Road #5 Pune – Mahabaleshwar – Pune

At night the road through these ghats had no traffic at all, and at times no lights and no villages nearby…it was completely dark, and the only lights that were visible were the head lights of our bikes. Like a wolf pack, we rode through the twist & turns of these magnificent ghats..

Roaring Knights

Basic Info:

Number Of Traveller(s): 6
Transport: Pulsar 150, Pulsar 200, Honda CBZ
Place: Mahabaleshwar, Maharsahtra
Total Distance Covered: 300 km
Date: Somewhere during March, 2011
Total No Of Days: 1

Intro – The Night Roof Top Party…

This trip was done when i was in 3rd year college and i completely lived on my parent’s money. We had rented an independent Row House which had two floors and it was a beautiful house, there was plenty of open space all around the house, and we could also see the western ghats mountains from the roof top.
So the party began at about 9 pm and we all gathered for some amazing time at the roof. A friend of mine really liked to cook, and he volunteered to cook chicken for all of us, and so we decided to bring everything(including the gas cylinder and stove) to the roof top…

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Road #5 Pune – Mahabaleshwar – Pune

Basic Info:

Number Of Traveller(s): 6
Transport: Pulsar 150, Pulsar 200, Honda CBZ
Place: Mahabaleshwar, Maharsahtra
Total Distance Covered: 300 km
Date: Somewhere during March, 2011
Total No Of Days: 1

 

Intro – The Night Roof Top Party…

This trip was done when i was in 3rd year college and i completely lived on my parent’s money. We had rented an independent Row House which had two floors and it was a beautiful house, there was plenty of open space all around the house, and we could also see the western ghats mountains from the roof top.
So the party began at about 9 pm and we all gathered for some amazing time at the roof. A friend of mine really liked to cook, and he volunteered to cook chicken for all of us, and so we decided to bring everything(including the gas cylinder and stove) to the roof top and cook some chicken. In the end it was all about drinking, laughing and cooking chicken. The party was going on great and the cool night breeze made it even better.
Finally, the Chicken was ready and without wasting any time we all ate it and by god it was delicious. We thanked Sunil who had volunteered to make the chicken and he was a a very jovial and a enthusiastic guy. Good man, who made some gooood chicken!

“I want some strawberry after dinner” – The Plan gets hatched.

After the dinner got over, someone, i don’t remember who, said that he wants to have some strawberry, and this demand actually was the spark that led to this midnight trip to Mahabaleshwar. I can’t remember who the damn guy was, but thanks to him everyone then wanted to have strawberry after dinner. And of course we did not have strawberry with us at that time, but we all knew where to go and get some the best strawberries in India – In that moment we decided to ride on our bikes to Mahabaleshwar.
I decided to ride pulsar-150 which belonged to my friend Dhiru, actually i had learnt to ride on this bike only. There was another pulsar that belonged to Sunil, and we had a CBZ which belonged to my friend Arun. So, total of 6 guys on 3 bikes decided to ride through the night, along the western ghats and reach Mahabaleshwar before morning sunrise. My pillion rider was a cool guy from Goa named Partha. He was not in the party but he joined us later for the ride.

The Bike Ride through the ghats…

The road was pretty awesome, specially the long tunnels made by cutting the mountains, and at times i felt as if i was the great Italian Moto racer legend Valentino Rossi riding through these well lit tunnels. At night the road through these ghats had no traffic at all, and at times no lights and no villages nearby…it was completely dark, and the only lights that were visible were the head lights of our bikes. Like a wolf pack, we rode through the twist & turns of these magnificent ghats. In about 4 hrs we had reached Mahabaleshwar, and the time was, i think, 4 AM.

Finding a place to stay…everyone goes down…except the 3 of us – Avi, me & Partha

After reaching Mahabaleshwar, we had some tea and something to eat. After talking with each other for a while and checking our bikes, we decide to find a place to put down our bags and some of us were feeling a bit sleepy too. So we found a place nearby, pretty cheap at 300 Rs, and after resting for a while, me, Avi and Partha were the only guys who were still awake. We decided to go to a magnificent fort of Shivaji and see the morning sunrise there. Though, we were also feeling very sleepy, but the morning breeze of Mahabaleshwar rejuvenated us and infused a fresh strength in the three of us.

