We had completed three dhams successfully and now it was time to head to the last dham, Badrinath. The distance between Guptkashi and Badrinath is about 185 kms and would take the better part of the day to reach. It would take almost 7.5 hours of travel time, with lunch and other breaks.

The route took us through Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Pipalkoti, Govindghat and Joshimath.

Since we had come in exhausted from Kedarnath at about 1am, we got up a bit late, packed up everything, had breakfast and started again on our journey. This time river Alaknanda kept us company all the way from Chamoli. Alaknanda is sediment laden, so its colour seems a bit more brown than blue.

Here are the pics that we took along the way.

We reached Badri at almost 8 pm. Will tell you more about that in the next post. I have something else planned for now!

The letter P presents a perfect opportunity to talk about Pajeethi party. Let’s go!

Our tour operator had two buses going to Char dham on the same dates as ours. The second bus was a 12 seater like ours but the people in the bus were only 8. Rahul traveled with them.

The pajeethi party did not belong to a single family. Let me introduce them to you.

  • A party of 4 really really quarrelsome ladies. If I am not wrong, they were from Bangalore.
  • A husband-wife jodi from Chennai who were not so friendly.
  • A couple of sisters, who were actually nice, but were caught in the vortex of pajeethi. They were always silent and went with the flow and had no say in anything. We named them the paavam sisters. To be fair, they were not pajeethi at all, but by association became a part of the pajeethi party.

They worked as a unit to create pajeethi for everyone. Though our operator was the same, it turned out that we had chosen a “budget” option and they had chosen a “deluxe” one. To their dismay “budget” bus was exactly similar to “deluxe” bus. That was the first thing that made them mad!

Another thing to note here is that the tour operator had outsourced the bus facility to another transport company, whose owner was …… wait for it…….. our driver, Mr Dharminder Sidhu! So our driver was their bus driver’s boss! LOL 😀

These buses went together everywhere. Most of the time, our bus would be ahead. If we would stop at a place to eat or stretch, the second bus would be sure to stop too at the same place. The dhabas in rural roads used to be be small places with enough to seat about 15 people and the cooks there would prepare after we ordered. Since we would come first, we would be served first. This made the pajeethi people so mad. In one instance, they made their driver drive past our hotel just to be ahead and did not allow him to have his lunch in peace! In fact, they never offered chai, or snacks even once to their driver!

In Barkot, we stayed in the same hotel. So it was not ok with them, since it was a budget one. They made a fuss about that and it lasted a long way into the night. I remember in Barkot, after we all came back from Yamunotri after a long trek and we were all tired out, the hotel boy brought hot rotis and was putting them on all tables. But, we got some first and the pajeethi ladies were cursing and muttering. I thought that was very mean of them. Later after we retired, they fought with Rahul and the staff that they were served food later than us. This fight went on for a long time into the night!

The worst thing that the pajeethi people did happened in Uttarkashi. As I told you, the helicopter was not booked by the operator in advance for going to Kedarnath. It was another matter that Modi came and choppers were cancelled, but the fact remains that our helicopters were not booked at all. This made them so mad, that they complained about Rahul to the operator’s office (as if it was Rahul’s fault entirely) and he was sacked by his office. Poor fellow was so heartbroken and still he accompanied us to all our destinations with a brave face. They were the reason for a young man, who was to marry shortly, to become unemployed for no fault of his. And poor fellow, he had to travel with them too. That must have been a torture.

I already told you about the way they behaved when we sat in their bus on the way back from Kedarnath.

But, we had a great time, in Pipalkoti, on the way to Badrinath, to see their anger. Here we came to know that our “budget” hotel was located at walking distance from the main temple on the peak and that their “deluxe” one was in Govindghat, which is way below the Badrinath peak and would take a hour of travelling to reach! We had stopped at a way side chai stop in the evening and just watching them fuming was pure joy to all of us. How we all laughed!

Our itinerary stated that we were to get an evening darshan at Badrinath. That would not be possible for them now, because, the traffic movement was restricted from Govindghat after 9 pm. They were hopping mad! In their anger, they did not get out of the bus at their hotel for a long time. This delayed our bus for sometime. Rahul had his room booked with us. They did not allow poor Rahul to get on to our bus, saying that they did not care if he froze to death in the cold outside, but he had to stay with them at Govindghat. They asked him to sleep in the cold corridor! What heartless people. Rahul came with us to the peak and stayed in our hotel.

Everywhere we stopped, they had a complaint. Sometimes the rooms were dirty, sometimes the rooms were small, sometimes the food was not good, sometimes they were served last, sometimes the service could have been better. If they could I’m sure they would have complained about the difficult terrain of the trek, the weather, the cold, the wind and water being icy! I think maybe they thought they had come to some resort or spa and not on a trip to the Himalayas!

It is not just with everyone they fought. They fought among themselves. The quarrelsome ladies would always sit in the front seats of the bus and leave the last ones to paavam sisters. The paavam sisters, after being jostled for a long time, complained to Rahul. Then Rahul had to intervene like a school principal and tell them all that the seats must be rotated and everyone must get to sit in the front from time to time!

Such people are difficult to live with!

Have you ever met such people, who are miserable themselves and make others miserable too!

See you in the next post at divine Badrinath.