A huge number of visitors celebrated Janaipurnima festival on August 16 making their journey more dynamic and excited on the snowy laps of mysterious Gosaikunda. People throng at large number on trekking to view mountainous looks along with the religious ceremony.
Photo by: Valeriy Garkal
Gosaikunda, (kunda literally means pond or lake) the shrine for many deities of regular Hindu pilgrimage, that lies in Rasuwa district, north from Kathmandu, Nepal. One of Nepal’s most famous religious places of pilgrimage is Gosainkunda lake situated at an altitude of about 4,380 metres under the Langtang National Park where are 100 species of flora and fauna, many more wild lives, disappearing snow-leopard and red panda. A total of 108 glacial fed lakes small to medium including Bhairavkunda, Saraswatikunda and Dudhkunda (milk-pond ) are in this area and also the challenging Lauribina La pass 4,610 meters on its outskirts.
Surrounded by high mountains on the north and east, this lake is grand and picturesque, and the Trishuli river originates from the ponds of Gosaikunda. It is believed to have originated from the digging of the land by the Trishul (holy 3-pointed sword) of lord Shiva after he drank the poison from samudramanthan (sea- charning) and desperately wanted cold water to drink quenching the overwhelming heat of the poison. The large rock in the center of the lake is said to be the remains of a Shiva shrine and it is also claimed that channel carries water from the lake directly to the tank at the Kumbheshwar Temple in Patan of Kathmandu valley.
Every year during Janai Purnima that fall n full moon in August, thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to take holy bath in the lake. It is believed that if one prayed and bathed in those ponds, one would get fulfilled one’s wish and salvation in life. Whereas Hindu people from different parts of the country as well from abroad visit the sacred place for their religious and spiritual rituals of worshiping their ancestors, the people from other religions enjoy trekking and watching the very astonishing and wonderful activities of the different people.
Although it is known as Hindu pilgrimage, people from Buddhists community also take it equally important place for their own values and tradition of acquiring strength for meditation, enlightenment and cosmopolitan feelings. Local dances such as Syabru, Mane, and shamanism of typical Tamang (Buddhist) culture that performed on the occasion would enhance the fair robustly. In the area, majority of Tamangs who are categorized one of the very original and typical 70 ethnic communities of the country. Shamans perform the very tantric dance in their strange costumes representing of ancient and medieval ages.
Photo by: Valeriy Garkal
A bulk of weird shamans, who do not bathe in the lakes, visits the holy place each year believing that they would receive divine insights from praying to the lakes of Gosaikunda. Shamans also perform bizarre and weird dances in the fair. In a 10-days May-June cultural fair, at least 1000 people visit the place each day for the same spiritual journey. All the people who have heard about culture and traditions of Gosaikunda march on trekking to tread on its wonderful paths.
Gosainkunda trek links to the famous Langtang trek in the same district from where Ganesh Himal and Langtang peaks are visible. The lake remains frozen for 6 months from October to June. We need not worry about accommodation in the area as many good hotels, inns and restaurants are available along the route to Helambu trek. The best season to visit is June. However, thousands of devotees and tourists visit Gosaikunda on the Janaipurnima festival following the hundreds of years’ tradition.
Gosaikunda, the holy place is on the way of a popular trekking route of Dhunche-Gosainkunda-Helambu trail that takes about eight days journey. We can ride bus from Kathmandu to Dhunche, district headquarters and start the trekking. It takes 10 hours to two days to reach Gosaikunda.
Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure is organizing special programs at Gosainkunda in August, 2009. Explore Himalaya has also arranged providing facilities to view the scenes from helicopters as part of the sightseeing.