Seers return to meditate in Gangotri Valley after two-year of Covid

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Ganga Gangotri

Uttarkashi: A group of seers seeking to meditate in the Himalayas returned to the Gangotri Valley in Uttarkashi district after a two-year gap because of the outbreak of COVID-19.


No seers visited the Valley in 2020 and 2021 following the pandemic's outbreak, Uttarkashi Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi said.

The valley has been a favourite for ascetics since time immemorial and they have returned in such large numbers after two years, he said.

Ancient religious texts are full of stories about sages meditating for years in the freezing cold Himalayan mountains in the quest for knowledge.


The outbreak of the pandemic might have put the brakes on that age-old practice but 52 ascetics have already arrived to meditate in sub-zero temperatures in the valley, the origin of the Ganga -- considered to be a symbol of faith and the centre of spiritual practices, Yaduvanshi said.

The senior official said 47 saints were meditating in the snowbound Gangotri, three in Tapovan and one each in Bhojwasa and Kankhu. The numbers have all been verified by the police.

Ramakrishna Das, who has meditated at the Ram temple near Kankhu at an altitude of 3,350 metres, for the last 20 years is one of those who have returned to the valley.


Purniya Chaitanya, who practised spiritualism in Tapovan from 2008 to 2017, also returned this year.

Stories and testimonies related to spiritual seekers performing rigorous meditation for years in the caves of the Gangotri still thrill locals and tourists alike.

Now, Ramakrishna Das and Purniya Chaitanya are etching their names into local folklore with their devotion.