My Travel Experiences

July 25, 2015

Amarnath – Jai Baba Barfani – Part2

15-Jul-2015

Sheshnag-Panchatarni-Cave-Baltal-Srinagar

Started             @ 6.10am

Wavbal             @ 7.15am

M G Top           @ 7.45am

Poshpatri          @ 8.30am

Panchtarni         @ 10.15am

Cave entrance   @ 11.30am

Entrance of Temple       @ 12.30pm

Darshan & Started to Baltal        @ 1.30pm

Kali Mata Temple           @ 3.45pm

Baltal                @5.45pm

 

Wakeup @ 3am…then 4.30am and finally @ 4.45am…ready to leave @ 5am….as others 3 would be taking ponies…..there was queue at exit gate….everybody had different reason to exit from the gate…for tea, for medical, for toilets on that side etc….the gate opened at 6am….had tea & biscuits in one of the langar & started in the queue for the final exit from Sheshnag ….started to Panchatarni @ 6.10am.

It was steep ascent…..but as I was fresh, it was ok…..reached Wavbal @ 7.15am….had tea & biscuits in one of the langar…..started again & reached MG Top @ about 7.45am….it was covered with snow…..walked few kms in snow….reached Poshpatri langar @ 8.30am…the biggest in whole yatra…you name it & it will have the food item….let me try to recollect items….upma, poha, idli sambar, dosa, uttapam, panner grill, Chinese, Chawal with various variety, roti, naan, romali roti, various sweets…tea, coffee, lassi, nimbu pani & lot of other varieties. Had poha, uttapam & tea.

Started again…..it was somewhat descend than we started from today morning…reached Panchatarni @ 10.15am…..one can see 3 helipads….on the way saw helicopter in 10-15min frequency….as weather was very good…here again had tea @ biscuits 🙂

Rather than waiting here, started to Cave…..the route here was too challenging, as its all ascent & there were ponies going in your direction as well as coming from opposite direction…it was too tiring & time consuming as well….also traffic here was high, as there were people coming via helicopter & most probably they would take ponies, dolies to reach holy cave. I was thinking its crime to be on foot, as ponies had more priority than people on foot. You are fool to be on foot as there was no space to walk or to take one foot forward.

Reached Cave @ 11.30am…..thought have reached Cave but it’s just entrance at cave area….one can see others joining from Baltal route…all over the place there was snow. There were shops which provides hot water for bath, I asked few people for cave entrance, they said its still 2km….one can see ponies more in number than devotees. Started walking towards cave…..can see shops number as 411…then decreasing….so reached @ entrance gate @ 12.30pm & deposited bag & camera at the counter on the right side then started to climb stairs…kept my shoes at shoe counter.

There was crowd, patiently waiting at the entrance…it was too crowded….everybody wanting to have good darshan….whole cave is enclosed in a grill…so photos which are popular might have taken from inside the cave where temple authorized persons can enter. Manage to take good darshan from grill…it was somewhat around 5.50 to 6 feet tall….majestic…the area from Shivlinga to the grill was surrounded with snow.

Collected shoes, bags, & camera….it was 1.15pm…so took around 45 minutes for darshan.

Rather than waiting for full day here & then start to Baltal next day….started to Baltal @ 1.30pm from base of Cave, as thought….would be bored for full day.

Route to Baltal is also too crowded…..had to stop several times due to congestion…reached Kali Mata Temple @ 3.45pm….from here people said its full descend…..the descend was pushing my toe & first 2 fingers….it was too paining…as first 2 fingers were hitting my shoes…was imagining, how the ascent would be, when people came from Baltal route.

Reached Baltal @ 5.45pm…so today it was almost 12 hrs trek….then realize that I sat only once in the whole journey….to wear my shoes after darshan…never had lunch as such, but anywhere I stopped…. had water, tea & biscuits.

After reaching Baltal….one has to walk for 2kms to reach bus /taxi stand…it was most difficult trek in whole journey ;)…as mentally target was completed….and was in no mood to walk further….but no choice…was thinking just like langars, people should have arranged truck or some vehicles to ferry people from Baltal base to bus/ taxi stand :)…..it was around 6.35pm…there was announcement that bus/taxi to Srinagar will leave till 7pm…after that no vehicle will allowed to start from Baltal…..reached taxi stand by 6.45pm….boarded one taxi to Srinagar for Rs: 400/….meanwhile…contacted Snehalbhai for hotel info in Srinagar…reached Hotel Kalaroos by 10.15pm….settled down…had a bath….went for dinner at nearby hotel….had biryani….and tried to sleep by 11.30pm….

In these 2 days….never had any problems….rains…weather…cold etc…thank god for this memorable yatra.

Few points

  • From Cave to actual entrance of cave, it is all ice/snow…make sure you walk slowly as you might forget this due to muddy color of the ground. All tents, shops are on ice.
  • Keep your belonging as near to cave entrance or else you will have to come along to the shop to collect the things. One can sense that @ cave when you reach from Panchatarni or Baltal, shop numbers are from 412 or something…so as you move ahead towards cave entrance, the shop numbers are decreasing.
  • You can deposit your belongings at start of entrance. I did kept my belongings just start of the entrance of the gate.
  • You can keep your footwear, till in middle of the route, while climbing stairs. There is shoe stand & one can see people keep foot ware just on stairs as well.
  • Even you take Prasad, bel patra etc….nothing can be offered on Shivlinga, as there is grill of 15-20 feet in height in cave. For Prasad there is separate counter at exit from cave.
  • One can get BSNL connection (pre-paid) at Pahelgam (may be from Baltal as well…but as I started from Pahelgam….I am very much sure about it) for Rs: 250/- with talk time of 120 minutes….I will highly recommend to take this…as only BSNL connection is active on the yatra route. Also normally people may miss each other due to different walking speed. We never had any contact, hence I thought Mahendra & Raj will come to Sheshnag on day 1, but they thought I will reach Panchatarni definitely as weather was very good on that day. So they went to Panchatarni & I stayed at Sheshnag. Also it will be good to give status to your family.
  • Also make sure you use your cell phone judiciously to save battery life, as there is no charging facility…though I heard that there are facilities at few langars…but I am not sure…
  • Near tents, once can see STD- ISD facility
  • Normally Tents allocation started from 2-2.30pm…where they will allocate tents…its easy if you are in a group…rates are fixed…also any dispute you can approach Army.

P.S.

While completing this blog, came to know that, there was massive cloudburst @ Baltal base camp primarily in the area of Bus-Taxi stand on Friday 24-Jul-2015….

Blog at WordPress.com.