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The most dreadful as well as the happiest day in my life was 31st July 2012. I cried due to fear and shock. And tears rolled due to ultimate happiness and eternal bliss felt. To believe it read my next two posts and feel with me.
31st July 2012, Tuesday
Morning in Panchtarni
At 5.00 AM in the morning we woke up. We wanted to go fast , have darshan and reach Pahalgam as soon as possible. So today everybody realized that being late is not a good idea. We freshened up ourselves within no time and were ready for take off from Panchtarni. Here in Panchtarni in the morning if you want hot water to bath the charges are rs. 5o per bucket and hot water bottle for rs. 20 for brushing and washing face. Now I and Sonali again had fast as it was Tuesday but today I thought its really wise not to do fast today as I am in charge and responsible for my family’s safety and in this conditions I don’t want to risk because sometimes in fasting period I do get some tiredness and faintness. So I went to a Bhandara and had some breakfast and tea. And then we proceeded for one of my most dreadful moments of my life.
Again some conversations with horsemen
Now the Aarya’s horsemen was in grievance because all other people were getting Rs. 2000 / tour and he was getting Rs. 1000 / tour . And at night I didn’t gave them Rs.600 for dinner also. So all of them were unsatisfied. Even I felt that something was not balanced as he was also walking with us for past 26 kms. And this is no joke and so I told him ” चलो अब आपको मैं १५०० रू देता हूँ , लेकिन इसके बाद मैं एक भी रू नहीं दूंगा “. (come on I will give rs. 15oo , but hence forth i won’t give you a single penny). He was satisfied and our journey started. Now I did favour to this guy and see what happens now. The temperature was chilling below 5 degree C. Our whole group of four was fully covered with winter clothing.
Panchtarni to Sangam top
The next destination is Sangam at height of 13500 feet where routes via Pahalgam and Baltal unite to go towards the cave.
The route of Panctarni to Sangam is the most dangerous, toughest highest and deadliest . Many people die here due to accidents. We started here on a good note that we are going to have a darshan of Baba Amarnath today by shouting “Jay Bhole” all the way. Now the real horrifying way starts and a huge incident of my life is going to happen. Between this mountains and in the valley shown below , Helicopters from Baltal arrive and go towards Panchtarni .
Here again there was some imbalance in Aarya’s horse and due to which we had to wait and adjust. Sonali and my father in law moved forward.
Some Bad Omens seen while climbing towards Sangam Top
Now I was seeing and smelling something very fishy here . I noticed that Aarya’s horse Chhotu ( 18 year old) had a habit of walking on edge of the path towards valley rather than walking in the path towards the mountain. And the Aarya’s horseman was even walking beyond the edge . I don’t know how but he also was walking on the edge sometimes in the slanting surfaces of the mountain. I think it might have become habit of Chhotu of walking on the edge continuously working in these mountains for eighteen years. These horses after the yatra also are used by tourists in Pahalgam.Here the valley was extremely high and dangerous. Aarya was tightly tied to the horse so that she does not fall down. This tying with a cloth was done from Chandanwadi itself otherwise it is possible for kid to sit on the horse for that many hours. Also Sonali and my father in law had gone too forward that I couldn’t visualise them. But at that moment I was very terrified and scared , but again I didn’t want to disturb the concentration of the horseman and the horse as they may be experienced to deal with these sort of situations. So after being afraid also I was keeping quiet. We were climbing higher and higher at point where the helicopters were also flying below us . And this horse is still walking on the edge. I told him twice to keep his horse towards the mountain but all in vain.
Just Imagine the height
A point comes where even Helicopters look like ants and road just mere one to two feet wide and deep valley of around 1500 feet on one side. HORRIFYING! and still this horse is walking on the edge. If one falls from here in the valley not only bones but even body might break or say tear into pieces. My heart starts beating Dhak Dhak Dhak Dhak.
The most Dreadful and Horrifying seconds of my life
Now around only 5oo meters might be remaining to reach Sangam Top and road was deadly with deep Valley besides and path was only two feet thick. And I found some BSF and CRPF jawans coming from front. As soon as they saw my daughter Aarya they started to come near her from frontside to play and cuddle her. One of them came in front of the horse with a camera to click Aarya , the other one came to hold her and one started calling loudly ” अरे बेटा कहा जा रहे हो , बाबाजी के पास , वाह वाह “(where are you going , towards Lord, Very good ) .Seeing these many activities in front of him the Aarya’s horse Chhotu , suddenly went beserk and ran towards the jawans. My heart started beating to full extent. Oh what is this happening. In this his two hind legs slipped in the valley with Aarya on her. The horseman also went half inside the valley near the horse’s mouth and with full his might was pushing the horse towards mountain. One of Jawaans immediately caught Aarya , but Aarya was tied up to the horse tightly and so he couldn’t remove her from the saddle. Third soldier caught his tail to stop him falling down. All of them failed . The horse tries to come out of the valley still trying with his hind legs to come out in front with Aarya on her.In this helter skelter situation somewhere his two rear legs were slipping in the valley. I was seeing this whole incident of my daughter just about to go inside this deep valley and I couldn’t do anything. Can anyone try to feel what I might be going through. I was one of the most incompetent person in the whole world at that very moment. The Jawans were now not in contact with Aarya. But the horseman was still holding the horse near his mouth in the valley’s side pushing hard towards up and not leaving. More than half of his body was in valley, with his legs continuously moving to climb up and his hands pushing the horse away from the valley towards the mountain path. I was totally cold and freezed seeing the sight. One or two inches here and there, both Aarya and horse are in the dangerous deep valley. All this continued for some seconds. Finally the horse became little patient came out of the valley with all his might and immediately one of Jawans once again caught hold of Aarya and removed somehow from the saddle.The horseman came out of the valley. I was shocked completely frozen, horrified, dismayed, intimidated and paralyzed with fear. My fear and tremors had no limits. After the incident I couldn’t speak for a while . I was completely in a breakdown condition and collapsed mentally. Somehow I just got down from my horse and went towards Aarya to see her. She was fine and smiling as if this was ride of an amusement park. I tightly hugged her with tears starting to roll down my eyes. This was the most emotional moment of my life. My emotional feelings were not even half of this moment when she was born.
