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In Search of Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave

Aug 08 2009

Sri Guru Mahavatar Baba

Sri Guru Mahavatar Baba

Last Updated on May 4th, 2014

The following is a count of my journey to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave in Dronagiri area in Himalayas. I took the trek on 29th of July 2009 along with my Father. After several visions and signals from the Masters, I finally made the trek deep into the Mountains at about 9000 feet.

To view photos from my Trek to Babaji’s Cave, please click here.

Leaving Rohtak for Haldwani
After I could not make the trek to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave in Pandukholi region during my visit to Almora, Himalayas in 2007 – I had accepted the fact that the time had not come yet for me to visit. During my summer 2009 vacation, I was determined to make the trip and after a small hiccup, it materialized into reality. I will try to be as faithful in remembering the little details as possible and provide you with my experiences during this extraordinary journey that I took with my Father.

My Father and I left Rohtak on Sunday, 26th July 2009 at about 10 AM for Haldwani where we would stop for the night. The drive from Rohtak to Haldwani takes about 7 to 8 hours and is about 340 KMs (337 in our case) if there are no traffic problems. The route is:

Rohtak to Delhi to Ghaziabad onwards to NH 24 all the way through Hapur, Muradabad, Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur to Haldwani. We stopped at Haldwani for the night where an old colleague and friend of my Father Mr. Bisht lives. Haldwani is the last stop in the plains on way to Nainital and surrounding areas and is known as the Pravesh-Dwaar (entrance) to the Dev-Bhoomi Uttaranchal (now Uttrakhand). It connects plains to the Kumaon region of the mighty Himalayas. The next morning was rather hot and muggy as we left Haldwani at around 10 AM for Almora. The drive was scenic as it normally is anywhere in Himalayas. By then we had learned that Monsoon rains had mostly evaded the state of Uttaranchal, but as we started ascending the mountains on NH 87, we noticed raindrops on our wind shield. Due to landslides that had occurred earlier, the normal route (via Bhimtal) to Almora had been closed to public and we had to take a detour and go through Ranikhet and enter from the backside of Almora. On our way, 4 ladies asked for lift to Pilot Baba’s Ashram that was on the way. We gladly accommodated them and dropped them at their destination.

Bhole Baba of Haidakhan

Bhole Baba of Haidakhan

Visit to Haidakhan Ashram, Ranikhet
As we reached Ranikhet, my Father and I decided to pay our respects to Haidakhan Baba and visit his Ashram on the outskirts of Ranikhet at Chiliyanaula. To visit the Ashram, one must enter the Ranikhet Cantonment and take the low road from the Main roundabout beyond the Sadar Bazaar. Here we found another older Gentleman who we asked for directions and we ended up offering him a lift into Ranikhet until the point where the 2 KM slip road took us directly to Haidakhan Baba Ashram. Since it was a cloudy day, we could not see any of the peaks Nandadevi, etc.) that are usually visible from the Ashram on a clear day. We spent about 30 minutes at the Ashram and I meditated for about half an hour. After paying our respects, we left the Ashram at 2:05 PM for Almora in hopes of making the trek to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave the following day. Little did we know that it was not yet to be. We arrived at Almora at 4:03 PM (odometer 474 KMs).

Fury of Rain Gods
Later that night in Almora, my Father and I both woke up to the sound of raindrops. The next morning turned out to be immensely cloudy and carried dense fog. We could barely see the terrace of the floor beneath ours. The clouds were below us and it felt as if we were in heaven for a moment. At times the floating clouds seemed to enter our hotel room and the very next moment the rain would stop giving us a bleak hope of setting out for Pandukholi where Babaji’s cave is located. The day, however, stayed dismal and rainy for most of the time and by 10 AM we had dropped the plan of making the trek. Later that night, the TV news predicted heavy rains during next 48 hours in the state and my father even suggested that we leave the following day if rain gods continued with their fury. To our relief, rains finally gave way to a light drizzle at about 4 PM. We finally left the hotel room to take a walk on Mall Road and also visited the Almora Market. Before retiring for the night, my prayers seemed to be getting answered as I finally saw the mountains in front of us that had stayed hidden behind clouds for most of the day. The heavy cover of clouds seemed to be saying goodbye to the mountains and I thanked Babaji for keeping my hopes alive of making the trek the next day.

