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A feel at Mahagunas Top
As I told you in the previous post that, surrounding Mahgunas top there are more than 4 – 5 peaks that adds beauty to this place including the altitude where we stand at 14500 feet. Ultimately It also has one of the best views in the yatra. The temperature in Mahagunas top drops to 6 – 7 degree which my family had never felt . Our body hair stood on end , our ears were blocked and our teeth were chattering .The weather here at Mahagunas Top can change anytime ( suddenly rain or snow fall or heat) due to its height and snow capped peaks surrounded by it. One thing I wanted to tell you about these peaks is that every peak was at least more than 5500 m and at the top of it, you can see the flag waving. My camera couldn’t capture the flags on the peaks as the distance was too large, but that flags could be easily visible by naked eye. The view of the flags here again creates feeling of patriotism here and reminds us of wars in Kargil and Kashmir.
The best part at Mahagunas Top when I was travelling was there was the snow. I found much snow at only two places when I was travelling at that time and that was in Mahagunas Top and near Amarnath Cave. Rest everywhere the snow was just in patches. Here my horses had to walk lot of stretches on the snow . Walking on snow again is a very tough task as it is very slippery and friction is less. Although falling from horse here may be not that much dangerous, it would certainly hurt to a very great extent.
We walked quite few meters on the snow and again crooked rocks started below at the surface. Our next destination was Poshpatri. Poshpatri is a place 1.6 kms from Mahagunas top at altitude of 14000 feet. Now first time in the yatra we started to descend. First descend was at a distance of 1.6 km and 5oo feet below , so it was not that much tough. But there were few places where the descend was very steep and dangerous. Now I had mentioned that while climbing on Pissutop I had kept my body bent in the forward position so that balance is maintained when there is a slip or jerk while climbing on the horse.
In descend or climbing down on the horse we have to keep our back bending in backward direction. This one is more dangerous than climbing up. Because if we don’t keep the balance and don’t bend backwards and if there is a jerk then we might topple down in front of the horse walking over his head and fall in front of his feet which might even cause a great injury to our bones and head apart from bruises. Well this thing happened to one of us but while coming back which was very dreadful. I will mention that in my return trek. Oh! goose bumps have already started when I remember that horrible incident.
Here in Mahagunas top there are few tents and camps but I would not advise any of the readers to plan and stay here as the climatic conditions are extremely sarcastic and biting. Stay either at Sheshnag or Panchtarni.
Now as far as I was concerned I wanted to have darshan of holy cave today only at Shravan Monday and stay there. And I was already pressing my horseman to obey me. But Finally it was up to the weather conditions, time and specially light conditions to decide whether we could reach there or not . It was already 14.15 when we left for Mahagunas top towards Poshpatri. From Poshpatri, Panchtarni is at a distance 3.4 kms rolling downwards. Now if we have to get the darshan of Holy cave today itself it was necessary to cross Panchtarni at 16.00 hours which is the final time to leave towards the cave at Panchtarni gate. After that BSF and CRPF do not allow as the light diminishes and final 6 kms are the most diffcult part of the journey. So if we have to get the darshan today on Monday itself we have to reach Panchtarni by four. The horsemen were saying that we can only go till Panchtarni today and also they won’t go further as they don’t have sleeping arrangement near cave. So this was feeling impossible because if we went to cave today we also had to come back atleast till Panchtarni.
From Mahagunas top to Poshpatri somewhere while going one can easily see the Mountains surrounding Panchtarni and Amarnath Cave . The whole view is wonderful and treat to watch. At the sight of mountains of Panctarni and Amarnath Cave magnetic waves and spiritual rays hit our heart beating it more profusely making us feel that our destination is near.
POSHPATRI (14000 feet)
We reached Poshpatri around 14.45 to 15.00 hours , but didn’t stop as we wanted to reach Panchtarni as possible. I don’t know if there is any legend behind this place, but this is the place where you can find best langars and bhandaras. Most of the pilgrims who start their second day from Sheshnag have prasad here. ” Shree Shiva Sevak Delhi ” arranges VISHAL BHANDARA and langars here with best and most tasty dishes. So if one has too much craving for tasty food , Poshpatri is the place.
As I told you before also I was fortunate that I didn’t had to face much snow in my yatra as I was going through this in the end. But just see the pictures below to compare my yatra with the one started early. Lot of snow,huge crowd and traffic.The beauty of walking in between mountain ranges on both sides and the feeling of being cut off from regular inhabitance takes you more towards spiritualism.
Photocredits :- www.3marg.info
Poshpatri to Panchtarni
Now from Poshpatri the path was smooth descend till Panctarni. Smooth means not so steep and descend was gradually plain but path was always full of boulders and stones. In between I saw some BSF people staring continously and curiously at a top of wall like mountain with binoculars in their hand. When I saw the place which they were targeting ,I couldnt find anything. But still seeing their curiosity towards something I told my horseman Yakoob to stop. Suddenly after gazing for sometime I saw small ant like humans on the wall like mountains climbing. That was mind blowing to watch. They were trying to conquer that horrifying straight peak. If I didn’t had to go and had some more days I would have definitely watched that. Now guys this was not trekking, It was rock climbing. Enjoy the pictures of our brave Indian jawans conquering the peak.
