The miracle at Manimahesh peak, Chamba

In Rabbinical literature from the scene of the Law-giving, there are different names that have been attributed to the Mountain of Horeb, the sacred peak under whose shadow Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Etymologically speaking, the name Horeb is thought to mean Glowing Heat which could reference the Sun. The alternative name given to this peak is Sinai, a name derived from Sin, alias the Moon God who is a Sumerian deity. Among other names, are the Mountain of Elohim and Mountain of Yhwh, but the peak finally settled with the name of the Mountain of Horeb while the land around it is called Sinai, and in Hebrew literature, this is referenced as a desert. 

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.

The vision of this peak and the landscape around it as well as the value of sacred lore that covers it make this experience a lot more worth while. Apart from the treacherous trek of 13 kms up-slope following narrow paths along these steep slopes, the view of this Mountain is what we received when we finally reach the foot of Manimahesh Mountain, and this is a divine treat for all the hard work.   
The Lord's grace works in strange ways. While Moses had the opportunity to see the Grace of the Lord in what is referenced as a burning bush of fire, this piece of paradise in Chamba promises similar grandeur. The serenity of this location, in poetic terms is known to showcase the many aspects of Lord Shiva. In the backdrop of the blue sky, dotted with clouds that seem like celestial beings floating and gracefully dancing around, this peak mirrors itself in the reflection visible in the sacred Kund that stand directly below it. What a presence it has and what a view it is for us to imbibe.

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. 

This divine experience, this breathtaking view is one such example that showcases the miracles of the supreme in its own strange way, making us relive the presence of Lord Shiva during our earthly existence. This is reality in our terms and this divine experience is not hard to come by, it just needs to be discovered!

Photo courtesy:


JC said...

"Tamaso ma jyotigamaya...etc". Or, "Lead the kindly light",,, convey the thoughts of the ancient wise, in short, in regard to need for education of humans on earth by observing the external world and learning with the help of the five physical senses ,,,to eventually realise the presence of 'fire' or the light (the sixth-sense, generally dormant but shows its presence once a while) within each being too, whose external body itself was realised made up of the panchtatva, or panchbhootas, the five elements that continue since indefinite past ('bhoot')!...

Bart said...

What a splendid pair of Youtube movies, Kavitha, you’ve posted as an illustration with this very interesting article of yours - really beautiful and inspiring too! Yes, definitively the sun above the top of the mount could be the right explanation of the fire on the top of Mount Horeb in the Sinai-dessert. But fires at the tops of mountains also remember us to the many offerings brought on mountain-peaks. As long as mankind did believe the God has his abode in heaven, the top of mountains, so close nearby heaven, have always been seen as the most perfect altars. So a fire on the top of a mountain could be considered as a sacrificial performance. And God is present in the offering ceremony, at least as the receiver; even in a dualist view. In a advaita way of beholding God is even more present than just as a receiver, as Lord Krishna taught by his famous words: brahmarpanam brahma havir
brahmagnau brahmana hutam
brahmaiva tena gantavyam
brahma-karma-samadhina ~ The act of offering is God, the oblation is God by God it is sacrificed into Gods Fire. God is That which is to be attained by those who see God in every action (B.G. 4:24) So everyone can find his own good reasons the pay respect, devotion or piety in the beholding of a offering, even if that would be just a light-offering performed by Lord Surya without any aid of any mortal.

JC said...

Hi Bart, In our school-days there was a poem in which the poet wondered why flowers bloomed in deserts where there was no one to appreciate their colours and fragrance etc,,,thus indicating how 'we' tend to believe humans as the only VIPs, and generally therefore tend to be selfish...While, on the other hand, 'we' can clearly see how different life forms are interdependent on one another with man just heading the food chain,,,and that bees and insects (that apparently landed on earth much before man) sustain on the nectar of flowers, while on the other hand, they in return also help the plant life to develop and fructify!

There are many wonders in 'nature' that man is curious to learn about and appreciates in great numbers from time to time in the present, viz. reviewing full solar eclipse when small-sized moon (because of its relative closeness to earth) virtually makes the big-sized sun set for sometime during the day, confusing at least the birds (and causing fear among humans due to lack of belief in the supreme force that is the real witness of 'nature')!

JC said...

Kavitha, Related with light, the biggest miracle, for 'me', is appearance of dreams, not only in humans, but also in 'inferior animals' in their mind's eye (like projection of recorded images, as in the You Tube that are being presented in the innumerable blogs),,, since time immemorial, perhaps since eternity, and perhaps thus no question of 'evolution of life' as we are given to understand for the unique 'Creator'!

JC said...

Maybe, I could as well add that planet earth, the abode of innuberable life forms today, is believed to have itself been a 'fire ball' in the beginning!

("We didn't start the fire/ It was always burning"!)

JC said...

Although all the lights on the dark night of Diwali, the festival of light, cannot match the light of the Sun, yet one might visualise that they convey the message symbolically, to all humans to dispel the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge.


Kavitha said...



hari babu said...

interesting blog, really enjoyed the videos.

Virgil said...

Where did that painting of moses at the burning bush come from? I would like to ask for the rights to use it.

Kavitha said...


The Photo courtesies are given at the bottom of the post. Please refer the urls.

I got the picture from google images.

rahul samotra said...

I am rahul shankar from pathankot.main bhi manimahesh ho aaa chuka hu.bhut he Bdiya weather.pani ki chan chan.dund ki chadar.garm chai ki pyali.oo mahadev ke darshan.Aaho bhagg mere.this tyme i am going on 08.09.13 I had already done 7 tunes.Jai baba manimahesh..............