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Mad Maheswar - Glory unto the Lord


Tripoto.com
Duration: 5 Days
Expenditure 3500

Soon after i returned from Nandadevi in May, my soles started itching yet again. Madmaheswar/Madhmaheswar/Madhyamaheswar seemed to be a good destination this time. It is the second site of the Panch Kedars, the first being Kedarnath. I have been on the road to Madhyamaheswar earlier but not to the age old temple of Shiva, said to be built by the Pandavas of the epic Mahabharat. And that means it dates back 4-5000 years.

Starting from Haridwar, the final motorable destination had to be Ransi, a small settlement at around 6500 feet. Ransi can be reached in a day via Rudraprayag and Ukhimath if one starts early in the morning. The total distance from Haridwar to Ransi would be around 210-220 kms.

I had the least expectation of staring at the magnificent Chaukhamba, during this time of the year and had set my mind accordingly.

There are quite a few trek routes in this region. But I focused only on reaching Madhyamaheswar, which was told to me to be a 16-17kms walk uphill, from Ransi.

To make it a little more adventurous, I halted one night in between Ukhimath and Ransi, in a settlement called Mansuna. The next day i reached Ransi partly on feet, hitch hike and by bus. The total distance from Mansuna to Ransi is around 20-22kms, via Uniyana and Raulnek.

The rest of the journey is in pictures and text, below.

Photos of Uttarakhand, India 1/9 by dipanjanmitra
Photos of Uttarakhand, India 2/9 by dipanjanmitra
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Photos of Uttarakhand, India 8/9 by dipanjanmitra
Photos of Uttarakhand, India 9/9 by dipanjanmitra

The higher i walked up, the denser the forest got and lesser the human settlements. The distance between Sangam Bantoli and the next halt at Upper Bantoli is around a kilometer and a half and thus i skipped the place and went ahead.

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By now, i was certain that the total walk was way over 16kms (Ransi to Madhyamaheswar). In my slightest imaginations, i would have thought of landing in probable trouble in the Himalayas after a long time, primarily because of misguidance about the total distance. The steepness of the trail and the time it took to cover the remaining distance is worth mentioning from this point. Never really could gauge that the rest of the distance would take me another 4-4.30 hours from Khadara Khal to Madhyamaheswar. There were just two settlements in between. Maikhamba and Koon Chatti, both had a couple of rooms to stay overnight. By the time i reached Koon Chatti, it was 6 pm. The owner of the lodge at Koon could make out that i was tired after almost 9 hours of walking and asked me to stay overnight. And there was still a good 2.5kms walk left before i could reach the temple premise. I decided otherwise and continued to reach the top. Needlessly to say, that i walked the entire trail all by myself. There was only a couple of local visitors from Rudraprayag, whom i crossed in the morning. They were returning from the temple.

The road seemed never ending and on top of that it suddenly started pouring. I looked at my mobile and found the time to be over 6:30. I had already walked for 40-50 odd minutes after leaving Koon. The light started falling rapidly due to ominous clouds and the visilibity got poor. It was pouring. The legs seemed to be getting stuck and numb. The umbrella started soaking water. Few langoors made a lot of noise here and there. Some even made a few boulders go loose from the top. This was the moment, when for once, I thought of going back and putting up the night at Koon. This was the moment, when it cried out from within that i might not be able to make it to the top. It was a difficult call whether to go down or walk up. Glory unto the Lord. The only resort was chanting the name of Madhyamaheswar (Om Namah Bhagavate Rudraya) which actually did work and it was 7:15 when i managed to finally reach the top, after being drained out completely. The downpour was also calming down. Rest in pictures and captions.

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I immediately decided to spend two nights here without a second thought. I could only imagine what the surrounding had to offer once the weather cleared up.

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The weather was not imposing a threat of showers although clouds kept flying from all directions. The entire atmosphere was mesmerizing with pin drop silence.

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The entire morning was spent in the temple premise and then with the locals, watching their activities and also engaging in occasional conversations.

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The day went rainless before it poured the whole night. On the 3rd morning, it was time for me to come down to Ransi, after yet another long walk. By 8 am i was back in the wilderness. By 3pm i was in Ransi. During the walk back, i spent some time with an ascetic from Ayodhya. He was headed for the temple. Spending time with wandering monks in the mountains, seems to have become a habit for me lately.

Photos of  1/1 by dipanjanmitra

It is a mad walk to Madhmaheswar. There are many religious significances that encircles this ancient temple and also has speciality for it's visitors. For the time being, I am not getting into those details here except a few must dos.

1. This is a hard trek. If not in a group, a guide is highly recommended.

2. Carrying drinking water all the time is a must. I wore slippers for the first time to complete a hike, but shoes are highly recommended.

3. Prior high altitude trekking experience in the Himalayan region is a must.

4. People with high blood pressures and other physical complexities should avoid this arduous trek.

5. Forest lodges will not provide anything more than basic accomodation and food. If anyone is looking for comfort and luxury, then this is not to be scaled.

6. Himalayan treks are meant to be highly soul searching and spiritual. Madhyamaheswar ranks right up there in the list.

7. Supreme physical fitness is needed to scale this trek of around 40-42 kms (round trip).

8. There will hardly be any mobile phone signal on this route, starting from Ransi. BSNL works faintly at times.

9. If you come across wildlife when you are alone, remain calm. Let the animal cross over to it's zone. Do not scream or pelt stones. Could bring bigger trouble.

For more adventures and treks on this route, get in touch with the following person:

Ashok Bhatt, Komal Tourist Point, Ransi.

Mobile: 9690816869, 8958979563, 975656876, 9756584841, 9917365180, 9719691433.

Email: kttpoint@yahoo.com / kttpoint@gmail.com

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