Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your reply. All I have is NOC paper in lieu of RC crad. So I may have to try using that.
Yes if I do Leh it will be Chandigarh-Srinagar to Leh to Manali and back to Chandigarh only sir. Thanks for your update and sorry for interrupting your travelogue flow.
Thanks for your reply. As mentioned above all I have is NOC original paper in lieu of RC Card/book/. Let me attempt railway parcel from Madurai Jn.
Dear Prasad,

Neither to be sorry, and nor it is in an interruption because the very essence of writing a travelogue is help others as a sort of guide in travel or ride; destinations may differ. Travel includes not just shifting oneself from point A to point B but all the related activities.

The NOC in lieu of RC may work. But as I told you, you must know the way, and sure you would fine one. Why don't you first go and check with that up at the parcel section of Madurai station. This is the best way. Nothing guaranteed though. Told you the ambiguous ways of Railways in parcel freight.

Then comes, the RTO and cops on the road. Would they accept an NOC in lieu of RC? Again state to state might differ.

My best suggestion is just go and lets cross the bridge when it comes. Sky is not going to fall on our heads. This is the same predicament that I had all along my trip in connection with Corona permits, registrations. Each time I saw cops and a barricade on the road, each time I felt thats the dead end and I must return. Afterall these proved to be just my apprehensions.

Just do it is my suggestion.
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Day 7: Kedarnath Trek and Darshan 19.05.2022 (Thursday)

By the time I got up everyone in the tent had left. After a while: even the tent owner came to make the beds. Clearly I am not well. But that shouldn’t stop me.

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At 6:45 started the trek after a tea.

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The Sun was already shining on the opposite mountains, hope it reaches this side too soon to fight the chillness in the air. Last night it looked like rained again.

Another half an hour or so, I might have reached upper Lincholi, so many tents.

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Soon Kedarnath peak comes into closer view and I can see buildings on the old trek route. Now the temple shouldn’t be far.

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Still, a long way to go I know with my heavy legs.

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One would pass some glaciers enroute Kedarnath.

Nearing mid-day already, yet Kedarnath not in sight.

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But the clouds already building up for their afternoon and evening showers. It had become a routine, daily rain in the afternoon in this part of the hills.

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Glaciers are synonymous with snow white adjective, but here they are dirty due to heavy human presence.

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One can see the crowd even here at this height, close to the temple.

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Old trek route completely washed off on the other side of the mountain. What people might have undergone during the floods is just unimaginable.
Finally reached the pony stand. Its 1pm already. Better look for some accommodation.

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Hired this little tent for the night. Picture lie … it was slushy, water sagging on the ground.

The dread of apprehensions make us lose our natural senses which otherwise everyone possess in a great abundance. We do make mistakes with a fear of something might happen and what if phobias. We will come to that later on.

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Neat sleeping bags inside assure me that it’s alright.

A public tap just outside the tent with icy running water. Took a bath under it and started for darshan.

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The ominous afternoon clouds….

The queue for darshan is starting from the Helipad, nearly one and half kms from the temple! Well, no issues, but I must have lunch first for some energy. Just simple roadside eatery, dal rice Rs.200. In my place, a full sumptuous meal for three at that price!

Joined the long slow moving queue for darshan at 1:30. I know it would be sometime before my turn comes for darshan. But in those situations, I always feel nice. Spending so much time at the dhaam which otherwise not possible. Darshan and off. Curiously no one in the queue were getting to nerves at that big queue. All happy, talk this and that. Nice to interact with people. I could silently chant whatever I could at His abode.

It’s not the temple nor the deity itself which is important, but the power is such, we can feel the power all around, even here at home while typing this travelogue. But there, it’s so close to the shrine, and the signals are strong. Enjoyed the wait.

Soon, rain, hail and snow started. Not in a big way though, but it was there alright. The incessant drizzle. Soon neared the courtyard of the temple.

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The crowd was so much. Once inside the temple so tightly packed. Had darshan. So many people packed in such a little place, corona? Now, what is that? Mask? Are you mad?

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Clouds slightly lifting off. Watch the crowds.

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By now 5:30: Aarthi, they said would be at 6:30m. Had a tea and biscuit. Sadhus in different attires. Went behind the temple for Aadi Shankaracharya darshan.

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That is the big boulder that saved the temple during the floods.

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Hara Hara Shankara....

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Bhaironath temple can be seen from the shrine. One Km or so trek to Bhaironath. Body complains. Anyway it’s getting dark and low ceiling clouds threatening to burst any moment. Chillness is picking up fast as the night fall approaches. Anyway, I want to attend the aarthi. Even if I do the trek to Bhaironath, I wouldn’t be in time for aarthi which I do not want to miss. Anyway, I am whacked out totally.

