In the lush Kangra valley, at the feet of the Dhauladhar mountain range, nestles the small hamlet of Sidhbari, named as 'the abode of the siddhas, or Self-realized masters.' According to ancient scriptures, this mystical place was home to numerous great saints and seers, who, through their austerities, sanctified all the earth they walked on.
In 1977, Swami Chinmayananda came across the barren, hilly landscape and instinctively knew that it was hallowed space. There he founded Chinmaya Tapovan Trust (CTT) and the ashram it now administers. The once barren countryside of grazing grounds was transformed with the ashram's new temple, cottages, and satsang halls, providing a panoramic view of Nature's splendour.
In 1981, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda established a Vedanta institute, Sandeepany Himalayas (Sandeepany HIM), and commenced a two-year, intensive, residential Vedanta course in Hindi, similar to the course offered in English in Mumbai's Sandeepany ashram. Today, in addition to the course, spiritual camps for adults and youth are conducted at the ashram by Mission acharyas year-round.
Sandeepany HIM's campus is stunningly lush and vast. The majestic Shiva lingam on the residential cottage of Swami Chinmayananda is visible for miles, and a mark of the pervading sanctity. Stately trees, gentle plants, and radiant flowers blossom effortlessly in the sacred environment and offer a vibrant backdrop that is loved by all the ashram residents and the neighbouring locals.
From virtually every corner of the ashram, the snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhar are clearly visible. A thick pine forest closes in from one side of the ashram, and the view of magnificent terraced fields and gurgling streams flows in from the other.
With over 100 rooms for shared accommodation, the ashram can comfortably accommodate 300 people at a time. It also houses an exceptional spiritual bookstore, a medical dispensary, and a large cowshed.