Religious

आज की शाम – मुकेश भालसे के नाम !

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सुबह शंख ध्वनि, घंटे – घड़ियाल की मंगल ध्वनि से आंख खुली तो देखा कि 7 बज रहे हैं। कविता घर में बने हुए अपने मंदिर से बाहर आ चुकी थीं और बच्चों को हिला-हिला कर जगा रही थीं कि घूमने चलना है अतः अलस त्यागो और फटाफट तैयार हो जाओ ! बच्चे पहले तो उठने के मूड में नहीं थे क्योंकि रविवार का छुट्टी का दिन था पर जब ध्यान दिलाया गया कि पिकनिक पर जाना है तो फटाफट बिस्तर में से निकल आये। शिवम्‌ को यह भी लालच दिया गया कि नीचे चल कर कार की सफाई में भी उसकी सहायता ली जायेगी। लड़कों को पता नहीं क्यों ऐसे अजीबो-गरीब कामों में बहुत मज़ा आता है। मेरे बेटे भी जब छोटे थे तो खेल – खिलौनों के बजाय प्लास, पेचकस, संडासी जैसे सामान में अधिक रुचि लेते थे।

मुकेश ने गैराज़ में से अपनी शेवरले स्पार्क निकाली और फिर शिवम्‌ के साथ एक बाल्टी पानी, कुछ अखबार और डस्टर आदि लेकर नीचे पहुंचे। मैं भी अपना कैमरा उठाने लगा तो बोले, अभी इसका क्या काम ! जाने में तो अभी दो घंटे हैं। मैने कहा कि पिकनिक तो उसी समय से शुरु हो जाती है जब हम यह निश्चय कर लेते हैं कि पिकनिक पर जाना है। उसके बाद में की जाने वाली सभी तैयारियां भी पिकनिक का अभिन्न हिस्सा हैं। कार की धुलाई – पुछाई – सुखाई सब इस अविस्मरणीय पिकनिक का अविभाज्य भाग है। इसलिये इन सब की फोटो भी जरूरी है! सब कुछ पिकनिक की भावना से करो तो हर काम में मज़ा आने लगता है। आधा घंटे तक MP 11 CC 0470 कार की मस्का पालिश की गई। फिर ऊपर आकर नहाये – धोये ! कविता तब तक धांसू वाली स्टफ्ड पूरियां और सब्ज़ी बना चुकी थीं जिनका हमने जी भर के भोग लगाया। बच्चों ने कार में सारा सामान बूट में रखा। भोले बाबा को बारंबार प्रणाम करके हम सब फ्लैट से नीचे उतर आये और मुकेश ने कार की चाबी मेरे हाथों में सौंप दी।

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Visit to BADRINATH and village MANA

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We were totally muddled what to do to see the long queue .We were doubtful that whether we would be able to visit the temple the same day but to our surprise unlike other temples our turn came within one hour as there one can afford to do hasty darshan because of too much of rush.The main entrance gate of the Badrnath is very colourful and known as “Singhdwar.”

Badrinath was originally established as a pilgrimage site by Adi Shankara in the ninth century. It is said that Shankara discovered the image of Badrinarayan in the Alaknanda River and enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund (Hot Spring). Later the King of Garhwal moved that image to the present temple. Since then the temple has undergone several major renovations by many people.

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माता वैष्णोदेवी यात्रा भाग – ७ ( जम्मू – JAMMU – २)

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रघुनाथ मंदिर जम्मू और कश्मीर राज्य के जम्मू शहर के मध्य में स्थित है। यह मंदिर जम्मू कि पहचान हैं.यह मन्दिर आकर्षक कलात्मकता का विशिष्ट उदाहरण है। रघुनाथ मंदिर भगवान राम को समर्पित है। यह मंदिर उत्तर भारत के सबसे प्रमुख एवं अनोखे मंदिरों में से एक है। इस मंदिर को सन् 1835 में इसे महाराज गुलाब सिंह ने बनवाना शुरू किया पर निर्माण की समाप्ति राजा रणजीत सिंह के काल में हुई। मंदिर के भीतर की दीवारों पर तीन तरफ से सोने की परत चढ़ी हुई है।

इसके अलावा मंदिर के चारों ओर कई मंदिर स्थित है जिनका सम्बन्ध रामायण काल के देवी-देवताओं से हैं। रघुनाथ मन्दिर में की गई नक़्क़ाशी को देख कर पर्यटक एक अद्भुत सम्मोहन में बंध कर मन्त्र-मुग्ध से हो जाते हैं।यह कहा जाता हैं कि मंदिर में तैंतीस करोड देवी देवताओं कि स्थापना हैं.  मंदिर का मैं केवल बाहर से ही चित्र दे पा रहा हूँ. अंदर के फोटो लेना वर्जित हैं.

