Kalimath to Kalishila Temple Trek

Kalimath to Kalishila Temple Trek in Uttarakhand, India

Kalimath to Kalishila 6-7 km trek I was not aware of a few years back during my first visit to Kalimath nor I was aware of Kaviltha Village where Mahakavi Kalidas stayed during his visit to Kalimath. And nor I was aware of Ruch Mahadev but this time I was visiting with more knowledge. We decided – accommodation at Guptkashi though there is a guest house at Kalimath for 250/- rupees per night stay.

7:30 morning hours we had breakfast at Guptkashi. At 7:45 am we started Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark motorbike reached Kalimath at 8:25 am to start the Kalishila trek. Motorbike parked. On the right side of the starting point of the Kalishila trek, there is a Hanuman idol. We offer to pray and with blessings, we started the journey as it is steep very steep we were told in advance by locals.

Dev – The guide during the trek stops to chew a plant’s leaves. I question: What is it? He said – Ameda plant to quench thirst in jungles or during trekking. He offered a few leaves, but I was not sure to taste them. Must be wild plant – a thought.

After one hour of the steep trek at 9:30 am we reached a resting shed. In between these one hour of trekking, I saw a few school children, and villagers coming and going up. We at resting shed met Virendra Tamta – a school teacher teaching maths and science subjects to 6 to 8 class students. He for the past seven years daily cover a 3 km trek to reach school.

Incredible – said I.

During talks knowledge was enhanced by the school teacher – 9th November is the foundation day of Uttarakhand and year 2014 Uttarakhand completed 14 years. That is useful information. Few more talks and we re-started our journey.

At 10 am we reached Byunkhi Village. Till reaching the village there is no relaxation in the steep trek. The trek is made of big stones but well arranged.

Byunkhi is a very small quiet village on top of the mountain and here steep trek ends and the field starts. One has to walk within the village to start next 3 km approx. further steep journey to reach Kalishila.

Ashok is having a small shop selling water, snacks, biscuits, toffees, and re-charge for all service providers. A good shop at this height is useful for villagers as well as trekkers. A thought to re-charge mobile. Done. Amount paid. Upon query, we were told homestay can be arranged upon request at Byunkhi Village.

The next journey is within the jungle. Byunkhi Village is the middle point of the total trek. There were few guys playing cards. We requested one of them to join us as we were not too sure about the next journey. Pankaj was ready to join us upon his friend’s request. Next half journey we were three. After 100 meters of walk we are in the jungle. Though the trek is visible but not as good as the one we covered. The trek from Kalimath till Byunkhi Village is almost well-made as villagers on daily basis go up and down till Kalimath but the next 3 km trek is not good having small rock stones all over the path and the steep climb makes it tough to walk upwards. Yes, we were tired. Thanks to Dev for carrying my bag and water as well.

Kalishila is visible a few times during the trek. Few times a thought to quit and return then another thought if I quit now I maybe regret always. This thought gave me the strength to continue trekking but yes, after Byunkhi Village it is a tough trek, especially for those who do not go for trekking many times. I am one of them because a few times I trek, a few times I drive the motorbike and like that.

It is a jungle area. Nobody was present nor did I see anybody trekking except us.

More we are near to Kalishila more the trek steep and especially last few meters one has to trek carefully. Thousands of feet deep valley and one has to climb big boulders. I with the help of Pankaj and the guide finally reached Kalishila at 1:00 pm. Guide further enhanced knowledge about Barkha Giri baba who is staying at this location for the last 40 years and a German mai but she was not there during our visit as she was in Rishikesh.

Baba is having a wonderful garden decorated with marigold flowers all around and nice mud huts. We enter one of the huts. Inside it was completely dark. We can’t see anything but upon our Guide namaskar to baba, we heard a reply. After a few minutes of stay slowly-slowly, we saw an old man lying close to dhuni. Yes, he is Barkha Baba approx. 80 years old. He requested his disciple to make tea for us but first, we had the wish to visit Kalishila. After sitting for a few minutes inside the hut, we started our journey towards Kalishila approx. 30 meters from the hut. A new temple is also made, but Kalishila is the holy rock location of Goddess Kali incarnation as a girl child to kill the demon Raktbeej.

These two guys – Dev and Pankaj walk on top of the holy rock to offer prayers right at Goddess Kali incarnation location but it was not possible for me or maybe I was not sure. The temple is on the other side of the rock and has a very small platform to sit on and deep straight thousands of feet deep valley below. A little mistake and one is gone forever. I prefer to stay on this side of the rock and offer prayers.

Arriving back to the hut I was told by baba – Kalishila is Mahashakti Peeth having 64 yantras also known as yogini but only if you have knowledge about yantra then only you can see or know. Barkha baba enhanced our knowledge about Ma Kotimaheshwari temple at Ruch Mahadev and further enhanced our knowledge about two demon brothers – Shumbh Nishumbh whose Kingdom was a nearby village – Mansuna and were killed by Goddess. Rakhtbeej demon was also killed at a location on the banks of Saraswati river nearby Kalimath temple popularly known as Rakhtbeej shila. He further said – Kalidas was blessed with knowledge by Goddess Saraswati at Kalimath.

What’s the height of Kalishila? – I question.

8,000 feet said Barkha baba. If the weather is bad, you will find snow all over this location.

Which are the mountain peaks one can watch from Kalishila?

Chaukhambha, Himbuk, Kedar, Madhyamaheshwar, Tungnath, Kartik Swami, and Deoria Tal.

Alakh Niranjan, Do Sukhi, Teen Mein Khatpat, Chaar Dukhi.. said by Barkha Baba.

Bhawna se Bhakti – a few more words by Barkha Baba.

Very useful knowledge. Thanks to Dev – the guide, Pankaj, and Baba. Thanks a lot.

2:40 pm we re-started our journey from Kalishila temple to Kalimath. During the entire trek to and fro, we only once met 4-5 people resting on the trekking path and inquiring from us – how far is Kalishila? Entire journey especially between Byunkhi Village and Kalishila nobody was there. Most devotees visit Kalimath or places nearby and return. Only a few think of reaching Kalishila because it is really a steep trek. The next two days there was a pain in the waist area but then it was gone. I am happy I visited Kalishila. Even at Kalishila, one can stay in one of the huts if Barkha baba permits. A must visit spiritual location at least once one should trek if possible. Kalimath to Kalishila temple trek in Uttarakhand is an unforgettable trek for sure. One must trek if possible.