Thursday, December 30, 2010

March on Twin Mountains?

Moving enroute Delhi to scenic Uttarakhand, one can easily grasp the socio-ecological differences it holds from neighboring dusty milieu of Western UP, and the proven rational behind the bifurcation of major power block called erstwhile Uttar Pradesh. The river Ganga, with whom, I have been in great acquaintance since my formative and deformative developmental years in its cult cities-Patna and Banaras, always gives me natural impulse to look around the dynamics of life through the prism of miraculous consistency and nuanced inferences.
So, I found same stunning taste in my morning tea in Haridwar and evening tea in Hrishikesh, as used to have on Assi Ghat in Banaras years back-moreover, this twin cities, with its nourishing incentives of Mountain ranges endowed within me a spurt to feel the world of hills with open consine.

Before the outbreak of deadly winter, it was quite normal to assimilate in natural conditions of Haridwar-although it could have utmost tough in the deeper regions of Uttarakhand. Height of Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi were two bewildering destination for me inside the Haridwar…for years, I heard about the centrality of Har Ki Paudi besides the left and right position of these mid size Mountains. Leaving here the discourse of left or right at Hotel room, we {along with parents and brother} had a debating breakfast over my plan of expedition instead to opt for an easy though stodgy Rope to conquer the heights.
My stubbornness made impact while observing the relative havocks of Udan Khatola/Rope by three other genuine stakeholders of proposed expedition…finally journey begun for Mansa Devi amidst the closer interaction with monkeys than men that further boosted intertwining with the nature.

But unlike the sporadic wave of humane aspirations in the way, presence of packed mineral water gave the overt sign of market reach…hence; few were takers for Mountain froutes or free drinking water as purchasing power with its combo habitual obsession hardly leaves room for rational consideration. On the friendly path with few auxiliary halt at beautiful spots along with curriculard exchange of ideas with abandoned jewels/petty traders and sanitary activists, we reached to the peak height.
At the peak of height, Mansa Devi temple resembling like hanging tower of Pisa is indeed a place where you can leave the mind to rest-even without having a sip of easily available Cola drinks; here too, tea could be the best things while having bird view on Ganga and nearby little urban settlements. Downward journey was obviously a normalizing exercise before hoping on in Car for a new journey to another Crest-Chandi Devi. Further, misdemeanor of our driver led us to an unplanned adventure which would seemed like a fairy tale unless the realization hadn’t happen forwardly with us…for scrimping few miles, we were put to an old abandoned route.

During this most unusual journey, we came across only two human species, both were petty traders and highly saturated from the worldly affairs even in present nasty global time. For them, path was okay, so for me despite shading views from my camp-lastly passion overpowered the wisdom and another trip ignited. Heading on along with cusp of life and dangers, my earlier overtures with Sherpas enabled me ready to face an abnormal circumstance…albeit except a bag pack and rock solid attitude, nothing could be comparable with me and those daring Sherpas. Through relentless undermining the oddities, we anyhow reached another hanging peak where too Cola were available much chilled than hot cup of tea and Coffee.
Anyhow, at this beautiful hanging spot, we had a short shopping spree before returning with few normal fellows with worldly affiliations. On a normal path, journey was much easier but I remained remorseless with my expedition, as I saw the world and characters whose memories would remain vivid throughout my life. My reading of Hegel’s “Phenomenology of Spirit” helped me for a while in sorting out the hurdles of self-consciousness but without following the dialectics between “Lordship and Bondsman”-I kept the book inside my bag pack before making a deal with prepaid Car for an evening in Hrishikesh.

Around thirty miles of journey easily lead to a promising ecological zone where the hope is still intact for a broad socio-ethical interface with nature. In this amazing town, we could spent only few hours though it remained very relevant…ferried across the hanging bridge of Ram and Lakshman Jhoola {built in early 1930’s by British administration} was like accompanying the streams of clean Ganga for fine moments. We left the plans for much higher Nilkanth peak for future, instead spent few more hours at calm, clean and cool bank of Ganga.
Long-lived memories remain the true outcome from such fulfilling exploration of ecosystem…a well deserved sleep was waiting for us in Hotel at the bank of Ganga in Haridwar but before that scroll the remote for Nepal national TV, after years-gloom of politics in Nepal and unbreakable code of corruption inside India stuffed remarkably for nightmares . Morning was relaxed with tea-breakfast and day was engaging with six hours road journey to Delhi…
Atul Kumar Thakur
December28, 2010, Tuesday, New Delhi


  1. thanks, read with interest, i grew up in Dehradun so visited Rishikesh often

  2. A small though wonderful travelogue-kindly write a long travelogue,you have immense potential to touch the realities from many side-Thomas Mathew

  3. Thanks for penning a lighter piece and tagging me in the journey,your adventurism succeeded our collective fears-Ashutosh Thakur

  4. Hi Atul,

    Nice to know about you.
    Have read your creative stuffs and like them a really posess a gift and are utilizing it as well :-)
    I wish you all the best!
    Regarding my place..I love nature and culture...I like plants and therefore countryside is my favorite :-)

    Shweta Jha