Tag Archives: Kedarnath

To the people of Uttarakhand

A couple of years ago, my travel trails took me here…

Rudraprayag

Rudraprayag

Badrinath

Badrinath

Near Badrinath

Astounded with the beauty of the mountains, coupled by the flowing multiple confluences  of the river Ganga along with other rivers such as Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini, Pindar this place has an aspiring sense of tranquility and most serene and yet roaring its guts out to engulf you into its madness. Every bit of the road that we traveled back then from Rishikesh to Joshimath to Govindghat to Ghagaria and later on towards Badrinath, we remember being surrounded by the mighty confluences and the flowing water all along. The gutso this river shows as it emerges from the Vishnu Prayag on the Alaknanda river covers a major part of Uttarakhand. We were of course during our journey told that there will be times when we might be in the midst of landslides and we will have all that is needed with the help of the Indian Army / BRO who keep a close watch on such landslides. In fact, there were a couple of occasions when we were stuck and had to make our way walking across the mountains and board another bus to move forward. Another occasion I distinctly remember is our bus swaying while the landslide commenced and narrowly escaping while I could see some rocks and smaller boulders fall down upon the mountains.

Landslide Landslide 2

Today when I look at all the devastation in the NEWS channels and all across the newspapers, my heart goes out to the people, who’re stranded, lived or who passed away in this enormous region of Uttarakhand! They live there knowing this is certain for sure and this is something they won’t be easily able to escape, come the time of such a natural calamity. Yet, to these people and their villages, they have no other way out.  Truly there are very few words to describe this wrath of nature that has happened. As much as possible, we can try to salvage the fact that the brave Indian Army and relief workers are trying their best to help folks out there. To many sitting on their couches or inside the comforts of their homes, it would be a trivial endeavor and of course many could just pray for the situation to be handled to its best. While some of us of course would try to help out in whatever way they could as we sit here and watch the devastation in horror.

 

Rishikesh

Reminds, me of how, such beauty that I encountered was always and will always be at the disposal of a world, a world that keeps deteriorating time and again all because of human need and that’s where nature decides  to give it back. It’s very sad, but us humans need to understand that this is just the beginning. Unless we strive towards making a better earth or a better planet this is going to keep on continuing.

Words fail me in that endeavor but as I sit here in front of my laptop, helpless to do much, I tell myself only this… Look for a better tomorrow, for the nature around you is just an encompassing mirror of what you do and how you show your beliefs, for it can come back real hard and bite you where it hurts the most…

P.S: If you want to contribute towards relief efforts of Uttarakhand, check out http://goonj.org/  Something I looked up and went ahead and contributed too. You can donate, food, clothes or if not, you can donate any sum of money if you’d like. The least you can do to help relief, rehabilitation ‘To the people of Uttarakhand.’

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Spiritual Badrinath – Uttarakhand Chronicles

One of the last legs of our Uttarakhand Chronicles was our trip to Badrinath. After a rigorous trek to the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Saheb, we were definitely overworked and the trekking had taken a toll on our feet and totally exhausted. Amongst that exhaustion, this visit to Badrinath, by a bus was a life saver.

We were almost nearing Hanuman Chatta. Yes, the traditional and very famous temple of Lord Hanuman… This has a historical significance to it  from the Mahabharta, where Lord Hanuman tested Bhim of the Pandavas fame. Yes, this the place where this story took place. Bhim was crossing the forest when he saw an old ape sleeping in the way and his tail was crossing his path.

The then arrogant Bhim asked the ape to move away the tail. To which the ape replied that he’s too weak to move it and why doesn’t he move it himself. Getting irritated, he tried to move the tail with his mace. He kept trying and trying, real hard, with all his might that he could use, but to no avail… That is when he realised that the ape was no one but Lord Hanuman! Only then did he admit his mistake and realized the importance of humility and how that is significant in a warrior’s life.

And as luck would have it… Lord Hanuman, decided to test us too. I wonder if he disguised himself as modern day Mr. Murphy?

What happened was that we encountered a landslide during our route to Badrinath and our bus was stalled for over an hour. We were waiting for the BRO (Border Roads Organization) to clear the landslide.  Hence I guess it was time to pray to the Lord and make our own way towards Badrinath! For God helps them, those who help themselves… So cliched, yet so, true isn’t it?