Bright and Sunny 29th, Trek to Babaji’s Cave
Bright sunshine greeted us the next morning as we woke up to almost clear blue skies. We left soon after our breakfast of Poori Bhaaji at 8:39 AM. Kukuchina was 86 KMs of drive from Hotel Shikhar, Almora. To reach the trekking point, one must leave Almora on NH 87 and pass through Ranikhet and continue towards Dwarahat. From Dwarahat, one must bear right towards Dunagiri Temple and continue towards Pandukholi. We reached Dunagiri Temple at 11:25 AM (odometer 557 KMs) and Pandukholi was still 5 more KMs to go. After driving for a few more minutes we reached Kukuchina, which is the last village before the 2 KM walk to Rathkhaal where the trek begins. We had a cup of hot Himalayan tea at Joshi Tea stall. Mr. Joshi, who runs the shop, carries Himalayan hospitality and a welcoming smile on his face. We were surprised that he remembered us from our brief stop from 2007 when I had failed to make the trek. We discussed the conditions and the weather in the mountains and requested him to arrange a Jeep ride along the 2 KM narrow path to take us to the trekking point. My Father and I decided against taking our own Ford Ikon car considering the extremely narrow and hilly path that, in my opinion, should either be travelled on foot or in a vehicle with 4-wheel drive.

Jeep Ride to Rathkhaal, facts about the Area
On many occasions, I thought the right tire of the Jeep would slide and slip over into the Valley taking all of us along and not to mention, I kept murmuring Babaji’s name all through the nerve-breaking Jeep ride. Once the Jeep dropped us at the point where the YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) board pointed towards the Cave up in the mountains, we chanted Babaji’s name and began our trek at 12:07 PM (Tuesday, 29th July 2009). Those who wish to get an idea of the geography and the trek must understand a few things. Babaji’s Cave is unlike most of the other sacred places such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, etc. which are visited by thousands of people each year. You will even find people in Almora area that have not heard of Babaji’s cave up in Pandukholi area. The area in particular is 86 KMs. from Almora and the trek requires sincerity, strong will, devotion and intuitiveness on your part. YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) along with others have done a great job in putting up a few boards and laying out a very basic raw mountain path, but one may still get easily lost if not attentive and intuitive.

Trek begins to Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave
As we started climbing the stony and narrow path along the mountain edge, I felt a surge of strange energy and did not feel any fatigue all through the trek whatsoever. My father took frequent breaks while climbing and I went along capturing the extraordinary Mountains around us through the lens of my camera. Somewhere mid-way during our trek, it started raining heavily and we had to take out our raincoats from my backpack. Climbing a mountain path such as this one could be very dangerous especially when it’s raining. Rain along with pine needles along the path can make the mountain surface very slippery as we discovered during our trek. Interestingly, I slipped more than my father. May be his mountain skills acquired during childhood when he used to climb mountains in Kashmir, helped him along the way. After the rains became too heavy, I said a little prayer to Surya Dev (Sun) and whispered Surya Mantra so the sun would shine and rain would stop. Lo and behold within a minute or so, the rains subsided and sun came out. I was grateful to Babaji as it made the climb a little easier especially for my Father.

Mahavatar Babaji Smriti Bhawan
After an hour or so of climbing through the forest, we came to an ashram, which turned out to be Mahavatar Babaji Smriti Bhawan established on the hilltop by YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) on 25th July 2002. An elderly couple that met us in front of the Bhawan told us that the Cave was further up, about a couple minutes climb from the Smriti Bhawan. We also ran into a group from Andhra Pradesh that was visiting Babaji’s Cave. Their driver gave us the key to the Cave’s door after I convinced him that we would lock the Cave door and the Smriti Bhawan and hand the key over to a keeper that lived in the village down in the valley. Initially my father suggested that he would rest at the Bhawan and I should continue up to the cave, however, I did not think that he came all the way up here to miss out on visiting the sacred cave. After my suggestion, he accompanied me up.

Arrival at Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave

Finally we saw the steps and the door of the Cave. I asked my Father to do the honors and unlock the door. As soon he opened the door, a sudden rush of energy went through me as I saw the interior of the sacred Cave. On first look, one could say that 4 to 5 people could easily sit next to each other in the Cave. We noticed that drops of water were trickling down from the cave top, which we attributed to the recent rain. Although YSS has put up a marker, gate and the steps, the cave itself is natural and could be thousands of years old. I would like to refrain from making any claim on this, however. Since the plastic spread inside the Cave was wet, we decided to spread our raincoats and sit on them. I sat in the Lotus pose (Padamasana) and was immediately lost in a trance. One does not have to try and meditate as it comes naturally where one almost feels being present on a different plane far away from the mundane world. The silence and the grace that prevailed within the cave were unlike anything I had experienced before in my lifetime.

