Monday, May 27, 2013

Mandal to Anasuya Devi – Rudranath Trek 2

It is a golden morning of Himalayas, we wake up listening to the screaming of Mrs. Tari. We have no desire to accompany them on the long way to Rudrunath so in a rush we pack up. When Tari sees us packing he begs us to wait for them so we all can go together. Since they have booked a car till Mandal and driver is waiting outside, so they will be going to Mandal on the car, that is a little more than a kilometer only. We tell Mr. Tari that he may find us in Mandal and actually he is happy that he need not to offer us a ride in the car because whole vehicle is cluttered. We come out of the hotel at 8am and have tea and then walk to the scenic village of Mandal in the bottom of the valley where road crosses the river and again begins its climb to Gopeshwar. Whole route is very scenic and we reach in Mandal in no time. Mandal village has a market of ten or so small shops. We have breakfast of parothas at a small restaurant by the river and brace ourselves for the 6 kilometer trek for Ansuya Devi.
Anasuya Devi
Trek to Anasuya Devi

As we are ready to hit the trail going up in the village, Tari & Company too arrives and Tari is begging his wife to have Parothas but she wants bread and butter. Tari wanders around the 2-3 shops in the village to find bread but only buns are available. He begs us to stop and wait for them. Harsh starts communication with Tari’s wife Amandeep Kaur and she begins chirping as Tari is away finding bread for her. As Tari returns she again turns into a different person. Unfortunately Tari is unable to find a bread. Harsh asks her to eat parothas with butter and after a show off with Tari she eats 3 parothas.
Now she wants to go to temple on the horse and Tari pleads her to walk with him because it is inappropriate to go on the horse as his mother has taken a vow for him to walk there with his wife and kid. After a show, she agrees to walk but Tari must find 2 porters, one for kid and another for luggage. Tari again pleads with her that Kids should walk or Tari will carry him. Tari is not set upon to find porters. We begin our walk without them. It is already 10 AM so today’s destination is only Anasuya Temple. On the way comes Shirouli village. Balkhillya Nadi runs along with us – as we trek a slow ascent though lush green terraced fields.
Anasuya Devi
Our hotel at Anasuya Devi
Anasuya Ashram is a temple of archaeological importance as well. The initial phase of trek is to Anasuya Mata, a hamlet in the route. It is an easy 6km trek from Mandal. The path goes along the stream winding through forests and terraced fields of paddy. Irrigation channels and paddy fields imply cultivation and inhabitance in this region.
We keep walking on the utterly scenic terrain. On the way a kid gives us a ripe galgal (Mountain Lemon). In a village tea shop we have a cup of lemon tea. We arrive at Anasuya Mata at 3 PM. We visit the Anusuya temple compound. This temple has some special significance for the unfortunate childless couples, who visit, pray and offer puja to invoke Anusuya Mata’s blessings. The idol of the Anusuya Mata, however could be viewed from outside also. The new structure of the temple was erected 150 years back when a devastating earthquake grounded it all. Legend has it the Sankaracharya established the previous temple. The temple is respected as the last resort of childless couples. Idols of Pandavas and Krishna in Anusuya temple, as are the idols of Shiva and Parvati besides, Hanumanji. There is another temple in this serene village, that is Dattatreya temple. Dattatreya was Rishi Atri’s elder son, another son being the famous Durvasa. The Idol of Dattatreya is installed in the temple.
The temple is surrounded by thick forest-laden mountains on all sides. We take a basic room in the Tiwari lodge and ask the tea shop to prepare lunch for us.
As we are waiting for our lunch at the tea shop, at 4PM porter carrying the luggage of the comedians arrives and we offer him a cup of tea. Funnily he informs us about more torture of Mr. Tari by the hands of his fat wife. We come out of the shop and come to a point where we can see far below, there we see odd couple crawling. Lady is now following a way behind the husband who is carrying the kid. We return to the tea shop. Our experience tells us that she loves creamy things, cheese and desi ghee etc. We ask Mr. Negi: the tea shop man, if he has such things on his menu. No he hasn’t but he can possibly arrange desi ghee. He has only cabbage, potatoes, soybean nuggets and a couple of daals.
That’s all he got.
May God bless Tari.
Anasuya Devi
Anasuya Devi area
We have to solve the problem about food on the way to Rudranath. We are told that we will not find tea or anything till Hans bugyal where a baba offers shelter and extremely basic food to pilgrims. Recent news says that baba is still there. We ask locals about how to tackle food problem on the way. They tell that they themselves carry about 2 kg potatoes for each person and a pot. Firewood is scanty but can be searched and boiled potatoes can be eaten. Potatoes are a good source of energy so it makes sense to carry potatoes. We already have a small aluminum pot.
