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Planning – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 1

bike trip to Badrinath in winter
Before starting the travelogue I would like to introduce myself a little. Describing myself I am not the one zipping and speeding at 120kmph. I respect machines and believe motorcycles are best when it comes to explore places. It balances the fuel and fun well. I term myself as budget yatri. My bike trips are extremely cheap but equally meaningful and I feel good about it. I prefer basic accommodations and eat what locals eat.

I never rush towards my destination as doing so do not let us enjoy the journey. I like to connect those small dots enroute and make a final picture of the journey. Lets start..

Himalayas always fascinated me. I used to wonder of huge mountains and greenish rivers slipping through the deep valleys. I dreamed of shining snow clad peaks standing one behind another and locals busy in their daily routine walking up and down the mountain.

Literature’s of mystical Yogis wandering in Himalayas in search of ultimate truth always motivated me. Somewhat with the same intention and to see if I can stumble upon such mystical Yogis this trip was planned.

Itinerary:
Mumbai to Haridwar on train.

Day 1: Get bike from Rishikesh and ride upto GMVN, Gopeshwar. [210km]
Day 2: Ride till Badrinath or closer and rest in GMVN, Joshimath. [141km]
Day 3: Ride to Auli. Ski if possible and rest in GMVN, Gopeshwar. [80km]
Day 4: Ride to Ukhimath. Trek Deoria Taal and rest in GMVN, Ukhimath. [160km]
Day 5: Return to Rishikesh. Visit Ashrams and local sight seeing. [190km]
Day 6: Stay in Haridwar. Attend Ganga aarti and local sightseeing.

Back to Mumbai.

Packing:
 Recommended for bike trips in Uttarakhand. Items may differ for other mountainous region.


1.Good thermals are must for bike rides in cold regions.  Make sure you have both shirt and pajama. Rupa Thermocot is reliable.
2.A good riding jacket. Sweatshirts, T-shirts and Jeans. With four layers of clothing I still shivered twice during the tour. It’s not the snow which makes us shiver. In fact, I didn’t felt much cold amidst snow in Auli. It is the cold wind which can be troublesome while riding.
3.Take care to carry winter riding gloves. My leather gloves burnt the top part of my two fingers. Regaining full sensation took a week.
4.Purchase Balaclava suited for winters, you will regret with ordinary ones. Purchase somewhat like what I used in one of the pics enroute Badrinath. It has two setting threads; one tightens around the head and other one around the nose.
5.Knee and Elbow guards.
6.A big torch. One which I use costs Rs.350. It is easily available in Mumbai. Best part is it is very powerful and runs for 12 hours if charged full. I remember how this helped me during the Rajasthan trip, when the headlight of Impulse stopped working in a dark night.
7.First aid kit (Paracetamol, Digene, Pudin hara, band aids, small antiseptic bottle, cotton roll, mesh roll used to wrap wounds above cotton, motion control tablets-Lemofen, razor blades, scissor ).
8.I did packed good amount of snacks but after the tour I felt you need not carry that much.
9.Camera and accessories (Charger, tripod). Keep spare memory cards. I almost lost 70 photos when one of the cards stopped working at Auli Ski slope. Luckily it worked later.
10.Bungee cords, nylon ropes, safety pins, 1.5m x1.5m plastic sheet to cover luggage from shower, repair toolkit, safety knife, government district or state map printouts (they are the best), Pen and notepad in case you write.
Rest of the things like routine items, clothes depend upon how light or heavy you prefer to travel. Just remember to carry multiple socks and inner wears 🙂

Mumbai to Rishikesh [Argument with Sanyasi] :

This part was quite eventful. Sleeper coaches were always happening for me. Golden temple mail was crowded as usual. 12-13 army recruits, seemed from Haryana boarded from Gujrat and filled whatever space was remaining around. Their shouting and gali galauj stopped when a well built Sanyasi more like Pierce Brosnan came and sat near us. Shortly one quarter of the coach was attracted with his voice and gathered around us. I was listening him too.

But he kept speaking about the problems. We all knew what sort of problems we have as an Individual and as a citizen. In between he said good people should not run to earn and accumulate wealth. I interrupted him. I said there is nothing wrong in earning wealth. In fact, this is what the dharma of Grihasth (married) is.

It is his duty to generate employment and earn profit by providing quality materials. Later purifying his earning by donation. तन की शुद्धि स्नान से होती है। मन की शुद्धि ध्यान से होती है। और धन की शुद्धि दान से होती है। This is what we are expected to do.

He was hesitating to accept. People started supporting me. Then a good round of discussion started which  ended in an argument. He left the seat and never came back. He came across me outside Delhi station. I passed a smile but he didn’t cared to smile back. I laughed and went on …

I met another interesting guy a nuclear scientist from Bihar. Very simple and shy. He worked at Rawatbhata nuclear reactor in Rajasthan. He went on explaining his training, reactor construction, premises, working of reactor, fuel supply management, storage, new inventions and many secrets advising in last not to share.

From Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station hired an auto rickshaw for Old Delhi station as last local departed just now at 19:00. Negotiated the rickshaw for Rs.100. This is the easiest transport from Nizamuddin to Old Delhi especially  if you have luggage and don’t know Delhi. Rickshaw took 30 minutes but I was not bothered as the connecting train to Haridwar was at 23:45. Reached Haridwar in morning at 05:00.

Boarded state government bus from Haridwar bus stop which is in front of Haridwar railway station. Bus took 40 minutes to reach Rishikesh and charged Rs.35.

Took another rickshaw for Rs.100 from Rishikesh bus depot for Laxman Jhula which is 5km far.
I was to get my mobility from Mountain Fox Adventure, Hrishikesh. Called Ashok ji. He was very prompt to pick up my call at 07:45 in morning. He came to his office on Laxman Jhula road and handed over a good Bajaj Avenger. He was quite helpful in negotiating the deal and accepting my request for a good condition Bajaj Avenger. Recommended for bike rentals and other adventure activities http://motorcyclerentalrishikesh.com/.

bike rentals in uttarakhand, budgetyatri
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