The Wonderful Pilgrimage to Amarnath




IN all India there is nothing more wonderful than the pilgrimages of millions, which set like tidal waves at certain seasons to certain sacrosanct places — the throngs that flock to holy Benares, to Hardwar, and to that meeting of the waters at Prayag, where the lustral rites purify soul and body, and the pilgrims return shriven and glad. But of all the pilgrimages in India the most touching, the most marvelous, is that to Amarnath, nearly twelve thousand feet up in the Himalayas. The cruel difficulties to be surmounted, the august heights to be climbed (for the way is much higher than the height at which the Cave stands), the wild and terrible beauty of the journey, and the glorious close when the Cave is reached, make this pilgrimage the experience of a lifetime even for a European. What must it not be for a true believer? Yet, in the deepest sense, I should advise none to make it who is not a true believer— who cannot sympathize to the uttermost with the wave of faith and devotion that sends these poor pilgrims climbing on torn and wearied feet to the great Himalayan heights, where they not infrequently lay down their lives before reaching the silver pinnacles that hold their hearts’ desire. I have myself made the pilgrimage, and it was one of the deepest experiences of my life; while, as for the beauty and wonder of the journey, all words break down under the effort to express them.

But first a few words about the God who is the object of devotion. The Cave is sacred to Siva — the Third Person of the Hindu Trinity; that Destroyer who, in his other aspects, is the Creator and Preserver. He is the God especially of the Himalayas — the Blue-Throated God, from the blue mists of the mountains that veil him. The Crescent in his hair is the young moon, resting on the peak that is neighbor to the stars. The Ganges wanders in the matted forests of his hair before the maddening torrents fling their riches to the Indian plains, even as the snow-rivers wander in the mountain pine forests. He is also Nataraja — Lord of the Cosmic Dance; and one of the strangest and deepestwrought parables in the world is that famous image where, in a wild ecstasy, arms flung out, head flung back in a passion of motion, he dances the Tandava, the whole rapt figure signifying the cosmic activities, Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. ‘For,’ says a Tamil text, ‘our Lord is a Dancer, who, like the heat latent in firewood, diffuses his power in mind and matter, and makes them dance in their turn.’

The strange affinity of this conception with the discoveries of science relating to the eternal dance of atom and electron gives it the deepest interest. I would choose this aspect of the God as that which should fill the mind of the Amarnath pilgrim. Let him see the Great God Mahadeo (Magnus Deus), with the drum in one hand which symbolizes creative sound — the world built, as it were, to rhythm and music. Another hand is upraised bidding the worshiper, ‘Fear not!’ A third hand points to his foot, the refuge where the soul may cling. The right foot rests lightly on a demon — to his strength, what is it? A nothing, the mere illusion of reality! In his hair, crowned with the crescent moon, sits the Ganges, a nymph entangled in its forest. This is the aspect of Mahadeo which I carried in my own mind as I made the pilgrimage, for thus is embodied a very high mysticism, common to all the faiths.

Siva is also Lord of the Daughter of the Himalayas — Uma, Parvati, Gauri, Girija, to give only a few of the beautiful names of the Mystic Mother of India. As Uma, she is especially Himalayan. In the freezing Himalayan lake she did her age-long penance when she would win the heart of the Great Ascetic — her lovely body floating like a lotus upon its icy deeps. She is the lover of mountains, the Dweller in the Windhya Hills; and so dear are she and her Lord the one to the other, that they are represented often as a single image, of which the one half is man, the other woman; the dual nature is perfect unity in the Divine.

The Cave at Amarnath is sacred because a spring, eternally frozen, has in its rush taken the shape of the holy Lingam, which is the symbol of reproduction and therefore of Life. This is also the Pillar of the Universe — that Pillar which the Gods sought to measure, the one flying upward, the other downward, for æons, seeking the beginning and the end, and finding none. Yet again, it is the Tree of Life, which has its roots in Eternity, and branches through the mythology of many peoples. And if there are degenerated forms of this worship, surely the same may be said of many others.


The pilgrimage can be made only in July and August. Before and after, a barrier of snow and ice closes the way, and makes the Cave a desolation.

The start is made from Pahlgam, a tiny village on the banks of the Lidar River in Kashmir, where it leaps from the great glacier of Kolahoi to join the Jhelum River in the Happy Valley. Pahlgam itself stands at a height of about eight thousand feet.

