05 December 2012

Community Health Center At Pokhari-Nagnath

What you can see is the area where the government hospital at Pokhari-Nagnath is situated. It's quite outside the small town of Pokhari. This area is on top of a hill over-looking the other hills nearby. It is managed by ! doctor (Dr. Madan Bonal), 2 GNM, 2 pharmacists, 1 Ayurvedic pharmacist, 1 optometrist, 1 Lab Technician and other hospital staffs. Pokhari CHC is in Chamoli District, 28 kms. from Karnaprayag and around 64 kms. from Gopeshwar.
Doctor's Quarters 1 needs total repair!

01 December 2012

Uttarakhand State Gov't. Hospital: Badrinath

~government hospital, no admission...
only OPD and emergency cases~

This is the government hospital situated in Badrinath. It is quite big but there's no admission here only OPD from 8 am to 2 pm. Aside from this, the state government has put up a dispensary near the Badrinath temple adjacent to Punjab National Bank for the convenience of pilgrims and tourists. My husband worked there for 6 months last year, 2011. One doctor, Dr. Sachin Rana, two pharmacists and other hospital staffs are working there right now.

108 provides emergency cases and carries referral cases to higher centers for free!

~doctor's quarters~

This is a two-floor building housing for state government doctors. Each floor has two bedrooms, one receiving hall, two bathrooms and toilets, one small kitchen, one storage room and two extra small rooms (1 is receiving area). Ground floor has a small area at the back where one can bask in the sun (considering the weather, you will need to go for tanning...lol) or grow a garden. It has a good view of the back mountains, too!

~taken on closing day, hence the big ambulance (very left) to carry staffs down to their designated area of assignment after this 6-month assignment~


Since the heavy floods in June 2012, roads have been washed away and many areas are still under construction. Though yatra is going on this year (2015), it seems that the number of pilgrims and tourists has declined. Many business are closed.

Doctors and other hospital personnel are on a one month duty this year. Every month a new doctor and a few other staffs are coming every month replacing the previous assigned medical staffs.

27 November 2012

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is around 210 kms. from New Delhi and around 6-hour drive by bus or less by private vehicles. It's entrance fee is Rs. 20 for each local tourists and Rs.250 for foreigners. One can always find a long queue at the main gate (opens at 9 a.m.) but there is another gate, which not many know, that collects the same amount of entry fee only that most of the times someone will tell you about this gate and will collect ten times the amount so one should be careful.

We were here on 12th November 2012 and in the middle of the day and it was hazy (smog?) and, obviously, sunny.

There were many people, locals and foreigners alike.

ITBP 8th Battalion Unit Hospital

This is the rear right side of ITBP (8th Battalion) Unit Hospital in Gauchar,  Chamoli District, Uttarakhand, India as seen from our house building. As of this time, there are two permanent doctors and one in contract. It is mostly OPD sessions from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm, Monday to Saturday. Admission happens every once in a while, especially during emergency cases. All deliveries are referred to Srinagar, Garhwal. 

This hospital has 3 doctors' chambers.  
~ Backside of the unit hospital ~
~A guard is seen at the gate~
~Villagers can pass through this gate. We also used this road
towards Gauchar market -shortcut and as an exercise on the side~

Newly joined doctors will undergo training for 3 months at Mussoorie, Dehradun and then come back for general duty. Sometimes a doctor visits the posts as a routine. Sometimes, medical camps are held in various villages around Chamoli District (depending on the location of the battalion).
Once, in October, my husband, though a locum doctor, was sent to Ghamsali post, near Malari for a visit. I was allowed to go with him, of course.  Thanks to the CO at that time!
We trekked to Niti Valley until Bimlas where a few ITBP soldiers are posted.
We stayed at Ghamsali guest house.
The Ghamsali post has one AC posted all the time and other officers to constables.

Then he was also sent to do a 5-day medical camps in the Joshimath - Badrinath areas, where we halted at ITBP Joshimath guest house at night.

On the thrid year of working at ITBP, he was sent again to various medical camps around Gopeshwar areas where we stayed at Kotiyal sen.

26 November 2012

Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Temple is a pilgrimage site among Hindus located 14 kms from Gaurikund and can be reached by foot or horse (please use your feet and not the poor horses). 
A 7-minute helicopter services are also available by paying Rs. 7000 for two way, Rs. 4000 going up and Rs. 3000 coming down.

We went there one week before it closed for winter when people and traffic are less, hotels (lodging) are cheaper but food variety is less which could end you eating daal-chawal-sabzi. 

Air is definitely colder and chillier so get all those wind/cold cheaters ready.

05 November 2012

Gauchar (Gochar): A Town Surrounded By Rolling Hills

The pictures shows one of the fields of Gauchar and is . The river is Alaknanda. Gauchar is in Rishikesh-Badrinath highway in Chamoli District, Uttarakhand, India. This photo was taken uphill in October 2012. 

