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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CM PART 1

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Blog home - Road trip to Kumaon - Chaukori to Munsyari - Part 1


· Chaukori/Berinag (Gangoli): Chaukori lies in the Gangolihat area near the town of Berinag. On the east, west and south, it is flanked by the Ramganga and Saryu rivers. On the north lies the region of Danapur (Pindari glacier area). The main rivers of this area are Saryu, Ramganga, Nargul and Patalganga. Hence, in Sanskrit, this area is also called Gangawali (the land between two Ganges). The main mountains are Diyari, Bhairang ka danda, luvathal ka dhura, jhaltola, dhaulinag, kalinag, pingalnag, beninag, etc.

The main goddess in this region is Shri Kalika or Mahakali. This temple is located to the east of Gangolihat, amidst deodar forests. It is a very pleasant place. Earlier, it was said that the goddess used to call out for Lord Kirti Bageshwar in the night. Whoever listened to it, died on the spot. Hence, nobody used to live near this place. Then Shankaracharya came and covered this spot with a stone. After that, the goddess stopped crying and people could come and settle in the nearby areas. At the root of the temple lies Patalganga. There is a cave in the mountainside from where you can visit the river (well, we did not try it – only 3 weeks leave from office and so many places to see). To the north of this region lies Patal Bhuvaneshwar. This is a very famous place and has an interesting legend attached to it.

Once the sages asked Vyas (the main sage) about ‘Patal’ (the other world). Their questions were:

1. How does Mahadev reside there in total darkness?

2. How big is it?

3. Who are those creatures, who reside there and worship Mahadev?

4. Who are the main Gods of Patal?

5. Who was the first person to discover this world?

6. How do the people there survive without the sun and moon?

Vyas in reply, said, “The world of Patal is similar to the above world. Even Vashisht and the other sages cannot say how far the other-world goes to. They can say only that what is known by visiting Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Mahadev resides over there. It has three caves – Smar, Sumeru and Swadham. No sinner can enter these caves. In Kaliyug, these caves will be closed.”

On how Patal was discovered, Vashisht told the following story – “Once upon a time, there was a king named Ritupurna of Ayodhya, belonging to the Suryavanshi clan. He left his kingdom and travelled north on a hunt, killing many deer and birds. He spotted a wild boar in a river and attacked him with a sword. The injured boar ran with the king in hot pursuit. However, he could not catch up with the boar and got lost. The tired king started looking for a place with shade to rest and spotted a cave with a guard. On asking him about the boar, the guard simply said, ‘Enter the cave. You will find everything there.’ The king entered the cave and met the God of Justice (DharamRaj) and Narsingh (half lion, half man). On going a little ahead, he met Sheshnag (God of Snakes) with his daughters. Sheshnag inquired the king on who he was and the king duly gave his introduction, saying that he must have done some good deeds in his previous life so that he was actually able to see Sheshnag.”

Sheshnag told the king not to be afraid. He then asked him about the God whom all the four castes on earth worshipped. The king replied that it was Mahadev, who fulfilled all the ambitions of every person on this earth. Sheshnag replied that – “It was Mahadev who actually resided in this cave. This cave is called Bhuvaneshwar and where this cave actually ends, even Kapil and the other sages cannot say. The holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh reside in this cave under the name of Bhuvaneshwar. Here Indra and other Gods, Daitya (demons), Gandharva (ancestors of the Afghan people), Nag (snake people), Narad and other Devrishis (senior order of sages), Vashisht and other brahmarishis (highest order of sages) and angels reside. No sinner can even enter these caves. Here Mahadev and Parvati reside, just look at them. However, you will not be able to look with human eyes. I will provide you with divine eyesight.”

