Uttarkashi, meaning Kashi of the north is where our Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda spent a total of seven years studying at the feet of his Guru, Swami Tapovan Maharaj.
This year's Post Camp trip is at Uttarkashi which is 165km from Rishikesh. Even the lowest region there is 5,800 ft above sea level. It is surrounded by a mountain range called Varanavata. The tributaries of the river Bhageerathi flow around the mountain tract like two hands hugging the plains.
At the central point in the plain, almost like the lap of the mountain tract, is Ujeli. It is here that Tapovan Kuti lies, the home of Swami Tapovan Maharaj. Built in 1936 by some of his devotees, its location is truly unique. The river Bhageerathi flows at the foot of the mountain giving out a soothing pranava sound that can be heard in Tapovan Kuti. It was a small, spartan one-room hut and a cattle shed. The kutia today is exactly the way Swamiji left it. The mud-walled, dung-floor hut contains his cot and kamandalu (water pot) and little else. But the little verandah outside the hut, where the Mahatma would sit and give Vedantic discourses, has been converted into a shrine. Devotees speak in hushed tones of profound experiences while meditating there. In fact, the monks in the Himalayas referred to Swami Tapovanam himself as the Spiritual Bird of Sowmya Kashi - a bird possessed of the freedom and strength needed to reach great heights.