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RUDRANATH – JOURNEY TO HEAVEN

ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT TREKS OF PANCH KEDAR

Rudranath is one of the temples of Panch Kedar. Panch kedar refers to five of hindu temples of god shiva. They are located in the Garhwal Himalayan region of Uttarakhand India.The Panch Kedar includes- Kedarnath, Rudranath, Tungnath ,Madhmaheshwar and Kalpeshwar. Trek to Rudranath is approx- 24km. and it is loacted 11,800ft. above sea level. We went to Rudranath on 5 days trip- 3 days of trekking and 2 days of traveling.

 

21 people started their journey from Dehradun at 4a.m. on the morning of 4th October. We traveled through mountains and passed several rivers.At a lot of places roads were damaged due to landslides making it little difficult specially near the turns. Its always fun travelling in the mountains beacuse you don’t know what will you see after the next turn. It literally took us 12hrs. to reach the starting point of our trek which is a small village called – Sagar situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Our trip was guided by Mr.Neeraj Rawat from- the himalayan crew travel company. Our stay for the first day was arranged at hotel Rudra. Though we had our own rooms, still all of us were packed into one room. We played uno cards and laughed away. Finally we decided to have dinner and went to our respective rooms to take rest for we knew, the next day won’t be easy.

5/10/19 – it was the first day of our trek. The aim was to reach pannar bugyal which was 14 km from sagar. First we trekked through a village,then through fields and finally between dense Green forest. The only good thing about this difficult trek was fresh water which was coming out from the mountain.If i talk about the trek there was no road.Its seemed like mountains have themselves made small, narrow path and not lying they were very steep. For non trekkers like ME it was difficult. In the beginning we were taking rest at every turn but when our guide told us that we need to cross the forest before sunset as there were bears and leopards in there, we climbed as fast as we could. You can find small tent like shops that serve tea and maggi on the way. Our first stop was at pung bugyal. Till this point we got divided into 3 groups- pro trekkers, medium trekkers and the ones who were ready to give up. I need to mention that our guide was the biggest reason we could complete our trek. We were carrying all our luggage with us, which added up the level of difficulty.

Supporting each other on the way, laughing and shouting in the mountains ,we made our best memories. We came to a point were everyone stopped for tea.There we saw a lot of goats. Big, small, white, black and what not. They had long horns and among them was a new born. Now,It i was 5 in the evening. Sun was going to set and we had a whole big mountain in front of us to climb.We took some energy biscuits and ran as fast as we could. 8 at night, with our mobile phone’s torch on,we climbed and reached our destination for the first day- pannar bugyal . A yellow flag waving in the cold breez to us. We were freezing, yet happy to reach before it was too late. It is obvious that we wont get a hotel at such a hight ,so we stayed in a house made of wood and soil, they are called – chhani.They are short highted so you cannot stand straight in there. Also, the walls were Made of stones so there were areas though which the cold breeze was getting in. Talking about the food we had for dinner, it was cooked on wood, it may not be tasty and you might not find variety but its sufficient enough to fill your stomach and gives you energy. Next day, in the morning we woke up early to see the sunrise. Sun rays were peeping out behind the mountains .It was mesmerizing.

 

PANNAR BUGYAL

6/10/19 – Day 2 of our trekking.We had breakfast and set again towards our destination.There were no charging points.People who lived there use solar power to charge their devices. As a fact all of us were out of battery and be haven’t talked to our parents because there were no signals since the last day.Trek from pannar bugyal to rudranath temple is easy and beautiful. You can see small flowers and stones cut in unusual shapes all through the path. This trek was completely different from the one we did last day. Next stop comes and its called “pitra dhar”. this was probably my favourite stops. From here the whole himalayan range is visible. Mountain peeks of nanda devi, hathi parbat, chaukhamba, etc can be seen from this point. On our way we saw a lot of bengali travelers. They were either chanting shivas name or had mantras / devotional music playing on speakers.The last part of the trek was downfall, later it became plane ground.

Next came panch ganga. Five streams melting out of glacier and forming  river ganga. the water was freezing cold. We refilled our water bottles and headed forward.The next turn was the point from where the temple of Rudranath was visible.I screamed out of excitement because finally we were about to reach our destination.We could hear the bell of temple ringing. The place were we had our stay was 100 m before the temple. So we got fresh ,had some snacks and then went to the temple for aarti / puja.

As the temple is small, only a few of us went inside. There we saw- a shivling signifying lord shiva. It had eyes made of silver. Above it was a chain of flowers hanging they are called- “brahma kamal”. This flower blooms in mid monsoon and is only found in Himalayan region. when the priest started chanting mantra the whole environment inside changed. Everyone prayed and then it was the turn of “prashad”. All of us were given a flower as prashad which is only found in Rudranath and they don’t fade for about an year. Later we got to know that the priest stayed there for 6 months and then stays in foreign for rest of the time. In fact, everyone living there stays for 6 months and leave as it snows and everything gets covered under a white sheet.¬† All in all it was a beautiful experience for all of us.We knew we had reached the temple but it wasn’t the final point .We had to cover our 2 days trek in one day to go back to our starting point. Let me tell you, when we were trekking back we realised how easy was it to climb. I know you must be thinking, how insanely i am talking but, its really what we felt. Our legs were shaking and paining as we went down. Few of us were injured, some fell ,broke their ankle, lost stuff while trekking but the only think we didn’t loose was our hope and support for one another.

RUDRANATH TEMPLE

we laughed together, we cried together. On this trip we went up and down like a family together

. A huge thanks to the himalayan crew and our guide for such an amazing trip.

 

 

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