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Jyotirlings in Maharastra.

In the beginning of this month, March, my awaited desire was fulfilled that was to visit the Jyotirlingas situated in Maharastra though people generally have desire for worldly affairs. There are five Jyotirlingas in Maharastra but two out of them are in question mark. We were five who arrived at Mumbai and took the cab that was already booked and drove directly to Bhimashankar Jyotirling which is about one hundred kilometers far from Pune and two hundred twenty five kilometer from Mumbai. Same day in the evening we reached Bhimashankar. First of all, we got Darashan of Bhimashankar. When we left the temple, sun was also going its home to take rest. Our plan was to stay at Beed but we halted at Ahmednagar as it was about 10 pm when we touched Ahmednagar. The hotel was also nice where we lodged.

 

Next day we proceeded to Parli Vaidnath Jyotirling. After crossing Beed we arrived at Parli Vaidnath temple of Lord Shiva. Getting the Darashan and offering the prayers we headed to Nanded. There is a famous Gurudwara, temple of Sikh community; Sikhs and Hindus both keep desire to visit that Gurudwara, so we also decided to go there.  The sun was setting when we left Nanded. We wanted to stay near Aundh Nagnath that is also considered a Jyotirling. Aundh is not the name of the temple but is a village where the Nagnath Jyotirling is situated. On the way to Aundh Nagnath the driver once took a wrong route but soon he corrected his mistake. In the end we arrived at Aundh and got good sleep.

 

Next day early in the morning we got ready and went to the Nagnath temple that is in the basement and its roof is slightly less than five feet high. We offered our prayers and came back to go to the next destination that was Aurangabad as Ghrishneshwar Jyotirling is there. World famous, Ellora caves were also just a few miles before that Jyotirling. But that day the caves were closed for visitors as a weekly off so we got only outer glimpses of them. We then moved to Ghrishneshwar Jyotirling and offered our prayers to Lord Shiva. Having taken lunch we traveled to Shirdi that is famous for SaiBabaTemple, the second richest temple in India after ‘Tirupati Balaji temple’. We also visited the Sai temple in the same evening and after that searched out for a hotel.

 

Next day in the morning, we turned to go to Nasik; on the way we visited a Buddha temple which had an amazing echo – a very low sound echoed beautifully that gave us pleasing effect. Before noon we were at Trimbkeshwar Jyotirling. We first stood in a queue to get Darashan. Some pundits were demanding about one thousand rupees per person for performing rituals and Darashan. We got Darashan of the Jyotirling. There was a depression in the Jyotirling and in the depression there were three prominences that were called ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh’.

After that, we returned to Mumbai, but on the way we also visited the meditation center dedicated to Buddhism and known as ‘Vipasana’, the spelling of ‘Vipasana may be a little bit incorrect. Next day in Mumbai, we visited all those places that are quite known by name as Hazi Ali Dargah, Juhu, sea link bridge, Nariman Point, Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Laxmi Mata Mandir, Gateway of India etc… along with Elephanta caves that are 5th 0r 6th centuries erection and show that Indian stone art is quite old. In the evening we left Mumbai to go back home.

Mauritius Tour – Day two

The following day we got up early in the morning. There was a big lawn in the back of the room so I went there and sat in the chair. After sometime Mira also came there along with tea in two glasses as she likes to take tea in a glass. I also enjoyed the tea and listened to the different sounds of birds. The sounds were clear as there was quite silence. We phoned to some nears and dears. We got ready after sometimes and went to dining hall to take breakfast. In the breakfast there were many varieties that were prepared after keeping in view of the all the guests staying in the hotel.

Our group was ready to move southward of the city. In the beginning we visited the ship making factory. The factory was really worth seeing. In fact they were making only the toy ships which you can keep in your house as a decoration piece. Some of our team members bought the toy ships from the factory. Having seen it we reached the place that was quite big , below the ground and covered with greenery. The place is called ‘Ganga Talao’. We did photography at that place as the location had a lot of scenic beauty.

