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The Saints of Kakrighat (India Yatra Series #4)

October 21, 2018

As we continue on our journey, bathing ourselves in the deep bhav of the land of Deva Bhumi, we will inevitably come to one of the most auspicious holy sites in India, known as Kakrighat, Almora.  This enchantingly lucious and craggy area that is now home to the Kakrighat Temple and Ashram, has posed a meditative backdrop and spiritual merging point for great saints, such as Swami Vivekananda, Sombari Baba Maharaj and Neem Karoli Baba.  While these great holy beings never physically crossed paths here, they each played an essential role in the spiritual consecration of the area, sanctifying Kakrighat as a truly blessed sacred site.

A steep valley adorned with popping green mountain flora, this area is as visually striking as it is esoterically advantageous.  Taking pilgrimage to the Himalayas in 1890, Swami Vivekananda spent time here in Kakrighat, along the Kosi River shore. It was here, beneath a sacred peepul (fig) tree, that he experienced the enlightened state of samadhi, which illuminated the divine connection and oneness of the Universe.  Sombari Baba Maharaj, whom also frequented this serene valley, spent most of his life meditating beneath a specific tree himself. The now famous and cherished banyan tree of Sombari Maharaj’s meditations is the spiritual epicenter of the area, currently holding space at the center of the Kakrighat Temple.

Neem Karoli Baba, whom we affectionately refer to as Maharaj-ji, spent time soaking in and blessing this lush and holy mountain basin as well.  It was his wish that a temple would be constructed here at this site, for he held great admiration and adoration for the essence and history of Sombari Baba Maharaj.  Only about 20 km from Kainchi, the Kakrighat Temple is currently under the care of Neem Karoli Baba’s Kainchi Dham Ashram, proving a loving metaphysical connection between two saints who, as far as we know, never met on the physical plane.  Kakrighat is a true expression of the divine in this physical realm; a locus of mesmerizing beauty, a saturated crossroads of saints, and a proverbial womb for genuine mystical experiences.

This was my final Fall pre-Yatra piece delving into various areas in which we explored and phased into.  This should tide you over as I get back into my usual samsaric cycle of my work week and figure out how to be American again.  In the coming weeks I will have many pieces coming on our visceral experiences on the Himalayan Yatra and our time spent with the infamous "Jungle Baba," Shyam Sundar Das Babaji.

If any of this interests you, Dr. Saraswati Markus will be graciously hosting another journey to India this upcoming Spring:

A Himalayan Yatra Following the Footsteps of Ram Dass with Saraswati Markus, Shyama Chapin, Matthew Ceurvorst, & Friends
March 6 - March 17th 2019


All information can be found at her website:

or please do not hesitate to reach out here if you have any questions.

As Always,
Big Love,



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