Dayara Bugyal Trek Diaries – I: Complaining to God
Would you complain to God? Whine about trivial worldly issues?
Maybe, in a silent prayer.
Like a good Christian boy, while growing up, I did pray every night before sleeping and apart from the demands, cribbed a bit when the demands were not met.
So, how would you react if somebody complains to God loudly and as part of a group ritual?
I didn’t know how to react.
Few years ago, I trekked to the scenic Dayara Bugyal top (near Uttarkashi) overlooking the beautiful snow capped peaks – Bandarpunch, Kalanag (or Black peak), Chidbasa-Kali Dhang, Srikanth, The Gangotri group -1, 2 & 3, Jaonli, Draupadi Danda, Khatling. After the trek I climbed down to the beautiful Barsu village, drove for a few kilometers and eventually stayed the night at Pala, which was my guide’s village.
The next day, after a sumptuous and delicious breakfast, my hosts took me to the temple where two men were holding the village deity “Someshwar Devta” all covered up, in a palanquin. Village elders seemed to be talking and cribbing to the deity instead of usual ritualistic worshipping I had expected.
The deity talked back apparently. My host informed me.
This is definitely a very old custom.
S L Bhyrappa, the renowned Kannada author after traveling extensively in this region wrote Parva, a non-mythological retelling of the Mahabharata, a modern epic in itself. It is based on the research and observations – prevailing practices of polyandry and even the unlikely presence of a temple for the main antagonist, Duryodhana, and many such other practices and traditions from the Mahabharata era.
The entire region – Uttarakhand and esp. in and around Uttarkashi is seeped with history, religion and mythology. Each place here has a mystical story to tell.
Gods have roamed this place and many believe live “nearby” on the mountains. If one were to travel back in time (or a dimension called mythology), would one see the likes of Bhishma, Krishna, Arjuna, Bheema, Duryodhana and other characters from the Mahabharata trekking and maybe even skiing the slopes of various snowy meadows a la Dayara Bugyal.
Set against one of the most beautiful Himalayan terrain, the Mecca of hiking, trekking and skiing, the place is an eclectic mix of mythology, adventure and natural beauty.