Dunagiri Retreat is not an ordinary tourist destination, but a pilgrimage abounding in spiritual, legendary, and historical significance. Visitors enjoy hiking to Mahavatar Babaji's cave where Kriya Yoga was founded. Darshan at the Vaishno Devi temple is a must. Every trail leads to an adventure into India's sacred past enlivened by the charming village culture that has remained almost unchanged since olden times.
WALKS, HIKES & DRIVES
Around Dunagiri Retreat are several fascinating walks, treks and drives:
Mahavatar Babaji's cave: Dunagiri Retreat overlooks Mahavatar Babaji's cave, a 3 km trek through rural landscapes and enchanted forests.
Vaishno Devi Temple: Dunagiri hill in the Himalayas is the secret shrine (gupt shakti peeth) of Vaishnavi Mata. An ancient temple, Dunagiri is where Bhairavi, the consort of Lord Shiva himself, turns into Vaishnavi Mata to award liberation to Her devotee. 3 km walk from Dunagiri Retreat.
Pandhavkholi: A Himalayan meadow of medicinal herbs, this fascinating spot offers stunning views of famous Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Devi, Panchachuli, Trishul. 3 km trek from Dunagiri Retreat. through pristine forests.
Sukhadevi Temple and Ashram: 15 minutes walk from Dunagiri Retreat is Sukahdevi temple, famous for stupendous 360 degree views spanning 100s of kilometers.
Ancient Dwarahat Temples: An hour's drive from Dunagiri Retreat is the historic town of Dwarahat, also known as “Uttari Dwaraka” or North Dwaraka – ancient abode of Lord Krishna. The group of 55 richly carved temples here were constructed between 10 to 12 centuries CE.
Gandhi Ashram Kausani: The small quaint town of Kausani, gifted with breathtaking views of snow clad Himalayan peaks, inspired Mahatma Gandhi to pen commentary on Bhagvad Gita. An hours drive from Dunagiri Retreat.
Almora, Ranikhet, Nainital: Within 2-4 hours drive from Dunagiri Retreat are the buzzing towns offering a peak into a colourful and vibrant India.
Walk thorugh natural growth forests: Dunagiri Retreat is located within an oak forest. Around us are many fascinating walks and trails with stunning views of snow peaks, giving a chance to observe wildlife and be one with naure.
HISTORY,LEGENDS & MYTHS
Most Temples and holy places accrue higher respect the older they are. For instance the 3000 year old temple of Kanyakumari may be deemed more potent than a 300 year old temple. At Dunagiri, it is not in years, centuries nor even millennia that the antiquity is calculated in, but rather in terms of Yugas! A place where mysticism abounds, Dunagiri vibrates with numerous stories, sacred legends and myths.
King Bharat: King Bharat, son of king Dushyanta and celestial Shakuntala, after whom India is named “Bharatvarsh”, was born at Sukhadevi, a brief walk from Dunagiri Retreat.
Lord Hanuman and the Sanjeevani herb: Dunagiri is the home of mythical herb 'Sanjeevani' with life giving powers. In the epic Ramayana, Lord Hanumana comes to Dunagiri to fetch this herb to revive Lord Rama's brother Lakshmana who lay unconscious in the battlefield.
Pandavas: a short distance from Dunagiri Retreat is the picturesque spot of Pandavkholi, where the five Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharata spent a portion of their anonymous exile . Now an ashram of himalayan yogis.
Rishis and Yogis: Just like grass and shrubs growing near a sandalwood tree imbibe some of the fragrance of sandal, similarly every part of the mountains around Dunagiri Retreat, every leaf and every blade of grass is imbued with the spiritual vibrations of the numerous realized souls who have meditated here. Sage Bharatmuni renounced worldly life and came to the hills of Dunagiri to meditate in solitude, as did Dronacharya, Rishi Garga and Sukhdeva Muni, son of Rishi Ved Vyasa. Shwetashwet Upanishad was composed at Dunagiri.
Mahavatar Babaji: Dunagiri is also known as the birthplace of modern day Kriya Yoga. It is at Dunagiri in 1861 that the divine current of Kriya Yoga was revealed by Mahavatar Babaji to Shyamacharan Lahiri. As mentioned by Swami Yogananda in 'An Autobiography of Yogi', the area of Dunagiri is still blessed by the living presence of Babaji, the secluded master who has retained his physical form for centuries, perhaps for millenniums.
Recent Yogis and Masters at Dunagiri: It is at Dunagiri that Mahavatar Babaji is said to have given initiation to Haidakhan Baba in Manas yoga, to Neem Karoli Baba in Mantra yoga and to Sombari Baba in Pashupat yoga. Other saints known to have meditated at Dunagiri are: Harnarayan Swami, Ram Baba, Mahatama Laxminarayan Das, Nantin Baba, Mahant Balwant Giri, Swami Satyaeshwarnananda Giri, Baba Dhanvantari Giri.
Dunagiri Retreat, Village Chari, Near Mahavatar Babaji's Cave, Block, Dwarahat, Uttarakhand 263653 India
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