But what about Tari and Co.?
But I have my own system that I used several times. I tell Mr. Negi to prepare us 20 parothas of assorted ingredients at tomorrow morning. I ask local people about what to carry for the Baba at the bugyal who takes care of people but nobody ever though about it. We buy 1 kg of potatoes just in case Baba is not there and also buy 1 kg of sugar and 1 kg of tea for Baba although things are double the price here.
Anasuya Devi
Anasuya Devi Temple
Meanwhile Mr. Tari arrives with his kid. We order tea for him. His face is very sad. I bluntly ask him about his ordeal and tears begin falling from his eyes. I tell him it makes no sense in facing such troubles and it is not a pilgrimage in any sense. He should have come alone.
He says he was coming alone but she tugged along. She has taken an oath that he will not be given any chance to stay even one minute with his mother in Dehradoon.
Poor Tari’s marriage for Canadian Residency is blowing on his face.
“Be a man, just return from here and next time come alone for Rudranath.”
Tari replies, “I can’t. I have taken an oath or some misfortune will fall on me.”
I and Harsh both start laughing.
“What other misfortune can fall upon you.”
We pursue Tari to take his one-woman-plague-of-locusts back or send her back.
He can go to Rudranath with his 2 year old kid who seems enjoying the mountains. We pledged to offer all the help.
Tari give it a long though and finally says, “I will talk it over with with my wife.”
He has sent back the car but his cell phone still works here. He can arrange another car for her to take her back to where-ever she wishes to go.
Anasuya Devi Village view
Anasuya Devi
Memsab arrives dragging her feet. Her face if full of tears and she is sulking. Unfortunately they end up in the same Tiwari lodge where we are staying because that is the only hotel here beside a temple dharamshala hall. Rooms are dinghy and tunnel like with a tiny window. There is no electricity and walls are covered with candle smoke. Luckily they made no noise but we know that Mr. Tari is going to pay a dear price. Tari runs to the tea shop and brings her tea but she refuses. He begs us but she stays quite.
There is still plenty of daylight left. From Anusuya, there is a beautiful path leading up into the forest. On the log bridge we cross a bubbling stream. After a couple of kms, there is a bifurcation with the one path on the right leading to the unique meditation cave of Atri Muni which has a waterfall as its curtain. This whole area is exceptionally beautiful and waterfall is named as Atri Dhaara. We visit there and then return back to the temple at the aarti time.
Anasuya Devi
Brook near Anasuya Devi Temple
Several people gathered at aarti and then there is a bhajan session. After that there is nothing much to do at night. Dinner is potato curry with soybean nuggets and toor daal. Not bad at all. We ask Mr. Negi about what is on dinner for Tari and Co.
“Same thing what you had,” he replies.
We anticipate an explosion next door.
Tomorrow will be a hell of a day we will be climbing several thousands of feet.
We go to sleep.
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Botanical name: Tylophora indica
Sanskrit: Svasaghni, Lataksheeri
English: Indian ipecacuanha, Indian Ipecac
Hindi: Antamul, Jangli pikvam
Malayalam: Vallippala, Nansjera-patsja
Indian ipecacuanha is a small, slender, much branched, velvety, twining or climbing herb with yellowish sap. It is mostly found in the sub-himalayan tract from Uttarakhand to Meghalaya and in the central and peninsular India. Rootstock is 2.5-5 cm, thick. Leaves, 6-11 cm long, 3.8-6 cm wide, are ovate-oblong to elliptic-oblong, with a narrow tip, heart-shaped at base, thick, velvety beneath when young, smooth above. Leaf stalks are up to 1.2 cm long. Flowers are small, 1-1.5 cm across, in 2 to 3-flowered fascicles in cymes in leaf axils. Sepal up is divided nearly to the base, densely hairy outside. Sepals are lance-shaped. Flowers are greenish- yellow or greenish-purple, with oblong pointy petals. Fruit is a follicle, up to 7 x 1 cm, ovoid-lanceshaped. Flowering: August-December.
The roots and leaves of plant of Indian ipecacuanha is used to vata, kapha, asthma, bronchitis, dysentery, diarrhea, wounds, leukemia and leafes for viper bite.
Anasuya Devi
by William BOERICKE, M.D.
Presented by Médi-T
The chief action is on the ramifications of the pneumogastric nerve, producing spasmodic irritation in chest and stomach. Morphia habit. The principal feature of Ipecacuanha is its persistent nausea and vomiting, which form the chief guiding symptoms. Indicated after indigestible food, raisins, cakes, etc. Especially indicated in fat children and adults, who are feeble and catch cold in relaxing atmosphere; warm, moist weather. Spasmodic affections. Hæmorrhages bright-red and profuse.
Ipecacuanha is a number one medicine for nausea and vomiting

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