The day before we started there was a great thunderstorm, the grandest I have ever known. The mountains were so close on each side that they tossed the thunder backwards and forwards to each other, and the shattering and roaring of the echoes was like the battles of the Gods; while the continuous blue glare of the lightning was almost appalling. It was strange to feel only a little web of canvas between ourselves and that elemental strife when the rain followed as if the fountains of the great deep were broken up — cold as snow, stinging like hail, and so steady that it looked like crystal harpstrings as it fell. Yet next day we waked to a silver rainwashed world, sparkling with prisms of rain and dew; fresh snow on the mountains, and delicate webs of soft blue mist caught like smoke in the pines.

So we set forth from Pahlgam, with our cavalcade of rough hill ponies carrying the tents and provisions and all our substance, and began our march by climbing up the river that flows from those eternal heights into the Pahlgam valley. Much of the way can be ridden if one rides very slowly and carefully; for these wonderful animals are surefooted as cats; but the track is often terrifying — broken boulders and the like. If the ponies were not marvels, it could not be done; and if one were not a safe rider, one certainly could not stick on. The pony gives a strong hoist of his fore-legs, and you are up one rock and hanging on by his withers; then a strong hoist of the hind-legs and you are nearly over his neck; and this goes on for hours; and when it is beyond the pony, you climb on your feet, and ford the torrents as best you may.

Up and up the steep banks of the river we climbed, among the pines and mighty tumbled boulders. Up by the cliffs, where the path hangs and trembles over the water roaring beneath. On the opposite side the mountains soared above the birches and pines, and the torrents hung down them like mist, falling, falling from crag to crag, and shattering like spray-dust as they fell. Once a great eagle soared above us, balancing on the wind, and then floated away without a single motion of his wings — wonderful to see; and the spread of his wings was greater than the height of the tallest man.

We had long passed the last few huts, and the track wound steadily higher, when, suddenly growing on us, I heard a deep musical roar like the underlying bass of an orchestra — the full-chorded voice of many waters. And as we turned a corner where the trail hung like a line round the cliff, behold, a mighty gorge of pines and uplifted hills, and the river pouring down in a tremendous waterfall, boiling and foaming white as it fell into the raging pit beneath.

What a sight! We stopped and looked, every sense steeped in the wonder of it. For the air was cool with the coolness that comes like breath off a river; ours ears were full of the soft thunder; the smell of pines was like the taste of a young world in one’s mouth; yet it was all phantasmal, in a way, as if it could not be real. I watched the lovely phantom, for it hung like a thing unreal between heaven and earth, until it grew dreamlike to me and dyed my brain with sound and color, and it was hard indeed to pass on.

That night we camped in a mountain valley some two thousand feet above Pahlgam. It was like climbing from story to story in a House of Wonder. The river was rushing by our tents when they were pitched, pale green and curling back upon itself, as if it were loath to leave these pure heights, and the mountains stood about us like a prison, almost as if we might go no farther. And when I stood outside my tent just before turning in, a tremulous star was poised on one of the peaks, like the topmost light on a Christmas tree, and the Great Bear lay across the sky glittering frostily in the blue-blackness.

I had a narrow escape that day; for, as I was leading the cavalcade, I met a wild hill-rider in the trail between two great rocks, and his unbroken pony kicked out at me savagely with his fore-leg and caught me above the ankle. Luckily, they do not shoe their horses here; but it was pretty bad for a bit, and I was glad of the night’s rest.


Next day we started and rounded out of the tiny valley; and lo! on the other side another river, flowing apparently out of a great arch in the mountainside. Out it poured, rejoicing to be free; and when I looked, it was flowing, not from the mountain but from a snowbridge. Mighty falls of snow had piled up at the foot of the mountain, as they slipped from its steeps; and then the snow, melting above, had come down as a torrent and eaten its way through the wide arch of this cave. Often one must cross a river on these snowbridges, and at a certain stage of melting they are most dangerous; for, if the snow should give, there may be frightful depths beneath.

Here first I noticed how beautiful were the flowers of the heights. The men gathered and brought me tremulous white and blue columbines, and wild wallflowers, orange-colored and so deeply scented that I could close my eyes and call up a cottage garden, and the bee-hives standing in sedate rows under the thatched eaves. And there was a glorious thistle, new to me, as tall as a man, and with blue-green silvered spears and a head of spiky rays. Bushes, also, like great laurels, but loaded with rosy berries that the Kashmiris love.

