Last week I travelled quite lot. One of the places which I visited is a peaceful and holy temple known as Markanday. It is situated a distance of five km on a link road from National Highway 21 in Bilaspur on the way from Shimla to Mandi before Ghaghas.
The place is named after the famous Saint Markanday, who is believed to be a savior of children and couples pray to him for long life of their children. The story attached with the temple is that the saint had no children and used to pray to Lord Shiva fervently for a child. The Lord blessed him with a son, but also told him that the son will die after reaching just 12 years of age. Saint Mrikandu named his son Markanday and started living in the constant anxiety and fear of death of his only child.
When Markanday came to know the reason of his father’s fear, he started worshipping Lord Shiva at the same place where the idol stands enshrined today. Markanday got blessed by the Lord, with a long life, on the day of Baishakhi and at that very moment, a spring of water started flowing there. This spring is considered holy and it is said that the pilgrimage of Char Dham is complete only when one takes a dip in this spring. Markanday ji temple serves as the venue of a religious fair that is organized every year at Baisakhi.
Markanday visit is not complete without taking the holy bath with the water of the spring.
Soon I’ll be sharing few more things from my trip…