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A Great Pilgrimage

Today, Kayavarohana has acquired the status of a major pilgrimage. As legends have it, this place has been known by different names. In the Hindu scheme of four yugas, there were four names for it, In Satayuga Kayavarohana was known as lcchapuri, in Tretayuga as Mayapuri in Dvapara as Medhavati and in Kaliyuga the name is Kayavaroh-na. The place is counted among the 98 major holy spots of India.

Legends, again mention that at the time of Ramavatara, the great Rishi Vishwamitra made an attempt to change Kayavarohana into another Kashi, but he failed as Vishnu did not approve of his venture. However, Kayavarohana acquired a sanctity which paralleled Kashi. It also acquired certain special characteristics not possessed by other holy centers.

In Kayavarohana the fruits of Gayatri mantra are reaped with ease. As Gayatri endows a special understanding called 'Medha and as 'Medha' is acquired with lesser effort in Kayavarohana, The place also came to be known as Medhavati. The seer of Gayatri mantra was Vishvamitra who spread the secret of the mantra to the world at large from Kayavarohana. The revelation of Gayatri resulted in making Kayavarohana a great centre of Vedic learning. It went under another renaissance when the great founder of shaiva doctrine, Lakulisha incarnated here. Lakulisha is paid to be a contemporary of the Lord Krishna.

As the Kaya (body) of Lakulisha made an avarohana (descent) in this place, it was named Kayavarohana.

A Sanctuary of Great Ascetics

Lakulisha is said to be the twenty-eighth in carnation of the Lord Siva. He was the first in the line of shaiva philosophers. From the Buddha to Shankaracharya is the long Tradition of Indian philosophers, lakulisha has a unique place in that tradition.

Effulgent Jyotirlinga

Lakulish was the progenitor of Ekeshvaravada or the doctrine of monotheism. To spread this doctrine he established the twelve Great shivalingas of Jyotirlingas in various parts of India. The task was achieved with the help from his disciples. For nearly a thousand years in the tradition of Lukulisha the twelve Jyotirlingas were centrally looked after by Kayavarohana. As the centre of Pashupat, Kayavarohana was a place of great affluence. Devotees flocked to it from all parts of India.

There were many lodgings for the pilgrims provided by the religious orders, The town abounded in centers of art and cultural pursuits. As protection to livestock many 'go-shalas' or cowsheds were also maintained, In keeping with custom of raising sacred bulls, Kayavarohana, had many of them who were strong enough to intimidate even an elephant.

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