The ‘Queen of Hills’ Darjeeling and then to ‘Gangtok’capital of Sikkim and then finally to “Nathula Pass’. ‘Nathula Pass’ has an Indo– Chinese Border military check post where the tourist is taken up to that point.It is at a14140 feet above the mean sea level. Daytime temperature is usually at 0 degrees.
Cold and chill winds flow throughout the time. The place is fully covered with snow throughout the year. Indian and Chinese army keep vigil day and night across the border. The total area is occupied by the Indian army.
During route to Nathula which is 4 to 5 hrs. Drive from Gangtok via taxi, there were two security checks conducted by Indian Army where cross verification was done about tourists.The weather conditions were very poor and the temperature was nearing zero. The route was fully covered with thick snow. We had to walk rest of the path to reach to the ‘Indo-china’ military border post.The chilly winds were flowing and almost it was dark during the daytime, the temperature was at subzero. I could see only young tourists going to peak and aged tourists were advised not to climb to the peak as oxygen will become less and breathing will be a problem. I tried to climb at a fast pace in our group but was soon breathless due to the scarcity of oxygen.
Story Of Baba Harbhajan
Baba Harbhajan has been guarding the international boundary of the two Asian giants the China and India over the last three decades. Even the army men on the other side of the international wall confirm that they had seen a man riding a horse all alone patrolling the border. Chinese do also worship him & during the flag meetings between the two nations at Nathula Post, the Chinese Soldiers have also set a chair aside for the saint.
- In the camp at Nathula Pass, a camp bed is kept for him and his boots are polished and uniform is kept ready every night. The sheets are reportedly crumpled every morning and boots muddy by evening. The Ghost soldier continues to draw a salary and takes his annual leave also. Legend also has it that in the event of a war between India and China, Baba would warn the Indian and Chinese soldiers three days in advance.
- A small sum is also sent to the mother of this Ghost Soldier each month. Ghost Soldier’s name still continues on the army’s payrolls, He has also been given all due time-bound promotions. Baba used to get his salary from the defence funds that were sent to his family but due to some reason it has been stopped now and the donation collected from the offerings made by the devotees are send to his home by the army official.
- Over the years the shrine of Baba Harbhajan has obtained huge devote across all frontiers. Baba is respected and worshipped by every army men in Sikkim. They believe Baba would forecast accident in the valley much ahead of the happening. Though it may look weird it is true & Indian Army still honours this soldier like that.
- Despite the blessing of the Baba, the army at Nathula border is on high alert when Baba goes on an annual leave from September 15 to November 15 every year. Even leaves for other army men during the months are cancelled and extra cautions are sought after.
Now what you call of this weird but true story happening in Indian Army. Interestingly, one of his old colleague Mr Pyara Singh of Jalandhar District of Punjab has put a Court Case against Indian Army & Ministry of Defence for allowing such weird Dead worship of a person who was dead long-long ago.