”Shiva is Shakti. Shakti is Shiva. Nothing is Everything and Everything is Nothing.”

Shrikhand Mahadev, one of the toughest pilgrimages in India, is known for Lord Shiva in Hindu Mythology. It also makes a thrilling and adventurous trek in Himachal. It takes you amidst the lavish and beautiful setup of mighty Himalayas to the top of the Shrikhand Mahadev peak at a height of 16900 feet above the sea level. This holy destination is situated in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

Shrikhand Mahadev is natural rock-made shivalingam on the great heights of the mountains in the Himalayas. The shivalingam is 70 feet high and stands at the mountain top around 19,000 feet altitude. Shrikhand Kailash (Mahadev) yatra is open for 15-20 days in a year and normally this period is from 15th July to 5-10th August. The reason behind this is critical environmental conditions like heavy snow fall and there is no way to go there before and after this period.

According to the folklore and the legends, there lived a demon called Bhasmasur. He preached and pleased Lord Shiva through hard penance. Lord Shiva responded to him and accorded him with a power and called it bhasma kangan. Now, Bhasmasur turn anything he touched into ashes. Bhasmasur, drenched in his ego and pride, thought of turning Lord Shiva into ash. Lord Shiva vanished into the cave and appeared on the mountain top, as he took help of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu transformed himself into a female enchanter, Mohini, and tricked Bhasmasur to touch his own head and turn burn himself with his own hands. 

In the peak pilgrimage time, it is very easy to find food, water and sleeping bags. Still it is advisable that you take your own sleeping bags and some of other daily need supplies with you, but at the same time try to keep your luggage very light. Do not over-pack, but make sure you carry water bottles, glucose sachets, warm clothing, rainwear, flashlights and dry fruits.

This is a 35 km harsh track to trek and not meant for physically ill and weak hearted. The trek ascends through the alpine meadows to a 72 feet pinnacle of rock called Shivlinga. The yatra takes 10 days to complete and is organized by the Government of Himachal Pradesh. So, before you start your yatra, the registration becomes mandatory.

The Shrikhand Mahadev trek is a must once in a lifetime trek for all those who love trekking and for them too who are the devotees of Lord Shiva.

Checkout more such content at: https://gogomagazine.in/category/magazine/travelogue-volume-2/