And then the king was able to see Patal and its residents – the Gandharvas, Nag (snake or snake people), Daitya, Danav, rakshas (the demons). Sheshnag then showed him the eight major species of snakes. He also showed him-

  1. Vishweshwar’s shivling
  2. Erawat (the elephant of Lord Indra)
  3. Brihaspati (the teacher of the gods)
  4. Ucchashreva (Indra’s horse)
  5. Kalpavriksha
  6. the cave of Sheshavati (where the king of snakes, Anant resides)
  7. Sage Bhrigumuni
  8. Santkumar
  9. The other Devrishis
  10. Hatkesh Shivling

Then Sheshnag took him to the other branches of the cave and the king saw many other marvellous sights of various Gods and Goddesses. Finally, he left the cave by another opening which took him straight to Ujjain. Over there, he took a bath in the holy Saraswati river. Then he reentered and took other openings which took him to placers like Rameshwar, Godavari, Ganga Sagar, Panch Kedar (Garhwal), Baijnath (near BaGESHWAR), Nilkanth (near Gangotri), Kailas (in Tibet) where he took a bath in Mansarover, Sumeru mountain (mentioned in the Vedas). Finally, Sheshnag took the king to the final cave, Swadham. A light was coming through the cave, about which the king enquired. Sheshnag replied that this is the light from which the holy trinity came out when the world was created. The whole world is illuminated from this light. Those who know the Vedas and the Shastras, call this light as Brahma. Even the gods cannot go near it. You have to worship it. Finally, the king went out from another opening, which took him to Kedarkhand (Garhwal). He worshipped the Shivling there and sat on a horse that was faster than the wind (given to him by Sheshnag) and returned to Ayodhya. That is how the story of Patal Bhuvaneshwar was known to humans.

A brief history of the region:

There is an abandoned fort by the name Jamankot. It is said that earlier, a king of the Palyal clan ruled here for some time. His descendents are the Palyals of Pali village. During the time of the Katyuri dynasty, there was only one king for the entire Gangolihat region. His town and fort was called Mankoti. Now, only a few remains like broken stairs, houses and temples remain. This clan ruled here for eight generations. Later on, the Chand kings defeated them and merged their kingdom with Kumaon. These people fled to Piuthana in Nepal and their descendants are still found there. Gangolihat was earlier a small bazaar to the west if Mankoti. Lots of big cats are found in this region. Hence a popular Kumaoni saying, ‘Kathyadi saag, Gangoli Baagh’, which means ‘Kathyadi is famous for its vegetables and Gangoli is famous for its tigers’. Earlier the people of this region were so simple, that they were more afraid of government officers than tigers. However, now they have become very educated, talented and are doing very well in all walks of life. The main town in Gangolihat is Berinag. The smaller places are Chaukori, Dharmadhar, Kanda and Saniudyar.

The land of this region is very fertile. Jamola rice, grown over here, is very sweet. Ghee, honey, bananas, narangi of this region are also very famous. Even honey bees are also kept in large quantities. The Kumaoni poet Gumani was from Gangolihat. He has sung its praises in his poems and it is difficult to find such juicy poems by anyone else in the Kumaoni language.

‘Kela, nimbu, akhod, dadim, rikhu, naring, aado dahee

Khaso bhaat jamaliko, kalukalo bhuna gaderi gava.

Chudaa sadya udyol doodh, bakloo dhyoo gayy ko danodaar,

Khanee sundar mauniyaa, dhabadua gangvali rauniyaa.’





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Nanda Devi - early morning view

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Before sunrise

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this is Maiktoli (at Dhakuri, we were right in front of this peak. Those pics are in the later reports)

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Nanda Kot (but it was clouded)

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Panchchuli

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Maiktoli (first rays of sun are hitting it)

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Sunrays touching Nanda Devi

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Maiktoli bathing in sun rays

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Sunrays on Nanda devi







Blog home - Road trip to Kumaon - Chaukori to Munsyari - Part 1

18 Comments:

Blogger Hem Pant said...

पहाडों के ठण्डे मौसम में इतनी सुन्दर फोटो लेने के लिये सुबह-2 जागना पडता है.... ये बडा मुश्किल है... लेकिन कबीर जी कह गये हैं "जिन ढूंढा तिन पाइयां, गहरे पानी पैठ"....बहुत बेहतरीन फोटो हैं..

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 10:48:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

अति उत्तम चित्रमाला है। प्रशांत जी को कोटि-२ धन्यबाद।

Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 11:46:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Prashant Joshi said...

good you guys liked it. more is coming up.

