Friday, October 24, 2014

A visit to Sidh Baba Balak Nath, Deot Sidh, Hamirpur, H.P.


Throughout the years of my school days, I had been listening to these Bhajans here and there, in buses or through the sound coming from one home and another. Deot Sidh(Deo-Sidh) is a village in district Hamirpur which has the mention of, in many of such songs dedicated to Baba Balak Nath. They are sung by various local singers of Kangra and Mandi districts such as, Sanjeev Dixit, Dheeraj Sharma, Sher Singh and who not?

View of Dholagiri mountain from Parking for vehicle at Deot Sidh,
Baba Balak Nath, Hamirpur - 23rd Oct 2014

" Dhaulagiri parvat par, Baba Balak da basera hai" - a line from one of the Bhajans. 
Means, Baba Balak Nath resides on the mountain named as "Dhauli-Giri". People, all the way from different parts of world visit this holy land to pay their respect to the shrine of this enlightened sage. Well, this was holiday and I had my motorcycle, and it was only at a distance of about 45 km from Hamirpur via Bhota and Barsar, so I thought it would be a good time to give a visit to the shrine. 

'Being Diwali week, people generally walk towards their home, so it would also not be much crowded and would save my time', I thought.  At around 9:30 AM, I picked up my bike and within one hour I was at the temple area. Road through Bhota up to Barsar was double lane and very much  comfortable, it was another 12 km distance from Barsar up to Deotsidh. 

Shiva temple at top and Sidh Baba Balak Nath temple at bottom, Hamirpur, H.P. - 23rd Oct 2014

 At the entry of the temple, after crossing small 3-4 Chadawa shops, 3 to 4 goats were tied with rope in the Bakra Sthal(Goat place). It was also written that the animals offered to the Baba are not slaughtered, but are raised and are sold at good prices to turn into money. It was a similar experience after visited the Baba Kamlahiya, and it filled me with a joyful and healthy spirit. 

Adjacent to it, was another hall having a beautiful view of the mountain valley and ample space for about 500 people to sit comfortably, and eat their eatables. There were two gates, one for entry and another for exit, and path was divided into two parts using the steel railing, ladies and gents separately.  As expected, there were very few people, so it took me no time to reach the shrine.
Entry to Garbh-griha, Baba Balak Nath, Hamirpur, H.P.  - 23rd Oct 2014

Just outside the entry into the Garbha-Griha there was a black board on which was written with the white chalk, the details of the daily Chadawa(Offerings of money or metals), and it startled me to see the amount that was written for the 20th October.Along with the few foreign currency amounts, INR 15,12,014 plus 2 gm Gold and 32 gram Silver. I still wonder, what they do with such an amount, except spending on the daily Langar(free food to every visitor), but all I could do was just wonder, because I was not able to ask it from anyone. 
Photography in the shrine area was not allowed, so it is all I can show you here. 
Only males are allowed to go up to the shrine cave while ladies can pay their respect from another parallel mounted platform from a certain distance. Monkeys seems to be a problem, and I think for policemen, which were present almost at every spot, if not have other things to do in such days,  were busy to hush them or to scold them away. After paying my respect to the Babaji at the cave shrine, I got out and then went to the Langar Bhavan, because I was hungry. 
Langar Bhavan, which provides free food for visitors, Deo Sidh, Hamirpur. - 23rd October 2014

It was a simple Daal-Chawal with sweat fried rice at the end, but I enjoyed it. After washing my plate and glass, I rested a while at the courtyard of the Bhavan and then at around 12:30 PM I picked my bike, and returned back. There was a Shiva temple, at the top of the mountain of Dhaulagiri, which I think has its own importance due to the legendary link between the Baba Balak Nath ji and lord Shiva. 

Thanks for your kind visit, please come and visit again!

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