It’s time to leave
Call it the fury of the weather gods or Babaji’s signal to leave – within about 15 to 20 minutes clouds started thundering in the most threatening way and we knew that rains were imminent. I finally opened my eyes and my Father suggested that we get a move on. After taking a few pictures and paying our respects, we locked the door and descended back to the Smriti Bhawan. To our surprise we found that the group of people we had met earlier was still inside the Ashram where we also decided to stay put until the rain ceased. The Smriti Bhawan had 3-4 rooms where one could stay overnight. Since the rains were heavy outside, I decided to sit and meditate inside the Bhawan where a couple of other people from the group were already meditating. Within about 30 minutes, rains gave way to bright sunshine and we decided to leave.

Energy Circles
Later while viewing the photos, I found one photo clicked after another where energy circles could be seen on my right. I discussed this with my Uncle, Dr. Rajeev Kaushik, who is a Sahaj Yogi and has recently published a book with Rupa Publications on Kundalini Yoga describing his experiences and revelations. He explained that such energy circles and usually seen at charged and sacred places where sages have done tapas or establish their presence in astral form.

You are welcome to draw your own conclusion as to what these circles are. I personally do not indulge.

Lahiri Mahasaya

Lahiri Mahasaya

Losing our way in the forest
In a stroke of wisdom, I suggested to my father that we leave the group behind and be on our way. Little did I realize that the descent back to the village would be even trickier than the climb up. Due the rain, the mountain paths were filled with water and we both slipped at a few places. I tried to be more than alert despite handling my camera and capturing the serenity and beauty of the mountains and trees around us. At a sharp turn, we came to a narrow path off the mountain where despite my strong suggestion; we turned left per my Father’s instinct. It wasn’t too late before we realized that we had not come this way during our climb up. Instead of descending the part of the mountain on our right we had confused the surroundings and were actually heading in a totally strange direction. After ascending the mountain and then descending again, we found ourselves headed straight to the valley into deep forest. At one point we could even see a house in front of us at some distance away, however, it was on the other side of the mountain and it was not possible to reach it unless one crossed the forest that lay at the bottom part of the mountain that we were on.

I then suggested to my Father to bring back his mountain-instincts and guide us out of this predicament. As I mentioned earlier, he had climbed many mountains during his childhood in Kashmir, which at that time was full of wilderness as well as animals. He took a moment to study the surroundings and then eventually with some input from me, we headed to our right and started climbing the part of the mountain that lay ahead of us. It was my understanding that it would bring us back to our original path. At some places, we had some serious hiking on the cliff of the mountains that was also wet from recent rains. I was also worried about my Father and his ability to climb at such rough spots.

Himalayan Hospitality
By Babaji’s grace, we went through the rough path and also crossed a small waterfall hidden deep within the mountains and eventually ended up in a small field of Turnips. In front of us – lay a villager’s hut who, to our good fortune, was inside the hut and having his lunch at the time. My father told them that we were coming back from Babaji’s Cave and had lost our way in the mountains and requested him to show us the correct way to reach Rathkhaal and then Kukuchina. Before he showed us the correct way, he stressed more than once that we join him for lunch or tea at the least. We politely thanked him for his generosity and went our way after getting directions. This along with other minor incidents strengthened our faith that people in the mountains were still filled with the hospitality, trust and kindness that has almost disappeared from the plains.

After descending through another rough spot that was filled with water and stones, we reached the 2 KM stretch (Rathkhaal) that would take us to Kukuchina where our car stood parked near Joshi Tea Stop. Earlier we had taken a jeep ride to save time and avoid any fatigue before beginning the trek; however, we decided that it was best to walk back to Kukuchina so we could cherish the beauty and serenity of the sacred mountain.

Guide welcomes us!
On a lighter note, I later pointed to my Father a little incident that had happened earlier while were inside the Smriti Bhawan up in the mountains after our visit to the Cave.
Father had mentioned about the challenges involved in our trek (from the heavy rains to the difficult trek) and I had casually remarked back (almost boasting) “what more challenge can Babaji present us with?” We chuckled later that Babaji indeed gave us another small challenge by making us take the wrong route and getting us lost in the forest. Lord works in mysterious ways to teach us lessons, both big and small in life.
Our trek back became very tiring due to the extra fatigue we had to undergo after losing way up in the mountains.

