Last week end I happen to visit Mangi-tungi trek which is a much less frequented trek by trekkers, may be because it is 150kms away from Nashik, may for thisreason we did not encounter any other group during our trek.
This is an ancient Digamber Jain temple on mountaintop. Also according to net information, many of the Hindu Gods like Ram and Krishna had attended Moiksh at this place. It is also said that Balram the elder brother of Krishna, criminated Krishna at this place. Unfortuanately I could not surf net before going otherwise I could have made inquires with locals about these spots.
Anyway, another important encounter was NAGA shadhu of Jain Gigamber faith. This was my second encounter,earlier being at the path of Amarnath caves. Later on return to mumbai, I tried to collect information from my Jain neighbors, as to how these Shadhu’s survive during bitter cold night. I was informed that since they do not use any fiber or cloth, they sleep on husk of wheat or rice. But I was still wondering, what theyuse to cover their body during cold nights. May be our Jain Digamber friends on net could provide us better information on the issue about life style of these supreme human beings. I call them supreme human being because; even Buddhist monks use at least a thin Chadder to cover themselves during bitter cold. Only difference could be that Buddhist monks stay for many months of a year in places where temperatures r much below minus degrees where as these Jain shadhu’s are in plains where maximum the temperature could go up to minus one or 2 degrees. I remember seeing a Discovery Channel episode where American scientist did research on Buddhist monks,and were surprised to note that these monk could even dry a wet cloth rapped on their body during a cold night, using their body heat.
Also, it was big surprise to note during our return journey via ‘Kasara’ station of central railway, that there is no coupon facility provided by Railways at this station, though this station comes under mumbai suburban services. Initially we were refused at the ticket window that there r no coupons available on this station and later we found that even the coupon vending machines were missing. It was big shock to us since there was a big queue for tickets and train was about to leave. The next rain would be only after a period of 2 hours and these could have been a much sever problem for female members of our group who would have found very inconvenient to reach home at that late hours. I wanted to enter my complain with stationmaster in charged, but in doing so, I would have missed my train.Luckily we manage to get the tickets in time and take the train.
I have already lodges my complain on Online Public Grievance Lodging and Monitoring System http://pgportal.gov.in/ For a requested to please make immediate arrangement so that in future coupons r available and could be validated at this station. It is needless to mention that even smart card facilities should be available over here. I request entire trekking community to please lodge ur complain whenever, wherever u find lack of any essential service missing regarding infrastructure (I would rather not call this a social service, because if no complain is made than we our self face the same problem repeatedly in our future visits.)
Lastly, I feel honored to have been born in a country with so much to learn about our ancient culture and also the hospitality that we receive when we visit any Jain temple or Sikh Gurudwara which offers best free stay and food to all pilgrims. It is our wish if we feel; we could donate for this free stay and food.