December 04, 2007

Journey to Sacred India

It was Friday, we started our journey to north pilgrim places like Amritsar, Vaishno Devi etc from Indore. A long scenic journey of 1500 kms at one stretch passing through diverse states of India through our ever lazy train. Our coach was just adjacent to pantry car...ahh...smell of delicious dishes itching our stomach all the time. Moreover, we had few laughter champions along with us, they only know laughing on their PJs, eating like a Hunk and sleeping in musical rhythm....a journey to remember for the lifetime.

We reached Jammu on next day after exhausting 27 hrs long journey, and without moving our of rly station we booked a taxi to katra (2 hrs run) which is a base station to Vaishno Devi Shrine.
Vaishno Devi is already a popular place, thousands of person travel here and do trekking on the mountain for darshan of devi in form of pindies. Don't carry your camera here, its of no use because photography is prohibited. Have a look to wide panoramic shot of V.D. up to which cams are allowed. © Anjul Sahu
After adventurous tour of VD, we moved to our base station and took a stay for a night. On the next day, we did a Tata Sumo for Dharmshala (McLeodGanj), Kangra, Jwalaji, Chintpurni and Pathankot. Travelling throughout the day, in the sidelines of tropical deciduous forest and mountain ranges, reached Mcleodganj (10 kms from dharmshala).

Mcleodganj was built by Britishers and now populated with Tibetans, Christians and Anglo-Indians. I can feel the presence of these groups in their architecture styles, language and food. Nowadays, it is more popular for Dalai lama's residence at Namgyal monastery. China is against them and thrashed them from Tibet to India. Note: If you want shopping, do bargain because they tag products for four times the actual cost. Checkout the photo on your right, these horrible piece of art is of few hundred bucks, I want to buy them all which was not feasible so I took a snap of all of them are mine.

One good initiative I looked here was ban on plastics, they use paper -bags and keep the mountains clean. Nature will give you pleasure till you respect him, This is the rule of thumb which they really follow.

Amritsar: The last destination was the most divine place for Sikhs, 105 km from pathankot. It was a day long tour and favorite spots were Jalianwala Bagh, Golden Temple and Wagha Border. Jaliawala bagh & Golden Temple are nearly adjacent, and both has stitched with bloody history. The famous Jalianwala Bagh massacre, the garden saturated by nearly 2000 Indian patriots who were martyred in a non-violence struggle to free India from British domination, Gen. Dyer of British Army opened fire here on the unarmed Indians.

Golden Temple: The main attraction of the city. One can spend hours here without rethinking. It is such a spiritual place with melodious kirtans around the four corners and the architectural beauty has its own glory. Few things one should never miss here is the main temple & internal architecture style within the temple, the bhandara ( the social food) and the kar-seva i.e. the work with self interest. For Photo(s): Click Flickr/anjul

Wagha Border Ceremony: wagha border is a crossing between India and Pakistan. 30 km out of city near Atari international railway station. The flag off ceremony is one especial event that happens daily before sun-set. People from both the countries collect here on the pavilion and 6.5 ft high BSF troops march and represent their respective country with 120 db sound level....VANDE MATARAM.... The whole scenario just changes to patriotic glory. Note: be there on time, otherwise you'll miss the most important thing for which you marched for.

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