It was June 25, 2017, that day and we were there in Manpai Bugyal after crossing 5300 meters high Vinayak Pass. We were ready with layers of warm clothes while at the same time, North of India i.e., at Ghaziabad or in my own village, everyone would have been sweating due to hot summer. This is the beauty of my motherland, India.
It was a beautiful day when we started further and the sun was shining since morning so we have dried our all clothes and belongings. It was a big & beautiful Bugyal spread in a large area. Here, there was a temporary hut to stay and a large number of flowers of many varieties were spreading all over. You may call it “Valley of Flowers”. Imagine for a second that you are in mountains, a small river flowing near you and a valley of flowers… A perfect picture as we can in calendar pictures.
It was our 7th day of trekking and we had to trek about 10 km up to Banshi Narayan Mandir. But in this 10 km trek, we would go finally get lower by 100-meter altitude i.e., from 3700 meters to 3600 meters. This 10 km trek was full of ups and downs regularly. We started at about 8:00 AM for that day’s leg of the trek. Initially, we had to walk down for 1.5-2 km till Maina Gad (small River) and in this distance, we were about 300 lower than our starting point. There was a wooden bridge on this small river which was like Howrah Bridge here but not as safe and big as Howrah Bridge.
When we crossed Maina Gad, a deep Buransh Jungle had started and in that deep jungle, we had to gain a continuous height. The jungle is continued about 1-1.5 Km distance and when you are about 5 km away from Manpai Bugyal, you would see a red flag. It was Khand Dwari at a height of 3900 meters. There are two small temples with so many red flags but far away, you would able to see only one big Red flag. Now you have to go down continuously up to Banshi Narayan Mandir as it is at about 3600 meters. Once you start from 3700 meters (Manpai Bugyal ), then at 3600 meters near Maina gad (small river) you have to reach a farther height of 3900 meters at Khand Dwar. It’s a tired patch . But it is
Banshi Narayan Mandir opens once in a year on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan Festival. On this festival Girls and ladies first, tie Rakhi to Lord Banshi Narayan and then to their brothers. This temple is of Katyuri style made in the 8th century having statues of Lord Chaturbhuja along with other deities. Its “Shikhar” i.e., the apex is damaged in an earthquake but the temple remained safe however and now it is demanding some repairing work to be done. Near to this temple, there is a village “Kalgot” (at about 6 km away) and the Rajput people from this village takes care of this temple and they are taking responsibilities of the temple priest too.
You can see Chhota Nandikund (Small Nandikund) and Sujal Sarovar on the route from Khand Dwari to Banshi Narayan Mandir. These points are not actually on the main route but are off at about 1.5 km from the path. So you have to take a diversion for these points.
At about 2: 00 PM, we were at Banshi Narayan Mandir. After taking tea we went up a hill in front of this temple where (only) you can find 3G signals of most of the telecom companies. Actually BSNL and some other mobile phone starts working from Khand Dwari but could not found 3G signals there. From this hill, you can easily see the beautiful Hathi-Ghodi peaks of
It was about 9 PM and our tents were behind the temple. I was writing my diary and some people are taking their meal in a
This was my last night on this NandiKund trek and after this night we went to Kalpeshwar, another Kedar of Uttarakhand, about 12 km from Banshi Narayan and after visiting Kalpeshwar headed to Chamoli city from Helang town.