Valley of Flowers, a mesmerizing garden in Deva Bhoomi-The Great Himalayas.
My first high altitude trek was destined to be “Valley of Flowers”. First destination is Haridwar.(Bangalore to New Delhi , Airport to New Delhi railway station by metro and to Haridwar by Train.).
Kaavand Yatra, is annual pilgrimage journey of Lord Shiva’s Devotes, where devotes fetch the holy water of Ganges in small pots and carry it, to there native temples Neelkanth. There it is offered to lord Shiva. This yatra takes place in the month of shravan (saavan). Train was full of pilgrims who was travelling to Haridwar for Kaavand Yatra.
We had good company of devotees on the train, 4:30 hrs of travel time passed listening to stories and experiences. For most of them this is a yearly ritual, coming to Haridwar to collect holy water of Ganges and walking back to there villages.
It was raining all around the day, but it was not effecting the festivity around. Haridwar was vibrant, noisy and full of pilgrims.
Getting down to famous Har Ki Pauri was a mission by itself, pilgrims was flowing in and out. It is believed that it is precise spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. Ganga Darsan and Pooja was an experience in itself, I felt really blessed to be there at this time of festival.
Mansa Devi Temple is located at top the Bilwa Parvat on the Sivalik Hills, in Haridwar. One can go there climbing steps or through rope way. We decided to climb the steps as the rope way was fully crowded. By the time we reached the top, I was really exhausted due to afternoon sun and steps.
After darsan we climbed down through a road in the other side of the temple, which was quite comfortable than the steps. The views from the hill top to Haridwar was quite Amazing.
Ganga Aarti is a religious prayer that takes place at Har Ki Pauri ghat in Haridwar. I wanted to be in the other side of the river to take pictures, but by the time we reached it was crowded and bridge to cross the river was closed by then. We settled in the same side where aarathi is performed, standing in holy Ganga being very close to aarathi. Chants, payers and songs transformes the atmosphere to a totally different world.