We call it Sahasradhara, the Thousand Fold Spring. With a name so lyrical, the place is famous for its natural beauty and the sulphur springs.
I remember it from my childhood, a quiet picnic spot, surrounded by tall limestone hills, a sparkling stream, the sun shining, birds chirping and the gleeful shouts of the local kids splashing upstream. While we dipped our feet in the cold water goading each other to cross the stream, the adults made a beeline for spots where sulphur bubbled. They claimed it made the water therapeutic.
Today Sahasradhara is a far cry from those days. I suppose the picnic and sulphur spring bit still is an attraction, a water park has also come up.
There is a prominent temple, claiming to be ‘ancient’, built around Shivlings discovered in the caves. Divine manifestations or just natural stalagmites in limestone hills?
In the end it is all about faith. Yours truly too whispered a prayer.
From there it was a short walk to a natural cave that was deserted. Without any direction signs, these holes in the hillside look dark and forbidding; I had visions of creepy crawlers waiting inside or running into gigantic spiderwebs like the one in the Hobbit movie.
Well, I was prepared for the worst.
The entrance to the cave was green, slippery, wet and I was on my fours determined not to tumble. Water fell from the top in steady streams, the cold droplets clinging to the hair and soaking my clothes.
It took a moment for the eyes to adjust, my world had become luminous and green.
Water seeped down the walls where it collected in pools. Excited voices boomed and then they were reduced to murmurs, other senses heightened- of touch, sight, hearing and smell.
I felt the cool air, the sound of falling droplets magnified, the smooth cold and wet walls, the pools of water gleaming in the slanting rays of light. Also there were no creepy crawlies that I could see and no spiderwebs either.
I was transported to another world, far removed from civilisation.
I loved it!
Maybe cave walking is my thing.
Maybe that’s what a fun experience does.
I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Just for fun