It all started with a wish to visit ,Badrinath a holy town in Chamoli district of the state of Uttarakhand, India. The place which is named after the temple of Badrinath or Badrinarayan ,is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is among the most important pilgrimage site of the four sites for Hindus .To reach there One has to cross Joshimath or Jyotirmath and read on my travel experience to reach Badrinath Dham.
I was on way back from my trek to the Roopkund lake in Chamoli district of Uttrakhand. And I had some extra days left with me to spend in the holy lands . So I decided on to travel to Badrinath Dham ,which I had no clue of how to reach .Our taxi driver who was ferrying us back to Haridwar ,said he would drop me at Rudra Prayag bus stop and from there its a 3-4 hours journey to reach Badrinath Dham .
How wrong it was for me who believed on his words .The expected journey hours of 3-4 hours to reach Badrinath turned out for me a long 2 days and one night journey . All sort of unexpected turn of event happened with me in these 2 days long journey. Right from ,not able to find good hotel room I ended up staying in a bug infested gloomy dormitory rooms . Thereafter eating cheap foods at some random unhygienic food stalls and finally hitch hiking on Army trucks to reach Badrinath Dham.
My travel plans went haywire with full of twist and dizzying turns but I kept myself dragging . Only thing that encouraged me to hold back were my Parent’s words:-
“Every pain and sufferings you experience while on a pilgrimage, brings you a step closer to Almighty. It’s a test ,which one has to pass and cannot be escaped. Submit yourself under the feet of God and focus only on the purpose ,not on the journey. The pain will eventually get subdued” .
So here my travel experience right from my Travel Diary
DAY – I : Rudra Prayag to Joshimath
Taxi stopped I alighted and bid a bye to my travel partners at Rudra Prayag and went straight to the bus stop .I walked crossed the iron bridge over the confluence of river Alaknanda and river Mandakini . Waited for nearly an hour at the bus stop just to find a bus to Badrinath ,which never came . So I boarded a shared local taxi which took me to Chamoli main town . From the Chamoli town I change taxi and took on an another ride on a local taxi to reach my next destination – Pipalkothi .
The taxis were taking halt on every nooks and every corner , just to find few more passengers to fill up few spaces among the already packed packed seats . Once at Pipalkoti I changed taxi yet again ,the third time .This time I had to reach Joshimath town .I reached Joshimath at around 4.30 pm . The checkgates on hilly roads closes after 4pm in the evening . And I was left with the only option to take a night stay at the small town of Joshimath .
Pic credit : Krishna Priya
With every movable parts of my body were aching (sharir ke sare purzze purzze hil gaye) , I started a lookout for a hotel room . Searched for next half hours but could not find a room .All decent looking hotels seems to have already booked .But managed to find only a dormitory .I ended up in settling down inside a cheap Rs 150 per bed dormitory room .Its hall’s had 16 beds arranged in a neat parallel fashion .Found seven beds were already occupied ,which meant i had to share the room with seven others . There were four military personnel already in their deep sleep on to the far corners beds in the hall . Leaving me the other two were old man in saffron dresses .Settling down ,I came back to my dormitory bed after having a tea and snack from a road side dabba. Damn, I was seriously very hungry.
Jyotirmath .Pic Credit Ajay Bhatt : https://www.euttaranchal.com/
It may have gone past 6pm and nothing to do I brought out my travel diary so as to pen down my day’s back paining travel experience. I was deeply into my own thoughts when I felt someone behind me .I turned around and got startled to find one of the old man with a amusing face was sitting on the bed next to mine .Looking down on my diary he was trying to read from my diary , with a heavy Hinglish(Hindi-English) accent . He went on reading from my diary which I didn’t mind .But whenever each time I paused writing and looked towards him , he used to stand up and gave me a smile back. It happened 2-3 times . But after that I finally stopped writing diary and closed my diary book .It was not that I found that somewhat offensive but didn’t like that someone senior stands-up every time ,I look towards him. I asked him what is the matter and why he was reading from my dairy. He said that he got curious what might I be writing so attentively and dedicatedly into to a diary as if I have an exam to appear tomorrow .All this he said in an amusing accent of hindi with a mix of Pahadi . With a big smile I said I am a travel blogger and I am writing my day’s experience into my travel diary .It was preceded by few seconds of silence .
