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26/06/06

DeLHi-LaNsDoWnE-HaRiDwAr-DeLhi...

Time for a few statistics first…
~ Total distance: 720 kms
~ Total Petrol Burnt: ~55 lts
~ Approximate Mileage: 13 kmpl
~ Total hours of sleep between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon = 8 hours
~ Total expenditure per head in the trip (total divided between 3 people) < fun ="UNLIMITED" style="font-weight: bold;">Time for some highlights…
~ Buying a Palio was one of the best decisions ever… forget about how much I love the car… the only hatchback which can better the Palio 1.2 is the 1.6 Sports… nothing else !!!
~ The handling of the car on the hills is nothing less then FANTASTIC…
~ A lot of conversations added to the fun in the trip…
~ We did the first 254 kms in a li’il less then 4 hours, which included about 45 kms of hills… which means that the over 210 kms were done in less then 3 hours… an average speed of 70kmph and that too on the roads of UP…
~ I have not driven on a better road in UP then the Meerut-Bijnor-Najibabad-Kotdwar Highway…
~ We witnessed Clouds, Bright Sun, Heavy Downpours, Slight Drizzles, Flooded Highways, Slow Moving Carts, Bribe Taking Policemen, Erratic Drivers, Scenes which ask you scream WOW, and more that words cannot describe…

Some important observations now…
~ Lansdowne is the closest hill station to Delhi at 254 kms… and the great road makes it really really accessible… The route that you have to take to reach Lansdowne is the Delhi- Meerut-Bijnor-Najibabad-Kotdwar-Pauri Route… a right turn after about 20 kms from Kotdwar on the Pauri route takes you to Lansdowne.
~ There is nothing that you can do there (even if you wanted). It’s just a small town on the top of a hill, inside a cantonment area. Your options are take long walks, talk to the people you are with, or just talk to anyone. If you are loner kinds... Its just the place to get away from everyone…
~ Only BSNL GSM works there… yippieeeeeeeeee…
~ There are only 4 hotels/resorts in Lansdowne… two of them are really not worth trying… One of the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam’s guest house and the other one is the Fairy Dale Resort both at walking distance from the Main Market… The fifth option that takes you further away from anything related to humans is the Anand Retreat… About 3 kms away from the Main Market and driving on a 6 ft wide kuchcha road for 2.6 kms you will reach this resort in the middle of nowhere…
~ The best time to leave Delhi for Lansdowne is very very early morning around 0400 hours, this way you will be able to avoid most of the traffic and manage a speed of about 90-100 kmph most of the time with a few exceptions…
~ I would recommend going to Haridwar via Najibabad to anyone who asks me this question… better road, less traffic, better scenes… It would be about 50 kms more then usual, but is worth it…
~ There is an old Shiv Mandir about 45 kms away from Lansdowne called the Tarkeshwar Mahadev. Do not go into that direction in case you are not prepared to drive your vehicle on about 5.6 kms of something that is remotely away from being called a road… the other alternative is to walk those kilometres…

And now let me talk about my experience…

I was kinda scared that I would not be able to make the June Trip… and I was not sure where I wanted to go… I was discussing getting out of Delhi on the ODM day too… and looked like it would be just fine… we decided on the 25th wala weekend and it looked doable… Asked a couple of people... Aseem was ready… Deepak was game… Akash also was keen, though he dropped out at the last minute…

We tried hard to take Rohit along… but there were things that he could not run away from and go with us… so he stay put at his place over the weekend… too bad he missed it…

Aseem and Deepak were at my place by 2100 hours on Friday night, we had thought of sleeping for a few hours before we start an early morning drive… had a nice dinner at the Vishal’s kitchen and managed to sleep only by 0000 hours… rather go to bed around that time… kept talking and managed a sleep of only about a couple of hours… I was the last to sleep and the first to get up… which meant that I was awake at 0230 hours… got ready and woke the rest of the gang up @ 0300 hours… we managed to leave at 0325 hrs from my place and then went to the ATM… and managed to officially start our journey at 0341 hours…

Zoomed past the lesser mortals, took the right turns after asking the policemen about the route on BegumPul in Meerut… I could not believe the kind of road I was driving on the entire way… I was hoping for a much worse experience… actually was prepared for it… but could not really get out of the surprise till we reached Kotdwar… I was comfortably driving at 90-100 km/hr most of the time… oh… we almost hit a lot of stupid crows… who were not ready to fly off the middle of the road till the car was about 50 metres away from them… and we almost hit a few donkeys because they strayed on the wrong side of the road…phew.. that was a close shave… I do not care if the donkey had died on the spot... but a scratch on the car would have been a good enough reason for me to kill the rest of the donkeys and bury the owner alive with all of them!!!