So, being the trekkers we were, we decided to walk it up past the landslide affected area and then we could get another bus, one that was arranged by YHAI to come from the other side to take us towards Badrinath. And after a brisk walk and a shorter detour via hilly terrain and some teamwork, we managed to reach the other side of the landslide affected area. From then on it was smooth sailing.

We reached Badrinath late at night and crashed into our respective beds. The next day was going to be a relaxed one, where no more incessant walking or trekking in terrains of toughness. And what we got was one of the most comfortable night’s sleep in quite a while.

The next day was a little bit of shopping in the city and of course, visit to the Holy Temple of Badrinath. Quite a relaxed day to a relaxed weather and setting.

Hanuman Chatta Temple

Hanuman Chatta Temple

Lord Hanuman inside the temple..

Lord Hanuman inside the temple..

The Landslide...

The Landslide...

Beautiful Waterfall View from our Room

Beautiful Waterfall View from our Room

Badrinath Temple

Badrinath Temple

Rudraprayag – Where Gods choose to dwell…

Sometimes it isn’t that difficult to find what you are really looking for. Sometimes there are signs that help you along. But most of the times, more often than none, you will realize that what you are really looking for has been there right in front of your eyes. Sitting right there at the corner of your eyes, while you’re off like a whirlwind across the world looking for whatever you won’t really find…

So finally, I’ve decided, come July, my travel spree will resume! Dedicate more time towards my writing, I will take  that time to search my solitude and finally write as much as I want. Working towards my travel writing career is one thing and finally moving on from experimental writing and getting to write my second and actual book. Yes, finally I know that it’s about time.. Time to get started on that seed that has been burrowed inside my head quite a while ago. It’s time to start working on growing and nurturing that tree.

In one of my meetings with @amisht I learnt that writing a book is not like making a business plan. He told me that it’ll all come to me… There is always a theme and the incidents that happen to you are all a chain or a sequence of events, which you realize are like the dots that you connect… At the end of it all there is your answer.  And I think I’ve started believing in that… There has to be some effort of  sorts to make this happen. And now I know it’s time to put in that effort.

So here’s what I’m going to be doing. It’s not the greatest of adventures or for that matter a total absolution from this world. But it certainly is going to be an attempt. An attempt that I’d have to be resilient about, no matter how long it takes and how much distance I have to cover. Doesn’t matter how many hours I put in or how much blood, sweat and tears that go into it… I know it has to be done and it will be done. And yes, one thing I know, It’s going to be a wild adventurous spree… Of unknown locations and paths not traveled. But I think I have a reason for all of these travels that I will take. At the back of my mind I know it because, I know it as the ‘master plan’ And as I said before, a ‘master plan’ is never a master plan if it’s revealed. So without having much to give away about this plan, I’d like to share little bits and pieces of it as something I’d like to call ‘My Travel Bucket List’   

Right now, now is the time… I’d make this list and when the time is right, I’d go there… Why?? The answer I don’t know yet, but it’s there somewhere at the back of my head and it will all be found, once I finish my ‘Master Plan.’  As soon as I visit those places, I’d go ahead and chalk them off ‘My Travel Bucket List’  

So here we go! The first one on my list…

Destination 1: Rudra Prayag, (Uttarakhand)

There is something more than mystical about this place. It certainly is the most important place in my scheme of things. The beauty of this place lies within its certain strategic and geographical location. Spiritual as it may be, this is the place that one has to go through if you have to go into Kedarnath and Badrinath. Another historic and spiritual location for Hindus.

Named after Lord Shiva (Rudra), Rudraprayag is a town in Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand. It’s one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River, the point of confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Mandakini. Alaknanda then proceeds towards Devaprayag where it joins with Bhagirathi river to form the river Ganges. Kedarnath, a Hindu holy town is located 86 km from Rudraprayag.

Till recently, Rudraprayag was a part of District Chamoli and Tehri. In 1997, the Kedarnath Valley and parts of district Tehri & Pauri were conjoined to form Rudraprayag as a new district. The entire region is blessed with immense natural beauty, places of religious importance, lakes and glaciers.

So this is the destination that would be certainly on my mind… It’s only a matter of time before I got there… As I keep saying

“Soon I’d be free… Love, Life… Walking by the desires of my dreams on the crooked roads of my destiny.”

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