Apart from its majestic views of great mountains, rivulets, and dense forest Himalayas offer inheritance blended with history. Many of us seek peace by worshipping an omniscient power. The humdrum of daily life exhausts us, drain our inner potentials and make us spiritually empty. The Jayanti Mahakal Caves can be your ultimate choice to seek purification of soul and body and give a fresh start. Situated near the Bhutan border, the caves are predominantly known as a pilgrimage site in Jayanti. The caves hold on to a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. These stalactite caves are counted amongst 51 Shakti Peeths nationwide.
About the Jayanti Mahakal Caves
You have to trek through dense forest area which is quite famous among bird watchers. There are three caves situated next to each other holds three different kinds of deities. The first one has idols of the trinity of Brahma Vishnu and Maheshwara. The second and third ones possess the idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Mahakal, respectively. The prime time to visit Jayanti Mahakal Caves is during the fair assembled in the town. People from different cultures gather together and enjoy this fair immensely.
The first step is to reach Alipurduar. SUV and other cars are available from Alipurduar to get Jayanti. Cars charge Rs. 1200 to drop you here. If you are on a budget, then there are buses from Alipurduar to take you to Jayanti. Cars are also available from Hasimara and Coochbehar.
Jayanti to Choto Mahakal
The next step is to reach Choto Mahakal from Jayanti. You can hire a car from Jayanti to Choto Mahakal, which will cost you around Rs.1500, including a guide. Or you can start walking from Jayanti on the riverbed towards the entry point of Jayanti River. You would see that the river is getting narrower, the intensity of the water is increasing, and the mountains on both sides are closing in. After a 2 hours walk (or a 30 mins car ride) through the riverbed, you will reach Choto Mahakal. Choto Mahakal is for pilgrims who are unable to go to Boro Mahakal.
Choto Mahakal to Boro Mahakal
The next step is trekking towards boro Mahakal from Choto Mahakal, which takes 2 hours to reach. This path is only for hikers. Many tourists are unable to get here due to steep trails. If you thought that the route to Choto Mahakal was beautiful, you are in for a treat when you start for Boro Mahakal. The two mountains stay very close to each other, and the river flows through the middle of them, making it look like a canyon.
Jayanti river is quite ferocious in this area. The waterfalls and fountains make it look more heavenly. The stagnated water beneath the fountains is a bathing spot for many travellers. This area is called Jora Pahar. At the end of Jora Pahar, there is the gate of Boro Mahakal. From where it is a 1 hours of a very steep route. Many people fail to trek on this route because it can be dangerous and tiresome at the same time.
At Jayanti Mahakal
Once you reach Boro Mahakal, You would experience a feeling of accomplishment. This area is full of naturally built caves and stalactites. These caves can be very slippery; hence walk with caution. You can enter the small caves if you don’t have claustrophobia. If you are here to devote yourself to lord Shiva, then do enter the caves. But if you are here to enjoy nature and have a good adventure, explore it in your way.
Some guidance regarding Jayanti Mahakal
We recommend you start early from Jayanti because reaching Boro Mahakal can take a lot of time. If you are walking, then Start before 9 Am. If you are taking a cab, then start before 12 o clock. During the month of Mahashiv Ratri, you will find many temporary stalls near the Jora Pahar area to have your lunch and snacks. But at other times, carry food with you.
Best time to visit
Most of the people come in March during Maha Shiv Ratri. They build bamboo bridges for pilgrims to access the route quickly. During winter the forces of the water reduce and the weather stays perfect for people to go there. The rainy season is not advisable because the river becomes ferocious and breaks the bamboo bridges made during Maha Shiv Ratri. Monsoon is also the breeding season for Animals, and it is better to not go to Mahakal during this time.
Places to stay
Plenty of homestays and resorts are available at Jayanti. Beyotee recommends Jayanti Riverview, Banante Resort, Jayanti Eco Villa, Neelkantha homestay, Fairy Bluebird Homestay for their suitable accommodation, riverview rooms and service.