Winding steeply through the forests from Swarg Ashram is an old, 10km pilgrim trail to the small Shiva shrine of Neelkanth Mahadev. It marks the spot where Lord Shiva once swallowed the poison that turned his throat blue, earning himself the nickname of Neelkanth, “the blue-throated one”. The recently blasted road that takes a long detour through the forest has made the small settlement a less peaceful retreat during yatra season. The trail offers some stunning vantage points and passes by Mahesh Yogi’s overgrown ashram (of Beatles fame), crossing a spur before the final descent to Neelkanth. One or both legs are often done by shared jeep, departing from the stand just south of Ram Jhula Bridge.

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