Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 4 - Descent Kedarnath

Got up in morning 5.30 AM.Feeling little feverish .Got ready by 6.15 AM ,went to the temple .Had a hot coffee and then started the descent straight down .First stop 7 km down around 7.45 , break for 15 mins .The path is less crowded i try to match the pace of passing palanquin and Ponies.Reached base by 9.45 .

Checked in to the hotel , got fresh , took a small break in the cottage at Gaurikund.I decide to take a visit to TaptKund.Which is very nearby .
At 2.OO PM we start to move to Badrinath and the halt for tonight is at Sylasur .The view is awesome , the cottage are great , Made of bamboo .I will recommend this GMVN location to anyone looking for a break from the mundane .

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 3 - Kedarnath

We started from rampur at 6.30 AM but due to the one way traffic at Sonprayag had to wait for an hour .This is the place where SonGanga meets Mandakani .I take the pics while waiting for the bus .We reach GauriKund near 9.00 AM , I start my ascent immediately , I see lot of ponies lined up at the foot of the mountain .I checked the rates there is a prepaid counter too.

My trek was smooth for the first four km , I stopped for water .I could see people going on ponies , palanquin ,etc . Helicopters passing by . Even kids, teenagers,Adults,Old People all seems to take the easier way of completing the Yatra.

I take pics of the scenery the path moves along Mandakani , flanked between two mountains .Scenery is Breathtaking with waterfalls here and there ,some frozen , some sprouting from the middle of the mountains . The mountains are all lush green . The view is augmented by the clamoring of the bell from the ponies and clamping of the hoofs they form a unique semblance .I take pics ,stopping at intervals looking back,side and all .Thanking my stars for having allowed me to take this journey .At one place i could see the frozen waterfall , i stop by to take a chunk into my hand .

The scaling continues , I get tired as the km to cover decreases .i find it hard to cover the last miles .4 Km from the temple looked like a serpentine track intervened between shops and railing , giving a semblance that the trekking has just begun .I see a group of people taking a less moved path it peps me up to take that and the experience turned to be one of the best .Few people not crowded , crisscrossing one waterfall after few minutes i turn back to soak in the magnificent view of standing between the two mountains on the course of the river Mandakani, I could see few goats rearing nearby and the serpentine track at a distance .I stood there for few minutes soaking in the natural beauty.

Two kms from the temple , it starts showering something is hitting me hard i realize its snowing .It has took me summer,winter,rainy,hail all the climates to reach Baba Kedarnath .I see a temple from a distance perched on top of another mountain i get to know its the Bhairavnath temple supposed to take care of the temple in nights and desolate times from the evil .

i checked in to the hotel room ,exhausted .i have my lunch and join rest of my group who have reached through helicopters , ponies etc .we reach and join the long queue by 4 and get the darshan by 7.30 .The temple can be looked as two half .one made by the Pandavas and other by Adi guru Sankaracharya.ShivLing in the form of a hump is by the pandavas .The idols of Pandavas,Lakshmi and Krishna by Sankaracharya .

The temple is set by the drop of some snow-capped mountains adding to its majestic grandeur.The Kedarnath (22,044 ft), Bharathkunth (22,844 ft) and Kharchkund (21,695 ft) peaks adorn them .

During Winters the temple closes and pushing all people down .The shops ,Ponies all come from nearby place of GHZ,Rampur, Augustmuni, Nepal.

Day 2 - Rampur

Got up at 5.30, bathing, morning ablution ready by 6.15 .Got allocated the last seat in the 24 seater bus.Total 21 , seat allocation as per booking order.

Journey starts passes next to Ganga , Ram Julla , Laxman Julla .We started our ascent on the shivalink ranges .Holy and mighty ganges flows by the side .Driver is is reckless ,he feels he is on a dirt bike .U can guess my situation .On the right side by the river beach side we can seem many camps .These beach seems to be allotted to adventure sports company on a license basis .They are also numbered , i feel if you want to camp do it by the farthest it will be less crowded and pristine .

We reach Kaudiyala by 8.30 halt for 45 mins , journey resumes , ascend gradual but we scaled some height worth fearing .

We reach "Devaprayaga" means "Godly Confluence" in Sanskrit. As per Hindu Scriptures, Devaprayaga is the sacred event of merging two heavenly rivers, Alakananda and Bhagirathi, to form the holy Ganges < Wikipedia >.Beyond this point is where the Ganges takes Birth .

