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Sacred Places

NATH YOGIS visit the usual places of pilgrimage such as Prayag (Tribeni), Benares (Kasi), Ajudhya (Ayodhya), the source of the Godavari (Trimbak), Dwaraka, Hardwar, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Brindaban, Pushkar, Ramesvar in the south, Darjeeling' in the north-east, Nepal and Assam, Amarnath in Kashmir, and Hing Laj in the west. They visit certain shrines of Sakti and temples of Siva and Bhairom. Their own particular shrines and monasteries are widely scattered over India.


In a Ashram at CHANGCHILING, in sikkim, there is a black, complex image one of the three forms of which, the more gaudily robed, represents Gorakhnath.

At GORKHA in Western Nepal

At GORKHA in Western Nepal, is found the cave temple of Gorakhndth. It is 'the sacred hearth of the Gurkha race.' Landon describes it as a little, crude sanctuary hidden in a cavern to which access is almost impossible except on hands and knees—the shrine of Gorakhnath. Here beneath an overhanging stream, housed in the natural recesses of the rock and with little adornment beyond the ceremonial tridents, flags, halberds, trumpets, and other insignia of all such places of worship, is the image of the god.’ The cave and the town get their names from Gorakhnath who is said to have resided there. Hence the national name of Gurkhas.

About Kathmandu centre a number of interesting places and shrines associated with the names Matsyendranath and Gorakhnath. The word Kathmandu stands for 'Kath Mandir,' or 'Temple of Wood,' a shrine built about 1600 A.D., by Laksmi in honour of Gorakhnath.



At BAGMATI about three miles from Patan (Kathmandu), Othere is a temple of Matsyendranath which is recognized by Nath Yogis. Their also here temple of Siva Pasupa tinath which appertains to the Nath Yogis. The Nepalese Saivite temples of Sambhunath, Pasupatinath and others belong to the same sphere of interest as that of Matsyendranath. At Kistipur there is a temple of Bhairab and at Kathmandu one for Kal Bhairab.


Sawari Kot

At the temple and Ashram at SAWARI KOT, ‘Cangra Tang Pahar,' is an image, or stone, which is supposed to contain the spirit of Gorakhnath. The Nath Yogis of this place have an intimate relation to those of Devi Patan, the Ashram at the latter place being under the authority of the former.

In the Kumaun and Garhwal Hills Nath Yogis are found at various shrines of Bhairom. Such places of worship are often connected with the residences of particular Yogis.

In the Kumaun and Garhwal Hills Nath Yogis are found at various shrines of Bhairom. Such places of worship are often connected with the residences of particular Yogis.



HARDWAR has a number of places belonging to the Nath Yogis. A cave, or subterranean passage, is associated with the Kdnphatast.. The members of the Twelve-Panth organization have an establishment with good buildings in Hardwar.

Important monasteries and shrines of the Nath Yogis are situated in Gorakhpur, Tulsipur and Beneres.Those at the two former places are in a flourishing condition; but the Nath Yogis of Benares seem to be losing ground.



Three places in Benares are connected with the name of the Nath Yogis; the famous Lath of Bhairom, the temple of Kal Bhairom and Gorakhnath ka Tilla.The old Gorakhnath ka Tilla is situated near the municipal gardens in the city. This place was built by Raja Man of jodhpur. But, along with the Lath of Bhairom, the endowments were nearly all lost through gambling and profligacy, and there now belong to it but a few inferior Yogis, some married.The whole establishment,'which is on a hill, or elevation, fully one story high, is reached by a flight of steps and is surrounded by rooms on all four sides. Below the level of the platform on two sides are houses or rooms. The principal temple faces east. The platform is made of stone slabs.

Built against the temple on the north side is a small shrine containing the yoni-linga. It is about four feet high, including the spire. On the south side is a somewhat larger shrine, about ten feet high, dedicated to Siva. Behind the temple are quarters in which a single grhasta Yogi lives. South of the temple is the well, and beyond that, the kitchen. In the row of rooms to the north of the temple is the dhuni, under a veranda. On the platform of the temple, at the south-east, close to the temple is a sthan of Bhairom with trisules, and a small image in relief on a stone slab, painted red.