We turned then round a huge fallen rock, green and moist with hanging ferns, and shining with the spray of the river, and before us was a mountain, and an incredible little trail winding up it, and that was our way. I looked and doubted. It is called the Pisu, or Flea Ascent, on the ground that it takes a flea’s activity to negotiate it. Of course, it was beyond the ponies, except here and there, on what I called breathers, and so we dismounted. The men advised us to clutch the ponies’ tails, and but for that help it would have been difficult to manage. My heart was pumping in my throat, and I could feel the little pulses beating in my eyes, before I had gone far, and every few minutes we had to stop; for even the guides were speechless from the climb, and I could see the ponies’ hearts beating hard and fast under the smooth coats.

But still we held on, and now beside us were blooming the flower-gardens of the brief and brilliant Himalayan summer — beds of delicate purple anemones, gorgeous golden ranunculus holding its gold shields to the sun, orange poppies, masses of forget-me-nots of a deep, glowing blue — a burning blue, not like the fair azure of the Western flower, but like the royal blue of the Virgin’s robe in a Flemish missal. And above these swayed the bells of the columbines on their slender stems, ranging from purest white, through a faint, misty blue, to a deep, glooming purple. We could hardly go on for the joy of the flowers. It was a marvel to see all these lovely things growing wild and uncared for, flinging their sweetness on the pure air, and clothing the ways with beauty. And at each turn fresh snow-peaks emerged against the infinite blue of the sky — some with frail wisps of white cloud caught in the spires, and some bold and clear as giants ranged for battle.

And so we climbed up and reached another story, and lay down to rest and breathe before we went farther up into wonderland.

The top was a grassy ‘marg,’ or meadow, cloven down to the heart of the earth by a fierce river. Around it was a vast amphitheatre of wild crags and peaks; and beneath these, but ever upward, lay our trail. But the meadow was like that field in Sicily where Persephone was gathering flowers when she was snatched away by Dis to reign in the Underworld. I remembered Leighton’s picture of her, floating up from the dead dark, pale like a withered flower, and stretching her hands to the blossoms of earth once more. I never saw such flowers: they could scarcely be seen elsewhere.

The snow had slipped off the meadow, — was rushing away in the thundering river far below, — and the flowers were crowding each other, rejoicing in the brief gladness of summer before they should be shrouded again under the chilly whiteness. But their color took revenge on it now. They glowed, they sang and shouted for joy — such was the vibration of their radiance! I have never dreamed of such a thing before.

And then came our next bad climb, up the bed of a ragged mountain torrent and across it, with the water lashing at us like a whip. I do not know how the ponies did it. They were clutched and dragged by the ears and tails, and a man seized me by the arms and hauled me up and round the face of a precipice, where to miss one step on the loose stones would have been to plunge into depths I preferred not to look at. Then another ascent like the Flea, but shorter, and we were a story higher, in another wild marg, all frosted silver with edelweiss, and glorious with the flowers of another zone — flowers that cling to the bare and lichened rock and ask no foothold of earth.

That was a wild way. We climbed and climbed steadfastly, sometimes riding, sometimes walking, and round us were rocks clothed with rose-red saxifrage, shaded into pink, and myriads of snowy stars, each with a star of ruby in its heart. Clouds still of the wonderful forget-me-not climbed with us. Such rock gardens! No earthly hand could plant those glowing masses and set them against the warm russets and golds of the lower crags, lifted up into this mighty sky-world. The tenderness of the soft form and radiant color of these little flowers in the cruel grasp of the rocks, yet softening them into grace with the short summer of their lives, is exquisitely touching. It has the pathos of all fragility and brief beauty.

Later we climbed a great horn of rock, and rounded a slender trail, and before us was another camping-place — the Shisha-Nag Lake among the peaks. We saw its green river first, bursting through a rocky gateway, and then, far below, the lake itself, —

Green as a clouded chrysoprase
And lonely as a dream of God,

reflecting the snowy pinnacles above it. The splintered peaks stand about it. Until July it is polished ice, and out of one side opens a solemn ante-chapel blocked with snow. The lake itself is swept clear and empty. The moon climbs the peaks and looks down, and the constellations swing above it. A terrible, lonely place, peopled only by the shadows. It was awful to think of the pomps of sunrise, noon, and sunset passing over it, and leaving it to the night and dream which are its only true companions. It should never be day there — always black, immovable night, crouching among the snows and staring down with all her starlight eyes into that polished icy mirror.

