-- Family Trip To "Mata Vaishno Devi" | Failed | Terrifying Experience --

Discussion in 'Travelogues from North India' started by Gaurav Dutt, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Gaurav Dutt

    Gaurav Dutt Shivoham Shivoham

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    Location:
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    This place has the most divine shrine of Hindus, The second most visited after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in India.
    I am talking about "Mata Vaishno Devi"

    I knew from the starting that we will be getting the long weekend holidays from 15th Aug to 17th August ,So I asked my family if they want to accompany me to some remote location in and around Himalayas, My father at a go tumbled upon and resisted me saying further and eventually said "Lets Make a plan to Mata Vaishno Devi", I surprised by the way he said so because in every plan I make he was always be the first one to comment "Ki Nahi Bhut Khatra Rehta Hain Pahaado Per, Mat Jaao, Koi Nahi Jaayega". I Immediately made a plan for the long weekend which was approaching without giving it a second thought, At this point of time We don't have the tickets with us nor we can book any so we decided to make our way by our dearest "Swift". We started this blissful journey on 14th August at around 10 P.M.


    As usual we crossed ISBT and got stuck in a heavy traffic jam for about 2 hours at outer ring road till Burari, We slowly gained pace and because of the lovely TAR roads which has its perfect shape reached Ludhiana at around 5 A.M, I was too much exhausted so we decided to land at a local Dhaba nearby for some morning tea + a much needed nap for me. After half an hour of some disturbing sleep I came out of the car and sat beside my parents and wife who was chit-chatting with the local dhaba owner. The morning chat goes like this.


    Father :- Paaji, Aage Ka Raasta Kaisa Hain Hum Sab Mata Vaishno Devi Jaa Rahe Hai.
    Paaji :- Bilkul Badiya Hain Ji, Lagta Hain Saare Dilli Waale Mata Vaishno Devi Ji Ke Yaha Jaa Rahe Hain.
    Father :- Woh Kaise Sardar Ji.
    Paaji :- Ji Kal Raat Se Jo Gaadi Yaha Se Aage Jaa Rahi Hain Woh Sab Dilli Ki He Hain.
    Father :- Lekin Sardar Ji Hum Toh U.P Ke Hain Aur Hamari Gaadi Ka Number Bhi U.P Ka Hain.
    Paaji :- Haan Ji Maine Dekh Liya Tha Tabhie Aapko Chaae[Tea] 10rs Ki Di, Warna Dilli Waalon Ko Mein 15rs Ki Chaae Deta Hun.
    Father :- Sardar Ji Aisa Kyun.
    Paaji :- Yaar Kuch Time Pehle Mein Delhi Aaya Tha Chandni Chaowk Mei Kuch Kaam Se, Yaar Dilli Waalo Ne Khoob Loota Tha Mereko.

    And We All Laughed Like Anything With Him.
    [ No Offence Meant, JFF ]


    We spend nearly 1 Hour at his dhaba and started our onward journey, I must say the roads were very well maintained and I cant even find a single rupture. After driving for nearly 6 hours with one break we reached our destination "Katra" at around 12 P.M. The holy shrine was engulfed with clouds hovering on the famous "Trikoota Parvat" On which the darbar is located. Its a real sight of heaven.

    We had one family friend who hails from Katra and he insisted us to visit his home and stay there, We followed his orders and reached his home. We soon freshen ourselves, Had light food and took some sleep which was very much needed, I was dreaming as if I am on top of the clouds, Eventually my father came and murmured into my ears "Bhaiya Jaldi Chalo Bahar Yatra Parchi Ke Liye Bhut Lambi Line Lagi Hui Hai, Aise He Sote Rahe Toh Kal Tak Darshan Nahi Honge". I Immediately woke up and we all were set to go in half-an-hour.


    We started our journey at around 5 P.M. Moving further, I was so shocked on seeing the line for the Yatra Parchi, We can surely nominate it the world's longest queue of all time. It was very tough to be in that line for hours but eventually no other option left for us. My mother and wife started to use "Behenji Relations" with other accompanying devotees and fitted themselves in between and I started from the end of the queue. My father could not stand for long at the queue because of his health [He Is Fit And Fine But Somehow not Very Much In Acclimatization to the hilly areas] So we asked him to sit close to the parchi counter on any of the shops and told him upon reaching there we would be accumulating him in between. I was standing quietly, And out of nowhere my mother came towards me and said "Tum Yahi Khade rehna Chahe Duniya Beech Mein Gus Jaaye, Chalo Aage Chalo". I was dumbstrucked, Luckily because of my mother and wife we had made a place in between the queue not very far away from the parchi counter, Before coming close to the counter I could see my father standing nearby, giving me a witty smile and showing me the Yatra parchi. We all had our parchi's and started the onward journey towards the divine bhawan. "Jai Mata Di"


