Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Badrinath Travelogue part 2

Jai badri Vishal

Thank you all for your support and blessings.

If you had not read part 1

please click here

After dropping us in Jeeyar mutt, the Jeep driver was in a hurry to reach Srinagar the same night. We wished him safe journey and other 4 persons who accompanied us went to jeeyar mutt to enquire for rooms. I was still in shock and couldn't believe I was in badrinath. The view of snow peaks from jeeyar mutt is excellent. I took out my camera and started clicking photos. since we reached at 4pm the mercury levels were dipping and snow peaks were covered by mist. The fellow travelers came back saying there were no rooms in the mutt and they went out to checkout for budget rooms. They left the bags beside me and asked me to take care of it till they find the room and come back. I didt worry about the baggage as my concentration was in enjoying the peaks. I took a walk around jeeyar mutt with my camera. I took some snaps and the cold was very bad. I returned back and started waiting for them. They came back at 5.15pm with the room keys. The Dharamsala was located 0.5kms from Jeeyar mutt and 2 mins walk from Badrinath temple. We were charged 200rs for 2 and our fellow travelers settled in next room. I dropped my bags as I got the first view of temple and I was shouting in joy like a child.

View of Badrinath temple from my room entrance
I quickly settled in room and left out to have a glimpse of temple and enquire about token system & special tickets. The advance booking counter is located right near the entrance of temple and the person manning the counter was very polite and helpful. I enquired him in broken hindi and he readily explained me in broken english. I repeated what I understood from him and he noded his head with a smile. Then I and my friend left to enquire the token system.we were asked to go to the taxi stand to collect the token. We went to taxi stand and enquired about the token system.

Seva details and charges
seva details in brief
Since we were planning to have dharsan in special seva tickets we just enquired about the token system and came back. Tickets are assigned with timings mentioned for dharsan. since most of the pilgrims come in the evening they first collect the token and refresh themselves and visit the temple for dharsan as per the timings mentioned in the token.

There are separate queues for ladies and gents. This building is owned by TTD. I am happy to see this building here.

If you wish to have dharsan with special seva tickets you have book in advance atleast 12hrs before. No current bookings will be available as they are sold out in few hours after the counter opens. you have to buy tickets today evening itself if you wish to have dharsan tomorrow morning. If you purchase tickets in the morning you can have dharsan in evening only. I went to my room and took some rest. There was no geyser facility in our dharamsala. so it was very difficult to use the freezing cold water. If you dont have geyser you can look out in the streets and find people who carry 5ltr/10ltr can of hotwater and buy them. Be careful as some people carry the water for their own use. We were at the jeeyar mutt for 8pm for prasadam and we were offered hot sambar rice/rasam rice/payasam/poriyal and hot water to drink. buttermilk is also offered. It is real pleasure to have prasadam at jeeyar mutt. We were back in our room by 8.45pm and I requested my friend that we go and take bath in Taptakund (Hot water Spring). He readily agreed and we reached Taptakund and took bath. The water was very hot initially and once we got in it got adjusted to the cold temperature. after having my bath in taptakund for 10 minutes. The Taptakund is in front of the temple and   I suddenly noticed that only few people were entering the temple. I asked my friend to wait for few minutes and I rushed into the temple with only my new dhoti(vesti). No one stopped me and I was expecting someone to ask token. I was guided into the temple and people were starring at me. They were wondering how I could manage only with dhoti in the freezing temperature. The secret is once you take bath in taptakund you will not feel the cold for 30 minutes. I stood in front of badrinath and prayed for 5 minutes. I thanked with him for the surprise dharsan and collected prasadam. I came out of temple and my friend went inside for dharsan. Meantime I rushed to my room and informed my fellow travelers to go for dharsan. They too went in joy and had dharsan before the temple closed at 9.30pm.

Image from Google (I dont want take photo of people bathing)

Image from Google (I dont want take photo of people bathing)

My friend returned along with them and we were asleep by 9.45pm. I was tired and slept very soon. In the early morning I woke up to temple bells. My friend was still sleeping and I didt want to disturb him. I locked my room and was running towards the temple. My clock was showing 3.32am. The priest arrived and the temple opened. Suprabatam started and was immediately followed by vishnusahasranaman. I was told that tirumanjanam was being done for the lord.

Badrinath Temple without lights at 3.35am

I enjoyed the suprabhatam in the middle of very strong breeze and my hands were unable to hold the mobile when i was recording. I wish to share what I enjoyed at 3.30am. lets start watching the video below.

I was there chanting vishnu sahasranamam and once completed the pilgrims were allowed for dharsan. the shops outside the temple opens from 4.30am. I came to my room and darkness disappeared and the day began. I took some photos of Neelkanth. It is said that the first sun rays fall on Neelkanth and then the badrinath valley.