However, it is surprising to know that more than half of Mauritius population is of Hindus. They try to maintain their sanctity and use their traditional dress and language. It was told to us that in every village of Mauritius there is a temple. Most of Mauritius the Hindus were migrated there when India was ruled by British. There is a long lithic statue of Lord Shiva. The height of the statue is one hundred feet and is called ‘Mangal Mahadev’. There is also a beautiful Lord Shiva temple that is called thirteenth ‘Jyotirlinga’ as twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’ are placed in India. This temple would work as a binding agent between India and Mauritius. Having visited all these places the tummy reminded us of the time of lunch. Meanwhile a group of Hindus who were constructing a big temple came to invite us to lunch. The food was delicious. After lunch some of our members donated a handsome amount to them for temple construction. They were also planning to construct a building that would be called ‘India House’. After that we proceeded to a village, Chamarel where a volcanic earth was erected in an unusual way that showed us the place in seven different colors which appeared to be artificial ones as some of our members also raised their suspicion though being really natural. In the evening we returned to our hotel.

Once again at dinner time we went for a banquet that was hosted by some dignitaries of Mauritius. The art and culture minister of Mauritius also attended the function. The host welcomed us quite warmly. It was all about our second day in Mauritius that my memory allowed me to jot down, (28th, May 2011).

Vaijnath and Gaya temples tour – day two

On the following day, we got up early in the morning at 4.30 as we didn’t get sound sleep in the night, though we had decided to get up at 5. We were ready by 5.30 and at six O’ clock drove off to Gaya. It all happened smoothly as we had got the taxi booked the previous night. The road was very levelled and without any pit holes that was beyond our expectation. We appreciated the present Chief Minister of that area, Bihar. The driver told us that even the law and order is also maintained nowadays.

In the afternoon we arrived at Rajgir which is popular among tourists as there is a hot water pond. We all took bath in it. Some pundits use this place as a religious one and exploit the tourist sentiments. We also got our feelings ill-used by one of these such pundits. After that we went to Nalanda ruins that were excavated in the last decades of British rule. Now it has got the status of world heritage and is maintained by Archeological Survey of India. We all know that about two thousand years ago Nalanda was a World Fame University. Having seen it I felt some internal pleasure as I had the strong desire to visit these remains. We also visited the museum that had the things found during the  excavation of Nalanda.

After that we directly proceeded to Bodh Gaya temple. The Sun was going back his home when we reached there. It is the place where Lord Buddha got realization. Inside the temple we saw the tree under which Buddha did meditation. The temple was really beautiful and was full of foreigners who kept faith in Buddhism. It was about seven o’clock when we left the temple. With the same taxi we went to Gaya that was about ten kilometers away from Bodh Gaya. There, we visited the Vishnu-pad temple that was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. As we were all feeling hungry, we searched out a good restaurant and had had our dinner. Then the time was about nine and we advanced to railway station to catch our 11.30 train to come back home.

Vaijnath and Gaya temples – day one

About two months ago, I made a program to visit Vaijnath at Deoghar in Jharkhand, which is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas though there is some controversy about it as some devotees believe that Vaijnath at Parli in Andhra Pradesh is a real Jyotirlinga instead of that one. Anyhow, people, lakhs in number, every year visit Vaijnath which is in Jharkhand. I asked  some of my friends about the trip whether they were interested to go with me. In the end, we four were agreeable to go there but we added one more place in our trip at the suggestion of one of our group members; it is called Gaya which is about two hundred and sixty kilometers away from Deoghar – it is also a Hindu religious place. We got four tickets of Rajdhani train that runs between Delhi and Howrah every Friday only, for 27th January 2012. Jaisidh is the railway station that is the nearest station to go to Vaijnath and the Rajdhani train stops there.

On the scheduled day, we gathered at the New Delhi railway station. The train left the station at right time, 5 O’ clock. The following day in the morning we arrived at Jaisidh. Coming out of the station we drove away to the ‘Dharamshala’ that was already booked for us. Reaching there we got warm welcome by a man called ‘Master Ji’ as if we were known to one another. After that we took bath and got ready to go to the Vaijnath temple. Before narrating the story of my trip further, let me introduce my companions – their names were Rajinder, Ram Bhagat and Raj Kumar.

