We decided to go on a pilgrimage to Kedarnath and Badrinath in May 1991.At that time my son was 4 1/2 years. My SIL, BIL, MIL were in our team. Many discouraged me telling that it would be very cold and may be difficult for my son, who was allergic to cold climate. Some teased me that we were undertaking a pilgrimage at a young age. But we went ahead with our decision and let me tell you that we enjoyed every moment of it & the same has etched vivid pictures of that in my memory and even after two decades I am able to recall it very clearly.
We embarked on the journey with so much excitement as this was the first time we were going to see snow covered Himalayas. We took the train to
When we reached
First thing we wanted was to get out of the railway station, as we feared some disturbance. No buses or taxis were plying in the city. Every thing had come to a sudden halt. So we went to the Rail yatri niwas which was close by and thankfully got accommodation which gave us great relief. We stayed there anxiously worried, doing nothing as there were no mobile phones then. We wanted to get out of
Next day my husband’s colleague helped us to get a taxi up to Haridwar which was our first scheduled halt and we thought we would think about our further journey once we reached there. Our taxi driver was a young cheerful sardar called Balbir. As we were nearing
We reached Haridwar in 4-5 hours and we went straight to Kasi Math, where we had planned our stay at Haridwar. They provided us with excellent accommodation and homely food particularly Konkani cuisine. We felt safe in the confines of the Veda Vyasa Mandir which was inside Kasi math . To our great relief the authorities informed us that there was no harm in continuing our journey further up. We stayed in Haridwar visiting Hari Ki Pauri where evening aarti to Ganges is performed. We strolled along the banks of
Next day was Sunday and we left early morning at 7 am on our Kedar, Badri mission. We just passed Hrishikesh and climbed around 5 kms. and we got the first check post. To our surprise we learnt that all vehicles beyond that check post requires a hill permit which our vehicle did not have and which Balbir conveniently forgot to inform us earlier. To our relief we found that temporary permits could be obtained from an office close by. We turned back to locate the office and promptly found it to be closed, that being a Sunday. On enquiry we found the officer was living close by. With great difficulty we located his house. It was around 9 ‘o clock and our officer was busy sleeping. On knocking his door he got up reluctantly and informed us he would come to the office shortly and asked us to wait in the office. We returned and completed our break fast and waited patiently. It was nearly lunch time when he came and by the time we left completing all the formalities it was noon. With glee in our mind and cheer in our heart finally we set course. “KEDAR BADRI HERE WE COME.”
To be continued….