SITES OF RENUKAJI, NAHAN
AND PAONTA SAHIB – HIMACHAL PRADESH
No account of Himachal Pradesh will be complete without mentioning the sacred
sites of Renukaji, Nahan and Paonta Sahib. Steeped in history and mythology,
this trinity is visited not just by devout pilgrims but also by visitors in
search of tranquil natural beauty. Renukaji boasts of the Renuka Lake, Himachal’s
largest lake which is shaped like the profile of a lady sleeping. It is believed
that Rishi Jamdagni, annoyed with his wife Renuka asked his son Parshuram
to behead her. The obedient son followed his father’s orders but when granted
a wish as reward, asked for his mother to be restored to life. The annual
Renuka fair in November celebrates the mother and son’s reunion.
The Math, the main temple was built in 1814 by invading Gorkhas and houses an image of Renuka. A mini-zoo and a wildlife sanctuary are other attractions. Nahan founded by Raja Karan Prakash in 1621 is an ideal all weather holiday resort with picturesque walks quaintly named the Villa Round, the Hospital Round and the military Round as well as exquisite temples such as the Jagannath and Bala Sundari Temple. Saketi, 22 km away houses the Shivalik Fossil Park with fossils dating back to 185 million years ago. Paonta Sahib is intimately associated with the tenth Sikh Guru, Govind Singhji who spent five years here and built the Paonta Fort and Gurudwara Paonta Sahib which became major centres of art, culture and religion. The Yamuna and Nagnauna Temple are also worth a visit.
There are many more places to visit in Himachal Pradesh —to do justice to all holiday spots that the state has to offer, one has to go back time and again. One is sure to discover something new every time. Thanks to Himachal Tourism and private enterprise, Himachal Pradesh does not lack in the infrastructure needed to make any holiday a success —transport and accommodation are no problem as there are a range of hotels, resorts, bus and taxi services to suit every budget. No wonder, for some people, a trip to Himachal to sample its charms is an annual ritual and their tribe seems to be increasing.
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