Trip to Uttarakhand – Kedarnath Temple

KedarLong

Kedarnath Temple

Day 4: 31st July 2012 : We woke up at 5:00 am, went to Gaurikund and had bath in the kund. The water is nice warm, with cold surroundings make the atmosphere surreal. After spending around 15 mins in the kund we came back to our room, drank tea at the stall below, inquired about the route, also brought walking sticks. We started our walk at 5.40 am. Initially for a km or so there are stalls on both sides of road which is nicely paved. There are lots of mule owner who will ask for their services. As we both have decided we will be walking the whole path of 14km, we declined those services. After walking for a km or so, me and my partner started to drift away from each other, he was a diabetic, so I decided to continue on my KedarWaterfallown, we never crossed our way till the end of the day. Before embarking on this tour, I had practiced to walk for 8-10 km non-stop. But walking on a flat road and climbing a hill is different story. I was able to walk at speed of 1km per 10 minutes on flat road, but here the time required was double. So I covered around 3 km per hour. I reached the halfway point of Rambada in 2 hours. I was happy with my progress, covered 7 km in little more than 2 hours. I took a break, had tea and paratha, rested for 20 minutes, still there was no sign of my friend. KedarRambadaI started my second leg of the journey, after Rambada the climb gets steeper for next 6 km. My speed decreased considerably, now it was taking 30 mins per km. Physically I was feeling good, once I took a shortcut and climbed rapidly, that caused me some breathing problems and I had to wait for 10 mins. The walking stick is of immense help while walking at high altitude, you can put pressure on it and use as your 3rd leg. All the way to my journey till the top of the mountain, I was alone in my journey. I met a couple from Bihar who had halted in Rambada for night stay and where continuing from half way point, they where impressed with the progress I had made. buoyed by their words of encouragement, I decided to launch the final push onto the top of the mountain. By this time, I was in my elements, so there was no breaks. Finally, I reached the last km, which is a tabletop. Here, I met a pujari who performed the puja for me. It cost me Rs 500. Actually later I came to know that you have to officially get pujari from the temple itself and they cost a fraction of what I paid.KedarAmol I travelled my last km with pujari. It was not raining then, though it was cloudy throughout. I reached the temple premise by 11.00 am, so I was able to complete 14km trek in 5 hours and 30 mins. The pujari took to one of his regular shop, where I kept my bag and shoes, brought the item he requested for puja. There was no crowd in the temple, was able to perform the puja KedarRightsitting besides the shivling. After the puja was performed, there was one more outside the temple, then he game me some memento, etc. He also clicked couple of my pics in front of the temple. After performing the ritual, I went back to the shop to collect my belongings. Then had lunch at a nearby dhaba, the food was ok and I was tired. Also, ran across the Russian, still there was no sign of my partner. KedarAfter having lunch, I decided to have snaps of kedarnath temple, also I visited the samadhi of Shankaracharya which is located at the backside of the temple. KedarShankaracharya It was 1.00 pm and I decided to turn back. I was very excited, never had felt so satisfied after visiting temple. I walked for a while, then decided to look at the flowers growing on the plateau. There where varieties of flowers out there, clicked some of them. After walking for 3-4 km, my legs started to give me trouble. From here, my journey was painful but satisfying. My knees where hurting very much, I think I had IT-band problem. Somehow I continued my downward walk, but I was more resting than walking. I could pull myself till Rambada, the halfway mark. Here I had breakfast and rested for half and hour. Then I KedarMandakanibegan my descent again, after sometime the pain was too unbearable, so I asked for a mule rider, but he quoted me an exorbitant amount, so I refused. Now only last 3 km where remaining, I was in desperation to get down ASAP. Somehow, I managed the courage and walked down, finally I entered the final stretch and limping I went to my hotel room. I ordered my dinner in my room itself. My room-partner was still not visible, he came a couple of hours later. I reached my room by 7:00pm. It took me 6 hours to get down, and 5.30 hours to climb! I was so tired that after having dinner I didn’t wash my hands. There was power outage too. Finally after my room-partner came at 9 pm and later he went for dinner while I closed my day. Never had I walked for that period and distance in my life. 11:30 hours of walking and 28+ km distance covered. The cost of the day was room charge Rs 75, Food 300, and Puja 501.

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