Yatra: July-August 1994 Day 4, Pangu (2245 M) – Narayan Ashram (2734 M) - Sirkha (2240 Meter) 9.5 Km
At the end of the fourth day we reached Sirkha
Route map from Pangu to Sirkha is shown below.
Route map Pangu – Narayan Ashram - Sirkha
On day 4, at Pangu camp, we had to wake up at 3.30 A.M. Bed tea was served at 4.15 A.M. We started at 6.30 A.M. carrying packed breakfast. Initially it was a downhill movement through the clouds.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) Moving towards Narayan Ashram through the clouds
We covered about 7 km through downhill and uphill trek to reach the beautiful Narayan Ashram.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) Narayan Swami Ashram complex
Mrs. Shanta Rangarajan and Vasanti Naik in the photo were our bhajan singers at Narayan Ashram.
Narayan Ashram (Elevation: 2734 Meters) is located almost 23 Km from Dharchula. This ashram was established in 1936 by Sri Raghavendra, locally known as Narayan Swami. Late Kushal Singh Hyanki donated a large area to Swami ji to build this Ashram. Subsequently Swamiji purchased extra land from people of Sosa. Initially a hut was built. It took almost 13 years to build the Ashram completely as it took about a fortnight of walking to reach Narayan Ashram from the last motorable road of Almora and people spending nights in villages or in caves. Before the Indo-China War of 1962, the Narayan Ashram served as a resting place for pilgrims of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
The Swamiji had been instrumental in the development of this remote area in terms of education and health care and also for declaration of Pithoragarh as the district township. The Ashram has now become a symbol of socio-spiritual development and an educational hub attracting a large number of solace seeker and visitors every year.
We met the Mataji, who had been attached to the Ashram for last 64 years. She advised us to pray for purification of our soul as a “Mumukshu” after we reach Kailash. She also said that the person interested to see Kailash as a tourist is classified as a seeker.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) Mataji at Narayan Ashram
Mataji took us to the temple.
While sitting inside the temple, Mrs. Rangaranjan and Mrs. Vasanthi Naik sang beautiful bhajans.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) Deity at Narayan Swami Ashram
After having tea and Halwa prasad at the temple, we took a tour of the peaceful Ashram complex surrounded by dense Deodar forest.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) View point at the Ashram
Snow peaks were not visible on the day of our visit.
There were flower gardens all around the campus.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) One side of the flower garden
Dahlias greeted us on another side of the garden.
Our doctor and wireless officer on duty decided to get themselves photographed in the rose garden.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) Rose Garden at Narayan Swami Ashram
We saw some exotic flowers in the garden.
We also saw the ant eating pitcher plants.
Day 4(20/7/1994) Pitcher plant at Narayan Swami Ashram
As on date, one can reach Narayan Swami Ashram by car from Pithoragarh.
Towards Sirkha Camp, our final destination for the day
After an enchanting visit to the Narayan Ashram, we started moving towards Sirkha Camp.
From Narayan Ashram, first we passed through a soothing green hilly terrain.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) Hilly terrain towards Sirkha
From a distance, we saw the Sirkha camp located on the top of lines of cultivated land cultivated by terrace cultivation.
Day 4 (20/7/94) Terrace farming near Sirkha camp
Sirkha camp site was surrounded by green fields having step cultivation.
Day 4(20/7/1994) Sirkha campsite
Unlike the Pangu camp, Sirkha camp site had three separate huts - two big huts each having two rooms to accommodate men and women separately. Each room was furnished with cots and beddings. Each hut had open areas to enjoy the green landscape. Kitchen was located in a small hut separated from dwelling units by the dining space. Separate toilets were available in this camp site.
On reaching the camp, mango juice was served as the welcome drink.
Following lunch, rolling pin massage session started for some people.
In the evening, Kalyan Singh took us to a nearby village. Women of the village were busy preparing for some function.
Day 4, (20/07/1994) Women at work in a nearby village
Little village girls posed for us.
Day 4 (20/7/1994) Village girls
Evening was transformed into a spiritual retreat with the chanting and bhajans by the pilgrims. Pilgrims from Karnataka and Kerala were exceptionally good. Annapurna chanted “Arunachala Shiva”, Rajendran was always requested to chant “Astalingam stotram”, Sandeep Modi was good at chanting “Narayana”. Vasanti and Mrs Rangarajan sang different bhajans. Alpana could recite Gita from memory.