Fields of houses along Badrinath highway crowd this part of the small town of Gauchar. This place is busy, busiest during Yatra season. Facilities include GMVN, which is located just right next to the highway before GREF chowk, two ATMs (one of Central Bank of Asia and State Bank of India), Government Hospital (as of now, there is an MBBS contract doctor running it, along with its staffs, of course), Schools and Inter-College Institutions, Post Office and First Flight Couriers. There are a few grocery stores, tea shops and small, cheap hotels along the road. Internet cafe is also available. The sources of living among people here include farming, cattle raising, government employment, and businesses.

With quite a number of population it's no wonder that there is almost always a water shortage anywhere. Electricity comes and goes also, especially during rainy days.  Gauchar is no exception.

If not for its people's apathy towards cleanliness and environment preservation and protection, Gauchar would have been a beautiful place in the hills, and so would others. So for us, here we come, in no time from here we go to a new land. We are just passersby.

01 November 2012

Bampa Valley

You are facing Bampa Valley from Ghamsali area where Bampa Hospital is slightly visible. Bampa is in Joshimath-Malari-Ghamsali road. It is situated in Uttarakhand, India and around 10000 feet above sea level. Bampa is one of the three villages in India-Tibet border where Niti Village is the last.

26 October 2012

Anguish: A Cat Portrait

This is Woomie, 3 days before he passed away. He was sick for 15 days, gave up eating but came back only to die later.A friend gave him to us after our first cat, Maree, was murdered by two brutal brutes from hell. 
It's the saddest pet picture I have ever seen.

10 September 2012

Badrinath, Uttarakhand, India

Facing half of Badrinath's face, taken at the top of Swamiji's place, the red colored house on the upper hill opposite to Badrinath.

This is the face of Badrinath in two photographs, at least most of the buildings that occupy the entire Badrinath.

08 September 2012

Badrinath Temple

Badrinath Temple, around 320 kms from Haridwar. This photo was taken in May 2012. Huge rush, people were pushing and wanting to enter first as if it's not temple they were entering into.

06 September 2012

Brahma Kamal

Uttarakhand's state flower...a cabbage like flowering plant. This photo was taken among the rocky hills and mountains on the way to Hemkund Sahib.

05 September 2012

01 September 2012

7-Foot Ant Hill

A grotto? A rocket? Nah! It's a 7-foot ant hill and growing...a palace for ants and it is found inside our farm in Mysore. Extraordinary ants, aren't they? No wonder they have been  considered one of the most hardworking creatures on earth.

31 August 2012

Tibetan Golden Temple

Tibetan Golden Temple, Bylakuppe, around 80 kms. from Mysore, Karnataka, India. The location is a settlement for Tibetans, which India provided them when they fled from China.

30 August 2012

Adi Badri

Adi Badri is one of the panch badris which Lord Vishnu worshiped. It is a group of 16 temples belonging to the Gupta Period. It is quite known among Hindus, located just along the highway and can be reached by road through Karnaprayag-Bhatoli-Gairsen highway. 

29 August 2012

Uncombed Hair

Who says you need to comb your hair to make it look better? I kinda like my hair. It looks better too and it has not been combed for two weeks...just hand-combing! 

28 August 2012

Zigzag Road To Hemkund Sahib

See that snaky line? That's the long road to take to reach Hemkund Sahib, a pilgrimage site for Sikhs in Chamoli District, Uttarakhand, India. My feet have step on those paths twice last year and I'm about to set foot on it again this October.

27 August 2012


Meet Toomee...the first among Fiffy and Cokekie, his brother, to catch a lizard for supper. He likes potato fries and boiled immature corn, like me! 

18 August 2012


Meet Fiffy, the mildest cat I am ever with. Once we gave her a bone  with some flesh in it. When we tried to take it away from her she didn't even do anything, she just let us take it unlike Cokekie who guarded her share pretty closely and tightly. Lo!

17 August 2012


Meet Cokekie...our black and white cat back at home. Once she climbed a young teak tree and went so high she didn't know how to go down so we needed to get a rope and throw it to one of the branches to drag the tree itself near to us so we can grab her. I bet that was scary for her.

16 August 2012


Meet Woomie, aka Three...out smallest cat of three who got sick after deworming and is still sick for 9 days now. We  are feeding him with milk an egg through a syringe. We even bought a fish for him but it got wasted since he didn't eat even a little bit of it and the other two vomited everything they have eaten.

An update: Three passed away on August 25, 2012 after 17 days of being sick. My husband found him lying on the floor around 5 in the morning. He is always missed. Farewell, dear Three!

14 August 2012

St. Philomena's Church

St. Philomena's Church, Diocese of Mysore, India, constructed using a Neo Gothic style. This photo was taken in September 2010.

