We left Kanpur on the 20th May very early in the morning. We left the campus around 5:30 a.m and first went in the direction of Kanauj along G.T. Road. From there, we went to Barraily. At this time of the year one sees fields full of sunflowers on either side and this makes the ride very refreshing.

We then went along to Haldwani, Kathgodam, where we stopped lunch and had a glimpse of Bhim Tal and moved on to Ranikhet. By the time we reached there, Vandana and Swarna were quite ill as a result of the drive and we had to break for a while. It was quite chilly now and this was such a change from the Kanpur. Initially, we had decided to break off at Gairsain for the day. But the driver was tired and it was getting rather late, and so we halted at Dwarahat. It is a very small and sleepy town with hardly a hotel in sight. The only hotel available was rather sorry, but since we were exhausted after and early start and the long drive – doing nothing can be very very tiring- we decided against searching for more places and so we halted there. After a good and refreshing night’s sleep, we left early the next morning to our first destination – Adi Badri – one of the 5 badrinath temples. Adi Badri is on the Gairsain Karnaprayag route and the route is very scenic. Somewhere, long the way, a pack of foxes drifted along our path, and being the typical city dwellers, we yelled with joy and excitement on sighting them.

Adi Badri temple is now under the aegis of the archealogical society of India and is well maintained. It is a very cluster of temples about 1000 years old. From there we made our way to Karnaprayag along the Pindari Ganga . It did start getting rather hot by this time. Each year, the himalayas seem to be getting more crowded and less green. Karnaprayag is the meeting place of pindari ganga and the alakananda. After a brunch at Karnaprayag, we slowly inched our way towards Joshimath. Here, luck was very much in our favour and we found ourselves tagged with a governer’s car and while the other traffic was stopped, we were given the green signal and so made our way up very quickly. Along the way a person in the governer’s car fell sick and started throwing up and so we moved on and reached Joshimath by 1:30 p.m. well in time for the 2:00 p.m. gate to Badrinath. By now the skies were overcast and the rains appeared imminent. We were flagged off after a very brief wait but we had to sit in Pandukeshwar for a while to allow the traffic from Badrinath to move on. It was rather pleasant sitting there and watching the alakananda flow way way below and see the mountains above.

After almost an hour’s wait we were allowed to leave and we reached Badrinath by around 5:30 p.m. Badrinath at this time of the year is crowded. The world and its relatives appear to be there. It was hard enough to find a parking place and it appeared that finding a hotel to stay in would be impossible. Fortunately, Dr. Raghavendra’s friend, who is a swamiji in the Mantralaya Math at Badrinath and he got us a place to stay in a hotel just opposite the temple. Despite being very crowded, the time round, Badrinath retains a definite mystical charm which is impossible to ignore. On reaching the hotel it was almost 7:30 and so we decided to find a place to have dinner and then retire for the night. The next day was beckoning with the promise of adventure and thrills and we wanted to be ready for that. That will be for my next post.

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2 Comments

  1. sandeep said,

    June 4, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Hey Nandini,

    very nicely narrated,.. gives a graphic description of your journey.. the governor’s part and the foxes part were quite amusing..:)
    looking fwd to more from this trip…!!

    cheers,
    Sandeep

  2. uma chithi said,

    June 7, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Dear Nandini,
    To think you have been hiding all your talents in a BIG bushel all these years! Simply wonderful……snaps, commentary and personal responses. Do keep up the good work!
    Love and best wishes,
    Uma chithi.


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