Alakhnath Temple Bareilly – The Place for Naga Babas
The shrill sound of the alarm blaring from my cell phone woke me up from my deep sleep. It is amazing what fatigue and good food can do to you. The night seemed to have passed away in a blink and the morning looked very inviting while we all freshened up to get ready for breakfast. The hotel had complimentary breakfast buffet and we looked forward to the entire spread of good food. Since Rahul and I were ready quickly, we left the breakfast complimentary coupons for my wife and Shilpa and proceeded towards the restaurant. The place in the morning was a little crowded and we had to look around to spot a table for four. We had a long day of outdoor activity as were going to the Alakhnath Temple Bareilly, so I urged the kids to have a nutritious and a heavy breakfast. We finished eating and our commute to the temple was ready courtesy the hotel tourist desk.
I had requested the hotel staff to provide us with a guide but there was no such facility for the temple in the hotel but the front desk receptionist was able to arrange a bell boy who was a local and we agreed over a sum of 200 rupees for him to come with us to the temple. He explained that the temple was not a mainstream temple but was rather a main centre of the Naga Sanyasins belonging to the Anand Akhara order. These Naga Sanyasins were a special group of devotees to Lord Shiva. When we entered the premises, a central courtyard greeted us where there sat sadhus wearing all orange with long beards and a peculiar ash smeared over their foreheads.
Shilpa was particularly amused with the presence of animals in the temple proper. There were cows and goats and she spotted a camel too. There were shrines of different Gods and Goddesses in Alakhnath Temple Bareilly and we quickly made our way around, going in and coming out of all the enclosures with full devotion. It was a great help with the local person with us because he would guide us next in Dargah e Ala- Hazrat Bareilly too.