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 9:04:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous marda said...

well captured pics. and cool strory of pataal.

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 10:41:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Prashant Joshi said...

more is yet to come

Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 4:45:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sanjay said...

Prashant - Thanks for sharing such wonderful pics. these are awesome...

Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 7:55:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Prashant Joshi said...

Glad you liked em.

Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 7:58:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger pradeep said...

Sach mein bahut achhi photo nicale hain. Hamar pyare pahadoin ke sunderata ko darsane ka isse achha tarika kya ho sakta hay. nice job

Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at 3:01:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi prashant. I can only say"this is amazing, and beyond words"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Prashant Joshi said...

ok, don't speak. just enjoy :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 3:50:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger KAMAL said...

Attn: Mr. Prashant Joshi,
Dear Sir,
It was a pleasure going through the brief history of Gangolihat wherein you mentioned that a Palyal king ruled here for sometime. Could you please provide me with the evidence for the same or tell us, how did you come to know about Palyal king ? I liked it very much and it was also published in Newspaper some 2-3 years back, I do not have the copy of newspaper. I would like you to tell us a bit more about Palyal king if you know.At length I am very happy that you wrote about Palyal king who ruled in Gangolihat region.
With Regards
KAMAL SINGH PALYAL
VILLAGE PALI, GANGOLIHAT
Email- kamalpalyal@gmail.com
- kamalpalyal@yahoo.co.in

Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 11:52:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger KAMAL said...

Attn: Mr. Prashant Joshi,
Dear Sir,
It was a pleasure going through the brief history of Gangolihat wherein you mentioned that a Palyal king ruled here for sometime. Could you please provide me with the evidence for the same or tell us, how did you come to know about Palyal king? I liked it very much and it was also published in Newspaper some 2-3 years back, I do not have the copy of newspaper. I would like you to tell us a bit more about Palyal king if you know. At length I am very happy that you wrote about Palyal king who ruled in Gangolihat region.
With Regards
KAMAL SINGH PALYAL
VILLAGE PALI, GANGOLIHAT
PRESENT LOCATION:- NEW DELHI
Email- kamalpalyal@gmail.com
-kamalpalyal@yahoo.co.in

Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 11:58:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Prashant Joshi said...

namaskar Kamal ji,

Hope you are doing fine. I came to know of the Palyal kings from a book written by my great grandfather Shri Badri Dutt Pande -- it is called Kumaon ka Itihaas.

You can purchase it from any major book store in almora.

I just visited patal bhuvneshwar this summer ... what a mind blowing place.

Also, heard the saying "एक गंगोल, सौ रंगोल".

:-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 4:09:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger KAMAL said...

Dear Prashant Sir,

Many many thanks, sir. May I request you to kindly provide me with the address or contact no. of any of book stores where the said book is available. I will also get in touch with my friends and relatives in Almora to obtain this book but if you have the contact details then I would like you to share the same with me.

With Regards
KAMAL PALYAL
NEW DELHI

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 2:35:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger KAMAL said...

Dear Prashant Sir,

Many many thanks, sir. May I request you to kindly provide me with the address or contact no. of any of book stores where the said book is available. I will also get in touch with my friends and relatives in Almora to obtain this book but if you have the contact details then I would like you to share the same with me.

With Regards
KAMAL PALYAL
NEW DELHI

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 10:43:00 AM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Urvashi Iyengar said...

Amazing pics of Nanda Devi and interesting write-up on Patal Bhuvneshwar...enjoyed thoroughly all your beautiful pictures and detailed narration all throughout... surely going to visit Kumaon this Diwali...thanks, buddy, so much for sharing with all of us and for the wonderful blog...!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 4:19:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Prashant Joshi said...

do enjoi ur trip to kumaon. even i will try to make it there this winters. patal bhuvaneshwar is an amazing place. :-)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 4:33:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Sanju said...

Thanks boss
Great main sirf

Thankyu hi kahunga

Friday, December 3, 2010 at 6:22:00 PM GMT+5:30  

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