For 12 years, he pilgrimages with aged mother on his shoulders

August 4th, 2008 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS  

By Nityanand Shukla,
Ranchi, Aug 4 (IANS) Tales of people ill-treating their old parents are not hard to come by, but Kailash Giri Brahmachari’s story is refreshingly different. Like a character in the epic Ramayana, he has been carrying his aged, blind mother on his shoulders to various pilgrim spots for the last 12 years. Kailash, 36, is a resident of Wargi village in Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh. His incredible journey of physical endurance and moral courage began in January 1996. He has so far covered over 3,000 km and reached Jharkhand.

Right now he has been admitted to a hospital in Ranchi due to over-exhaustion. But that hasn’t deterred him, as the duo will soon make their way to Janakpuri in Nepal, Badrinath and Vrindavan.

“What I am doing is my duty. My journey is not to get media focus or get my name into any record book. Serving one’s parents is the duty of children and I am just doing my job,” Kailash told IANS here.

His incredible journey - during which the duo have not gone back home - has been inspired by the character of Shrawan Kumar in the Ramayana who is said to have carried his aged parents on baskets slung on the two extremes of a pole hung over the shoulder.

Like Shrawan Kumar, Kailash has made a swing, with his mother sitting on one side and the other side filled with their clothes and utensils.

The parallel does not end there. Like Shrawan Kumar’s mother, Kailash’s mother too is blind and is completely dependent on her son. Kailash however lost his father at a young age.

It all began when Kailash suffered serious injuries and his mother vowed she would visit important religious places if her son recovered. Poverty and old age however kept the mother from doing so for a long time and it was left to the son to fulfil her wishes.

His journey has taken him to Chitrakoot, Tirupati, Allahabad, Amarkantak, Rameshwaram, Jagannathpur, Ganga Sagar, Kalighat and other places.

Kailash has stayed at the famous Baba Baidyanath temple in Jharkhand’s Deoghar district, where over three million devotees come to pray to Lord Shiva. He intends to stay in the state till the end of the Hindu month of Shrawan around the middle of this month.

The journey has not been easy. Kailash has had to battle poverty and the sheer physical difficulty of the task, but his spirit has been unfailing. Usually he covers 15 to 20 km a day and takes shelter wherever it is offered.

Kailash’s mother is happy that her wish is being fulfilled but is also concerned about the huge struggle her son is putting up.

“Only a mother can feel the pain of her son. On several occasions, I told him to stop the journey. But Kaliash has decided to complete the pilgrimage,” said Kailash’s mother.

The two have had to depend on charity for survival.

So is Kailash worried about his future? How long can he continue his journey? “I do not know about the future. As long as god’s blessings are with me I will continue the journey. For me, my mother’s wishes are more important than anything else,” he said. (NItyanand Shukla can be contacted at

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