International Society for Krishna Consciousness - Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Padayatris stop at Mahendragiri, abode of Lord Parashuram

August 21, 2022

 

By Dhirnayak dasa, Utkal-Banga Padayatra leader

The Utkal-Banga Padayatra recently spent time in the picturesque Mahendragiri region of Odisha. Mahendragiri is a mountain in the Rayagada block of the Gajapati district. The hill is situated amongst the Eastern Ghats at an elevation of 1500m and spreads across the neighbouring Ganjam district. The area is a wonderful creation of the Lord and as we were walking, we felt we were heading towards the Himalayas.

Mahendragiri, referred to in the Ramayana as Mahendra Parvat, is surrounded by beautiful hills and valleys. In the Puranas and the Mahabharata, it is said that Lord Parashuram practiced penance here and it is believed that Parashuram, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, is eternally doing tapasya on the mountain.

Located on the hill are temples dedicated to the five Pandavas, Yudhisthir, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadev, as well as a temple of Kunti Maharani, all of which are thought to have been built by the Pandavas. There is also a Daru Brahma temple on the hill. The main Mahendragiri festival is Maha Shivaratri that occurs between February and March. Thousands of devotees from around the world travel here to trek on to the peak to worship Lord Shiva on that day and enjoy the tranquil and striking expressions of nature.

Mahendragiri is a very peaceful place to chant and read scriptures. We chanted there and performed sankirtan, the other visitors joining us and dancing on the holy name. It was a nice experience.

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