We took frequent breaks and just sat in silence to breathe in the mountain air. At one spot, we came across a Black Dog who was waiting on the edge of the mountain by a boulder and came running towards us as we approached that spot. Since I have never been close to dogs (that’s another story), my father cajoled him into making him go away. On a very interesting note, the dog stayed ahead of us all the way to Kukuchina and even stopped and waited for us as we took breaks during our trek back on the stony Himalayan path. We both had our own ideas about the dog, which would be later revealed to us by Sh. Netraballabh Joshi at Joshi Tea Stall. The dog, as I found out a year later was taken away by a Leopard.

Arrival back at Kukuchina
After about 55 minutes, we arrived at Kukuchina at 3:30 PM and Mr. Joshi greeted us with a smile. My father was quick to request 2 hot cups of Himalayan tea and a couple pieces of bread to chase away the fatigue of the trek. We also met Shri Netra Ballabh Joshi with whom we held discussion on Mahavatar Baba, Mahabharat, Ashwatthama, and other related topics. Some excerpts from our conversation can be viewed on Youtube in form of Part 1 and Part 2 . He also told us about the dog that had been guiding visitors on the 2 KM stretch back to Kukuchina for a few years now. I silently bowed down to the humble creature for his generous services and we later fed him with Biscuits and Bread as a small token of our gratitude.

The extraordinary day ended when we finally took leave of Joshis, bowed down to the Dronagiri Mountain and Mahavatar Baba in reverence for making this trek possible. It was once in a lifetime experience and one must physically go there to feel the energy, aura and blessings of the Dronachal Valley and Mahavatar Baba.

Arrival back at Almora
We left Joshi tea stall at 3:55 PM (odometer 562 KMs) and arrived back at Almora Hotel at 6:44 PM (odometer 648 KMs). If anyone has any questions about the trip or our trek, feel free to contact me through this website. May Babaji guide us and bless us.

Pointers/interesting observations

  • Where to Stay: Based on your travel plans, you can stay at Ranikhet, Dwarahat (Mayank Hotel) or at Dunagiri Retreat (most expensive option, usually recommended for large groups).
    My personal recommendation is to stay in rooms/cottages run by Girish Joshi | +91-94113-18540 (Kukuchhina) where you will be closest to the trek and also receive the best hospitality. I have visited many times and have formed good friendship with Joshi Ji.
  • If you decide to visit Pandukholi and Babaji’s Cave on the same day, I would advise that you start no later than 9 AM. First visit the cave and then take the steep trek to Pandukholi (about 2 KM uphill). Do sit with Ram Baba there, who is a disciple of Mahant Balwant Giri Maharaj, who was a Naga Sadhu and did Tapasya at Pandukholi for 35 years. The ashram at Pandukholi was established by him and is called Swargpuri. Baba took mahasamadhi on 14 December, 1994. Another disciple of Baba Balwant Giri is Dhanwantari Baba – who is a wandering sage, but can be visited at Sant Kuteer located near Doonagiri Temple.
  • People in the mountains may frequently ask you for lift. This might be considered out of question in the Northern Plains. We were surprised when an elderly mother asked lift for her newly wed daughter!
  • Even the simplest and financially challenged person may turn out to be the most hospitable and courteous. Such is the culture in Himalayas!
  • It is best advised to not undertake the trek during Rainy season, but if you are as daring as us, do not forget to pack raincoats!
  • Lastly, I would quote what I once read in an article. “Leave your cold intellect behind before approaching the sacred and serene mountains.”

Om Namah Shivay.

Gautam Dhar/Anupam Dhar
8th August 2009, Rohtak, INDIA
Trek date: 29th July 2009

Links:

In Search of Mahavatar Babaji’s Cave: Photos

Videos of my conversation with (now Late) Shri Netra Ballabh Joshi: Part 1, Part 2

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Comments So Far..
  • Gautam 2 December, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I met Yogiraj Amar Jyoti this weekend at Kandwari (Himachal) and it was truly a blissful moment.

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  • raju 2 January, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Gautamji, Reading your experience about Babaji's cave search,your experience took my mind back 10years ago when i was barely outof my deathbed sickness and when i came to India to visit my relatives they were planning to go to Vaishnodevi which I never heard, but I wend along with 130peoles and the view from top of the hill and by Bhairovnatha temple was kind of experience once in life time.When I was going in to that little cave where you can wash your feet from the river water and the minute I went inside I was looking for the picture of mataji, but the minute I stood there the priest told me that these stones are symbol of mataji, there is no picture or statue. And the experience i had which is still hard to explain clearly. Even we went to Shivkhodi to visit the Siva cave which was great experience.They says that,that cave goes to Amarnath but its been close for security reason from that side.I am reading Gujarati book Radha avatar which feels like Audhovji is still around Himalaya because Krishna told him to spend his after life in Himalaya. I am not a strict follower of Babaji but I do believe in Shiva since I was around 6years old.My cousin in LA has library about Paramhansa yogananda and after I finished reading it I got picture of shri Yogananda's, Lhahiri mahashay and Babaji's which I got printed in India and I have it in my books. Vow...what a great information you gave us..Thank you.Om namah Shivaya

