Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Himalayam - Shaukath

My in-laws had recently undertaken a North India pilgrimage visiting all the famous temples in the himalayas. This is a continuation of their last years Amarnath and Vaishnodevi trips. I have been hearing about the great places in the himalayas and their personal experiences during their journey. Last time when I went home, he handed over a book written on the himalayan journeys by Sri Shaukath.

I was expecting to read another travelogue, describing places of interests the temples and rituals , cheating middlemen and the horror of the journey through the narrow roads and bridges at the mercy of snowfalls and landslide.

However, this book is not all that, though he do describe the beauty of himalayas, the holy rivers and the places. It is more like his communication to himself and the people he meet. The high mountains and the sadhus in their huts and caves gets us to realise about ourselves. He meets innumerable Sanyasis away from their normal life, staying in the snow clad mountains even during the hard winter season. All the sadhus we meet in his writing are so selfless and living their simple life serving the people with hot tea/food and shelter apart from sharing the priceless wisdom and knowledge they attained by 'tapas' and 'dhyana'.

Shaukath , unlike many other travel writers do not bring himself at the center of the events. Book drags and become repetetive at places, otherwise it is a very interesting read. The book is in Malayalam and is published by Kerala Bhasha Institute.

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