Let me make my own series of mistakes to learn and grow through it… Life doesn’t come with a guide or manual so how can someone force you to believe what they say through their experience is right for me as well. We all have different ideas and prospective in life and just because I don’t agree with someone on a point doesn’t make me look stupid or rebel. Ofcourse I have my own thoughts that I have developed over years of my existence through my good and bad experiences that have shaped my personality the way it is today. It’s my choice to make to take or leave people’s suggestions based or their experience or make my own mistakes and learn from it, who knows if I don’t make a mistake instead find a better way out of it and teach these people this prospect that I have on it! In today’s world no elder can impose their thoughts on their children or grandchildren but only suggest a way which they find better through their own past experiences. If you try to impose your thoughts on them surely you’ll drift yourself away from their heart as you seem to be controlling to them and surely nobody likes to be controlled against their will, isn’t it… Instead you can just share your experiences with them rather than making them believe and do what you want and maybe you giving them your experience will help them make better choices and love and respect you more dearly since they can see that you actually respect their thought as an individual and not always treat them as a kid when they are already grown up adults… It’s a privilege to have a choice to make and learn from your mistakes and nobody can teach you better than your own personal experiences so never refrain to make a choice to choose a path and face whatever difficulties that may come your way because this process is what will take you long way and again practically speaking you can’t expect somebody to always be there to hold your hands and guide you throughout your life…
It was kind of early morning when we had planned to go to jatashankar after all the previous day exciting trek that we had to the Chauragarh Peak which is around 1.5km from Pachmarhi bus station. Jatashankar or Jata Shankar is a cave temple located in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh. Also called Jatashankar Cave Temple, it is one of the popular places to visit in Pachmarhi.
Situated in a deep ravine with enormous boulders perched above, the Jata Shankar Caves in Pachmarhi are considered sacred as it is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva concealed himself from the wrath of Bhasmasur. This is a beautiful limestone cave comprising stalactites and stalagmites that look like the matted hair of Lord Shiva, hence named Jata Shankar Cave. Besides, the ceiling of this famous shrine has a formation that closely resembles the mythological hundred-headed snake Seshnag.
The cave contains stalagmites which are revered as naturally formed lingams. In fact, there are 108 such natural lingams present in this cave. There are two different types of ponds fed by springs, found in the locality, one of cold water and the other one of hot water. Water in the cave flows from an unknown point as no one has ever seen or reached that starting point and hence this stream of water is popularly known as ‘Gupt Ganga’. It is believed that the Jambu Dwip stream originates from this cave. There are idols of Lord Shankar and Goddess Parvati enshrined at a platform on the upper section of the cave.
Tourists need to walk about 1km and then climb down 150 steps leading to the cave temple. Also this walk to reach the cave is full surrounding view of beautifully cut mountains that are created naturally over the centuries because of the water and the weather changes. Besides, one can buy the local ayurvedic oils and shilajit that are being sold by vendors all along the route.
Since the Covid restrictions in Maharashtra was relaxed a bit, we 4 families together planned to take up a trip together to some place where we are safe from Covid and will get a change from the regular work from home routine. I did my little research and suggested to go to Pachmarhi which everyone agreed without a blink and that’s where it all began. We 4 families with 13 members went to Pachmarhi in second week of August which is not much preferred season to visit this hill station amidst the Satpura range in the state of madhya Pradesh. But still if you think is there any particular season that is not good to visit a hillstation…I cannot believe if there is any and we never thought this place would be so much special and beautiful than the way its mentioned in all the travel blogs that I have read on it till date. So I could not resist giving a standalone mention to one of Pachmarhi’s most daunting attractions – the Chauragarh Temple through this blog.
