Hills

Amarnath Yatra :: Panchtarni to Holy Cave

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The test of faith on Lord Shiva continued all the way to Shrine. To reach there, it’s another kilometre through slippery snowy path by the side of river Amaravati, and when we reached below the cave, we saw long stairs to climb and a longer queue to follow. The cave is located at an elevation of 13,500 feet above the sea level and its opening is a large semi-circular hollow into a cliff.
It was about 60-70 stairs before the cave we saw the base hospital and a young man of 33-34 years. He could not make it to the cave and took his last breath there. I looked up inside the cave and the belief became firm again. To reach at Shiva’s feet, one must have his blessings; one must have got his calling.

I entered inside the cave with my two friends. The floor of the cave was extremely cold and wet. In deepest right corner of the cave, I saw Lord Shiva, in his unique shape of ice-lingam about 11-12 feet tall. I bent at his feet (the ice base) and offered Billa leaves. I stood quiet there for some time with folded hand but I forgot to seek anything from ‘Mahadeva’ and came out happily from the cave with a sense of fulfillment.

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पवित्र गुफा से बालटाल वापसी (Part 5)

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अमर नाथ यात्रा पर जाने के दो रास्ते हैं। एक पहलगाम होकर और दूसरा सोनमर्ग बालटाल से। । पहलगाम से जाने वाले रास्ते को सरल और सुविधाजनक समझा जाता है लेकिन रास्ता लम्बा है और कुल दुरी 32 किलोमीटर है । बालटाल वाले रास्ते से अमरनाथ गुफा की दूरी केवल 14 किलोमीटर है लेकिन यह बहुत ही दुर्गम रास्ता है और सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से भी संदिग्ध है।

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Around London – Weymouth, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

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It’s been few months in UK (London) and was not sure what all things I can cover nearby outside London and I was constantly thinking about it. Few weeks back one after noon I along with my colleague somehow zeroed in on Weymouth which have few other places called Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove around it… I started exploring what all things we can cover in our three days trip and my colleague started exploring the options how to reach there … till evening we were all set to go on the Friday evening…

We boarded the train on Friday evening and were supposed to reach our Holiday Park in Weymouth by midnight and which we did after few delays….

Saturday Morning 1 st Day – exploring Weymouth — The view was awesome as the beach and the grasslands were visible from our Caravan and we were aware that it would be a long day walk ahead.  We spend couple of hours in our resort and headed towards the beach for which we came to Weymouth.  The sun was bright and penetrating and it took around 20 minutes to reach the sea shore. The moment we put our toes in the cold water all of us got refreshed… As it was a pebble beach there was no sticky feeling of sand and it was convenient going to and fro into the water …if you know what I meanJ. We spend few hours over there and then decided to walk along the shore which looks to be 3-4 miles

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हिमाचल डायरी : दो पल के जीवन से… (Sirmour सिरमौर – भाग 1)

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कांगो जोहड़ी में ही मुख्य सड़क से लगभग चार किमी नीचे की उतराई पर कैंप रोंक्स हमारी मंजिल है | हमे रास्ता दिखाने रिसोर्ट की तरफ से अपनी इनोवा गाड़ी लेकर सौरभ ( इस कैम्प के मालिक का बेटा} आया है और अब हमे इस कच्ची और पथरीली सडक पर बिना किसी सुरक्षा व वाले रास्ते पर जाना है | इस सडक पर गाड़ी बढ़ाते ही लैंसडाउन के हिल व्यू शांति राज रिसोर्ट की याद ताजा हो आई | बिलकुल वैसी ही सड़क मगर रास्ता उससे भी एक किमी और ज्यादा लम्बा, ऊपर से बारिश और गाड़ियों की लगातार आवाजाही के कारण बीच बीच में पानी के पोखर से बन गए हैं जिनमे से गुजरते डर लगता है कहीं आप की गाड़ी का पहिया न फँस जाये, मगर इसके सिवा कोई और चारा भी तो नही | नास्तिक पता नही कैसे इन लम्हों से पार पाते होंगे, मगर हम तो राम राम और वाहेगुरु वाहेगुरु करते और फिर से एक बार ये सोचते हुये कि  इस बार तो यहाँ आ गए अगली बार किसी ऐसी जगह नही आना, पिछले कुछ सालों से इसी तरह से अपने डर पर काबू पाते आ रहें है | रिसोर्ट की इनोवा आगे आगे चल रही है और पीछे पीछे हम मगर अभी तक तो रिसोर्ट का नामो निशाँ ही नही | मगर फिर दूर नीचे घाटी में पानी की कुछ टँकियां नजर आती है तो मन में आशा की एक नई लहर का संचार होता है जब इतना पहुँच गए तो वहाँ भी पहुँच ही जायेंगे और फिर हमसे आगे तो इनोवा है | हालांकि प्रकृति वही है और प्रकृति के नजारे भी, मगर अब जल्दी पहुँचने की हसरत में इसे भोगने का कोई इरादा नही, अन्यथा आप कहीं भी अपनी गाड़ी रोक कर यहाँ घंटो गुजार सकते हैं | परन्तु चाहत अब यही है कि बस अब ये रास्ता किसी तरह जल्दी से कट जाये |

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Beautiful Manali in Monsoon

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This is the season for apple; we could see apple trees with a lot of apples everywhere in Manali. Rohit always was crying for fresh apple in all the way like Amit was crying for Kahwa in Kasmir trip. So Sanjay went into apple garden and came with four fresh apples from tree.

