|On the way to Jammu|
Wanted to write a blog on this long time ago..Today i felt like writing... This was when I was in my Engineering. Me and Mom decided to go for a north India Trip. Booked seats in Nirmala Travels for Amarnath yatra. Both were very excited.
The Trip covered Delhi-Jammu & Kashmir-Vishnodevi-Amarnath-Gulamarg-Delhi-Bangalore.
We left Bangalore in Train early morning. Our coach AC 3-tire was filled with Northi Babes abd aunties. lolz. Was fun to hear their conversation. Food was good, enjoyed the journey. We reached 2 Delhi days later. Now had to catch another train to Jammu and then to Udhampur.
Delhi-Jammu train experience was bad. Train left in the night. Lots of people got into the train. One useless dog tried to steal my wallet also. I slapped him and then a few guys and police lathi charged him...poor fellow..Did not sleep whole night in train. We reached Jammu early morning.
|Scenic Beauty of Jammu|
From Jammu we were supposed to catch another train to Udhampur. This was one of the best train rides that I have ever had. It was just amazing. The train went through tunnels and mountains. The view was splendid. My compartment was totally empty..I switched off the lights in the tunnel. he he.
We reached Udhampur station. It was heavily guarded with barb wires, guns and army. uff...was little sacred. But then, it was like that for the rest of the trip..everywhere army and BSF personnel guarding the place.
|Our Team which climbed Vishodevi Hills|
From Udhampur, we reached Katra- Base of Vishnodevi hills. Had to change 2 buses to reach Katra. Reached Hotel...God freshened and went for Dinner.
Soon after Dinner, we started climbing the Vishnodevi hill... :-)) 17kms of walking uphill. It was crowded, filled with People, Dholis and horses. At the top, things had changed compared to last time. So many modern style walls made of concrete made it more man made than natural. There were artificially created waterfalls and stuff. Devotion was not there much. hmm was good though. After Darshan, came down and had lunch...slept nicely.. :-)
Morning, we checked out of Katra and Headed towards Srinagar- the capital of Jammu. :-)) in bus. There was tight security everywhere. Took some nice pics en-route. We reached the Jammu - Kashmir Crossover point. This is Basically a Huge looooong Tunnel named the "Jawahar Tunnel".Goes straight into a Mountain and is 3.75Kms. The inside of the tunnel has all sorts of sophisticated cameras which can detect even the smallest of flash. Before entering, our bus had a security check. The beauty of nature was nice. Took a few clicks. Reached Srinagar Lodge and slept nicely after dinner.
|Kheer Bhavani Teple with Pond|
Morning after breakfast, we left to "Baltal"- Be camp of Amarnath. The whole day was a journey filled with fun. On the way we visited the "Kher Bhavani" Temple.The Idols here always bathed with Milk and sugar. There is a pond in front of the Deity. It keeps changing the color of water. Some say, during Kargil war, it turned Red. Also, I looked up and found something interesting. The tree Branches had grown in such a way that it made the shape of India. The India map in blue sky...was nice to see it.
|Atop a horse in Gulmarg.|
|Grassland and Trees...nice|
We left the temple and continued our journey towards Baltal. For Lunch and snacks we stopped at one of the mind blowing places of all.. GULMARG. It was soo green and had many mountains. We went to a restaurant, had food. We saw Horses waiting for taking us to a hill top.Hired on Horse and I went up hill. By now i knew horse riding..lol. Was fun. It is a golf course in Summer and a Skying resort during winters. First we climbed a steap hill, then we saw a vast area of flat surface...Lush greenery. there was a stream of water..Ice cold water..played in it and also found a small glacier and played in ice there. :)
After this fun..we journeyed to Baltal. The Base camp was highly protected. It had many make shift Tents and Wooden Cottages. Had to share a cottage with trip mates and got freshened up.!! We were hungry..lolz. A new system for Food was seen in Baltal. We had mant make shift tents here. They were called 'LANGARS' and are maintained by the trustees and Volunteers. They are so much devoted to god that they supply food free of cost. All delicious food. Sweets and Badam milk. yum it was. We rested in our cottage that night thinking of the adventure that we are going to have tomorrow.
|Langars in the background.|
The next day, early morning 5AM, 6 out of 32 members started the looong walk up hill. It was hard for us as the path on which we walked became narrow. There was 2way traffice of people, Dholi and horses. I even saw a few Handicapped men and women trying to climb the hill. Weather was cool and I took a few pics with my mom on the way ! We saw many Devotees of Lord Shiv shouting slogans to praise the Lord. 'BUM BUM BHOLE.!!' Many Saints in Saffron were seen puffing Ganja to ward off the Cold. lol.
|Mom and Me near the frozen stream. Ice on top of us.|
En route we had to cross a small Frozen stream. Ice was still intact. Took pics. Horses were taken to a small bank near the river below. I love that pic. It looks like an Eye. We rested for a while in one of the Langars...Ate something and again started to walk. We met my Mom's Fren Padmini on a Horse..lol.
