Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 7: Meeting Rajneesh: A little known celebrity @ Ghangaria

This is a series of my two weeks of tryst with the Garhwal Himalayas:
Day 1&2 : Secunderabad to Delhi
Day 3: Delhi to Haridwar bus ride
Day 3: Meerut Road
Day 3: Har Ki pauri- Haridwar
Day 4: Impressions from Haridwar
Day 4: Through Rajaji national Park
Day 4: Devaprayag-Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Karnaprayag
Day 5: Pipalkoti-Joshimath-Badrinath
Day 6: Mana: The last Indian village
Day 6: Adventure in Badrinath-Govindghat Road
Day 7: The Boys from Rishikesh
Day 7: Trek to Ghangaria
Day 7: Meeting Rajneesh

As promised earlier, I bring with this post a brief profile of Rajneesh. It was his neatly decorated shop with colorful paraphernalia that caught my eyes in the first instant.

I couldnt imagine how at this crazy height of 9000 ft, someone would set up a shop taking so much pain and deliberate care. And the neatly laid glasses and mirrors. Where did somone get all that with only mules to reach this height.

(Door to Rajneesh's shop)

The shop was closed. I peered into it to see curious looking stuff inside.

The door was closed and a note hanging that read:

" I am going for trekking. I will come back in the evening. Thanks Rajneesh"

( The German couple just back from the trek)

While I was still peering inside, a sturdy young man with a big pony, sporting trek shoes, walking posts and binoculars and a rucksack opened the door.

I followed him inside to be amazed to see his own world beautifully set. Many pairs of snow shoes, all mountaineering tools, few sets of tripods, lots of photographs posters that were duly signed Rajneesh.

(Rajneesh showing his rare pics when lights went out)

Rajneesh was the shop owner. And as I found out in due course of time, being all of 24, he was the guide to Valley of Flowers and most of Garhwal, a skillful wildlife photographer, a mountaineer, a self made botanist etc etc.

I was glued to him. Though many passerby and other devotees did not realise the worth of this man, I spent the whole evening chatting with him and getting amazed at his knowledge and expertise of the Garhwal mountains.

He spoke broken English but I was amazed with the way he could connect with those foreigners. I guess their mutual love for nature was the binding force.

He guides group treks to the valley of flowers, mostly foreigners. He has made lasting friendships with wildlife and trek enthusiasts from all over the globe. They keep writing to him and send him souvenirs.

(rajneesh showing a rare rock from the mountains)

He also has featured in many National Geographic programmes. During winters, when the whole village migrates 1000 mts down, Rajneesh prefers staying alone at his house, to shoot many wild creatures and birds in the wilderness.

He serenaded us (me and other german couple) with his stories of encountering wild animals.His rare pictures taken with expensive lenses and cameras bore testimony of his expertise of the wild. Though I did not have plans to hire a guide for trekking the valley of flowers, meeting him changed my mind. I asked him to take me on a tour the next day.

( One of his pics jumping off a cliff)

Rajneesh also mentioned his love for nature surpasses everything else. He did not believe in God as such. For him God is nature. And he wants to spend his life amidst them.

Rajneesh is also in the process of writing a book along with a foreign journalist.

He made a friend from Italy who keeps coming religiously every year since last 5 years. They both trek deep into the mountains for month long.

He also narrated a story of a woman who came from East Timor who came with her two tiny kids. The three of them trekked deep into the mountains and stayed in a cave for month long. When they came back, they were all soiled and dishevelled with dirt and soot.

Such is the magic of Himalayas that draws its lovers from all over the globe.


Printemps said...

Himalayas charms everyone...

Baron's Life said...

Wow a great post...wonderful So much to see so much to learn. Thanks for sharing

indicaspecies said...

Nice post and good to read about Rajneesh. Oh yes, the Himalayas are magical indeed!

GMG said...

Hi Ravi! Wonderful blog!!

Thanks for following Blogtrotter. Would love to read your comments there!!

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