After around and hour at 16.00 hours we had a glimpse of first Panchtarni at a base of Huge mountain.The sight was beautiful to watch.In between the journey lot of people were asking horse shoe of my horse from my horseman because my horse was fully black in color. The horse shoe of the completely black horse is considered lucky and it is attached on the front of the house to remove the obstacles happening in the family, according to astrology.
As it was already more than 4.00 pm , we decided to have a group picture .Here above is the picture of full group who went to Amarnath Cave except one horseman who is clicking the picture.
Names Color and Age of Horses
A) Raja aged 7, brown colored was Sonali’s Horse
B) Chhotu , aged 18 , brown and white colored was Aarya’s horse. just see the age of her horse. Is this age of the horse was a problem? you will it find it out soon.
C) Chaandi , aged 10, brown and white colored was my father in law’s horse.
D) Badal , aged 6 , full dark black colored was my horse which was the strongest and toughest among the all.
And finally at 17.00 hours we reached Panchtarni.
PANCHTARNI (12729 feet)
The last camp for pilgrims coming by walk enroute to the holy Cave is made here on third day. Here one faces cold winds which cause the skin to crack . Hence cold cream and vaseline is very useful for protection of skin. Some pilgrims are also effected by deficiency of oxygen .Some may get the feeling of vomiting . So fruits like plums, sour and sweet eatables like lemon are useful to control these symptoms .The route to Panchtarni is full of rivulets, water falls and springs. Panchtarni is a very beautiful place in the feet of Mount Bhairav. Upon reaching Panjtarni you can see a river split in 5 main parts in the plain . It is said that the five rivers origanated from Lord Shiva’s hairs (Jata). Pilgrims camp at Panchtarni on the 3rd night. Lot of langars and Bhandara’s are there for pilgrims here till last day.
Panchtarni is also the place where there are helipads for helicopters to land from Baltal as well as Pahalgam.So continously Helicopters arrive here bring and take pilgrims. from Panchtarni , one has to go to the cave 6 kms by walk,horses or by palki (doli).
Amarnath Legend :- At Panchtarni, Shivji left the five elements behind (Earth , Water, Air , Fire and Sky) which make living being. He is the Lord of these elements. It is believed that as a symbol of sacrificing the earthly world , Shivaji and Maa Parvati had Tandav Dance.Hence the name here is called Panchtarni.
Here when we reached Panchtarni, the horsemen left us to say that they are going to meet us in the morning at 6.00 AM. But while going they asked for Rs. 600 , 150 per head for having dinner which I clearly said that I am not going to give. Readers please discuss these sort of issues while booking these people itself otherwise in between this dangerous route you will face problem and again after booking them please take their I card issued by Amarnath Shrine Board so that they don’t misbehave and if they do or say you can always ask for the support of these three offcial Bodies BSF, CRPF and J&K Police . They will keep them in check.
One of the most horrible nights of my life
After settling down with horseman I started to look out for a place to stay at night that is tent. Here lot of varities of tents are available at a rate of rs. 100 to 200 per bed depending upon the season and your negotiation. But I wanted a private tent only for my family . The rate was around Rs. 1000 , but after doing some law of averages I found one at 600 rs. All were tired and hungry due to fast. In fact I had headache with my nerves stretching my head. We had food in one of the bhandaras and some aching pain killers and then went to sleep. That night was one of most uncomfortable nights I had ever faced. The temperature in the midnight was below 5 degree C with supercold winds blowing and inadequate amount of covering on our bodies. The bed itself was full of moisture due to cold, numb and humid conditions. Somehow my father in law and Aarya slept to some extent. Whole night Myself and Sonali were trying to our fullest so that Aarya can sleep. After eleven oclock the light also went.
In between there was one more pathetic situation happening. Horses actually are set free by their masters in the night so that they can graze. And in the early morning they search them and start the journey. Horses were roaming nearby our tent and neighing and thus disturbing us with a dreadful feeling that “Are they going to peep inside “. Also one of the horses came nearby our tent and did shit few feet away from our tent . OH SHIT! From that moment the smell was unbearable. I had to go out with a torch in that dark lonely night and see what was wrong and had to cover that shit with newspaper ( thank god I had brought some of them) and plastic pieces from the top so that the smell doesn’t come inside. I HAD NO OTHER OPTION AT ALL. Thus between I felt like ” यह कहा आ गया हूँ मैं ?”At last we had some sleep of around 2 hours that too with break in between again and again.
Now my dear viewers I would like to ask you some questions
What is the most dreadful and horrifying incident that can ever happened in your life ?
Does fear and tremor can have any limits ?
What is the most emotional moment of our life ?
Is there any God present anywhere ?
Does God looks after his children everytime ? and many more.
For me, I got answers for all this questions in my next post with all proofs and answers written in green color in the next post. Until then , Good bye and
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