Experiences Good and Bad at Jageshwar

‘We have two deluxe rooms booked for the night.’
‘Two deluxe rooms! Sorry sir, all but one deluxe room are already occupied’, said the desk clerk in a nervous tone anxiously turning the leaves of his register book.
‘What! What did you say! But we booked these rooms long ago and here are the reservation slips.’
After looking a while at the reservation slips the receptionist started flipping the pages again.
‘Let me check. Here it is. It seems the reservation was cancelled on so and so date’, said the receptionist finally reaching at one page in his register.

It was around eight pm. We were at KMVN, Jageshwar. We reached there after a long tiring journey from Patal Bhuvaneshwar. Tanmay had vomited at the end of the journey and we had just changed his clothes and were desperately looking for our rooms to settle down.

‘How can it be? We have not cancelled the reservation and this is evident from our reservation slips as well’, we asserted ourselves.
The desk clerk apologized, ‘Sorry Sir, we only have two rooms available, one deluxe and another standard. There is no other option, you have to accept it.’
The suggestion was followed by our grudges at the injustice.

It was the time for the manager, KMVN to intervene.
‘The rooms in all probability are cancelled by you only. If you insist hard for the deluxe room only, I have to wait till the central reservation office opens in Nainital and the matter is clarified with them.’
We protested. And he threatened, ‘Sorry Sir, you have to make your own arrangements for the night. I can’t help you’.

We were stunned and speechless with his aggression. He successfully gagged us and made us accept his orders. I asked him, ‘By the way, what if, even if these rooms were not available. Then what?’

He replied, “We are hospitable people and in case all rooms were booked here, we would have helped you in getting a room in a local hotel”. There was no room for apologies for any miscommunication or misunderstandings at his end.

Stunned by his response, we told him that we are accepting the rooms as we are not left with any option, but we have to escalate the matter.

On this indication, he asked us to wait and after several minutes gave us the good news that two deluxe rooms are available. A sigh of big relief! So finally we would be getting the booked rooms.

As we settled in the allotted room. My nephew came down and looking at our room, and raised his concern that our room appears much basic as compared to theirs. In the absence of a clear indication about type of room, I guess, many unsuspecting tourists are cajoled into lower category rooms in KMVN than booked by them. It happened twice with us in Saattaal KMVN as well. They have a room with backside opening and whenever I went there, I was always given that room only and it was only after protesting hard that they restrained themselves.

As the porter brought our luggage in, we confronted him. Realizing that we got a clue about the room, after sometime we got a call from the front desk requesting us not to unfold the luggage, as they were planning to allot another room to us. The new first floor room was definitely better. A request to KMVN: Please do something so that the staff does not beguile the unsuspecting tourists. May be as an action, KMVN can mention the type of room at the back of the door of the room and also at the reception.

The confrontation with the Manager and his callous attitude spoilt our mood. Though, I am of the opinion, that in the end we were in-fact allotted the room that we booked. I do not know how KMVN staff finally managed to provide us the room, though they initially denied such availability. Anyway it made us resolute to report this matter at CRC, KMVN and I eventually did so as well.

By this time, we were really tired and after a quick dinner at KMVN we retired. This was not the end of all the troubles. Another more acute distress started within three-four hours. Rachit became victim of acute diarrhea. When we travel, generally Jaishree always carry electral powder, but we realized that due to some misunderstanding we forgot to pack it. And in the morning, we came to know that in other room my brother-in-law also suffered similarly.

We had three things to doubt: Street food at Patal Bhuvaneshwar, Pakoda’s at hill view restaurant on the way or dinner at KMVN Jageshwar. The reason to doubt KMVN food is our confrontation with them.

I enquired about the doctor from the hotel staff and learnt that there are no allopathic doctors in Jageshwar. I was suggested to visit a Government Ayurvedic clinic, which was at the end of the street. I came out of KMVN and looked around to find a medical shop, to buy the medicine and more than that the electral powder, but there were none. Now in retrospect, I understand why? When there are no allopathic doctors, what could be the use of a medical shop. After searching for a while, I decided to consult the Ayurvedic doctor first and then to search for the medical shop.

I have never been to any Ayurvedic clinic/doctor. Even in that anxious state of mind, I liked the small room where I found the doctor. I need to pay Re one to get a registration card. After listening to the issue, the doctor asked his assistant to prepare a medicine. The assistant crushed several herbs to prepare the medicine. As the doctor handed me the medicine, I asked the doctor that where could I get an electrolyte powder packet. He suggested some shop and then probably felt that it would not be easy for me to locate the same. He opened his briefcase and handed me an electrolyte pack he was carrying with him. He told me that that was the only packet he carried for emergency purposes.

He did not accept the money for the packet, so I was feeling hesitant to take it over. Need of the hour forced me to accept the packet, but I decided that after handing it over to Jaishree, I would look around for the packet and give it back to the doctor, so it can be given to another needy like me. Equipped with the medicine and the electral powder, I rushed back to the hotel room and handed it over to Jaishree. As promised to myself, I came out of KMVN again and looked for a shop where I could find the electrolyte powder; Even after searching for a while I could not find even a single shop selling such a basic survival kit 🙁 and had to abandon the idea and returned back to the room.

In the hotel, Rachit was looking weak and tired. After a while, when Rachit slept, Jaishree suggested that she would be around Rachit and I could go out and have a quick look at the temples. I promised her that I would be only a call away and left the room.

After coming out, I decided to explore the Archaeology Museum at Jageshwar first, which is located next to the KMVN. It is small, nevertheless very beautiful; immaculate with a superb collection, well-kept and well-captioned. Kudos to people who conceptualized and are managing it.

Archaeological Museum, Jageshwar

Archaeological Museum, Jageshwar

The museum has two galleries displaying around one hundred and seventy-five exquisite idols and statuettes brought here from the temples in and around Jageshwar. In the first gallery, I remember seeing the beautiful statue of Uma-Maheshwar, Surya and the Navagrahas in standing position. It was the first and probably the only time I saw the idol of all nine planets- Surya, Soma, Mangal, Budh, Brihispati, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu, all together. Similarly, the statue of Surya God in standing position wearing long boots, holding lotus in both his hands, caught my attention as he looked modern and dashing in that attire. There are several Sun-temples around Jageshwar that indicates wide-spread popular tradition of sun-worship in the region.

A statue of Sun-God in National Museum, N.Delhi

A statue of Sun-God in National Museum, N.Delhi

The second gallery had eighteen sculptures. The unique among them were that of poison drunk Shiva, four armed ferocious Chamunda Devi with shrunken belly that exposed her protruding ribs and veins holding head of a demon in her hands. The other unique idols were of Shiva family along with Kartikeya and his wife.

I highly recommend a visit to this museum that displays the idols recovered from temples in and around Jageshwar. It is a visual treat and allows one to appreciate the craftsmanship of the artists of the bygone era. The museum opening times are from 10am to 4pm and it is closed on Fridays.

The road from here to the Jageshwar temple complex was lined up with shops selling colorful puja-samagri.

Shops on the road in front of Jageshwar Temple Complex

Shops on the road to Jageshwar Temple Complex

The wooden houses along the road had an old world charm. I would have loved to explore the village, but I did not have much time and I feared that Jaishree may need me anytime. So I walked quickly to the temple complex.

Beautiful houses in Jageshwar

Beautiful houses in Jageshwar

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