Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Badrinath Yatra

Dear Friends,

  Before reading the experience kindly visit the photo album 
  Click here : Badrinath Yatra Photos

Now summer vacation in India and the vacation going to start in Gulf. Since I am in Oman, I would like to write about the vacation in Oman. The summer vacation for students start by the 3rd week of June 2013 and the reopening of schools will be after 15th Aug 2013. The Indian Schools in the capital close down one by one for the summer vacation and open in the same order to avoid air traffic in the Muscat International Airport. Maximum number of students and their parents travel to their native place, far east or western countries. There are so many places in India to visit. 
In the year 2010 we had a trip to Badrinath on the Himalayas during the summer vacation in India - May 2010. I am delighted to write about it and the experience is still green in my mind. 
River Ganges, Rishikesh
My wife and children with my sister, mother in law, co-brother and his family reached Delhi and the Badrinath yatra started from The Balaji Temple, RK Puram, New Delhi. The tour is being organised by Sri. Devanathan my relative with great care and divinity every year during Akshaya Thritiya. In this trip there were about 100 pilgrims.  The travel started in the mid night and reached Hrishkesh in the morning. We all stayed in Srimad Andavan Ashramam for a day. The holy dip in the Ganges, visit to various places, crossing the Ganges by boat visited Geetha Mandir and many mandirs, markets, Lakshman Jula and enjoyed the mighty beauty of the Himalayas. 
Deva Prayag, Ganga sangamam
Then the tour proceeded on the Himalayas. We reached Deva Prayag enjoying the beauty of the holy places on the way. We had holy bath in the Bageerathi and Alakananda Sangam in Deva Prayag and had the darsanam of Vishnu on the bank. This is one of 108 holy Vishnu sthalam to be visited by every Sri Vaishnava. Then we travel started on the way we had our lunch. We stayed in a place on the way. Then started towards Badrinath in the very early morning. We reached Joshi Mutt which is also called as Tiru Pirithi by Alwars. This is also called Lower Badrinath. We had a walk on the ghats of the Himalayas for about 1 hour enjoying the scenic beauty and the chillness in the morning. 
Joshi Mutt
We had the divya darsanam of Lord Narasimha in Joshi Muth (Tiru Pirithi) and other Vishnu shrines. We proceeded to Badrinath Dham. We reached crossing many mountains and dangerous curves, crossing steep roads. The drivers are really great. Finally we all reached Badri dham in the morning. 
We stayed just opp to the Badrinath temple on the bank of Alakananda river. We had bath in the Hot spring infront of Mandir. Then had Darsanam of Badrinath. That evening we all went to the village called Mana which is just 3 kms from there. There we visited to the cave of Veda Vyasa and Ganesh. We also visited the Saraswathi river which is visible only in this place. The rock moved by Bhimsena - one the Pandavas - during their Swargarohana also in the same place. We returned to Badrinath. Evening we went for Darsanam during Vishnu Sahasranama Pooja. 
             It was a miracle that we did not have ticket to go inside the shrine to join the
Badrinath Ji temple

River Alakananda infront of the temple

Badrinath Valley
chanting. Me, my wife and children were standing outside the side door (but doors were closed), chanting the Vishnu Sahasranamam. What a miracle...?  Badri Narayanan decided to give darsanam very close. Can any one stop us...? Any door can block the darsan...? Seeing my wife chanting Vishnu Sahasranamam, the security police allowed my wife to go inside. But my wife appealed for permission to me too, then security allowed us to go inside. We joined Vishnu Sahasranamam chanting and had the Darsanam of Badrinathji very close. 
Next Day we performed Pitr Tarpan in the Pinda tharpan area where all the devotees pay the homage to their forefathers. 
Cave of Vyasa, the birth place of Mahabharath
Next day early morning we all started from Badrinath and reached Haridwar in the night. Visited many places in the Haridwar such as Hanumanji Mandir, Manasa devi temple on the
Ganga mandir, Haridwar
hill and the very important Ganga harathi in the evening which is being witnessed by more than 1 lakh people every day. We also purchased special items in Haridwar market and reached New Delhi. 

We also wanted to visit Pushkaram, due to long journey on the Himalayas, we were tired much and only few days available to the train to Chennai, we dropped the plan.  We had very little time, so we visited Ram Madir, Qutubminar and Red Fort in Delhi. 
The last Alwar tirumangai Alwar appeals in his composition to Badri Narayanan to give him Darsanam when is strong enough to climb the mountains. I have noticed few have already visited several times. 
I should record about the cooks (they are not cooks by profession) and other volunteers. They are working in various Private and Govt offices and assist Sri. Devanathan and other organisers to serve the pilgrims and also visit the holy places. They are not tired through out the trip, prepare all items on time and serve humbly to every one. Reach the camp places well in advance and keep the items and rooms ready. They also served coffee and tea time to time well in advance (sorry I dont have the habit of drinking coffee or tea). I also stunned to learn that they have already visited more than 100 times to Badrinath. Particularly the devotee who served as cook completed 175 times to Badrinath and equal time to Kedarnath. All the time he was either cook are served the devotees.
The trip to Badrinath though it is tired some (I suffered one month by stomach upset is different story), we enjoyed a lot with divine blessings, fresh air, scenic beauty and mighty beautiful Himalayan ranges. If we get a chance we will visit again and again.
Why don't you plan to visit Badrinath this year or next year ?

Visit the photo album once again now : Badrinath Yatra Photos

By Dr. V.C. Govindarajan,
currently at Muscat.

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