Madmaheshwar Trek by Indrajit Bandyopadhyay SignUp
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Travelogues Share This Page
Madmaheshwar Trek
by Indrajit Bandyopadhyay Bookmark and Share
 

I am again back to Madmaheshwar after 6 years with my brother Ujjal Banerjee. Madmaheshwar is one of the five Kedars in India. According to legend, Lord Shiva's navel fell here torn apart by whom else - Bhima! When lord Shiva was trying to avoid the Pandavas in the guise of a buffalo, Bhima recognized him with a trick and caught hold of the buffalo. The resultant tug-of-war dismembered the buffalo into six parts.

The five places where the five parts fell are the five Kedars - Kedarnath, Madmaheshwar, Tunganath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar. The sixth part fell in Nepal, and that is the Pashupathinath temple. 

Other than being a pilgrimage to Lord Shiva, the place is rich in flora and fauna and offers all the diversities a trekker can dream of.  We start from Hardwar as usual, reach Rudraprayag at a distance of 162 km by bus. We stay overnight at Rudraprayag. This picture is of the confluence of Alakananda (right stream) coming from Badrinath, and Mandakini (left stream) coming down from Kedaranath. 

The lady is the only lady priestess I have seen in Garhwal. She is preparing worship-rituals at the Chamunda temple on the confluence at Rudraprayag. 

Next morning we reach Ukhimath, a distance of 43 km from Rudraprayag. The idols of Kedaranath and Madmaheshwar are brought down here during winter by a spectacular Doli-Yatra. This is the Mandani range visible from Ukhimath.

We have some time to visit the Ushamata temple at Ukhimath where the idols of Kedaranath and Madmaheshwar are worshipped.

As we trek down to the temple at a distance of 1 km from the bus stand, this old lady greets us with a benign smile.

The Ray of Wisdom and fortitude smiling through the clouds of poverty and ruin! 

A view of Ukhimath (right) and Guptakashi (left) on the other side of river Mandakini (not visible). 

This is the Ushamata temple.

We reach one kilometer ahead of Uniyana village by jeep, a distance of 22.5 km from Ukhimath. I have visited this area two times before, once in 1996 and the second time in 2001 with my mother. The first time, we had to trek all the way from Monsoona, a village 7 km from Ukhimath, and the second time from Yogasu, a village 7 km from Monsoona. Then, it was a trek of about 70 kms (up & down). Now it is only 36-38 km (up & down). There is now rapid development in Uttaranchal, and the road-project upto Gaundar village will leave a trek of only 20 km (up & down). Good news for locals and businessmen, but certainly not for Himalaya-lovers. As we start our trek, these sweeties greet us. 

We have reached Ranshi after a relaxed trek of 3 km, and we will stay here tonight. It is only 12 noon now. After a lunch with Chapati-Dal-Sabji we will explore the village, meet with local people, and visit the Rakeshwari temple and the Purohit. We are staying at Ishwari Prasad Bhatt's 'hotel'. This Bhatt family is the most famous family in this village. Ishwari Prasad's father Late Janardan Bhatt was the previous Purohit and the present Purohit's elder brother.

Late Umaprasad Mukherjee stayed with the Bhatts whenever he visited this area, and Ishwari Prasad boasts the possession of Late Umaprasad Mukherjee's original handwriting, which I have photographed. The document has historical value, though Bhatt does not seem to be much aware of it. I advised him to laminate the document. This old man was making threads from sheep-hair to make wears with hand-made loom. It was a very interesting watch. The old man gave us much information about the local economy. I bought two 'shepherd-sweaters' from him to present one to my father. Back home, my father tried it and remarked, 'well, it really sweats!' Impossible to wear the heavy things down here!

 

A heavenly sight at Ranshi. Let us be silent and drink the beauty. 

 

Gossiping girls having a rare leisure-time and watching us with all curiosity. Women are the backbone of economy of these areas. Women at their daily chores.

