Tag Archives: Haridwar

Garhwal Diaries 14 – Haridwar

Haridwar, one of the holiest Indian cities in India, is a world unto itself. According to Hindu Mythology, Haridwar is one of the four sites where drops of Amrit (the elixir of immortality) fell while Garuda was carrying the same in a pitcher. It is also one of the cities where the Maha Kumbh Mela is held. The photographs below have been clicked on the ghat of Har ki Pauri. For the rest, I will let the photos speak.

IMG_0429Har ki Pauri – Sepia Tuned

IMG_0430The clock tower

IMG_0431The flowing water

IMG_0428A submerged foot

287253_289951051019059_373603484_oShackles amidst flowing life

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Garhwal Diaries 13 – Moments Captured on a Day Trip Through Rishikesh

Some more moments at Rishikesh depicted through these random clicks:

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IMG_0400This is the Chotiwala restaurant, a famous food joint that is over 50 years old. Sumptuous vegetarian delicacies are offered here.

IMG_0415The Chotiwala himself!

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Garhwal Diaries 12 – Rishikesh Retro Riviera

Some moments captured within a span of 24 hours in Rishikesh – the gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas.

IMG_0380A bird in the eye

IMG_0381Painted Bark

IMG_0383The Bridge

IMG_0394Ray of Hope

IMG_0389Still Life

Garhwal Diaries 11 – A Day at Devprayag

I waited for more that 2 hours on the road. But when the authorities declared that it will almost the entire evening for the roads to be cleared, I decided to return to Devaprayag for a night halt.

One of the five Prayags, Devaprayag is the Confluence of Alkananda and Bhagirathi.

I put up in a motel for the night. I must say it was a welcome break. Especially keeping in mind the view from the motel balcony.

IMG_0228A bend in the river

IMG_0334Bend Captured from the Motel Balcony

devprayagThe Confluence

IMG_0344Chai with Choco Pie

IMG_0353Vegetable Garden at the Backyard

Garhwal Diaries 9 – Descent From Kedarnath

It started drizzling by the time I started from Kedarnath. As the sun had already set I evaded the idea of clicking. By the time I reached Sitapur, it was already dark. Tired and hungry, the dal makhni with roti and salad made for a sumptuous dinner. Next morning I started from Sitapur for Rishikesh.

Postcards from Sitapur Skyline. Could not resist myself from clicking.

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Uttarakhand Floods: Nature’s Fury or Have We Dug Our Own Graves? – Part I

Uttarakhand Floods is probably the most debatable topic currently. Environmentalists believe that this is a man-made disaster. Chandan Das explores the topic in a similar strain. He believes that human beings have dug their own graves by invoking the wrath of Nature!

“And much it grieved my heart to think what man has made of man” – William Wordsworth

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Ok I will start with a Fact: The Himalayan region is home to several major Hindu pilgrimage centres – beginning from Rishikesh and Haridwar where the River Ganga first flows out into the plains. Every year thousands go to do the Char Dham Yatra. On 15th June 2013 a calamity “Himalayan tsunami” arrived and a tragedy struck Uttarakhand that was waiting to happen for a long time now. The rivers flowing across the famed pilgrimage sites became so furious that they submerged whole towns, washing away shops, homes, hotels and lodges.  Buildings collapsed like pack of cards as swollen rivers pounded down the denuded hills making a poignant view. The lofty green mountains, that would inspire even a deadpan to break into a song earlier, became barren. Today, as I write this , almost 62,000 of pilgrims have been left stranded, 1000 plus lives have been lost (oh yeah, the toll is likely to rise), property worth crores and the world-famous pilgrimage Kedarnath, located at a height of 11,760 feet , has been damaged by the latest fury of the monsoon. But here is my point: The injustice man did to the rivers in the name of development have left the beautiful water bodies seething with anger. It seems like Nature wanted to restore the balance that was disturbed by rivers having to change their course and due to blocking of their natural flow in the name of progress!!

So is it just a Nature’s fury or have we dug our own graves?

The Uncontrolled Traffic: Do We Have the “Capacity”?

The valleys of the Yamuna, the Ganga and the Alaknanda witness heavy traffic of tourists. In any normal day, if you sit at the Prayag bridge for tea and start counting, one will notice 80 buses crossing in about 5 minutes. 80 buses in 5 minutes?? Yeah you heard it right!!

Figure this: In 2005-06, 83,000-odd vehicles were registered in UTTARAKHAND. The figure increased to nearly 180,000 in 2012-13. Out of this, proportion of jeeps, cars and taxis, increased the most. In 2005-06, 4,000 vehicles were registered, which jumped to 40,000 in 2012-13 – a whopping 1000 per cent increase!! The heavy pilgrim population has also resulted in the mushrooming of shanty towns, numerous ramshackle buildings and cheap accommodation along river banks. It’s a known fact that there is a straight co-relation between tourism increase and higher incidence of landslides. Road contractors, who come from outside, do not understand the mountains. Most of the expressways that are being constructed now are tangled in legal cases. After cutting of mountains, landslides continue for up to four years, and contractors go bankrupt clearing the debris.  We see more landslides nowadays because of unplanned development in the hills. Most of these places have much more tourist inflow than the area’s carrying capacity. A new (mountain) range like the Himalaya will remain steady if not tampered with much. But the huge expansion of roads and transport is bringing the mountains in Uttarakhand down!!

So was it just a nature’s fury or have we dug our own graves?

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Garhwal Diaries 8 – Random Clicks in Kedarnath

They say you are really lucky if you have been able to visit Kedarnath at least once in your life. Well, may be or may not be. For a travel enthusiast and a nature lover like me, the experience was just mindblowing…memories that I will forever cherish in my mind…

IMG_0287Random clicks of the surroundings at Kedarnath

IMG_0288I was quite amazed to see the crowd

IMG_0294View of the valley.

IMG_0293Another random click!

IMG_0268Goldy, someone I befriended on my way back from Kedarnath