Ambi Tame Nadi Tame Devi Tame Saraswati sang the Vedic seers! This means that: “You are the mother, You are the river, You are the goddess, oh Saraswati”. Very aptly, the Tercentenary Commemoration of Shri Chitrapur Math began with the Kurukshetra Saraswati Yatra to Adi Badri, the Udgam Sthal of River Saraswati Yatra and one of the concluding events was the Prabhas Teerth Somnath Saraswati Yatra at Prabhas Patan near Somnath where River Saraswati meets Sindhu Sagar (Indian Ocean).
Based on the migratory experiences that came down generations by Shruti and later in written scrolls, we Bhanaps always believed that we are the decendents of the Saraswat Brahmins who lived on the banks of the sacred river Saraswati that once flowed in northern India.
Nothing deterred our revered Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji from fulfilling His mission of undertaking a yatra to Kashmir's Shankaracharya Temple, Hari Parbat, Ksheer Bhavani, Verinag, Martand, and Amarnath. Not the 3,000 km long, arduous road journey, not the media coverage of the supposedly artificially enhanced ice Shiva lingam at Amarnath, not the news of heavy rains, snowfall and landslides which had disrupted the yatra prior to Swamiji's move from Delhi, not the untimely break down of a vehicle in His convoy even before we had reached the Banihal Pass which marks the entry into the Srinagar Valley, not the adverse effects of high altitude and lack of oxygen on two of our toughest colleagues during the steep 14 km trek from 8,500 ft to 13,500 ft in a space of six hours, not the extraordinary security situation arising out of the terrorist attack at Lal Chowk, barely 6 km away from our hotel in Srinagar and not even the violent crowds at Pattan, which had disrupted our plans to visit Baramullah and Uri sectors with the hope of viewing through powerful binoculars the ruins of the Sharda Devi Temple, located in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
On 4th February 2004, the train left Ambala for Jammu at 11.45am, carrying 30 of us to Vaishno Devi. Amidst cheer, excitement, hot cups of tea and snacks, Laksmi Rao read out information about Vaishno Devi. 'Look for the pindies - not pictures or murtis,' she said.
It was almost a year back, that our Pujya Shrimad Sadyojata Shankararashram Swamiji had made a Sankalpa of visiting Mount Kailash & Lake Mansarovar. Upon obtaining the blessings of Lord Bhavanishankar & the Guru Parampara, HH entrusted the task of preparations to a band of devotees