I was already in Haridwar. On my return from one day Haridwar-Rishikesh trip a sign-board for Dehradun-Mussorie day trip caught my eyes. You see many such boards here. But the price was much cheaper than others. I was determined to go for Mussorie trip. I booked the tickets with Travel Care at Shop No. 13, Kali Kamli Dhramshala, Railway Road, Haridwar, which offered the cheapest deal. Unlike the Haridwar-Rishikesh trip, where the booking agent had told us to go by ourselves to Mayadevi parking ground where we had hard time finding out our bus and our guide, the turbaned gentleman at Travel Care, told me that I have to report at his office the next day at 8 am. We were a group of four. Me, my mother, my aunt and my cousin. The next morning, we had a sumptuous breakfast of aloo paratha and started towards travel point. We had tea at the stall near Marwadi Dharmashala. There were few other people waiting at Travel Care. Travel Care's boy took all of us, by walk from an alley, to the same Mayadevi parking. Unlike the day earlier, when we had been by auto, today the distance appeared to be lesser. He escorted us to our bus. The bus moved at about 9 am.
The bus waited at a petrol station. A bengali family (the younger men on the rear seat and women and elders on the front seat) alighted to buy boiled eggs from a small hotel, which was actually a shanty. We were seated on the third last seat in the minibus.
Our first spot was Fun Valley Resort in Dehradun. We were given one hour to go inside the waterpark. All of us resolved that there was no point in going into a water park, devoid of swimming costumes, that too for a meagre time of one hour. We decided to utilise the amount towards the entry fees for eating icecreams. All of us had two candies each. We were told that the white building which we were seeing to the left from our windows was legislative assembly of Uttarakhand.
The next stop was just before the beginning of the endless serpentine ghats that lead to Mussorie. It was Parakeshwar temple.
A very peculiar feature of this temple is that offering money is strictly prohibited.
Such boards are displayed everywhere in the temple. Moreover the temple offers you tea and prasad. The day we had visited prasad was pakoda rice, roti sabzi. The temple is entirely covered with grills to prevent monkeys from coming in. So eat your prasad in the temple itself. In case you come out with prasad in your hands, the monkeys will surely snatch it away from you.
|crystal lingam at prakasheshwar mandir|
There is a public toilet outside the temple. My aunt went there and did not return for a really very long time. The bus was full except for my aunt and my cousin, who was waiting for her outside the toilet. Our guide for the day was very much unlike of the guide for haridwar rishikesh trip. If it was the guide of haridwar rishikesh trip, he would have definitely moved the bus without waiting for the passengers. I made numerous rounds between the bus and toilet, but in vain. After much pestering from other passengers, the engine of the bus was ignited. I ran out of the bus. I spotted my aunt and cousin walking the steep climb. I scolded them for eating to their hearts content and spending half an hour in the toilet, much to the inconvenience of our fellow passengers. Later I learned that there was insufficient light in the toilet and my aunt had hard time taking out the nada of her salwar which had gone inside. Now this was unthought of. Such was the impact of the trip that now I am mentally prepared for anything and everything that would happen at any given situation.