@ 5.30am

I went back to temple at 5.45am and took a quick dip in taptakund and visited the temple for dharsan. I was out in 5 mins.The booking counter was open and only one person was booking the seva. I took the karpoora arthi ticket for Rs. 211 where 2 persons are allowed. I went for a walk around the temple and there was a long queue of pilgrims at 6am. I took some more photos of badrinath temple.

Again I returned to room by 7am and my friend was still asleep. I couldnot rest in room and went to explore Bramhakapal(Brahamkapal). It is very close to the temple. Once you are in the front of the temple you have to walk on the right side with Alakanandha river to your right and you can see Bramhakapal. Pilgrims of all age even the very elderly ones do pithrukarma here. All you have to do is visit this place in the early morning and they will explain the procedures and help you the service of priest. It is better you enquire a day in advance if you wish to do pithru karma.

Beautiful Alakanandha near brahamkapal
Pilgrims at the brahamkapal with temple priests
Sunrays behind snow peaks

I was back in my room and my friend was awake. we went to taptakund for bath and returned to Jeeyar mutt for morning prasadam. We were offered pongal. After taking prasadam we left to explore Mana village and nearby places. The roads are very good from Badrinath to mana village (which is 3kms). I suggest you travel to mana village by shared jeeps which are available after 5 mins walk from taxi stand. I say this because once you walk 3kms you will be exausted after which the path is real tricky. you have to negotiate ups and downs if you need to visit ganesh gufa, vyas gufa, bheem phul or vasudhara falls. From Mana village Indo-Tibet border is only 12kms. you need to take prior permission to visit the border.

We spent half a day visiting these places and I had not taken photos. so I had borrowed from friend googleji.

Ganesh Gufa

 Inside Ganesh Gufa

Vyas gufa
 Inside Vyas gufa
After visiting vyas gufa we went to saraswathi river and I took some photos here

Saraswati mata temple and saraswati river orgin
on our return we took some beautiful pictures

I was Happy to see sparrow (Kuruvi) in Badrinath

we returned to badrinath at 4pm. rested in our room. We went to taptakund at 5pm had bath and we joined the queue for karpoora arthi. we took tulasi malai for lord badrinath. we were allowed inside the temple and we were seated in front of lord. The priest reads out the names in the seva tickets and my name was first called as we were the last ones to enter the temple. The priest explains in short about every idol inside the garbhagraha and followed by karpoora arthi by main priest. this lasts for 10 minutes and you are allowed to be seated in front of lord. After this you can get near the door of garbhagraha and have a glimpse of lord for 30 seconds. Prasadam is offered and we were out of temple thanking badrinath for wonderful dharsan for 3rd time.

We had dharsan of Mahalakshmi and urchava murti of badrinathji. I went to offer donation for annadhanam. The priest who was collecting the donation asked for my name to provide the slip. When I told Sathishkumar he was all excited and overjoyed. Suddenly he stood and hugged me. I was all in shock as I didt understand his language. He then told in hindi that his name too was sathishkumar and he was very very happy to see another brahman by his name. He took me personally to mahalakshmi temple and did archana and offered me kumkumam prasadam. My friend was watching all this with a smile. I called him and introduced him. The priest blessed both of us and what else can I expect. We sat inside the temple for few minutes and left the temple making my mind to visit badrinathji once again before i leave badrinath next day morning.

we returned to room took rest and went to bus stand to enquire about return bus to rishikesh/haridwar. As usual we got a irrresponsible person answering carelessly. we came back to room and refreshed ourself and went to jeeyar mutt for night prasadam. After having prasadam we came to our room and left for taptakund at 9pm. As usual it was not crowded after 9pm and I had dharsan of badrinathji and prayed to him for safe return. we came back and slept off. I got up at 3.30am after the temple bell. I came out and sat out of my room listening to suprabhatam and vishnu sahasranamam followed it. This time my friend woke up early and we were at the busstand by 6am. There were lot of confusion as the crowd waiting for the rishikesh bus was getting restless as the bus had not arrived. we were asked to come after 2 hours. We decided to wait and watch the proceedings for sometime. The bus came in 20 minutes and it was almost full. we approached the booking counter and the person suddenly collected money from us and offered seats. We took our seats and after a roller coaster ride (flat tyre and tyre burst) we reached rishikesh at 7.30pm.

we took tea and reached haridwar at 8.30pm and reached the same hotel kailash. We had dinner and slept off. we rested for next full day and the following day we reached delhi and took rajdhani express to bangalore.

last part to be continued......


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