    It was very much crowded, As if 5-6 Kumb mela's has been organized at the same place, On asking from a local shopkeeper about the crowd, He said "Bhaiji 20 Saal Se Mein Yahan Dukaan Laga Raha Hun Aaj Tak Itni Bheed Maine Kabhie Nahi Dekhi", To Which we surprised. The sky was clear and the weather was perfect, In between I asked many of the "Khacchar Waalas" to accompany my father to the bhawan, But everybody was asking for the higher rate, Some of them even ignoring us, I was very much annoyed by their unfriendly behavior, After checking with more people finally got one Khacchar who agreed to drop my father only till Ardh-Kuwari. We booked him and asked my father to meet us at Indraprastha bhawan below Ardh_Kuwari.


    Me, My Wife and My Mother came along by trekking. It was a crisp walk not too heavy at least for me but looking at the path which was highlighted with polythene bags, All Kind Of Wrappers, Eaten Fruits, Rain-Coats, Human And Animal Excreta I was very much annoyed by it, In a short title I say "Garbage everywhere", I don't know when people will understand that we as a responsible citizen need to take care of this divine place which has lots to offer. I can see people Littering,Loitering, Throwing half eaten food on their way. It was very sad to see such things in front of your eyes and people say we are the "Hard Devotees" of Mata Vaishno Devi. However nothing will change and I know that.


    Moving further we came across Charan-Paduka, The crowd was enlarging minute by minute, We cant even walk properly with free hands. The weather Immediately changed and it got dark, Winds were blowing heavily and it was also getting colder. We without any hassle were moving upwards, Immediately it started to drizzle, We hide ourselves in one of the shops located on the trek. I was worried as my father went alone with the "Khacchar Waala" and it was raining and slippery outside. However crossed my fingers and Chanted "Jai Mata Di.


    It was now 8 P.M and it was very dark, The weather was not good, It was lighting everywhere. The trek became somewhat tough, My wife started to struggle and developed a high fever en route, Was about to understand the situation, We heard a LOUD SOUND above Ardh-Kuwari, It was like as if something bombed, We were so much frightened, People began to run in sheds and it was like a stampede kind of situation, On top of that the lights went off. It was then I realized this is it. We three of us stood at the corner holding our hands and watching up. I was worried as my father was far away from us, Minutes after I got a call from an unknown number [Prepaid mobiles from other states does not have signal strength in Jammu and Kashmir]. "It was my father", He checked our location and told us that he is safe in Indraprastha bhavan few meters below Ardhkuwari.


    We started to climb fast as it was not far away from our place, Now It was my mother who started to struggle, Me and my wife Holded her with our hands and reached Indraprastha Bhawan, My father was standing outside and by looking at his face I can easily depict the sense of mind he has in these few minutes. I can see the horror in his eyes. He was so very much frightened and disturbed. he asked us "Sab Theek Hain Na" to which I reverted the same. He told us that he had seen people coming from the bhawan in stretcher. Sighhhhhhhhh.


    Now we all four were together ! [ That was a great relief for all of us ]


    It was raining heavily and winds were blowing like a speed of bullet train, We all were inside the Indraprastha Bhawan and chanting Jai Mata Di. My wife took a medicine which she carried along, We somehow managed to get few seats at IP bhawan and took a much needed rest. The IP Bhawan was out of capacity people are literally fighting to get inside. A total chaos has been reflecting looking at the kind of situation, We sat there for almost 3-4 hours, The whole bhawan was chanting "Jai Mata Di, Jai Mata Di".

    It was by now the rain began to slower her pace, people are now coming out of the bhawan realizing that something has happened above at the bhavan. I asked my family to be seated on a bench till I find a "Kacchar Waala" who can accompany my father to the bhavan. It was still drizzling, I asked many of the "Khacchar Waalas" but none of them agreed. Finally with no luck I came back. My father until then asked few fellow devotees about the source who could give him a helping hand by any means so that he can visit the shrine, They told us about the "Auto Service" which starts from Ardhkuwari to the bhawan. We were discussing this, Soon groups of devotees came down one by one and one of them informed us that their is a heavy landslide that has happened on the route and few people have injured themselves, Also at the bhawan their was a major rush which caused the death of five small children. We could also see people searching for their missing child and running frantically here and there in search of them. We could see people going back at the base on stretcher, People are constantly coming down without having darshan, few of them told us how a divine place who sustains 3-4K people is going berserk by having 60-70k people at a same time. Police are lathi-charging.

    Hearing the constant cries and thrilling stories from the people coming down we made our mind to go back to Katra.It was raining, Wasting no time my father asked all of us to make a chain and immediately move downwards,This is the best he could have choose and he rightly did that. We came back and said sorry to the almighty for not visiting the divine shrine.

