Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Trek to Dev Bhoomi for the Devas –part-7

          On the way to Badrinath and  unknown folktales
While crossing Karna Prayag, I told Susmita the folktale about this Prayag. Prof. Nanda Kaushal accompanied by her two Japanese two students doing research work in Folktales  joined our discussions and we learnt a lot in this discussion.
On the way to Badrinath, our vehicle stopped for lunch break after Karnaprayag and we opened our eyes. We learnt to sleep comfortably even in bumpy roads.
Other co- passengers on the vehicle were leaving for Lunch in the adjoining dhaba.
Susmita shook her and took out two packets of Biscuit, one 100 gm pack of Roasted Kaju and few dry fruits. It was only my advice not to take any heavy food while going up or down in a hilly road.
As we finished our dry lunch, I said “Aha! We crossed Karna Prayag, the confluence of Alakananda and Pindar Rivers.”
She said, “I heard about Pindar Glacier, below the Nanda Devi range.”
“Right you are. This river originates from that.”
She said “Then why the name is Karna Prayag?”
I scratched my head “Now I remember. Karna of Mahabharata meditated here for long and finally was successful to meet his actual father Surya dev.  Surya dev rewarded him with Kavacha (amour) and Kundal (Ear ring) which made Karna formidable.  However, just before the war of Mahabharata, Karna donated them to a Brahmin as he promised to that Brahmin.”
She heaved a deep sigh “In Mahabharata, I have a soft corner for him. I also heard Swami Vivekananda also meditated here for eighteen days.”
“Unfortunately, last time, during the feasibility survey for Hydro power  I did not find any place preserved here in his sacred memory.”
A middle-aged lady with a scholarly and university Professor Type look joined our discussions “There is a temple built by ADI Sankaracharya known as Karnashila where besides Karna there are idols of Parvati, Mahadeva and Ganesha.”
 I could not stop myself saying “The birth of Karna and Pandavas were from a similar process of act of kindness from the Devas. This part of Himalaya is   Dev Bhoomi. I heard that in historic past, the some of the people here used to have a common wife as Draupadi of Mahabharata. There was also a system of sacrificing life by the elders of the family by jumping from the Hills similar to the “Mahaprasthan” of Mahabharata.  From all these may I make a wild guess that Pandavas might be related to People of Himalayas.”
 The lady said “I teach comparative literature and I do know not anybody did some research on it. But what you thought is interesting.”
We saw a small rivulet with deep blue waters flowing at very high speed.
 I said, “That may be river Nandakini. We are about to see Nandprayag, the confluence of Nandakini with Alakananda.”
The Lady said, “I heard a popular folktale about this Prayag”
Susmita said “Oh go on please.”
Lady resumed “Nanda Raj and Yashoda meditated for long and finally Bhagwan Vishnu was pleased and agreed to born in their house as Krishna. However, he already promised the same to Devaki and Bosudev. So he amended that he would born first to Devaki's but Nanda raja and Yashoda would become his foster parents from the same night.”
At the outskirt of Joshimoth, our vehicle stopped and stood at the tail end of the more than Kilometer long queue of the stranded vehicles.

Meanwhile after initial exchanges of introduction we requested the lady to have tea with us in the adjoining tea shop.
She is Nanda kaushal and Professor in Hindi literature and now on a fieldwork with two of her Japanese research students on a project of Folklores of Himalayas.
Susmita became her fast friend and I said, “You two would get along nicely because Susmita’s nickname is Aloka and yours Nanda and both in combination make a great river Alakananda.”
The vehicle started moving and I said, “Soon the last of the Prayags Vishnu Prayag, the confluence of Dhauli Ganga and Alakananda can be seen.”
Nanda shook her head “Further upstream there is one more Prayag. Just near Mana village, Sarswati river meets with Alakananda and after this Alakananda flows near Badrinath Temple

We were just a few kilometers away from Badrinath town and crossing a bridge. Actually, there was a Glacier here. The snow line receded back to few Kms away and now we could trace it from here in the slopes of the adjoining mountain.
For Part 1

For Part 2

For Part 3

For Part 4

 For Part 5
For Part 6
For Part 7
For Part 8


Indrani said...

Nice detailed account of your trip. It is safe to eat light during journey.

Pradip Biswas said...

Thank you Indrani for your comments. While trekking on foot we take only fruit juice and if so wished occasional tea and coffee. The recharge of energy and no vomiting is guaranteed.

aliasgarmukhtiar mukhtiar said...

Nice one, nice pictures