We camped above it, and it was cold — cold! A bitter wind blew through the rocks — a wind shrilling in a waste land. Now and then it shifted a little and brought the hoarse roar of some distant torrent or the crash of an avalanche. And then, for the first time, I heard the cry of the marmot — a piercing note which intensifies the desolation. We saw them too, sitting by their burrows; and then they shrieked and dived and were gone.

We made a little stir of life for a while — the men pitching our tents and running here and there to gather stunted juniper bushes for fuel, and get water from an icy stream that rippled by. But I knew we were only interlopers. We would be gone next day, and the cold silence would settle down on our blackened camp-fires.

In the piercing cold that cut like a knife I went out at night, to see the lake, a solemn stillness under the moon. I cannot express the awe of the solitudes. As long as I could bear the cold, I intruded my small humanity; and then one could but huddle into the camp-bed and try to shut out the immensities, and sleep our little human sleep, with the camp-fires flickering through the curtains, and the freezing stars above.

Next day we had to climb a very great story higher. Up and up the track went steadily, with a sheer fall at one side and a towering wall on the other. We forded a river where my feet swung into it as the pony, held by two men, plunged through. It is giddy, dazzling work to ford these swift rivers. The pony seems to be stationary; only the glitter of the river sweeps by, and the great stones trip the pony. You think you are gone, and then somehow and suddenly you are at the other side.


And here a strange thing happened. When the morning came, we found that a sadhu — a wandering pilgrim — had reached the same height on his way to the Cave. He was resting by the way, very wearied, and shuddering with the cold. So I ventured to speak to him and welcome him to our fire and to such food (rice) as he could accept from some of our men; and there, when we stopped for the midday meal, he sat among us like a strange bird dropped from alien skies. Sometimes these men are repulsive enough, but this one—I could have thought it was Kabir himself! Scrupulously clean, though as poor as human being could be. He would have come up from the burning plains with his poor breast bare to the scarring wind, but that some charitable native had given him a little cotton coat. A turban, a loin-cloth looped between the legs, leaving them naked, grass sandals on feet coarse with traveling, and a string of roughly carved wooden beads, were all his possessions, except the little wallet that carried his food — rice and a kind of lentil. I thought of Epictetus, the saint of ancient Rome, and his one tattered cloak.

This was a man of about fifty-five, tall, thin, with a sensitive face, yet with something soldierly about him; dignified and quiet, with fine hawk-like features and strained bright eyes in hollow caves behind the gaunt cheek-bones. A beautiful face in both line and expression; a true mystic, if ever I saw one!

He told me he had walked all the way from Bengal (look at the map and see what that means!), and that the poor people were very kind and gave him a little rice sometimes, when they had it, and sometimes a tiny coin, asking only his prayers in return. That he needed very little, never touching meat or fish or eggs, which he did not think could be pleasing to the God. For sixteen years he had been thus passing from one sacred place to the other — from the holy Benares to Hardwar, where the Ganges leaves the hills, and farther still, praying — praying to the One. ‘There is One God,’ he said; and again I thought of Kabir, the supreme mystic, the incarnate Joy, who also wandered through India, —

He has looked upon God, and his eyeballs are clear;
There was One, there is One, and but One, saith Kabir,—

striving, like this man,

To learn and discern of his brother the clod,
And his brother the beast, and his brother the God.

I asked if he had any children, and he threw out his hands palm upward with a strange gesture, and said, ‘Empty.’

But does it not fill one with thoughts? That man had a soul at rest and a clear purpose. And Christ and Buddha were sadhus; and if it seem waste to spend the sunset of a life in prayer, that may be the grossest of errors. We do not know the rules of the Great Game. How should we judge? So he came with us, striding behind the ponies with his long, steadfast stride, and his company was pleasing to me.

That was a wondrous climb. Had any God ever such an approach to his sanctuary as this great God of the heights? We climbed through a huge amphitheatre of snows, above us the ribbed and crocketed crags of a mighty mountain. It was wild architecture — fearful buttresses, springing arches, and terrible foundations rooted in the earth’s heart; and, above, a high clerestory, where the Dawn might walk and look down through the hollow eyeholes of the windows into the deeps of the precipice below.