Anyway… I was not really surprised after completing the first 210 kms in about 3 hours… we reached Lansdowne around 0730 hours… and then spent time looking for a place for ourselves… GMVN was booked… Fairydale was booked… we had breakfast there… had read about the kinda paranthas that place makes… but it was just average… I have had better stuff and more then once… so once our stomachs were full, we decided to find another place to stay… tried two very shady hotels in the main market but both of them were full too… so we were not stuck with just one option, the Anand Retreat !!! we talked to the guy there and got a room, a semi deluxe room, in 750 bucks… while driving to the place, it started raining pretty heavily and we reached there in about 30 odd minutes in the middle of a heavy downpour… driving on a mud-stone track in the kind of rain is definitely not one of the best things I have done to Radha… but she was there with me right through and we were safe… checked into the room… and were kinda stunned to see the number of bugs in the toilet… this is not what we had planned ? but there was li’il we could do now… it was raining cats and dogs outside… and we three were stuck in a room in the middle of nowhere… anyway…I decided to take a nap... and quickly fell asleep while watching the TV… got up fresh in two hours… It had stopped raining and Deepak had checked out most of the surroundings… Aseem gave us the idea of getting out of there for good.. and staying somewhere else… we bought it right away and decided to first drive around the place and see whatever we could and then decide what we really wanted to do and where we could stay in the night… went back to the Town, drove to a so called Lake, did not bother to get out of the car, took a u-turn and went to see the St. John’s church, The St. Mary’s Church ( I think I am messing up the name here) and the Tip-n-Top Point… went to snow-view point… and then rushed straight outside Lansdowne to Tarkeshwar Mahadev temple a good 45 kms away… reached there in good time but realised that the last 5.6 kms were mud-stone road… and I was not keen on taking the car there… Deepak and Aseem were not too sure either… so we took a u-turn… parked the car there for a while, had tea from a local shop and started back to Kotdwar… the plan was to reach Haridwar ASAP !!! I was expecting to reach there by 2100 hours… but we made it in good time this time too… Deepak slept on the back seat while me and Aseem talked our way throughout the drive back and managed to reach Haridwar around 2000 hours… nice roads again… beautiful sunset… and also a good 2 hours of conversation… I missed out on atleast a thousand shots because I was driving… I wish to capture them sometime when someone else is driving…

Haridwar was full of people… most of them from Delhi… ?… and that ensured that we did not get a room in Haridwar as well… so a quick decision to go to Rishikesh was taken… and we reached Rishikesh in about an hours time… got a room in the Maduban… this is where we eat most of the time… and this time managed to get a room there for 350 bucks… extra bed for 150 bucks… in all 500 bucks for the night…

Went to Chotiwala for Dinner but it had already closed, checked out a few more places to eat but no luck… and at the end we ate at a small road-side restaurant near the parking for Ram Jhula… not bad eh !!!

Walked back to Maduban, and crashed on the beds… I had opted for the floor… so I managed to enjoy the sleep on the floor… got up at 0400 hours on Sunday… and rushed to Haridwar to catch the Morning Atari… it seemed we were late and we decided to have a bath before going to the Har Ki Pauri… I had the holy bath after a long time… and I loved it… it happened to be some auspicious occasion too which I came to know after I reached home… so I am sure it helped me wash away some of the deadly sins committed by me in the last few months… we went to the famous Mohan Ji Poori Wale, to have the poories, but they had not started serving… so we had to be content with some Khasta Kachauri and some Halwa and some Gulab Jamuns… moved out of Haridwar and reached Roorkee to have the Lassi there, but the shop again was closed.. and this time to keep us company, Aseem bought some Mazaa, some chips, Appy Fizz, and Little Hearts… nice… thereon the struggle to overtake started… there was a bumper to bumper traffic on the opposite side… to over a vehicle I was like waiting for atleast 5 minutes on an average… things became better once we reached the Meerut Bypass… it had started raining too…