We hired the taxi for full day and went to Vaijnath temple. One Pandit ji, called ‘Panda’, received us there. His name was Kalia,  who was assigned for us and this arrangement was done by Ram Bhagat’s friend who also lives in his society appartments. After the prayer and Darshan we came out of the temple. There was a huge crowd and a long queue of devotees inside the temple premises. We got Darshan of our deity on the day of Basant Panchami – it is a sacred day for the Hindus. The people of Bihar, Jharkhand and some adjoining area perform Saraswati ‘Pooja’ in these days – Saraswati is the Goddess of Education in Hindus. All the educational institutes were decorated and illuminated with lights. After that we went to Basukinath temple that is also devoted to Lord Shiva. The time was about three in the afternoon so we had lunch there that was fresh and tolerably tasty too.

We then proceeded to a recreation place where there was a rope- way. By the time we reached there it was 4.30., but the rope –way was closed as its closing time was 4. RP, one of our companions  tried to get the tickets by making some tricks and got succeeded in getting the same. So we enjoyed in the rope-way but RB refused to go in as he was afraid of it though he was pretending to accept it. This rope-way was on the Trikut hills where Ravana killed Jatayu when he challenged Ravana.

In the following course of our trip of that day we visited the place called Tapovan; it is a hill where Hanuman statue is engraved on the rock. At the end of the day we went to a temple called ‘Naulakaha temple’. Naulakaha means nine lakhs; the temple was built up at the cost of nine lakhs though neither of us was agreeable at this point. Coming back to Dharamshala we had dinner and went to bed.

Mauritius tour – day one

Mr. J, aged about ninety, went to Mauritius in the same group in which I was also one of the members. His daughter was accompanying him for his care though he seemed to be quite active. We went there at the end of May of this year. I tried to pen down my Mauritius tour so many times but couldn’t write down my memories somehow. Today this active old gentleman came into my mind and once again I was initiated to write down it. My group was big even though he was remembered as I treated him during the journey when he fell ill there. He responded to my treatment well and I became lovable for all. Mr. J got the attack of involuntary, frequent urination that made his tour and life hell. His daughter approached me for his problem as she might know me well before or somebody else had told her about me that I never asked her till today.

On 27th May, 2011, we landed at Mauritius air-port in the morning. We reached Mauritius via Dubai where we changed the flight and wasted our some hours in dizziness and some time in wandering inside the air-port. Having completed the immigration formalities we took our luggage from the belt and came out of the port where three buses were waiting for us along with three tourist guides who would accompany us during our Mauritius tour. I kept my luggage in one of the coaches. Mr. Satish though called Captain was my coach driver and Miss. Manisha was tour guide. She was young, fatty girl but very talkative as it suits to her job. She gave us some instructions and information about tour as well as some laws of the country that every tourist must follow them.

She offered us a bottle of water as if it were the welcome drink. She took us to the hotel which was already booked for us as per our itinerary. Getting room we got relaxed and ready after taking bath. Now our tummy reminded us about hunger so we went to the dining hall to take lunch that was vegetarian as per our requirement. The name of the hotel was Jalsa and the name of the air-port was Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport that I forgot to mention in the beginning. Why did I mention this name that I might mention it later on if felt relevant?

Having had our lunch we went on city tour and came back in the evening and relaxed at beach as our hotel was at sea-shore. Up to many meters the water was only a little more than an ankle deep so people were going inside the sea without any fear and the water was crystal clear that we had only read in literature. We did a lot of chattering there. At the end we had had dinner and went to bed. It was all about our first day in Mauritius.

‘A queen of hills – Nainital’

Nainital is a famous hill station. Even it is called queen of hills; this shows itself that it is really very charming place and worth to go there in summer season. If you enjoy winter you can go there at the end of winter. This time there is no crowd and enjoyment will be of different type. I have been there twice and once just crossed near Nainital when I went to Jageshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

First time I went to Nainital when Sambhav was only 8-9 months old; even he walked his first step there so this trip is more memorable than others. Vaibhav was about three years old. Whenever we went to the bazaar he demanded some thing from every shop. His mom asked him to decide what he actually needed. After that he didn’t demand anything as if he had understood his mom’s advice. He was fond of shooting at balloons so on every such shop he played the game. His style of shooting at the balloon and standing at the time of act looked quite attractive so we also enjoyed his actions.

