Sacred hour of Pradosham at Tungnath

To visit Tungnath in the bleak winter is an opportunity, to make it to the temple on Pradosham day is a bonus. It was that blessed day in our lives that the weather proved to be friendly and the snow at Tungnath had not entirely set in.

The climb to Tungnath proved to be extremely energy sapping, 3500 feet up slope in 3 kms was a lot more tougher than the endless walk to Tirupati. This added to the sub zero temperatures atop the Himalayan foothills where the water didnt flow to the end of its fall but froze half way. This land, these hills, which holds Ukhimath on one peak, Guptkashi on another, Kalimath on a third and Tungnath on the fourth, not to mention Kedarnath which was not in our radar yet... are breath-taking and beautiful.

We had finally managed to trek all the way up. The experience left us speechless, confused and energized as it seemed more like a physical achievement than a spiritual haven to visit. The real Tungnath fills the mind with excitement at the first sight of the flag atop its finial. Gasping for breath and not even having scaled 3/4ths of the distance left us tired with a hollow in the pit of our stomachs but at the same time the mind and the eyes were filled with the most beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks. Such extravaganza, such virgin beauty lay sprawling all around us as we attempted the next few feet still gasping for breath.

Dry, cold winds sing in the ears, towering peaks appear stark and naked clothed in snow and as we necked up with the range, the temple on this formidable peak looked unreachable as probably the highest ever point. The warmth of the sun was welcome, the feeble heat burned us as we made it up to this quaint little settlement precariously perched on the hilltop.

Why would a group of people in ancient times, want to brave these bleak temperatures and climb all the way up here to build this magnificient temple with the exact rules of architecture and iconography as those found in Bengal or even Madhurai for that matter. Why would there be a seat of serious learning secluded so high up on a mountain almost inaccessible to all in these bleak winters to not just preserve a tradition of deep thinking but to make it a way of life at sub zero temperatures.

I stood here high up on this mountain, having being robbed off my belongings, my identity and having no connection what so ever with the known world. I was lost, in this silent world with no phone, no internet, no money and no identity. I was myself, an individual here and now, in the present, in this beautiful moment that appeared so magical. I was an entity, with no name, no history, no background, no connection and no possession. I was the one, truly detached from all familiarity staring up at this half ruined temple wondering about this blissful relationship I was at this moment sharing with Lord Shiva, whose presence echoed in almost all the stones that made this ancient temple.

I am part of this ancient rule, I am an entity in this ancient world, I am the mantra that flows out loud as I place Vilva leaves gently on this Sahasraha Linga that sits firm at the temple door. I am the lamp I light, I am the sweetness in this moment, I am the only reality that brings this small gift of ghee lamps and vilva to the Lord atop this sacred mountain this bleak winter morning.

The sun slowly starts to descend, the cold winds take over as my mind finds its way back to the steep path way that brought me up here. My heart flows with love for this land, for these mountains and for the purity in this air. There is no person, there is no aim, there is no thought... there is just pure love that flows this evening at this sacred hour at the great temple of Tungnath.

To be continued...

Photo courtesy: unknown from google images


Palazzo said...

that peace

JC said...

Kavitha, Welcome back to the blog-world in the New Year 2010 with revived spirit!

Kavitha said...

Hi Joshi Uncle,

Happy New Year to you too! I have successfully completed 6 years of blogging :) and I cant quite believe it.

And it only gets more intense from here.


YOSEE said...

Wonderful !Right there with you, melting into nothingness in the immensity of the all pervading Shivam. Happy new year and congrats on completing 6 eventful years in the blogworld.

Rwitoja said...

A beautiful post Kavitha!You have taken us with you to that Himalayan mountaintop.Waiting for the next post.
Wishing you a Happy New Year and many more happy years of blogging!

Sanctified Spaces said...

you are truly blessed with the god gene.

Bart said...

All my best wishes for this New Year 2010, Kavitha, you have made a marvellous good start with it already with this winter-pilgrimage. I was exciting to read your report and it is exciting to wait for the next part(s). I wish you just time, the High Lord provides you inspiration, and myself and our co-readers patience.

Kavitha said...

HI Yosee, Rwitoja, Sanctified spaces, Bart,

Thank you for your kind wishes.

With your constant presence there is a lot of inspiration to write.