Unforgettable Morning Tea At Shivaji’s fort. Gods descended down…conversation with Avi.

After reaching the fort, i just stood there for a while, then i sat on top of the fort wall with my feet facing outside. The view was mesmerizing. Just then a boy came to sell some tea, we decided to have some and wait for the sun to rise. Finally the sun came up and as soon as the first rays landed on my eyes, i was completely engulfed in total cosmic peace. I felt as if Shivaji had himself come and blessed us who were sitting on this fort. The mind was calm and no thoughts came at that moment…it was a godly feeling that cannot be expressed in words but only can be felt through an experience. Avi was standing close by and i remember telling him that this place is blessed with a great positive energy and the experience of which i will never forget. After a while we all left and came back to our hotel….and we crashed on our beds.
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Breakfast with everyone – Strawberries finally! & the ride back to Pune.

After a while we all went out, ate some breakfast and finally we found a strawberry farm a few miles away. We stopped, we saw and we ate like Kings. We also got almost 10 kgs of strawberries packed to take it with us back to Pune. The ride back was also good, not as thrilling as the ride at night, but it was still good to ride through the ghats again. We reached back to Pune in the evening and after reaching we again sat and ate strawberries that we had brought from Mahabaleshwar.

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Conclusion

So, this short trip was completely impromptu, i will remember this trip for the delicious chicken prepared by my good friend Sunil, for the midnight ride through the ghats, the strawberries of Mahabaleshwar, and the early morning tea at Shivaji’s fort. The friendship that i had with my buds became even more stronger after this trip. Thank you all for reading this blog, let me know what you think in the comments below. Cheers!

Road #4 Delhi – Chalaal – Tosh – Delhi

Basic Info:

Number Of Traveller(s): 1
Transport: Himachal Roadways Volvo
Place: Kasol, District Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India
Total Distance Covered: 1200 km
Date: Mid March 2015
Total No Of Days: 4

Prelude:

The mysticism of the Himalayan mountains can intrigue every soul, and i am no different. I have always been fascinated by the amazing size and beauty of the Himalayas. Unlike other mountain ranges, the Himalayas are not just one mountain range, instead, they are multiple ranges one after another. They are a cradle of spiritual well being, knowledge, and most importantly they are a path to discover yourself. No wonder, for thousands of years, countless Indian monks and sages have traveled through the length and breadth of the great Himalayas to seek salvation. This history shows that we are a nation of seekers rather than just believers.
Going to the Himalayas to find god is not the aim, instead, the aim has always been, for thousands of years, to seek the truth. In this land, finding heaven or god is not the highest goal, instead the highest goal has always been nirvana. Even today, the goal is the same for a large number of people in India.
I planned this trip just to take a break from my everyday work which was taking a toll on me and i was waiting to get engulfed in the mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayan mountains.

DAY-1 (Altitude: 4000 feet)

The morning light woke me up, and i felt the twist and turns that the bus was taking through the mountains. The morning tea stop was at the  Sher-e-Punjab dhaba(roadside restaurant) in Himachal Pradesh. As soon as i got out of the bus, i felt a rush of fresh air, it was as sweet as honey, and i just stood there for a while taking deep breaths.
After the brief stop at the dhaba we carried on and in about two hours i had reached Bhunter bus stop. From Bhunter the straight road goes to Kullu, and the other one goes to Manikaran. I took a local bus which was going to Manikaran, and i had planned to get down at small road side Shiva temple which was about 3 km before Kasol. The local bus ride through the valley is pretty scary,  the road is so narrow that the bus often used to go near the edge of the road, and i could hear the sound of the Parvati river flowing almost 200 feet below. I got down at the small Shiva temple, from there i crossed a shaky bridge to the other side of the river to a small village of Katagla. I had met a local guy in the bus and it was he who told me about this little village. From Katagla i took the wrong trail and after walking for about 15 mins, i was lost. I found a local lady who stopped me from going any further as there were no more villages up the mountain. So, i came down and and then i met a Russian girl with a baby. She was very helpful and she guided me to a trail that led to the village of chalaal, which was also on the banks of the Parvati river. I was walking through this village when i met two brothers who were from Mandi and they were running a house hut for travelers. They offered me accommodation for 400 rupees per day and i gladly accepted the offer. On the ground floor was just the kitchen, the rooms were on the first floor, and there was also an amazing open space, just outside the rooms, for everyone to sit and enjoy. I sat outside my room and within minutes it started raining, the air was so damn sweet! I felt that lord Shiva himself had embraced that place. While there was a thunderstorm, the owners sat down with me and we chatted on for hours. The food that they served was a simple rice and dal, which was very delicious. The night set in, and almost the entire village was asleep, only me and a local cook who was preparing food for me were awake. After a while i switched on the speakers, which were provided by the owners, and i started listening to High Hopes by Pink Flyod. The sound of this beautiful western track intermingled with the sound of the holy Parvati river flowing just a few meters away from where i was staying, this mix was so extraordinary that i completely felt at peace within me.

