Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Trek to Dev Bhoomi for the Devas –part-2

(FOR PART -1 PLEASE CLICK links to other episodes 1 to 8 are given at the end. )
Where to we find or feel a glimpse of HIM? I asked this question to several persons but found no concrete answer. I worked in the eastern and Northern Himalayas for feasibility of hydroelectric projects, landslide projects and my favorite subject ‘Mineral Exploration’. My wife Susmita accompanied me in most of the times. We both felt “HE” might be in the beautiful and sometimes spine chilling dangerous Nature of  Himalaya. This quest pulled us to visit DEV BHOOMI From Rishikesh to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Did we find “HIM”? Two miracles happened to us, one at the beginning, saving our life and another when he responded to our prayers to have his Darshan to the satisfaction of our soul.   We felt possibly at least a very small glimpse of “HIM” spread from the temples to the Nature outside. Recent human activity dangerously polluted this nature for selfish gain.  We also rediscovered our emotions and love for each other . I tried to share all these things with  kind readers.  In Part 2 the beauty of Nature along with a folktale I heard about Devprayag is also narrated. 
In the evening, after the Ganga Arati at Parmarth Ghat,  my wife Susmita was busy packing the two backpacks with woolen garments, medicines etc.
Like other yatris to Kedarnath, the rest of our luggage shall remain in the lockers at Gourikund.
She joined me soon at the sofa and looked at the Google earth Maps, I was studying and noting down some details of the route.
Until then I wrote:
1.   3rd May:  From 356 m.r.l at Rishikesh  to the night halt at Rampur altitude 1972m.r through Single lane NH 58
2.   Travel Route: Srinagar - Rudraprayag - Augustmuni - Chandrapuri - Kund - Guptkashi - Phata – Rampur Night halt, Cold place)
3.    4th May, reach Gourikund( GKND altitude 1982m.r.l)  and trek 14 Km on foot ( Hilly dirt road, slope gentle) reach Kedarnath(alt.3583m.r.l  Night halt. very cold night)and walk back next morning
4.   5th May, from Gourikund to Siyalsaur( Night halt alt… ) through Guptkashi.
5.   6th May, Departure Guptkashi and arrive Badrinath (night stay, alt.3100m.r.l. may feel cold on the way.)
6.   7th May departure Badrinath and  back at Rishikesh on 8.5
Starting from Rishikesh end, the Five Prayags on the way are at
·       70 km (43.5 mi)  Dev Prayag(DP)
·       140 km (87.0 mi)  Rudra Prayag i.e. From DP 70KM
·       169 km (105.0 mi) to Karna Prayag
·       190 km (118.1 mi) to Nanda Prayag;
·       256 km (159.1 mi)  Vishnu Prayag

Looking at the Monitor, she said “Snow peaked mountains are only near Kedar and Badrinath. In the photographs of your previous trip in this month of May of this place, I saw snow peaks at distance from Gourikund. Where the snows have gone?”
 I quipped, “Possibly they took shelter in the high altitudes only”
She smiled and replied, “global warming! In addition, remember what Pujya Swamiji said in the Parmarth Ghat. Every day we are polluting our environment.”

The GMVN bus would start sharp at 6.30 A.M but something kept me awake even in the darkness of the comfortable hotel room.
Gathering the search from the Google, three things kept on nagging me.
1.   Absence of dense vegetation at the foothill and along the slopes of this part of Himalayas, making them vulnerable to become slide zones.
2.   Irregular rainfall of few days sandwiched between bright sunny days in May.
3.   All these above mentioned components along  with some other volatile conditions of atmosphere could make a fertile ground of accumulation of deep humid layer on the top of snow peaked mountains lying under a cold and dry airflow. If this is true, can there be a cloud burst in near future?
If this really happens, Met dept would raise an alarm for a cloudburst, I consoled myself.
Little I knew that a few days after our visit, the State govt. would overlook such an alarm for a cloudburst from the Met. Dept, which did happen and a flashflood took place.   Thousands of people either lost their life or declared as lost by the state Govt.  
GMVN transport left in time and soon we were on hilly NH 58. People started liking rafting and on the way we saw no. of rafter boats and camps.
Rafting on progress on Ganga.

                               A Rafters Camp on Ganga.
Within two hours, we crossed the Dev Prayag.

Dev Prayag is the confluence of Alakananda on the right bank and Bhagirathi on the left bank as per direction of flow i.e. towards Rishikesh.
Beyond this confluence, towards Rishikesh, we call this river as Ganga.
Our vehicle stopped for a traffic jam but it was not boring because it stooped just near the confluence.    
We were spell bound and Susmita broke the silence. 
Look at the striking opposite nature of both.”
“Bhagirathi, the stronger, roaring, and foaming with blue waters meets with much calmer and pale yellowish green Alakananda.”
She quipped “Like years before a naughty boy met a calm girl in a seminar and proposed her..”
I smiled and replied “... And they happily lived there after like these two rivers but why. Because like that calm river she has beautiful pale greenish eyes and her nick name is also Aloka?”
She blushed and told, “Tell me something about this Prayag”
“It is so said that Sri Ram Chandra named this confluence as DEV after listening to the prayers of a Brahmin, Dev Sharma, to meet him at this place.”
Our bus started rolling from standstill to snail’s pace and crossed the bridge.
I showed her a red colored tall temple and said, “This is the famous Raghunath temple. People worship here 15 ft tall black granite made Ram Chandra ji.


Indrani said...

Great read. Interesting conversations. :)

Pradip Biswas said...

Thank you Indrani for your comments. I request you to kindly gread the others.