Text and photos by Arwind Chhetri
I, along with my friends, had long waited to actually make a journey to Gosainkunda. In August, we finally had one because this was the perfect time because many devotees go on a pilgrimage on the occasion of Janai Purnima that fell on August 18 this year. Starting from Kathmandu, we reached Syabru Besi (1400m) after 8 hours’ drive but across challenging ways, especially at Ramche, the midway between Nuwakot and Dhunche, where the long-stretched way is often obstructed by landslides and landslips. A slight tension did across my mind but the wait for the final destination soon evaporated it.
Located at an altitude of 4,380 m in Rasuwa district, Gosainkunda is an alpine freshwater lake which is approximately 4 square miles in area. The lake, which remains frozen for 6 months during the winter (October to June), melts and sips down to form Trishuli River. Delineated as a religious site, Hindu mythology attributes Gosainkunda as the abode of the Hindu deities Shiva and Gauri, and Hindu scriptures refer it to Samundra Manthan. Gosaikunda is believed to have been created by Lord Shiva when he thrust his Trishul (holy Trident) into a mountain to extract water so that he could cool his stinging throat that he had after swallowing poison.