SEVEN BADRIS, FIVE KEDARS AND FIVE PRAYAGS - By Shankar Rajaram || Part-3 (Day 4 & 5)

4th day :
Hope you enjoyed day-1 and day-2/3 of this journey On the fourth day, two persons from Canada and two cooks from Joshimath joined me for the rest of my journey. Our next point was Vridha Badri located at Animath village, 7 km from Joshimath, situated at the height of 1380 mtrs from the sea level. Legend tells that Vishnu appeared in the form of a vridha or old man to sage Narada who performed penance here. The temple is open throughout the year and it is believed that the image was carved by divine craftsman Vishwakarma. This is the fifth Badri of my tour.
Our next destination was Kalpeshwar mahadev, and the transport was upto lyari village. We trekked upto Urgam village where we stayed in the guest house that day. After lunch, we went to Kalpeshwar Mahadev temple, the first Kedar of our tour. Kalpeshwar (2200mtrs) is in the picturesque of Urgam village. It is a location for meditation and it’s believed that sage Durvasa meditated here under the Kalpakavriksha (Kalpa tree). It is visible on the rock face inside the cave. The temple is accessible throughout the year and it is only 12km trek from the nearest road of Helang on the Rishikesh Badrinath road. Lord Shiva‘s hair and head is worshipped here. This destination is a favorite location for meditating ascetics; one can experience the charm of a celebrated spot. Blessed with streams and thick woods one is stunned to come across such a beautiful and blessed spot on the earth. Dhyan Badri is located in the Urgam village close to Kalpeshwar on the banks of river Alakananda. The image of Vishnu is four armed made out of black stone and in a meditative posture. It can be reached from Helang by a 12 km trek enroute to Joshimath. It is believed that Urvarishi of the Pandavas lineage meditated in Urgam region and established the temple for Vishnu. I enjoyed thoroughly, the surroundings of Urgam village, a clean, non-polluted and peaceful village. Urgam valley is famous for potato plantation and apple orchards.
5th day :

The tough day of the trek started as we left Urgam village to Kalgot for Rudranath temple. You come across lush green meadows and dense forest. We have taken a packed lunch for the long trek. One has to accept though that the trek is tedious. The body does get tired but the clam and serene surroundings, the mountain take away your mental agony. I spent sometime with the local people of Kalgot. They were anxious to see me and curious ‘cause I was trekking in this age with so much grit and enthusiasm.
The next day we started our trek from Kalgot to Panar mountains. From here we get a splendid view of Hathi Parbat, Nanda devi, Nanda ghunti, Trishuli and other mountain peaks. Panar is a heavenly place and in a playground where we pitched our tents. There is one small tea shop In Panar.
Early  morning ,we left for Rudranath and I came back the same day to Panar. It is a 4km trek to Rudranath and the temples are closed in the afternoons. There are numerous sacred water tanks near the temple. These include Surya kund, Chandra kund, Tara kund, Mana kund etc. The Vaitharni sream flows near the temple. The temple has a grey stone idol and the diety is a swayambhuva shivling shaped like a human face formed by the projection of huge rock.  This face has a serene smile and a gaze of pure benevolence.  Measuring about 3’ from the chin to the top of the jata-kesh and a white cloth remains bound tightly on the crown of Lord Shiva. Here people discussed about my stamina ‘cause in I trekked to Rudranath and back in a single day.

Check out next post to know more about this 13 days experience...

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