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Srikhand Mahadev Yatra - A trip to heaven and Back - Day 3 - Twists and Turns

Trees are wet with last night's rain and the water droplets sit on them like pearls.
Early morning scene on third day of Srikhand Mahadev Yatra -Trees are wet with last night's rain and the water droplets sit on them like pearls.

Srikhand Mahadev Yatra - A trip to heaven and Back - Day 3 - Twists and Turns  

             After the good night's sleep, we got up early. This was our third day of Srikhand Mahadev yatra. We wanted to start very early as we had also to cover for yesterday's lost time. There was a water tap Close to the Dhaba, but there was no water in it yesterday.  It was due to some pipe burst at the tank from where the water was supplied. Yesterday also we had to rely upon the scarce water supplied in a jug by the dhaba wala. The water was trickling through the tap. It was taking us a good amount of time to fill up our bottles to freshen up, but soon the supply was restored. so we quickly freshened up packed the bag. 

Srikhand Mahadev Yatra Day 3  - The Journey starts

    We paid the Dhabawala had a cup of tea and left. The sky was overcast and it seemed that the rain could start anytime. Today we had to cover a lot of distance as we had to cover the shortfall of yesterdays target also. So the trek from the jungle started. The overall effect was mesmerising. The mist and the greenery and the dew-drenched trees seemed from out of the world. 

Wet tracks, clouds all around and beautiful forest during Srikhand Mahadev Yatra
Wet tracks, clouds all around and beautiful forest during Srikhand Mahadev Yatra
                        It had rained last night so the path had also become slippery. We were walking cautiously. After some time it started to drizzle. we were carrying our Rain Ponchos, which we put on and kept walking. It was getting difficult to walk in rain. Everything was slippery, muddy, mushy, moist, but sinfully beautiful. The fragrance of wet bark of the Forest trees was bringing subtle beautiful blues to the heart.

                          After nearly two hours, we were at Thaachru. Thaacharu is one of the major stops on the way. It has a huge Bhandara run by Seva Samiti and a lot of private tents and dhabas. We just had some tea and rested for some time. There was also a first aid camp set up by the district administration.


Srikhand Mahadev Trek Day 3 - Medical checkup


                    This was the first high altitude trek for Jyotsna, so I was worried about her. I wanted to get her oxygen level checked. When we went to the First aid tent, the doctor had gone for Breakfast. We sat outside the tent waiting for them. After some time Doctor came and we both got our oxygen level checked. Oxygen levels were okay. This was a much relief for me. As by today evening, we will be out of AMS danger zone. As a thumb rule probability of AMS hitting someone is highest in first 24 hours. After 24 hours, the body gets acclaimaitsed to the thinner air and starts to behave in a better way.  Moreover today we will be sleeping at a lower height as Bhim Dwari was our destination for the day and was at a much lesser height.

               
Trekking through green forests in the morning mist a heavenly experience during Srikhand Mahadev yatra
Trekking through green forests in the morning mist a heavenly experience
                           
                       Anyways the doctor came and we both got our oxygen levels checked. They were fine. This was a bit of relief for me. We asked doctor for some Paracetamol tablets and he gave us one strip. We thanked him and were on our way to the next destination. After a small walk, the hustle bustle of Thaachru was replaced by the wilderness of the Forests.

                           The drizzle was continuing unabated. The drizzle forced me to keep the camera inside the bag so you will not be able to see many photos today. 

                 Anyways the tree line ends after some time's walk from Thaachru, because above this height the environmental conditions are so harsh that the trees do not grow. These areas remain covered in snow for a better part of the year. But, when the snow melts, the fresh green grass grows and along with it grow numerous varieties of wildflowers in all the imaginable colours and shape. One of the most famous such region in India is Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand. This region is more famous because it is exposed to a lot of devotees doing Char Dham Yatra and Hemkunt Sahib. The same can be found on the way to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Uttarakhand only before Gunji. The same thing we were witnessing here during Srikhand Mahadev Yatra. Again could not click pictures as it was raining and I was afraid of spoiling my camera.

Srikhand Mahadev Trek Day 3 - Dream almost shattered


                   We were moving toward the highest point in the trek  - Kali Ghati. As we were gaining height, one could feel the air getting thinner. The breaks for catching up breath were getting more frequent.  Jyotsna was not feeling well. I did not want to push her hard. At one point, she gave up and we said she won't be able to go any further. so we found a Dhaba and entered.