 

After a while, a guy walked up the stairs and came to where i was sitting, he had herd the music that i was playing and he wanted to join me. Like me, he was also a great fan of the 1970s western music. I do not remember the name of the person, but he was from Gurgaon, and he was staying in Chalaal since one month. He told me that he planned to go back to Gurgaon only after all his money got finished. So now there was me, the unknown guy, and the cook, we were all sitting together and we discussed almost everything from spiritual well being to the mysticism of the Parvati valley. During all this, i got to know from them about some amazing trekking routes in the valley, and almost immediately i decided to go for one of the treks next morning. In between, the cook took out some Malana cream from his pocket and rolled up a joint for the three of us. There is a joke in Kasol, that nobody will steal your unattended money or belongings in Kasol, rather if you leave a lighter or some Hash unattended, they you are never going to find it again. Anyways, after a while i thanked everyone for their company and i decided to go to sleep at about 3 AM.

Day – 2 (Altitude: 5300 feet to 8000 feet)

I got up a bit late the next morning, and after spending a few hours with everyone i started walking towards the main town of Kasol which was a 30 min walk from Chalaal. Just before entering Kasol i had to cross a shaky bridge and the full fury of the Parvati river was flowing below it. On reaching Kasol, i spotted a Shambhu momos(dumplings?) shop, i sat there and i had two plates of delicious momos. I sincerely recommend the readers to do try Shambhu momos if they ever plan to go to Kasol. Now i went to a restaurant called the evergreen cafe, and i had a nice Spanish breakfast there. After going around Kasol for a while, i decided to take a local bus to a place named Barshani, and from there i planned to trek to the village of Tosh.

I took the bus at 1 PM, and in about 30-40 mins i was at Barshani, which was the last stop of the bus as there is no proper road after Barshani. From Barshani there are two trails, one goes to Kheer Ganga and the other one goes to Tosh. In the bus i had made a few friends and they invited me to trek with them. They took me via a more challenging route and it was a pretty tough trek, i can recommend this route to only those who have no fear of heights and have done tough treks in the past. This route is literally an 80 degree climb over a hill, but i must say that if you do this dare then you get treated to a breath taking view of the snow clad Himalayan mountains. We sat on a plain grass land, listened to some traditional blues music and looked on at the mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayan range in complete awe. We continued our climb and after crossing a small bridge we reached the entrance of the village, from there it was again a 10 mins trek to a place called Hill Top, which was literally at the top of the village, and i was able to get a decent room with an amazing view for just around 600 Rs a night.

Me and few of my trek buddies sat down inside the place and chatted for a long time, and i did not realize that it was almost time for dinner. We also sat down with some locals, some Israelis and we all had a pretty amazing time. A few Israelis were also smoking the local Hash and they were kind enough to pass it around to everyone. The weather was pretty cold and i remember that in the end we also had some flavoured Vodka, sitting outside, to beat the chill. After eating a huge dinner i ended up going to bed pretty pretty late, i don’t remember what time it was, but i guess in that little get together of ours,  none of us had any track of time and i was glad about it. The Parvati valley has it’s own way of helping you to not worry about time or even money. The most important thing during that moment was to cherish what we have, not worry too much about the future, and always be helpful to each other. Sitting at 8000 feet above sea level, at the far end of the Parvati valley, i felt as if mother Parvati had herself blessed us in one way or the other. In her grace, we found our moment of peace and tranquility.

