Thursday, August 24, 2006

Here I Come, Himalayas- Day 2

We start early at seven in the morning. The guide tells us that it is going to be a long bus journey. We get introduced to the other groups in our bus. There is a bengali group of 8 members, a gujarati group of 5 members and a mumbai group of 7 members. I begin to see the gigantic mountains of Himalayas as we progress through our journey.

I learn a lot of new things in this journey. I had always believed that Ganga was the river that came from Gangotri. But then that is not completely true. We get to see some prayags ( sangam of two rivers) in this journey.

1) Deo Prayag: Sangam of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi. This is the real place where Ganga is born.

2) Rudra Prayag: Sangam of Alaknanda and Mandakini.

3) Karan Prayag: Sangam of Alaknanda and Pindari

4) Nand Prayag: Sangam of Alaknanda and Nandakini

Our whole journey is along river Alaknanda. This river takes birth at a place called Alakpuri. It flows very aggressively and forcefully. So the journey amidst Himalayas and Alaknanda is beautiful.

We stop at a river rafting camp for our breakfast. And then we continue our jouney. Though the journey is perfectly scenic, it is a bit exhausting. At 4:30 in the evening, we reach Pipalkoti. We are supposed to proceed to Joshimath. But the road is blocked due to a landslide. We can see a long queue of vehicles ahead us. We wait for a couple of hours but we are informed that the landslide is still happenning. It is 15th August. So the government people who are supposed to help are not in office. So our guide informs us that we will be staying at Pipal koti that night. Since Pipalkoti is a small village, all the people who are stuck in the traffic jam are not able to get the accomodation. Luckily, there is a guesthouse of GMVN. So we manage to get some rooms there.

We take an evening walk exploring some shops in Pipalkoti and also trying to see the landslide. But then we see that the traffic jam there is so bad that we decide to walk back to our room.
I am a little apprehensive now because we are behind our schedule. We do not know when the landslide will stop. It seems that landslides have become quite frequent there mostly because people have messed up nature's balance while installing electric ploes in the mountains. Sigh! When will man learn that he can never outpower nature??

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