Narayan Ashram

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2012

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You see main building of Narayan Ashram. 1st floor is temple, ground has some rooms to stay. To reach go to Pithoragarh, 4 hour drive to Dharchula, a near 2 hour drive to Ashram. Scenic drive. State transport buses take you to Dharchula, from where take a local taxi Mahindra Maxx to reach the ashram.

Enroute from Tawaghat to the Ashram came across this herd of sheep. We spent two days at the Ashram - an experience of bliss. Tourist/devotees can visit the Ashram anytime but if you wish to stay have to connect with Ashram authorities and make a booking. Food is also provided. Stay is free but devotees make a voluntary donation to the Ashram.

Pic of Narayan Swami who founded the ashram. The beauty of this pic is that from whichever side you see it appears that Narayan Swami is looking at you. He was born in Mysore, a qualified engineer, had a very impressive n divine personality. He passed by this area enroute to Kailash Mansrovar Yatra, found border area neglected so Ashram became a vehicle to serve local people. They run schools, hospitals, sponsor child education in the area. Missionaries were active in the area then and converting locals.

Work for the ashram started in March 1936 and completed by 1945. It was originally called Sharda Ashram and later on changed to Narayan Ashram. This is the temple on the first floor. There is aarti every morning and evening. I attended the evening aartis religiously, found it very fulfilling.

Doing morning aarti. Temple on the 1st floor has a big hall. It has numerous old pictures adorning its walls - quiet a treat. Very positive vibrations in this temple. Image that you see in the centre of pic is of Vishnu Bhagwan.

A picture of Narayan Swami with Swami Sivananda of the Divine Life Society of India. The Ashram offers a panoramic view of the mountains on the eastern side. Land for the Ashram was donated by the HYANKI family.

This modern gizmo amazed us. It measures wind speed (through fan that you see), temperature and amount snowfall. Connected to a computer which gives you the data.

During sunset looking at the peaks on the eastern side when a friend I met at at the ashram Damle suddenly turned to say look at this cloud formation, rainbow. What we learnt that evening is that while waiting to click pictures of sunset always be on the look out because it could be cloudy at one moment and u get a wow picture the next.

Earlier pic had rainbow on left side. This cloud formation and rainbow on the right side. Prakriti ka kamal hai (Nature never ceases to surprise you).

During the day we decided to trek on the Kailash Yatra route towards village Shirkha. Very enjoyable. Whilst trekking saw a couple of helicopters fly in and out. U see one in the centre of the pic. View from inside the helicopter can be seen to be believed. The trek is about 5 kms one way and pretty easy.

Enroute trek to village Shirkha u see me against the backdrop of snow clad mountains. To go for Adi Kailash trek also have to take the same route.

Pic of village enroute. They follow step farming - ie farming at different levels. Was tempted to visit the village but was quite a walk downhill so decided to avoid. Was excellent weather in October when we walked. Not too hot, cold or sunny.

Close up of snow clad peaks. Note vegetation in front, trees, rock and lastly snow. Ashram rooms are clean and functional. Beds with blankets, bathroom with hot water.

We went to the top of the hill to click this pic. Another view of snow clad mountains. Consider myself blessed to be at Narayan Ashram. It is these moments of bliss that give us the strength to cope with the ups and downs of life. Remembering Narayan Ashram brings a smile on my face.

Pre sunset view of snow clad peaks on day two. What I liked at the ashram is that every person washed their own plates after meals. Team at ashram serve you with so much love and affection. I was touched with the spirit of sewa (service).

Sunset view of same snow clad peaks that you saw in earlier picture. Solar energy panels are widely used throughout the ashram.

U see me at Narayan Ashram. Left is the main temple. Dome like structure on right is where the current Swamiji resides when he comes to the Ashram.

Windmill at the Ashram. I must say very impressed with the various eco friendly steps taken at the ashram. From Narayan Ashram it was about a 6 hour drive to Munsyari.

Part of the ashram is being repaired and renovated. U see a group of Bihari carpenters. People criticise the Biharis for being all over the country but what most people do not appreciate is that without them life would be difficult. How many would work at 8,000 feet in the midst of nowhere and very cold nights.

Another view of the main Narayan Ashram building. In front is the Mandir Dwar (temple entrance). Consider myself blessed to have visited Narayan Ashram. The Ashram run a number of schools and colleges in Narayannagar. More power to them. Love and Light.

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