be blessed with the sight of the Chaukhamba Mountain and its golden peaks. If you come here as the sun is starting to set then you will be delighted by the scene that will unfold in front of you.

The sky turns into a golden hue, as the snow peaks glisten when the rays fall on them. Gradually the entire valley is covered in a shining golden hue. It is stunning. After a good sleep at night, embark onto one of the toughest parts of the trek- Chakrathirth to Sathopanth Tal.

satopanth-tal
Satopanth Tal – Swargrohini Trek, Badrinath

Start after a light breakfast. As you start your trek you will realise how astonishing beautiful nature can be. This leg of the trek starts to feel like a way to heaven. The entire trail is covered with snowy mountains, lush green trees, lakes that are bluer than the sky and serene locales that will keep your spirits high. No matter how tough this leg is, not once will you feel like giving up as the atmosphere is so refreshing. On the contrary, you will feel liberated and at peace. Far far away from civilisation, this place is truly heavenly. Even though Chakrathirth to Sathopanth Tal is only about 4 km, the trek will take you 3 hours. Once you reach Sathopanth Tal you can also take a dip in the ice-cold water if you dare.

Spend the night at the glorious Sathopanth Tal. At night time you will be surprised to see how regal the night sky looks, as the stars light up the valley. There are no artificial lights or street lamps, just the lights from the stars make it look so magical.

Try to wake up early in the morning to catch the sun to break its slumber and rise into the sky. There is nothing more satisfying than watching the dim rays of the sun slowly hitting the mountains and giving it a peck before covering the entire valley in light.

From Sathopanth Tal, Swargarohini is about 8 km more. You will need trekking gear to climb up Swargarohini. En route, you will come across several caves wherein you can spend your night at. Finally, you will reach the pinnacle and undoubtedly and involuntary your heart will leap in joy. The view from the top of is worth every effort that you put through and you will find yourself just lost in the moment. Spend some time at the top and then start to make your way down before the night falls.

 

Shri Durga Aushadheey Vatika – Volunteer Stay in Rishikesh

Our Vision

Shri Durga Aushadheey Vatika loosely translates as a ‘medicine garden’.  We are passionate about living on and consciously off the land as close to mother nature as possible.  We are here to create and share this beautiful land with like-minded people interested in experiencing and exploring a life based around Organic, Yogic and Ayurvedic principles. Understanding, mother nature provides all the nourishment and best medicine at our fingertips.  Our aim is to offer interested people a chance to live in accordance with the natural laws, a beautifully simple life, plenty of time for contemplation and meditation in the many inspiring natural meditation spots dotted throughout the property.  If you are keen as a beginner to immerse yourself in this yogic lifestyle. Or, are looking to go deeper into your sadhana practice, Shri Durga Vatika welcomes all levels of participants to share in the fresh mountain air and awe-inspiring views.

At Shri Durga Vatika we want to bring these ancient traditions of Ayurveda and traditional farming straight to your plate.  No pesticides are used.  Chemical-free produce is what we provide.  We also aim to keep the best practice of only eating seasonally and locally where possible.  This land is well known for producing many powerful healing medicinal plants that grow naturally in the wild of these mountains.

For instance, we have mango, guava, lemon, pomegranate, mulberry and sweet lime fruit trees to name a few.  Seasonal veggies like cucumber, capsicum, tomatoes bottle guard, okra, chilli trees, coriander, green salads, broccoli, basil and cauliflower.  Medicinal plants we are cultivating here, the like of curry leaves, fresh turmeric, ginger, peppermint, moringa, Shatavari, Brahmi, Justicia Adhatoda, nettle, tulsi, Himalayan basil, heart-leaved moonseed and wood apple. To add brightness and colour with plentiful of marigold, jasmine, and lots of natural flowers that add to the natural beauty of the landscape.

You can’t help but feel rejuvenated and revitalized being surrounded by such natural beauty and bounty.  Enjoying the abundant wildlife, from the many colourful birds, butterflies, and dragonflies aplenty.  Monkeys are known to come and check out what is happening, they are scared of humans so do not pose a threat.

Our location

Our Location in Rishikesh
Our Location in Rishikesh

This land, which is set in the Himalayan Mountains also often, referred to as Shivalik Mountains, the kingdom of Shiva.  We are so blessed to be custodians of this sacred land in the state of North India known as Dev Bhoomi, Uttarakhand “ which means “the land of the Gods”.

We are situated approximately 30 minutes drive from Rishikesh, India. We are a beautiful jungle trek up the mountain through lush vegetation and freshwater springs which take about 15mins to arrive at our Medicine Garden.  We are also only a 15-minute walk to the sacred Ganges.  This village where we are located is called Mala which in local folklore is a symbol of the mala bead necklace as it brings all the different families and houses together at one point. Adding even more significance, it is one of the closest villages to the holy river Ganga in the whole of India, making it very unique indeed.

