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Himalayan Memoirs: A Little Bit of Heaven (Panwali-Triyug Narayanan)

The night at panwali turned out to be quite eventful. We shared the hut with 15 other garhwalis who were Maamaji’s friends. The night was filled with bhajans and occasional dancing. That was till a few fiery and hungry Delhites gate crashed into the party. They had a lot of trouble reaching panwali and were overwhelmed with hunger and cold. The Shepard told him that he does not have any more blankets to give them. That’s when an over-zealous man in that lot said he will pay double of what the garhwalis were paying. That started it. All the men who were dancing to devotional numbers charged at the delhites for their unwarranted show of moneyed arrogance. A melee ensued and once it was over (the folks from delhi were hounded out of the hut) the discussion became very political. Talk of ‘outsiders’ exploiting the sons of the soil…Taking the daily morning bath in panwali was a prospect I dreaded the entire night. But even that did not prepare me for the coldness the next morning. Brr…After the bath, I started walking probably a little too fast just to keep my body warmed up. The next few hours were spent in crossing some of the most scenic spots in Himalayas that I have seen till now. The next 10 kms was filled with quite a unique terrain. It was mostly meadow land but what was breathtaking was we were literally walking on the ridge with downward sloping meadows on either side of the footpath. Undulating meadows on both sides as we walked from one peak of a mountain to the next. It was breathtaking both literally and figuratively. Afterwards just when I was about to burst after imbibing too much of the beauty, the descent started and we reached Triyug Narayanan. There was a Vishnu temple and this is supposed to be the place where Shiva and Parvati got married. Inside the temple a perpetual fire is maintained as a tradition and all the trekkers were supposed to pick firewood on the way to the town to offer to the perpetual fire. Night was spent in a small hotel. Triyug Narayanan was the first town in Rudraprayag district.


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