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Monthly Archives: March 2006
Wait a second!! I haven’t suddenly turned into an overzealous devotee of Maa Vaishno Devi. I just happened to accompany some people on the pilgrimage. Must say that it was fun. Went to Jammu and from there to Katra, where we began the 14-km trek. Upto Adhkwari, the halfway point, it was hell. Horse-excrete all over the place as the crowd of devotees was surpassed by businessmen selling all kinds of souvenirs. The stalls that made the most money, though, were those selling water. It was very hot and I struggled to catch my breath with every step. From Adhkwari, though, it was heaven. The weather relented and as horses are not allowed on the new path, we got to breathe clean mountain air. Darshan, Aarti and all the rituals were duly performed and it took me exactly half-a-second to doze off once I hit the dormitory bed. Even the smelly socks and incessant snoring of my room-mates(18 people per dorm) could not hamper my glorious slumber.
The next day was cloudy and windy. We made our way down on an increasingly slippery track with high speed winds howling away in our ears. We made it to Katra an hour and a half later than anticipated which resulted in the cancellation of our plan to visit the Raghunath temple in Jammu. We had a sardar drive us back to Jammu and the deadly combo of a turbaned driver and mountain roads left me pale in the face and in no mood for dinner. Returned to New Delhi today morning to pains in the calf,thigh and back. Yup! What fun!!(I don’t mean this sarcastically)