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  • raju 3 January, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Gautamji, reading all your reply ,it seems you are a great follower of Babaji and same time Babaji gave you enough time and courage with "shanti" to reply all questions we have. With my experience in india, traveling alone,is just we have to have inner courage,still we need more guide in mountain area. I am sure you are a great helper who ever is seeking to experience inner peace.To help someone anyway you can seems Babaji's blessing on you.Keep posting your more experience and pictures,so we feel great inside. I think you are our media even though we can't experience it but we can see with your eye and experience..om namah shivaya.

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  • Gautam 4 January, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Shiv Khodi is one of the main caves of Sri Guru Mahavatar Baba. The Pandukholi Cave I have written about is where Lahiri Mahasaya met Sri Guru.

    Very few people know about the significance of Shiv Khodi including me until now despite me being from Kashmir and having spent my childhood summers in Jammu. If you've been to Shiv Khodi..you have the master's blessings.

    Regards
    Gautam

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  • raju 4 January, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Gautamji, Thanks for your reply.We went to Shivkhodi from Katra tarati hotel in 3tour bus where we cross river which was scary seeing too much water with fast flow and on horse with small thin walkway we went all the way to top.From front it looks like little hut and only one person can get through at a time. We had about 10youngesters with us who did great help all the time during our tour and they were helping us to go in.Only few people can stay in at one time because health problem.once those are out then other can go.Other thing there is one spot where u have to walk side way to go ahead.But waiting and going through scary mind it was worth.I have rare lung disease and still I went there which surprise everyone,but for sure Shivji gave me my health back for sure. After that i went to Vdevi for 4 times& wish1more time Mataji please,but i am scare of soc.prob.in area.I know Babaji'cave is diff.then this but this was just my experience which i want to share with u.Om namah shivaya

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  • raju 4 January, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hi Raj, This is Raju. I just read your comment. Since you have article about Gauri Shankar peetam.would you please give me some information about it.I have been to Vaishnodevi and Shivkhodi and planning to visit Badrinath. May be you can help me to make my trip more happier.Thank you,,Om namah shivaya

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  • Nirav 6 January, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Hi Gautam,

    Where is Shiv Kholi located? Please let me know. Thanks.

    Nirav

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  • Gautam 6 January, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Nirav,
    Shiv Khodi is in reasi area of Jammu. You will find it on Google Maps.

    Nirav
    Hi Gautam,
    Where is Shiv Kholi located? Please let me know. Thanks.
    Nirav

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  • raju 7 January, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Hi everyone,
    To go to Shiv Khodi , first you have to go to Jammu railway station. From there you can get local jeep(sharing)to go to Katara which is base place with lots of hotels for visitors of Vaishnodevi, Shiv khodi and Patnitop. Here you can rent a jeep or tour from hotels will take u to Shiv khodi which is around 80km one way.Make sure you leave early because visitors are not allowed to stay there after around 3pm. I am sure you will fiend it..Om namah shivay

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  • raju 8 January, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Hi everyone,
    If any one has information about Gauri Shankar Peetam tirthdham, would you please share with us?..
    Om Namah Shivaya

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  • Dev Kar 8 January, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Thank you Gautam for sharing your experiences in the Himalayas. God willing, I will be able to trace these steps to find Babaji's cave and experience the spiritual vibrations of that cave and the entire region. These experiences are described in Guruji's book "Living with the Himalayan Masters" by Sri Swami Rama. I would strongly recommend this book in case you have not read it. It talks of Guruji's own personal experiences growing up in the company of great sages of the Himalayas. If it is His will, I can also retrace Gautam's trip. I liked your advice "Leave your cold logic behind". Very true indeed. In the meantime, I am still stuck at this job. Plan to hang up my gloves in a year or two.

    Om Namah Sivaya! (Guruji's told me that the meaning of the mantra is "Lord Shiva--nothing belongs to me, everything belongs to you!").

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  • Gautam Dhar 8 January, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Dear Dev Kar,
    Wishing you goodluck in your journies! Yes, I have read Swami Ram's book many times and he has been a constant guide in my journey so far 🙂
    May we all be guided and blessed!

