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Dandeshwar Mahadev, Uttarakhand

Dandeshwar group of temples is at a distance of about one to two kms from Jageshwar group of temples. Obviously, we visited this temple group too on the occasion we enjoyed our sojourn with Jageshwar but somehow or other no post was written about this group of temples. Now while going through my old diaries, I found tit bits of information and a rough draft of a travelogue and then there were these pics and you know, I was amazed how all these together resurrected my experience of about 5 years ago. I could almost relive the soul stirring experience of that peaceful afternoon at Dandeshwar temple complex.

The main and the biggest temple of the group is of Dandeshwar Mahadev.  The stone lingam in the temple is a natural uncut rock of swayambhoo nature. Both the temple groups are in quite a close proximity yet all the temples in the Jageshwar group are of grey-coloured stones while those in Dandeshwar group are of yellowish cream colour.

Getting down from the vehicle I entered the temple premises and after walking few steps, stopped. I stood still, rooted to the spot as if afraid of disturbing the sanctity of the moment by even slightest of the movement. There was no one else around. The only sound filtering through the deep silence around was of the faint murmuring of a flowing water somewhere in the vicinity. That sound too was so delicate, so soft like tinkling of anklets that it was accentuating the peace all around. I took a deep breath as if in an attempt to preserve the moment deep down within me.

In an enclosure of low, stone- built wall stood few small temples and shrines. Few steps away on the left- hand side stood the main temple. Dandeshwar Mahadev temple is said to be one of the tallest temples in Uttarakhand. On right hand side on slightly higher plane there were few pillars on which were placed certain idols and then beyond that, green grass covered hilly slopes ran down to touch the sacred ground. Soft rays of sunlight daintly stepped on the fresh green grass while cool breeze dancing on its toes tickeled it fondly. Stately devdars stood straight and firm like powerful guarding force. Bright blue sky above smiled beningly and white clouds floating across the vast azure expanse beckoned to explore their limitless world. I was not just mesmerized but it was an experience when you know your body is there but your soul, your being has left it to be one with the sacred powers. How blissful it was! Soul filled with gratitude for every single breath I moved forward to explore the ambience.

The dimly lit sanctum sactorum of the main temple pulsate with a powerful energy. You have to be there to feel the force. I sat on the stone-cold floor with eyes closed and felt an energy surging within. Ancestors from centuries ago , royalities, saints, seers, artists do their essence still float there making their presence felt in varied ways. I don’t know but I could feel the elusive, the invisible mingled with the concrete there. No Pujari was there at the time and it was as exclusive for me kind of moment.

Besides other Gods and Goddesses there was shrine dedicated to Kuber too. A kuber temple, I saw it for the first time.

Before leaving I went in search of the water streams whose continuous chanting filled the atmosphere with the most melodious mantras, shlokas, I ever heard.

A small side gate led me to few steps descending to the meeting point of Jataganga and Doodhganga. I could have sat there for few more hour. The cool, secluded place provided a feeling of secure shelter. Water was transparent and cool, a balmy effect on tired bones, ney soul.

I can go on rambling, but I know, I will not be able to do justice to the aura of the place. You have to be there to feel it. Well, in the mean time enjoy shots from Sunder’s camera to have a glimpse of the place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All pictures @ Sunder Iyer.

 

 

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Namita Sunder

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Ushasurya
3 months ago

Aw Namita

Fabulous images by Sunder Iyer and a fantastic narration by you.
I can imagine the whole trail of your thoughts..
How strange…today is Pradhosham and my hubby and I never used to miss being at a Shiva Temple ( far from the madding crowd in a remote village ) on a Pradhosham day….the pandemic has put a full stop to all this.
The mood you have created is great and I can see my Cosmic Dancer dancing here all by Himself and filling the whole place with His energy…
Happy to see the lonely atmosphere here…One can feel His presence at such Temples..
The stones speak to us…tell us tales…enable us to visualise all the Holy Sages here…
Lovely blog :)))

Navneet Bakshi
3 months ago

Brilliant narrative and excellent photograph. To imagine that you have written it after reflecting upon the pictures speaks of how eloquent is the impression it left on your heart, how indelible. I can guess from the picture how heavenly must have been the experience. How far are these temples from Lucknow where I think you live? Why I am asking this question is because I don’t find another person there and from the pictures, it appears that fortunately they have been spared from the plunder the Indian tourists cause such places. You could see them sitting all over the monuments like monkeys and even getting on top of the sanctum. I believe they are not even listed in the tourist destinations and we should thank the Uttrakhand government if they have spared them the peace they so rightly deserve.

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