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Friday, October 13, 2006



It was zero gravity time ,the jeep was literally vertical and our backs pressed to the seats like astronauts jettisoning into the orbit .
We clenched our fists hard as the driver swerved in the muddy road ,the tyres failed to get a hold and we slowly slithered down ,his face frowning with concentration doing a quick symbol of prayer with his hands he brought it down slow and steady as we watched with terror ,the edges were steep and we could gaze down the cliff .in minutes what seemed like hours we halted and the driver took a deep breath ,while we white faced were too famished even for that .
The morning when we left Mookambika and the flowing Sowparnika to go up Gudajhadri we never expected anything of this sort !
The place was known as spot where Adi Sankaracharya saw the Goddess Saraswathi and requested her to come to his native place and be enshrined in a temple .legend goes that the goddess agreed on one condition that he should never turn back and look and if he did she would stop there ,he did exactly that once he came down the hills at Mookambika and the devi stayed out there and so the origin of the temple .
We had decide to go see the place where it happened and the trip had just started ,the driver revved up the engine and this time he was sure and confident ,he skirted the mudbank expertly and sassyed up in style .
After more than an hour of jostling and jangling when our bones rattled with our teeth over rock strewn obstacle courses called “the road “ we reached all in one piece onto a small temple with a flowing waterfall
.the fresh and cool water refreshed us and we sauntered up the bridle path on our hardy climb .
It was tough and made us breathless with exertion ,the children ran up with vigor and enthusiasm while the obese among ours like yours truly reached the half way exhausted and with the feel of a Tenzing norgay on the summit .
The bushes hid fat leeches which promptly bled you ,but the view was breathtaking
The Ganpathy guha was a quaint little cave tucked into an alcove in the mountain and with dribbling water from its canopy .
A priest sat on his haunches mumbling prayers ,after our customary obstinacies we moved up a narrow steep path full of rocks and bushes ,it was a hard climb and sweat was pouring out of me and I wondered when I would ever reach the top .
I kept asking people coming down wheezingly how much more I would have to go and the replies weren’t very encouraging as it was quite a way up .
Suddenly when I had almost decided to turn back I burst into a wonderful grass carpeted plateau and a small temple the very place where the great saint who introduced Adwaitha to the world sat in meditation .
It was exuberance coupled with bliss to be in such a holy place and the cool wind that caressed our face made up for all the troubles we had gone to reach there
.down below very steep was another important place which we did not dare venture as it was slippery from the rain and very risky .
We turned back and climbed down .
This was more difficult than climbing up as we needed to watch every step or we would reach below in a hurry in many pieces .
Down and down we came and after quite along time was back near the jeep and sipped a refreshing tea.Gudajadhri was a treat indeed .

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