DAY – 3 (Altitude: 8000 feet)

I got up the next day and by god the view from my balcony was so damn beautiful, rich snow clad mountains, i can never forget it nor i can ever forget the sweet fragrance in the air of the valley. I just sat in the balcony, listening to Buddhist chants of “om mani padme hum” 108 times over and over again for hours. I guess i was in a state of deep meditation. After all this, i decided to get ready, order some breakfast and leave back for Kasol. I had a good breakfast and after a while i met with everyone, specially my trek buddies, and i thanked them for their company. I left the place with no souvenirs, but with loads of good memories.

Now, while trekking back to Barshani, i met an Israeli girl, and she told me that she was lost and did not know the way to Barshani. So i told her that she can come along as i was also going to Barshani. While trekking together we spoke about our adventurous experiences, cultures and countries. Her name was Edhi, and she was a village girl from Israel, and it was great to know that she had also served in the Israeli army for 3 years. Moreover, she showed me some pics of her tomato farms in Israel and in return i showed her pics of my sugarcane farms in Haryana 🙂 :). To put it in a nutshell, we both had a very informal conversation and i learnt a lot of new things by having this talk. In the end we were so fascinated that we ended up comparing our driving licenses, and i still don’t know why we did that, maybe it was just plain mutual curiosity. Between all this we had also taken the Bus to Kasol and in about 30 mins we reached our destination. After getting down, i had to travel to Kullu to catch my bus as i was leaving for Delhi that very day. I thanked Edhi for her company and wished her well for her travels and life, and she too thanked me for helping her.

In about half an hour, at about 4:30 pm, i took the local bus to Kullu to catch my Volvo bus ride to Delhi. I reached Delhi early morning the next day and i was not really happy to see all the mad rush of Delhi city. But i promised myself to return to the Parvati valley again someday to rekindle my love for the holy Himalayan range.
I write because down the years i’ll read it all again to know that i had a great life with many sweet memories. Thanks for reading my blog, i know it is not perfect but i try and improve everyday. Stay tuned for Road #5 which would feature a time from my college days and a midnight ride through the western Ghats in Maharashtra.

 

Road #3 Delhi – Pushkar – Delhi

Basic Info:

Number Of Riders: 2
Transport: One Royal Enfield Classic 350
Place: Pushkar, District Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
Total Distance Covered: 900 km
Date: 19th Nov 2015  to  22nd Nov 2015
Total No Of Days: 4

Prelude:

For me, the love for Rajasthan is never ending, so i again decided to travel to Rajasthan and what better place to go to other than the small town of Pushkar during the Puskhar mela(Fair). It was not just the fair that attracted me to Puskhar, but the fact that i wanted to ride my bull(Royal Enfield) all the way, 430 km to the interior of Rajasthan. I was more excited about the long ride than just going to Pushkar. I had never gone so far on my Enfield, the mere thought of the ride gave me an adrenaline rush.
I got my Enfield serviced a week before, washed and clean, she was looking just beautiful, all set and ready to roar through the hinterland of the great plains of Rajputana.
Rajasthan is all about culture, warrior spirit, and hospitality, you can find some of the nicest people living in Rajasthan.

Day 1 (19th Nov 2015, Thursday, Time: 6 am):

