Let’s go back to the moment, when the Lord appeared in front of Moses in the form of a burning bush and gave him the Ten Commandments of good living. Moses saw this bright fire while he was tending his sheep. Working back on what this vision would have been, Moses would have seen an extremely bright light on the peak of the Mountain of Horeb, a blinding light that glowed on him as the sacred rules came forth. What a miraculous moment in time it was, experienced by Moses and recorded for posterity. Further in this story as referenced in the bible, the Israelites came to camp at Rephidim after the Exodus from Egypt. Moses watched his people suffer from thirst and by the Grace of God and His command, he smote water from a rock on Horeb, and there is believed to be this rising oasis of water in this bleak region that surrounds the Sacred Mountain.
Lost in deep mountains of the Himalayas, in the steep undulating landscape of Himachal Pradesh near the village of Bharmour, Chamba district is a mountain of equally great value. Proclaimed to be a replica of the great mountain of Kailash, this peak rises up into the landscape delivering a majestic view of itself. Gigantic in form that almost reduces us to mere ants in its monumental presence, this peak rises up into the sky draped in the white robes of the glacier that covers it. And right there, at its foot is the Shiv Kund, the natural lake that mimics the Mansarovar at the foot of Kailash Parvat.
They say that when the sky is clear, on a starry night, the moonlight falls on the white glacier of this peak and the reflection of it in the Shiv Kund below appears like the very Lord Shiva is seated here, draped in light with the same crescent moon on his forehead, glowing as it were on the peak of Manimahesh mountain. The moon, as it adorns this peak, appears like a sparkling jewel, alias Mani, which glows in the night sky giving this mountain its name - Manimahesh.
But what happens the next morning is an even more breath taking view. Strange at it is, the direction for the view and the location of the mountain with the Shiv Kund at is feet, is a magical placement to bring us one of the most divine spectacles of life. People flock to Manimahesh to catch a glimpse of this miracle, which in my mind equals that of what Moses saw on the sacred mountain of Horeb.
During the months of August and September, people scale these great slopes of the Himalayan foothills to reach this mountain and be granted this view. The idea is to wake up early and catch the first glimpses of the sun as it rises. And then the divine world strikes its chord. In the early hours of the morning, as the sky begins to slowly brighten up, this great mountain stands in front, as a silhouette to the phenomenon that is about to unfold. The day brightens slowly, and as we face east to view this great wall of earth, the first glimpse of the Sun God we receive is from the pinnacle of this mountain. As time passes by, and the light glows into the horizon, the sun rises up in dazzling light, like a blazing diamond glowing in its supreme self at the peak of Manimahesh, blinding us and blessing us with this experience. At this moment, the Mani on Lord Shiva's head shines out far more in brilliance like a thousand suns glowing in the morning sky presenting us this absolutely spectacular view.