So, as we left for Keonjhar, drive was cool and was so happy to find out that road till Rajamunda has improved drastically and even more happy to find out a much better road from Rajamunda to Barkot. We stopped for a moment at a small temple on this road and took blessings before moving ahead. After having a Chai break ( fellow travelers—not to forget the terrific wada,samosa and the deadly chatni at Barkot----poora kheech lega keonjhar tak….hahahaha). In no time reached Telkoi before ascending Kanjipani Ghat. I was little sad that I could not take snaps as it was almost 8:30 in the night. But due to monsoons , we could hear the gushing sound of small waterfalls near the road. Was even more excited to see clouds crossing us on the top. There is a point in Kanjipani which is known as zero point as water almost freezes over there in winters just like Tensa. Was just imaging the pics that I was going to take in the day ahead while returning. At places on the Ghat, one can see block of woods kept near the road. This is a signal to the truck drivers that one can get wood at a nearby place…hint of rampage, illegal deforestation taking places in our forests. Soon Ghat was over and we reached Suakathi…3 hours ordeal was just waiting for us. As we neared Kendujhar ghat , traffic jam of thousands of trucks and dumpers on NH6. Some how we crossed the jam and reached Kendujhar around 11:30 in the night.
Woke up next day and even another magnanimous traffic jam was waiting for us . Plan to vist Sanaghagra(Sanghagra) and Badaghagra(Badaghagara) went for a toss, Time for us to become philanthropists. Me along with one of my friends were busy in clearing the jam and also had lot of argument with the police officials. Luckily one of the vehicles who joined us in the ordeal was District Magistrates car. Strategy----to move our vehicle in front of that car as we were sure that our police officials will be more than smart enough to impress their bosses in clearing the traffic----akhir DM hein bhai…mazak hey kya?transfer ho jayega. Luckily moved out of the jam in 2 and half hours. Heard from the drivers that this is not new and they are used to all this. Being flexible was the order of the day and we cancelled the Sanaghagra and Badaghagra,. Even going to Khandadhar (Kendujhar one) was a bleak option now. So only place left was Gonasika which I never wanted to miss.
Situated at around 45 kms from Kendujhar, Gonasika is also centre of pilgrimage for the temple of 'Brahmeswar Mahadev'. Situated about 10kms inside one of the finest valleys of flower and forests is Gonasika. Road is pretty good till the 'Brahmeswar Mahadev' temple and then one needs to trek up the point which is known as “Gupta Ganga”.Low hanging clouds were kissing the valley as if a blanket of white fur had been gifted by god to cover the valley full of pink, white and blue rhododendron. Slight drizzle was the paintbrush that almighty was using to add various shades to the canvas. As we trekked up to the origin of Baitarani river, we could see terrace farming all around and the valley completely green as if only colour left with HIM was green. Corn and rice fields on the top of the hill were dotted with Juangs and Bhuyans ,the two main tribes of Keonjhar. It was so overwhelming that just wanted to stay over there with spreaded wings ,gaze at the valley of flowers, take fresh air ,get wet in the drizzle and sing---dhuan chata khula gagan mera…tu ban sake jo humsafar mera. Just was thinking ki whether my decision to move to Pune is right or wrong….may be once in a while I will be in Orissa and whether it will be possible for me to come back here, in the valley of flowers called Gonasika.
Makke ki khet....Near the 'Brahmeswar Mahadev' temple
Finally, reached the top and was so happy to see Baitarani River coming out from below and emerging. Isn’t it so amazing that such a feeble stream becomes so huge that it drains the Bhadrakh,Jajpur basin not to forget its un-comparable destructive nature in Monsoons. Took some snaps and descended back.
Up towards the "Gupta Ganga"
First Pictures on the net of Gonasika---see the small stream of water---
Mouth of Baitarani
From some drops of water to Rivulet in no time
We were back in the Highway and had our lunch before entering the Kanjipani Ghat.
Effect of Monsoons...tiny water falls
Finally captured the beautiful ghat in my lens before discovering a small waterfall just few meters inside from the road. To my disappointment there were not many clouds on the top as sun was there. But still then it was so wonderful gift of mother nature.
We were back in Rourkela by 9:30 in the night.
Just will end this write-up with…….
What to do with this uncertainty
I surely shall go mad,
If I only could feel again clear
I surely would be glad…….
(by anonymous poet)