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Himalyan Memoirs: Bhuda Kedar

 Bhaelak-Bhuda Kedar-Vinayak Kal-Baethi Nanda Devi

All the uphill trek we did yesterday seemed to go waste as today was a mad rush downhill. It was raining heavily. The path become extremely slippery. I fell down 3 times. Thankfully none of them were bad falls. Each step was a potential step towards a painful ankle break. We quickly descended into thick forests leaving the rolling meadows of Bhaelak. The physical discomfort and the pain seem to embolden the Garhwalis...The hills were resounding with their warcry: “Har Har Mahadev!”. After 1.5 hours, we came across a lone hut and a goshala which was setup for the pilgrims. I drank curd and it was very good. Old man and his coterie of Garhwali friends seemed to know every resident of every settlement we came across. The lady taking care of the goshala was no exception. Soon we reached a town called Thatti which has the ancient Bhuda Kedar temple. Bhuda kedar literally means the ancient kedar. Legend says that Shiva was originally inhabiting here before he was evicted to Kedarnath. The temple was in the style of nepali temples and the linga was pretty much a huge pyramid of a stone sticking out of the temple floor. Much like the actual kedarnath only bigger. I distinctly felt the air change the moment I stepped in. Not surprisingly as soon as the Garhwali women entered, the temple resounded with their violent craziness. I stayed in the temple for sometime to do my sadhana. Thatti was the first village in Tehri Garhwal district. The last village on Uttarkashi side was Bhaelak. We will eventually cross Tehri district and enter Rudraprayag district if everything goes well. Finally we reached a small town called Baethi Nanda devi which had a devi temple. Night stay was at Baethi Nanda Devi where the road we came across briefly in Thatti also disappeared. We stayed at a Bandara which was organized inside the premises of an old Nag devta temple just where the road ends and the trail begins.



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