It is Dusshera time, and the Ramayana mythology is being remembered and celebrated all over India. Effigies of Ravana have been burnt all over India as a symbol of the victory of good over evil. But what is the Dronagiri connection?
This victory was achieved when Lord Rama defeated King Ravana in the battle of Lanka.During this battle Lord Ram’s brother Laxman was mortally wounded by an arrow shot by Ravan’s brother Meghnad. The only way to save Laxman was by administering him the herb Sanjivini Buti which was available only on the Dronagiri mountain in the Himalayas.
The Monkey God Hanuman was the most powerful follower of Lord Rama, and he could fly over even mountains. He was asked to get the herbs from Dronagiri, but when he reached the mountain he realised that he could not identify the Sanjivini Buti among the thousands of other herbs growing
on the mountain. Pressed for time, he just lifted up the top half of the mountain and carried it to SriLanka. There the royal physician of lord Ravana identified the herb Sanjivini Buti and administered it to Laxman. Laxman was saved but this story of the life-restoring Sanjivini Buti continues to exercise our interest and imagination to this day.
That is the mainstream story, but in the village of Dronagiri things are quite different. Dronagiri village nestles in the lap of Dronagiri Mountain at a height of 12,000 feet. They worship Parvat Dev as their local deity and this diety is represented by Mount Dronagiri in the physical form. Most Interestingly, the inhbitants of Dronagiri nurse an atavistic grudge against Lord Hanuman for carrying away a hilltop from their village because they believe that the particular hilltop snatched away by lord Hanuman happened to be one of the shoulders of the Parvat Dev and for that reason Hanuman is not worshipped by the inhabitants of the village.
Dronagiri village is at a height of around 12,000 feet and totally snowbound during winters. Its inhabitants live in this village only durin the summer months between mat to October. During the winters the village becomes snowbound and the villagers migrate to their summer villages at lower altitudes.
(Note: At Dream Mountain Resort we organise treks to Dronagiri for our guests. You can reach Dronagiri in one day. First a 40km ride by vehicle followed by a 7 km uphill trek. The trekking season for this location is between May to October. We will give information about the trek in a separate post)