Neelkantha Mahadev

Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
Lone Tree


Since childhood I have been intrigued by mythology. To me they were fairy tales going beyond human imagination and giving teachings of rightful way to live your life. And blessed I am with Hindu mythology, look at so many gods As BBC narrator once said “Why settle on one when you can have thousands”. But if you ask me to settle on one, I will choose Shiva. To me he is more human that god. He has a family to take care of along with completing his duties towards his acetic followers. But what I like most about him is his love for mountains. It seems he loved watching the world from above and observe it as an onlooker, as a third party. His judgement would not be clouded by worldly attachments.
Look at all the places dedicated to Shiva and you are bound to head to Himalayas. One such place close to Delhi is Neelkanth Mahadev Temple in Rishikesh. 21kms by car or 14 kms by road from Ram Jhula is an excellent place nestled among lower Himalayan foothills.
Though you may prefer car or jeep, I will advise once on foot even if it is downhill journey. You will be passing through Rajaji National Park, with some jaw dropping views of Rishikesh city. The route is full of wildlife, with different insects, birds and specially langoors keeping you entertained all the way. The place remains generally empty with the exception during Shiva Ratri and month of Saavan when devotees from all over India pour into these mountains. This will be good time to catch up with some really interesting people and hear stories from inside India which never breaks into prime time.
I have climbed this route many times and never have been disappointed. I have discovered something new, be it in a form of hidden waterfall, spider and bird show or a realization within which changed the way I look at life.
Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
Morning View While climbing


Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
Climbing Style One


Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
Climbing style two


Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
Climbing style three


Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
Night Scene of City with Ganges
Climbing this route makes me realize that we do not need to destroy this beautiful environment to call ourselves developed. None of us have understanding of any animal or plant language, then how can we say our encompassed listening to their side too.
The views I was talking about while climbing are getting frames of more and more buildings. Each next time I climb, I see more and more buildings. Each next time I climb, I see more forest being cleared up for man-made structures. There are people I have met, who are veterans of this route. They have seen more destruction than me and are very skeptical of new generation’s effort to save our natural history.
You all must be aware of the legend why Shiva got the name Neelkantha. He drank poison and gave us a toxic free environment.
How can we contribute to that legend. We can also get rid of toxicity from our lives. We can stop being part of blind consumerism. We can stop the wastage of time and resource of things that will not matter to things we love to do. Each one of us has the potential to make this world a beautiful place through our talents. It’s just the question of realizing and utilizing it.
As Amish said in his famous Shiva trilogy – ‘Har Har Mahadev’, can be very true if we can act towards it.
Everyone is Mahadev!
Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
White eyed oriental


Backpack Nirvana Rishikesh
Micro waterfall

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