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The Saints of Kakrighat (India Series #4)

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 was affectionately referred 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. With Love, Ganesh Das

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