New Year Ride to Shimla

Standard

I didn’t have much plans for the new year’s eve and the only places that were open for party in Chandigarh were either discotheques or high-end restaurants. As the open DJ night in sector 17 got wrapped up early, I had no certainty about what I’ll do at midnight. I was suggested to go home and sleep peacefully, but that didn’t sound exciting at all.

I decided to celebrate the new year at my friend’s place and left with him after having dinner. We went to the nearby shop, bought some fruit juice and shared a South-Indian dish(Images in gallery). When we got to his place, his four flat-mates were already there and were watching an award distribution show on TV.
It was 11.30 pm when we got this idea to get pastries, and thus we left on our bikes to search for a place to buy them at this hour of night. Finally we found an open shop and reached back home well before midnight. Just when the minute and hour hands of the clock were coming closer we started dancing. Slowly it gained the momentum and reached its height during the final count down. We continued to dance for another half an hour.

Just when we were sharing jokes, one of them asked me to tell him when I go on my next motorcycle trip. I straight away said, “If you are interested in a trip, why don’t we leave now?”. I suggested all of them to get on their bikes and leave for Patiala to eat the well-known “rajendra ke paranthe”. After much ado, finally the two of us decided to go on our own even though we were redundantly warned about the drunk drivers and strict police.

We wore the jackets, took our back-packs and started off on separate bikes. Just when we were about to take a turn towards Patiala, I stopped my fellow rider and asked him, “Why don’t we go to Shimla instead? road to Patiala is not that fun.” He thought about the weather, speculated the chances of frost bite but finally gave in. We got on the Himalayan highway and after riding a few miles I told my friend that I need to get some petrol as my bike was already running on the reserved fuel. It took us 3 U-turns, 6 closed petrol pumps, about 10 extra miles and a whole one hour to finally get the petrol filled.
After that we took just one stop which was much-needed as our hands were aching because of the cold. We had some tea, shared one ‘parantha’ and continued our journey. All this time, we were riding past the drunkards who were probably coming back from Shimla after celebrating new year. Some of them parked their cars on the roads, played loud music and were dancing with liquor bottles in their hands. There was a lot of traffic from the other side and I had to open my helmet’s visor so that the high beams didn’t affect my vision. This made riding even more difficult as I now had to bear the cold air on my face.

We finally reached Shimla at 4 am and roamed on the Mall road while clicking pictures. There was not even a single soul there, and it was indeed a unique experience to find peace on those roads which were known for their hustle and bustle. After walking through both the upper and lower Mall Road we finally found a shop open where tea was being prepared. We also ordered some buns with butter which turned out to be one of the most delicious breakfasts I have ever had.

We left from Shimla at around 6.30 am and reached back in about 3 hours, as we drove fast through the curves and turns while enjoying the empty roads and magnificent views.

 

Contriving mama-bhanjen trip

Standard

Contriving a trip is quite a difficult task. I got familiar with this fact after I was asked to plan a trip by my younger brother.

One thing was final that me and my cousin brother will go to Agra on my bike(XCD 125) and meet our nephews over there. I started with searching tourist places in Agra. And here is what I got:

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, Agra TourismAgra is famous as being home to one of the seven wonders of the world- the Taj-Mahal. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid remainder of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries.
Agra Fort

Red Fort, Agra TravelBuilt by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 A.D. the fort Is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings, including the Moti Masjid, Diwane-E-Am, Diwani-E-Khaas and Musanman Burj, where the Emperor Shah Jahan died in imprisonment beside Jahangirs place, Khaas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal.
Itmad – Ud – Daula

Itmad-Ud-Daula, Agra Travels & ToursTo the north of the fort and across the river yamuna are several fine examples of mughal architecture. The itmad -ud -daula was build by the empress Noor Jehan as a memorial to her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg, is beautifully ornamented with pietra dura inlay and lattice work marble screens.
Chini Ka Rauza

Chini Ka Rauza, Agra TourismThe tomb of Afzal khan, the persian poet and minister at Shah Jehan’s court gets its name from the brightly coloured glazed tiles that decorate it, lies just 1km beyond itmad-ud-daula.
Sikandra Fort

Sikandra Fort, Agra Travel12km the tomb of Akbar, begun by the emperor himself and completed by his son, Jehangir. This richly decorated structure is a quaint mixture of styles.
Radhaswamy Satsang, Dayalbagh
This highly ornate memorial to the founder of the Radhaswamy satsang has been in the making for several years and is still being worked upon. It is entirely in marble, upon which every manner of ornamentation has been applied.
Sur Sarovar

