Day 10: 6th Aug 2012 : I woke up early hoping to catch Neelkanth peak in its splendor with the rising sun, but much to my disappointment it was raining heavily. So I went back to sleep, woke again at 8.30 am, had breakfast there was no rain though it
was still cloudy, so there was no chance of seeing the peak. I decided to visit the last town of India Mana, it’s an ancient town between India and Tibet. It is 3.5 kms from Badrinath town, I decided to walk. After half hour walk I reached the main gate of the town. I walked right through the town, mostly Bhotias stay here. At the other end of the town are two caves called Ganesha gufa and Vyas gufa. It is believed that the great epic Mahabarata was composed in the Vyas gufa.
Ahead of Vyas gufa, you will see the Bhim phul, which was probably built by Bhim, as per the legends. Also, 25km from this place is Swargarohini peak, from where the Pandavas went to heaven. There is Vansundara falls 8km trek from Mana. Mana also has confluence of Saraswati river and Alakananda river, its called Keshav Prayag. It is believed(mythological) that the river Saraswati goes underground from this point and emerges at Allahabad. This place is full of mythological stuff, uttarakhand is also known as dev bhomi(Land of Gods).
I visited the Vyas gufa, drank tea at the India’s Last Tea Shop, then crossed the Bhim phul, went to the other side of the river bank from there went to the confluence of the rivers i.e Keshav Prayag. Took snaps, rested for some time and decided to come back, the weather had dramatically improved, there was no rain. While leaving the Mana village, I met a guide, who showed the Vasundara falls from Mana village. I walked back to my hotel in badrinath, as sun was out, so I decided to dry my clothes outside in the sunlight. I had my lunch in the meantime. The roads where still closed for traffic, so still Badrinath wore a deserted look. In the evening had tea and later dinner at the nearby stall and called off the day.
The room rent was Rs 200 and the food cost for the day was Rs 225.
Day 11: 7th Aug 2012 : Today was my last day in the holy town of Badrinath. I woke up early, decided to take darshan for the last time. The road has cleared up and so has the weather. Took bath in the Tapt Kund, had morning darshan in the temple. Took some souvenir for family and friends. Then took snaps of the Neelkanth peak, which is at only 9 km from Badrinath, it is 6,596m
above sea-level. Came back to the hotel room and checkout of the hotel, the bus was waiting there to goto Chamoli. I was planning to visit Chopta today or tomorrow.
The bus driver reluctantly agreed to take me till Chamoli, I was seated at the last seat, it was a bumpy ride. We descended pretty easily, only after joshimath there was a landslide and had to wait for 30-40 mins before the road cleared, but those minutes turned out to be vital, as I missed the bus to Chopta. I reached Chamoli, from there I took a bus to Gopeshwar and here I came to know that I had just missed the bus, there is only a single bus in a day from Gopeshwar to Chopta. I talked with the local shop owner who were helpful, and decided my luck with some trax or other car. There where private operators but they where charging in excess of Rs1000 for a 30 km ride.
After trying for couple of hours I decided to stay in Gopeshwar, it was the worst night of my tour. I book in a nearby lodge for Rs 200 per night, which was the worst decision I took on the tour, as the lodge was infested with bedbugs, I could’nt sleep for the whole night. But apart from that, Gopeshwar is a beautiful town, nestled in-between hills. It has an ancient temple of God
Shiva and has one of the oldest trishul to be found. If you’re devotee of Shiva then you should definitely visit this place. I visited the temple in the evening, had chat with the pujari, took some snaps and went back to my lodge.
I had dinner in local food joint. In the night when I tried to sleep I came to know about the bedbugs, was disappointed, even tried to change room in middle of night, but the motels where closed. So tried to sleep in a chair, was just waiting for the first morning bus to get out of this place, caught the first bus to leave to Rishikesh in the morning, slept in the bus for a while.
Due to bedbugs I had to change my travel plans.
The travel cost Rs 120 from Badrinath to Gopeshwar, the room rent was Rs 200 and the food cost for the day was Rs 175, the puja cost me Rs 50.