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27/07/06

Driving Dilli-Bhakra-Dilli

If you take Cement enough in quantity to build an 8 ft road around the equator, you will be able to make another Bhakra Dam.... Sounds large isn't it.... Well that’s what Bhakra is all about... Large... Majestic... Something that will make you proud of your country... Behind the Dam is the 96 Kms long Govind Sagar Lake which is one of the largest lakes in India as well.... And I managed to drive down to see it myself last weekend....


The last week was very hectic... daily drives to Gurgaon... and long study hours... I was being trained on a few things... and the result is
~ I am now an ITIL Foundation Certified Consultant... You can read more about ITIL here if you are interested.
~ I managed to learn a few good things about presentations in the last two days of the week... Attended a good workshop on presentation skills...

And Friday is when the drive started.... not from NOIDA this time... but Gurgaon... picked up Aro around 1830 hours after talking to Ankur Gupta and Deepak and freezing the plans to meet at the Azadpur Bypass around 2230 hours.... Reached home around 2030... Took a bath while Aro was talking to mom dad... and moved out at 2130hrs... Did not have dinner as I wanted to use the opportunity to have my favourite paranthas at Murthal...

Met Deepak @ the Bypass... Ankur, who was driving his Petra with me for the trip, was running a bit late. So we three decided to move on and wait for him at Murthal... exactly 36 kms away from there we stopped at Zilmil Dhaba... had dinner... with white mmm butter... Ankur soon joined.... This was the first time I was meeting him, though had talked to him on Orkut and on the phone... but not met otherwise... Met Nidhi... Said Namaste to his mom and dad... and got introduced to Neitya, his daughter...

And there we were, with two Fiat Cars... all set to drive away to glory... I was to follow him on the road... surprisingly I managed to overtake him a number of times... and at all the instances, I was reminded that Petra is a 1600 cc 100 bhp beast that could zoom away in front of me with a li'il effort... but I still managed to keep up with him at speeds of around 110-120 kmph....

Out biggest mistake... a right turn just before Chandigarh towards Shimla/Kalka and then the left from Pinjore which took us to Nalagarh and then Swarghat via one of the worst roads I have ever driven on.... but we still managed to reach Swarghat in good time and were there by 0530 hours... and this where were realised that the Manali highway also reaches the same place in the same distance... bad turn that was before Chandigarh... but anyway.... Ankur here gave me one of the best compliments that I have got about my driving "Prashant tu to Bawlo ki tarah gaadi chalata hai Pahadon par..." "Prashant, you drive like crazy on the hills... " :D I was so happy to hear this... infact when I am driving uphill...Radha handles the roads the best... and there is so much sync between me and her that we literally burn the road :)

Unfortunately, there were no rooms in the new constructed HPTDC Hotel Hilltop in Swarghat... which left us with no choice but to either move to Bilaspur 40 kms ahead or go to Nangal about 50kms downhill.... we decided to go to Nangal....

While driving to Nangal, I realised that fantastic roads I had missed :( but never mind... we reached Kiratpur in about an hour and the took right to reach Nangal via Anandpur Sahib... Nangal does not have a lot of places to stay... so this was now getting a li'il tiring on me.... the entire weekend I was caught up... and even now I was not getting any rest at all... so the body was almost giving up on me... we talked to a Khanna Lodge in Naya Nangal then, no rooms... and then we decided to move a li'il away towards Mehatpur hoping to get a place there... which we did... Hotel Menon... decent place to stay in... the only issue being the construction on the first floor and our rooms had wet walls... and the switch board was more then happy to give us a small electric shock when we touch it with bare hands :) we still managed to stay and sleep comfortably there...

0730 is when we checked in... And I think I went of to sleep almost immediately after I sat on the bed....

woke up because of a few calls at regular intervals... but still managed to get up fresh around 1200 hours... after having a good lunch we headed towards Bhakra... we found out that the route was open only till 1500 hours and that made us rush... We reached the barrier and then were told that the pass is not issued there and we would have to travel about a km back to get the pass to go forward... went back... got the pass... deposited our phone cameras and other cameras there and then moved ahead...

