Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bhramagiri Parvat

Brahmagiri Parvat is the name given to the towering mountain ,at the base of which lies the Triyambakeshvar Jyotirling and which is the source of the Godavari.The mountain is sacred and there is but a track chiseled through the rock face that one climbs up.

Due to the absence of a motor able road it is one those few religious places in India that do not reek of crass commercialisation of religion and the filth that invariable accompanies it. There are umpteen monkeys on the mountain ,so it is good to carry a stick to scare them and ideally,one should travel in a group to scare the intrepid monkeys.The climb up a sheer rock face is indeed tough and one mentally thanks the individuals who had  donated money to chisel the steps many decades ago.

There are shrines to Hanumana and cave shrines with beautifully carved statues as dwarpals as one reaches the top of the mountain to see the eternal spring that is the source of the river Godavari.I reached the shrine early in the morning,before the pujari's had made their way up and had a hot cuppa from the enterprising shopkeeper as I marvelled at the beautiful bounty of nature all around me.

The pujari came and dressed the beautifull idol of Devi Godavari in her finery as I just soaked in the moment in utter peace and devotion.Next to the Godavari idol is a small shiva lingam,an exact replica it is said of the lingam at the Triyambakeshvar temple at the base of the brahmagiri mountain.A little distance from there is the place where Lord Shiva hit his Jata's on the ground to change the direction of the Godavari, so that the people of peninsular India could benefit from her life giving waters.The rock formation has an uncanny resemblance to the matted Locks of Lord Shiva, with huge depressions on the rock face where lord Shiva placed his knees. Indeed the Godavari is also called as the Godavari Ganga as she was brought here by Neelkanth himself on the request of his ananya devotee.

In earlier times, it was said that a devotee would get full punya if he visited both temples,but with the passage of time,this ritual is not followed by many-as only the fit can climb the mountain and the long lines at the very accessible Triyambakeshvar temple demotivate a lot of people.

Having visited places like Haridwar & Pushkar in North India,one was struck by the lack of Panda's and pujari's out to fleece devotees at Triyambakeshvar.The temple of the swyambhu Gayatri mata and the Kushartha teerth where the holy waters of the Goadavari Ganga washed away the sin of killing a cow by the kusha grass are places located close to the Triyambakeshwar temple.

It was a welcome sight and one wishes that the authorities and more importantly,residents of these temple towns take steps to ensure  a good experience for devotees.

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