Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Haunted Rivulet Bathing Experience | Alive is Awesome

This is my fourth blog post for the Alive is Awesome Blogging Campaign by Godrej.

Himachal is aptly called 'Dev Bhumi' which literally translates into Land of Gods. But the concept of duality lies everywhere and if there are Gods, there sure are devils too. One might believe it or not but when it comes to experience these, heart sometimes fails your brain.

Same happened with us when we bathed in a water rivulet that was supposedly the 'meeting place' of devils.

We were on our way to Pong Dam, to enjoy a nice and long summer bath.

Pong Dam Fields - The ScareCrow!
A Little Information about Pong Dam Lake

Maharana Pratap Sagar is probably the largest man made lake I have seen in my life. There is one in Andhra Pradesh, constructed behind the Prakasham Barrage and the other is Gobind Sagar Lake in Himachal.

However, the Pratap Sagar Lake, popularly known as Pong Dam Lake or Ranjit Sagar Lake is a wonder in itself. It takes water from three of the largest rivers of the North India, Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi. The dam looks like a mini ocean and those who haven't seen an ocean in their lives, can easily be fooled here.

And let me add one more thing here, the lake is actually better than an(y) ocean, I mean in terms of sunrise view. You do not get to see the sun rising from the top of the mountain ranges at oceans, do you?

The Dhauladhar Ranges watch the lake 24X7 and when the sun rises from the behind of these mountains, even an atheist will start believing in God or some supernatural power because its actually not possible to not have a divine hand behind such a beautiful scenery.

The Pong Dam View
We, a group of friends decided to make the best of an overheated summer day. Can you imagine 43 degree Celsius in Himachal Pradesh, well it happens. Not many people think of Himachal that way, but this year the maximum recorded temperature in Himachal Pradesh was 45 degree Celsius.

Where? Go figure!!

Now, when we are talking about adventure trips, bathing in a reservoir as huge as Pong Dam, that's where the feeling of being alive and being awesome originates. What could be better than bathing in the glory of mighty Dhauladhar's. Then the joy of 'Alive is Awesome' surely comes true.

However, as we were passing by the forts built by Himachali Kings, and admiring the architectural beauty of a 1,000 year old Shiva Temple, we spotted a clean and deep water rivulet. The dashboard of our car was showing 40 degrees and mutually it was decided upon to jump into the water and cool over heated brains.

The Haunted Fort

Soon we were jumping in the water, trying to swim against the currents, in which we failed miserably. The water that looked silent from the road all of a sudden appeared murderous to us. We spotted broken bangles, muslin clothes (Red Chunnis'), and unburnt wooden logs at that place. We used those logs to make our 'fun boats'.

Alive is Awesome
Upside Down

Splash of Life!

After half an hour, we started feeling dizzy in our head. Those wooden logs started appearing even bigger. We saw an old man shouting at us. He was pointing his hands towards us and wildly asking us to come out. We decided to come out and that guy asked us to leave that place ASAP.

Wondering what went wrong we asked him. He pointed towards the fort and told us that the king's kids were drowned here long time ago. And those bangles and wooden logs appear from nowhere. We didn't believe him but the same story was told to us by the petrol pump guy and the temple caretaker.

The Haunted Bridge!! 
Another guy told us that homeless guys, infants, and orphans are burnt at our bathing spot.

That sent a chill down our spine.

Ever heard of collective fear? We encountered it that day.

Finally, we realized that we had bathed at a place where in the past kids had died, and currently orphans and homeless are burnt.

We literally ran from that place. We couldn't muster courage to take a plunge in the cold waters of Pong Lake. We simply enjoyed the sunset and came back.

However, in retrospect, it was that haunted bath that made our trip memorable. Problems always trouble us for that moment, however, in retrospect, its only our problems that make our past worth remembering.

That haunted bath reminds us of joy unlimited and fear unknown.

It literally made us believe that being Alive is Awesome.

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