We stopped at Kadrabad to have the famous Jain Shikanji… this time it was better then the last 4-5 times I had it… because of less crowd I guess…

By the time we reached Modinagar it had started raining very heavily… and I drove with the left tyres in water throughout the town… the other side of the road was flooded as well with water… rain stopped after Muradnagar… and it was nice drive back home from there… dropped Deepak at the NOIDA Mode… and Aseem drove back to his place in his car which was parked at my place…

So this was the trip!!! I enjoyed writing as much about it as the drive itself… it was nice to know Deepak a li’il more… Aseem was nothing unusual, he has been with me for a number of years now and I more or less know him!!!

And for people who missed out this trip!!! Well I cannot say much but tell them that they missed out on one of the best drives I have ever been to!!!

Oh!!! And Next month, I want to go to Bhakra Nangal… anyone Game?

34 comments:

  1. How much of the trip involved sightseeing and how much involved food is very difficult to say! :D
    Considering that all of you are such big foodies...am not surprised.
    However, what does shock me is this murderous trait in Prashant....be it towards crows or donkeys or people.
    Highly alarming.
    What do others have to say?

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  2. Sahi hai...the trip also sounded like great fun...

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  3. so missed this one which i really wanted to come along but it was difficult as u know...hope next time wen u go out only after august may b...i can join for another sept bonanza to hills...hope that works out well...

    seems this was gr8 fun this time too...n yes as the company was nice n radha was in nice condition too it must b fun trip...

    now waiting for the fotus from u, d & aseem

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  4. Nice... where are the photographs?

    Next month bole to? I am coming to Delhi on 1st August.

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  5. wow.. there is nothing like zooming along over the hills, hitting the speedometer at 90+ kmph ..and yes radha rani rocks :)

    nice to hear that u guys covered a lot of places and experienced an array of weather changing from the bright sun to drizzling to heavy rains.. waiting to see the pics now...

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  6. next month u go alone and i m going to bang u up real bad,,,,saaaley akele akele ghoomta rehta rehta hai...........:-(((((((((((((((((((((((

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  7. excellent trip-o-logue....i wud be writing abt this trip also...give me some time.........no well from yday ....thats why havent uploaded the pics yet :(

    u got the church names right and i feel the best part of the trip was driving up to hills to tarkeshwar .......tho we were not able to visit the temple, the views were awesome and the talks between us was goood...........

    july last weekend....bhakra nangal.....i m game for it.....lets start planning

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  8. # sayan...
    :)

    #kishley...
    :)

    # sayan...
    most of it was sightseeing... we ate food because we had to... otherwise.. it was more of being on the road...

    murderous trait... hmm... you ignited it.. remember the request to kill kidda?

    # bhaskar..
    it was...

    # ankur...
    september hills.. lets see how it works out...

    fotus yes... tmrw may be..

    # subbu...
    next month bole to july !!!

    the landscapes were clicked by Deepak... i did more of street...

    # mayuri...
    i never zoom over the hills.. its too risky.. never over 40kmph... unless the road is too good...

    plains... 100kmph yes...

    oh and yes.. i would appreciate if you do not use the word "rani" with "Radha".. she sounds great with just one word !!!

    the pics would be there tmrw..

    # ankur...
    last weekend of july... Dilli to Bhakra Nangal and back !!!

    #deeps..
    thanks bro...
    yes sure it was... conversation on the way back made things really interesting..

    planning would be taken care of :)

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  9. ok boss :)
    my apologies to radha & u :)

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  10. # mayuri...

    accepted... and radha is smiling after you have taken out the rani thingie from the name :)

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  11. wah re...mast write up hai...agar permission hai to save kar lun?

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  12. trips pe trips...trips pe trips.....gud going n keep going. never ever stop.bhakra nangal....sounds cool.i wish i cud also go places:((

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  13. Bhakra Nangal? I'm in, err, if my weird family doesn't have an issue. Hmph!

    This trip was COOL! You always have to go to Rishikesh huh?! :O

    This time I won't crib...cribbing about family is something I've given up on! I'm glad it was fun for you guys!