Those were the excuses that I was cheating myself. Questioned myself, how far am I sincere in those excuses…apparently not sincere. The subdued spirits take a back seat and I push my body for the trek. On the way, just after the bridge I see a Langar serving food. They stop me offering food. Told them darshan first.

No one on the trek route. Questioning myself, is that safe. No issues, just keep quiet and walk. With many brief stops I trudge along.

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Soon, nearing the temple. No one at sight.

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Had darshan. Kedarnath town below. Winds picked up violently here and super chill.

With the comfort of living room, in front of the computer, I plan this, that, do that this, spirits are uncontrollable. Now, I am even scared to look at that little path on the other end of the mountain which I know would lead to Vasukital. My original plan was to stay two days at Kedar and find a local to do Vasukital. But now in reality I am even scared to look at that trail lest my spirits laugh at me.

Trek down, had dinner in the langar. Still, in time for aarthi! It’s after all our lazy spirits always cheat us and we succumb to it many times, for it suits us.
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A long aarthi. Nice one. Time flew, suddenly unaware of the increasing chillness.

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Nearing 8pm and it’s time to get back to my tent. More than a kilometer to walk. Good night namashkar to Bholenath.

Soon in the tent. Crowd have no mood to ease out. Anytime of the day or night any place, too many people, just too many. Most of the pilgrims were from Northen states of India.

Tent, with me as a single occupant, was freezing. The slush around, seeping water, the freezing sleeping bag and those high velocity winds throughout the night, make me shiver so terribly that I couldn’t sleep. Just popped another Diamox tried to get some sleep in vain. On and off sleep. Just waiting for the day break. When you wait, it would take more time than usual… Murphy’s law.
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Day 7: Kedarnath – Guptkashi 20.05.2022 (Friday)

Finally much awaited day break. Morning ablutions and bath under that public tap with icy waters.

Wanted to leave the crowds as fast as I could. Just too many vibrations. Longing for solitude which soon I am to get so much so that it would make me anxious.

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Helicopters already ply which indicates good weather, for some time at least.

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The other side of the tents. I know if only I could cross that mountain or a few more, Satopanth, a long awaited trek.

Anyway, coming to realities, decided to take a pony to go down; a mistake. Nevertheless it saved me time.

Difficult to find a pony walah with one pony. Normally they handle two at a time and some three. Finally found one. Nearly one hour wait before I could take that parchi.

Made sure the leather saddle is well padded, stirrups adjusted to my leg length. So much mad traffic jam even of ponies. At Bheembali bridge crossover, I had to get down and walk to the other side. What a relief to get off the horse. It was so painful and tiring. Going up may be comfortable. I should have trekked down. Anyway, an experience in itself. Never make a mistake thinking it’s a joyride. I would be more comfortable walking down. But anyway, I wanted to be on my bike, get my freedom at the earliest.

Happy I got done with that ride by 12.:30 at Gaurikund. Definitely I would not have walked that fast. By 1:30 Sonprayag. Lunch at a Langar just near that bridge. Collected the baggage, then to the parking lot.

Second catastrophe … Bike is safe but my helmet is gone! Don’t know what to do. Obviously we cannot expect helmet shops in Sonprayag. When went with a complaint, the gate wala helped me with some old battered helmet without a visor just to escape that traffic police, but this was to be with me for the rest of the trip!

The health is getting deteriorated by hour. Skin on the face peeling off, cracked lips, running nose, stomach upset, you name it I have everything now along with definite fever. Now, I was almost getting sure may be Corona.

Finally managed to drive till Guptkashi. With the help of a cop I managed to get accommodation. I told the manager that I would stay for two nights becasue I was sick and wanted a day’s rest at least. He said it’s ok. Once in the room and free of luggage and the bike to look after I was getting bit calm.

Into the market, made enquiries about any hospitals in the town. No hospitals! The medical shops would give medicines. But I definitely have to see a doctor. They said only one hospital, the Government Hospital and that too it opens the next day at 10:30.

Now, reflecting the events; no hospital in the town nor I had come across any on the trip. Which meant no medical facilities or is it that people don’t need them because they are healthy. The latter is the apt explanation because I also observed there were no wine shops nor any meat shops. Naturally no hospitals either. A good feeling.

Spirits high once again. Wanted to visit Guptkashi temple for evening aarti.

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Such a nice feeling. Evening, water sprout, aarti time. No crowds. Had darshan. A bit rest in the courtyard of the temple.

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Many people from surroundings collecting water from the water spouts.

Soon it was evening aarti time.

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Aarti at the temple.