On the front, or eastern border of the platform are four small shrines of red sandstone. The one at the south-east corner is a samadh containing the yoni-lihga. A bell is hung in the roof. The next shrine contains the caran of Gorakhnath. There is a bell in the roof. In the third is a bull and a yonilinga. There is a bell in the roof. Fourth, in the north-east corner, is a samadh containing a yoni-linga and a black linga on a stone slab with a snake over it. The roofs of the corner shrines are dome-shaped, of the other two, pyramid-shaped.

North-east of the principal temple, but down a flight of steps, is a temple of Mahadeo. It has a flat roof. There is a samadh in the street outside the boundaries of the Ashram. The whole elevated area is faced with stone slabs and is substantial. The number of Yogis in the establishments in Benares is decreasing. Formerly they were powerful and respected. In 1884, they numbered 159, of whom 63 were women.' They had two akharas, one at Gorakhnath ka Tilla (in Benares), and one at Kal Bhairom. They owned the Ka1 Bhairom temple also. Their present low estate is due to disintegrating conditions which were allowed to creep in amongst them.



A very important center for Nath Yogis is Gorakhpur a city named after the shrine of Gorakhnath it was this place, as they say, in the Treta age,that Gorakhnath came from the Panjab.

The shrine is old.The first temple is said to have been built there in the Treta age and it was dedicated to $iva. Tradition has it that Gorakhnath found there an old shrine of Goraksa, a deity of great renown in Nepal,and made it famous. Popular reports puts the founding of the city by Gorakhnath in A.D. 1400.

The original shrine was converted into a mosque by Alaud-Din (1296-1316). Then a shrine was built in a nearby place by Nath Yogis. Aurangzeb (1659-1707) converted this also into a mosque. Afterwards, on the present site, a third shrine was built.


Devi Patan temple

The Devi Patan temple, and the Ashram adjoining it, both under of the Kanphata Yogis, are situated on a small hill close to the town of TULSIPUR, in the Balrampur State. It is not far from the foothills of the Himalayas and the borders of Nepal.

The site of the temple of Devi Patan is one of the fifty-one' pithas, or places celebrated as spots on which the dismembered limbs of Durga (Sati) were scattered. When Visnu cut her to pieces, and her dismembered body was strewn over the world, as Siva, distracted, carried her body about, her right hand fell at this place and sank into the ground. The word, Patan, refers to this event, for the word is derived from the Sanskrit pat, from the root pat, meaning to fall, to sink.



TURNING now to the north-west the temple of AMARNATH, in Kashmir, is to be noted. Yogis visit the shrine of their master which is situated in a cave. Siva is here represented by a linga which is a block of ice.


GORARESETRA, or Gorkhatri, in Peshawar was once a haunt of Kanphata Yogis and is mentioned by Baber and Abul Fazal. Traditionallyi is the place where Gorakhndth lived in the Satya Yuga..


SIALKOT is famous as the home of Puran Bhagat, the wellknown disciple of Gorakhath. The well where Puran was found by that Yogi is situated two miles north of the Cantonment. A legend connected with the place relates how a Khatrani woman, while bathing in the Aik river,was wooed by Basak Nag (the King of Serpents), and bore a son, Sa1avahan, who rose to be a man of great power and wealth, and who, through the assistance of the serpent (Nag) became a king. To Salavahan were born two sons who became Yogis, the older of whom was Puran Bhagat, on whose account the well is still famous. The well is noted for its very cold water and its healing qualities. Hindu women go there to bathe, in order to be cured of barrenness ; especially on Sunday and on the new moon, do they come from all parts of the Panjab for this purpose.


The Ai-panth Ashram at the Taksala Gate in LAHORE is a rambling place. It contains a few samadhs and a -temple to Siva. In front of this temple is a large, rounded slab of stone painted black, which contains an image of Kal Bhairom painted black, with a large trident.


At AMRITSAR at the temple of Bhairom, at Durgiana, there is an image of Bhairom and a large cubical platform, about five feet high, painted red, with a cloth over it, in which is a niche and a lamp. Beside this there is a temple of Siva. It is a place of meeting for the group known as the twelve Panths. It was here that the author had his audience with the pir of Tilla.


Near LADWA, in the Ambala district, there are places w ere two shrines are found close by each other, the one on the right and the other on the left of that of Guga, the one on the left being dedicated to Gorakhnath. The explanation of this is that Guga was the disciple of Gorakhnath.