Located on top of the Chauragarh Peak,at an altitude of 1,330 m, the temple can be accessed after a 3.6 km ling trek. Just when you are thinking that the three-and-a-half odd kms is not really a big deal, let me just tell you that the last kilometer is basically 1,380 steps cut on the sheer rock face. So by this you can guess what we all had signed up for. We heard from people we know who had been there before about the difficulty level of the trek but these warning or stories I don’t know why gives you a solid reason to go ahead, explore and check it out for yourself if it’s really that hard to reach the Chauragarh Peak or its kind of an excuse of people who were not fit enough to reach the top. So we took this up as a challenge and all of us were ready and determined to reach the top and see for ourselves how the trek actually is. Another amazing thing I would like to mention here is that many of the members of our group were senior citizens and by God looking at them bubbling with energy determined to reach the Chauragarh Peak motivated us youngsters to not give up at all and ofcourse never to underestimate the stamina and strength of these senior citizens. Looking at them it really seemed like for them age is just a number and so it cannot define their boundaries.
You can take your car upto the Mahadeo Temple, 9 kms from Pachmarhi town. From there begins the trek to Chauragarh. For the first kilometre, you climb up and down a number of small hills till you come to the base of the main hill. See, the thing is, I daily walk around 4 km as exercise routine and I used to consider myself be a fit person as whenever given a chance to sit home and rest or go for an exhausting trek I’llalways choose the later one. We carried our own bags having the mask, sanitizer and cameras while we had asked our gypsy driver to help us carry the eatables and water for everyone since everyone of us were observing shravan somavaar ka upvas which is a kind of fast that we strictly follow to present our devotion to lord Shiva and again coincidentally Chauragarh Peak is said to be Shiva’s peak and people usually climb these four mountains and reach Chauragarh Peak to go visit the Shiva temple situated at the peak. So it was kind of amazing how the plan fell in to place such that we were able to visit the Shiva temple while we were observing the fast for lord Shiva itself. For people planning to go there, please carry your own water as there are no vendors on the way. A few tribals set up shop here and there selling gutkhas, cigarettes, chaas(buttermilk) and nimboo paani (these tribal people do stay in the valley that we can see while trekking. I am still amazed and appreciate how they climb and descend these mountains daily just to earn a livelihood).
Mid way of the trek is quite easy and not so steep and makes you believe easily that whatever mention that you’ve heard of this trek is breathtaking and difficult must be from people who are not so fit to even endure such a normal trek path but soon you’ll realize that you’ve said this all too soon…
This is when the track finally starts winding upwards. On one side of the road was an unrestricted view of the Satpura valley, most of which was covered in clouds and fog which definitely made it less scary while peeping in the valley by at the same time it was feeling as if we were there walking amidst the clouds…As you trudge on higher and higher, the scenenery begins to unfold under you. At this point of time, you begin to wonder if this view looks stunning, what would the view from top be like.
After two third of the climb was completed we came to a point where the steps had become narrow and steep making it more difficult to hold a grip and walk properly due to sudden rain and wind. As also due to the height it was becoming difficult to breath and to make it even more difficult during this COVID pandemic times we were trekking with the masks on as there were many country people crowd out there who were going to visit the chauragadh mahadev temple on the first shravan somavar of the year which is an auspicious day to worship Shiva according to Hindu mythology and coincidentally we choose the same day to go for this trek(well that was not a good idea since it made us keep the mask on and eventually made our breathing difficult as we were ascending towards the Chauragarh peak).
Due to the difficulty of the climb, not many people attempt the trek. Also since we went there on 9th August which is a peak monsoon time in India we were blessed to witness all the season in the trek duration of 4hrs as we were ascending the chauragadh peak. We were able to see a pleasant cloudy weather when we were at the base, then midway down the trek it started raining heavily which made us all drenched and the wind gushing through the ranges made us experience the winter chills and ofcourse it was followed by fog which made it difficult to see the base of the valley. As it stopped raining suddenly we could feel the warmth of the sun helping us get dried up but again due to the cloudy weather we were drenched in our own sweat( which is definitely gross but who would care about the sweat and the rain when you are enjoying the challenging trek and trying to climb 4 mountains to reach the peak of Chauragadh).
We were told that it’s quiet up there and we would only be able to hear birds chirping and panting of our own breath in the mountains as not many people visiting Pachmarhi choose to trek at this spot, taking into consideration the difficulty of the trek. But to our surprise and due to the day we choose the trek route was literally crowded with villagers and tribal people around Pachmarhi who worship Shiva and yes I could only find greedy red faced monkeys around who try to snatch your bags if you are not attentive while trekking and yes there I couldn’t hear or see any bird chirping around.
