• India Sacred Journeys

Shiva and Shakti - Shivaling Mountain and Tapovan


This magnificent mountain and high alpine meadow, abundant with mother nature’s beauty, are linked to a deep significance.


The Shiva lingas that are found in nature are lingams only, it is rare to find a lingam and yoni together. But Tapovan and Shivaling are just that. To meditate in this place is to engage in the dance of Shiva and Shakti.


At the base of the mountain one is often deeply moved by a profound experience of the Mother, shining in her exquisite beauty, her multifarious cloak of light dancing with the flowers, streams, rocks, birds, and wild creatures. Above this dance of life stands Shivaling, the One who is primordial and eternal.


Tapovan is creation unfolding, the love that birthed creation, dancing in great passion and unending joy as the dance of creation.


Shivaling, the cool and dispassionate, is always lost in His own being.


The rishis came to this place long ago, drawn by the endless mystery of the One who is both manifest and unmanifest. In that era adventurous rishis went from their homes in the forests of the plains and braved the dangers of the wild land of the mountains to bring back Shivalings (one of the oldest symbols of the Divine) for worship. Lingams are often found along the banks of Ganga and, where she begins her descent, the rishis discovered this beautiful meadow and mountain, where celestial beings dance.


Marvelling at this holy place, many settled to do tapas.


In more recent times the great mahatma Swami Tapovan Maharaj also frequented this place for austerities and meditation. A stone ashram was erected for him, and the name Tapovan was given to the meadow.


Time spent in meditation, in the special sacred energy here, can reveal the secrets of the dance of Shiva and Shakti, the manifest and unmanifest of the One, that is our own inner nature.


Shiva and Shakti
embrace in the silence
of deep love
Mothers cloak
of cascading rainbows
is held
in His ocean of consciousness
- Savitri (Jenny Cottingham)

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