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Babaji cave Link
This our 5th Day of Journey since we Started on 17/01/2010
Day 1. Delhi to Rishikesh via Haridwar
Day 2. Rishikesh, Devaprayag,Rudraprayag and Karnaprayag (Himalayan Odessey)
Day 3. Karnaprayag, josimath and Bavishya Badri
Day 4. Josimath, Pandukeshwar, Virdh Bardi (Animath), Adi Badri (Vasanth panchami Day)
Having learnt from our previous day’s experience, we decided to push ourselves and head to Babaji’s cave as early as possible. We left the hotel at 8.00am and reached the YSS ashram in Dwarahat. There we met the Japanese monk who is the current priest of YSS Ashram for past 43 years has been dedicatedly been observing meditation he teaches Kriya yoga. After purchasing a few Books and pictures from YSS store, we left along with a guide back into the town of Dwarahat to find some breakfast.
We were pointed to a stall and informed that it was one of the best here, by our guide, who was actually a 16 year old boy. Doubting of his judgment and not trusting our stomachs we took a chance and ate taking precautionary tablets, we left for Babaji’s cave. We curved through narrow ghat roads to Kukuchina and on the way we came across two foxes. An auspicious sign among Hindus, over-joyed we got out to video tape the foxes, as the camera was moved around we came across tones of energy circles that seemed to be radiating from one particular spot. As we traced the circles, we were lead to a tree that seemed to emit these energy circles and upon touching the tree some felt that they lost all awareness and experienced vivid thought blocks. There were plenty of those energy spots around in different areas.
On the way we stopped for “Garam chai” at Joshi’s tea house in Kukuchina, a sweet old man, who arranged a four by four to transport us to the point where we were to begin our hike. The road to that point is so steep and rough that it is impossible for our curve to even enter the road.
As we started our climb we witnessed two Garuda’s flying over our heads, another auspicious sign. Baffled, we slowly made our way up. The views were spectacular the entire place emanated a sense of peace and clarity. No wonder Babaji had chosen this mountain of all places. After while we all seemed to experience serious thought blocks, it’s as if our minds were completely cleared. I found myself not really thinking of anything, even when I tried to think of something I found myself drawn back to the present. It’s not like I could not remember, more like I was forced not to it was a strange but pleasant experience.
It was a warm day, and we stripped of our layers and were left with a t-shirt. We stopped along the way to Babaji’s cave, as our guide left us to retrieve the key at a nearby house. We continued without him the path was quite easy to find. We walked past the meditation center that was locked and off we went to BABAJI’s cave. The last leg up to the cave was the hardest yet, it was very slippery and steep.
At the sight of Babaji’s cave I was so overwhelmed; I took of my shoes and quickly entered the cave. I went straight to the furthest corner and quietly meditated. Whilst the others came in to pray and set up the things for the Puja, I sat outside on a ledge and meditated. It was such a wonderful experience and it was more treasurable as we were the only ones there.
We then headed to the small cave, which required a lot of wriggling and not even lifting my head to enter. We had to remove our shoes, no more than 2-3 people could be inside. Our torches were our only source of light, and sharp boulders stood out from all side. There inside hung a single bat, I was bit surprised as we saw pictures from Gannuboy before .the same bat same corner, usually when there are bats they live in colony and the places will be wet and there will be droppings but there was none of those signs we slowly crouched beneath careful not to disturb it (who knows it could be the divine master). Struggling, a little I had to dig into the rock using my elbows to get myself out all the while ensuring I do not raise my head. Gathering our stuff we descended before darkness set in. We reached back down to the four by four at around 5.30pm and left Jyoshi’s tea house at just after 6 pm for Mukteshwar. We did not reach Mukteshwar until just after midnight.
Below is some information about Dunagiri Mountain and places of interest surrounding the Mountain. I have also included Joshi Ji details and it seems to be a quiet nice places to stay, very reasonably priced and peaceful too.
Travel route to Mahavatar Babaji Cave 29/04/2012
Dear Mahavatar Devotees,
Firstly, I thank you all for those lovely emails that are very encouraging and appreciative. I mostly write back for courtesy. But, on occasions when hard pressed for time I might have missed few mails. I humbly, apologize for those, who has felt been ignored after their kind effort to appreciate me.
Secondly, preponderance of those mails is for routes and travel advice. I shall try my best to guide you all to make your trip safe and memorable. However, I would like to emphasize on certain facts for devotees to adhere, when planning this most delightful journey of your lifetime to make it worthwhile.
