Himalayan Trek: 29 June - 13 July 2012
You are warmly invited to make a journey of a life time. Immerse yourself for 15 days in the soul and beauty of the Himalayas and its timeless culture. Haridwar, Jyotir Math, Badrinath, Kalpeshwar, Rudranath, Kali Math, Kali Shila & Kedarnath. Timetable

Afternoon train from New Delhi - Haridwar (Hari = Vishnu/God: Dwar = Gate Gateway to Himalayas. One of India's most sacred Cities on the banks of Holy River Ganges.
Haridwar Railway Station
Ganga Aarti (fire ceremony to Mother Ganges) - every evening at sunset

Basically this was the trip of a lifetime. 3 years on and my wife Liz and I still rave about it. We felt transformed for the better and honored to have had this rare opportunity of doing such a spiritual and enriching trip. The people we were with were also a plus. Albert

Private Bus to Jyotir Math 1-2 days drive high in Himalayas: Ancient home of the Shankarcharyas (custodians of eternal vedic wisdom). Celebrate Guru Purnimah - full moon of the Guru/spiritual teacher.
Picture of Lord Shiva from wall of Swami Brahmananda's Kutir in Jyotir Math (Jyoshi Math)
Swami Brahmananda Saraswathi, past Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math & beloved Guru of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Kalpa Vriksha (Jyotir Math) - wish fulfilling tree of this age. The first Shankaracharya (Adhi Shankara) attained enlightenment under this tree at the age of 16
Returning to Jyotir Math by bus we start walking to Kalpeshwar. 2 - 3 hrs walk from motor road. One of the 5 Kedars/sacred temples of Lord Shiva. Pilgrimage of the 5 Kedars - Historical Background.
En route to Kalpeshwar

Next days walk to Dumock
Trail from Kalpeshwar to Dumock
The Panch Kedar Yatra in 2007 with Ganesh changed my life. The scenery was spectacular, the locals were friendly & curious, and the temples were surreal. Our happy band of travelers all somehow knew that our trip was 'blessed' and despite some hard physical days of traipsing up mountains, there were no injuries, losses or misunderstandings. Through our connection with Ganesh, we all shared similar interests and this brought our group together to the extent that a number of us still meet up - years later.

This yatra for me was a highlight of this lifetime and one which I would strongly recommend to anyone who wants to grow & learn about themselves.
With best wishes, Fiona Workman
After Dumock: 1 days walk to Panar
Accommodation at Panar
Panar Sunset
Quite simply, doing the "Panch Kedar" is to this moment the most profound, Blessed, gift in my life which rests as strongly in my heart and mind today as it did standing in the Shiva Temples themselves. I am most grateful for having had this extremely rare and honored gift blessing my life, my families and my relationship... Liz
After Panar: 1 days walk to Rudranath: Another of the 5 Kedars/sacred temples of Lord Shiva.
Pilgrimage of the 5 Kedars -
Historical Background.
Trail from Panar to Rudranath
Rudranath in Distance

Rudranath Views

...There were extreme moments of personal confrontation, which resolved into a deep peace I had never known. This is not a "club med" holiday to relax, and recharge - this is an opportunity of deep self discovery, exquisite natural beauty, which took me to real relaxation, and total recharge by finding the moment, and letting go... wiped the slate of my life, clean... Liz cont.
After Rudranath 1 day walk back to Panar. Then 1 day walk to Mata Anasuya Devi: place of compassion
Mata Anasuya Temple

Next day walk to rejoin the motor road at Mandal. Then drive to Kalimath. Ancient tantric Sidha Peeth & Kali Temple
Kalimath & Kaliganga [Mandaakini] river

As for a testimonial, would be happy to say that my experience was one of the most rewarding, exhilarating and meaningful of my entire life. Not a day goes by that I don't think about those wonderful Himalayas and think how blessed I am to have completed the Panch Kedar. Really, there are just way too many wonderful elements/experiences/memories to reduce down to a couple of sentences!! A.
Rest at Kalimath for a day. Then visit Swami Girijananda in Guptakashi (1 hr drive from Kalimath)

