Sometime frustration is good, so back at office life was so hectic and miserable, I couldn’t hold of things of my own. Delhi half marathon was on neck, I promised myself a good practice but all in vain. And one day I decided to go on a holy trip of lifetime – to Mani Mahesh, a resting place of Bhole Shankar.
I posted on indiamike.com and other site but haven’t got any information about the Yatra time, further search on internet confirmed that Bada Snan is on 24th Sep 2012. I was preparing for it but got to know that on 23rd I have APFC exam and on 21st was best friends birthday. So I fixed 15th Sep as starting date of my Yatra from Delhi.
‘How much to Chamba’ I was enquiring at Himachal Roadways ticket booking window at 9 PM on Saturday 15th. 510 bucks for ordinary bus and will leave at 11 PM, came a reply. Booking done, boarded the bus and left at right time.
Later next day when I reached Una, a station in Himachal, I realised that this was a slow moving bus and will take 20 hrs to reach its destination. Normally its not more than 14 hrs. of journey to Chamba. At 11:30 next day we were at Pathankot station, and bus was resting for 01:10 hrs. with moving time of 12:40. Meanwhile had lunch and one call to friend that I am all right an all that.
‘There is no bus to Bharmour, book a hotel and stay here. first bus will move at 5 in the morning’ someone gave me this information at Chamba station at 06:30 PM. Realised how one wrong decision leads to another, proper research is the key to successful travel. Anyways, booked a bed at rain-basera near Chamba station for 30 bucks a night. After dinner I dozed off at early as 9 o’clock.
( View from Bharmour)
5 AM bus as packed as it came from Dharamshala, however got conductor seat, he was busy ticketing. Tea break was at some place for 20 min, as we moved ahead got a news that road is blocked due to landslide.
( JCB’s are like God here, clearing the road each and every time nature does something to road)
It was taking too much time so decided to cross by foot and wait other side to catch a bus, another 40 bucks less from my pocket and by 12 o’clock I was at Bharmour. On bus met with a guy who was first time coming for this yatra but had been to Amarnath 3 times. As per the tradition who is up to Mani Mahesh Yatra, must go to Bharmour temple before proceeding to further Yatra but I was lacking time so hurriedly caught a Bolero cab and reached Hadsar, 13 Km away from Bharmour, a base camp for Yatra. From here steep climb begins.
( Hadsar, from here you have to go by foot)
( Scenery changes with the climb, this is how the path looks like)
( Dancho camps can be seen far below, had Bhandara here and moved )
( Clear blue sky, pure bliss, loved that)
( Zig-zag path, some camps of refreshment item. Sundarasi can be seen in this pics)
( Barsati is must here, I forgot to pack, had to manage with this )
( Self portraits, I was alone and without camera, cell phone was only my companion )
( Some random pics, its about to get dark I must move on)
I was so much occupied with myself and nature that I forgot I still have to climb 3 km. My legs were paining like hell, it was very hard to climb even a single step. A porter as carrying some pooja items in his back, I had to trail him else I will be lost. At 7 PM I was at Gauri Kund, saw a lunger, ‘ you can stay here free of cost, its dark now’, a sadhu was talking to me. I said good bye to the porter and thanked sadhu.
‘At night you can see star blinking up there like Mani, that’s why its called Mani Mahesh’ the sadhu was pointing at Kailash parvat. I asked some questions about weather and some rituals, he answers all my questions and said you are one of the luckiest person on the earth.
After pooja and lunger, blanket were distributed to all the pilgrims staying in that tent. I was carrying sleeping bag with me, still took two blanket and dozed off.
At 2 o’clock in the night, I was awake and saw it was snowing outside. I had seen snowfall way back when I was school guy. Due to global warming, people going insane about nature, it never snowed in my home town otherwise we used to play and build so many thing in snow during Dec and Feb month. I was lost in memories and missing my parents, home. “Told you, you are lucky, its a miracle, never snowed during Yatra time” the sadhu was standing near me and looking outside. I smiled back silently.
Some morning snaps …
( The board was in front of our tent, well coming all )
( Some more….)
( Some more….. )
My legs were paining like hell, I was not able to move a single step. At night, I was determined to visit the holy lake, Mani Mahesh Lake, and it was 20 min up as told by the sadhu. But took another bad decision of heading back and go downwards. I think I was scared of trapping for more days, And office, friend’s birthday, exam I thought I am gonna miss everything.
“You can not do anything without His permission, He allows you to visit Himself. Don’t worry some day He will call you again” the sadhu was consoling me, as I was heading down.. I got a companion, he said, he is from Bilaspur HP. He was here since yesterday afternoon and visited all the places Gauri Kund, Holly lake, Kamal Kund everything. he had been to Amarnath 2 times and said Pahalgam route is best for Amarnath, Invited me for next years Amarnath yatra in July first week.
( The guy from Bilaspur, my guide, mentor on descend. He was well aware of natures gift, he showed me Brahmdand, used in many medicine. Bhojpatra, belpatri and use of it. What the meaning of Mandakini, tale about Ganga & Gomukh. He showed me Shiv-Gharaat and I tried to listen but was raining, could only hear river flow)
( Self portrait)
( And it was still snowing when we started downward journey )
( Had to cross anyway 🙂 waterfall straight in our heads)
( Some more snaps…)
( The entire track of 14 km revolves around this river all the way up)
( Dancho at the valley)
“Roads are blocked all the way till Chamba” I could only hear these words at 3 PM at Hadsar. I feared of trapping here and waited at a lungar. No one was ready to go, it was 13 Km to Bharmour, from where I could catch a bus. No, I can’t walk.
Finally one enthusiastic maxi cab driver came and said I can drop you till the landslide point from where Bharmour is only 2 km, some relief. Boarded and saw road was not going to be motorable for atleast 4 hrs. With the help of PWD workers I was able to cross. ‘It is 4, I must walk the distance in 1 hour to catch bus to Chamba.
“There is no way you can cross today” a policeman on duty said.
I cursed myself for my decision of coming downwards from the Holly place. I should have stayed up there and should have enjoyed natures beauty. With all that thought I was just roaming around “Do you need a room?" I heard a voice that came from my left. I saw a young boy and nodded. Without bargain I was in a room for 200 bucks a night. Again I cursed myself for spending money like this. Went outside and had tea bread omelette.
( View from the dhaba, having tea bread omelette)
( finally shoes were off…)
( View from Hotel room… Me Go green,,,,,)
( Stuff scattered on bed… )
Early in the morning, an innova was going to Chamba I asked the driver to wait till I pack and bring my stuff. He nodded but when I came back with my bag, he was gone. I was nowhere again.
“Road id blocked but will moving at 08:20AM” HP bus driver was saying to me looking at his nokia 1100 cell phone. Good battery back up I thought and occupied a window seat. Ticket was done only for Khadamukh, the landslide point, 16 Km away. A big stone has blocked the road, Again the God, JCB was trying to remove that but it was very big, size of a truck. A fat policeman was trying to impress the public that he keeps a close eye on every activity in his area, it was quite interesting to listen him. Then three big blasts and stone was in pieces. Everyone was in a hurry, result – a heavy jam.
At Chamba, bought some apples and started journey towards Pathankot, quite fascinating to see the scenery and roads, trying to remember all the names thinking to come here back with my bike (read cycle) some day, when I will be heading to such pass some day.
Reached Pathankot at 6 PM and was waiting for bus.I was damn tired even to enquire about time n all. Haryana roadways conductor came and said come with us, will reach before that bus ( pointing towards HP roadways bus). ‘What time you will leave’ I asked. 07:15 came a reply.
|Food n All|