Your Hosts

Mohan Singh Rana was born in this area, which gives him exceptional local knowledge of Ayurvedic medicinal plants and properties.  He is a passionate foodie, and believes in the saying, “food is medicine”.  Mohan has many years experience cooking in a variety of kitchens, restaurants and ashrams around India, mostly Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamsala. He loves to share his knowledge with anyone from beginners to more advanced seekers. Mohan is a Shadak (a person who lives the yogic principles).

Louise Davey is from Australia
Louise Davey is from Australia

Louise Davey is from Australia she has been studying yoga for more than 20 years and is trained as a kundalini yoga teacher, energy and sound healing medicine practitioner.  Specializing in inner child practices, shadow mining techniques and shamanic breathwork activation sessions.  She has been coming to India for the last 10 years and has found a place that makes her heart sing being so close to mother nature in this jungle paradise of natural spring water and yogic life.

 What We Offer

Accommodation and Amenities

Accommodation and Amenities
Accommodation and Amenities

A chance to reset, get back to mother nature, we aim to live as close to mother earth as possible.  You will experience this by living in tent style accommodation, sleeping on the earth.   In yogic philosophy, this is so beneficial for our well being our spines are directly connecting to the earth element, not separated by unnatural mattresses and the like. For a hassle-free culinary experience, we also offer all guests staying with us x 3 home-cooked Ayurvedic style vegetarian meals to make your stay with us, something special and unique.

Eco-friendly, open style clean Asian style toilets and outdoor shower.  In alignment with the ayurvedic living style, this is recommended to benefit your connection with the natural surrounding elements and environment.   Giving you a firsthand experience of the healing properties of this fresh mountain spring water, that we drink, bathe and swim in.  Straight from source as mother nature intended.

Ayurvedic Homestyle Cooking

Come and enjoy the many delicious flavours and dishes of this mountain region.  Mohan loves to share his wealth of knowledge of Ayurveda and his passion and understanding of how food is medicine. He will be preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner for all guests at Sri Durga Vatika.

Destination Inspired Tours/Treks

You will have ample opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains and villages through the many destination-inspired tours and treks that we offer here at Shri Durga Vatika.  They are as follows:-

Rishikesh Spiritual Tours

Traditional Himalayan Mountain Village Tour.  We will be staying overnight in a traditional mountain village to experience traditional life with family.  This tour includes a jungle walk approx 21/2 hours to reach mountain village.  Where you will be welcomed by the traditional mountain family.  No longer feeling like a tourist as you will be warmly accommodated at their homestay overnight.  Traditional home-cooked, simple and delicious food is provided, breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked by the family. You can also learn and experience firsthand mountain cooking and life.  Optional activities for guests are the village temple or trekking to see awe-inspiring views of the magical Himalayan peaks.

Forest Bathing, Jungle Day Trek or Overnight Optional Camping.

Forest Bathing
Forest Bathing

For guests staying at Shri Durga Ashaudheey, we offer these great outdoor activities to really get a feel for your surroundings. The Jungle trek day tour takes you approx. 45 minutes to climb the mountain taking in the wonderful sounds and surrounds of nature. Mohan your guide will be sharing his knowledge of the local jungle. Reasonable fitness is required.

Ganga Marine Drive Walk

Ganga Marine Drive Walk
Ganga Marine Drive Walk

Morning breakfast walks for guests at Shri Durga.  We will be leaving early to make our way to the banks of the Ganga.  Where you will be able to enjoy simple and healthy breakfast on the beach of the Ganga.

Food as Medicine Experience

Come and explore the amazing world of Ayurveda, complete knowledge of living.  Learn about the many plants, herbs, roots that Mother Nature provides, which are all around us.  Growing naturally in this beautiful Himalayan region.  Food as Medicine Experience is approx. 1-hour walk and talk around Shri Durga Aushadheey medicinal garden. Heart exchange by donation.

One on One Ayurvedic inspired knowledge and cooking experience

For those of you interested in getting physically into Ayurvedic and mountain style cooking.  Then this experience is for you.  Mohan will share his wealth of knowledge in a more in-depth way on how food has been used as medicine and can be used again through these ancient practices and wisdom.

Yoga and Meditation

If you are interested in deepening your spiritual practice then Shri Durga Vatika is a great place to immerse yourself.  There are so many natural meditation spots that dot the landscape.  Be at one with nature, let your troubles of yesterday not be your tomorrow, let go relax and rejuvenate.  Yoga and meditation classes, as well as crystal bowl sound healing sessions,  are offered on request.

Cooking Classes

Have a keen interest in cooking and would like a one on one experience of these ancient traditions.  Mohan will happily share his wealth of knowledge and passion with those of your keen to learn more.