Tranquility In The Waters: My Trip to Gangotri

Well, an introduction first to this guest writer – Arti, from My Yatra Diary, is my friend and an avid traveler of North India. She puts her experiences of traveling through words on her blog, and also through her beautiful photography. When I asked her for a guest post late last year, she agreed to it immediately and I’m glad to have her gracing this little blog of mine with an account of one of her travels. Enjoy the read, I’m sure you all will.

As I removed my shoes and tip toed on the smooth icy rocks, a melodious music of silence filled my ears. Mixed in it were gurgling rhythmic beats of Her waters and before I could gather anything, I found myself drifting away in a trance…

My quest to satisfy a long held spiritual thirst of mine took me to Gangotri – one of the coveted dhams in the Char Dham circuit in the Garhwal Himalayas and more importantly the source of River Ganga – sometime during the festival of Diwali. As the temple was just about to be closed for a period of 6 months, pilgrim traffic was very thin and half of the shops had packed up.

Wading through the almost desolate lanes, I reached the main temple area and hurriedly paid my respects at the Gangotri temple. Hurriedly, I say, because I was impatient and eager. Anxious to meet Mother Ganga in Her purest form, well almost (Her main source of origin is at Gaumukh), something that I had been longing for years now. A few steps down from the temple unlocked a fascinating view of a charming world before me.

The serenity of the breathtaking vistas with huge mountains looming over it, at once, led me to a quiet retreat of my own. Faraway from somewhere in the horizons, swirling and tumbling, she was humbly making her way through the base of the mountains to meet Her ardent devouts like me and bless them with Her eternal wishes. The entire place looked nothing less than a divine slice of heavenly paradise made visible to us mortals on earth.

I sat down besides Her and lowered my hand in Her waters wondering what magnetic charm she holds to draw millions and millions over decades and centuries. A soothing sheet of clear water wrapped around in a comforting embrace and I experienced a sudden boost of exhilarating joy run through my senses. I felt captivated into a peaceful reverie by a delightful spell and need I say, was enjoying every bit of it. The water was icy, my hands numb, there were goose bumps all over my arms and I was shivering, but surprisingly even these things could not rob away the pleasure and joy I found in those moments. The moments that I spent in Her company had a balming effect on the soul… a feeling that is hard for me to piece together in words or sentences…

As I got back home and entered my chaotic routine life once again, I slowly realized that there was something that had tagged along with me all the way from Gangotri… A Stillness of Mind… and this incessantly was helping me work around my hectic and mundane city life with ease. Today, this I comprehend was the real joy of my travel!

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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