After what seemed like an endless climb, we finally reached a terrace kind of stairs which is at the neck of the hill, with one final flight of moderately high stairs (for a change) to the top. I ringing of bells were like music to our eyes making us realize that we are almost there amidst the panting and breathlessness.
The temple courtyard is stacked with thousands of trishuls, some weighing over three tons and standing nearly 5 m tall. On the occasion of Nagpanchmi and Mahashivaratri, devotees come here in droves, lugging up these heavy tridents or trishuls as offerings. These are then stuck in the ground around the temple creating a forest of trishuls. It is generally believed that the wishes of anyone who offers a trident here will be fulflled. It’s difficult by itself to motivate ourselves to complete the trek and I can’t even imagine how much dedication do these people put in to trust and believe that taking these heavy trishul up the Chauragadh peak on their feet will fulfill their wishes as blessings from lord Shiva as reward for their perseverance, dedication and worship.
There is a Shiva temple located near the tree where all the trishuls are placed as token of the people’s mannat for fulfillment of which they bring the trishul up to this peak as a token of their devotion.
It nearly took us around 2 hrs to descend back to the base where there is a cave having a Shiva linga which is kind of hidden in the cave so it is named as ‘Gupt mahadev’ (Gupt in Hindi means hidden and Mahadev is the title that has been bestowed to lord Shiva).
The overall trek took us around 5-6 hrs to complete which I think would have been even faster if it wasn’t raining so heavily at the top out there and if it had not been so crowded. It was indeed an exhaustive trek altogether but it was an amazing and overwhelming and memorable experience trekking those four mountains and reach the peak of Chauragarh… No matter how much our legs were paining due to this trek the next day given a chance to go climb this peak again for sure I’ll never hesitate to say YES… Also what I learnt while coming down that how important it is for you to keep yourself physically fit amidst the mental stress caused due to this pandemic and 24/7 kind of work from home culture.
PS: Please do let me know how you liked this blog so that it will help me to write about other wonderful place I had been to in Pachmarhi…
Never did I ever thought I would be able to go to this lovely place and witness how beautiful rainy season can be so far away from the crowdy city amidst the clouds in this beautiful town of Pachmarhi…
Please stay tuned to my blogs while I share few of my amazing experiences through my blogs in the coming few days…
Sometimes it becomes difficult to let go of things that you feel is important to you and you cannot decide if it’s right to hold it on tight or to just give up, move on and find a better path for yourself that will not only help you develop but also ensure that you grow and become a better person than you are today…
It becomes difficult to give up on thing that you develop attachment to over time and whenever you think of happy times that you have spent here it increase your urge to hold on to it time even though you know it has become a hindrance to your growth and your perseverance to hold on is not helping you anyways…
Even though you know deep in your heart when you are supposed to give up but you choose to turn deaf ear to your heart and look for a comfort in place where you are and you do avoid yourself from changing anything around you thinking will it be fruitful to do this or will it be worth it to put so much time and efforts to begin again…
We all will agree that there is only one thing is constant in life and that itself is change so how can we refrain ourselves from changing…
You have to change and begin again no matter how much you hate the idea of doing so… Convince yourself to give up on things that do not help you grow or that refrain you from changing your pace as per the world because life is too short to hold on to unnecessary thing and ignore the thing that really do matter for your personal growth…
This week I had got my first dose of Covid-19 vaccine and consequently high fever, headache and weakness kicked in. It is said that it helps if we have more liquid intake after the vaccine to lower the level of sideeffects that it may have otherwise on the body. And thanks to the paracetamol tablets that was helping with the fever I had no appetite at all!
The only thing I could think of having for meals with all the liquids and nutrients at this time was porridge and as I am not a fan of milk so it was not what I was preferring to have for 2 days straight to help rejuvenate myself from the weakness.
