Kartik Swami Indescribably beautiful
At the very beginning, let me tell you that this is not just another travelogue, for the trek to Kartik Swami were like living a beautiful dream. The ethereal beauty of both the journey and the destination is sure to captivate all your senses, for it’s difficult not to be swept away by the lush green meadows, the beautiful snowy landscapes and the trees with their boughs laden with thousand of flo
Amid serene surroundings of Himalayas lies the beautiful Kartik Swami temple. It is perched at an elevation of 10,000 feet above the sea level near Rudraprayag in the State of Uttarakhand. The temple is devoted to Kartik, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Paravati
At the very beginning, let me tell you that this is not just another travelogue, for the trek to Kartik Swami were like living a beautiful dream. The ethereal beauty of both the journey and the destination is sure to captivate all your senses, for it’s difficult not to be swept away by the lush green meadows, the beautiful snowy landscapes and the trees with their boughs laden with thousand of flowers, not to mention the majestic snow views one can sight at many points all along the way.
Amid serene surroundings of Himalayas lies the beautiful Kartik Swami temple. It is perched at an elevation of 10,000 feet above the sea level near Rudraprayag in the State of Uttarakhand. The temple is devoted to Kartik, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Paravati.
There is an interesting history about this temple. Once Lord Shiva enlightened his sons, Kartik and Ganesh that whosoever takes the seven rounds of earth the first, will get an opportunity to pay respect to their parents first. While Kartik headed off to take a round of universe, Lord Ganesha showed his astuteness and started taking the round of Lord Shiva and Parvati stating that he sees the whole universe in both of them.
Lord Shiva got amazed by his son’s wisdom and offered him the privilege to worship them first. Annoyed by this decision, Kartik left his parents home and settled down at the spot where his temple now stands.
The temple of Kartik Swami is one of its kinds in the whole of northern India, with the view of snow covered Himalayas one gets to have from such height being indescribable. This sort of sight is very rare to come across.
We reached Rudraprayag the "Godly Confluence” of the rivers Alakananda and Mandakini around noon. The place was very scenic and calm and we stopped there for a few minutes, clicked some photographs and continued our journey.
The snake like road kept on turning and turning and it was all very uphill with the air too getting colder and colder. The drive for the next one-and-half hour was amazingly beautiful, serene and refreshing. The entire road was canopied by lush green trees on both the sides with glimpses of beautiful Himalayan ranges, some exotic birds and lots of "Buransh trees" in full bloom, which made the ride very picturesque.
We soon reached Kanakchauri the starting point of the trek to Kartik Swami. The trek was three kilometre long on a not so difficult terrain as the route was mostly through a thick jungle. It was somewhat steep at some places but quite manageable.
On our way we also saw a small Bugyal (meadow) which was very captivating. This place is one of the many untouched pristine places which are the stuff travelers’ dreams are made of. In my view it is one of the most picturesque places in the entire Himalayas. Mighty Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and other peaks were playing hide and seek as the clouds were hovering onto it from time to time.
We crossed dense Himalayan jungles which has a good number of wild boars, mountain cats and even leopards (as later told to us by locals). But the peace and the beauty were astounding. Climbing more and more we came across Pujari Ji's hut which was 500 meter below the temple.
By then, it had started to drizzle and the cloudy sky in the backdrop of the mountain ranges was a sight to behold. All around there were huge trees and thick vegetation. I stood in front of the temple and tried to absorb everything around. There were a lot of Deodar trees, the half visible mighty Himalayan ranges and the cold wind made me feel that this was the real nature.
Pujari Ji told us that we could stay with him for the night and we accepted his invitation instantly. We were very much excited as we would live a different life for one night -- a life without electricity, mobile network, TV, newspapers and any contact with the outside world.
We finished a simple supper of daal and roti as quickly as possible as it was getting colder with every passing minute. We were shivering like anything, as we quickly wrapped up all the proceedings and made our way to our allotted hut. Before entering, I paused and looked around.
The sky had got clear and it was looking so ravishing as if millions of silver diamonds had been embroidered on its surface. The same was the case with the houses that were throwing lights at us from the adjacent valleys. We huddled into our small hut, sat still for some time with three quilts underneath us and five on us and were "Still Shivering".
A few hours later, I woke up with a start. Light was coming from under the door, I opened it up and was surprised to see the Panchuli peak standing seamlessly in front of me. Though it was extremely chilly, I ventured out and stood there staring at the magnificent valleys.
Being alone and surrounded by the great mesmerising peaks made time stand still. I calmly walked on the premise of the temple on the cold stone floor. The majestic mountains, the sight of the sky changing colour from darkness to dawn will remain etched in my mind forever. It was the best trip I ever had.