Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vaishno Devi

Yes I had been to Vaishno Devi. We (Shailesh and Me) reached Jammu on 4th afternoon and on same evening we took a bus for Katra, the base camp for Vaishno Devi. Bus journey is like any other bus journey in the country. Bus will move only when the Driver and Conductor agree on passenger numbers. I was not at all in a mood to climb the hill in dark. we started our journey at about 2100 hrs on horse back and reached temple site little after mid-night. After seeing the display board, things you can't carry to the temple, I found it a good excuse to avoid the Devi Darshan. Shailesh decided to carry on so I come back to a dharamshala and booked two beds in Dormitory for us. Shailesh came back at about 0330 in the morning and went straight to bed. It was a nice and clean place, run by Trust. Their canteen is very popular. They serve food cheaper than Katra. After a cup of tea in the morning we decided to stroll back to Katra. Shailesh agreed. Little he knew about his health otherwise he would have refused.
We didn't had any dinner or breakfast so we both were starving. Looking for a decent restaurant for breakfast was tough. At one place where we decided to have b/fast saw a lady complaining about an insect in sambhar. I quickly changed my order to few chocolate bars.
Shailesh was hungry and tired so we decided to stop on next restaurant. At one place we saw fresh stuffed parathas on hot plate and decided to have breakfast here only.
By the time we reach Katra town Shailesh was completely exhausted. One Massage wallah saw his condition and tried hard to get the business. 20 rs is not a big deal for ten or fifteen minutes massage. This is dry massage. Oil massage cost five times more.
We used pony to go up. I will say that was a mistake. Best way is to take the pony uptill Ardh kumari or Tempo stop and from there just take the Battery tempo. This way it is cheaper and more comfortable. We both realised our mistake after an hour or so sitting on that Pony. One can do the same thing on way back, even from Ardh Kumari one can stroll back. It takes more than an hour with very gentle pace. We need to learn manners, only that can keep this site clean. I saw people throwing rubbish every where on path and on hills. And of course the trust itself do not try to keep the path and hill area clean. They empty the dust bin on hill.

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