Sur Sarovar is a picturesque lake located about 23 km away from Agra, in Uttar Pradesh. Also known as the “Keetham Lake”, this astounding water body has always been a favorite haunt for group picnickers and nature lovers. Its serene beauty is said to have had influenced the poetic imagination of the great Sur Das. Sur Sarovar falls under the Sur Das Reserved Forest and was declared as a National Bird Sanctuary in 1991. More than 100 species of migratory and native birds are found in this 7.13 sq km of tranquil paradise. Major bird species found here are gadwals and shovellers, bar-headed geese, brahminy ducks, sarus cranes, Siberian cranes and spoonbills. It is also home to more than 18 species of reptiles and 12 species of mammals.
Fatehpur Sikri

South-west of Agra is the deserted imperial city Fatehpur Sikri, one of India’s most alluring and breathtaking monuments. Built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, this royal city is one of a kind. Every building, pavement, and courtyard in the complex is completely covered in red sandstone. It has a wonderful sense of space and freedom; a perfect combination of intricate workmanship and architecture on a monumental scale. The city of Fatehpur Sikri is a complicated complex of palaces and courtyards, full of light and air, unlike any of the palaces of Europe where the climate necessitated closed cloisters.

After reading all this, I realized that visiting these places isn’t gonna be enough. As I am more of a traveler than a tourist, I thought that we shall go for a longer run. While I googled for the nearest hill station to Agra, I came across Dehradun. It was possible that my nephews take a bike and the four of us leave for Dehradun from Agra(381 km).

Proposed Time line:

21st June

6am=Departure from delhi

noon=Rest

evening=Agra touring

22ndJjune

5am=Departure from Agra

7am=breakfast in Aligarh

11am=time out at meerut

2pm=Lunch in Saharanpur

4pm=Search for hotel in Dehradun (mall road or landore bazar)

5pm=Dehradun site seeing (telescope at top hill by ropeway)

23rd June

5am=Leave for Mussoorie

7am=Breakfast at mussoorie

8am=Mussoorie Lake

9am=Camel’s back road which is a good for trekking and horse riding
11am=Jwalaji Temple (benog hill)

1pm=Departure from Mussoorie

3pm=Kempty Fall , Mossey Fall , Bhatta Fall , Jharipani Fall are some of the falls in and around the Doon Valley.

24th June

Departure from Dehradun similar schedule to reach Delhi before evening.

Note: This is just an approximate idea. The actual schedule may vary according to the situation.

Necessary goods:

Driving License, Vehicle documents(pollution check, insurance, RC), First aid kit, Torch, Match box, Extra Towel, Water bottle

A few tips:

Stay hydrated, have plenty of cool water at hand.

Wear helmet, sun will bake your head like a cake if you don’t keep it covered.

Cooling neck rap, soak a towel in water and wring it out. It will keep your neck and cool for hours.

Lastly carry some snacks, sweet and salty ones. These kinds of snacks will give you energy and cause you to get thirsty. Getting thirsty will help to remind you to stay hydrated.

The path to be followed:

Road directions:

1     Straight(0.7 km) on Ghalibpura Rd going toward Mata Gomaci Devi Tandon Rd
2     Continue down Mantola Rd: 0.6 km
3     Take Slight 4th Right, go 0.1 km
4     Take Slight 2nd Left, go <100m
5     1st Left (past Hotel Prince Sanjay on the right) onto NH3 Hwy, go 0.8 km
6     1st Left (past Agra Fort Railway Station on the left) onto NH3 Hwy, go 0.7 km
7     1st Right onto Kanpur Rd(NH2 Hwy), go 1 km
8     Continue down Aligarh Rd(NH93 Hwy): 14 km (Past Itima Ud Daulah Tomb on the left).
Enter Agra District at 5.2 km.
9     Continue down NH93 Hwy: 66 km.
Enter Hathras District.
Via Sadabad, Hathras, Sasni at 29 km.
Enter Aligarh District at 50 km.
Enter Aligarh at 63 km.
10     Left onto Grand Trunk Rd(NH91 Hwy), go 62 km.
Leave Aligarh at 2.6 km.
Enter Bulandshahar District at 25 km.
Via Khurja at 46 km.
11     Right onto Grand Trunk Rd(NH91 Hwy), go 0.2 km
12     Slight 1st Left onto Grand Trunk Rd(NH91 Hwy), go 3.5 km.
Via Bulandshahr at 1.9 km.
13     Continue down SH18 Hwy: 65 km.
Via Gulaothi at 19 km.
Enter Ghaziabad District at 19 km.
Via Hapur at 34 km.
Via Meerut District at 48 km.
Enter Meerut at 60 km.
14     Continue down NH58 Hwy: 54 km (Past Jagat Talkies on the left).
Via Meerut District at 16 km.
Enter Muzaffarnagar District at 26 km.
Via Khatauli, Khatauli Rural at 32 km.
Enter Muzaffarnagar at 51 km.
15     Slight Left onto NH58 Hwy, go 49 km.
Leave Muzaffarnagar at 2.4 km.
Enter Uttaranchal at 27 km.
Via Manglaur at 42 km.
Via Hardwar District at 45 km.
Enter Roorkee at 48 km.
16     Left onto Dehradun Rd(NH73 Hwy), go 1.1 km
17     Slight 3rd Right (past Brahma Hospital on the right) onto Dehradun Rd(NH73 Hwy), go 2.6 km
18     Slight Left (past Dataram Navyug Vidyalay Junior High School on the left) to follow NH73 Hwy, go 9.3 km.
Enter Hardwar District at 1 km.
19     Continue down NH72A Hwy: 56 km.
Enter Uttar Pradesh at 10 km.
Via Chhutmalpur at 13 km.
Enter Uttaranchal at 33 km.
Via Dehradun District at 48 km.
Enter Dehradun at 49 km.
20     Continue down : 0.3 km (Past Central Bank on the left)
21     Slight 1st Left (past Goyal Sweets on the right) onto Tilak Rd, go 0.8 km
22     Slight 2nd Left (past Shri Guru Ram Rai Public School on the left) onto Chakrata Rd(NH72 Hwy), go 0.5 km
23     Arrive at destination

But this trip seems to be too long for others. I am just hoping that they get permissions from their parents or they come up with a better idea.

A mad trip during finalz

Standard

Height of madness!

I was having my 4th semester final exams. My last two exams were scheduled on 14th and 17th may. I had a marriage to attend on 15th may in Aligarh. It was very obvious for my friends and family that I won’t be able to attend it because I had my last exam on 17th and Aligarh was 446km away from my college (located in Patiala, Punjab). However, I had a plan to attend this marriage any how. I was supposed to leave for aligarh on my bike with my friend in chandigarh at around 11pm on 14th may. We were supposed to travel all night and reach aligarh in the morning. Then after attending the marriage in the afternoon, we could go to my house in NTPC, park my bike over there and come back to Patiala/Chandigarh respectively.

Nevertheless, the fate didn’t allow us to do so. My exam on 14th was postponed to be held on 15th may. The thing which was obvious became a fact now because the marriage and the exam , both were scheduled on the same time ( 15th afternoon). The friend who was supposed to go with me faced the same problem, and we were forced to cancel our plan.

While I was preparing for my second last exam, I got a feeling that I shouldn’t let my luck decide my fate. I asked my friend whose name was also ‘Kushal'(His complete name is Kushal Bansal though), “Would you like to go with me on a trip to delhi on my bike?” I explained the whole plan to him. We were not supposed to go to aligarh now as there was no use of going there after the marriage is over.

Surprisingly, he got ready. However, on a condition that we will watch “Iron Man2” in PVR when we reach delhi. After the exam, we went straight to his room in the hostel and after leaving him there I went to my room to get my stuff. After dealing with the issues of my room key, we got the Tyre tube changed at a nearby shop and left for Delhi at 5:35pm.

The Journey:

Our first stop was a small town before Ambala, just for refilling the petrol tank. I was driving at a speed of 90km/h so that we could reach Karnal before sunset. We took some photographs of the speedometer when my bike touched 95km/h. When we reached Karnal and finally relaxed our buts, my friend said, “my ass almost started paining” . It’s because riding on Bajaj XCD is not very comfortable(specially when I am driving). We had dinner at “zhilmil dhaba” and continued our journey. I didn’t stop for a long time then , after refilling the tank near Delhi Border, we lied down in a garden at the entrance of some society. When we reached Kashmiri Gate, I asked the auto driver about the nearest PVR, he suggested me to go to Connaught Place.

In Delhi

We tried at various multiplexes but didn’t get any tickets as we were late, thus we went to India Gate and relaxed by laying on the grass for a while. Then we left for my house which was locked coz my parents were not there. I parked my motorcycle and we had a nap in the nearest park waiting for the first bus in the morning. The security guards woke us up and cooled down only when I showed them my identity and explained that my parents were out of town and their train got late. 😉

We were back in time and my exam went great. 🙂

P.S.: All in all it was a mad experience!