In early morning of 18 Aug 2014, we checked-out from the hotel and moved towards Naggar Castle. This place is good for photography. So after some photo sessions, we left for our last destination Manikarn Shahib. Manikar Shahib is a very nice place and famous for hot spring water. We had bath in hot water kund and then visited Gurudwara, Hot Cave and Shiv temple. We had lunch in Gurudwara Bhandara. Anyone can enjoy camping in Kasol, just one kilometre before Manikaran.

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Baratang: A Tribal Treat

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Long back, a group of tourists shot a video of the Jarawas and uploaded the same on the web. According to the United States, this act was not justified and it was classified as hindrance to the tribal life of the Jarawas. The issue was raised out loud and was finally brought up to the Indian Government. After all sought of discussions and panel meetings, the government decided to offer protection to the community. The jungle was then handed over to the police and CCTV cameras were also installed amidst the wild. A convoy system was setup wherein a convoy of vehicles at specific time will be accompanied by the Police officials to cross the jungle from Jirkatang to Baratang and vice versa. The government also banned the use of mobiles and cameras in between the journey. The first convoy had to depart at 0600 hours and we were to go in the same.

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Amarnath Yatra :: Ganesh Top to Panchtarni

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We saw pilgrims tired and exhausted, moving slowly resting after every step or two and painfully looking at the steep ascent of Ganesh Top, thinking might be about the steps left, some were searching the shortest route and other going slow but steady. The pain was much less for us except sore back due to long horse riding. Suddenly, we saw a U shape mountain just before the Ganesh Top, standing tall and high, looking at the pilgrims as if it was a gate to heaven. Slowly we climbed up to the highest point of Amarnath Yatra route, the Mahagunus Top or the Ganesh Top at an altitude of 14500 ft above the sea level. The Army had a post there too and was at the services of pilgrims.

It is believed that Lord Shiva asked his son Ganesha to stay at this mountain peak and moved further with Goddess Parvati to the cave. Lord Ganesha might saw them off from here. He might have seen them descending to the valley of Panchtarni.

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Visiting Kaluk in West Sikkim

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If you are an aficionado of history, then Rabdentse is a place not to be missed if you are on a trip to West Sikkim. Located on a ridge near Upper Pelling, Rabdentse was the ancient capital of the kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814. It was destroyed by the Gurkha invasion and now only the ruins of the palace remain. The remains of the palace have been declared as of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India. The ruins offer panoramic views of Mt. Kanchendzonga.

Vikram dropped us at the point from where we were to trek about 1.5 km through forest to reach the ruins. A huge decorated gate leads to the trekking path. We started our journey through a stone-cobbled path through the forest. The path was narrow and dark. The forest was deep. There was not a person to be seen anywhere. It was super-thrilling!!

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Amarnath Yatra :: Sheshnag & Wahbal (Babbal) Top

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For the first time at Sheshnag we felt shortage of oxygen, we were breathing short while climbing the nearby areas, that’s due to rapid climbing of altitude, more than 2000 feet in less than 5 hours, that’s for sure was against the general norms of mountaineering which suggest climbing of not more than 1500 feet a day. We knew that, and therefore were on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) preventive drugs “Diamox 250mg” (not to be taken without consultations of physician) from the previous day. We took the second dosage immediately here, because higher the altitude, greater the risk and ahead of us was the Wahbal Top and then Ganesh Top at an altitude of 13500ft and 14500ft respectively. Not to get dehydrate we took plenty of water and ORS. I am writing this not to make anyone scare, but to let all know that there is a little scope for heroic action in climbing high altitudes.

True that, every single life is precious and it is the responsibility of the Government as well as the authorities organising the pilgrimage to care for that, but we must also know how precious the life is to ourselves and to our families who pray every day back at home for our safe return. So it is essential that one have the knowledge of AMS, first aid medicines and their uses before undertaking the pilgrimage or otherwise they should go slow, get acclimatized, not over stress the body and report immediately to the nearest medical camps on the route in case of physical discomforts.

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पवित्र गुफा और हिमलिंग दर्शन (Part 4)

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गुफा से बाहर निकलते ही मोह माया फिर से आपको जकड़ लेती है। मैं भी जैसे ही गुफा से बाहर आया तो मुझे भी अपने साथियों की याद आई. जाने वो कहाँ रह गए? यह सोचता हुआ और भोले नाथ से अगले वर्ष फिर बुलाने की प्रार्थना करता हुआ सीडियां उतरने लगा। जूताघर से से अपने जूते लिए । उस समय ठीक 2:30 बज रहे थे यानि की मैं किसी भी हिसाब से लेट नहीं था। नीचे उतर कर एक लंगर से बेसन का एक पुड़ा मीठी चटनी के साथ खाया और दूसरे से एक कटोरी खीर। तीसरे लंगर से गरम चाय पी और फिर से तरोताजा हो वापसी शुरू कर दी।

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