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Scenic beauty on the way to Badrinath

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On the way back from Kedarnath we had our light breakfast and started our downwards journey. At slow pace we covered 3-4 kms but after sometime my elder daughter started complaining of leg pain , I advised her to use either pony or kandi for rest of the distance but she did not like the idea and continued her journey.

While coming back we tried shortcuts in between but it is advisable not to use if kids are with you.As sometimes short cuts are really very risky too. We experienced that downward journey is more painful than climbing up. Around 12 o’clock we reached Rambara (Midway) , we had our traditional lunch , rice & dal and relaxed ourselves for a while and again proceeded further for Gaurikund.

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हरिद्वार – अम्बाला – अमरनाथ यात्रा (भाग 8)

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इधर पिछ्ले कई सालों से मेरी पत्नी मेरे साथ अमरनाथ यात्रा पर जाने के लिये कह रही थी लेकिन बच्चे छोटे होने के कारण कभी जा नहीं पाई थी। बच्चे तो अभी भी छोटे ही थे और मेरी छोटी बिटिया उस समय सिर्फ़ चार साल की ही थी। मेरी पत्नी मुझे इस वर्ष अकेला जाते देख मेरे साथ चलने की जिद्द करने लगी, लेकिन मेरी पत्नी के मेरे साथ अमरनाथ यात्रा पर जाने में कुछ दिक्कतें थी। पहली, आज तक बच्चे कभी भी,कहीं भी मेरी पत्नी से अलग, अकेले नहीं रुके थे और दुसरी, हमारा उनके स्कूल खुलने से पहले लौटना भी जरुरी था। इसके अलावा एक दिक़्क़त मुझे थी्।

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Char Dham Yatra – Kedarnath to Badrinath

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It really gives you a feeling of heaven. We got into the line, but this time, the line was hardly moving, reason, all educated with lot of common sense people were keep on getting into the line. Anyhow, this happens in almost all holy places in India. Anyhow, we were able to complete the darshan by 11:30 am. We came back to hotel, had good breakfast/lunch. We started for the final lap around 12:30 pm. The plan was simple, I will drive as much as possible, and wherever I feel tired, we will stop. As per my calculation, Rishikesh was around 300 kms away, and since the roads were good, we should reach there by 10 pm (if I can maintain 30 km/hr speed). We also planned not to take any break (until required or until the sun goes down). On the way down, somewhere near Chamoli, on one turn, we were stopped by cops and they put a fine of Rs. 300/- for over speed. I was driving around 30-32 km/hr and the limit was 25 km/hr. He also advised me to go slow on ghats as you never know what comes on the next turn, and I jokingly asked that are there more cops waiting somewhere. But anyhow I followed his advice for next 15-20 kms, maintaining about 25 km/hr speed, watching others overtaking me and vanishing after some time. We crossed Rudraprayag by 5:30pm. Rudraprayag, you have a new bypass (I guess) which was a pain, with lot of traffic from both side and too many turns.

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Chennai Temples Part 2

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This temple is a very old temple of 8th century. It is famous for its Pallavan Architecture. According to legend, the temple is located on the spot where Brahma, one of the Hindu trinities, installed a Shiva lingam. It is said that the creator or the Hindu Trinity Brahma , originally had five heads, one of which Lord Shiva cut off to arrest his pride. Following which Lord Brahma installed a Shiva lingam to do penance and that is where the temple stands today. This Shiva lingam is known as Kapaleeshwar and is the main nucleus of the temple.