I woke up early on the day i was riding, but my friend who was riding with me got up a bit late. We had decided to leave by 6 am but ended up leaving at 9:30 am. This was pretty late for a 430 km ride. Finally we left, and got stuck in the morning Gurgaon Traffic, it was a nightmare! But we finally reached national highway 8 and were on our way to Pushkar. In between, my Enfield stopped all of a sudden, and it refused to start for about 20 min. Finally, after a while, it just started and we roared on the highway.
Our first break was at Dharuhera, 80 km from Delhi. I was really enjoying the ride on NH-8, it was a good four lane road, and the warm winter sun was shining to it’s full capacity.
For 200 km, little short of Jaipur, everything was going fine, but then we started feeling fatigued. By god, now we could not do more than 30-40 km in one go. My entire back body started paining,  and we were still 240 km from Pushkar. Just looking at the milestone made us more fatigued. In all this, the best part was the little tea breaks we had at the roadside stalls, we spoke to many people there, and they were amazed to see two guys riding all the way to Pushkar from Delhi. There were even people on the Highway who looked at us and waved at us. I do not know whether they were amazed to see us go, or just thought they we were mad to ride 430 km. All this made us forget how tired we were and we again started to enjoy the ride.  

Soon the scenery changed, and we could see barren land all around us, with almost no vegetation cover. Now i felt that i was truly riding in the plains of Rajasthan. With the scenery, the food also changed, the taste of spicy Rajasthani tadka(mix of different spices) made us rejuvenate again. It was almost 6:30 pm and we could see the sun slowly setting in front of us. At this point we were still between 80-90 km from Pushkar. After a while i switched on my RE’s headlight, and we were now riding after sunset. This was a pretty busy highway, we had loads of trucks travelling on side lanes,  we somehow navigated our way through them, i must say that my riding skills improved after this trip.
Now the GPS showed that we were only 20 km from Pushkar, but when we checked with the locals, we were still a good 50 km from our destination, we almost dropped hearing that we were still 50 km away. I think the GPS lost signal somewhere in between and it did not update the distance. Anyways, we again gathered our strength and moved on towards our destination.
We arrived at Pushkar by-pass road and left the Ajmer road. This was a pretty complex bypass and we had to take a number of turns before reaching the correct road.
The bypass was a narrow single lane road, with no lighting, we just saw a single village along this entire stretch of about 15 km.
Finally, we reached Pushkar, and we were to go to place called Sukha’s place in the outskirts of the town. I had made no prior booking, i just saw this place on the net and found it interesting. I spoke to the guy in-charge, who assured me an accommodation upon my arrival.
Sukha’s place was basically on a farmland, behind was a bit of vegetation, and on the front side he had made his guest house which had proper rooms, round red colored huts, and an open lounge comprising of a pool table and an awesome music system which regularly played western tracks or Indian trance music. We and the owner were the only Indians there, rest of the crowd was from Israel and some were from Canada. This was an awesome place, the music still reverberates in my ear whenever i think of this place. The walls were painted with beautiful pictures of lord Krishna and local art forms. We stayed in one of the rooms, the rent was a decent 800 Rs per night. We had a couple of beers, had a little bit of food with the Israelis,  many Israelis were smoking local hash, and they all were having a good time. Before going off to bed, i played a friendly game of pool with an Israeli named Ombri, who had become my friend while having dinner. Sukha had put in place a bonfire too, and we all spent hours talking to each other before going off to bed.  

Road #2 Delhi – Lansdowne – Delhi

Basic Info:

Number Of Travellers: 3
Transport: One Honda ivtech
Place: District Pauri Gharwal, Uttrakhand, India
Total Distance Covered: 560 km
Date: 18th Sept 2015  to  20th Sept 2015
Total No Of Days: 3

Prelude:

I started planning for this trip when one day i was navigating through google maps, and i saw this small cantonment town named Lansdowne, tucked away in the Himalayan mountains of Pauri Gharwal district, in the Indian state of Uttrakhand. I started reading about it, i saw a lot of beautiful pictures of this place on the internet, and right then i decided to travel to Lansdowne in a few days.
Initially, i had decided to ride to this place on my Royal Enfield classic 350, but when i told my parents about it, while talking to them i realized that it had been so long since i had gone out with them. I was going to places with my friends or on my own at times, but not at all with my parents. So, i finally decided to drive to Lansdowne with my parents, rather than riding there on my Enfield.
Lansdowne is a very small town, there are not many options where one can stay, but there are a few hotels near the center of the town,there are also a number of huts maintained by the GMVN(Gharwhal Mandal Vikas Nigam) at a place called "Tip-n-Top", a few km from the center of Lansdowne. The cost of one hut, per night, ranges from Rs2200 to Rs 6000.
A few options were available to us, but we decided to stay at the amazing Gharwal Rifles mess. My father had asked one of his former fellow officer and good friend, who was a former Gharwal Rifles officer in the IA(Indian Army), to book a room in the officer's mess inLansdowne. The booking was done two days in advance from the day ofdeparture.

