Joshimath - 1845M
Joshimath is the gateway town to Badrinath and was established by Shankaracharya in 8th Cent. It is perched high above sangam of two rivers Saraswati & Dhauliganga
Badrinath - 3558M
***** Mana *****
Auli - 3049M
I was back in GMVN at Joshimath by 5:00pm and planned too check-out tomorrow early morning and head for Ranikhet.
Ranikhet - 1829M
**** Choubhutiya ****
I had completed the 12-day Sundardunga Trek and returned to Bageshwar on 8th October 2005 and taken a days rest in KMVN there. A still had 6 days free before my return train booking from Kathgodam on 15th Oct. I was wondering what to do those 6 days. I decided to go to Gwaldam first and then decide further course of action.
10th October 2005: 7:00 am I checked out of KMVN-Bagheswar and walked to the bus stand with my bags; and soon found a share-jeep going to Baijnath-Garur (seat Rs 25) and there changed jeep to Gwaldam (Rs 20). At 9:45 am I was in Gwaldam and took a room (Rs 210) in the GMVN there. Room pretty OK and location is pretty good; on top of U-turn in the road in the market area. Nice views of Trishul and snow-capped Himalayas when no clouds in the north. Planned 2 days each at Ranikhet & Nainital and found there was an early morning bus to Ranikhat; starting from the bus-stand below the KMVN at 5:30 am.
11th October 2005: I heard the bus-horn blowing at 5:30am & hurried down the steps to the stand below and climbed aboard the bus just leaving; and found it was going to Joshimath not Ranikhet! Instead of getting off the bus, decided to go to Joshimath and Badrinath! An unplanned turn of events! Bus went via Karnaprayag, Chamoli and reached Joshimath at 1:30pm just outside the old KMVN, in the main bazaar. Took a room DBL at Rs 245 and went out and had lunch at a dhaba.
12th October 2005: At 5:30am walked down to the Gate with just a back pack; planned to visit Badri and be back by evening to stay another night at Joshimath. On way down wnet past sanaracharya Math and visited the Narasigh temple just by teh side of the Gate. Got a seat in one of the numerous buses waiting for the gate to open.
Badrinath: I reached here at 9:00am and walked down towards the Temple. There I found a procession of people, with band and music playing, and something golden being carried at the head of the procession. On enquiry, found out that today was Viajayadashami Day and some rich donor from Bombay, was making a donation of a Golden Throne and that was being carried to the temple now, at the head of this procession! I am a Mumbaikar too!! .... and so I happily joined the procession's tail.
9:22am - Entering the main doorway of the Badrinath Temple
12th October 2005: At 2:30pm after returning from Badrinath and a quick lunch I walked down to the Cable Car Station. There paid Rs 200 to go up 3.9 Km long ride to the top of Auli. Auli is a premier ski-resort in winter. Since it was not the season now, there was no crowd except some tourists going up for a view, from the top.
13th October 2005 - 5:30 am left Joshimath GMVN and took a bus to Karnaprayag. Then a series of hopping jeep rides as follows:
By Bus Joshimath (5:30 am ) to Karnaprayag (8:45am) Rs 60 ... then a Share Jeep from Karnaprayag (9:30am) to Gairsain (10:40am) Rs 40 ... then a share jeep from Ghairsain (10:45am) to Mehal-Chauri (11:40 am) Rs 12 ... share-jeep from MehalChauri (11:45am) to Choukhatiya (1:00pm) Rs 25 .... Lunch Break ... share-jeep Choukhatiya (2:30pm) to Dwarahat (3:30Pm) Rs 20 ... Share-Sumo from Dwarahat (3:30 pm) to Ranikhet Bus Stand (5:00pm) Rs 40 ... Share-Jeep Stand to Mall Road KMVN (5:20pm) Rs 10 - Whew! that was 7 jeeps from Joshimath to Ranikhet !!
Ranikhet's KMVN on Mall Road is in a very good, peaceful and beutiful pine-forested location! Excellent facilities, food and a nice garden full of blooming flowers. A perfect place for a peaceful stay and rest. Look at the picture below for proof:
14th October 2005 - 8:30am - today walked along the road from Ranikhet to Choubhutiaya via Jhula Devi Temple. The Panoramic views of Himalayas from Choubhutiya with clear skies was truly amazing. Visited the Martyr's Memorial at Choubhutiya and the Orchard Farm there. Back at KMVN by 1:30pm.
15th October 2005 - 9:30 am left Ranikhet KMVN and took a share-jeep to Kathgodam and stayed in the Railways Rest Room on the first floor of the station building. A nice double room for just Rs 100. Caught teh Ranikhet express at night 8:30pm to Delhi and back to Mumbai from there.
After Sundardunga Trek, I did a bus-jeep tour of some Garhwal-Kumaon areas:
Gwaldam, Joshimath, Auli, Badrinath,
Mana, Ranikhet, Choubhutiya
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