We planned an LFC trip to Nainital that summer during May 1990 as invited by our younger brother Shri B Janardhanan, IAF, who was the Registrar of Sainic School at Nainital. At that time, I was BM of Meikelnaickenpatti rural branch, Trichy Dist., (1988-92) and booked our tickets in advance with the intention of staying with our brother’s family at least for 10 days.

On day 1, myself along with my wife Smt Kaveri Jayaraman and Son Balaji, aged 6, took the Rock Fort express at Night from Trichy and reached Egmore Rly station Chennai in the early hours of day two.

We went to my sister Viji’s house at Mylapore and relaxed. Tamilnadu Express took us that night from Chennai Central and safely railed us to the New Delhi Rly station, after two nights and a day. We took a Pat Patti (auto) and reached ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminus) in the early hours of day 4. We booked our tickets for Delhi-Nainital Bus which starts by 9AM. So we refreshed ourselves and took our break-fast and bought snacks and cool drinks for Balaji. Delhi-Nainital 290 KM – 8 hours travel in Garhwal Himalayan range. Whenever Bus relaxed we also too! Safely reached Nainital by 5PM and started climbing the small hill to reach the Sainic school campus with our limited luggage. We always realised the fact that less luggage is more comfortable!

On our surprise, brother Jana was out of station with family and their guest, informed by his servant boy Sekar. Without given any time for our imagination, Sekar informed that nothing to worry and he would take care of us as per the instructions of his boss. He welcomed us in the bungalow with northern style with water, snacks and tea. After refreshment, he took us to nearby Dhola Baba temple and we had darsan of Lord Siva. The temple is full of bells tied by pilgrims.{Fig 1 and 2} Had a good sleep with natural Air-conditioned home.

Day 5 born with the singing of hill birds and natural breeze. We went to Nainital Lake and enjoyed self boating and purchase of some dress materials and hill shoes. {fig.5,6,7}

That night Jana came and explained about their tour to Kedar and Badri. His In-Laws, i.e., father and mother of Mr Mowli and Jayaram of Bangalore along with Jana & Suganthi’s daughter Akila and son Arvind went by Omni taxi while he and his wife went in Vijay Scooter all the way as an adventure. {fig 3 & 4}

We never heard about Kedar and Badrinath. Jana requested us to visit those places which are very near from Nainital. Yes, we have also decided and the next day 6, early morning we boarded the bus to Kedar by 5am from Nainital with our woolen cloths. {fig 8,9}

Nainital to Kedarnath foot hill is nearly 271 km in hill route via Karnaprayag, Chamoli and Joshimutt. At 9am the driver stopped the bus in front of a hotel in a village bus stand in which in the TV the Ramayanam serial was on the move. So, we had our break-fast and sitting in the bus itself watching the serial with one and all. Than the bus was forced to stop before Joshimutt since it was a one way gate. {Gate means …one way only. All the vehicles from opposite side run for an hour and after an hour or so, this side traffic is allowed to move to other side.}

By evening 5 PM we reached the foot-hill of Kedarnath. Had katchodi and tea in a stall on the way. { fig 10,11,}

All advised us to stay at the foothills and walk the trekking of 12kms or so in the early hours of next day. But we had confidence and proceed in the twilight (In hills sun light there for up to 7PM or so) on the way full of ice and small glaziers.{fig.12,13,14,15}.

Nepalis now and then clear the icy ways to help the tourists. Roughly 12 km trekking we have to do in the icy hills with ups and downs. While trekking, I helped my wife and son to cross over a height of three feet. I gave my hand to man to lift me up! With strong force he lifted me up. Even though I came up but my right shoulder ball and jacket got down and I suffered a severe pain and not able to move from that place. At that juncture, with a pain I somehow managed to reach a flat space to do myself exercise, within 15 minutes I was able to lock my hand in a correct position! Than we had roti and subji and we stayed in a tent over night. With the God’s grace, on Day 7, we had a fine darshan.{fig16,19,20,24}.

The statue of Lord Siva is seems like bull’s back portion. {Front portion is said to be at Pashupathi Nath temple at Nepal} We started our return leg. Balaji was accommodate in Kandy. (A small chair tide up to the back of a coolly).{fig.17,18) My wife walked so fast along with one professor while I was following my son.

We reached the foothill and had Aalu tickia and tea. Went to Joshimutt and stayed in small lodge after our dinner. Had good sleep and in the early hours of Day 8, we got a bus to Badrinath which took us via Glassier and stopped very near to the temple. Had hot water bath in spring wells near the temple. Guards putting ice in the spring wells to reduce the heat! Really an enjoyable bath one must never miss in their life time! Had Badrinath darsan {fig 22}and had prasadams and purchase copper plate Badri Narayan for our remembering and pooja purposes. Had North Indian Thali (meals) and got the bus to Nainital and reached home by 11 midnight.

Enjoyed the hospitality of our brother’s family further two days and board the bus to New Delhi – Railed to Chennai Central by Tamilnadu Express – stepped in the Rock Fort at Egmore, Chennai to reach our home town Tiruchirapalli.

Thanks to one and all for traveled along with us!

As Poet Keats said, “Really a thing of beauty is a joy forever!”