Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mystery of Shilajit; Kedarnath Valley Part V

In my previous posts I wrote that we made shilajit in Kalimath there another pilgrim group stole my share. I walked the most of the distance from Kalimath to Kedarnath. On my way back I got back my shilajit. A milk carrying truck brought me back to Guptkashi.
Back to Guptkashi
Back to Guptkashi
I walked to main market area to find some room for myself and people from Bengal who stole my shilajit but returned it to me; went towards their hotel that was in some down street.
I knew that room was next to impossible to find and I may have to go to Ukhimath back to my dear friend Gobind Rawat. But I got lucky, I found someone from Ukhimath because now whole Ukhimath knew me. I was a kind of doctor to them and almost whole village used to come to me for this or that treatment. That gentleman, Mr. Hari Singh took me to a hotel of his relative. Hotel was full but I was given an odd room that was still under construction. That room had a large window (window was still to be installed) and a broken door opened in the back street. Only problem was the bathrooms, I had to walk a around whole block to get to the main gate of the hotel and then climb 3 stories to get to the common bathrooms. But anyway I liked my room, it was large and spacious, There was wet plaster smell but it was not bad at all. I borrowed a broom from next door home and cleaned the floor to some acceptable degree.

Guptkashi is also a temple town. Temple is at the top of the town and some stepped streets leads to the road on the top. I was very tired and almost sick but it was still evening so I took the stepped street which was like a mystic bazaar and reached the temple. Last segment of bazaar was had pooja stuff mostly.
Guptkashi Temple
Guptkashi temple
It is a very serene temple with open courtyard. There used to be a Kedarnath Badrinath Mandir Simiti Dharamshala but now that is converted into girl’s hostel for the Ayurveda Pharmacy College where I visited. There is a kund in front of temple and spring water comes from two brass lion-heads. Atmosphere there was very serene and I sat by the door for long time because and observed the scenes. Nobody bothered me there. I was extremely tired and sat there in half lay position.
People in the mountain are very gentle. I used to sit for hours in Ukhimath temple and nobody ever bothered. Head priest, a very handsome gently man in his fifties some time brought me a cup of tea himself. He was not just ordinary priest but a priest of very high level. He was the priest of Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar Kedar for the winter. His title was Rawal. He is a much respected person in Ukhimath. There in the temple premises I use to lay down or sit in just any position by the temple and many times even I forgot to take off my shoes but nobody ever raised voice. Someone always came and took away my shoes and placed them at the gate while I was simply ashamed.
Guptkashi temple
Guptkashi Temple
Mostly local people were visiting the Guptkashi temple for pooja. Aroma of dhoop and incense sticks was filled in air, view of mountain was very fresh, and time to time bells of many temples around were ringing and filling up the air with music. Some people came to take a bath at the kund. Girls from the hostel were coming to wash their clothes in the kund. Kund was not filled but its drains were open.
When it was almost dark, I left the temple and took the different street to get to main road, which too was a happy happy bazaar. In the main market I had my dinner at a restaurant. Best food I ate was in the restaurants of Guptkashi. Whole town was alive with people at even 9 PM. Hundreds of buses and vehicles were parked on the roads and there were people everywhere.
At 10 I retreated to my room to have much awaited rest because I was very tired and feeling sick. I fell to my bed and then I remembered to take a capsule of B-Complex and also I looked at the container that had shilajit. I stopped breathing and opened the jar and dipped the end of b-complex capsule in goo like black shilajit and tried to swallow it but odor was repulsive. It was beyond urine smell but this time I didn’t give up. I had a bottle of ThumsUp and I inserted the capsule right in my throat and gulped the bottle to wash it down in my tum-tum. So I finally I did it. Since room was in the back street and it was peaceful and I fell to sleep.
Kedarnath temple.
Well Sir, I woke up in the morning at 7 when daylight entered in my room from windows. I was kind of shocked to see myself in that room, in Guptkashi, in India, in Asia, on this earth and in this cruel world.
I asked myself was it the dream that I was watching or this is the dream that I am watching now.
I was simply stunned and gradually realized that I am in Guptkashi and woke up from an intense dream. Usually when we wake up and instantly realize that we were watching dreams but this dream was so intense that I was thinking if that was reality and this is dream rather a sort nightmare now.
I had to pinch myself and slap myself and then I realized that I lost that paradise I was in. I am thrown out of the zannat. I was kicked out of the garden of Aden.
It was a very hasin sapna. A man’s ultimate dream. And I cursed myself upon waking up. Why did I wake up? Why?
Well Sir, I won’t spare the details of my dream because this website’s theme is to post only travel experience not the travels that we do in our dreams.
I looked at the shilajit jar and said to myself …
Let’s take this jar to Bhatinda and make my friends very happy at night and then miserable when they wake up.
You can call it friendship or you call it revenge.
End of this series.
And this is the true story.
A final note by the author.
Each year, Shilajit is sold by tons in India. But a very little of it is available in nature. I have no idea from where it comes. Most or all of it may be spurious. If we harvest it from a place, it takes at least 15 years when it can be again harvested.
Shilajit itself has no serious character I believe. Its character comes from cow urine and other ingredients those are added. In spurious shilajit, Viagra and opium are added. Sometimes I thought of experimenting with only lycopodium powder (that is also rare in India) and all other things those we used when we made shilajit in the temple but I haven’t done it. It was just amusing and vague thinking and I have better things to do.
Of-course I see shilajit in the mountains of USA, Canada and other countries where it is not used as medicine. However I never seen anyone harvesting from those places. If even all the shilajit is harvested from the whole world, probably that much is sold in India in just one year.
View of Guptkashi from Ukhimath

View of Guptkashi from Ukhimath
I took that shilajit to my friends in Bhatinda (also called as Bathinda now). There my friends fought for it and it was gone and still many people came to me to ask for it. Many people offered me the entire expanse for me to travel back to Kalimath but I declined. Luckily I still have a small vial of it and now it is dried and became a black rock. It still smells foul and I took a grain of it may be 3-4 times total in the last 4 years. I used it as medicine for others because it is good for the ailment of old people. In my small circle I am a famous herbal and homeopathy man.
I haven’t gone to Kalimath after that hopefully will go there again because I loved that place.
I love to visit Kedarnath again but this time I will go there off the peak pilgrimage period, ie before May or after June. I advise all readers to avoid the peak season.
On the way back to Rudraprayag

On the way back to Rudraprayag
My friends those used that Shilajit gave it a new name: Kila-Jit.


  1. Greetings! I came across your travelogue blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Best Regards, Ravi Hanj.

  2. Great blog.I like it very much.It increase my knowledge regarding shilajit herb.


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