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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hanumath Jayanthi 2017 ~ Hanuman tok at Gangtok

Today  (17th Dec 2017) is celebrated at Hanuman Jayanthi, the birthday of Lord Aanjaneya.  At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam, it is celebrated on chathurthasi / Pournami  and would fall on 4th day of Irapathu Uthsavam which is 1st Jan 2018. Think about Hanuman,  what strikes immediately is his unparallelled devotion for Lord Rama and his unrivalled physical strength.  Hanumar, by various names Aanjaneyar, Chiranjeevi, Vayu Puthirar, Anjani Mainthan is associated with celibary, wrestling, physical power, intense concentration, mental toughness, single minded devotion and more.  Hanumar is remembered for his spirit of ‘selfless service’; and is believed to be present wherever, whenever there is recitation of the name of Lord Rama.  Hanumath Jayanthi is celebrated in various time of year in various places. 

There are many famous temples of Hanuman including divyadesam Sholinghur – chinnamalai of Sri Anjaneyar,  Sankatmochan temple in Benares, Namakkal Viswaroopa anjaneyar, Suseendram Hanumar and lakhs of sannathies in every temple especially those of Lord Rama.  This is a post is about another famous one situate at  an altitude of 7,200 ft; more uniquely, the Priest here is uniformed personnel of the Indian Army who give us the holy Theerth and Prasad.

In Periyazhwar Thirumozhi, in the hymns celebrating the power of Govardhana Giri, Azhwar says  that in the Greatly reverred hill, female monkeys in singing lullabies to their kids, mention the heroic deeds of Hanuman, whose valour completely destroyed the city of demons – the  Lanka.  அடங்கச்சென்று இலங்கையையீடழித்த அனுமன் புகழ்பாடித் தம்குட்டன்களை* குடங்கைக் கொண்டு மந்திகள் கண் வளர்த்தும் கோவர்த்தனமென்னும் கொற்றக் குடையே.

India is uniquely diverse and Sikkim is far different and more strategic ~ the only Organic State is a beautiful tourist location and one has to see the cleanliness to believe that a place could be so neat and tidy.  Besides beautiful scenic spots, it also has – ‘Nathula Pass’ located around 56 kms from Gangtok at an altitude of 14450 ft, the road to Nathula passes through the Tsomgo lake. It is one of the highest motorable roads in the world and is richly surrounded by alpine flora. Sikkim, the Organic State, borders China in its north and east, Bhutan in its east, Nepal in its west and West Bengal in its south. Sikkim is also located close to the Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kanchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth.

The Kingdom of Sikkim was founded on the Silk Road by the Namgyal dynasty in the 17th  century. It was ruled by a Buddhist priest-king known as the Chogyal. It became a princely state of British India in 1890. After 1947, Sikkim continued its protectorate status with the republic of India. Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital  is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft).

Up over there at 7200 ft is a small, beautiful, scenic, famous temple of Lord Hanuman.  It is believed  that Lord Hanuman took rest for a moment at this place when he was on his way to Lanka from the Himalayas,  carrying sanjeevani herbs to cure Lakshman. The temple is popularly ‘wish fulfilling’ temple.

A temple has stood here on the mountains for centuries.  A few decades ago, an  officer named Appaji Pant completed the modern structure. This temple  is fondly known as the Hanuma Tok.  It is now maintained by the Units of 17 Mountain Division of the Army. Uniformed personnel of the Indian Army greet those making the trek, guiding them around the temple, distribute Prasad and  holy water.

Here are some photos of the Temple at Gangtok taken during our visit there in June 2017.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th Dec 2017.

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