Friday, December 16, 2005

Jai Mata Di
As my days past in delhi, my lust for trips and treks kept on increasing around this fascinating land surrounded by lots of mountains all around including the great Himalayas. This time around I got the opportunity to visit “Vaishnav Devi” shrine one of the most fabulous place for the energy it is surrounded with. According to our Hindu mythology this place is one of the most sacred place with thousands of pilgrims visiting the shrine every day.
This trip was eventually planned by my friend shilpi, well I always wanted to visit the shrine during my course in delhi and this time I got the opportunity and company to do so. This time our team was pretty small as it was more of emotional attachment towards the god that dragged the people rather than a normal fun loving adventure trips. Our team consisted of 6 people Pratap, Shilpi ( bacchi ), Prabod, Neha, Sheetal (Thayi……- Kya hai ?) and finally me Poorna ( Baba Bhairav )…

We started our trip on 2/12/2005 from the Samsung office itself after having our lunch around 2.30. we got a cab to the railway station. One good thing was we had all the tickets for both to and fro of the journey booked well in advance thanks to shilpi for taking this responsibility.
We had our train at around 4.05pm and we all started preparing for the hectic journey ahead of us. Pratap was last moment entry to the team as sandeep droped at the last point. It was fun having this person around… responsible, sensible and mature enough to handle the situation.

Once in the train it was me again who was caught between 2 elderly people who started telling some mythological stories, I think they were talking in Punjabi and most part of the conversation I was unable to understand since I hardly knew Punjabi but still I kept my head rolling for the all the stuffs they said. All the other members were enjoying the fun looking at me. Well I just capitalized the opportunity to put shilpi in my place and escape from their clutches. We had good time with them through out the journey that is till jammu. It was getting colder and colder as we approached jammu and no one could sleep in the train. We reached jammu around 9 am on 3/12/2005. We had tea in the railway station and started to Katra immediately.
The journey from jammu to katra was good enough as we got the last row of the bus so that we could play dumb shards and spend our time. On the way to katra we had some good hot pakodas and tea.
Once in katra we got the tickets for the darshan and then we left to the rest rooms. Over here in katra we have lots of dharm shalas which are very economical. All of us refreshed and recharged ourselves and then we left for the day’s breakfast.. we had a good restaurant where in we had some good poori, roti and lassi.

Now it was time to start our walk towards the holy shrine. I have walked enough distance in different places but still this time around it looked a different challenge all together, we could see the rough mountains through which we need to pass through to go on top of the mountain. I would really appreciate the efforts of Pratap over here that he decided to cover his journey on bear foot, it really requires nerves to do so in that chilled weather. Well even me and Prabod decided to carry the luggage on our shoulders. Before the start of the journey there was enough rounds of security checks since this state is one of the worst terrorist hit states in India. Once we were through the security checks we started walking briskly towards the shrine chanting “jai mata di”. With in few kms sheetal and neha drained up and started slowing down the pace. Myself , pratap, prabod and shlipi kept on moving ahead as we did not feel much of the strain during the journey.

Nothing much to say about this journey on legs but yes it was amazing to see that there is no real means of current generation transport, that means whom so ever wants to see this shrine has to give some pain to their legs. Once the sun went behind the mountains the wind started getting colder and temperature started to drop down at a faster rate.

It was a hard journey as I felt we are totally exempted from this type of life since we are induced into the city life. My legs started getting harder and harder and were resisting to walk and this was the case with every one. At around 9pm we were on top on the mountain at last. Over here I got the shock to hear from pratap that once we are finished with dinner we will visit the shrine and then start moving towards Bhairav nath temple. However that did not happen as sheetal planned something different for the team..

The temperature was very low and wind was very chilled it was so cold that even after wearing warm clothes I was unable to stand since I was shivering. Over here I decided to have bath of cold water, which is considered to be sacred before visiting the shrine. My self and pratap first left to take bath. As expected it was very very cold in fact when I first touched the water I felt like it’s just the liquid form of ice. Once done with bath I could hardly feel the coldness in the atmosphere as my body temperature increased a lot, but still my legs started paining very badly because of the cold and I felt like I am getting blade cuts on my legs. I could hardly walk because of the pain. Once we reached back more people left for the same looking at us and taking inspiration from us hahaa… well out of which only 2 them could make it shilpi and prabod, neha could not make it up even though she went till the place. But the best stuff was from sheetal who decided not to even change her sitting position.

At around 11.30 we went to sacred cave of “Mata”, well I was very lucky that this time around there was no big rush and I later came to know that it takes hours to have the darshan. Over here also the security is very high even inside the temple, I had a pleasant time inside the divine place, well I think it was the same with everyone. After this we went to the shiv temple below, which is also inside a cave, and it was nice to pass through the narrow cave. Here there was small stream of water where in people had put lots of coin and I was told that put in your hands and which so ever coin you get would be lucky. Well I don’t know the truth of this but I tried to get the coin but in the mean time all my warm clothes became wet and I had hard time wearing it in the cold weather.

Once done with the darshan, sheetal was badly tired and she had sever chest pain, over here I thought that it’s the end for sheetal hahahaha….. later I came to know that even she thought like that hahahha… well she just had some gastric problem and she was fine after some yogic treatment from Dr. Shilpi. We decided to rest in the same place till morning so that sheetal could recover and get some rest for rest of the people also. We could hardly find any place to sleep but one good thing was we were getting enough blankets from the counter to hide from the wind but I felt like what so ever you wear you just cannot face the situation at times until you decide to do so.

Well it was very cold and no one could sleep initially in fact few of them till the end. Well all 3 of us pramod, prathap and myself started laughing once we heard few girls who were sleeping few meters away from us started crying anyone give us some heat… hahaha…

Well as usual I was very tired and went to sleep after few minutes of bearing the cold, I should say I was very lucky in this matter for getting sleep in that weather. We got up around 6.15 and it was nice to see sheetal was fine and was ready to continue with the journey, so we decided to freshen up and start with the journey toward “bhairav nath” temple. At around 9 am we were on top of the mountain and we could see lots of langur and monkeys.

We started our journey back to katra, on the way one funny incident was as we were posing for a photo a monkey slowly came towards sheetal and took her hand in it arms hahaha…… both of them had some telepathic conversation … I can say talk of mind… it continued until sheetal decided that she would stick with her current boy friend only… hahhaa… might be listening to this the monkey got angry and snatched the prasad from her hands and went. Later 2 more bags were snatched from neha also.

I decided to take the root of the steps as I felt it would be more painful to get through steps and to my expectations it was very painful as I started getting cramps in my legs and it was very hard for me walking with the luggage, as I was feeling like some one was pushing you from back.

I reached the place from where we started at around 2pm. After around 40 mins I could see shilpi and prabod. After around 1 hour that is at around 3pm neha, pratap and sheetal made it at last. Pratap was struggling to walk hats of to him for taking up such painful journey on barefoot.

We were at the rest room at around 4pm. We had some rest till around 5 and then the girls left for some shopping. After some food we started our journey back to jammu through a cab since it was getting late at around 6pm. We were in the jammu railway station at around 8pm and left back to delhi at around 8.30pm. We were talking about all the stuffs, gossiping till around 12 and then we decided to sleep after which I only heard that we are near delhi hahhaa….

All in all it was a wonderful trip, which took off all the fluids in your body along with lots of fun all the way.

This was the end of one more meaningful trip of my life.

No comments: