Monday, February 20, 2017

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra via Lipulekh Pass (PART 4)

PART 4


July 26, 2016 (Day 4) - Delhi to Almora
Today was the beginning of my Kailash Manasarovar yatra. We left Gujrati samaj at 6 am in Volvo bus and after pooja ceremony, we reached Ghaziabad at around 10 am due to heavy traffic on way. In Ghaziabad, there was breakfast and felicitation of all yatris. We left Ghaziabad in an hour and reached Kathgodam by 6 pm. Lunch and spectacular welcome bhajans by local children mesmerised us all. At Kathgodam, we left the Volvo bus and shifted to a smaller (non AC) bus. We reached Almora by 10 pm and stayed in KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) guest house.








Leaving for Yatra from Delhi


Welcome by ITBP and local artists at Mirthi


Group Photo





Bhajans at Kathgodam


Accommodation was for three people in one room. I stayed with Ujjawala and Vaijyanti who were both from Bombay. On the following day (Jul 27), we traveled from Almora to Dharchula. After a nice dinner, we all retired to our rooms as we had a long day ahead of us.


July 27, 2016 (Day 5) - Almora to Dharchula
We got up at 4 am in the morning and after tea, left for Dharchula by 5.30 am. It was a cloudy day with drizzling rain. We had a yummy breakfast of Aloo Parathas and Cucumber raita amidst breeze and clouds at Dhaulchina at 7am. We crossed Berinag by 11 am and reached Didihaat by 1.30 pm for lunch. In addition to tasty lunch, awesome bhaang chutney was served and I couldn’t resist taking another serving.

Almora to Dharchula
Breakfast at Dhaulchina



After Didihaat, our next stop was Mirthi, where we reached around 3 pm to a spectacular welcome by local artists and ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police Force). All of us sang and danced along. A group photograph was taken and snacks were served. We thanked ITBP and left Mirthi by 4 pm and reached Dharchula by 6 pm. We retired to our rooms soonafter. By evening, porters and ponies were allocated. I chose not to take a pony and I did not take a Nigam porter. I took porter referred by someone and he was the best I could get. If you need porter reference, feel free to message me.
As evening set in, it again started to Drizzle and beautiful clouds adorned the skies. Little did i know that rain would be my constant companion in coming days..


TIPS:

  • WiFi is available in Dharchula where we stayed in common lobby area.
  • STD Phone is also available at Rs 5 per minute. No mobile carrier works here other than local SIM and sometimes BSNL.
  • We did not get our luggage and received it directly at Gala. So, be sure to pack essentials in your backpack (toiletries, change of clothes, snacks, flip flops, etc).
  • Dharchula is the last stop where you can buy small essential items (medicines, raincoat, etc) before the yatra begins.

To be continued..

IMPORTANT ADVICE: We should be blessed that we are chosen for this yatra and it is our responsibility to not litter and keep Devbhoomi clean. Carry your plastic wraps that you use with you and dispose them later. Try to clean the trail. Tell your porter not to litter. Gutka and chips packets lie everywhere. Particularly distressing was to see shores of Manasarovar littered with used underwear packets, ghee packets, used sanitary napkins etc. It was distressing and abominable. A place, which is so pious to us must be respected by all of us and deserves a conscious effort by all yatris to lead a cleaning drive as and when possible. Don't forget to do your bit, even if others are not doing it.