In the middle of Nainital there is a lake; actually the name of this lake is Naini and on its name the area is called Nainital. There are seven lakes in that hill; they are called by the name of different Tal like Bheemtal etc…

On the first day there I bought six bananas in the evening while we were going back to his hotel. In the late night I demanded the hotel to serve me a glass of milk for Sambhav. The waiter served milk in my room but the ratio of water was quite high in the milk but we had no other choice except to accept it. This water mixed milk was digested earlier than the required time so Sambhav got up at midnight and began to cry. The bananas had helped him to satisfy his hunger.

One day we went for boat riding in the lake. Sambhav was in a mood to put his extremities in to the water but he was so small that we couldn’t leave him alone in the boat. In the end I told the boat man to take the boat at the bank of the lake. Sambhav kept his one hand into the water till we left the boat.

Second time when we went to Nainital we got different experience. This time Sambhav was in such age that he could go to nearby market alone. Our hotel was at Mall Road; the road is not very long so even a guy can walk on foot from one end to another. Talital and Malital are the name of the ends respectively. Sambhav had enjoyed a lot by going alone from one end to another two-three times every day till we were there.

One day we went to see the zoo. Inside the zoo, there was lion cage where a lion was walking continuously. We felt a different type of experience by watching him. While we were returning from the zoo, on the way a herd of monkeys crossed the road by jumping from trees to trees. A leg of one monkey touched Vaibhav’s head but he didn’t show any panicky.

For going to Nainital; a train goes from Delhi to Kathgodam which is the nearest railway station for Nainital. Taxis and buses are available to go from Kathgodam to Nainital. The distance is about forty kilometers.

A trip to Haridwar

One fine day we planned to go to Haridwar so I bought three train tickets from Old Delhi Railway Station. That time the tickets were made manually so it was in the hand of the man who was sitting on the booking window, whether he would sell you ticket or not. When I demanded him three tickets for Haridwar he refused me by saying that the tickets had already been sold out. I requested him in such a way as if I was accustomed to the corrupt system so he gave me three tickets. When I gave him money he said OK. I insisted on him to refund the balance amount. First, he stared at me and refunded me the balance.

Reaching home I told Mira about the program. I purchased third ticket for one of my nephews, my elder sister’s son – Pankaj, who was ready to go with us. We boarded the train on the scheduled date that was on Saturday evening. By the following day in the morning we arrived at Haridwar. We took the Rickshaw from the station to go to the Dharamshala that was near the bank of holy river Ganga. Having got the room we went to the ‘Har Ki Podi’ to take a holy dip into it. The flow of water was quite high and the water itself was very cold so it was difficult to enter the water in one shot. First I dipped my one foot into it and after a while second foot. Having accustomed the body to chilled water I put my one hand into the water. Slowly and gradually I wetted my whole body. After this we bathed and enjoyed into the water a lot. It was my first experience to such cold river though I had visited the Ganga at the place called ‘Garh Ganga’ but the water at ‘Garh Ganga was not as chilled as at ‘Har Ki Podi’.

Having taken bath we changed our dresses and went to the nearby restaurant to take a breakfast though my sister had prepared some eatables and packed it for the journey but we left it at home in haste. Having the breakfast we went to see many famous temples of Haridwar. They were all beautiful.

Next day we went to Rishikesh that is also very beautiful and in between the hills. There were so many big Dharamshalas and temples in Rishikesh where many ‘Sadhus’ live and meditate religiously. After spending two-three days we returned to Delhi. When we reached ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminus) the time was 3 am. I hired an auto rickshaw and went home. After dropping us at home, the auto rickshaw driver asked me to say something. Getting my permission he said, ‘Sir, it was not the right time to go home from ISBT, you had better stay there till 5 o’ clock.’ I said to him, ‘Thanks for nice advice and got into home.’

