Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 4

Nama Sivaya!

Taking a slight detour from the blog plan… I had mentioned in the previous post that we would be exploring another route to Kailasa… But then some eager readers pressed me, telling me “All that is very well… Lovely and all that, old chap… But we are keen to get to Kailasa quick… when are ‘WE’ traveling out from Delhi?”  etc…

So. let’s move on, and keep the other details for another day… Or maybe reserve them for a book (who knows… a book may happen… Arrey suntey ho? koi publisher hai? )

So, let’s come back to where we left off in the first post… Now in Delhi, ready to leave for Kathmandu… Almost on the last day, came to know that one cannot carry rupee notes of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 denomination into Kathmandu. Against the law… So, one was in a flurry trying to change some money, except that no one I knew in Delhi had any ready change. Looks like it’s a credit-card city… Then one came to know that there was one particular bank (Indus-Ind if I remember),  where you could specify denomination of your choice in the ATM.. So the morning of 25th June, saw one in the market, walking into an ATM nook… Doing some test runs, one realized that you had to ask for an amount less than Rs 5000/- for the ATM to give you a choice of 100 Rupee notes… So, with some maaraa-maaree, managed to get the desired denominations…

Ready now for the airport. The flight was at around 11 am, and so one was at the airport a few hours before that… Traveling to Nepal from India needs no visa, and so formalities were minimal. They do not even stamp your passport in the immigration counter…

Once past the immigration and security checks, one was in the Xanadu of the ritzy duty-free shopping arcade. Not much interest in any stuff, except that breakfast was calling… Made my way up to the first floor and found this restaurant with a nice name…

airport-shop

Ah yes, idli dot com.

Eagerly ordered some idli and vada.. What can one say. One was out of luck. Vada was hard. Idli and sambar were just about ok… Hunger ensured that something was eaten…

My friends of this yatra were coming in from Bengaluru around this time, and would board an Air India flight for Kathmandu a few hours later.

Boarded my “Indigo Airlines” flight and settled down in a nice window seat. Flight to Kathmandu from Delhi is a rather short one, just over an hour or so. So all very soon, one was seeing a large metropolis looming in the beautiful valley that is Kathmandu… Fantastic view from the sky… Rivers, mountains, valley, cityscape… Around 1 pm local time, touchdown Kathmandu…

Kathmandu is  a city of more than a million people.. A city with a history of over two thousand years… A city that is in trade route of India and Tibet..

The current name Kathmandu is derived from the original name “Kaashta Mandapa” or the “Wood Temple”, which refers to a temple in the city, which was made in the sixteenth century. That temple is made entirely of wood, said to be from a single tree…

Kathmandu, the city of the Wood Temple, would be our portal, our gateway for the Yatra to Maanasa-Kailasa.. For pilgrims taking the India-Uttarakhand route, the first gateway would be another place of wood – Kaathgodam (Wood Depot)… Wood there, wood here… Touch wood…

So, here I was in the airport at Kathmandu.  A very small airport… With just a couple of conveyor belts for the luggage… One was quickly out… Checked my mobile phone… No connect… At the exit hall, I noticed a Nepal telecom desk selling local SIM Cards… Went over to them to enquire, and came to know that my service provider, Vodafone did not have access in Nepal… Apparently, from India, Airtel did… So there. I bought a local SIM Card.. It was quite inexpensive… A hundred rupees or so, and you also got some bonus points… Called home… The Eagle has landed…. Alles goed…

A facilitator from our travel agent was waiting outside.. Soon I was in his car, driving down the roads of Kathmandu… We passed the Pasupathinath Temple area…Jai Pasupathinath!

Sky was darkening a bit, and rain was in the air…Looking around, I felt quite at home…

^

Kathmandu-market

^

Around 45 minutes or so of driving, and we arrived at the hotel… Hotel Tibet, in Lazimpat area… It was a nice, cozy, ethnic sort of hotel, right next to a huge, international five star hotel…

Got a nice room in the first floor… Time was around 3 pm or so… The hotel was kind enough to keep lunch services open… Come evening, around 5 pm or so, my friends dropped in too… Shankar, his wife and son from Bengaluru, accompanied by their freinds, Siva and his wife, from Australia. As soon as I saw Siva, the light-bulb of memory flashed…. We had worked together in the same company in Chennai many years ago… A booming “HI” from Siva, a firm handshake and gung-ho, and the span of time was bridged in a flash.

I got to share the hotel room with Shankar, who incidentally was my classmate in college…  His wife and son took another room in the same floor. And our third family, Siva and his wife got a room in the fourth floor. The other two rooms had some problems with their air-conditioners… And so a fan was being arranged…  Titiksha – the one quality needed for a Teerth-Yatra… The one quality that Indians have in abundance… [Just in case you are wondering what Titiksha is… God-google says, it is “endurance, patience, resignation, forbearance…”]… We would need lots and lots of it as the Yatra progressed…

Slowly stuff settled…

Twilight setting in… And we set out on a walk to explore the area around…

*** To be continued ***

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13 Responses to “Maanasa Kailasa Yatra – 4”

  1. Ravi Chandhiramouli Says:

    Namo Ramana – Superb Kamesh. Now for the wait for Post # 5. The thirst is unquenchable and the wait is excruciating. But no matter – let the posts flow when they will. These are sublime.
    Thank you much.
    Mouli

  2. krishni457 Says:

    very interesting & informative.

  3. Padmini Says:

    Hi Kamesh, Lazimpet is within walking distance of the Indian Embassy where we had stayed for 4 years. We used to go there often. Brings back fun memories.

  4. Siva Says:

    Kamesh, You are a story teller par execellence.

  5. Krishnan Mrk Says:

    wow GK you do weave a story , I mean a real story MRK

  6. Rana Sinha Ray Says:

    Don’t test our Titiksha – write the next installment soon.

  7. ravi anna Says:

    by visiting kailash and especially after you doing the outer parikrama u are now qualified to be known as Rishi kamesh.
    More than this your sharing the experience with others helps us to understand the tough pilgrimage in a better way and tks for the same.

    next time when u complete the inner parikrama at kailash we shall title you as Maharishi kamesh.

  8. Srini Says:

    3 episodes on Kailash and now Kathmandu is back again. Now I understand the Sardarji’s attitude to the train which blocked his view of Mala Sinha bathing in the lake

    • gkamesh Says:

      Had sardarji been patient and got into the train, he would have been rewarded!

      sirji, kailasa is not a give-me-five jaldi-five kind of yatra. One needs Nishta and Saburi … Faith and patience..

      theek hai bolo kya karein… should we straightaway hop to Maanasa, skip to Kailasa, and jump back to Amreeka?🙂

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