The Shrine at New Baba Harbhajan Mandir
We had a plan change before taking the Yak Ride as we wanted to visit the Baba Mandir around 20kms from Tsomgo Lake. So we drove directly towards there instead of getting down at Tsomgo Lake.
The roads got more beautiful in this part of the ride. There was another man-made lake the Hangu lake where people can even do boating in the cold water. We saw some boards that you are not being monitored. Which later enquiring with the driver we got to know that there are sections monitored by snipers from China and that it is not allowed to stop there. And such boards indicate that this place we can take a halt. Enjoying the extraordinary view of the road towards Baba Mandir we reached the beautiful entrance of the place with a huge Indian flag right next to the Mandir. For those who don’t know what Mandir is it means a Temple in Hindi.
Around Baba Mandir – Shiva Temple at Nathula
It was crowded with civilians and the Indian Army as they come here to pray to Baba Harbhajan. I saw a silver Lord Shiva Idol and a huge waterfall in front of the Baba Mandir. I don’t think you can take your car there but need to walk till there. Which is a 200 metres trek to reach the Idol and it is also the highest sitting Idol of Lord Shiva at the height of 13000 ft. Built by the Indian Army on the foothill of Namnang Chho hill. The idol is made of high quality of Fibre Glass material and is 12 Feet Tall which is an attempt to replicate the Lord Shiva Idol at Rishikesh. And the waterfall near the Idol gives an amazing feel to the place.
Baba Harbhajan Mandir
The soldiers hold immense respect for Baba and they salute to him as they enter the temple. The first Baba Mandir was constructed in 1982 and later they build the new Baba Mandir for the convenience of the tourist, at a distance of 10kms away from the old Shrine. The main story behind the memorial according to the board at Mandir goes like this –
“Baba Harbhajan was born on 30 August 1946 at village – ‘Sadrana’ of District – Guiranwala (Presently in Pakistan). On 09 February 1966, he got enrolled into the Punjab Regiment of Indian Army as a Sepoy. Serving with 23 PUNJAB in East Sikkim in 1968, Babaji expired on 04 October 1968 while escorting a mule column from Tuku La to Dongchui La. The Death occurred when he slipped and fell into a nullah. The fast current carried his body for two km from the site of the accident.
It is widely accepted that Sepoy Harbhajan Singh appeared in the dreams of a colleague and requested for his “SAMADHI” to be constructed. The unit, in Keeping with belief, constructed a “SAMADHI” approximately 09 Kms from the present site. For the convenience of the visitors, the new Baba Mandir was constructed at the present location on 11 November 1982.
There is a belief that water kept at Baba Harbhajan Shrine and later consumed by the ailing person, cures him. Therefore devotees place bottles of water in the name of the ailing person and later take it away. This blessed water has to be consumed over a period of 21 days and no member of the family is supposed to consume any non-vegetarian food during this period.”
Our guide told us that there have been encounters where Soldiers were slapped at night when they were found sleeping on duty. And again that many people see him riding his horse patrolling around the place he was assigned his duties.
13000 Feet Cafe
There is also a cafe called the 13000 feet named after the altitude of the place. We were full so we didn’t stop by the cafe but we visited the souvenir shop they had. Which had many Himalayan bowls, statues, swords and many other things you can buy for a memory of the visit.
Refreshing some memories from the visit to Baba Harbhajan Temple. Wasn't able to produce the sound from the ‘Singing Bowls’ aka the Himalayan Bowls, but an army man taught me how to. I recorded the moment with the new #Nokia8 and the brilliant OZO Audio captured all the surrounding audio as I #UniteFor #Bothie #OnTrailsWithHolidayIQ . Watching this and listening to the clear audio quality gave me the feeling of being there. It was great capturing these moments with @nokiamobilein and @holidayiq
After this, we headed towards the newly constructed war museum there which I will talk to you guys in the next one. So don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to be the first one to read that.