I suppose the architect was the soft persistence of water, for I could see deep beach-marks on the giant walls. But there it stood, crowned with snow, and we toiled up it, and landed on the next story, the very water-shed of these high places — a point much higher than the goal of our journey. And that was very marvelous, for we were now in the bare upper world, with only the sky above us, blue and burning on the snow, the very backbone of the range; and, like the Great Divide, the rivers were flowing both ways, according to the inclination of the source.

Before us lay snow which must be crossed, and endless streams and rivers half or wholly buried in snow. That was a difficult time. The ponies were slipping, sliding, stumbling, yet brave, capable, wary as could be. I shall forever respect these mountain ponies. They are sure-footed as goats and brave as lions and nothing else would serve in these high places. In Thibet they have been known to climb to the height of 20,000 feet.

Sometimes the snow was rotten, and we sank in; sometimes it was firm, and then we slipped along; sometimes riding was. impossible, and then we picked our way with alpenstocks. But everywhere in the Pass summer had its brief victory, and the rivers were set free to feed the sultry Indian plains.

At last we won through to another high marg, a pocket of grass and blossom in the crags; and there, at Panjitarni, we camped. Of course, we had long been above all trees, but nothing seemed to daunt the flowers. This marg lay basking in the sun, without one fragment of shade except when the sun fell behind the peaks in the evening. But the flowers quivered, glowed, expanded. My feet were set on edelweiss, and the buttercups were pure gold. The stream ran before me pure as at the day-dawn of the world, and from all this innocent beauty I looked up to the untrodden snow, so near, yet, where only the eagle’s wings could take her.

Next day was an enforced rest, for everyone, man and beast, was weary; so we basked in the sun, reading and writing, and but for the July snow and the awful peaks, it was hard to believe that one was in the upper chambers of the King’s Palace. Yet the air was strange, the water was strange, and it was like a wild fairy-tale to look down from my camp-bed and see the gray edelweiss growing thick beside it, and hear the shriek of the marmot.

Next day we should reach the Cave, and the morning looked down upon us sweet and still — a perfect dawn.

First we crossed the marg, shining with buttercups, and climbed a little way up a hill under the snows, and then dropped down to the river-bed under caves of snow, for the path above was blocked. It was strange to wade along through the swift, icy waters, with the snow-caves arching above us, sending their chill through us in the glowing sunlight. The light in these caves is a wonderful lambent green, for the reflected water is malachite green itself; but I was glad when the passage was over, for it looked as if some impending mass must fall and crush us.

We climbed painfully out of the water, and in front was a track winding straight up the mountain. It was clear that we could not ride up; but we could not delay, so we started as steadily as the ponies. I hardly know how they did it — the men dragged and encouraged them somehow. And still less do I know how we did it. The strain was great. At one point I felt as if my muscles would crack and my heart burst. We did the worst in tiny stages, resting every few minutes, and always before us was the sadhu winning steadily up the height. It was a weary, long climb, new elevations revealing themselves at every turn of the track. Finally, I fell on the top and lay for a bit, to get my wind, speechless but triumphant.

We rode then along the face of the hill — an awful depth below, and beside us flowers even exceeding those we had seen. Purple asters, great pearlwhite Christmas roses weighting their stems, orange-red ranunculus. It was a broken rainbow scattered on the grass. And above this heaven of color was the Amarnath mountain at last — the goal.

Then came a descent when I hardly dared to look below me. That too could not be ridden. In parts the track had slipped away, and it was only about six inches wide. In others we had to climb over the gaps where it had slipped. At the foot we reached a mighty mountain ravine — a great cleft hewn in the mountain, filled, like a bowl, to a fourth of its huge depth with snow, and with streams and rivers rushing beneath. We could hear them roaring hollowly, and see them now and then in bare places. And at the end of the ravine, perhaps two miles off, a great cliff blocked the way, and in it a black hole — and this was the Shrine.

The snow was so hard that we could ride much of the way, but with infinite difficulty, climbing and slipping where the water beneath had rotted the snow. In fact, this glen is one vast snowbridge, so undermined is it by torrents. The narrowness of it and the towering mountains on each side make it a tremendous approach to the Shrine.

A snow-bridge broke suddenly under my pony and I thought I was gone; but a man caught me by the arm, and the pony made a wild effort and struggled to the rocks. And so we went on.

