It was the first day of my summer holidays. I woke up early since we were leaving for Rishikesh by the morning flight. We reached just in time to view the Ganga Aarti at the break of dawn. The wonderful sight of the crystal-clear water of the river Ganga flowing from the Gangotri against the backdrop of the snowy vast range of the Himalayan mountains enchanted me. The melodious hymns sung by the priests created a sensation of Godliness. Far away from the crowd an old priest was narrating folktales about the place.
He told a story about the Earth. Once Earth had asked Vishnu, “Why do you come in the form of mountains and not in your own form?” Lord Vishnu replied, “The pleasure that lies in these mountains is more intense than beings as they feel no heat, nor cold, nor pain, nor anger, nor fear, nor pleasure… We three Gods- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva will remain in the mountains for the benefit of the world .” The priest then told us that this was the reason the Himalayas are considered sacred.
It is a natural as well as spiritual heritage icon. Lovely scenic sites like secret valleys and high mountain lakes are also considered holy here. The name Himalaya comes from “Hima” that means snow and “Alaya” that means abode of God.
Lord Shiva is believed to live in Mount Kailash. There are numerous holy places for pilgrimages too, like Haridwar, Kedar Nath, Badrinath, Amarnath and so on. The snow-bound, majestic Himalayan mountains have lured many people from across the world to glimpse its beauty. The beauty of the Himalayas leaves one speechless with an immense sensation of awe and admiration.
The Himalayas in Hindu tradition is much more than a majestic vast mountain range. It is believed not only mythologically but also geographically to be the most sacred place for many. It acts as a natural barrier protecting us from dangers caused by neighbouring countries. The Himalayan ranges, like a tall and sturdy soldier, are always ready to provide us protection from enemies. It protects us from the frosty and dry winds of Central Asia. From the Himalayas has originated many life-giving perennial rivers as well, like Ganga, Yamuna and so on. These rivers make the land fertile and make it suitable for growing crops. So, the northern plains nourished by the rivers are called the food bowl of India. They are also the home to many medicinal herbs.
Apart from its beauty, the Himalayas are also dangerous. If humans destroy the Himalayas, it will harm us in the form of colossal avalanches – as God gives us curses if we do something very wrong, so does the Himalayas. This tall, sturdy, and majestic mountain range will show its strength to protect us, as well as teach us a lesson. So, we must not harm mother nature but protect her instead.
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