    Dev Kar
    Thank you Gautam for sharing your experiences in the Himalayas. God willing, I will be able to trace these steps to find Babaji’s cave and experience the spiritual vibrations of that cave and the entire region. These experiences are described in Guruji’s book “Living with the Himalayan Masters” by Sri Swami Rama. I would strongly recommend this book in case you have not read it. It talks of Guruji’s own personal experiences growing up in the company of great sages of the Himalayas. If it is His will, I can also retrace Gautam’s trip. I liked your advice “Leave your cold logic behind”. Very true indeed. In the meantime, I am still stuck at this job. Plan to hang up my gloves in a year or two.
    Om Namah Sivaya! (Guruji’s told me that the meaning of the mantra is “Lord Shiva–nothing belongs to me, everything belongs to you!”).

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  • Gautam 19 February, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    For everyone who knows about Yogiraj Amar Jyoti - I would like to share a video that I made during my visit to Kandwari Village when we had an impromptu Ghazal evening.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0ELl4tqBJo

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  • Raju 9 May, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Hi every one. I just came back from the great master's harmony. I stop by and meet Girish Joshiji. He gave me his new no. Which is 8474965741.

    Gautam bhai, thank you for all your support....om Namah Shivay.

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  • giovanni 30 July, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Hi! Looking at Babaji's cave photographs, there seems to be a kind of brick wall inside. If this is the case, what is its purpose?

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  • Gautam 2 August, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Hi giovanni, I'm not sure when the wall was built, but I would assume it was built by YSS (Yogoda Satsang Society) to stabilize the rocks. Or who knows may be some secret entrance is being hidden 🙂

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  • raju 3 August, 2014 at 4:14 am

    I am sure you will fiend out the secret about hidden entrance Gautambhai!!!!!om

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  • raju 8 September, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Hello Friends,
    All the knowledgeable souls had mentioned every little thing in detailed on this web site, which is precious for me. There is nothing more to write about how to reach Mahavatar Babaji's cave. This is just my own experience which I want to share with you.

    Recently, on 1st May, with the grace of Mahavatar Babaji, our(my niece was with me) journey became special trek in my life. Actually I was hoping with Babaji's wish to have darshan of "Pavitra Dev Bhumi Dwarahat" which can be Char Dham Yatra for me. But I found more than I expected. On the way from Kathgodam to Dwarahat, we were lucky to have darshan of Neem Karoli Baba's Ashram at Kaichi Dham and Haidakhan Baba's Ashram at Ranikhet.
    Staying at Mayank hotel, in evening we visited shrine for Shirdi Sai Baba and Mahavatar Babaji. Next day was our big day started with joy-hope-and curiosity with "It will be OK" kind of feeling inside. But once we reach at Draungiri mountain valley, I forget that I had some health issue. With willpower and continue praying inside, I was feeling like mountaineer, of course with two high school student as our guide and a strong wooden stick in my hand which was offered by the family at foothill at Rathkhaal. On the way there was fork road and we found the clue as last word of 'e>' was hanging on the metal pole which was cave.Watching my every step on the path we came at Mahavatar Babaji's Smruti Bhavan.

    Twelve years ago I was reading the book about "Autobiography of a Yogi" at my cousin's house in LA and was thinking that"In real is there any place in India?"I even got picture of Mahavatar Babaji with Lahiri Mahashay on the same page. I was holding that photo since that time in my daily prayer book. When I start reading web site and saw the picture, it strike in my mind that something is really deep in this article. Now I got my answer sitting there and was so happy reaching there. I sat with closed eyes and feel so great. I have no idea how long I was there but after some time I got up with more power and start walking on the path. Slowley but surely there was the end of the path and I look up."WOW!Babaji, you bring me up to your Abode. Thank you." When I came at the door of the cave my legs were shaking with joy. With the help of my niece I got inside the cave.

    With excitement I look inside with Pranam and I took my spot closing my eyes. What ever happened after that, is my once in a lifetime experience which can't be describe by words. When the time came to leave, my mind became aware of surrounding. I try to look inside the cave but still it was kind of fog in my mind. With so much happiness and joy inside I came outside of the cave and sat for a while saying "Babaji, for me, this is the Abode of Lord Shiva and I was waiting since long time to feel you. With your Grace my wish came true. Please make me come back again to your Dwar". Looking surrounding I was still in a denial that I was able to make it up to Mahavatar Babaji's cave. But one thing is sure that when Babaji is ready to bless you, He will pull you towards him.

