IMMORTALITY , ATONEMENT , THE ORIGIN OF A RIVER and MORE : TRYMBAKESHWAR JYOTIRLING

As mentioned before the Sinhasta Kumbh takes place at two places. We have already been to Ram Kund at Nashik. The second part takes place at the Kushavarta Kund in Trymbakehwar.( 30 kms from Nashik) .

Trymbakeshwar is nestled in the  Sahydiri Hills  on the  Brahmagiri mountain.The names of the hills  and the region are a fountainhead of numerous mythical tales.

Anjaneri hills, birthplace of Lord Hanuman
Anjaneri hills, birthplace of Lord Hanuman

The hills of the Western ghats  are the catchment area for the rivers Krishna and Godavri .

The revered river Godavri ( also called the Ganges of the south) originates from the Brahmgiri hills, trickles into the Kushvarta Kund , goes onto the Ram Kund and then joins the sea in the Bay of bengal.

approaching the epicentre
Approaching Trymbakeshwar

Trymbakeshwar is  one of the twelve Jyotirlings, of which I will write in detail later.Have written on a few Jyotirlings before as well.Have personally been to Eight of the twelve.

first glimpse
first glimpse

It reads JYOTIRLING: SHRI TRYMBAKESHWAR TEMPLE . We had been forewarned of a waiting period extending to several hours before you could enter the main temple.

However the Lord himself had cleared the path and we were inside the sanctum sanctorum within a few minutes. It’s a gorgeous temple with antiquity written on every stone.

the main entrance
the main entrance

A wall painting spotted outside a wall adjoining the temple depicts Lord Shiva.

No beginning no end Lord Shiva
No beginning no end Lord Shiva

Nature is an intrinsic part of Hindu mythology and folklore. Trees and animals are protected by the hand of God.

The location of ancient temples like Trymbakeshwar in catchment areas ensures the survival of rivers as well. Ancient folklore and myth entwined with religion are a guarantee that the environment is protected.

The area has the highest precipitation in the region  and it was pouring on the day we went as well. Do observe the pictures well and you will see the clouds had descended to ground level.

trees
trees
the town
the town
sadhus
sadhus

An intrinsic part of a Kumbh is the process of taking a dip in the holy waters.

You hold your nose and squat  ensuring  the water covers your head. This is the process of Atonement or cleansing the sins of the past.

Kushavarta, Origin of the river Godavri
Kushavarta, Origin of the river Godavri

Lord Shiva is represented in the form of a Shivling. Milk and water is poured on the Shivling in a process called Abhishek or coronation.

abhishek
Rudra Abhishek

The Kushvarta pond is surrounded on three sides by these halls you see in the picture which have the most amazing statues of the Hindu pantheon of Gods.

prayers
Prayers being offered by a couple

The Peshwas , the rulers of the region, had these aesthetically designed temples and halls constructed  600 years ago, which are used to date

a corner
a corner of the halls that surround Kushvarta

It is possible you miss this statue of Lord Vishnu , it is from here where the River Godavri originates.

river godavri
Origin of the river Godavri

I was lucky to witness this amazing sight as well.The cow is licking the statue.Have never seen such a sight in 51 years of my life.

lord krishna and a cow
lord krishna and a cow

The author in traditional attire getting a ‘tilak’ on the forehead.

tikka
” Shiva tilak”

I am aware have used a large number of words and names which make the head of many spin. Relax, email me if you want to know more or simply enjoy the scenic beauty of TRYMBAKESHWAR.

Advertisements

BEDAZZLED WITH FAITH , IMMORTALITY AND ATONEMENT AT THE SINHASTHA KUMBH

It is fabled a drop of Amrit (nectar)  which grants immortality  fell from the kumbh ( urn ) at the RAM KUND, Nashik.

The Urn was carried by  Garuda ( the king of serpent eagles and vehicle of Lord Vishnu) .

This hoarding at Nashik tells the story of the Kumbh
This hoarding at Nashik tells the story of the Kumbh

I am writing with the hope that the article is read by a vast number of people and my travelogue motivates them to go to  the Sinhastha Kumbh. The Kumbh is happening as I write  and  the fair will continue till the end of September 2015.

faith : at the feet of God
faith : at the feet of God

I was not even aware, let alone go to one,  of the significance of the Kumbh Melas till about 3 years ago.Thereafter it has been a never ending educational  journey . The Kumbh is a must visit for people from all walks of life. ( believers or non believers, Hindus and non Hindus)  It is a chance of a lifetime to witness and learn about this massive upsurge of humanity. 

It is a literary congregation/festival  of  scholars , sadhus and priests besides millions of people.

It reads
It reads ” the festival for Humanity is now taking place, welcome to the KUMBH fair  at Nashik”

It is a religious fair held once in 12 years when the Sun and Jupiter enter the constellation of   “Leo”, the Lion. ( Singha is Lion in Hindi) .

A unique fact about the Nashik Kumbh is that it is held simultaneously at two locations, Ram Kund at Nashik and Trymbakeshwar ( 30 kms from Nashik) .

Ram Kund at night
Ram Kund at night

Thus we will go to both , we go first to the Ram Kund which is in the heart of the charming city of Nashik.

ram kund at 0700 hrs
Ram Kund at 0700 hrs

Panchvati, Nashik ( location of the Ram Kund)   is a historic site as it is supposed to be the place where Lakshman cuts the nose of Supranakha, hence the the name NASHIK.

( please read the epic Ramayan)

Lord Ram with his bros including Lakshman
Lord Ram with his brothers including Lakshman

The antique  panel above is located at the base of the Ram Stambh( pillar) located at Panchvati near the Ram Kund. You have to look for it. I was lucky to spot it as a priest was there offering flowers.

Ram Sthamb connects me to Tirupati
Ram Stambh connects me to Tirupati

The U shaped mark is the symbol of Lord Vishnu and can be seen at Tirupathi in particular. The flight of stairs descends to the ghats and Ram Kund where you take the traditional dip to wash away  your sins.

The Stambh or Pillar also marks the centre of Panchvati where Lord Ram lived for two and half years with Sita and Lakshman.

It is interesting that a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwar is located a few minutes away from this site.

Small temples are located under trees along the river banks and even in the midst of  the river. Mythology, nature and religion form a beautiful amalgamation.

The city seen from the ram kund
The city seen from the Ram Kund

Millions have come and gone bound in the faith that a dip in these waters will atone all sins of the past. I too took a dip with thousands of others and symbolically  offered the water to the Sun God.

The Goddess Godavri flows from Gaumukhs.
The Goddess Godavri flows from Gaumukhs.

The closest natural event to the Kumbh is the migration in far away Africa.The lady has traveled  1500 kms with her ailing husband to carry the holy waters in her urn ( kumbh)  made of brass.

the urn is revered and cannot be placed on the floor
the urn is revered and cannot be placed on the ground

Do see the kumbh ( urn) in the foreground

the banks of the river Godavri at panchvati
the banks of the river Godavri at panchvati

Trees temples and people all merge. Man and woman exist in all  symbolized by Ardhanareshwar. Only the  two combined can complete the picture .

Lord Shiva as Ardhnareshwar
Lord Shiva as Ardhnareshwar

Trees are revered and you will observe people pray to them too.Even God’s creations are worshiped.

a tree and a sadhu
a tree and a sadhu

There are numerous bridges across the river.The temple is  unique  as the the first rays of the sun touch  the feet of the ruling deity, the Creator  Lord Vishnu on the  21st of  March .

sundarnarayan temple forms the backdrop
Sundarnarayan temple forms the backdrop

The sun has set,  and I sign off with two captivating images of the Kumbh Mela.

Rameshwaram twemple
Rameshwaram temple

Nandiji on the banks of the RAM KUND

om namah shivam
Om Namah Shivaya

We now head to the second half of the Kumbh at Trymbakeshwar.