In the olden days walking was an essential part of life. Now it has been reduced to a dignified exercise designed to burn the extra calories we tend to accumulate.
It can be hardly believed now that most of the human migrations in the history were covered on foot. Here is an example of Natha ‘Zhundi’ to remind us how our ancestors covered long distances by walk systematically over a prolonged period.
The Kumbha Mela at Triambakesvar (now, Maharastra) recurs once in every twelve years. Twelve regional heads of Natha (Barapanth) monks assemble at Triambakesvar during the Mela and customarily elect the Natha monk to head Kadire Jogi Mutt for the next duration of twelve years. Following the selection, a ritual holy vessel (the ‘patra devata’) is handed over to the newly elected chief of Kadire Matt and a troupe of some 600 to 700 Natha monks used to commence their long pedestrian journey from Triambakesvar to Kadire in Mangalore, a distance of about 1150 kilometers.
The pedestrian troupe covers the distance in about six month time. They halt and rest in some 78 places before reaching the destination,Kadire. Jogi Ananda Nath (2003) describes the 'Zhundi' and lists the rest points between Triambakesvar and Kadire as follows: 1.Nasik 2.Saikheda 3.Sinnar 4.Drodibudrak 5.Nadursigot 6. Sangamner 7.Haibargaon 8.Chandanapuri 9.Dolsa 10.Dhargaon 11.Peepalbandi.12.Gunjalvadi. 13.Arti. 14.Savargaon. 15.Paunda. 16. Chincholi. 17.Khilarwadi. 18.Mahalunge. 19.Badagaon..20.Manchar. 21.Khedagaon 22.Chakan 23.Mosi 24.Bhosari 25.Pune 26.Aranyesvar 27.Bairavanala 28.Hadapsara 29.Sasvad 30.Bhivandi 31.Kikvi 32.Sivale 33.Buij 34.Udthara 35.Satara 36.Koregaon 37.Kumata 38.Rahimathpur 39. Ogalewadi. 40.Karad. 41.Vadagaon..42.Macchendragad..43.Islampur. 44.Retaredharan..45.Battis Sirala 46.Mangalegaon. 47.Mohuregaon. 48.Kollapur .49.Gandhinagar. 50.Kagal. 51.Nippani. 52.Sankeswar. 53.Belgaum depot. 54.Belgaum city.55.Khanapur. 56.Donagregaon.57.Kharola.58.Balevadi.59.Londa. 60.Handibadanga..61. Nagargali. 62.Godagiri. 63.Mangalvad. 64.Haliyal. 65.Keralkatte. 66.Sambarani. 67.Yellapura. 68.Manchagiri. 69.Sirsi. 70.Chandragutti.71.Sagara. 72.Hosanagara. 73.Nagara. 74.Halavari. 75.Barkur. 76.Udupi. 77.Mulki. 78. Panambur.
Consistent long pedestrian journeys were a common feature in the historical past.
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