Augustmuni, a place of reverence for Legendary Saint Agastya
'Augustmuni', the name echoes reverence for thousands of pilgrims who come to this small town to seek blessings of divine powers. Knotted on verdant hilltops at 1000 meter elevation and washed by splashes of river Mandakini whooshing past the small town, Augustmuni holds legends of Saint Agastya who meditated years at this site to gain enlightenment.
While Indian mythology is replete with many stories to put you in awe, the Story of Rishi Agastya beckons everyone from young to old who want to know about the first Siddha in Indian history, a revered Vedic stage who is believed to have written Agastya Samhita.
The name â€˜Agasthaâ€™ reverberates in mind that draws people at large number to explore this legendary place in the Rudraprayag district of the Uttarkhand Range in India. Apparently, the name Ausgustmuni is derived from â€˜Agasthyaâ€™, and the town is enroute to Kedarnath, another holy spot that draws agog tourists from all over the world.
Devotees in India and from other parts of the world preferably drop at this town during their Char Dham Yatra. The spot is touted for hosting a huge helipad by Pawan Hans Helicopters to help visitors take helicopter rides from here to Kedarnath and back to the town.
The centre of attraction is a temple named Agateshwar Mahadev Temple, dedicated to the prodigy, Agastya and it holds much archaeological significance that appeal to the crowd. You come to learn about many mythological characters, gods and goddesses, etched out of stones that are stunningly impressive.
Every year, inquisitive crowd comes to the temple to pay homage to Saint Agastya who is believed to worship here. Folklores have it that the temple was once lost to ruins in a huge deluge, but it appeared in a localâ€™s dream. So, when people went there, they discovered the Kund where they established an idol, which is still today worshipped by people from everywhere. There is also a temple of Lord Shiva that plays another major attraction during the time of Baisakhi.
What the legends have to say?
There are many legends to the place, but one among them is highly interesting as it says how Saint Augusta killed two demons Aatapi and Vatapi who ate people in disguise. The two monsters used to invite people at home, while one hid in food and got into the stomach only to rip out from within of a human body, the other monster waited for him to come out and they both ate the victim.
On hearing this, Saint Augusta paid visit to their home but with the spell of his powers killed one monster, and the other later in a war. Since then, the town is hailed for the story and people regarded the sage, his powers and blessings.
Baisakhi, in pomp and vigour
Devotees stream to the place at the time of Baisakhi to offer prayers to Lord Shiva in the Shiva temple and also worship Agastya Muni. A large fair is organized during this time (between April and May), which witnesses much pomp and glory.
How to Reach?
Reach Ausgustmuni via Dehra Dun Airport, situated nearby at 107 kms. Railways stations connecting the holy place are in Rishikesh, 87 kms away and in Virbhadra 92 kms away.