Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year Tour to Punjab & Uttaranchal....

It was Dec 31st again….. Following a tradition of travelling to hills which was laid down last year, we had been to Joshi Math, Uttaranchal this year. We meaning, Karki, Lucky, Kharbanda and Me. The tale goes something like this….

As our Uttaranchal tour was starting from 30th Jan from Delhi, I had been to Amritsar on the 27th and 28th of Jan to visit Golden Temple along with Lucky, his Sister, Jeeju and Harpreet. It was a wonderful experience to travel during winters full of fog and chilling cold. On 28th we visited Golden Temple, Baba Deepsingh Gurdwara, Jallianwala Bagh, and Wagah Border… Golden Temple was truly a mesmerising place to be, with so many people around but still so calm and quiet, and having food in Langar is another memorable experience. I stayed at Lucky’s place for 2 days in Jalandhar. Guess what, I had something or the other to eat every half an hour. They were so affectionate and caring, and so are most Punjabis….

We went to Delhi on 30th evening and a little rest, just to continue our onward journey from Delhi to Joshi Math on the same night. We met Jaggi Sir and Sahi in Delhi and started in a Toyota Qualis which Sahi had arranged. The Uttaranchal expedition has started. The fog was so high, some times it was almost blank and we had to stop the car and look around for a bigger vehicle which we could follow. The journey till Joshi Math was full of adventure but if the journey is to be explained hour by hour it will be more than an 2000 line essay…. Anyways, Joshi Math was around 500 Km from Delhi and we took almost 20 Hrs to reach and were there by Dec 31st night…..Jaggi sir had arranged accommodation for us in I.T.B.P Officer’s Mess ( Indo-Tibet Border Police). Thank you Sirjiiiiii…

On the first day this year, we went to Auli for which we have to take a Rope Way (India’s longest) which took us to a verticle height of more than 3000 mts over the sea level….There we could see the snow packed mountains, for which we were here so far from our work places. The Himalayan Ranges can be clearly seen from such a height. For people who do not know, Auli is a place which has one of those better skeing resorts in Asia, for hosting winter games. Almost knee height snow all over, we walked through it for hours just to discover that, they are never ending…. Slided over the snow a couple of times, enjoyed to the fullest and returned through the same rope way down to Joshi Math and back to the Guest House. The next day, we went to a place called Tapovan where we have certain Sulphur hot springs. There are some other places like Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib which can be visited from Joshi Math but unfortunately they were closed and the roads open only during June-July-August. So, we went back to our place, packed the baggage and returned to Delhi on 3rd Jan.

We went to Kharbanda’s place in Noida to freshen up, have break fast and moved to Jaggi sir’s place as it was his birthday that day. Met Brar sir and Sheoran sir as well in Delhi and moved straight to the airport to find some plane which would leave me in Mumbai, Karki and Lucky in Kolkata. Luckily got one of Jetlite and reached Mumbai at 2 am midnight on Jan 4th as the flight was 3 hrs delayed for Delhi’s foggy whether…..

It was a wonderful experience all through…. The pics below speak for themselves….

Wish You All A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year 2009

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal.