Amarnath Yatra :: Pishutop, Zajipal & Nagakoti

By

These Bhandars provide tea, snacks, breakfast and hot vegetarian foods to the pilgrims, free. They camp all major places on the way to the Holy Cave to serve hot foods to the pilgrims. A holly attempt, I must say, may be the path, to their belief, to receive grace and blessings of Lord Shiva. The holy songs of Lord Shiva in the tunes of most modern bollywood songs were playing in these Bhandaras and were lifting up the spirits of pilgrims.

Pilgrims, who climbed up on foot the first steep mountain ‘Pishu Top’, were standing exhausted there. But they had an aura of achievement too, the aura of victory over the first hurdle, ‘Pishu Top’ and for some of them it was no less than the climbing and conquering of Mount Everest. They were proud pilgrims, posing for snaps before and on the stone painted with welcoming message “Swagatam Pishutop”. They deserved that too, but for us who came here on horseback, it was not a party time yet!

We set off again and it was now an easy road along the East Liddar River. Soon we left behind the beautiful Pishutop, I looked back, may be for a last sight in my life. I was enjoying every bit of this route and realized beginning of the most beautiful journey of my life.

Read More

Pahalgam, in Kashmir

By

Collect your entry tickets and then wander around the meadow or sit for a while, take tea, snacks or cold drink from the stalls here and enjoy misty clouds and a cool breeze. Baisaran is a lush green meadow with undulating hills and dotted with tall pine and deodar trees all around. It presents a picturesque view of the snow clad mountain on the backdrops.
You slowly start relating all bollywood songs, especially 1960’s, 70’s and even of early 80’s, which were shot here with both male and female protagonist running towards each other from opposite side, ended in holding each other’s hands and singing some great songs.

Special guests are here too who will fill your photographic hobby and the very little cute rabbit will come at Rs.10/- for as many snaps as you can take within a limited time. Horses are at free of cost for photo shoot.

Read More

Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley-Nameri & Tezpur

By

I have seen elephants so many times, fed them bananas, saw Mahout riding them and heard their trumpeting, but that sound was not like trumpeting. It was more like roaring of tigers or lions that I heard in zoo. So I was not at all convinced with the judgement of Jainul Abedin. I thought it’s better to keep my eyes open and brain in action for own safety, especially because we were accompanying by a forest guard with a very little on field experience. But he was at the helm and we needed to follow him. A single man with a 3not3 rifle, GOD knows, if loaded or not, the ratio was 5 of us to him. He suggested Kamal and Prakash to move ahead of him and me, Chandra & KKD to follow. We were moving cautiously and quietly. It was a serious situation, no animal was visible yet, only the heart shaking rumbling sounds. We all were trying to escape somehow and were following each other’s steps. Jainul was looking confident to handle the situation, he pointed towards the bush to spot some wild elephants hiding there. I immediately made up my mind of running zig zag in case of an attack. They were growling loudly and we all were maintaining absolute silence yet moving forward. . How could I not click a snap of them? I looked through the lens, not sure of how much could I zoom in. But before I could click Jainul pulled me and virtually taken away from there. He cautioned, “Are you carzy? Elephants will not spare, if caught.” He forced me to go fast to catch my friends who were far ahead by now. I did in the end catch up with them and we did escape safely. It was perhaps Jainul’s quality training that enabled him to be alert on time, identify the noise correctly and handle the situation brilliantly.

Read More

Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley – Nameri National Park

By

“Moromi”, in Assamese means “a loved one”. She was looking at me with her pretty eyes. I could not move further. I felt like I was caught by her looks. First time ever, I felt for a deer like that. It was a love at first sight, if that exist at all. I came close to her, spread my hands for a hug and it was gracefully accepted by her.

Read More

Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley- Learning Bihu

By

People gathered here in huge number and many had already occupied the chairs kept under sheds circling the field. Others, like us, who reached here late, were trying hard to get a convenient place to watch the jubilant youthful passionate Bihu dance. I found my place in the middle of crowds. But some tall youths, who were blessed by the GOD with such a sterling heights, suddenly came and stood in front of me. They were standing like a monument and my visibility to the field came to an end.

Read More

A Yatra to Takstang Monastery

By

Here winds are blowing strongly, carrying everybody’s prayer with it and bringing blessing for all- truly a heavenly experience. We enter into the monastery. There are small temples inside, each of them with images of Buddhist deities. The smell of incense fills the air, a divine atmosphere altogether. We are now near the Tiger’s Nest, a small board indicating that, the cave where the Guru Padmasambhava meditated. We peep into the cave one by one and feel great to witness such a sacred monastery.

On our way back down we stop in the cafeteria for our meal. But they charge Rs.460/- per head for buffet lunch, of course a vegetarian meal, so we remain happy with a bottle of cold drink at Rs.60/-. It takes less than an hour to get down. We thank God for blessing us with the opportunity to witness such a sacred place, to view such an architectural wonder and to accomplish the YATRA once in this life.

We are driving to Chelela Pass, the highest motorable roads in Bhutan which locates between the Haa and Paro valley. We are passing continuously through oak trees, at times glimpsing wild fowls with long tail feathers and free roaming yaks, then through snow capped roads climb slowly to the Chelela pass. A milestone placed along the road indicates the highest point on Dantak Road at an altitude of 3988 meter above the sea level. We see a perfect white Himalayan Mountains view from here.

Read More

In the Kingdom of Bhutan :: Journey to Dochula Pass and Paro Valley

By

Reshmi, the hotel girl, knocks at my door and I turn towards her. She briefs me about the facilities in the hotel and I express to have understood the same. She returns back and I take a nice hot bath, change my dress and after a few minutes enter into the dining hall where Prakash is suggesting to visit Paro Dzong on this afternoon. Everyone is consenting to him and I raise my hand too.

Read More

Entering into the kingdom of Bhutan :: The Land of Thunder Dragon

By

It comes as an unpleasant surprise which is now doubled by a piece of information that from tomorrow there is a three days Public Holiday for the festival Losar. We all stand speechless as we are not feeling at our best. Our driver is promising to give a try tomorrow morning at RST office. But no words of him are taking away the pain we are now feeling because we understand the implications of not having permit for our vehicle.

Read More