Every summer vacation begins with the usual queries what are we going to do this summer ? Well this summer there was no time for such queries we had planned our trip tovisit Delhi and Vaishno Devi early. It was Abhishek"s long standing complaint that he has never been up north so he was the happiest as this will be his last summer vacation being in the 12th. For Little Aditi our 4 year old it was more exciting "all of us are going together for sooo many days!" We set of early April to Delhi the weather was more than we could asl for.HAving landed in the NEw Delhi airport late in the evening our drive to Sudhir's (my cobrother) home gave us the first glimpse of the capital city. The next few days were a whirlwind of action packed days! DAys of site seeing meeting old friends and of course gorging on the local gourmet and shopping. With sudhir and Priya playing true hosts we had nothing to complain and they were are locasl guides too with litttle Annirudh giving us his bit on what to see.
Everyday was planned such thta no one got bored including Aditi.We went round Delhi chauffered by Ramesh who drove us around.From Dehi HAat to parliament house to India gate to Qutab Minar, JAntar MAntar arand of course the awe inspiring REd FOrt to modern day Bahai house of worship and the truly bind blowing architecture of the Laxmi NArayan temple Akshar Dham as it is called was an experience in it self. Abhishek was relating to all the images in his mind form tv history books . The Friday Bazaar held near where we stayed was also a learning -from spices to nailcutters everything was displayed with the backdrop of street lights and oil lamps. The fresh vegetables and fruits arranged enticingly made one want to buy them. Sight seeing was of course intertwined with a fair bit of shopping and eating. Our Visit to Parathe wala gulley in Chandini Chowk was the high point for my foodie son Abhi. Aditi was not enthralled by the crammed paratha point wtih its no frills kind of decor and was not very taken by the food. They had an array of mouth watering parathas which are deep fried and by the time placed the order the food was delivered. The food was washed down with lassi and hot jalebis. We had our fair share of chaats also.We als oviisted our niece int the concrete jungle called Gurgaon a 1 hr drive if there is no traffic jam from Delhi.
After our itenary of Delhi was almost complete it was time to proceed to the more solemn part of our trip to Vaishno Devi. A train journey to Jammu and a scenic Innova drive to Katra the base does not betray the long trek up . W estarted up by 11.30 AM amid chants of JAi MAta Di.I is an amazing sight to see all the people going up with a sole purpose of seeing MAtaji. young and old little childre running up with no difficulty made me envious of their fitness level and lack of mine. Aditi walked a littlie and then at first hesitatingly perched on the "pittoos" shoulder . It is really touching to see these KAshmiri men carry children on their shoulders luggage and palanqins for the older people day in and day out without a murmur , in my heart a prayer goes out to them everyday. We reached the main Bavan around 6.PM and had Darshan around 9.30. the entire rout up hill covers a vertical height of 13km and is well lit and has enough number of establishments for food water momentos and even setings like the temple for photos to be taken.The main shrine is deep in the heart of a rocky tunnel conssiting of three rocks :pindis: a sthey are called representing goddess LAkshmi Saraswati and maha kali. One senses a deep calm when you enter the main shrine with pin drop silence inside and one does not take anytrhing with them everything is in a locker safe. After offering prayers here we had a another steep ascent to the Bhaironnath temple it was past midnight and the air was really chill. We had fortunately taken warm cloyhes to brave the cold. Our descent down was more quiet everyone was tired and relieved that the darshan went off without much problem Abhishek and MAdhu (mY Husband) took turns in keeping slow me company and boosting my dipping morale.Sudhir Kept Aditi and Ahmed our pittoo company. We reached our hotel at 7Am and after a wash crashe dout for a few hours no one could feel their feet! around 11 refreshed we se t out to explore Jammu had a good KAshmiri lunch and set of on our return to Delhi an over night journey.
Well we had reached the last leg of our journey. We spent a day in Delhi met up with some old friends and did a bit of last minute shopping. It was time for us to pack bags and fly back to dear old Bangalore.Well now all this have become memories in the form of photos and videos and we go over our days sometimes wih a tinge of nostalgia wondering when we will be able to log completley out of our routine and spend fun time uninterrupted with oneanother for so long which is so improtant in our busy stress filled live.