Char Dham Yatra: Haridwar

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May 29th 2016
Published: May 29th 2016
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Day-10: Badrinath to Devprayag.

It was one more day of long hours in the bus. It is especially tiring when your main objective is over. Char Dham Yatra was completed successfully and without a major mishap. Badrinath to Delhi is more than 500 km. At least one break is required. We were given two which accommodated Haridwar.

Our starting from Badrinath was delayed by 30-40 min as one couple wanted some last words with Lord Badrinath. They had gone at six in the morning, but were denied the opportunity at the last moment – the doors closed for some ceremony, and they had to return disappointed.

Badrinath to Devprayag, via Pipalkoti took almost 11 hours. At Devprayag, Ramkund Resort is RadheShyam’s own property, a good one, and is located at a perfect place – just above the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda. They had tents lower down which were washed away in 2013. The Sangam and the Ghat and Raghunath temple could be seen just across the river but it required more than 2 km of walk. And most of us just rested.

Day-11: Haridwar:

Next day, we reached Haridwar – Hotel Golden Tulip at around 11. We had to wait for the 12.00 check-in time – bad planning. After lunch, we were dropped at Har-ki-pairi parking. Places of interest include: Har-ki-pairi, Chandi Devi, Mansa Devi, Kankhal, several Ashrams, Shantikunj etc. Like in Rishikesh the time was short. From Har-ki-pairi parking, one has to cross over to the city side, take Rixa, cross the Bazaar and go to Chandi Devi-Mansa Devi rope-way station. There we were told that for normal charges (Rs. 265), the waiting would be 3-4 hours. If you add Rs. 496 per person (official charge), VIP (express) Darshan could be arranged. That would take about two hours. We dropped the idea. We also dropped the idea of going to Kankhal (~6 km, 2 hours). We did some shopping – that is also an important and integral part of any tour – buying souvenirs.

‘Devotees’ among us bathed again in the Ganga. We didn’t. River flows quite fast and near the Ghat / steps there are chains for holding on. People were seen simply enjoying the bath – in open and without much clothes or shame! In a holy place it is accepted. You can’t imagine a swimming pool common for gents and ladies in un-holy cities!

We took our place on the steps opposite Ganga Temple at 5.30. Ganga Aarti was to start at 7.00. It is necessary to occupy your place so early if you want a good view. Aarti started around 6.30 and continued till 7.30. It was an atmosphere to experience!

Day-12: Haridwar to Delhi: Yatra – samapt!

We had a wonderful time for 12 days. Although it was a long and tiring trip, generally done only once in a lifetime, it was worth everything: long journeys, hardships, dangers and all. Everyone can have different perception and purpose. This write-up has satire at places which I could not avoid. Practical approach and logic are certainly missing in our rituals. We consider hardship (self-punishment) as means to achieve penance, arguable. I would like to repeat what I had said in the Introduction: why do we go only to popular holy places in search of God, I am no philosopher and have no intention to convince you, just tell me, why some temples (of God) should be less popular? Why to worship Ganga and Yamuna? Why not Sabarmati and Narmada? Water purifier is needed for all four!

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15th November 2016

Just want to share my thoughts on your questions at the end. Why do ppl go there? You answered it's the experience. All that you go thro' during that journey, we don't experience in everyday life. It helps one expanding horizon.

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