Ram Takht (Ram’s throne):
Ram Takht is one of the sacred places in Hinduism. It is only second to Amarnath Cave regarding its sacredness and sanctity. Ram Takht is situated on the top of Mount Elum at an altitude of 9200 feet above sea level. This point is called Jogyano Sar(yogi peak).The dune of Barikot which is also famous for its sacred ruins is visible from here towards the North-West.
The Hindus believe that Ram Chandra Jee Maharajah spent three years of his Banr Bass (jungle life) here. The Hindu pilgrims visit this place once a year in first day of Sawan, to pray, worship and seek unity with Almighty. A holy spring flows near Ram Takht where most of the yogis came to seek union with the divine entity.
The ruins at Jogyano Sar clearly manifest that it was a hub of religious activities in the past where yogis resided in monasteries with austerity to meditate and contemplate on nature and its Creator. The vagaries of time have taken its toll and destroyed the places of worship today but some people say that all the monasteries were razed to the ground by the first ruler of Swat.
Ram Takht has also been demolished by treasure hunters in the hope of acquiring ancient treasures. Toorda Pacha whose family has resided here since time immemorial says that one of the yogis was killed by a nomad in the hope acquiring wealth. Later the nomad lost his sanity and his whole family disappeared mysteriously from the place.
Ram Takht can be accessed through different routes of Karakar, Char, Dokada, Bezo Sar, Amlokdara and Murghazar. One can reach the place in five hours from Murghazar easily. Several cool streams adore the way while most of the dense forest has been chopped down by timber mafia. The way is well treaded and there is no fear of straying away. The exotic valley of Swat and the holy district of Buner are the spectacular panoramas visible from Ram Takht.
Mount Elum has a profound spiritual and holy past. The famous saints Peer Baba and Durrani Baba had visited this place, worshipped and meditated here. Today they are in their eternal slumber in the lap of Mount Elum.
By Naveed Hussain, Lecturer in English