‘Maharaja Agarsain Jayanti celebrated in Dubai’

Dubai is a country known for its beauty and shopping at least in India though people from all over the world will be found there as  tourists. I have already visited it twice before getting one more invitation to go there. Naresh who is a big gun in Agarwal community, phoned me to go there as a guest. I told him how I could go there so early as a few months back we were there and asked him the purpose to go there. He tried to explain it on phone but I couldn’t get him so I invited him home or to my office. One day, on Sunday in the afternoon, he phoned me that he was coming to my house. I guided him the route of my house as he was coming there first time. Soon he along with his wife was at my residence. He told me about the invitation that he got from Dubai as a chief guest to attend the celebration of Maharaja Agarsain Jayanti. He wanted me to accompany him. In the end I accepted his offer.

Just after a few days we, four – Naresh, me and two lady workers of Agarwal community, were at Dubai international airport. It was mid-night when we were standing in a queue for immigration. Three of our group got immigration clearance and went out but I was still in the waiting as one VIP passenger went to the counter without bothering about others. At my turn the officer on the counter asked me the name of the hotel where I would stay. I replied him that my group leader who had gone outside knew the name of the hotel. Listening to my reply he advised me to wait in a nearby room, for this he sent an officer with me in the room where a lady-officer was sitting. She asked me so many questions but none of my answer satisfied her as she was quite rude. Then I talked to another officer about my problem. He thoroughly checked my passport and found that I had already visited his country twice. Then he told her something in his mother tongue. The lady allowed me to go after stamping my visa document.

After coming out where my colleagues were waiting for me anxiously, I asked angrily Naresh why he had not given us our itinerary. He gave me unsatisfactory answer; in the middle of the tour I realized that it was his habit of not sharing the information concerned so that I shouldn’t get angry.

Out side the air-port, the hotel driver was standing with a play-card in his hand to receive us. He took us to the hotel car, put our luggage in the trunk and drove away to the hotel, named the Royal. Having got the key of the rooms we went to the room and soon we were in the lap of sound sleep. In the morning we got up fresh and got ready by 10 o’clock. While we were having breakfast one of our hosts came to receive us.

Having reached at the host office we did some formal talk though the formal meeting was fixed on the lunch. When one of our team-mates desired to visit Abu-Dhabi on the same day, the host suggested us to change meeting from lunch to dinner. He told us that he would inform the celebration committee for the change.

The host’s driver took us to Abu-Dhabi where we first visited the hotel, named Emirates Palace. It was really very beautiful inside-outside both. It had four wings – two are reserved exclusively for Sheiks’s of UAE. Rooms in rest of the two wings are available for tourist though these are very costly in terms of dollars. Our luck was in our favor as a gentleman of the palace staff showed us the other part of the hotel too.

After coming out of the Emirate palace we looked for lunch as it was late afternoon and every body was feeling hungry. We got one vegetarian sweet shop after an exhaustive search. We had had some snacks as there was no other option left. On the way back to Dubai we visited the mosque that was very big and extremely beautiful. It has the rule for ladies that they can enter the mosque after wearing ‘Burka’.

We stopped at one more place for half an hour as we were already running short of time because our hosts were waiting for us on dinner cum meeting. The place was called ‘Ferrari world’. We went inside, wandered there without taking any ride and came out after taking some photographs.

We directly went to the Indian restaurant where we had to have dinner and planned the next day program.

Next day we attended the celebration and endorsed our presence. All the people attending the function were happy to see us as we were there just to attend the function. Children of the members presented some cultural program that was fantastic. After the function we went back to the hotel, did some rest and went to see Dubai. We were accompanied by a family who was the relative of one of our members. We came back to hotel late night.

Next day our flight was at 6 in the evening so got ready by 10 and went to Sharjah that was famous for cricket in olden time. We visited the Sharjah stadium too. Coming back we did some shopping, left the hotel and went to air-port. Having reached there we came to know that our scheduled flight had been cancelled and would get mid-night flight. After getting the boarding pass we came out of the air-port to enjoy some more hours in Dubai. By and large we enjoyed a lot in these three days. In the end we reached home in the same night.

‘Gangotri – a sacred place for Hindus’

Gangotri is a religious place for Hindus. It is said to be the source of Ganga River though it originates from ‘Gomukh’. I also had once got the opportunity to visit the place. We were in group of seven with three children. It was summer when we went there. We reached Rishikesh from where we hired a Jeep to go there that was the best mode of transport in the hills in my opinion. By the time we arrived at Uttarkashi, mid way in the route, it was about to be dark and it was drizzling. So we decided to stay there till morning.