Please don’t feel left out by over whelming stories from people claiming to have traveled to those places earlier and their divine experience. Spirituality is a natural maturity that will happen at any point of time in anyone’s life. No one can force feed spiritual subjects to anyone. Again, people who have not made such a journey to those divine places are no less than the one’s who have made those journey. For the reason that the one who has not been able to undertake such a journey shall be the one who had devoted more time to think about Mahavatar than the traveled one who would much rather feel their objectives have been accomplished.
The journey to those mountains were Mahavatar believed to have resided or residing shall only appeal to a person when that divine knowledge of self realization starts to develop. Such knowledge, will gradually mature and will take you on a journey to eternity. To fully appreciate that wisdom and to realize what you are! And what Mahavatar is! We need to dedicate that time for god. If your mind is unsettled with material consciousness on a constant rush to work, Intending on strict time schedules for those great places that has boundless spiritual allure. Surely, one can certainly miss out certain important experience that shall occur almost to everyone depending on their level of mental maturity to perceive it.
Those places on the way to Mahavatar cave are very important in terms of religion, spirituality, Humanity, and underlying science, etc. Moreover, we are traveling on perilous ghat roads that are surely unpredictable particularly during monsoon seasons.
So be advised on those underlying facts and be prepared to face the reality. When your mind lingering on your work and other constraints the journey that has cost you money and time is futile.
When I undertake those journeys, I ruminate over months and bestow time with devotion to Mahavatar Babaji doing long meditations and maintain abstinence on diets, habits and materialistic comforts with great consciousness. It does not only benefit my health. Also, it helps to discipline the mind and to nurture the faith inside with great passion, In order to will feel cosseted by Mahavatar Babaji. The reliance on faith is very much needed to spearhead my plans precisely because I also take with me people from various backgrounds and they rely on me entirely during the journey. Therefore, I very much emphasize one for careful planning with devotion and dedication along faith to overcome any unpredictable events during such journey.
There are various routes to Mahavatar Babaji Cave. Let us assume we are traveling from New Delhi.
- Train route to Kathgodam (see picture above, and take a TAXI from Kathgodam to Kukuchina)
- Road approach (National Highways from New Delhi).
Follow National Highway (NH24) from New Delhi to Ghaziabad, and (NH58) from Ghaziabad to Karnaprayag via Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Follow National Highway (NH24) from New Delhi to Ghaziabad and (NH58) to Meerut. From Meerut take (NH119) to Srinagar via Pauri and will join (NH58) in Srinagar. This route will take you through most beautiful scenery and will pass through Tarakeshwar. This is the place were Swami Rama had his enlightenment.
The route NH58 is very busy from New Delhi to Rishikesh and moderately busy and vary with season from Rishikesh to Karnaprayag.
The NH119 via Kotadwar, Tarakeshwar and Pauri is very less traffic and not advisable during monsoon seasons.
The route from Karnaprayag to Dwarahat NH 87 has low motor traffic and has more narrow curves and takes a longtime to reach Dwarahat also not suitable during nights.
There is a check post between Rudraprayag and Karnaprayag that does not allow traffic after 8:00 pm to pass through.
Between two sides, there are good accommodation in Rudraprayag and GMVN guesthouses in Karnaprayag. I would prefer to stay in GMVN guesthouses on the way as they are well maintained and appropriately priced but needs advance booking and planning particularly during season times. (GMVN in Badrinath is exemption and has poor standards)
For those, planning a trip to kedarnath (temple opens in June and closes in October, please check for correct dates as it varies every year). It is better to leave Rishikesh at early at 6:00 am. However, make sure your driver has the seasonal permit for ghat roads normally valid for 3 months. If he doesn’t have one then this will delay the start at Rishikesh as the office will only open at 8:00 am and permit will take 1 to 2 hours depending on queue.
It will take 8 to 9 hours to reach Kedarnath base campsite from Rishikesh for overnight accommodation please refer to my travel diary on kedarnath.
If you are hard pressed for time and worried about altitude sickness. It is better to do kedarnath in one day (but a mule hire is a must)
It takes exactly 4 hours on a mules back to reach kedarnath. So if you climb the mule at 8:00 am you will reach by 12:00 noon and give two hours for Dharshan and leave by 2:00 pm will reach the base by 6:00 pm.
Altitude sickness can be uncomfortable experience almost everyone will get in kedarnath if you stay over night.