This is the famous Rakeshwari temple of Ranshi crowned with snow-capped glory. The legend goes that Ramachandra meditated here. Lord Soma also had his innings of meditation here. Originally the temple was called 'Rameshwari. The temple has an idol of Goddess Tara. In the months of Baisakh and Ashwin there is worship with much festivity. Shivraj Singh Panwar sings Pandava-gatha in the temple. 

 

Remnants of ancient sculpture at Rakeshwari temple, Ranshi. 

There is also the
Hanumanji Rakeshwari temple, Ranshi.

At Ranshi we enjoyed a splendrous sunset and next morning we start our trek from Ranshi. We will trek 10 km and stay at a place called Khadara-Khal. On the way we will have our lunch at a village named Gaundar, a distance of 6 km from Ranshi. This picture is of Ranshi as we turn back from a distance of 2 km.

Continued to Mighty Chaukhamba

Pages:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

25-Dec-2007
More by :  Indrajit Bandyopadhyay
 
Views: 9023
Article Comment We visited madmaheswar and Buda madmaheswar in November 2013. Gopal and Harshabardhan (9756358539) of Bantoli village guided us. We had a nice time and good view from Buda madmaheswar.
Dr. Ashok K. Ghosh
12/29/2013
Article Comment Kind Attn : Mr. Sirshendu Sinha, Baguihati, Kol-59

Dear Mr. Sinha,

I am awaiting your reply.

I need to contact you for the Rudranath and madmaheshwar trip. Please send your contact number in the post, so that I can contact you.


Regards,


Soumik Basu

Kolkata - 99
Soumik Bsu
06/09/2013
Article Comment Kind Attn : Mr. Sirshendu Sinha, Baguihati, Kol-59

Dear Mr. Sinha,

Glad to know your interest in Madmaheshwar and Rudranath trek. Thanks to Mr. Bandopadhyay, who has evoked immense interest in our mind unknowingly, to forward steps in this route.

We have visited many places in Garhwal, Kumaon and Himachal, kodaikanal and set footprints in few easy trek like Kedarnath, Triyoginarayan, Nilkantha, Fagu etc. but still aspire to quench the thirst for more.

I am having my family with wife and only son 11+ years old and planning for the trip.

I would be delighted to have Mr. Sinha in our team.

Please feel free to contact for further initiation.

Regards,

Soumik Basu

Kolkata

Soumik Basu
04/20/2013
Article Comment @ Sirsendu Sinha
Glad to know you are going to Madmaheshwar. Wish you happy trek and travel. You will find jeep almost upto Ransi - then 1 km trek to Ransi, then 6 km trek to Gaundar. Yes, horses are available too. Reach Ranshi, meet Janardan Bhatt and take horse from there if you want to. I suggest, have a relaxed trek in 4 days - Ranshi to Ranshi. I cannot tell you the current rate of horse.
Regards
Indrajit
Indrajit
03/13/2013
Article Comment Sir,
I am planning to visit Madamaheswar with my wife and 10 year old little daughter during October 3rd Week.I want to know whether I can have any jeep ride upto Gaundar. Moreover whether any horse is available for hire upto Madamaheswar.Pls let me know with approximate cost.

with regards.
Sirsendu Sinha
Baguiati,Klokata-59
Sirsendu Sinha
03/12/2013
Article Comment thank u very much sir for writing about ransi madmaheswer
raveenrabhatt
07/14/2012
Article Comment I just gone through most of all texts regarding Madmaheshwar but you all tried to beautify the narration . you could add so many informative points , such as , all small expenses , whether there is electricity or not ( to charge the camera , which is very important for we people ) , apart from aloo parantha & maggi , what food will be available , where you traveled by car , any bus ply over there or not, that is a cold region but how cold it is .......those types of small things should not be over looked , my dear friend . person like me ,who is going first time there , they will be helpful . last 30 years I am moving around Himalayas , so it does not make any difference but those who are going first time , being influenced by your excellent pictures & narration , let them get full informations
thank you dear .
s.s.mukherjee
05/11/2012
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