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राजनीति नहीं, निर्णय करो, राजधानी गैरसैंण गोषित करो.....!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Part 1.1 NA

day 9

narayan ashram - our next destination. this was built by swami narayan in the early parts of the 20th century. thus, it has such a unique architecture. i had read in the rung mung website ( that he had mainly built this temple as a resting place for the pilgrims going to kailash parvat. he had asked the villagers for some land near sosa village and it was over there that the temple was constructed. his dying wish was that the temple should we well maintained. i had looked up the path in google earth.
a driver comes to dharchula from sosa village in the morning. so he reaches dharchula by around 11:30 am. then, after lunch, he goes back to sosa village. so we decided to get hold of this guy. we found his jeep parked in the town centre. we had got some momos packed for lunch (we were having approxmately 150 momos/day during our holidays!!!!).

we booked the centre 4 seats in the jeep -> for 440 bucks (rs. 110/seat). though there were only 3 of us, the drivers try to fit in 4 ppl in the middle we had to pay for 4 ppl if we wanted to use the middle seats. the path goes from dharchula to tawaghat, following the kali river. on the other side one can easily see nepal. till tawaghat is around 30 kms from dharchula. then, there are two roads leading from this place. road 1 continues straight towards tibet, going up a few more kilometres ahead. road 2 heads left towards sobla, which is the starting point of darma valley. we guys take road 2. Some way up ahead is the dhauli ganga power station, with an almost 2 km long lake. A little way ahead comes kanchoti, where the road splits into 2 again. road 1 heads straight towards sobla, the entrance to darma valley. road 2 turns right, crosses the gori ganga and then climbsup towards narayan ashram. we take road 2.

now, this is a ride of a lifetime and not for the faint hearted. the road is constructed properly only in a few places. the rest of the places, it is just a rocky one with lots of loose stones. and u rise straight up ... with nepal and the chiplakedar peaks coming into view. there are lots of lovely pine and buransh (rhododendron) forests all around you. the dhauli ganga river and the artificial lake formed at the lake is of a sparkling emerald green shade. the jeep clatters its way up with the driver playing some kumaoni songs. pretty soon sme villages come into view -> the first one is pangu, then sosa and finally narayan ashram. the jeep was not able to go all the way tot he shram, since the road till that place is not constructed. hence, we had to walk till the ashram, a couple of hundred metres.

narayan ashram is one of the most beautiful and unique temples i have ever seen. it offers a breathtaking view of nepal and the chiplakedar range. the people who manage the ashram were not there in winters - just around three caretakers. it has some windmills to tap the wind power. the main ashram building is flanked by some dormitories and some othe quarters for the caretakers to stay in. there were also some spots of snow in the shade ... and some very friendly dogs who gobbled up all our biscuits.

from narayan ashram, you have a view of nepal....from the peaks above darchula, to api-nama peak which towers to almost 24000 feet, to the peak which resembles a shivling. beyond that lies om parvat, which is indian territory (at the udgam/starting point of kali river, india has got a small chunk of land called kalapani which is to the left of the river. some hardcore nepalis say that this belongs to nepal. my opinion -> nepal should now become a part of india). u also have a view of the chipla kedar peaks. below this lies chiplakot bugyal. maybe, next year, we will be able to go to this place..if weather permits. we might try again from bona village or from the other side.

the food that was made at narayan ashram was very simple and very very very tasty. they grow most of their vegetables in the ashram compound. so we had vegetables, some daal and thick rice. it might seem plain, but it is very good for losing weight ;-). they make their food on a earthen pot (mitti ka chulha). there is just one small bulb in the whole kitchen and three caretakers. two of them are from nepal and one was a very old man who was looking after this ashram for most of his life. we sat with them, next to the fire on which the food was being made and listened to some interesting stories about the ashram. that was definitely an experience of a lifetime, so far away from the mad world of stock exchanges and trading. sometimes i get really tempted to go back to my roots - away from these big cities...and maybe someday i will.

towards tawaghat...nepal is on the other side of the river

that is nepal

almost reached tawaghat


tawaghat....that bridge leads all the way to tibet

this is where the dhauli ganga (from darma valley) meets the kali ganga (coming from kalapani)

the water had carved some interesting shapes out of these rocks

the snow capped mountains can be seen

this is the start of darma valley

a 2 km lake has been formed by this dam

the green coloured lake...


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