How you doing? Well, Part 3 covered the story of our trekking up to Dunali, where we took our night stay. Earlier in part 1 and part 2, night stay and Chamba Jot, and holy bath at the Bharmani Devi temple were narrated respectively. So, we slept as if we had sold all our horses.
Morning at Dunali
At night the only sound that one could hear was the roaring rivulet 'Dhancho khad,' which runs downwards, parallel and very steeply along the trek. When we woke up at around 7:30 AM, the air was vibrating with the chants for Shiva. Pilgrims had crowded the path, some of them climbing up to the Manimahesh lake while others descending down to Hadsar.
Dhancho water is ice cold and clean, but dangerous in case you slip into the powerful stream. I picked up my toothbrush with paste, and went near the spring water next to the shop, channelized with a pipe but untapped as there was no need to do so. The water was clean like distilled water, or perhaps purer. Toilet facility was not available at Dunali, and that is why that I spotted stools in the open in surrounding bushes.
At DhanchoWe decided to climb up to Dhancho and use the toilet facilities there. After climbing amidst the dense Deodar jungle that on a ninety degrees sloped face, Dhancho was not far than one kilometer from last shop at Dunali. Gopal and I were ahead of Ashu bhai and Shankar, and as were hungry, we stepped into one of the many Langars and ate some poori-channa.
Soon we entered the second Langar and then we ate something else. Eating too much is not advised so we took small meals only and tea. Dhancho had a temporary settlement of the Langar Bhavans and other shops, but had the permanent toilets. Perhaps we spotted more than fifteen langar bhavans at Dhancho itself.
|A talk with supervisor of Sulabh International|
While we rested and refreshed Ashu bhai and Shankar started some discussion about the cleanliness of the place with a supervisor of the Sulabh International. The same NGO that maintains the toilets and bathing facilities at various bus and railway stations throughout the India. Supervisor told that they maintain the cleanliness everyday till the end of official yatra dates i.e. 9th Sep 2016 for this year.
|Dhancho - a temporary market. Clicked from the steep mountain trek of Manimahesh lake, 2016|
After that the shopkeeper who leave the place later, do not carry the plastics and garbage with them, and that creates the problem. Soon the snow fall occurs and all the debris remain here itself.
It was a problem for real and government should keep the eye on this. From Dhancho one can take the usual trek or a steeper one along the Bander-ghati. These two meet again after about two kilometers of climbing, near the Shiv-Gharats.
From Dhancho to Sunderasi and Gauri Kund
|The pilgrims trying to the find the footsteps along the Manimahesh trek, 2016.|
Langars would were also available at Sunderasi and Gauri Kund, and would be available at lake itself. Drizzling had started when we reached the Gauri-kund, and there we waited for Ashu Bhai and Shankar who had taken another steep path along the Bhairo-ghati.
At Gauri-KundPath for the Bhairo-ghati diverges from the main path after Sunderasi, and two meets again at Gauri Kund. It looks like a shortcut but it can be very tiresome due to the steepness and less width. Gauri-Kund is the place where ladies take the holy bath. Kailash peak becomes visible from Gauri Kund.
The Dhancho Khad looks in its infancy here. Another narrow diversion takes to the Kamal Kund, which lies at the base of the Kailash mountain. And another one kilometer hike along the main trek takes us to the holy lake of Manimahesh.
A miracle?? -Camping at Manimahesh Lake
|Tents at the Manimahesh lake, 2016|
Today it was the time to see this scene in reality. Manimahesh Kailash parvat was in front and ganas were standing near the lake some praying for blessings, some chanting while walking, and some while bathing.
|Miraculous beam of Sunlight on the feet of Manimahesh, Chamba 2016.|
|Sun-Rays midway to the heart of the Manimahesh Kailash, Chamba 2016|
Slowly rays ascended up the mount, and touched the "Aum" symbol formed at the heart of the mount and then disappeared. Thankfully I was able to get a selfie with this divine scene at the Manimahesh Kailash.
Holy bath in the morning at Manimahesh Lake:
|Holy bath at Manimahesh lake, August 2016|
Way back down the Manimahesh Trek
|Roaring water of Dhancho Khad, Manimahesh trek 2016.|
|from left - Ashu bhai, Shankar, me, shopkeeper and Govida - Inside a shop on Manimahesh trek, 2016|