Friday, 6 May 2016

Hot Spring, Gelephu



Descending down from the highway on a precarious curves towards the river valley, you are greeted with settlement in the narrow valley near the hot spring, hidden from view due to obvious reason. There are restaurants, lodge and guest houses. At this time of the year being summer the lodges and guesthouses were empty but not the hot spring pools.

Comparing to my last visit, about a decade back there are lots of improvements in the surroundings and the cleanliness of the main spot. What caught my eyes was the timing board displaying separate timing for male and female to soak in the pool after every one and half hour. There used to be a time where all the gender soaked without the timings in the same pool. There were stories of movements of limbs under the murky water, keeping a straight face above the water. Those mischievous things are completely ruled out now; with this certain charm of dipping in the pool is also taken away for some.

People with back pain, joint pains, skin diseases and many other ailments which are not diagnosed or were hard to diagnose come there for cure. The stories of the benefits of the dipping in a hot spring oozing hydrogen sulphide gas which can be made out with its pungent smell resembling a rotten boiled egg, can be heard and passed down for generations. Many youngsters go there for preventive measures for all the diseases that is to come in old age.

The sign board with the timings had helped in easing the crowd, as told by some regular visitors. It could be further eased if healthy and not sick people are discouraged to soak for pleasure. But then during the lean period that is in summers not many people throng there. I have forgone soaking in the pool with the thought that it is better to give chance to the sickly and the needy people to soak and besides I did not want to make my body immune to its benefits when I really require, god forbid, the cure.

When the geographical phenomenon of the causes of the hot spring is beyond comprehension, people tend to think that it is miraculous for a hot water to ooze from the cracks of the rocks out of no where without fire or a heat source. And when you have strong believe and faith in miracles, the miraculous cure do happen. It is all in the thoughts that matters.

I dread the hot spring imagining about the water seeping deep down in the earth's core, it touching the molten material, getting heated and coming back to the earth surface as a hot spring. If by some freak chance, from the same crack lava pours out.....Gee !!