Bhakra is about 18 kms away from Naya Nangal and it took us about 30 odd minutes to reach the dam... fantastic!!! loved the looks of it... I just wish I could have seen water flowing out of it... but could not :( never mind... it was still a good experience to see the dam... next time i go... i will try to get the "Red Pass" that allows you to get inside the dam and get to see the turbines and all... will have to find out how to get that kinda permit...

we then moved to Naina Devi... and came back in good time by 1900 hours... when we reached Naya Nangal it started raining pretty heavy and we drove to Mehatpur in one of the best pours I have seen in sometime... overall this turned out to be a good day !!!

Slept around 2200 hours... with the plan of getting up around 0800 and then moving towards Delhi with a pit-stop at Anandpur Sahib....

We reached the Gurudwara around 0900 hours... light drizzle and the good weather made it all the more interesting... and the place more beautiful... as always... I enjoyed the Halwa at the Gurudwara... finally had something to click... so spent a roll in there... and moved from there after having some food in the langar...

a couple of pits stops for petrol, for bhutta, for Kulfi Faluda in Karnal and for paranthas later, we said Bye Bye to Ankur and Family, then dropped Deepak and Aro at the Kashmiri Gate Metro Station... and reached home safe and sound....

Time for a few things I would remember about from trip and you might want to take note of...
~ 900 kms driven in two days...
~ Saw one of the biggest Lakes in India...
~ I had drove for about 800 kms to gather a lot of mud on the car... and the only part which could be called clean was the windscreen... and one cleaner in the Dhaba @ Murthal cleaned my car :( she was looking so goddam sexy with all the mud and dirt all over her !!!
~ Did not feel like clicking the mountains at all... infact the first day did not even touch my camera... so I guess... I am drifting away from Landscape photography now for sure...
~ The car handled fantastically well on the hills... and looked like I could drive her faster on the curves then on the plains... effortless gear shifting and very responsive acceleration... loved it...
~ To go to Nangal, the best route is to take the Delhi-Manali Highway.... Delhi- Karnal-Ambala-Chandigarh-Ropar-Kiratpur-Anandpur-Naya Nangal should be route...
~ You would find decent accommodation in Mehatpur... there is the hotel Menon where AC rooms are available for 500-600 bucks per day... we spent 2300 for the stay, lunch and Dinner for 7 people.


I am now waiting for Leh to happen... not many days from now, I would be in the Delhi-Manali Volvo on my way to Leh!!!

May God be with Me!!! Amen!!!

19 comments:

  1. aaj ki taaza khabar : bhakra journey details r out :)but where r the pics?

    about the post: very nicely written..
    & ur driving skills on uphill roads r remarkable..
    about the 'red-pass' let me ask my nan saheb..he must know about it.. he worked on that dam project long back :)and he took me there when i was 12. i hv a faint memory of the dam and the lake.,.but it was a huge site nonetheless.would go there again for sure.

    & congrats again.. on ur professioanl achievements :)

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  2. Once again congrats on ITIL.......well done bro........

    i missed the water gushing down the dam too :(

    i have travelled a lot on hills with diff kind of drivers and u r among the safest and smartest one :) i m totally at ease even going on fast on hills in radha with u at driving seat :)

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  3. To echo Deepak's sentiments...
    congrats on ITIL. Very very good work.

    The trip sounds like fun. Especially the first bit of trivia that you started your travelogue with. All the best for the next trip.

    And D has paid your driving-in-the-hills skill such a huge compliment. Although I have no experience of that, I can certainly vouch for the fact, and many times over at that, that you and Radha on Delhi's chaotic roads are magic as well.

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  4. first of all, this was much better write-up, very less grammatical mistakes as compared to earlier ones. better sentences. nice read.

    who is "niche"?

    the cleaner looked sexy????

    gud luck for leh, would be nice

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  5. CONGRATS!!!!

    for ITIL

    So Mr.ITIL Certified Consultant had lots fun in Bhakhra :)

    n i think ur geography is trong :P

    Nice informative post.


    and where r ur pics :P jaldi devlop karao :)


    @burf ..Niche is used here for Ankur's family ..if i m not wrong ..

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  6. @chitragandha
    mishtake main bhi mistake thi :D

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  7. # mayuri

    :) khabar ekdum fresh thi na :P

    thanks...
    and yes... i love driving uphill....

    see if you can help us with the Red-Pass sometime...

    and thanks again...

    # deepak...
    thanks bro...

    i hope to go there again someday and see what we missed...
    thanks for the compliments on driving... i am happy to read this...

    $ sayan...
    thanks...
    and thanks again for the next trip...

    someday you will experience that too... will take you out for a drive for sure someday !!!

    # burf...
    thanks... it means a lot to me to read this from you... you have not been very happy about the way i write.. but phew... its good to read this from you...

    its "nidhi" spell check mein gadbad ho gai...

    the cleaner did not look sexy at all !!! :( she looks so pretty with all the dirt and mud all over...
    thanks..

    # chitra...
    thanks... yea loads of fun :)

    geo.. ishtrong.. nai re :(

    pics would be there by the weekend... rains delayed the process of getting them processed :(

    # deeps
    :D

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  8. @Prashant ...i m looking fwd for pics :)

    n yes geo is ishtrong :p no argument :D


    @deepak ...are itna bhi koi kissi ka mazak nahi udata :((((((((((((((


    aur why calling me Chitrangada :O ..u don call me by that name :P

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  9. Great writing as usual. But moving away from landscape photography? We shall talk after Leh :-p

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  10. wat abt the pics?

    and i guess u dont do rounds of my blog anymore. do u?

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  11. Cool. I was down with temperature the whole weekend, so I didn't feel so bad that I couldn't join you guys (yet another time.)

    Congrats again for ITIL. Way to go!

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  12. all I can say whever I read ur journey posts is काश! मै भी वहॉ होता। I would love to be free like you.

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  13. # chitra...
    the pics were given for processing yesterday evening.. should be with me on saturday night... sunday morning you can see them online hopefully..

    geo.. thanks :P

    # subbu...
    thanks bro...
    about landscapes... i feel most of it is point and shoot... and leh obviously is a place where you can point your camera in any direction and keep clicking... keeping this in mind, I am arranging for a 3.2 MP Nikon CookPix for myself which should be good for about 800 fotos :)

    what say :P

    # burf..
    pics on saturday...

    nope... not getting enough time...

    # rohit...
    abhi kaisa hai tu?

    next time for sure...

    # abhi...
    bhai... i am not free but i still managed to work out a weekend in the month... thats not too tough sach mein !!!

    tu wapas jab india aayega.. then may be we will go together somewhere !!!

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  14. nice writeup prashant,,,i actually had a mild fever since sat night,,kal hi kuch theek hua hai,,also a little upset stomach...seeems umar ho gayi hai ab,,he he he,,,,or maybe my system has become 2 american and needed this indian push before leh..

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  15. i am sure i made a comment here yday :| where did it go?? vaise nice trip :) tune dam ki pics nahi li kya? i wd love to c em..

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  16. excellent read....well written post! trip sounds so so sooooo much fun n whr the pics boss???

    i just love mountains n leh is an amazing place (as seen on tv only)....mujhe bhi jaana hai:((

    may god always be with u:)

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  17. Hey sahi hai yaar that sounds like a short and fun trip!!

    I have driven past Nangal and also seen the Anandpur Sahib gurudwara shinning beautifully at night with all the lights and all! Was surely a great site...

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  18. @ ankur...
    thanks bro... hope you feeling better now...

    u are right... you needed an indian travel tip before leh... looks like you are being prepared for the trip the natural way :P

    # kishley...
    dunno... :( was was written in the comment?

    dam ki pics lena is not allowed... you are supposed to leave all your cameras behind... if there is a scan and you are caught.. the penalty is 5000 bucks...

    # shweta...
    thanks :) the pics are here too :)

    leh mein ghumaunga na tumhe in my pics...

    # bhaskar...
    yo... it was a short and sweet long drive :)
    i am sure anandpur looks great in the night !!!

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