A Chai Wallah's Shop Jigsaw Puzzle
A Chai Wallah’s Shop
Approximately 6-8 kms. from the hill station of Gwaldam in the state of Uttarakhand, northern India, is the Badhangarhi Temple sitting on a peak at 6364’. The temple cannot be reached by driving your car. You must hike up and up, hundreds of tall steps, twisting ever upward. You become a pilgrim of great endurance. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga, the feminine epitome of strength and determination. There are views of utter beauty as the Pindaar River flows through the pine filled Katyur Valley with the glorious Himalayan Ridge as a backdrop: Nandi Devi at 25,646’ alongside Trishul, Chaukhamba, Hathi, Nanda Ghuti and more. But wait, before you start this pilgrimage upwards, you must visit the Chai Wallah’s Shop for that energetic lift of sweetness and spices. The shop’s smoke blackened interior has a huge kettle for boiling water and a long-handled pan over the wood burning flames filled with milk, tea, spices, and jaggery. All just waiting for the next visitor who is unaware of the arduous journey ahead. Maybe like life, it is better not to know what lies ahead, but to sip a cup of masala chai from the Chai Wallah’s Shop, and then just start hiking up and up. Puzzle comes with recipes.
Photo by Paula Winchester