In the morning, we again began to go up to the hills. The moment we reached Gangotri it was noon. We were feeling hungry so we went to a restaurant, where South-Indian dishes were available we had had them as per every body’s choice. I told them about my desire to go to Gomukh. Having listened to my desire Vaibhav and Sambhav also became ready to accompany me in this trip. So I told them to take their bag with one dress. I told them that we wanted to reach Bhoj –wasa, the last point near Gomukh to stay, before sun set. We had started our journey but just after five minutes Vaibhav’s mood had changed, the reason I didn’t know, so he went back to join the remaining group.

On way to Gomukh, just after about a kilometer, we hired a guide who would tell us about route and keep us up date for all necessary information. When we were a few kilometer away from Bhojwasa, the sun was about to set and the cold in the atmosphere had increased. I was just in half sleeve shirt along with a warmer inside. I looked at my forearm and found it red in color with semi-erected hair on it. I thought the color of my skin would have been changed by the effect of the weather. I couldn’t sense that it was the alarming sign as my body had been getting cold inside. By the time I arrived at Bhojwasa I got the attack of watery stool and my body was shaking with cold. I laid down under five-six quilt, even after an hour I was shivering. Then I asked the inn owner about the fire. After understanding my problem he took me near fire. Having sat there for about an hour I felt a little bit comfort. Sambhav and the guide also helped me a lot at that time. Sambhav proved himself matured though he was teenager.

In the morning, next day I was feeling well a lot, so we proceeded to Gomukh that was still five miles ahead. Some of the pilgrims also accompanied us, they were also quite young. I stopped going ahead the moment I saw Gomukh from distance but the other people said they would go just near the origin and told me to send Sambhav with them. After a few hours they all came back.

We decided to return to Gangotri. When we reached Gangotri it was quite dark and we didn’t know where they were staying. But just after a few minutes we found them as they were also eagerly waiting for us. We went to our hotel. I was still not feeling well. I vomited a lot of water twice at night. In the following morning I was feeling well but weakness remained with me. I took bath in hot water in the hotel to go to the temple. At the temple we met our some friends who also came there for the same cause. Meeting each other we felt very happy. After that we came back home.

‘Mallikaarjuna- a Jyotirlinga’

In Hindu mythology there are twelve ‘Jyotirlinga’, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It can be said that these are the Shiva’s temple where every Shiva devotee should visit once in his life time. Even most of the Hindu’s have desire to go there for the ‘Darshan of the Jyotirlinga’. There is a Jyotirlinga, known as Mallikaarjuna Jyotirlinga at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh. It is two hundred kilometer away from Hyderabad. The convenient route to go to Srisailam is via Hyderabad as it is connected with other big cities by road, train and air.

I also got an opportunity to get Darshan of this Jyotirlinga when I was on tour on Delhi – Nagpur – Hyderabad – Delhi. I along with Mira was on this tour in the middle of October, before Diwali festival, on Advani’s Jan Chetna Yatra as we were invited in it. Before going there I did some home-work on this tour and found this Jyotirlinga. I made program in such a way that I could visit this place easily. We reached Hyderabad in the afternoon. Some of our friends were also with us, who were to stay in a hotel named Taj Krishna that was the palace of Nawab Hyderabad at one time but had now been converted into a hotel. They invited us to take lunch with them in Taj Krishna. We couldn’t help refusing their invitation. We all went there for having lunch. After that we all went to see Golconda fort that had some peculiar attractions too. Reaching there I told them if I had seen the whole fort from inside that required minimum one and a half hour I couldn’t have been to Srisailam that day. I apologized to them for not accompanying them inside the fort. They also showed their approval of my plan.

I and Mira went back to our car to go to Srisailam. We got into the car and drove to the destination. After about two hours journey it was dark and there was a single as well as zigzag road though it was in a good condition. I found one very attractive thing on the road that there were reflectors at the every curve on the road so that the driver can drive his vehicle at the curves even in the dark. We enjoyed a lot on the crisscross road in the dark without getting any fear of mishap.

