Pahadi Dhusran or Dhosi ka Pahad (Dhosi Hill), located at a little distance from Narnaul in Mahendragarh district is one of the most sacred places in India. This lone hill is an extinct volcano and a part of the Aravalli mountain range and has been mentioned in the Puranas, Brahmanas, Mahabharat and Hindus scriptures.
The volcanic eruption at the beginning of the Treta Yuga has been described by Shaunaka Maharshi who accompanied the Pancha Pandavas and Draupadi during their visit to the hill in the Mahabharat. The physical elements of this hill called Richa Parvat with its crater and solidified lava, abundance of rare medicinal herbs, three perennial waterfalls, three hilltops, ashrama and tapas sthala (place of penance and austerities) of Chyavana Maharshi, the creator of the Chyavanprash and the curative water pool has been elaborately written about in the Puranas and Mahabharat.
The Hindu scriptures state that Chyavana Maharshi, an old sage renowned for his tapo balam (strength of penance and austerities) married the youthful Sukanya. The handsome Ashwini Kumara were struck by her beauty and tried to convince her to leave her husband and marry one of them. Sukanya, the epitome of chastity refused and instead requested them to make her divine husband youthful again.
The Ashvins agreed on the condition that when all three of them have a dip in the water and rise, she should correctly identify her husband. All three emerged from the water looking exactly the same and Sukanya was both scared and confused. She looked at each one of them again and again and was unable to pick out her husband. Desperate and mentally anguished, she prayed to The Ashvins and sought their help. The Ashvins were pleased with her devotion to her husband and asked her to look closely at their eyes.
Sukanya did as she was instructed and saw that one pair of eyes blinked while the other two were steady and radiant. She immediately knew who her husband was and chose appropriately. The Ashwini Kumara were happy and blessed both of them and prepared the Chyavanprash for Chyavana Maharshi which is a unique preparation from herbs to regain his youth.
Chyavana Maharshi temple was built at the crater of this hill in the 1890s by the Bhargava lineage in place of the old temple and has some interesting Shekhawati paintings in the garbha griha. Chyavana Maharshi, Sukanya Devi, Lord Krishna and Radha Devi and Lord Vishnu as Shesha Shaiya are seated in the main temple. The basement of the temple functions like a dharmashala (resting place) for pilgrims. There is a Shiva temple and the Chandrakoop where the Ashvins prepared the Chyavanprash for Chyavana Maharshi. An old well is located nearby which is full of water that flows from the adjoining reservoirs.
Dhosi Hill stands at an elevation of about 1100 feet and is home to wild animals, snakes and other reptiles. The hill falls under the administration of three village panchayats of Dhosi, Thana and Kultajpur where the three waterfalls mentioned in the Hindu scriptures are located. These become full-fledged waterfalls when there is an overflow of water of the reservoir at the summit during the monsoons.
Rainwater flows into the ancient sarovar (reservoir) at the summit from all the sides of the hill and carries traces of copper and the essence of rare medicinal herbs. This water is deemed sacrosanct and the locals highly recommend a dip in this pool as the water is said to have rejuvenating properties and deemed to be good for the eyes, skin and digestion.
On the south of the hill is the Shiv kund which is filled up from the water of the reservoir at the summit. Many devotees do the pradakshina or parikrama (circumambulation) of this radiant hill. There are many natural caves on the hill but it is advisable to exercise caution while wandering into them. There is a cave on the parikrama where Chyavana Maharshi performed tapas (penance and austerities).
There are temples dedicated to Lord Rama and Devi Mata on the hill and a Royal Guest House. People come to take a dip in the ancient water pool on the auspicious occasion of Somavati Amavasya.
There are four paths on the hill that take you to the crater namely two from Thana village of which the pony path has been severely damaged due to landslides and erosion and the steep flight of about 457 steps, the path from Dhosi village is the shortest but the steps are not clearly marked due to continuous flow of water and the path from Kultajpur village that has wide steps and offers an excellent view of the Dohan River.
Atop the hill are remnants of a rock and limestone fort built by Samrat Hemchandra Vikramaditya about 500 years ago. The fort is in reasonably good condition and appears to have thick walls that are roughly about 25 feet high.
Dhosi Hill has a lot to offer for geologists, naturalists, spiritualists and those who fancy a challenging trek.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)