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After the halt at Srinagar, one proceeds towards the next transit stop - Joshimath. Depending on the weather and the condition of the roads, this part of the sojourn can take a long time - sometimes ranging from several hours to even as much as a day. At times, road blockades due to debris  left behind after a blast can make the road even more dangerous by the presence of water which creates a slush  that vehicles can get stuck in . At times , only a few vehicles are allowed to pass at one time followed by an interval lasting upto 30-45 minutes. Since this is the only season in which pilgrims can come to visit the holy places of Hemkunt , Badrinath and Kedarnath , there is understandably a long queue of vehicles waiting to get past such blockades.

At such areas, smaller vehicles can still turn back to the previous town for the night but bigger vehicles like buses have to halt on the road itself . People have to spend the night amidst the chill of the mountain air which is further reinforced by rain. And it is admirable to watch the pilgrims, who include children and aged people , brave all these obstacles with a smile on their faces amidst the fervent chanting of kirtan!

On this particular part of the route, since the ascent is steep, it is the beauty of the mountains that captures the sight of the observer. The changing sciagraphy seen on the mountains with the changing pattern of the sun presents a marvelous spectacles. Winding through the mountains, sometimes around dusk- one can catch the sight  of a mountain leopard of the odd cub crossing the path or sprawled across a corner. Monkeys, in various poses, strike a funny picture. On the whole ,the journey to Joshimath takes around 5-6 hrs.


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