Aftermaths of the incident
Now I was just going to blast on that horseman telling him that his horse is not meant for walking in this conditions and is not stable. But on the same time I saw Sonali in front and just told me to keep quiet . She had also seen the incident. She becomes more agitated and disturbed when something happens to Aarya , but here she remained calm from outside but definitely not from inside. We were at a height of around 13500 feet with 1500 feet deep valley on one side . Still 3.5 kms were pending to reach our destination.Understanding this and using presence of mind she didn’t utter a word to him. Otherwise that horseman was gone. The main mistake which he did was to bring that 18 year old horse here which was not fully fit.I think seeing Aarya he must have thought its ok to bring that horse whereas my horseman Yakoob told that there were still two strong horses left in the group.
Now we didn’t speak anything but the Jawaans blasted on that horseman.
They scolded him fierce fully with lot of abusive words ” क्या बे, किस घोड़े को लेके आया . यह घोडा यात्रा करने के लायक नहीं है. ” ( What is this? Which horse did you bring here? This one is not fit for this journey)
He replied, ” आप लोग सामने से आये और इसकी पूछ पकड़ी इसलिए यह भागा.”( You all came from front and caught his tail, thats the reason he ran.)
Listening to this now Jawaans went berserk and went to hit him saying ” अबे हमें बोल रहा ,दूं क्या लगा के ,________ ,_________ ,_______,खाली पैसे देखो बस बाकी कुछ नहीं. हाँ . अब तू आ तेरी तो मैं बजाता हूँ. तू मिल पहलगाम में मैं आने वाला हूँ उधर . अभी इनकी यात्रा चल रही ना. मैं कुछ करूँगा नहीं , बादमें देखता हूँ. ________, _________,. ( all the words in the spaces are abusive words) ( You are blaming us. Shall I give you a punch.You all just look out for money and nothing else. Now You come i will see you. You meet me in Pahalgam, Now their journey is going on , I will not do anything , will just see later)
Then he told us “यह अगर आप लोग को परेशान करे ना तो किसी भी BSF या CRPF वाले को बोल देना.और डरो हम है ना आपको कुछ नहीं होगा. हमारा काम ही यही है. मैं आपके साथ आता हूँ गुफा तक फिर पञ्चतरनी तक भी आऊँगा.” ( This guy if perturbs you then tell any of the officers from BSF or CRPF. And don’t get afraid. We are here. Our work is to save you. I will come till the cave along with you and then return to Panchtarni.)
Again started abusing them.
I was not keen on making Aarya to sit on that old horse but the Jawans insisted that nothing would happen since they are coming with us. Now also that horse Chhotu was walking on the edges. Jawaans pointed out to that horseman and said that they would see to it that this was his last yatra.
But still my condition was in petrified state. I was not thinking of anything else but that incident , feeling of getting near the cave was also not bothering me which I was planning for past 3 months. I was still crying on my horse badal with full tears rolling. TOTALLY CRUSHED.
LORD WAS THERE, EVERYWHERE AND HE SAVED MY DAUGHTER , RATHER THAN MINE HIS DAUGHTER, AARYA. Thats it. I hope you got all the answers of my questions in my previous post. LORD TAKES CARE OF US EVEN WHEN WE ARE NOT LOOKING AT OURSELVES.
Anyways we were in the middle of Mighty journey to Almighty. So obviously we had to proceed.Within few minutes and some 100 meters we reached a place called Sangam or Sangam Top.
SANGAM TOP ( 13500 feet)
Sangam or Sangam top is a place where the routes via Pahalgam and Baltal meet. Apart from it in the valley there is confluence of two rivers one coming from Baltal and other one coming from the direction of Amarnath Cave. Sangam is much more happening place in Baltal route than Pahalgam. In Sangam again you get lot of langars , camps and people selling masks, oxygen cylinders etc. From here the Amarnath Cave just 3 kms away.
After crossing Sangam for the first time in this yatra I saw a double seat on the horse. I thought why didn’t I do this before. But for this the horse should be extremely strong and trained. Similarly after this I saw a man with his child afterwards.
Final 3 kms
Now we were on the last 3.0 kms towards our destination and we were inside the valley where the secret cave was present. From left hand side people from Baltal shouting Har Har Mahdeo and Jay Bhole were seen like small creatures walking on the hill. But still their voice was loud enough to get heard. I lost some of my fear due to the incident and started concentrating on the cave. I was just trying to peep through the valley whether the cave was visible or not. Actually from Sangam itself 3 kms away, the cave is visible , but it was early morning at around 7.30 AM and the rays of the sun were hitting on the valley and due to the reflection , nothing was visible. But the mystery in my mind was still there where was the cave ?
Actually in the picture below , I could see the cave through the distance from here , but due to heavy sunlight plus fog the camera is not able to capture it.
Thanks for reading and go through . Final destination of my Amarnath Yatra is the great Amarnath Cave and Ice Shivalinga which deserves one full and new chapter. So be prepared to have darshan of THE GREAT SECRET CAVE OF AMARNATH AND ICE SHIVALINGAM of 2012 in the next post coming on 18th SEPTEMBER 2012, TUESDAY at 4.00 AM.
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