Being an Indian and not being able to have spicy food was not so good idea so here is what I experimented with least ‘masala’ and spices which had turned out to be amazing:
Ingredients: ( for serving 2 persons)
1) 1 whole cup of coarse oats
2) 1 cup of all finely chopped vegetables which includes carrot, mushroom, capsicum, sweet corn, beans and green peas
3) 1+1/2 tablespoon of butter
4) 1/2 teaspoon of pepper powder or coarsly crushed black pepper and mixed herbs like oregano and rosemary
5) Salt to taste
6) 1+1/2 tablespoon grated cheese
7) 1 teaspoon apple cidar vinegar
8) 1 finely chopped green chili
1) Heat a pan on low flame and add butter/ olive oil. Once melted/heated add crushed pepper and green chili and stir.
2) Add the vegetables that we had cut finely and kept and sauté it till it doesn’t smell raw. Then add mixed herbs to the pan.
3) Add oats and stir till it absorbs all the flavors of the vegetables in the pan and become moist.
4) Add 1+1/2 cup of water in the pan along with the salt and let the oats boil till the consistency becomes like porridge. Add more water if you would like it soupy.
5) Add cheese and let it boil for a minute.
6) Turn of the flame and serve the porridge in a bowl all hot and steamy. Garnish with green coriander leaves if you like.
This porridge is more nutritional than other usual porridge as it has vegetables to take care of your body vitamin supplements. Oats is always a healthy choice whether or not you are sick. Butter, cheese will give you the energy you need to fight the weakness and chili and pepper will help you with your tastebuds.
So I would suggest you to try this once and let me know how you like it.
There are times when you come across people who do not think before speaking in not a good way and you have no way to make them understand how rude and insensitive they can be to others and make them hear themselves when they speak.
It specifically becomes difficult if you have an emotional and sensitive approach to thinking and action to stand these kind of people around you and its inexplicable how difficult life becomes everyday if you happen to work and connect with these kind of people everyday as part of your job.
You start feeling exhausted in the morning thinking how to escape from these people and how to avoid getting hurt talking to them. On the other hand these kind of insensitive people have no clue how impossible they are to deal with and how ruthlessly they behave with others keeping a stand that they are straightforward.
Well everybody knows if a person is being straightforward or being rude just to showcase their power trying hard to mask their insecurities and inferiority complex. People who avoid talking or use ignorance as a medicine to deal with these people are knowingly or unknowingly feed their ego making them believe they have a right to be rude to supress other people and pave their way…
First thing to do if you have a misfortune to work with these kind of people only tolerate what you feel you can ignore but once it starts mentally affecting you stand up for yourself and speak up. Its not your weakness to be sensitive, rather its a virtue that makes you compassionate and makes you kind enough to empathize with people around you and indeed makes you a good person. Also its not that only people who are rude or insensitive are straightforward. Its a matter of person choice if you respect and be kind to everybody around you or not.
If things go beyond your control and it becomes intolerable to deal with such people just SPEAK UP…Since your silence would make your life difficult and also you would be forcing yourself into a toxic environment which might affect you physically and mentally as well. If you need to work with them everyday just make them realize how wrong they are thinking that you silence was because you were easy target to bully and it was testing your tolerance…You are responsible for your mental well-being so don’t let anybody invade and ruin your peace of mind because of their toxic and supressing attitude…
You need to be smart enough to not go down to their level to make them taste their own medicine but make them realize how wrongly they treat you with your goodness and kindness…
Don’t give people chance to make you live in a toxic environment amongst toxic people, you deserve better and you need to know that you really do.
Isn’t it ironical that if a person is close to you, their silence is loudest that they can speak to you. This is because silence is the language of your heart…
It speaks louder than anyone can hear without even a single word being uttered. If you feel a connection with a person you may actually understand many gestures of the person or rather you can infer the mood of that person without that person speaking it out to you in words. Well this isn’t a rocket science to understand, this connection or bonding comes from the trust, understanding and time that you’ve spent together which helped you understand that person so well that words no longer remains the only medium for you to communicate or understand what the other person is thinking or feeling… This heart to heart connection makes you understand each other better. Isn’t it amazing and worth appreciating that we people can share this kind of magical connection with each other…
Silence is sometimes like a cold winter night which makes you feel the cold and emptiness in your heart while sometimes it is what you need to be able to get your thoughts together and make a firm decision.