The Cave is high up the cliff, and I could see the sadhu’s figure striding swiftly on, as if nothing could hold him back.


We dismounted before the Cave, and began the last climb, to the mouth. I got there first, almost done, and lo! a great arch like that of the choir of a cathedral; and inside, a cave eaten by water into the rock, lighted by the vast arch, and shallow in comparison with its height of 150 feet. At the back, frozen springs issuing from the mountain. One of the springs, the culminating point of adoration, is the Lingam as it is seen in the temples of India — a very singular natural frost sculpture. Degraded in the associations of modern ignorance, the mystic and the educated behold in this small pillar of purest ice the symbol of the Pillar of Cosmic Ascent, rooted in rapture of creation, rising to the rapture of the Immeasurable. It represents That within the circumference of which the universe swings to its eternal rhythm — That which, in the words of Dante, moves the sun and the other stars. It is the stranger here because before it the clear ice has frozen into a flat, shallow altar.

The sadhu knelt before it, tranced in prayer. He had laid some flowers on the altar, and, head thrown back and eyes closed, was far away — in what strange heaven, who shall say? Unconscious of place or person, of himself, of everything but the Deity, he knelt, the perfect symbol of the perfect place. I could see his lips move — Was it the song of Kabir to the Eternal Dancer? —

He is pure and eternal,
His form is infinite and fathomless.
He dances in rapture and waves of form arise from his dance.
The body and mind cannot contain themselves
when touched by his divine joy.
He holds all within his bliss.

What better praise for such a worshiper before him in whose ecstasy the worlds dance for delight — here where, in the great silence, the Great God broods on things divine?

I laid my flowers on the altar of ice beside his. Who could fail to be moved where such adoration is given after such a pilgrimage? And if some call the Many-Named ‘God,’ and some ‘Siva,’ what matter? To all it is the Immanent God. And when I thought of the long winter and the snow falling, falling, in the secret places of the mountains, and shrouding this temple in white, the majesty of the solitudes and of the Divine filled me with awe.

Later we climbed down into the snowy glen beneath the Cave, and ate our meal under a rock, with the marmots shrilling about us, and I found at my feet — what? A tuft of bright golden violets—all the delicate penciling in the heart, but shining gold. I remembered Ulysses in the Garden of Circe, where the moly is enshrined in the long thundering roll of Homer’s verse: —

For in another land it beareth a golden flower, but not in this.

It is a shock of joy and surprise to find so lovely a marvel in the awful heights.

We were too weary to talk. We watched the marmots, red-brown like chestnuts, on the rocks outside their holes, till everything became indistinct and we fell asleep from utter fatigue.

The way back was as toilsome, only with the ascents and descents reversed; and so we returned to Panjitarni.

Next day we rested; for not only was it necessary from fatigue, but some of our men were mountain-sick because of the height. This most trying ailment affects sleep and appetite, and makes the least exertion a painful effort. Some felt it less, some more, and it was startling to see our strong young men panting as their hearts labored almost to bursting. The native cure is to chew a clove of garlic; whether it is a faith cure or no I cannot tell, but it succeeded.

Of the journey down I will say little. Our sadhu journeyed with us and was as kind and helpful on the way as man could be. He stayed at our camp for two days when we reached Pahlgam; for he was all but worn out, and we begged him to rest. It touched me to see the weary body and indomitable soul.

At last the time came for parting. He stood under a pine, with his small bundle under his arm, his stick in his hand, and his thin feet shod for the road in grass sandals. His face was serenely calm and beautiful. I said I hoped God would be good to him in all his wanderings; and he replied that he hoped this too, and he would never forget to speak to Him of us and to ask that we might find the Straight Way home. For himself, he would wander until he died — probably in some village where his name would be unknown but where they would be good to him for the sake of the God.

So he salaamed and went, and we saw him no more. But always I see him, lessening along the great roads of India, with the same set face — set to a goal that he will doubtless attain. Was it not the mighty Akbar who said, ‘I never saw any man lost in a straight road’?

Thus I have tried to give some dim picture of the wonders of that wonderful pilgrimage. But who can express the faith, the devotion that sends the poorer pilgrims to those heights? We had all the help that money can give. They do it as that sadhu did it. Silence and deep thought are surely the only fitting comments on such a sight.