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Call of the Himalayas

7 Votes | Average: 3.86 out of 57 Votes | Average: 3.86 out of 57 Votes | Average: 3.86 out of 57 Votes | Average: 3.86 out of 57 Votes | Average: 3.86 out of 5 (7 votes, average: 3.86 out of 5)
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Garhwal HimalayasThe Himalayas have been associated with meditation, tranquility and spiritual progress for ages. Even the stories of our rishis and munis contain references to the years they spent in tapasya in mountainous forests. What reinforces these images is an actual visit to the Garhwal Himalayas, wherein such spots are pointed out as the spot where Shiva and Parvati got married, the spot where Ganesha was given his elephant face, others as the place Karna gave away his shield and protective earrings, the place where Narada received the divine gift of music and so on. On such a visit, it appears one is actually within whispering distance of the Gods themselves.

A trip to the mountains is unlike any other journey to a tourist destination, because it brings us face to face with nature on a more vast and humbling scale than we have ever encountered before. As your bus or vehicle makes its slow progress round a mountainous bend, you are looking directly at the huge granite face of a neighbouring peak. Your own size in front of such a towering manifestation of nature cannot but help make you feel small and humble. On the other hand, when you sit still by a mountain river, just listening to the sound of water, keeping calm and letting the sunlight warm you as you sit in peace, you feel at one with all that surrounds you. The sensation of being small gives way to a much larger vision of yourself.

At another level, nothing can bring us such insight into mankind’s greedy and destructive ways than witnessing the environmental destruction that has been brought about by excessive felling of forests, pollution of waterways, and other such processes. At each place where one sees exposed mountain faces because avalanches have ripped them apart, or where we see the loss of houses and habitation because of the landslides that result from denuded forests, one becomes aware of individual responsibility. Going to the mountains means coming back with a stronger resolve to do our bit for mother earth.

The state of Uttaranchal offers many possibilities for those who seek the special blessings of the Himalayas. There are different trekking paths in Garhwal and Kumaon regions. While one has the shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath, another has the serenity of Ranikhet and the bustle of Nainital, and the wildlife sanctuary of Corbett National Park. Whether one treks or goes in a package tour, experiences the Himalayas on foot, wheels, boats or skis, the days spent in the mountains remain unforgettable through most of one’s life.

There are many mountains in the world. By expanding our horizons, and with increased incomes, one can travel to distant peaks and valleys. Bollywood is always taking us to the Alps, or to the scenic spots of New Zealand and Australia. But a trip to the Indian Himalayas is truly special and cannot be compared to any other. You do not have to be especially religious, don’t even have to be a believer, in order to receive the blessings of these mountains. A visit to the Himalayas is so rewarding, in so many ways, and all you have to do is show up.

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Responses to Call of the Himalayas

  1. 1 zazi

    I had been In Himalaya many time while riding this article I recollected my old golden moments . I wish you happy travailing and good writing.

  2. 2 zazi

    I had been In Himalaya many time while reading this article I recollected my old golden moments . I wish you happy travailing and good writing.

  3. 3 scharada bail

    Thanks for your wishes. As you have rightly observed, time spent in the Himalayas is indeed captured as ‘golden moments’. Even though we are alone, we feel the vast, protective force of the universe. Hope you trek on to many more fulfilling frontiers.

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