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Srikhand Mahadev Yatra - A trip to heaven and Back - Day 5 - The Final Push

Srikhand Mahadev

Srikhand Mahadev Yatra - A trip to heaven and Back - Day 5 - The Final Push


Srikhand Mahadev Yatra - A trip to heaven and Back - Day 5 - The Start -

              My alarm went off at 3.00 a.m. and I promptly got out of bed. Freshened up using the ice-cold water. At this hour nothing was open. I was having a small packet of biscuits and a small packet of namkeen to carry along. So I was ready to move before 4.a.m. It was still dark. Some people were already ahead of me and some were coming from Bhim Dwari side. Those guys must have started in the midnight. The people walking in lines with flashlights in their hands seemed like a stream of fireflies. I said bye to Jyotsna who was still in bed and started my ascent.

Srikhand Mahadev Yatra - A trip to heaven and Back - Day 5 - The terrain -

               I had not walked much when the lush green terrain was lost and there were boulders all around of all sizes. one had to hop over these boulders to keep moving. I do not know what the temperature was, but I was feeling cold in spite of all the woollens I was wearing. The biggest discomfort was the wet shoes, which had gotten wet due to yesterdays rains and watercrossings. These shoes were supposed to be waterproof but had failed on this front. I was carrying a forehead wearable small flashlight, which was proving to be insufficient. 

                    Walking over the boulders was tricky and there was a huge possibility of one getting hurt negotiating with them. There were small streams of water to be crossed. Soon I was joined by two gentlemen. We exchanged greetings and soon we were trekking together. They were carrying a large flashlight, so it was a help to me also. Both of them were Paharis and were able to walk faster than me however they were stopping at times for me to catch up with them.

               We were moving ahead in the dark walking, climbing, resting. The biggest challenge was since it was all boulders, there was no defined path. Only some arrows painted on the boulders after some interval were the only ways to keep you on the right path.


             After an ascent of nearly 02 Kilometers and by the time it was dawn, we reached Nayan Sarovar. It was a beautiful lake and was engulfed in clouds. Snow was strewn around. There was a warning on the entrance to not to take bath. I feel the weather there was deterrent enough to prevent anyone from taking bath. I rested there for a while and when I saw the next hill to be climbed, it was a shock for me it was a huge mountain, which we had to cross. The climb was near vertical and the path was fit for a mountain goat. Anyways only way was to move ahead. So I paid my obeisance and started ahead. Slowly I was inching ahead. One of the two gentlemen who had come with me till Nayan Sarovar decided not to go ahead and return.    
                                        
Nayan Sarovar partially frozen and covered in clouds
Nayan Sarovar
                          The ascent was getting tougher. Every time When I was nearing a peak, I thought I am about to finish the toughest part of trek how can something get tougher than this, next moment there stood another climb steeper tougher and dangerous than the previous one.

                                    Soon we started facing the glaciers. On the very first encounter and I was excited to walk on it, but later on, I had lost the count of the glaciers. Walking on them was the trickiest part. Wherever there was virgin snow, it offered good traction but was unpredictable, and at paces, where it had hardened due to yatris walking over it, it had become slippery.

                            The rain was accompanying us since morning. So it had made the trek tougher. The Boulders and other path had become slippery. I slipped and fell down uncountable no. of times. The height, cold and lack of oxygen were showing their effect. My speech was a slur now and I was dragging myself. If I recall now, I might have lost clarity of thought also at that time. 

                            " भाई साहिब अभी कितना बचा है " and when I heard, " यह चढ़ाई चढ़ के सामने ही है". This was like music to the ears and I do not know, how the energy reserves of my body got activated and I reached the top in no time. Soon I was on a huge ridge all covered with snow. Srikhand Mahadev was not visible from this place. You have to go around the small hillock to reach there. I dragged myself through the snowfield around the hillock and lo I was there. On the left himself was The Lord himself and opposite it was Ma Parvati.


The Lord

Ma Parvati 


                           The feeling at that moment cannot be explained in words. I was like riding a see-saw of emotions. I do not believe in miracles, but the place is miraculous, this is what I felt. It was a kaleidoscope of feelings. I was simply standing there dumbfounded just watching the Srikhand Mahadev and not doing anything. I don't know what happened to me and I was weeping. Anyhow after some time, I composed myself. I removed my shoes, kept my bag and removed the rain Poncho and walked towards Skikhand Mahadev. There is no temple of the statue here, and Lord Shiva is present here in the form of a 77 feet high natural Shivlingam. I offered my prayers. There was no priest present and people were offering prayers on their own. After my prayers, I came back to the place where I had left my belongings. I took out my camera for the first time since morning and clicked a few shots. I had some water and opened the small packet of namkeen, when another person standing there asked for some and I gave half the packet to him. I kept standing there for some time adoring the place.

                      Finally, I  thanked Lord for allowing me the passage to his heavenly abode and started my return journey. The sole aim of Srikhand Mahadev Yatra was achieved. 

continued...........

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