                     It was decided that we will stay in this Dhaba for the rest of the day and and start the journey back tomorrow. We talked to the Dhaba owner about the plan and he was more than happy to get a customer so early in the day. We sat there in the Dhaba warming ourselves. I had tea while Jyotsna had a soft drink. Once again I was missing the medicine kit. I had Diamox in it and could have given it to Jyotsna.  There were two boys sitting in the same tent. They were having camphor, which is a great reliever at such heights. They gave one packet each to me and Jyotsna.  I was feeling my dream of completing Srikhand Mahadev Yatra shattering.

                      It had been close to one hour. We had dried our selves and warmed enough. The rest and camphor did wonders on Jyotsna. She was feeling better and said let's move ahead. I asked her again if she was feeling fit enough to carry on the Journey, to which she said let's move in case she doesn't feel well we will find some dhaba ahead and call it a day. I told her that she should not take any risk and with this resolve, we moved ahead.

                        After a lot of Huff Puff, we were at Kali Ghati or Kali top, the highest point. There is a  small Temple dedicated to Goddess Kali is there.

Temple of Goddess Kali at Kali Top en Route Srikhand Mahadev Yatra
Temple of Goddess Kali

                   We were happy that we had completed the uphill part and now it will be mainly downhill. Jyotsna was also feeling better now.

                 But the downhill was still tougher. Since it had been raining, it was all muddy, wet and slippery. The path had a lot of rocks and at some places, one had to stop survey and ponder upon as to how to cross a particular section. I did slip many times. I was carrying a small stick to support myself. At one point, we were descending and a group of boys were ascending, there was a sudden drop with no places to keep foot in between. I was trying to negotiate it and lost my balance and was about to fall when those boys helped me. One of them also gave me his own stick, which was much thicker and longer. I did complete rest of my journey with that stick only.

                      We were feeling famished.  We had not come across any dhaba for quite some time. Then we saw a tent and went inside thinking it to be a dhaba. But it turned out to be a langar and they were winding up. They offered us food it was simple rice with Black gram and Kidney beans.

                   Whoever was coming from other side, we were asking "भीम द्वार कितना रह गया " and every time we were getting a different answer. We reached Kunsa and after that encountered a  huge glacier. We had to walk over it to cross it. It was an amazing experience, but a scary one. A small slip could land you in a deep gorge below.

                       W had been walking since early morning and it was evening now. We were about 1 KM away from Bhim Dwari when we encountered a few dhaba tents. People coming from Bhimdwari said that there was a huge rush at Bhim Dwari and we will not get accamodation there so better stay at that place. लो एक और पंगा। We had a small high level meeting and the final resolution was to reach Bhim Dwari वहां जो होगा देखा जाएगा।

Srikhand Mahadev Trek Day 3 - Hope rekindled


                               It was already slightly dark when we reached Bhim Dwari. One way down wards led to the Langar and the one going up had dhabas and tents there. On enquiring a few Dhabas, we did not find any place. Finally, I asked Jyotsna to staya a place, where dhabawala had shown a hope that he will arrange a place for two.  I was interested in an independent smaller tent. So i went on. Kept of walking, enquiring after a lot of search, found one tent, which the dabawal said was for 04 persons. Actually they always fit in +1 persons in the tent. I asked him I will take the entire tent. He was asking for 1600 and the deal was closed for 1000/1200 ( Do not remember the figure now). Asked him if he wants some advance to ensure that he does not give it to someone else. To which he said no. I came back to take Jyotsna alongwith.

                           When I was going to the tent for the second time with Jyotsna, I observed that we had crossed two beautiful river crossings. On my first run in the tension to find accamodation, I had not seen them. The second one was fierce and quite wide. One had to cross them by stepping over the large stones kept in them.

                       All is well that ends well. We checked in. Our clothes were wet, but again cursed that we had left the spare clothes at Barati Nala. We came out to sit in the kitchen tent to warm ourselves and charge the things, as the kitchen tent only has electricity supplied from small portable genset, rest all tents have a rechragable lantern. We were tired and happy that we had made it to Bhim Dwari our target for today and also covered the yesterday's shortfall. Dhabawala agreed to serve dinner in our tent. We happily went into our tent and got under the blankets.

                                          Dinner was served in the tent, which was again rice with dal. We were half asleep, when dinner was brought. We had whtever little bit was served and slept.

              Our dream of completing Srikhand Mahadev Yatra seemed to be nearing to reality, but who knows what God had in store for us. whether we were able to complete our Srikhand Mahadev Yatra or not, will talk about it in next episode

contd....................
         

Srikhand Mahadev - A trip to heaven and Back - Day 1

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