The Enchanting Shrine Of Swami Keshavananda- Haridwar
The tranquil Swami Keshavananda Ashram is not only holy and pious but also filled with anecdotes about the great Swami Keshavananda. The walls of the shrine echo with divine stories about the visit of a great saint Sri Paramahansa Yogananda Ji.
The enchanting shrine of Swami Keshavananda is located in the holy city of Haridwar. This humble shrine was set up by Swamiji himself, and it now attracts several pilgrims every day. What makes this shrine so alluring is the location. It is located right in the laps of nature and is surrounded by serene rivers and stunning mountains. This is the perfect escape for anybody looking for some peace. You can also sit here and meditate as much as you want.
The Origin Of The Shrine Swami Keshavaanand Ji
Swami Keshavanand had spent about 37 years in deep meditation, also known as Tapasya. During his meditation, he had a vision wherein he saw The Supreme Goddess. Upon seeing her vision, he decided to move to a place near Haridwar, so that he could meditate more.
This beautiful island was accompanied by the regal Chandi mountain and the serene Neeldhaara river on one side, on the other side was the Bhagirathi Temple and the Mansa Devi Temple. In those times the island was filled with snakes and scorpions and had a dense forest.
Swami Keshavaanand Ji used to have only one water jug and a tong with him during his long meditations. Once, a British general came to Swamiji and started engaging in deep insightful conversations with him. He started visiting Swamiji more often, and soon enough he was impressed by the immense knowledge that Swamiji had, and also by his fluent English. He then asked Swamiji if he could do something for him.
Humbly, Swamiji asked him to make a small hut so that he could pray and sing his melodies devotional songs daily. This would also ensure that he didn’t disturb anybody. The British General granted his wish, and the land was then leased to Swamiji, and he set up the famous Katyayani Trust.
The Holy Shrine Swami Keshavaanand Ji
Once, Swamiji acquired the land, he decided to swim all by himself in the serene river to collect the stones in a boat. He used these stones to build some caves that you can see in today’s time also. He also built a platform, about 6 feet high. This platform is now the Samadhi for his Guru Swami Lahiri Mahasaya. The Samadhi is still there, and many visitors come to this shrine just to pay respect to the Samadhi of Shri Lahiri Mahasaya. You can also sit there for some time and admire the beautiful landscape that is in front of you. It is relaxing to just stare at the crystal clear blue water that complete the scenery and adds a spiritual allure to it.
Beside the Samadhi, you will also find a temple for Sri Shyameshwar Mahadev. He was a strong devote, and thus, he built a shrine so that he could offer his prayers daily. You can visit this temple, and offer your respects as well. Many locals and devotees, come to this temple to seek blessings and partake in soulful bhajans( devotional songs). After some time, Swamiji also built an Ashram, which is now known as the Keshavanand Ashram. There are also small rooms, made for yogis and disciples who can come here and indulge in some introspection or deep meditation.
The Keshavanand Aashram
The Ashram also has a lovely garden, in which you will find five trees- also called the Panchvati. These five trees are- Rudraksha, Amla, Ashok, Mango and Jamun. These trees are said to be highly auspicious and are revered by many. There are other flower and fruit trees as well, that makes this garden look elegant and a wonderful place to spend some time at. The fragrance from these trees keep swirling in the air and will fill your lungs with some lovely aroma.
The location of the Keshavanand Aashram itself makes it so tranquil. Located on the banks of River Ganga, the ashram overlooks the River, and you will be blessed with a stunning view. You will also find the Mansa Devi temple on one side, and the Chandi Devi Temple on the other side. There are regular Pujas, and Aartis in the Keshavanand Aashram, which can be attended by everybody. There are also special pujas like Chandi Path on Ganga Dusshera, Rudra Abhishekh on Maha Shivratri and Sewa of Dandi swamis, which are performed. You should visit the ashram on one of these days to experience the true grandeur of the Keshavanand Aashram, and, feel the magic of the ashram.