Mom was happy to see her. We continued to walk. Mom was Panting and chanting gods slokas. I was always there for moral support!! :-))
One of our trip mate got a mild heart attack i think so he was rushed back. Poor guy couldn get darshan. Felt bad for him!
|Beauty of nature. Yellow flowers near the bank of River Ganga.|
|The river Bank looks like an Eye. Horses were taken here to catch breadth and a sip of water.|
|The Cave shrine of AMARNATH|
We reached the Top by 2:15PM approximately. There was no ICE LINGAM at that time as the heat generated due to global warming and other factors like Helicoptor services and pollution. The location of the cave and the cave itself was really amazing!!
|on top of the world.|
Did I mention that we walked on a river, Literally...a few Kms before reaching the cave, there was a river, completely frozen. Son instead of walking on the sides, we took a leap into the frozen river. :)
My mom noticed something interesting. The Mountain to the left had a small Ganesha Like formation. :-) She was really happy seeing it.
As the saying goes, it is really hard to see pigeons in such remote places. It seems, it is good luck if we see a White Pigeon flying in and around the caves. So all my eyes were searching for pigeons :-) Guess what, only me and mom could see a white one. Rest of them were searching. :-)
As we spotted the cave, we were so relieved and thought that walking was done. But we were wrong. To reach the cave, there were a set of difficult stairs. lolz. We pulled ourselves through and started climbing it.
|Entrance of Amarnath Cave Shrine|
I helped my mom in climbing steps by boosting her confidence level. She did it finally and we reached the entrance. Uff...watta relief. Took a pic and went inside for Darshan. As there was no ics formation, we came out and started enjoying the nature. Mom was very happy seeing the place. We waited for our trip mates but couldn see anyone. :) I tried taking a pic of the Sanctum and was almost near 3 gun points. The Flash of my camera alerted the BSF army men and they surrounded me. My heart came to my mouth. They looked into my camera and said to go.. :) Silently i came out lol..
We were supposed to go downhill walking. For our bad luck, it started to drizzle and then there was Rain. So we decided to go By horses. By 5PM they will close the route. There is no night walking allowed in Amarnath for security reasons. So, we got raincoats and sat in horses. Those horses are well trained to go up and down hill with out its master. As it was raining, the Horseman left my horse go as fast as it can. I remembered in TV how they ride a horse. And started to ride nicely in the slippery route. Many times the horse slipped.. somehow managed to balance and finally we reached Baltal. :) We had dinner and took rest.
|Posing next to a Glacier|
Next day morning we left back to Srinagar. On the way, we visited a Mosque named "Hazrat Bal" mosque. Entire day journey. uff.. Reached Srinagar and rested.
Next day we had so many places to cover. In and out of Srinagar.
We first saw a temple of Shankaracharya. Then, we left to see the 3 mughal gardens. The kings of that time used to visit this place to romance with their darlings.
Took loads of pics...enjoyed the greenery and flowers and water there..
Mom and me dressed up like Kashmiris and took pic :):):)
We had lunch there and went shopping to Lal Chowk.
|Mom and me!! in Kasmiri Attire. :)|
After shopping, we went to DAL Lake. The most awaited Boating :) Me and my mom booked a Shikara ride and started boating. It lasted for an hour. They showed us floating market, lilies, lotus and others water flowers cultured. Then there were so many different types of house boats. was nice to look at.
|Shikara ride in DAL.|
We went back to hotel and took rest. It was mom's b-day tomo and we had planned a small surprise for her.
We called her and wished her in the midnight. Early morning for breakfast, mom and I had a shock.
A cake was cut and mom was soo happy. I think it was first time someone cut cake for mom :-))) lol
We finished our breakfast and packed up. We had to leave the beautiful place. Train was waiting for us to goto Delhi. And then, from there back to Bangalore :-))
Over all, it was one memorable trip for me!! Will never forget this one ever in my life!!
We are planning to go to Manasa Sarovar next time. Lets see. !!
Hope you guys liked it. This is my First blog :-))) lol A long one.!!!