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  14. YEAH. SayanDi wanted you to kill me. She's more on murderous thoughts! I'm telling you! :O

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  15. sahi yaar!
    and i'm with Sayani di. what do you mean by you would have killed them? PETA ya Maneka Gandhi ko bulaun kya? waise is issue par stand lene ke liye to main akeli hi kaafi hoon.
    soch ke likhne ka...

    aur pictures dikhao jaldi!!!

    Bhakra Nangal ka plan to last sep se ban raha tha na? ab ja ke bechare dam(n) ki baari aayi. :)

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  16. the little info on your travel blog about this trip does not seem to be in your language. ??

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  17. @ alice...
    totally

    # shweta...
    :) i am hoping you will go places :) soon..

    # rohit...
    i do not want to read something of the "first line" that you have written EVER !!!

    i like Rishikesh and Haridwar...

    good... you will do what you mentioned..

    # rohit..
    hai na :) sayan is kinda murderous..

    # richa...
    One scratch on my car.. and i do not care what PETA does and what Maneka Gandhi Says... take whatever stands you want !!!

    pictures.. not before friday.. am in gurgaon for two days.. not going home :(

    # richa..
    100% of these are my words... where did you find the change?

    for good? for bad?

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  18. Dude
    Mast account of the trip... how come u know so many places.. kya kahan achchaa milta hain.. paranthe poori shikanji et al
    Bhakra Nangal July mein... Count me in
    which weekend .. yeh nahi pata, kyuki mere aane ki date fixed nahi hain... but if it is couple of days then i am surely game for it... itna i am sure u guys will adjust
    Deepak ki pics mast thi
    teri wali bhi dikha fatafat

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  19. haan haan..pata hai. still remember the dhamki i got about being pushed off at the DnD if i said something wrong about her.

    language thodi alag lagi yaar. much more formal. it does go with the tone of that blog. nothing bad. just didn't know that you could write like that as well. :)

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  20. Nangal ummm..not so sure cuz that part of north inida is well visited on bikes and scooters... so i kindalike it that way only[:)]

    BTW m leaving for neemrana fort this weekend ...uski kya report hai

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  21. Oh HOw much i miss....... EVERYTHING.

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  22. # lalit...
    bhai Haridwar and Rishikesh and the route is not new to me... UP ka hoon to thoda bahut pata hona to banta hai na :)

    tu aaja.. phir bhakra nangal dekhte hain !!! my photos... on saturday...

    # richa...
    :) true...

    formal yes... thoda sa differently likhne ki koshish ki thi is baar..

    # aseem...
    hmm... to gaadi bhi bhi chal... kya tension hai..

    Neemraana ke baare mein kuch khaas nai pata bhai.. tu batana aakar..

    # richa..
    for some reason it was not working... its up now..

    # abhi..
    tu wapas aayega to chalenge saath !!!!

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  23. :) dhanyavaad kuch soochnayen humare sath baant-ne ke liye and trip ke baare mein likh ke share karne ke liye...hardik abhari hain hum apke.
    Cheers!

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  24. With Pleasure...

    everytime anytime :)

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  25. Hello,

    Would be very helpful if you could suggest whether going to Lansdownne by road would be the best option as vs taking a train from Delhi-Kotdwara. I am planning to go there with my friends and would appreciate your advice on it.

    Thanks! (in advance)

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  26. I think taking the road would be a better idea, as that would give you a lot of freedom in the area around Lansdowne as well, which otherwise can be hard to move around in.

    Plus the road is much much better than the other UP roads I drove on, so its not going to be too tiring either...

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  27. Thanks! Guess, will drive down in that case.

    Also, another favour: since you've been there, is fairy dale worth getting the advance booking done? Or are there any better places to stay there?

    (thanks, again!) :)

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  28. The last I remember there were just 3 or 4 places where you could stay there, so it does make sense to get an advance booking done...

    Its better than reaching there and discovering that no one has room for you :)

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  29. bhai, nice trip. good for people who like 1-2 day trip. lansdowne is a place which needs to be soaked in, needs time.
    haridwar n rishikesh r good for 2 days. liked d fact abt puri-kachori. must hav been delicious.
    Very mazedaar site

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