By Komal Kashyap
Fifty-nine-year-old Rajinder Gupta of Bathinda has been on pilgrimage for the last three decades. His mode of transport, bicycle. So far, he has covered covered 5.4 lakh km on his bicycle, paying obeisance to Amaranth consecutively for the last 15 years and 117 times to Vaishno Devi among other pilgrimages. Gupta, who reached Chandigarh on June 23, paid obeisance to Mata Mansa Devi shrine in the city.
He said that he visited Baba Amaranth 15 times. It took him over 16 days to reach Pahalgam from Bathinda on cycle. He said that food arrangements in Amaranth were very good and that he enjoyed his journey and the view of the sanctum sanctorum.
Gupta is unmarried and has been riding cycle to pilgrim spots across India since 1989. Gupta said that his main goal was to visit different religious places of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir on cycle and till date he has gone to Naina Devi, Douladhari Temple in Kangra, Mata Chintpurni, Mata Jawalaji, Chamunda Mata, Mani Mahesh, Mani Karan. He completed his journey in Himachal in 20 days.
“I got help from individuals and organisations during my journeys. Now, I’m planning to visit Haridwar,” he said.
Gupta appealed to the young generation to ride cycle to the surrounding religious places. “I can not compel anyone to ride cycle, but I can appeal to the young people for using bicycles. It is an environment-friendly mode of transport and will also keep you physically strong,” concluded Gupta.