These are some options to save time and avoid altitude sickness to kedarnath
- Mule ride to climb up and climb down cost Indian Rs 1500/- (but, take a knee guard and helmet to protect you). I very much feel it is mandatory as there is no law and regulation. Choose a good mule and be sure it has all the proper cushion and saddle accessories. So please use your own common sense against some nonsense Gouda walla’s
- Depending on affordability there is chopper available from Phala. Cost Indian Rs. 8000/-. But, they operate depending on the weather for the day. There is also a chopper facility from Agasthiyamuni 17 km from Rudraprayag Indian Rs 15,000/-. This of course can save time by avoiding travel to Phala that is close to Rampur near kedarnath. So effectively one can save a day by using this service from Agasthiyamuni.
To read more on kedarnath travel click on the picture above for the link
From kedarnath to Rudraprayag it is exactly 4 hours. From Rudraprayag to Badrinath via Karnaprayag and Josimath is 8 hours (i.e. Rudraprayag to Karnaprayag is 1 hour, Karnaprayag to Josimath is 4 hours, and Josimath to Badrinath is 3 hours) please bear in mind from Josimath to Badrinath there is gate system that opens every 2 hours to allow and regulate ongoing and incoming traffic.
From Badrinath to Kukuchina is 12 hours non-stop drive. We left Badrinath at 6:00 am to reach Kukuchina at 5:45 pm.
Mahavatar Babaji Cave is situated in a place called Kukuchina in Dunagiri Mountain. There are two routes to reach Dunagiri.
- Karnaprayag to Dwarahat
- Kathgodam to Dwarahat
From Delhi there are private buses to Nainital and Train up to Kathgodam (Ranikhet Express). From Kathgodam there are taxis and buses to Dwarahat and Kukuchina is 15 km from Dwarahat.
The shortest distance and much more convenient to reach from Delhi is by train to Kathgodam. However, if there is plenty of time and have a mind set to see more places of spiritual interest then the Rishikesh route would be suitable but tiring though.
- New Delhi to Rishikesh 8 hours on road (trains are available to Haridwar and Rishikesh)
- Rishikesh to Karnaprayag (almost a day journey 8-9 hours)
- Karnaprayag to Dwarahat is a good 6-7 hours journey via Adi-Badri.
Rishikesh route can make journey hard pressed for time as one might find difficult to priorities as each and every place on the way is equally important with others.
Geeta Bhawan :One of the oldest temple complex in the area. The famous Indian epic Ramayana and Mahabharta are described here on the walls.
One of the most renowned temple complex and ashram in the area . Known for its substantial work on Hinduism, three is a school run on tradtional Indian Patterns. The ashram organizes excellent Ganga Arti and Hawan on the Parmarth Ghat every evening.
“When global orange sun suspended, waits low amid the red/yellow streaked horizon, then all these combine to give this town a very special evening. The temple bells roar, priests enchant mantras. Immersed in sublimation stand the pilgrims . Cupped leaves, with saffron marigold petals and a small candle flame, flickering ride the current of water of wisdom. Suddenly the sky darkens , spreading a blanket of stillness. Everything stops, except the sound of current , which has just sunk the tiny flames of cupped leaves, few minutes back”.
Transcendental Centre of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:
Situated on the extreme end of Geeta Bhawan area , Marishi’s TM centre is situated in the pecaeful forest area. Once the most active branch has nothing much to offer to the visitors today. One can see the ruins of the TM centre from a distance.
KUNJAPURI TEMPLE- SUN RISE OR SUN SET
Drive to Kunja Puri, one of the thitrteen most important Goddesses of Shivalik range , the lower Himalayas.One can witness excellent sunrise or sun set on the Greater Hiamalayan Peaks and the vast Indo Gangetic plains . One can see almost all the peaks of Garhwal Himalayas from here e.g Banderpunch (6316 Mts) , Swarga Rohini (6252 Mts) Gangotri ( 6672 mts) Chaukhamba (7138 mts) etc.
One hour drive from Rishikesh up river is situated Vasishtha Goofa , where famous saint vasishtha meditaed on the banks of the Ganges. The cave is very peaceful and is a perfect place for meditation.
The entire drive to Vasishtha Goofa is along the river.
One of the panchprayags ( Five confluences), Devprayagais an ancient town situated at the confluence of Alaknanda & Bhgirathi river making the holy Ganges. Visit the ancient temple of lord Rama at the beginning of the holy Ganges.
The entire drive is along the beautiful river Ganga upto Devprayag.