We continued with our chat and then he asked me – from where I am from ,is it from South India ? Which i humbly replied with a big no .I said I am from the Rourkela city from the state of Odisha . He went mute for some minutes .Seeing him , i knew he would definitely ask the next question ,which would be: Oh ! then are you from Bhubaneshwar ?
Quite a surprise that man ,named Jagundada said yes I know about Rourkela ,it lies 500 kms from the holy land of Lord Jagannath ,Puri and 450km from the temple city of Bhubaneshwar .Surprisingly ,he went on further to say Rourkela ,it is here the first steel plant (Rourkela steel plant) of Independent India was established in the year of 1957. An absolute bang on !! I was not expecting this level of knowledge and awareness about Indian states from a small town man . I was simply an awed moment for me.
Now , it was my turn to go curious about this man .Bantering further ,I came to know that he is a local boy of chamoli district and he has never ever went outside of Uttrakhand state .But ,interestingly he seemed to be a knowledgeable man .Which he gives full credit to his Guru(pointing a finger towards a big fat old guy fast asleep snoring two bed away from us ) . He said further on his guruji that he is a well travelled person and knows 5-6 Indian languages. It is he who imparted him knowledge and awarness . Finally I found someone with so much humility ,who is barely literate, and has never traveled outside his own home state i,e Uttarakhand ,surprisingly posseses immense knowledge about India and its cultural town .
Our conversation went on rolling . He told me many things about his Guru and his many good things he did for him right from raising him from his childhood days when he was an orphan kid and making him the person what he is now .He then narrated about his route’s knowledge and travel experience on his own Chota Charm Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand .
Our conversation did not limit there .We discussed on the topics of current Indian politics, weather, road conditions and even topics on cricket were not spared . Quite an amazingly interesting and knowledgeable personality I meet .His talks were very humble which kept me glued to his conversation . Finally before asking for an excuse , he advised me to pay a visit to Nrusinghanath Temple in Joshimath . Which he advised as a must visit temple ,a compulsory step before moving onward for Badrinath Temple .It is said that when Badrinath temple closes during winter every year, one idol of Lord Badri is brought down to the Nrusinghanath temple .It is here where Lord is worshiped for six month. I nodded in affirmation.
Since, as planned i had a taxi to catch early morning for Badrinath ,next day .I somehow found my way down the alleys of Joshimath’s main market area to reach the Nrusinghanath Temple .The temple seemed to be bit prehistoric,with some of the temple complex might be aged more than 1000 years old .Not a big temple complex though but numerous smaller temples for various deities can be seen .The evening aarti at the temple touched me .While sitting on the temple porch watching the evening aarti I was thinking how eventful and wonderful was my travel experience .
Got intrigued with my own question – was it destined ? Do Lord has some reason or impact to leave on me via some unknown people or is it that some unfulfilled purpose of mine was meet here ,for the person whom i meet in the dormitory ? The answers which God may only know.
My believe got stronger ,as without his holy blessing I would not have reached here .I might have returned with my friends to Haridwar and may not have taken a night halt at that dingy dormitory .Eventually missing a lifetime chance of meeting and knowing some amazing person and finally visiting the ancient temple of Lord Nrusinghanath .Hoping ,God might have some more surprises for me ,ready to be unfolded .I returned back to my dormitory and soon slept away .It was the most peaceful night I have experienced after a long time .
My Next Article is on my wonderful travel experience to Badrinath and the how my ordeal continued till I return back to Delhi .Coming Soon …