It was a majestic Rock at the edge of a cliff somehow seemingly carved with grooves that made it look like a Sri Chakra Yantra. An Arduous 7 hours of trekking later what we saw was completely not what we had imagined. The place had a traditional temple of the Devi, but a few steps from below the temple, the path lead us to the Kali Shila.
Shila, which is the Hindi name of Rock, was standing there in all its glory with absolutely no boundary on 3 of its sides and completely sliding off into the valley. The Rock was inclined at about 45 degrees and we had to crawl on our four limbs to get to the centre. I got to the centre of the Rock with great difficulty and battling with some fear.
Standing by the flag in the centre, I witnessed the magnificent. Heaven on earth, the continuous range of the Himalayas, infinite and kissing the sky. This is probably the most beautiful that I have ever seen. It was fulfilling and extremely Joyful. The Brahmachari who walked with us shouted in a high pitch voice:
“Visangam Darshan! Ultimate View, Anand! Paramanand!”
From here I could see how our path that took us 8 hours to walk, looked so tiny and insignificant. It exhausted us, but all was forgotten after witnessing the view of a lifetime.
Our walk started at 8AM in the morning from the foothills of Madhmaheswar. It seemed difficult in the beginning, going up the steep stone walkways. We had to climb several slippery paths where the land had sliding soil with no rocks to grip. Our first hill was quite a challenge. The Local village guide was a young girl who was agile and always playful. She laughed at us struggling to climb. But was very considerate throughout the trip and got us sticks to balance our climb.
As we walked, our second hill was a little easier as it was full of villages and fields on the way. But it was still a long way. Atleast I could take a lot of photographs on the way as it was not as much of a steep climb but with stone steps and flat ground for the walk. We stopped by a place to fill our water bottles in a tap. I asked the villager if it is safe to drink this water. He smiled and exclaimed “Mountain water, this is better than your bottled water as it has all the herbs”. It was indeed refreshing.
We got to meet some interesting villagers on the way. Our local guide spoke with them in Pahadi Language (mountain language), it was just a stretchy version of Hindi, localized, slanged and villagized. It sort of sounded like Hindi Beverly hillbillies. We caught up with a primary school on the way. Smiling kids and giggling with all their teeth for my camera. They were all outside the school, may be it was lunch time. But we didn’t stop by to eat. We just had water and some sugary candies and kept walking.
The Third hill was the toughest. It was as though beginning to feel tougher and tougher as we approached. There were not many homes and villages now, it was all rocky and path went through the jungle. The last of the civilization was left behind in the second hill which had a distinct tall Airtel cellphone tower. It was all jungle after that. When we got close, we saw the Kali Shila, just hanging in balance from the edge of the cliff and we wondered how to get there, but there we were finally by 3.00PM.
As I stood there by the flag, I could only think one thing. I had no idea how I walked all the way long. From that point, I had to crawl to a small creak on the rock which had the naturally formed Kali’s feet inscription below. Carefully climbed down and what we saw was nothing ordinary.The Rock had the feet of Kali inscribed as though she came and stepped on it. Besides that was a Sanskrit Akshara that was formed in a naturally embossed way. We stood there, with the wind blowing heavily and getting chillier as the time went, had the best of our times doing Puja. It was said that Brahma, Vishnu and Siva descended down to worship Kali before fighting the Demons to save the Devas.
Another Brahmachari who accompanied us, did the Puja and went into circumambulation by crawling around the rock like Tom Cruise in MI 2. Our jaws dropped and had a shock offear go up our spine. We didn’t do that, it was impossible for him and completely not possible for us.
When we finished it all and started our return walk, it was 6.00PM in the evening already. With torches and sticks we found our way in the dark and reached our base camp by midnight, with Dinner thereafter. This was probably the most adventurous and yet the most spiritual trip we ever had in our life.
Kali Shila, is not for the ordinary tourist. We were gifted to be able to go to this place. We were all gratitude to our Guruji and Devi for taking us there and make us blessed.