Gorakh Tilla

Another famous establishment of nath yogis is Gorakh Tilla it is situated about twenty-five miles north-west of Jhelum, on the highest point of an isolated line of hills in the Salt Range, at an elevation of 3,242 feet. The hill is rugged and difficult to ascend. There is a steep, almost perpendicular, cliff on one side of it. This is accounted for by the following legend. Laksmannath, the Jogi of Tilla, was once visited by Siddhvacarnath (Bhartrhari), and was unable at the moment to provide food for his guest. So Bhartrhari carried off part of the hill to Kirana Bar, threw it down, and founded a new Ashram. This explains the steep ascent at Tilla. The view from the Ashram is a very fine one. In ordinary weather the snows of the Himalayas make a splendid sight. Nearby and below are the remains of decaying hills; and the course of the Jhelum is plainly seen.

Tilla is one of the oldest religious sites in northern India, and its use for religious purposes antedates by millenniums the coming of Gorakhnath. Tradition affirms that Gorakhnath settled there in the Treta Yuga, after Ramcandra, and adopted Balnath as his disciple. The place was once known as Tilla BaInath, a name derived from a temple on the sum- mit dedicated to the sun as Balnath. It was here that Balnath underwent his penance, and it was from him that Bhartrhari learned the practice of austerities. The samadh of Bhartrhari is at Tilla and the cave there is named after him.

It is undoubtedly true that Gorakh Tilla, or Jogi Tilla, was one of the first centres of the Nath Yogis Yogis. Panjab legends make repeated reference to the Place as one of the stations to which Gorakhnath often retired.

HING LAJ, holy place of the Hindus towards the west,is visited by Nath Yogis. They consider that a pilgrimage to this place is necessary for all who wish to perfect themselves and to become adepts in Yoga.

HING LAJ is situated on the Makran coast, about eighty miles from the mouth of the Indus, and some twelve miles from the sea. The shrine stands below a peak of the same -name on the banks of the Hingol River, in the Las Bela State.

Hing Laj is one of the fifty-one pithas,4 or places celebrated as spots where the dissevered limbs of Sati were scattered. Here the crown of her head fell. The shrine is dedicated to the terrific Agni Devi, of Hing Laj known also as the Hing Laj Devi, Hinguda Devi, and the Red Goddess.


There are several places in Kathiawar which are associated ith the name of Gorakhnath.

Upon the sacred height at GIRMAR there are many temples in ruins. The hill consists of five principal peaks, the highest of which, with an altitude of 3,666 feet, is associated with the name of Gorakhnath. Above the shrine of Amba Mata there is another, three feet square, dedicated to the great disciple of Matsyendrandth. It is said that Parvati, in search of Siva, dwelt at Girnar, and that she continued to sing the praises of her Lord, until, at this spot, he finally showed himself to her. In the Sind legends Girnar is represented as a noted place of resort and a favourite haunt of Gorakhnath.

Nine miles east of Patan and six miles west of Prachikund, IS GORAKHMADI also named after the great saint. The Place is situated on the Saraswati River and is one of the most important in the west. Here, in a cave, deep underground, are three images of Gorakhndth and one of Matsvendrandth. Gorakhnath (the guru of Rukmi bai, consort of Krishna) is the deity of the Ashram at this place.


Professor A. V. Williams Jackson describes a visit to the cave of Bhartrhari at old UJJAIN. In the inner cave or hall is to be found a figure, or picture, of Gorakhnath with Gopicand on his left. Nearby in the underground vault, is the caran of Matesyendranath.


At Pae Dhuni Bombay, a very old religious centre in the city of BOMBAY, there is a cramped establishment of the Kanphata Yogis. It is used by all twelve of the panths and is one of the four monasteries under the Matha at Nasik.


The famous" temple of EKLINGAJI, in Rajputana, bears important relations both to Bappa and to the Kanphata Yogis. it is situated twelve or fourteen miles north of Udaipur, in a narrow defile of the mountains.


Two interesting shrines of the Kanphatas in Bengal are at MAHANAD- in the Hoogly District and at the cantonment of Dum-D-um near Calcutta . The latter place is called Gorakh Bansuri,or Gorakhbansi.- The establishment at this place, though small is of considerable interest.


In the city of PURI (Jagannath Puri) is a gaddi, or seat, of the Satnath sect of the Kanphatas.