"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. " ~ Dalai Lama


Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh

Sarahan is shrouded in romantic and mystical legend. The land of Banasur. The Bhimakali temple here is as powerful as it is statuesque and beautiful.

Sarahan, it is said, is the Shonitpur of old. And here, the legendary Banasura once ruled. One night, Usha, his beautiful daughter, dreamt of a handsome and strong prince. She told her friend Chitralekha about the dream and based on Usha's vivid description, Chitralekha drew his portrait and then vowed that she would search the world and bring that prince to Usha...

For a long time Chitralekha wandered till one day she saw Aniruddha, Lord Krishna's son. This was the prince of Usha's dream. As Aniruddha slept, Chitralekha silently lifted his bed and carried him to Usha. But the moment Lord Krishna heard about his son's abduction, he marched with his army against Usha's father. Banasura who had no idea what the battle was about was defeated. Then the story of the dream was told. Lord Krishna, magnanimous as ever, married his son to Usha and as dowry returned the kingdom to the defeated Banasura.

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Banasura could not have chosen a more beautiful place to rule. The gods were generous when they gave Sarahan (2165m) it's setting. Located halfway up a high mountainside, the road to Sarahan winds past flowering jacaranda trees that give way to stately pines. Dozens of small streams rush past with waters of sparkling melted snow. The fields and orchards that surround the small villages with their slate-roofed houses, make up a setting of pastoral perfection. Above Sarahan, deodar trees ride the slopes and higher still, encircling the Basal Peak, are trees of birch and a variety of wild flowers and rare medicinal herbs. Deep down in the valley, flows the river Sutlej and across lies the snow-clad Shrikhand peak.

Bhimkali Temple Complex is the main attraction and its weathered walls enclose approximately an acre of temples, old residential quarters, courtyards and a small museum. Behind the Bhimkali temple is the Bashal peak and on the way is the cave where the legendary devote Bhimagiri is said to have lived.

Banjara Camps and Retreats can organize a lovely tour to this area.

Contact details:
Banjara Camps & Retreats
Tel. 91 11 26855152
e-mail: info@banjaracamps.com
website: www.banjaracamps.com

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.