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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jai Mata di!

Jai Mata di!...

They say, there are few shrines where you cannot plan & visit at your will but we need to await for the higher call.  I was lucky to have got that call and undertook a very memorable trip between Feb 10 - 12, 2011 to Vaishno Devi and the slideshow below gives you a peek of them same.

It was a well anticipated first visit to Vaishno Devi,… had a lovely Darshan & hopeful of associated blessings from mata di,… great trekking & health package testing your fitness levels and trimming couple of Kgs,… quality time spent with old friends, meeting few of them accidentally in the same group after about a decade, making new acquaintances, regrets that could not spend enough time to get to know all which makes you to look forward to the next trip and more importantly no new muscles discovered in your legs as you are fit for the Monday morning…… What else you can ask for!

It took about 3 hours 45 minutes to walk up from Katra (Altitude about 2500 ft) to Bhawan (alt 5200 ft) which is ~ 14 kms. The most memorable activity was the 15 second bath in the near freezing (at least it felt like that) temperature at 4pm in the evening at Bhawan.

We walked up after darshan and dinner to Bhaironnath temple and reached there by 10.30pm. Spending some time at the top of the hill which was cool and heavenly we walked back starting at 12 midnight and reached the hotel at 4am in the morning. I ran out of steam by 2am and found it very difficult after that. 

Agreeing with the Turkish Proverb that "No road is long with good company", i was thankful for the overall organization by Sukhpal Batti & co. The group's camaraderie and passion stood out and made it was for first timers like me. 

Special thanks to Ajay Sharma for pulling me into the group.

I have heard people saying that we shall start visiting such placed after 50 yrs or so. But my sincere suggestion would be to review that opinion, since the beauty of such places can't be grasped with a chopper ride (which is an option) but every aspect of the nature needs to be felt and absorbed and a trek though arduous helps you in that process.

I was also told that you can't stop with visiting this shrine just once and Mata di would call you again and again. I wish that is true and am looking forward to it.

As a wise man said, "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page..". May we be blessed to read all the best pages of this book!...

Jai Mata di!.

Happy reading!

PS: You can check out this site for more details

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