Manimahesh Kailash Yatra – Holy Dip 2016

The lake, of glacial origin, is in the upper reaches of the Ghoi nala, which is tributary of Budhil river, a tributary of the Ravi River in Himachal Pradesh. However, the lake is the source of a tributary of the Budhil River, known as Manimahesh Ganga. Manimahesh Kailash also known as Chamba Kailash, which stands towering high over the Manimahesh Lake, is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. It is located in the Bharmour subdivision of the Chamba district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The peak is 26 kilometres from Bharmour in the Budhil valley. It is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Himachal Pradesh.  According to history facts, it is believed that Lord Shiva created Manimahesh after he married Goddess Parvati . There are many legends narrated linking Lord Shiva and his show of displeasure through acts of avalanches and blizzards that occur in the region. Legend also mentions that Shiva performed penance on the banks of Manimahesh Lake. It is also mentioned that Gaddis – the tribes of this region (the people who reside in the Gaddi Valley which is the name of the upper regions of Ravi River where the Mount Chamba Kailash lies) adopted Lord Shiva as their deity. Further, according to the legend, the Shiva, gifted the Gaddis with a Chuhali topi (pointed cap), which they wear traditionally along with their other dress of chola (coat) and dora (a long black cord about 10 – 15 m long). The Gaddis started calling the land of this mountainous region as Shiv Bhumi (Land of Shiva / Abode of Shiva) and themselves as devotees of Shiva. Manimahesh Lake is situated at the foot of Manimahesh Kailash. Lord Shiva is believed to reside on this snow-covered mountain. The lake and peak are considered sacred and a fair called as Manimahesh fair (Manimahesh Yatra) is held at the lake in the month of August and September. The Yatra held from Janamastmi to Radhastami each and every year. It is believed that on this occasion both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati gets the bath in the Lake. For this holy moment lacks of peoples comes from the country and abroad to take holy bath in the Manimahesh Lake.

Featured Image Credit: evergreenhimachal .com

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