I take a snap from the bus not clear but still enough to remind me of the greatness.Bhagirthi is green and Alakananda is white .Former is calm , later is ferocious .A whole story is there after Bhagirtath which i will try to take once my travelogue is over .

We slowly start descending , Road are Narrow ,Two way traffic is substantial .I am perched on to my window seat with precariousness.

We reach a place called Srinagar . I take some pics : a dam getting constructed , a broken bridge , Bridges being constructed on Alakananda .The views are majestic all the while Alakanada flows by. We halt by a place called Rudraprayag .I immediately move for lunch, wrap it up in 15 mins and join the view behind of the confluence of Mandakani and Alakananda.

Local tales : - I get to know that they are sisters meeting . one is called gauri Ganga and kali Ganga .One is calm other is ferocious .Mandakani is calm , she orginated from Kedarnath where our journey is meant to be .

We start our journey one thing i have to mention is this area is prone to landslides .The roads have caved in and are narrow.I look at Mandakani her calmness ,Towns perched by he side .Mostly rooms to stay over .We start our next ascent this was very dangerous and nail biting :Gorge on one side and signs of frequent land slides making the ever narrow road tenuous.i chant the name of Lord Shiva .

I look at the nature and think we are nothing in front of her mightiness yet we delve in our arrogance - what a pity .I feel very elated with the very thought that i am at the place where Lord shiva meditated .The chanting becomes ever more powerful.

The roads are being made , i can see Earth movers from BEML,Tata by the side .Smuck being dumped to widen the roads - Lanco is doing the project. Tunnel being made .I get a feeling this place is to be trekked rather than driven through , we reach our night halt of Rampur , a valley surrounded by places .Tmrw we will move to Kedarnath via SonPrayag .

Lot of people in our group decide to go by helicopter , i decide by foot.

Talked to Mom,Father and friend.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 1 - Hrishikesh

I got up at 7.00 AM only to realize that i am running short of time .i spring to action and by 7.4 AM I am ready to hit the road I plan to take an auto to
Anand Vihar ISBT only to find to my astonishment that were no Auto .After waiting for 20 mins , I hop on to a sharing auto and somehow manage to reach ISBT by 8.45 AM.With a sense of urgency i try to en-quire about the buses to Hrishikesh to a road vendor who swiftly whisks me on to an agent and by the time I take stock of the situation ,I am inside a Non-AC bus waiting to leave to Haridwar.

This holds me up and take a view of the tentacles these bus agents have got in place to get the passegengers who otherwise might ply on a Gov Bus.

Motivation - Instant Gratification in form of cash.

After a harrowing wait of nearly 45 mins in the sweltering bus it starts trundling along the road , I pray to my stars that I should reach before evening .

The journey was good worth mentioning are the roads in UP till we entered the narrow once in U.K. Ohh !!! dont get shocked it stands for Uttranchal or Uttrakhand.

I catch a glimpse of IIT-R . After DE-boarding at Haridwar i wait for a local bus to Rishikesh , its 26 km (Approx) . I hop on to the first bus only to find it to be an aged four wheeled Monster driven by an unassuming bored , Uninitiated driver .But it seemed that the traffic could have been beaten by a crawling Toddler too.So it didnt make any difference .

It sulks through , yeah forgot to mention my wait for a cold climate remains unfulfilled till the time i got to know that RK had the highest temp in some 100 years.

Anyway i check in to the booked hotel at Muni-Ki-Reti belonging to GMVN , as usual the location is great away from the honking traffic and shimmering headlight .

Evening i make a visit to Ram-Julla over the Ganges, roam near the banks , through the shop and later back to my room .

After a sumptuous meal i retire to my room .Alarm kept for 5.30 AM the real journey starts tomorrow .

Very close friend of mine charged my cell today .

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Reclaiming Life :)

I would be leaving for Himalayas today , 6 night reclaiming life mission .

My Bags are packed and i am ready to go :) ..........
Loaded with The Immortals of Meluha ,
i am set for this spiritual journey

Welcome me though i am the un-welcomed guest
but i swear to be one of your reverent Followers

Take me in your holy abode
Make me go to the trance ,help
Rake me the moolah of solitude

Peace i shall never leave
Truce i shall never break.....