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Char Dham Yartra – Kedarnath from Gangotri

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The temple and surroundings were so beautiful that for a movement I thought to stay there for a day or two, but then, I changed my mind, as I remembered that I am from IT industry. We do have weekend offs but don’t know how many of us can take more than 5 days leave just to roam around. Anyway, we stick to our original plan, that we will ride down and I will try to drive as much as possible (and allowed). We started back at around 6:30 pm, it was already started getting dark, the panda told me that it will take around three hours to reach Gaurikund, but as it was getting dark, it might take 4 hrs. The pony ride was very comfortable, when we were climbing up, but now when we were coming down, the experience was totally different. The ponies were skidding frequently (you can see spark, when the horseshoe skids on the rocky track). To increase my fear, the panda informed me that I should sit carefully, and tilt my body backward, when the pony gets to a steep slope, because in past he has seen many fall down and got injuries. Though the track was pity empty as hardly people were coming up, but time by time bunches of running empty/free ponies crossed us, injecting more fear. Due to all this, I kept my legs very stiff, and after an hour journey, my back and thigh started giving pain. I asked the panda to stop the pony for 5-10 mins but he didn’t listen. He kept on saying that we will be very late if we stop in between. By the time we reached Rambara, I have completely given up and asked him to stop for some refreshment. We stopped, and there I found it was not only me but all others having the same problem. We were not tired, but the ride was taking its toll on us. My wife was almost about to faint. We had tea and some snacks. I asked the panda’s also to have something, as it will give us more time to take rest. Gaurikund was still 7 kms away.

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गोबिंद घाट – श्रीनगर -ऋषिकेश : (भाग 7)

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गुरुद्वारा काफ़ी विशाल है और हेमकुन्ड आने-जाने वाले यात्रियों के लिये एक महत्त्वपूर्ण विश्राम स्थल है। गुरुद्वारे में बहुत से हेमकुन्ड यात्री थे, कुछ लोग दर्शन को जा रहे थे और कुछ लोग दर्शन करने के बाद वापिस लौट रहे थे। हमने भी वहाँ लंगर छका (खाया) और फिर चाय पी। लगभग तीन बज चुके थे और हम ऋषिकेश की ओर निकल दिये। रास्ते में एक बार रुद्रप्रयाग में चाय के लिये गाड़ी रुक्वाई और फिर से यात्रा जारी रखी।

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घाघंरिया – हेमकुंड साहिब – गोबिंद घाट (भाग 6)

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हेमकुंड संस्कृत (“बर्फ़”) हेम और कुंड (“कटोरा”) से व्युत्पन्न नाम है । हेमकुंट साहिब गुरुद्वारा एक छोटे से स्टार के आकार का है तथा सिखों के अंतिम गुरू, गुरु गोबिंद सिंह जी, को समर्पित है। श्री हेमकुंट साहिब गुरूद्वारा के पास ही एक सरोवर है। इस पवित्र जगह को अमृतसरोवर (अमृत का तालाब) कहा जाता है। यह सरोवर लगभग 400 गज लंबा और 200 गज चौड़ा है। यह चारों तरफ़ से हिमालय की सात चोटियों से घिरा हुआ है। इन चोटियों का रंग वायुमंडलीय स्थितियों के अनुसार अपने आप बदल जाता है। कुछ समय वे बर्फ़ सी सफेद,कुछ समय सुनहरे रंग की, कभी लाल रंग की और कभी-कभी भूरे नीले रंग की दिखती हैं।

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Char Dham Yatra – Gangotri

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Water started to flow down the hill crossing road (damaging it) from multiple points. The turns were muddier and appeared slippery. All of a sudden a silenced atmosphere appeared in the car, everybody was quite including our music player. I could able to sense their tension but said nothing or not even reacted, just concentrated on road. By 6 pm, we started to look for a good place to spend night, as it was too much for the day. We stopped in small village, Dharali, some 18 km before Gangotri and so did the rain. There were around max 20-25 houses, all lodges, I guess and couple of restaurants. After taking 15-20 minutes rest, we came out for sightseeing, as the river Bhagirathi and mountains behind her were marvelous. After roaming for an hour we came back to the village and had our dinner. At the start of the trip only we have decided that we will have dinner no later than 8 pm and will sleep (try to) by 9 or 9:30 max. This will give us enough sleep before getting up again early next morning. I made it very clear that by any means we should be on road by 6 am, keeping IST in mind.

Stats:
From Haridwar to Dharali – 265 km; time taken – 12 hrs; breaks – 3 (15+30+60 mins)
Road condition – Excellent/ Good (occasionally bad patches 2-3 km each)
Tip:
1. There were two roads from Chamba for uttarkashi, I believe I took the long one, but in google maps the another one, which is also the NH seems around 20 km less.
2. Do not rely on mapmyindia GPS device in these parts, they are not properly updated. And the coordinates will always confuse the device as you will be rotating up/down the hills.

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