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Jaunsar Babar and Himachal Motorcycle Diary - II

Tank filled...

Destinations: Hanol, Mori and Purola
The next day we left Chakrata for our trip to Hanol-Mori and Purola. From Chakrata we went down to Tuni, a small non-descript town near the Uttarakhand-Himachal border. Here we took our lunch, as our guide had told us that machchi-bhaat prepared at this place is quite famous. Tuni, as usually happens to be a place, like any other place in Uttarakhand, with its inherent problems of traffic management, encroachments, pollution and a complete lack of basic hygiene. The area has seen an increasingly alarming presence of Nepalis, mostly Dutiyals and Gurkhas from Doti and Gurkha region of Nepal. There has been a large influx Nepalis in Uttarakhand owing to the ongoing civil war between the Maoists and Royal Nepalese forces. This is something, which needs to be addressed carefully by the administration.

Stopovers: Heavens, Hanol, Deity and beliefs
The road from Tuni to Mori via Hanol is simply an out-of-this-world experience. Imagine you are driving on the road on the same level as the river, yet you are driving almost 30 meters away from the river, and the land between the river bank and the road is not too crowded with pine trees. It was something I was expecting to see in European countries. I will have to admit that it was something I have not been through my entire life till now. Hanol is a small village enroute to Mori and Purola. The famous 'Mahasu' Temple is just down the road. Mahasu temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is revered by the Uttarakhandis and as well as Himachalis. The temple is a great piece in of art in wood.

The motifs and the woodwork have 'Huna' architectural influence and it is quite different from 'Katyuri' architecture, which dominates the architectural style of most of the Uttarakhand temples. One important thing to note is that women folks are not allowed to enter the temple or even go around. It is because the tradition says it. I happened to meet a group of Garhwali tourists from Dehradun, who were coming from Purola and going to Chakrata. The ladies in that group were complaining about the gender discrimination being practiced in the holy shrine. Later, the priest of the temple told them that this April from 23rd till 27th, the Mahasu devta will give his decree as to allow the women devotees to enter the temple's 'garbhgriha' or not. Let's hope the holy divine decrees in favor of the women devotees.

Journey: Alas! I made it circle, Mori and Purola the two dots..
Anyway, I left Hanol and went towards Mori, where the road bifurcates to Netwar and Taluka to the beautiful valley of Har-ki-Dun and the other goes up to the mountain ridge and down again to Purola. As Netwar and Taluka route was not on my tour itinerary, I turned right from Mori forest departments' barricade. Driving along the pine forests, through fresh water springs is an experience that cannot be expressed in words but can only be felt.

Purola is situated in the Rawain valley of Uttarkashi district and is a small sleepy town. The things of interest are either the wide spread of plains of Rawain valley and ancient Vedic Yajna sthal, which is being excavated these days. Apart from that you would find rivers and streams choked with garbage, plastic bags and assortment of hutments, slums and illegal constructions sprouting up. If you are a nature lover, this place would aggravate your senses to no limits.

Motorcycle in diary: Memories left
With nothing much in Purola to observe, I headed towards Naugaon and Nainbagh to Dehradun with beautiful memories captured on my camera.

And I am missing the moments....

Article presented by: Anurag Bist

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