    Enjoying the surrounding, finally we start walking down steps. But it seems to me that I could have stayed little longer there. I was so excited that I was just listening everyone and saying nothing. While walking down hill I have to be careful about the dried pine needles, other wise the path was really easy. Who ever had helped to make the path easier up to Babaji's cave, I thank you them. No one would believe how much stuff I carry upto Babaji's cave incase of emergency, but I only use Menthol to smell only once for the shortness of breath. So, finally I came down IN ONE PIECE which was a surprise. When I called my kids from Rathkhaal that I made it unto Babaji's cave they were relieved, happy and surprise. Even looking at my pictures they can't believe that I was there.
    At Rathkhaal the family was very happy seeing us back and the lady of the house offered glass of fresh "Chhash" to everyone which I can't deny her request. We stayed for little longer and had conversation about life in mountain and our area. Finally we came back to Joshiji's shop with some of their family members who want to go upto Draungiri Temple. Joshiji was waiting for us because while going to cave,we just told him that we are coming back for lunch and I also called him from USA if there is room available. He also show us his guest houses on slop of the hill and gave me his another phone no. which is 91 847 496 5741. and he point out the view of Babaji's cave and Pondukholi area which is just cross from his shop. One more time I bowed down to Draungiri Mountain and Mahavatar Babaji and promise to Joshiji to visit again with Babaji's wish.

    End of the day at hotel, we meet one young man from south India who visits Babaji's cave since over six years, who was walking down on the path earlier in midd day(Thats what he told me during our conversation). It was my extraordinary day that I could not get sleep. Every thing was going on like slide in my mind. When I was reading all the information on the web site, I can imagine it; now I can feel it. Until today whole trek goes on in my mind everyday.

    Next day, we had great darshan of Draungiri Devi and Hunmanji's temple. We also got chance to visit Draungiri Nature Retret which is a nice place to stay for meditation.That evening we visited local temples and another Shiva Temple at the west end of the village in the valley, where I offered all my written mantras from a year to Lord Shiva which became another great day for me.
    Staying three nights seems short but special for me. Then we went to visit Mukteshwar Mahadham which has it's own beauty. On the way we stayed over night at Pathik Resort in Sitla Village. We went for a walk around the village. We found Kilmora handicraft Shop which has Kilmora brand product that includes hand woven and hand knitted textiles, apricot product, herb etc. Here we meet some nice folks who helped us to choose the items. While walking in the village we found brick's little Sitla Mataji's temple and we figure out that the name of this village belongs to her. Every where in the mountain, natures uneven terrain has it's own charm where we found fruits orchards on the way. While enjoying evening beauty of the valley at Pathik Resort, we meet some bikers from different part of the world who comes here ones a year on their motor bike. It was interesting to have conversation with them. Next morning we left for Mukteshwar Mahadham.

    From the top of the mountain where the temple is situated, has a beautiful valley on the west side and cliff on the other side. Whole area feels Tapovan Bhoomi ones you are there. We hadDarshan of Mahadev and we bowed down to the Samadhi of Mukteshwar Maharaj ji. Before we reach to Kathgodam railway station we got our last chance to visit the temple on the hill where we had a great view of Bimtall. Even we had special green tea in the Tea Garden. That day was our last day of our trek. It was short but memorable and once in a lifetime experience I had, which is hard to explain, still I tried my best.

    On the way back to Delhi I was thinking that traveling so many places around the globe is nothing compare to be in the Himalaya. Once you get the smell of that send and wind in your blood, for sure it will pull you towards it. I am hoping for that.

    Sr. Dhar Sahab, your experience helped us to make our trek free of worry. Gautambhai, 2nd week of January when I start reading and replying some of the friends query on your web site, I was scared and handicapped. But reading it over and over at every night until wee hours and back and forth with net, I got my morel support. Today, my life is full with energy-joy- hope and inner peace. There is no words to explain your gratitude.
    Last but not least, my sincere thanks to our local driver as a tour guide Mr. Pandeji, who helped us anyway he can to make our trek more memorable and spiritual.

    May Mahavatar Babaji help the seekers to fiend their inner peace!!

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  • Priya 24 April, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Hi, its amazing reading your post, keep on walking over the path of spirituality.
    but one small thing, do not mind, those are not energy circles that is spectrum which generates
    due to refraction as per wavelength when light component splits, like if you see at your glass camera flash is visible that is reflection. this is actually happening due to water droplets there.

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  • Dev Kar 24 April, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I agree that skepticism is the ingrained nature of human beings. I believe one has to do the hard work for shradhha or faith also. It does not fall on our lap. The other point is that when one is not ready, one will miss all the spiritual experiences you are talking about. Even if God were to be standing in front of people who are covered thickly with the dross of disbelief, He would not be recognized. That is why when Ramakrishna Paramhansa was walking this earth, there were many who said He was a madcap. The same happened to Jesus and to the Buddha Himself. So witnessing a spiritual event personally does not mean that person will necessarily experience it as such.