Swami Girijananda is a celebrated master: pictured here with a few of his disciples @ his ashram outside Guptakashi. He is reputed to be 132 years of age. Some are fortunate to master one vedic discipline in their life time. Due to his longevity, swamiji had the opportunity to gain mastery in the fields of Ayur Ved, Jyotish (vedic astrology) & Tantra.
Next day climbing further up the mountain to Kali Shila (Kali's stone - birth place of Ma Kali)

Self awareness - the biggest gift there is - which lasts not only during the trip, but so far for me - 3 years later, I am "still there", in a thought...Bam Bam bole! Ganesh/Harry is a great navigator through rocky terrain!
It is a lifetime opportunity - probably more! No expectations, just a great pair of walking boots.
Om Namah Shivaya" Lalita/Liz Strickland

Limited places available. Cost = $AUD 1251. Includes trek, accommodation, food, guide, porters, charter bus in Himalayas. Does not include air fare or accommodation outside of Himalayas. $504 deposit required to secure your place.

Still to be included on this page - Kedarnath and Badrinath

Pilgrimage of the 5 Kedars - Historical Background.
5000 years ago, after the battle of Kurukshetra featured in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna sent Arjuna and his 4 brothers (Heroes of the battle) to Himalayas seeking darshan (blessings) of Lord Shiva. This was necessary to purge them of karmas or sins incurred during the war, and in order for them to attain final liberation. Shiva manifested himself (in the form of a bull) in 5 places. Kalpeshwar, Rudranath, Tungnath, Madmaheshwar and Kedarnath.
The 5 brothers (Pandavas) had to walk more than 300 kms to visit all 5 sacred places (kedars) and complete their pilgrimage. These 5 manifestations of Shiva are known as the 5 Kedars (Panch Kedar). This ancient pilgrimage became known as Panch Kedar Yatra [panch = 5/yatra = pilgrimage]. For thousands of years, saints, sadhus & yogis have walked this route to obtain grace of Lord Shiva:supreme peace.

From the Vedic perspective, Lord Shiva is the Supreme Self: Being, Peace surpassing understanding; Wholeness; Oneness. Often depicted in perfect samadhi, He is our deepest meditation - the eternal witness: our own least excited state of non dual awareness.

This is the blessing of Lord Shiva: profound peace of mind; peace surpassing the understanding. And this is the one of the fruits of the pilgrimage.

On a more expressed level, Rudra - the lively aspect of Shiva is the antidote to afflictions of Shani: the planet Saturn. Regarded as the most malefic of the 9 planets, Saturn more than any other planet is the bringer of karmic retribution, the fruits of our past mistakes - grief.

Taking refuge in Lord Shiva is one of the most effective remedies for the difficulties brought to us by Saturn. Panch kedar yatra, as a way for winning the grace of Shiva, is unsurpassed.

29 June Inaugurate the trip in New Delhi. Train to Haridwar.
30 June: Haridwar - Ganges and Laksmi Darshan (blessings)
01 July: Depart Haridwar - Jyotir Math (Seat of Shankarcharyas - custodians of ancient vedic wisdom)
02 July: Arrive Jyotir Math
03 July: Celebrate Guru Purnimah (Full moon of the Guru/Spiritual Teacher) - Travel to Badrinath (Celebrated Vishnu pilgrimage)
04 July: Badrinath to Helong: Begin trek: Walk to Urgum
05 July: Kalpeshwar darshan: walking to Dumock
06 July: Dumock - Panar
07 July: Panar - Rudranath
08 Juy: Rudranath Darshan: walking to Panar
09 July: Walking Panar - Mandal. Driving Mandal - Kalimath
10 July: Kalimath Restday/climbing to Kali Shilap (optional)
11 July: Kalimath - Gauri Kund (visiting Swami Girijananda enroute) - Kedarnath
12 July: Kedarnath Darshan: Return Kali Math
13 July: Kali Math - Haridwar: Night train to Delhi

Background Information on Kali Math

Cost AUD$ 1251
Fee covers transport, food and accom in the Himalayas
Porters fees, guides etc..

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