Surkanda Devi ( 10,000 Feet)
Drive ( 2.5 to 3 hrs) to Kadukhal via Narender Nagar, the capital of Tehri Garhwal once. Now the palace is converted in to a world famous Spa. We stop at the palace for come time and continue to Chamba. The entire drive till chamba is gradual ascent through the forest and small villages. We stop at the small hill town of Chamba for a cup of tea and then drive along the ridge till Kadhuhla. One can enjoy the panoramic view of mountains on one side and the big doon valley on the other side. Arrive Kaddu Khal and commence trek (01 – 1.5 hrs) to Surkanda Devi. The entire trek is gradual ascent till the mountain top. Visit the temple of Surkanda Devi , one of the 13 important Goddesss of Himalayan Foot hills.
Enjoy the 180 degrees panoramic view of snow covered Greater Himalayan Range and the massive doon valley. One can see almost all the Major peaks of Garhwal Himalayas e.g Swarga Rohini 6252 Mts Sudarshan parbat 6507 Mts, Kamet 7756 Mts, Nanda Gunti 6309 Mts. Nanda Devi 7878 Mts. .
Trek down ( 01 hr) to Kaddu Khal. Picnic Lunch and little rest in the mountain tea shops. Later drive back to Rishkesh via Mussorie ( The famous hill station in north India) and Dehradun , the capital of Uttaranchal State.
Instead of driving via Mussoire , one Can also opt for visit to Tehri Dam lake near chamba
Har ki Pauri: It is one of the most popular ghats in Haridwar. This sacred ghat was constructed by King Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhartrihari. It is believed that Bhartihari eventually came to Haridwar to meditate by the banks of the holy Ganga. When he died, his brother constructed the Ghat in his name which later came to be known as Har ki Pauri.
This sacred bathing Ghat is also known as Brahmakund. The golden reflection of floral diyas in the river Ganges is the most enchanting sight in the twilight during the Ganga aarti ceremony at the ghat.
Chandi Devi Temple: Legend has it that Chanda-Munda, the army chief of the local demon king, Shumbha-Nishumbha, was killed by Goddess Chandi here after which the place got the name Chandi Devi. This temple, situated on top of the Neel Parvat on the other bank of river Ganges was constructed in AD 1929 by Suchat Singh, the then King of Kashmir. The temple is a 3-km trek from Chandi Ghat and it is believed that the Adi Shankaracharya established the main statue in eighth century AD. The Chandi Devi Temple is now also accessible by a ropeway, which starts near the Gauri Shankar Temple.
Located approximately 23 km towards the south of Haridwar, on the outskirts of Roorkee town, Piran Kalier is a place that every tourist in Haridwar must visit. It is actually the ‘dargah’ of Hazrat Makhdum Allauddin Ali Ahamed ‘Sabir’. This place is famous for its sacred aura and mystical powers. It is visited with due regard by Hindus and Muslims alike. During the Rabeeull month of the Islamic calendar, Urs, a colorful festival, is celebrated here from the first day of sighting the moon to the sixteenth day.
Approximately 95 km from Haridwar, Deoprayag is the confluence point of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, through the vast network of tributaries, to form Ganges. It is only from Deoprayag that the sacred river starts being called Ganga. At a height of 2700 feet above sea level, it is a sacred pilgrimage centre and is considered the second most divine confluence centre in India, next only to Prayag. One of the famous temples here is the Raghunath Temple, which is considered as one of the 108 most important temples in India.
Sapt Rishi Ashram
Located approximately 5 km from Har-ki-pauri, along the Haridwar-Rishikesh road, is the Sapt-Rishi Ashram. According to Hindu Mythology, Sapt Rishi Ashram is regarded as the place where the seven great sages, or Sapt-Rishis, Kashyap, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja and Gautam meditated. It is said that the Ganges split herself into seven streams, here only, so that the sages would not be disturbed by her flow. Thus, this place is also known as the Sapt Sarovar or Saptrishi Kund. The streams reunite further and flow as a beautiful channel called Neel Dhara while entering Haridwar.
Approximately 10 km from Haridwar, Chila is known for housing the famous Rajaji National Park. This is a popular destination for all the nature and adventure lovers. The immaculate scenic beauty and varied biodiversity of this park has been a major attraction for wildlife lovers from all over the world, since its inception.
Mansa Devi Temple: This temple a top the Bilwa Parvat is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. One can have a panoramic view of Haridwar, the Ganges, and the countryside from this place.
