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Cave Of Ved Vyasa : History, Architecture, Celebrations. How To Reach, And Restrictions

There are several caves that have held the interest of onlookers and devotees in the plains and heart of Himachal Pradesh. One such cave, of the Period -between the 3rd century BCE and the 3rd century CE, whose mystery is yet unresolved, is located in Mana village of Uttarakhand.

This village is called the 'last village of Hindustan' or 'the last village of Uttarakhand' and is full of mysteries also known as 'Vyasa Cave or Vyasa Pothi.". It has been the resting and penancing abode of Maharshi Veda Vyasa who compiled the Vedas and Puranas from this spot. Sage Vyasa is considered the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and one of the Ashta Chiranjeevis, which means that he is an immortal soul.

Vyasa Guha Cave is believed to be the place where sage Veda Vyasa composed the Mahabharata epic with the help of Lord Ganesha. It was also the place where he also composed 18 Puranas, and Brahma Sutras and classified the four Vedas. Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati is known to have helped Vyasa Maharishi in recording his verses in written form.

Cave Of Ved Vyasa: History Of Vyasa

Mahabharata is a tale of the feud between Pandavas and Kauravas, the Kurukshetra war and Bhagawad Geeta uttered by Lord Krishna. Vyasa Maharishi is also considered, to be a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. At first, he was named Krishna Dwaipayan, as he was born on an island and had a dusky complexion at birth. He came to be widely known as Ved Vyasa, only after he compartmentalised the Vedas into four sections, which is the reason why he is revered as Guru and his birthday is celebrated as Guru Purnima.

Ved Vyasa is the child of Rishi Parashar and Satyavati. Satyavati was married to Maharaj Shantanu. Shantanu's son was Bhishma who had vowed that he would never assume kingship and rule the kingdom. At the same time, even otherwise, getting an heir was impossible as Satyavati's sons Vichitravirya and Chitrangat had already died. As per Satyavati's request to Vyasa, Pandu, Dhritarashtra and Vidur were born due to the blessings of Ved Vyasa who blessed even the maid of the queens with a child, who grew up to be Vidur. Vyasa blessed Gandhari with the boon to have 100 sons.

Lord Ganesha's broken tusk has a historically interesting background that has a connection with the story of Vyasa. Before he embarked on his work on Mahabharata, Vyasa wanted someone who could write his thoughts for him, quickly down on the palm leaves. After some enquiries, Gord Ganesha agreed to help him out only upon a condition that Vyasa should continuously dictate without stopping for a moment, failing, which Lord Ganesha would stop writing for him. As Vyasa continued dictating for days together, without taking a breather, on one of these days, Lord Ganesha's pen broke as a result of which he had to break a part of his tusk to use it as a pen to write.

It is believed that Maharshi Vyasa had dictated the last canto to Lord Ganesha, which he did not prefer to reveal to the readers. Hence at the beginning of Kaliyuga, these Bhojpatras authored by Ved Vyasa were turned into stone by the power of the Rishi. The question remains even today about those missing links to the story of Mahabharata but as we glance the cave, we get to see the Vyasa Pothi or the giant book like formation at the roof of the cave that offers scant clues to the history behind it. There is a mysterious notion about this roof. It is said that no one, except Vyasa and Lord Ganesha know about the mystery behind this occurrence. Today, the world refers to these mysterious pages of stone as 'Vyasa Pothi.'

Cave Of Ved Vyasa: Architecture

Vyasa Pothi/Guha is an ancient cave situated at an altitude of around 3000 metres in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at the confluence of Alakananda and the River Saraswati, at a fairly short distance of 3 kilometres from the famous Badrinath shrine.

This cave is found in the Mana village which is the last Indian Village, located at the Indo China border. Mana village has achieved its fame due to the presence of Vyasa caves. Climbing around 100 steps through the narrow and small entrance, you will be led to the rustic Vyasa cave or the Vyasa Pothi, which was the temporary residence of Maharishi Vyasa.

It is widely known here that the Pandavas along with Draupadi had started their swargarohan yatra (journey to heaven (with the earthly body) right here at the point of these caves. Rock formation inside the Vyas Gufa closely resembles a neatly stacked pile of palm leaves, that is worshipped as Vyasa Pusthak. The roof, specifically looks like pages placed one on the top of the other. Inside the space in the cave, you can see the idols of Vyasadeva, Shuka Muni, Ganesha installed.

The priest manages to do puja in the available space and then describes the leelas of this place to the yatris or travellers elaborately. It is said that Adi Shankaracharya met Ved Vyasa here to discuss his Bhashyam or treatise to the brahma sutras with his here. It was in these caves; Vyas Maharishi composed the Mahabharata as per the commands of his mentor Kalpatru Maharishi who instructed him in a dream visitation.

Vyasa Cave is at an altitude of about 3200 meters (10500 ft), capped with frozen snow most of the time, except during Summer months, during May-June and Shraddha Paksha (August-September) when devotees flock to the cave for darshan.

Cave Of Ved Vyasa: Skanda Purana Facts

You can find a mention of Vyasa cave in Skanda Purana. Near the cave are the Nar-Narayan Mountains, under which one can find the Badrinath Dham. This entire stretch of the land is known as Badrikashram which, as per the Purana, does not have an equal when it comes to being holy and having spiritual vibrations. This place was home to Pandavas during the Mahabharata.

Cave Of Ved Vyasa: Celebrations

After the Kedarnath accident, the number of devotees lessened, though not considerably and a family has been worshipping for generations. Guru Purnima is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Ved Vyasa. Every year there are big events on Guru Purnima in Vyas Cave. This year Ved Vyasa Jayanti will be celebrated in a simple way. Thousands of devotees arrive here every year on Guru Purnima, grand events are held. Near Vyasa Cave is India's last tea shop. These shops have been running for almost 30 years.

Ganesha and Muchukunda Caves

In very close proximity to the Vyasa cave, one comes across another cave called the Ganesha cave. Near this temple, there is a natural rock called Bhim Pul that rests over the river. Take an upward climb from Vyas Gufa into another cave called Muchukund Gufa where in Lord Krishna, led by the sage Muchukund killed the demon Kaal Yavan in this cave. There are a few footprints of Lord Krishna which can be still spotted here.

Cave Of Ved Vyasa: How to Reach

Badrinath is easy to reach as the city is well connected when it comes to transportation. There are direct buses that ply from outside of Uttarakhand. Nearest railway station is the Rishikesh Railway station. Jolly Grant International Airport at Dehradun is around 306 kilometres away from Uttarakhand. Helicopter services are available from Dehradun to Badrinath.

It takes an hour to have a darshan around the entire area. An entry fee is not charged. It is best visited during the months of May to June and September to October.

Cave Of Ved Vyasa: Restrictions To Follow

  • Do not consume liquor and enter the premises and the temple.
  • Do not explore the restricted zone even out of curiosity.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Kindly consult the concerned expert before practising or implementing any information and assumption.

Story first published: Monday, October 10, 2022, 16:59 [IST]
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