The mission was to trek to the glacier called Gaumukh, a tract of 8km by 24km ice-body, the origin of the holiest of holy rivers Ganges or Ganga, highly revered by Hindu believers over millennia. The final destination of the trek had to be Tapovan, a wide-open meadow at the base of the picturesque Shivaling Peak could only be reached if snaking through the boulders and chunk of icebergs that remained on the surface of the glacier followed by a steep thousand feet climb. At the source, the Ganges named after ancient King Bhagirath, read Gangotri Tales to know the Hindu Mythology involved, as River Bhagirathi and confluences with River Alaknanda at Devprayag to become River Ganga that flows from north of India towards east covering a distance of 2480km to the Bay of Bengal.
No, you are not at all welcome. Except for the Malana Village- others miles away from each other- the villages equal to each other represents nothing. Whereas, unlike other villagers, Malana folks do not encourage tourism, forget cordial greetings. Now, its human nature that whenever you are restricted to do something one is more prone to do exactly the same for a latent pleasure. Same happens with Malana too. As there lies no existence of hot-spring, nor even any riverfront, alleys are mean if not filthy that deters all but unwanted guests, Malana was never huge or reputed as a tourist spot on the state map, rather a small unknown society that comprises of few huts and few fine houses that are well, two or three storied without painted walls, temples invalid especially for outsiders. Moreover, one’s future completely depends on the well capable hands of the villagers if he/ she feels abased in the bazaar by inviting ados. The indigenous people of Malana are sensible, their concept of civilization barely matches ours, on a gladsome note they are subjected to different regulations conducted by their bicameral parliamentary body completely segregated from Indian constitution. Now when someone with queer feeling deep inside treks crossing the green semi-oval ‘Way to Malana village’ written iron gate that leads the ascending trail or treks downhill from Chanderkhani or Deotibba passes to Malana, keeps in mind that although its nothing hideous, it shares nothing with other hamlets except the overarching sky.
Want to know where would you find world’s best network with the strongest connectivity ever? Yes! as you are reading this article your guess is absolutely right, it’s in the mountains 🙂 In this head-down era, there is place where people are most concerned about the network signals inside their hearts, of which we are seldom bothered in our busy lives. So, I’m going to take you to a place where people still stand outside the BSNL STD booth maintaining a queue to make a call, as they have mobile phones but no signals; where festival of flowers is celebrated; where they worship the villian Duryodhana of great Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’. AND those people have mastered the art of appreciating the beauty of life very nicely!.
Ever got stuck while pitching a tent ?, Well, I was lucky to have the ‘opportunity’ in Har-ki-Dun trek while passing by Osla Village, the last known human settlement on the way of the trek, in Mori Teshil of Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand.
The small hill station Gangotri comprises the holy Temple Gangotri, the highest temple of Goddess Ganga, is one of the ‘Chhota Char Dham’/ ( four adores) highly revered by Hindu pilgrims, is set in the middle of rugged Himalayas of Garhwal region in Uttarakhand, India. The circuit of Chhota Char Dham is completed by other three pious destinations located in the vicinity, namely Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath which is again among the four Vaishnavite Pilgrimage popularly known as original ‘Char Dham’ ascertained by Adi Shankaracharya. Badrinath being a sacred abode, in the northern region, rest three pilgrimage destinations i.e. Puri, Dwarka and Rameswaram are in east, west and south of the subcontinent respectively. It is believed among Hindus that they should visit these sacred places at least once in the lifetime as inviolable places as these hold the power that sanctifies one by cleaning all sins hitherto performed after birth.
Parvati Valley enthralls visitors for their various objectives over and over again. A large section of visitors are adventure enthusiasts, trekkers and photographers; next hold allure for world famous Marijuana, popularly known as Malana Cream, and psytrance-music for the vicinity known as Rave Party Capital of North India; and pilgrims, few of them also visit for their spiritual interest and upliftment as it retains perfectly the serenity and astonishing natural glamour. Now, its interesting that no matter how diverse their motive principle remains all of them possesses an inclination towards the gripping Hindu Mythology that bestow the landscape and gossips about those with interpretations of their own that many a times lack authenticity. But hey, its not history as if incidents involving real characters of blood and flesh took place, so distortion is fine; but yes, Mythology that involves supernatural being, and one could freely come up with new point of view and analysis, even if its history for that matter.
Therefore, lets dig as deep as possible. Continue reading “Mythology Airing across Parvati Valley”
Prelude: Before Dawn
It was dark, drizzling, cold and bleak at that hour, early in the morning when we found ourselves disembarked, by the wayside of Bhuntar accompanied by few other co-passengers who also boarded the bus from Delhi and had volition to reach Kasol, facing the dilemma that whether to reserve a taxi (only one in sight) or to tarry 2 hours in the hope of a State Transport bus that supposed to head to our destination. It took us not more than 2 minutes to take the taxi into consideration as we negotiated the fare with 0% discount to 1000 INR, being compelled to outset the journey. We crossed the bridge over the wide rocky riverbed of the conflux of River Parvati and Beas, unfortunately couldn’t figured anything out at that moment because of insufficient light as the phrase rightly states- ‘Darkest hour is just before the dawn.’; the taxi consort with rumbling River Parvati ascended almost the whole way, simultaneously we either hitched for chuckholes of poor conditioned road or tingled by sudden sharp treacherous turns the driver had to make very frequently.
The way the proverbs state : “The journey of a thousand miles begin with one step” , here lies the first step and “Miles to go before I sleep”, so lets not stop here, lets go. Explore.