Shrikhand Mahadev , Himachal Pradesh – India
Shrikhand Mahadev is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva. It is actually a pilgrimage place for Hindus. It is a place of great attraction for the religious people as well as for climbers. It is situated at 18500 feet above the sea level. Shrikhand is the situated at top of the mountain. Apparently as many as 5000 pilgrims visit this peak during the yatra, and yatra is normally done in July, so that would be a good time to give it a miss if one is looking for solitude of any kind.
Shrikhand Mahadev view is very beautiful to see. Shrikhand is always surround by Fog. The weather is always cold & climate is very awesome. It is usually undertaken to coincide with the Ashada Poornima or, full moon day of June to July as per the Vikrami calendar
History behind Shrikhand : According to the folklore there used to be a demon named Bhasmasur. He worshipped lord Shiva for many years. By seeing his dedication lord Shiva was so happy that he asked Bhasmasur to ask for anything. Bhasmasur asked for the power of burning any creature just by placing his hand on the head of the creature. Lord Shiva blessed him with the asked power. Bhasmasur became so proud of his power that he tried to burn lord Shiva. Then lord Shiva had to hide in a cave near Nirmand at Deo Dhank.
Lord Vishnu came to save Lord Shiva from the demon. Vishnu incarnated himself as Mohini a beautiful lady. She (Vishnu) asked the demon Bhasmasur to dance with her. Bhasmasur was so much mesmerised with the beauty of Mohini that he could not resist himself from dancing with Mohini. Mohini cleverly got Bhasmasur to place his hand on his head and Bhasmasur turned into ashes. Just after Bhasmasur burned all the God’s reached Deo Dhank to look up lord Shiva. They found Lord Shiva detained under the web in the cave. It was very difficult to release lord Shiva from there. So Lord Shiva used a secret route and emerged as Shakti Roop at Shrikhand Mountain from cave at Dev Dhank.
When lord Shiva was getting out from Shrikhand Mountain, there were a great blast and only the present Shrikhand Shivling remains. On the way to Shrikhand top you can find out big boulders that look like as the part of any big mountain. At Shrikhand there is main peak (Shivlinga) dedicated to lord Shiva. Just opposite to it another big stones are known as Godess Parvati and Lord Ganesh. Just behind the Shrikhand peak there is a peak known as Kartikeya Parvat.
Shrikhand Mahadev is in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. It is 72 feet rock made Shivlingam.
There are three ways to reach Shrikhand Mahadev
Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur Bushahr-Arsu-Bagipul-Jao Village - Most of the devotee take this route and this is the easiest and most common route. I believe 90% of the devotees goes via this route only so I recommend that please go via this route only because in this route we get most of the facilities.
From Kullu side—Last village connected by road is Bathad in Banjar block of district. Kullu and from Bathad a steep track leads to BASHLEU PASS and then it leads to a very beautiful village SARAHAN (but this is Kullu Sarahan another one is in Shimla district)
From Rampur Bushahr- Jeory
From Rampur Bushahr to Jeory - This is considered as the toughest route for this yatra and only the local people of upper Himachal areas (Shimla, Sarahan, Kullu and Kinnour) can go in this track. For other guys it would be very tough so please don’t take this track if you are expert in climbing on hills.
Bus route : Delhi – Chandigarh – Shimla.
From Shimla - Take any bus to Rampur Bushahr. From Rampur take a bus or taxi to Nirmand or you can get a bus to Jao Village directly. Your ultimate goal is to reach Jao Village and then from Jao village you have to go with your feet.
From Jao village to Singhad, the distance is 2-3 KM and from here the yatra starts. The registration of the yatra is done here and you get free lunghar (Food and snacks) here. Anyone can do a night stay here free of cost. For the devotees who are coming from long distances please stay at night over here because here you can have bath and meals and a good rest for yatra and then start your yatra in the morning around 4AM or 5 AM.
Singhad – Thachru – Free lunger (meals) available here and a doctor is also available at this point and for accomodation you have to pay the rent of tent. (Normally it is Rs 100-120 per night) .
Thachru – Bhim dwar or Parvati Bagh – If you reach Bhim dwar or Parvati Bagh after 1 PM then you can go to Shirkhand Mahadev in the next morning.
From Bhim dwar or Parvati Bagh to Shrikhand Mahadev and back to Bhim dwar or Thachru
In the morning you have to start your journey i. e early morning 4AM – 5AM and you can reach Shrikhand Mahadev around 10 AM and then you have to come back from there and you can stay either Bhim dwar or Thachru.
Bhim dwar/Thachru – Singhad or Rampur – You can stay in night at Singhad and then you can leave for your home.