And to conclude this yatra report, here are a few thousand words.
The first two thousand, are “before-and-after” pictures of my fellow yatrees, Venkat, Marwadi and Ramay.
Below, is a long shot of Braj Ghat, as seen from somewhere in the middle of the river.
And heres a picture of the thatch shelters on the river bank….
Time was well past noon when we disembarked and clambered up the steps of Braj Ghat.
Walking back through the throng of pilgrims, our minds’ haze was being pulled down by the insistent call of hunger. None of us were too keen to try the roadside eateries. Someone had put up a tent of sorts and was conducting a ‘bhandara’ – distributing food for free…The place was quite crowded, and our minds, sanitized by city-dettol-hygiene was not quite upto accepting the ambience.
Facing the main highway were several Ashrams. One of them, had a board that said “Paramanand Dham”. Here is a picture.
(Pl note one of our cousins sitting on the ledge, right side, below the ‘Om’ symbol)…
Hard to notice?
Well here is the fellow, down on the ground, outside the Ashram gate.
We walked in and found that they were serving lunch…Pilgrims were welcome. So we accepted that welcome and had a sumptuous lunch of Poories, Aloo and some other veg. A Sanyasi in ochre was in charge of the place. After we had had our lunch, he enquired about us, and shared a few pleasentries. He told us that we were welcome to come there every time we came to Gharmukteshwar.
And on that note, we went back to the cab.
As the car took off down the highway, Ramay commenced chanting Sri Rudra Prashna –
“Sri Gurubhyo Nama: ! Hari: Om! Om Namo Bhagawate Rudraaya! Namaste Rudra Manyava…”