Have you ever bathed in front of 100s of people with full clothes on? No, I am not talking about taking a dip in any pilgrimage site or any sacred river, but in a dangerous rock falling zone aka Himalayan danger zone where every single person present there prayed for safe journey!
It happened to us during our recent Trip to Uttarakhand. We had completed our Treks to Valley of Flowers and Hemkunt and now wanted to visit Badrinath.
Do you see one wheel of the bus hanging? It was that dangerous to drive.
This was a Monsoon period in the area and this year there had been several landslides everyday with many casualties. The locals at Govindghat informed us that though the road was open for traffic, it was still not safe from landslides. It takes hours to clear the debris and somewhat repair the road for public use. We discussed between ourselves and had decided to come here anyway. With some difficulty we had reached Badrinath and done with all the neighboring places.
We are supposed to cross the rock falling zones as fast as possible lest….
When we woke up in the morning we found that it had been raining most of the night. It seemed as if we would have to stay back again. Even as we were debating, the sun showed its face and the black clouds cleared off. On the spur of the moment we decided to head back to Joshimath and beyond, and try to beat the weather, if such a thing is possible. We did not want to get stuck in Badrinath.
Quickly we packed and got ourselves into shared cab going to Joshimath. It being off-season, wasn’t easy though. 🙂 We crossed about 4 Kms and rains again! Rains and the altitude made the atmosphere quite chilly. I had lolled into a sleep and suddenly V was shaking me.
BRO people at work.
And this was the best they could do for us.
There was a landslide just in front of us! And there was a huge traffic buildup already waiting for BRO (Border Road Organization) to clear up. Rain had stopped. Half an hour was gone, some rocks were hanging loosely and some were still falling. It sent chill down my spine. In spite of cold weather I was literally sweating. Hats off to BRO, they make our lives so much easier.
V suggested that we get out of our vehicle to stretch out. We moved away from the scene of action and then we heard some other action happening. 😀 A lot of voices of shouting and screaming (with joy we hoped!).
Forget about the road blocks, let’s have some fun!
We walked towards the source and found that there was a small temporary water fall that must have formed the night before, as a result of incessant rains. The drivers of the cars close to it took the opportunity to wash their vehicle and some people were also bathing under the small fall!
It was very hot; we looked at each other and decided to join the elite band! The people already enjoying the alive is awesome bathing experience looked at me curiously. I was the only insane woman present under that waterfall. I wished I had my Cinthol with me.
It was 10 minutes of absolute refreshing bliss and I had completely forgotten about the situation we were in. Never in my life did I ever think that I would take a shower in the roadside water fall at such an altitude! Fortunately the sun shone brightly and within half an hour I was all dry. It took another 30 minutes before the traffic was in motion once again.
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I did the first solo journey by motorbike on this road-route. Your post and memories again. Thanks for writing.
This is one of the routes which are very beautiful and equally dangerous in monsoon days. And yes, we saw many bikers till Govindghat, not beyond that.
Wow! Surely an awesome memorable experience!!
Yes, it is. 😀
Nicely written. The comment regarding having a cinthol had me in splits.
Thank you. 😀
We visited Badrinath Temple in May 2017. That time too there were few roadblocks and landslides but still hats off to BRO, who had been clearing it regularly. We were super impressed by the gravel roads they have made in this terrain. But yes, every year they get washed away by rains in monsoons. The cinthol movement had been lovely!