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  • Gautam 25 April, 2015 at 8:12 am

    @ Priya, the article is not about energy circles so it's all about where you focus your attention 🙂 I personally don't believe or disbelieve what they are so it's best to enjoy it as a photograph purely as there is no way to prove or disprove it either way.
    Thanks for reading the article and peace~

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  • Raju 25 April, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Nothing much to say but I do agree with your point of view Gautam!. Just enjoy the beauty of nature in Himalayas. Once you are there no matter how much you plan ahead you are in different world.With the Grace of God and with His wish it happened twice in a year to feel that pure air in my lungs and still thousand miles away I can't stop thinking of it. Gautam, your web seems a great healer and pathfinder who seeks inner peace. I appreciate all your effort and thank you for all your generous support. May Mahavatar Babaji help the seeker to fiend their inner peace...Om

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  • raju 27 May, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Dev Kar,
    It is true that without the Grace of God you can't see things even though they are in front of you. I had my own experience. Last year on May 1st I was blessed with Babaji and my wish came true. But while going towards Mukteshwar, my driver told me that this is Kakrighat where Swami Vivekandji had ate kakari( I have no idea about it), but that time it seems to me like he was explaining me about the area where about we were going. So it did not ring in my mind. He took us to visit Neem Karoli Baba's ashram on the way to Dwarahut. I had chat with the owner of the tea shop about Sombaribaba but once I left the place my driver told me about Sombaribaba's bhandara. I asked the driver if can we go back, but it was too late to go back. So I said may be next time which happned recently on 8th March. Now about Sombaribaba, I ask him this time about Kakrighat and the driver was laughing at me and said "Auntiji, you are going round and round. I told you last time but you did not said anything about it." This time it is wrong way and I said may be next time. I said next time we will go to Kakrighat. Only HE knows when is the next time because I was there and did not see it.

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  • REN SINGH 13 July, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Many thanks brother for yor insightful account of yor visit to Baba ji s cave. A rare and intriguing experience indeed. Having come across yor article " by chance " i have added Baba ji's cave visit on my "to do" list of places to visit. GOD willing as soon as destiny calls. Stay blessed and Babaji 's blessings to all. Om Shanti.

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  • Jayashree Shankar 3 June, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Sir,
    Past several years i am searching for such a lovely posting in detail. With Baba's blessings to day i can able to find out. Indeed you and your father Blessed by Baba...immensely. The narration of the visit is a pathway to many seekers. Even as a reader i can able to feel the LIGHT of energy through your photograph. Let Baba's light and energy spreads all over the world through this. All can feel the sacredness of the cave , Thank you very much for your wonderful experience. I would like to share this post in my blogspot with your permission...
    can I? That will reach even more and more eyes....for thirsty hearts and foot.

    You are so lucky and Blessed.

    Jayashree Shankar, Hyderabad.

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  • P.Subrahmanyam 7 August, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Sir,
    thank you very much for your information. I am presently working in Meerut, UP (73 KM away from New Delhi). I intend to visit the cave. Luckily I got very good information from you.

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  • nandini v 17 December, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I would like to visit the cave of Mahavathar Babaji , but i dont know when i see this spiritual place. I only hope babaji will call one day . I am waiting for that day

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  • Sankravelayudhan Nandakumar 27 December, 2016 at 6:37 am

    After a long spiritual slippages I found there is change coming over me after implanting the photo in our Poojaroom.I am astrolger,palmist,astrogeneticist as retired chief Engineer strange things started to happen and I was in grief not learned the art of crea yoga to disappear into space.My ambitions as a scientist may be fullfilled after may visit to Pandurangan temple at North he he made through a strange letter in my dream that my research works has been recognized for an award by research committee and I still continue my research works.Our brain is very strange to receive messages .

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  • Sankravelayudhan Nandakumar 27 December, 2016 at 6:50 am

    The physical body by proper tuning can be transferred into light rays and reappear as per your desire as done by Vallalar of Chidambram nobody believe but it is true.Thirughnasmamdandhar entered into Jothi along with his many disciples with his bride was all but true. an willpower.it takes years for a change in your body and mind,Maha avtar Bhaba helps you in attaining your desires of heart by merely using our "brain". One has to directly experience first-hand and transcend the boundaries of intellect to feel the bliss and grasp the knowledge. I have already read the book that has inspired me to do more research in this spiritual research.

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