The Shrikhand Mahadev trek is a pilgrim trail that leads to the Shrikhand Mahadev peak (5240 meters/17195 ft.) named after Lord Shiva. The key attraction of this trek is the breathtaking view of the Himalayan ranges from Parvati valley of Kullu, Jorkandan, Rangrik ranges of Kinnaur and Hansbeshan and other surrounding peaks in the south east of Satluj river. The trek can be done either from Nirmand side or Arsu side. The popular and widely travelled route is from the Nirmand – Jaon village side. To reach the base camp, you have to drive from Shimla towards Rampur and cross the river Satluj to enter Niramand region of Kullu district and drive till Jaon Village. This trek can be done in 5 – 6 days.
Trail Type: Difficult gradients. Steep incline trek going through rough glaciers covers, rocky moraine path. People with no or less High altitude trekking experience should not attempt this trek.
Base Camp: Jaun Village or Shingaarh.
How to Reach: Shimla is the nearest rail head to Jaun village – 170 Kms. Shimla is connected with narrow gauge line with Kalka. Buses are available from Shimla ISBT.Take a cab/ localbus from Shimla to Rampur 130 Kms, then to Jaun village via Nirmand (Kullu). Last 8 Kms from Bagi pul to Jaun is a kuccha road.
Day 1: Jaun to Taacharu. (12 Kms, 6397 ft to 11318 ft)
Day 2: Taacharu to Parvati Baag. (13.5 Kms, 11318ft to 13622 ft)
Day 3: Parvati Baag to Shrikhand and Parvati Baag. (6 Kms, 13622 ft to 17195 ft)
Folklore about the Shrikhand trek:
According to the folklore there used to be a demon named Bhasmasur. He worshipped lord Shiva for many years. By seeing his dedication lord Shiva was so happy that he asked Bhasmasur to ask for anything. Bhasmasur asked for the power of burning any creature just by placing his hand on the head of the creature. Lord Shiva blessed him with the asked power. Bhasmasur became so proud of his power that he tried to burn lord Shiva. Then lord Shiva had to hide in a cave near Nirmand at Deo Dhank as a mosquito.
Lord Vishnu came to save lord Shiva from the demon. Vishnu incarnated himself as Mohini a beautiful lady. She (Vishnu) asked the demon Bhasmasur to dance with her. Bhasmasur was so much mesmerised with the beauty of Mohini that he could not resist himself from dancing with Mohini. Mohini cleverly got Bhasmasur to place his hand on his head and Bhasmasur turned into ashes. Just after Bhasmasur burned all the God’s reached Deo Dhank to look up lord Shiva. They found Lord Shiva detained under the web in the cave. It was very difficult to release lord Shiva from there. So Lord Shiva used a secret route and emerged as Shakti Roop at Shrikhand Mountain from cave at Dev Dhank .
When lord Shiva was getting out from Shrikhand Mountain, there were a great blast and only the present Shrikhand Shivling remains. On the way to Shrikhand top you can find out big boulders that look like as the part of any big mountain. At Shrikhand there is main peak (Shivlinga) dedicated to lord Shiva. Just opposite to it another big stones are known as Godess Parvati and Lord Ganesh. Just behind the Shrikhand peak there is a peak known as Kartikeya Parvat.
History of the trek:
This is a holy place which is associated with lord Shiva and Maa Parvati. Local people welcome the pilgrims during the Yatra days in the month of July every year. Most of the people don’t consider this as a trek or hiking. They take it as a part of Holy Yatra only. Earlier it was considered as one of the toughest trek. But now with the passage of time during the Yatra time there are many associations who put up their tents on the way. You can find these tents at Jaun, Barathi Nala, Taacharu, Kali Ghati, Bheem Talai, Kunsa, Bheem Dwar and at Parvati Baag. In the year 2012 around 35000 pilgrims travelled to Shrikhand. Last year in 2011 this sacred place was visited by around 30000 pilgrims.
Before starting this Spiritual Journey we must go to Goddess Kali Temple situated at Jaon to receive the blessing from Maa Kali .
From Jaon we will start our journey and will walk 3 km to reach Singhaad, the first Base camp where Langar Suvidha ( Free meal service) is available, then from there we will climb 12km Straight uphill Stretch to Thaachru also Known as 'Dandi ki Dhaar' because of its Elevation angle of almost 70 Degrees_ One gets to see lush green Deodar trees & Streams while enrouting towards Thaachru and after the tired trek of 15 km we must Halt the first day Journey there as Tent & Meal services are available there.
Then next day starting the journey early in morning from Thaachru, we'll have to Climb 3 km uphill to Kali Ghati or Kali Top where we Worship Goddess Kali. And if the weather is clear, we can also see the Shiva Lingam which is located on Shrikhand top from this place. And from Kali Ghati we will walk 1 km downhill towards Bheem Talai, moreover walking 3 km we'll reach Kunsa Valley a beautiful Green Valley with astonishing beauty and Himalayan flowers all around. Further walking 3 km we will reach the Base camp Bheem Dwaar, where tent & food facility is available so we must either halt the second day journey there or walk further 2 km uphill towards Parvati Bagh (Flower valley) another Base camp with tent & food services available. At Parvati Bagh, we can see the rarest flowers like Brahma Kamal : Mythical Flower of Gods.
Then next day starting early around 5 am, we must walk 2 km up towards Nain Sarovar : The Holy Lake, where one can take bath in the lake and after worshipping Goddess Parvati start walking the final 5km trek through rocky terrain towards Shrikhand Mahadev top. While walking the final 3-4 km, one feels as if they are walking on the Clouds & closer to the Sky. After reaching the top, one would have plenty of spare time left to admire the beauty of the place & will see Lord Kartikeya Peak & many Mountain ranges from there.