Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To Vaishno Devi

Last weekend I decided to drive down all the way to Vaishno Devi Temple right from Delhi. This drive turned out to be a new experience, new lessons and new self promises for me. I was travelling with my family in a car. Friday evening, I left for Kurukshetra after office. Left Kurukshetra Saturday morning by 8-15, here I Faulted, I miscalculated the distance as 400 kms. but had to drive 500 kms. to Katra, near Jammu, the base for the climb. It was 7-15 PM when we reached Katra but the sight of Trikuta mountain fills any one with fresh blood. Parked the car in a private hotel parking, they charge 50/- per day, and immediately started the climb. We did not take any help, carried our every thing along with a three year old, weather was perfect, reached the destination at 2-30 AM. Had our Darshans and hired ponies for Bhairon Ghati and down up to Adhkuanri and reached there 7-00 AM. From here we walked up to Ban Ganga and then a auto rickshaw for 30/- upto the parking.
Here I decided not to sit idle for the day sleeping but to drive back immediately, I was awake whole night after driving 500 kms for a whole day on the dusty 'work in progress' roads. I had hardly reached kahmir highway that involuntary actions of the body started showing up. I slept when the driver of a following bus woke me up by blowing horn furiously, he even warned me after overtaking by hurling a few abuses. Now I decided to try a new thing I slept five times on my way back, when ever I felt like sleeping. I tried every thing, in car, with AC on/off, on a dhaba charpoy, on a table, kids playing in the Dhaba Complex and in the middle of a car full of family members awake. Any how I managed to raech safely taking 3-4 Hrs. extra.
This time I have finally decided not to test my driving abilities against sleep.
Also I forgot to mention that I for the first time, saw the train track being laid in this valley, train will soon reach Katra from Udhampur.