In the mean time I receive a threatening video link from my daughter: the bad weather forecast in that part of the hills. Landslides, heavy rains, advising people to be alert, keep indoors and not to come to Kedarnath.

Bad health and now bad weather too. Anyway, the most impending issue is health. I must visit the hospital on priority tomorrow morning.
Had early dinner and off to bed by 9pm, just too tired.
 

Tilak Francis

Well-Known Member
No wine shop, No meat shop and hence, No hospital ..... Let me gather statistics and contradict because I'm an omnivore.... Hahaha. No, just joking. If so, I would learn in due course.
I feel, in all your journey, you batter your body to the core, without food, without proper sleep, without proper thermal wear, drinking all source of water and daring to experience the voyage with bare minimal. I'm reminded of your stomach upset in your journey to Nepal and of your severe headache on the way to Leh.
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
No wine shop, No meat shop and hence, No hospital ..... Let me gather statistics and contradict because I'm an omnivore.... Hahaha. No, just joking. If so, I would learn in due course.
I feel, in all your journey, you batter your body to the core, without food, without proper sleep, without proper thermal wear, drinking all source of water and daring to experience the voyage with bare minimal. I'm reminded of your stomach upset in your journey to Nepal and of your severe headache on the way to Leh.
Dear Tilak,

This is a free country and we respect every one's view though we are not compelled to agree. So, you are welcome. It was only my observation.

Coming to the statistics that contradict, I wish to explain a bit here for the sake of other travel enthusiasts.

The intake of food was quite sufficient for the energy consumption, though not sumptuous expensive delicacies and all that. Nor my interest was there. Now, water, I strongly believe, our Indian metabolism or simply the Indian stomach is designed to take any locally available food or water. I personally feel, we must drink the local water, its an opportunity. It is much much better than that bottled water which we don't even know how old it is. Nevertheless, there is a risk of waterborne diseases like typhoid foot poisoning and so on but that's rare.

My stomach upset during my Nepal comes not without a reason. After bit an investigation, I concluded that its idiosyncratic with Varanasi. About 60 percent of people who visit here are affected by this, may be food poisoning or is it the water of the River Ganga I can't tell for sure. Anyway, it was the health issue was testing my tenacity.

Next, my Leh trip I did not have any such problems excepting that I could not bring my fingers close after Khardungla which again is attributed to the constant palm position on throttle. It was only my right hand.

Then comes thermals. I had enough. But then what is enough? Trust me,... anyway.. I will leave it for you to decide after reading my entire travelogue :):)
 

Tilak Francis

Well-Known Member
Dear Tilak,

This is a free country and we respect every one's view though we are not compelled to agree. So, you are welcome. It was only my observation.

Coming to the statistics that contradict, I wish to explain a bit here for the sake of other travel enthusiasts.

The intake of food was quite sufficient for the energy consumption, though not sumptuous expensive delicacies and all that. Nor my interest was there. Now, water, I strongly believe, our Indian metabolism or simply the Indian stomach is designed to take any locally available food or water. I personally feel, we must drink the local water, its an opportunity. It is much much better than that bottled water which we don't even know how old it is. Nevertheless, there is a risk of waterborne diseases like typhoid foot poisoning and so on but that's rare.

My stomach upset during my Nepal comes not without a reason. After bit an investigation, I concluded that its idiosyncratic with Varanasi. About 60 percent of people who visit here are affected by this, may be food poisoning or is it the water of the River Ganga I can't tell for sure. Anyway, it was the health issue was testing my tenacity.

Next, my Leh trip I did not have any such problems excepting that I could not bring my fingers close after Khardungla which again is attributed to the constant palm position on throttle. It was only my right hand.

Then comes thermals. I had enough. But then what is enough? Trust me,... anyway.. I will leave it for you to decide after reading my entire travelogue :):)
Thank you Khagesh sir. With all the questions and answers the travelogue becoming all the more lively. My mind will continue to check your correlations when i visit a similar place. Regards
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Thank you Khagesh sir. With all the questions and answers the travelogue becoming all the more lively. My mind will continue to check your correlations when i visit a similar place. Regards
The very essence of writing a travelogue is to help the fellow travelers, instill confidence in neophytes.

Relating one's experiences to our own experience may not agree. Each of us have our own perspectives and standpoints. Yet, its nice to know the views points of others too. If everyone thinks in the same way, the world would be so mundane. No? :)
 

Tilak Francis

Well-Known Member
The very essence of writing a travelogue is to help the fellow travelers, instill confidence in neophytes.

Relating one's experiences to our own experience may not agree. Each of us have our own perspectives and standpoints. Yet, its nice to know the views points of others too. If everyone thinks in the same way, the world would be so mundane. No? :)
Yes Indeed Khagesh sir !
 
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