    This is it from my side, Just Wanted to share my experience about what we have gone through, Tough It Was.

    "Jai Mata Di"

    [ Few Pics though ]


    Starting Point
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    Jai Hind / Near ISBT
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    Jai Ganesh Deva / Ludhiana
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    Local Dhaba / Ludhiana / The Owner Itself
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    Enroute Jalandhar
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    Enroute Pathankot
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    Enroute Pathankot
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    Enroute Pathankot
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    Enroute Pathankot
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    Enroute Pathankot
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Enroute Jammu
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    Jammu
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    Jammu
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    Jammu
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra / Yours Truly
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Enroute Katra
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    Katra, Parchi Line
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi / My Family
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Enroute Mata Vaishno Devi
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    Came Back
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------Jai Mata Di--------------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  2. prajan76

    prajan76 LL.....DL.....TL.....

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    I can feel what you have been thru, I was there during new year eve. The crowd was even more that time, it took us 5 hours to get the token from yatra slip counter. When we started walking and reached near the main entrance gate (the stop where auto's leave you), the picture where it shows autos and white entrance door, the queue there was more than the turn upside and no place at all in between, it was a total chaos, we missed darshan at ardhkuwari cause of the queue and we thought if we stay longer we might get stuck on top. When we reached near bhavan, no lockers people were waiting in queu for 4 hours for people to return and vacate the lockers, all terraces were full of people and luggage, those in groups left there stuff with 2/3 people waiting for others to return. It took us long time and as soon as we reached inside the main barricaded queue inside there was a stampede outside and lot of people got injured, ladies and kids were in bad shape. This was the first time i was scared and felt i was very lucky as 1 minute of delay meant i was in the stampede. You did the right thing coming back as it would have been difficult with parents and wife, i was with a friend of mine and it was getting difficult for us also to manage imagine for others. Go when its exam time in schools and colleges or during Nov/start of Dec it will be easy and not much crowd.
     
  3. sactom

    sactom Sachin Tomar

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    Due to the rush and this type of situation only, i have decided never to go there on Weekends, holidays. last time we also had the same type of experience.
     
  4. Ankur003

    Ankur003 UltraWideLife.com

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    Sad to hear your experience Gaurav bhai... You did the right thing by returning back...
    This is the second thread narrating trouble faced due to long weekend...
     
  5. invincible

    invincible ....

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    Nature has its own ways of balancing itself. When we human beings do not realize the need of keeping the environment clean and not to disturb its own ecosphere, nature has to do that job and it has cruel ways of doing that. Sad to know about the loss of life at the Shrine however, I personally believe that the God/Goddess isn't there anymore. They are long gone from those places which we have marked as Shrines.

    I am of the opinion that the God/Goddess will not be residing at a place which has been spoiled by the unwanted intrusion and then with the leftover of that intrusion (read the leftover litter). The locals or the pony walas plying en route doesn't care about the safety of the pedestrians.

    I am happy to know the fact that the family is safe Gaurav. May god bless you and keep you all safe.
     
  6. Rohit Kothari

    Rohit Kothari Super User

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    I feel that we should now relax on long weekends and just take leaves during normal workdays for our vacations. And about VDevi, when I went there around 1-1.5 years back, seeing the amount of filth and the whole ecology being disturbed by the sheer amount of people visiting, I had decided to keep away from such so called divine places. If God is everywhere, I can probably find him in a small quaint temple near to my home as well.

    It was a right decision to turn back. The situation can turn ugly very soon there. I had an experience there in 2010-2011.
    We turned back from darshan line to save our lives.
    Read it here-> http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/delhi-katra-1-week-full-adventures-t44778/
     
  7. Nitish Kumar

    Nitish Kumar Well-Known Member

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    I had a trip during similar period. Faced around 4-6 hrs in ticket counter and rouhgly 8-9 hrs in Shrine queue though made it that time
    My Trip to Vaishno Devi (from Delhi) | Nitish Kumar's Blog

    Second visit was in last year August, when I visited by month end and it was this empty that when I was inside shrine then apart from me only 3-4 people were there.
     
  8. hiambuj

    hiambuj Moderator Staff Member

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    Gosh. :shock:
    Landslide, Police lathi charge. Didn't hear anything in News though. Good that you returned safe.
     
  9. prajan76

    prajan76 LL.....DL.....TL.....

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    I think the best time to visit any place is during exam times. Ofcourse if you have kids it might be difficult but i think normal working days are good for any kind of holidays now keeping in mind the kind of traffic and crowd we get everywhere.
     
  10. sanuroxz

    sanuroxz Super User

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    What a journey.. :shock:
    Must be memorable entire life
     

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