Day 1 (18th Sept 2015, Time: 5:30 am)

We left our place at around 6:30 am, crossing through sarai kale khan road in Delhi, i took a turn towards the Ghaziabad bypass road and eventually arrived at national highway-58 towards Merrut. Till Muradnagar, there is some traffic, but after crossing it there is the normal highway traffic. I was able to maintain a speed of around 80-90km/hr. After bypassing Merrut, we reached a small town of Khatauli, where we took a 30 mins break. From Khatauli, we left the Muzaffarnagar road and headed for Bijnor, Najibababad and Kothdwar route. This highway is also known as Pauri highway. From Kotdwar, the mountainous road starts all the way till Lansdowne. The total distance from Kothdwar to Lansdowne is about 50 km. After crossing Kothdwar, comes a bridge over the mighty Ganges river, and  there is a small Shiva temple named sidhbali near a well maintained ghat, which one can also visit.
After going on for a few km, something terrible happened, and as a result i learnt a lot about mountain driving, the hard way. A truck was coming in the opposite direction, the road was narrow and only one of us could have passed through. I stopped my car on the left and allowed the truck to pass first, but as the truck approached, i somehow misjudged the space on my left and as a result the front left wheel went into a small ditch. One of the back wheels of the car lifted up and hence i was not able to reverse and pull the car out of the ditch. I was in a soup! While we were deciding how to get the car back on the road, a local guy travelling in his car saw us, he stopped and offered to help. So, here is what we did, we took two big stones and placed them just behind the front wheel. Some more people came in and with the strength of their arms they were able to put weight on the back side of the car so that the back wheel gets back on the road. I took the wheel, put the car in reverse gear, and with a little bit of accelerator, we all were able to get the car back on the road. It was a good team work, and before going we thanked each and every one of the local guys who had helped us. This incident also shows the optimistic and helpful nature of the people of Gharwal.

Road to Lansdowne
Road to Lansdowne

I learnt that driving in the mountains has to be much more disciplined than driving in the plains. There are a few things i would like to share with the readers regarding some basic rules of driving in the mountains, for a safe journey, these basic rules must be kept in mind.
Firstly, if the road is narrow, then the vehicle that is ascending has a right of way. So, the vehicle that is coming from the top should give way to the ascending vehicle. This is because, the tyres of the ascending vehicle have a risk of skidding, losing control, and sliding downwards while breaking and then accelerating.
Secondly, if you are going slower than the vehicle(s) coming behind you, then it is your duty to give it way and let it overtake you.
Thirdly, one of the most important rule to follow is that the gear in which you go up should be the same gear in which you should come down. Fourthly, never ever change your gear to neutral. The car/bike is in much more control if its in gear, you will have much more control over your vehicle.
All these rules are courtesy my father, he has extensive experience driving in some of the most dangerous mountainous roads in Sikkim and also in Kashmir.
The road going to Lansdowne is a narrow two lane road, and at certain turns there is not enough space for two vehicles to pass simultaneously, so the vehicle going down, generally, stops at one of the, purposely built, wider turn at every few km, and it makes way for the other vehicle to pass. After passing through some awesome twists and turns, we finally reached the town of Lansdowne, at an altitude of 5,600 feet.

After reaching the place, we directly went to the mess of the Gharwal rifles, and to my amazement, the guest bungalow was over one century old. It was built in the early 1900s by a British Indian army officer, named Lt.Col Robert Montgomery. The bungalow had a total of four huge rooms, each converted into a guest room, our’s was the Roberts’s#4 room. In fact, the entire bungalow was named after the officer.
When i came out of my car, the first thing that i felt was the sweet fresh air! The air was so smooth and sweet, i could feel the oxygen reaching the inner most parts of my lungs. As i walked the short distance towards the bungalow from the car parking, on my left i could see the beautiful, lower Himalayan range of the Pauri Gharwal, it was a beautiful first sight from Lansdowne. I walked further and reached the huge entry gate of the bungalow, i noticed a small board on the left side, which had a few lines written about the bungalow and its original owner.
The story goes like this, after Lt.Col Robert had built the bungalow, he decided to put some stairs and raise another floor over the ground floor, but that night when he had decided the plan, a group of angles came in his dream and they told him not to built another floor as it would become an obstruction to their path to the holy Kedarnath shrine in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. Ignoring what the angles told Robert, he decided to go ahead with the construction of the floor. Robert did complete the construction, but just after a few days, legend has it, that he went completely blind, and died. The first floor that he had built still stands. The bungalow, was built with huge stone walls, which can still be seen, the interior has wooden flooring and a huge ceiling height. The stairs were also completely wooden. Entering the bungalow, i went back 100 years, such was the beauty of Robert’s place.

Robert's Bungalow from the outside
Robert’s Bungalow from the outside
Robert's bungalow from the inside
Robert’s bungalow from the inside

I sat outside, with a cup of tea in my hand, i could not think about anything else but the mesmerizing beauty of Himalayan mountains.

There is something truly mystic about these mountains, they bring in a lot of peace within you. No wonder, many Indian sages and saints travel to these mountains for dhyan(meditationand gyan(spiritual knowledge). After resting for a few hours, we went to a place called Tip-n-Top, which was another 5 km ahead of Lansdowne and at a height of more than 300 feet above Lansdowne. This place has got some good independent huts to stay in. There are a lot of view points here, you can go to any one to them and have a look at the breath taking scenery. After tip-n-top, we went to the local market, which barely had a few shops surrounding a circular junction. There is nothing much in the market, the entire place is just huge cantonment area of the IA’s Gharwal rifles, it is also a huge recruiting and training center for the men of the Gharwal.

Just after sunset, we were back to the mess, after having some snacks and a bit of walking outside, it was time for dinner. The dinning area was a 5 min walk from the place where we were staying. The army mess served a typical fauji food, not too lavish, not too ordinary, it was just perfect, i mean everything was just perfect, just like everything else in the IA. After having dinner,  i went outside for a long walk, i must have walked for about one hour in the amazing weather of Lansdowne. After finishing my walk, i went back and off i was to sleep. Tomorrow, we had decided to go to a 3000 year old Shiva temple named Tarakeshwar. 

View from tip n top point
View from tip n top point

Road #1 Delhi-Alwar-Bhangarh-Sariska-Delhi

Basic Info:

Number Of Riders: 1
Transport: One Royal Enfield Classic 350
Place: District Alwar, Rajasthan, India
Total Distance Covered: 600 km
Date: 1st Jan 2015  to  4th Jan 2015
Total No Of Days: 4

Prelude:

The idea to do this trip came to me, when i read about Bhangarh fort, near Alwar, and the supernatural stories associated with it. I also read about the experiences of many people who visited Bhangarh, and my curiosity grew as i wanted to go and see the place for myself. The pictures, that i saw of this place, on the net were so beautiful, the road, the fort plus the amazing Aravali range surrounding the place, all of this inspired me to ride to this place on my Royal Enfield.
So, around the end of December, 2014 i started planning my trip, the routes that i'll be taking, all the stuff needed and most importantly getting my Enfield serviced so that i have no major problem during the trip. I and one of my very good college friend decided to do the trip starting on 1st Jan 2015, but then i got to know from my friend that he did not have a holiday on the 1st and hence he will not be able to accompany me. This was very unfortunate for me as one of my very good friend was now not coming along and also i knew that my parents would not at all allow me to go to Bhangarh on my own and that too on a bike, as they knew that the Indian Highways are not very safe and i did somewhat agreed with them. So, there was a brief deadlock before the new year and i began to think that my plan for a solo trip will not take place.
But, then i made a choice, a decision that would be very sacred to me, i decided to do my first solo trip. My parents of course did not agree with me and i understood their concerns but i somehow convinced them on the morning of the 1st and i left, a bit late, at about noon.

Aravali Foothills