13 August 2012

Sunrise At Home

Sunrise taken at 7:20 in the morning in September 2010 at our farm house in Mysore

11 August 2012

Meet Maree

Our first cat! My husband found him in the emergency room meowing like he was giving up his life. He lived with us for two months until the day when he was murdered by two brutes from hell, cats' rival, dogs. He was almost torn to pieces. Poor one! We made him a grave to rest in peace and this picture, among others, is a lifetime souvenir.

10 August 2012

Hills Framed

Hills after hills visible clearly in winter at Pokhari-Nagnath on the road to Dudkhamba Temple.

08 August 2012


A beautiful and intelligent creature owned by a Swamiji in Badrinath who became friends with us, who pays a visit every day at our home, who also sometimes sleeps with us at night and walks every morning with my husband to the hospital dispensary, near the temple.

07 August 2012

Snowfall In June

Badrinath Government Hospital during a snowfall in June...2011. It was said to be the first time in the books of the locals.

06 August 2012

Mount Neelkanth

The snow-covered Mt. Neelkanth facing  the locals, pilgrims and tourists of Badrinath, Uttarakhand, India. It's quite evasive, mostly hiding through the help of the fog.

04 August 2012

Stairways To Heaven: The Steps To Karthik Swami Temple

The steps to climb to reach Karthik Swami Temple, around 13 kms away from Pokhari-Nagnath, Chamoli Distict, Uttarakhand, India.
Because of its height, it is a viewpoint for many who want to see a wide range of the Himalayas, including a few famous mountains in this side of Uttarakhand, given of course that the weather is favorable when you visit the temple. It has taken us around an hour (some may take more than an hour) to trek from its starting point (I forgot to ask what village it was...sorry).

~ a view on our way to Karthik Swami Temple ~

We were unfortunate not to see a single snow-clad mountain when we visited this temple around March because it was hazy and only low mountain ranges were visible at that time. It was still a great trek, though. People suggest to trek to Karthik Swami Temple in winter - between December and February.
~ the steps, quite a few and steep, down from the temple ~

03 August 2012

The Valley of Flowers National Park

The picture above culminates our trek to the Valley of Flowers, at least to those, like us,  who really want to explore the end of the valley. But if you have ample time left before heading back to Gangharia you can go even farther. As you may observe, there are no flowers visible in this photograph, that is because we visited this place in September, which is generally not the best month, as suggested by many. June - August are the months to see varied flowers. But the main disadvantage around these months is that they're the busiest months. Tourists, pilgrims, and locals swarm Gangharia like flies to an open wound. And we hate that! Around these months, too, prices of hotels are higher than the Himalayas.

Looking at the picture on the left feels like the mountain just splits into half and eventually slowly forming a valley. So, if you plan to visit this valley, better choose a bright clear day to witness the enchanting beauty fully, otherwise you'll be like us who needed to trek twice in order to gaze its everlasting glory.

We really did trek twice during our first visit. On the first day, we started at 6 in the morning and reached the valley before 9 then stayed for about 2 hours because it was gloomy and cloudy and when we arrived at the valley itself it was even drizzling. We waited for the sky to clear up but it didn't happen so we decided to go back and headed to Hemkund Sahib that noon itself. It was 12:30 pm when we started moving towards Hemkund Sahib, reached there at 3:30, stayed for an hour then we headed back to Gangharia. Then the following morning we trekked back to VoF and tried our luck. This time, the sky was so clear we could take these photos, among others. This time we stayed a little longer.

This memorial of Margaret Legge, who  thought to have slipped off while traversing some steep, rocky slopes collecting flowers, was erected at the place where locals found her belongings for her body was never found. She was a botanist studying the flowers of the valley.

Finally, my own photograph at the end of our trek only to trek 20 kilometers more towards Govindghat for we have achieved the purpose of our visit. It feels good to be home already!

Lantana: Aromatic Flower Clusters of Two- or Three-Colors

Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants that are native to tropical regions of Americas and Africa although they've been introduces to various areas including Asia. As a matter of fact they are in abundance around here in Uttarakhand, India and in and around the hills of the Himalayas.

Lantana's umbels (flower clusters) are a mix of red, yellow, orange, pink, blue and white florets. According to readings, the flowers typically change as they mature which, as you can see, become a combination of tow- or three-colored flower cluster.

I have come across this flower through the film of its name, Lantana. Then we don't know what exactly the word is although my husband had the idea that it's a flower based on the name so before watching the movie we looked up on the internet and voila! we found out that it is, indeed, a flower - a colorful and beautiful flower.

02 August 2012

Purple Dahlia

Finally I am able to make out the name of this flower. I mistook it for zinnia but through its leaves it's obvious that this flower belongs to dahlia family.

This photograph was taken in April at Ramakrishna Mission Sevashram in Kankhal, Haridwar where my husband worked for 3 months.

And as we moved along, places to places, I am certain that there are a lot of things in store for us to be shared to you, guys.

Keep visiting!