On the way there was a check – post on the road where every vehicle’s number that drove ahead had been noted down by the check-post officer. From this point deep forest starts where even tigers also habitat; it is also called tiger reserve. For going to Srisailam, every body has to cross this eighty kilometer stretch. This stretch has a beautiful single road without any dig or patch work so we cross it with great pleasure. Mira felt little nausea as we were continuously on move for four hours. At the end of this jungle road there was again a check-post where the officer-in-charge noted down our car number in his file. We came out of the car to relax. The ten minutes rest provided us new energy. Mira also got relief from the nauseated feeling. Mean while I talked to the officer who gave me very useful information about the temple and the hotels.

It was about 9 in the evening when we arrived at Srisailam. The driver suggested me a hotel that was good to stay there for a night. I took an AC room there and got ready to go to the temple by 9.30. Within five or ten minutes we were before Lord Shiva in the temple. There were very few devotees inside the temple as the temple was about to close. After getting the Darshan of Jyotirlinga we took the Darshan of Goddess Durga. The temple of Durga is considered a ‘Shakti-peeth’ as per Hindus’ belief. We were about to leave the temple when we saw that the Pujari and some devotees were going to somewhere along with the statues of God and Goddess in the ‘Palki’. Some people were playing musical instruments. They reached near one room inside the temple premises where they laid the statue down on the bed. The moment they laid them down the light had gone and rest of the rituals were performed in the light of oil lamp. Immediately after the act the light had come back. I couldn’t understand that the light had gone out by chance or deliberately. We returned to our hotel and had dinner. Soon we went to bed and slept as were tired.

Next day in the morning I got up as usual and got ready after cleaned my shave as well as took bath. My better half wanted to relax more but I didn’t comment on this issue. By eight she had also got ready and we went to temple again. Now there were some restrictions that one has to follow before entering the temple as you can’t go inside the temple with your camera and mobile phone etc. There were two type of lines for devotees i.e. paid and unpaid line. We chose the unpaid line. There were about one hundred people before us in the queue. It took about an hour to reach before the Jyotirlinga. We got Darshan of the Lord Shiva. When I was standing in the queue I saw a board hanging on the wall that depicted the story of the temple and stated a place where people used to sacrifice their some parts of the body like hand, finger, leg and even tongue. The place where people used to cut their parts of the body is called ‘Mandap’ and it was built by one of the kings for the ‘Punnaya memory’ of his younger father. When I read it, my mind stuck to the word ‘younger father’; I thought the word indicates that ladies at that time might believe in polygamy.

After Darshan we had had breakfast at two places as on the first place it was not in our taste. Mean while our driver came to us as I had already phoned him. We left the hotel, kept our baggage in the car and drove to Hyderabad. On the way we stopped in the middle of the jungle to go deep into the forest to see tigers but people told us that there was no guarantee of watching tigers. So we left the idea and enjoyed in the permitted are of the jungle. We saw the dam built on the ‘Patal Ganga’ river for making electricity that is supplied to Srisailam city. On the way to Hyderabad our car got punctured twice and it wasted our one and a half hour.

After arriving at Hyderabad city we first visited Char Minar, a historical monument, and on its first floor we enjoyed the scenic beauty of the city around it. Before reaching Char Minar one event happened that I forgot to mention here though it was a new experience and was read only in jokes. We stopped at a petrol pump to get the tank of our car filled. Getting the petrol we went ahead and after covering some distance the driver wanted to tell Mira something about the Minar. In this course the driver turned his face back and found that Mira was missing. We both were shocked and surprised. I phoned her on her mobile phone and asked her where she was. Mobile phone had solved our problem in some seconds; it is really a big invention. If it hadn’t been invented how this episode would have been managed.

We went to the famous museum of Hyderabad, called Sallarjung museum. Sallarjung 3rd. was the last Nawab of Hyderabad as he had no child. The museum was really worth to see. There was a cafeteria inside the museum and we filled our tummy with some snacks as we were feeling hungry. By the time it was 5 in the evening and the museum was in the process of closing. We came out of the museum and visited some shops. Now the watch told us to move to the airport as we were already running short of time. We came back home with some pleasant memories….