Vaishno Devi Temple: This temple is a newly constructed and a true replica of the original Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu & Kashmir.
Bharat Mata Temple: This is one of the important temples of Haridwar. It has eight stories in which the images of cities, heroes and great men are installed.
Maya Devi Temple: It is an ancient temple of Maya Devi the Adhishtkatri deity of Haridwar, known as one of the Siddhapeethas. It is believed that the heart and navel of goddess Sati had fallen at this ancient saktipeeth, located to the east of Har-ki-Pauri.
Kanva Rishi Ashram
Another popular excursion from Haridwar is the Kanva Rishi Ashram, located at a distance of approximately 42 km. It is built on the banks of river Malini, on the way to Kotdwar. The path to this ashram is along a dense forest, providing an exciting experience for the adventure-lovers. This is a serene place, in the lap of nature, away from the hush-bush of cities.
‘May Mahavatar Blessing be showered on to you all’
County of Saints
At the end of the road north from Dwarahat towards the Dunagiri temple, 5 kms. Ahead, sits a small ashram that was created in honor of a very wonderful saint from Assam, known locally as Bengali Baba. It is the trailhead to Mahavatar Babaji’s cave where he met Lahiri Mahasayaji.
Kukuchina is sparsely populated with one bus arriving daily from Haldwani and a few shared jeeps from Dwarahat that makes it peaceful, quiet, tranquil and pollution free spot. Being the end of the road there are only mountain trails going north to the high Himalayas.
The ashram sits on a hill across the small valley from the cave with farms scattered throught out the mountains. It is a fruit and vegetable growing region and every household has their own dairy cows. Herbal and Ayurvedic enthusiasts would find this area very rich in local medicinal herbs.
As the legend goes, in the mid 1800’s, Mahavatar Babaji brought Lahiri Mahasayaji here to this cave and initiated him into Kriya yoga and told him to spread the message of these teachings. In 1963 a young bramachari from Assam was guided to the holy Dunagiri hills by a miraculous pencil of light which is believed to have been the call of Mahavatar Babaji. For the next twenty years under all weather – winter hail, snow, hot summer, wet rainy seasons he sat under a rock overhang next to Babaji’s cave. The young bramachari, known as Bengali Baba, sat without moving.
With Bengali Baba’s divine blessings the ashram guardian, Joshiji, is providing for sadhakas eight rooms and three small self-contained kutirs, which all face Babaji’s cave. Each room is either single or double. It is comfortable, clean and tidy. A large meditation hall and spiritual library are available for use. The dairy owned by the ashram gets its daily milk supply from their holy cows.
As a community seva, Joshiji runs a school next door for the local children.
Visitors are welcomed with a warm chai. For those who stay here delicious and healthy meals are offered by the family.
This ashram is ideal for short and long term retreats!
Things to see and do:
- Babaji’s cave: 3 kms. Walk approx. 1 hr. each way.
- Dunagiri Divine Mother Temple: 5 kms. By road towards Dwarahat, one of the oldest temple in Kumoan region. The temple is 600 meters up from the road – accessed by stairs. Shared jeeps are available or a half hour walks there and back.
- Pandukholi: 4 kms. Gentle uphill walk through the forest, approx. 1 to 2 hrs. Each way. Incredible views from the mountain top, 8,500 feet.
- Bhatkot summit, at 10,000 feet, 7 kms. Beyond Pandukholi, approx. 3 hrs. Each way from there.
- Manssa Devi temple: 7 kms. From the ashram. Part of the way may be accessed by car and then steep climb ½ km. to the temple. Here you may enjoy views of the Ramganga river valley.
- Sukha Devi temple: 2 kms. Each way, uphill from the ashram. Views of Dwarahat, Ranikhet, Manila and Mukteshwar may be seen.
- Taragtal: In the rainy season this can be seen from the ashram. It is a steep down hill to the lake. 5 kms each way.
By Air: Fly into Delhi then train or bus from there.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kathgodam. If arriving by train disembark at Haldwani, one stop before Kathgodam. From the station, take a cycle rickshaw (around 30 rps) to the Roadways Bus Station for a bus to Dunagiri-Kukuchina. It leaves at 7 AM every morning. If it is not available, get a bus to Dwarahat (130 Rupees) then a shared jeep to Kukuchina (25 rps).
By Road: You may inquire at the bus station at Ananda Vihar, Delhi, for buses going to Ranikhet and Dwarahat, these are night buses.