All posts filed under: Travelogues

North India bike trip -2: Shimla and Narkanda

This is the second post from the North India Bike Trip travelogue. Read the first North India bike trip 1 – Murphy’s law in action. To summarize the first day, after missing my flight, I had to purchase the overpriced ticket to Delhi. Later, my rented bike came out faulty. It took extra hours and tons of patience to reach Shimla. Delhi to Shimla Roads from Delhi to Shimla was in a perfect condition. You can literally cruise once you are out of Delhi’s traffic. Reached Chandigarh around 11 AM with breaks. Took right from Chandigarh for Shimla. On the way, I encountered unexpected rain resulting in wet clothes and luggage. As I moved up the mountain, wet socks became irritating under cold winds. Stopped next to a bus stop, removed wet socks, put on a dry one, wrapped legs with garbage bins and tied with zip ties and wore the wet shoes back. Garbage bins secured my dry socks with wet shoes. I was good to go 🙂 With increase in ascent, the bike …

North India Bike Ride Travelogue

North India bike trip – 1: Murphy’s law in action

This was supposed to be the dream trip. Every detail was planned. But what fun it is when things goes as you expected. Life becomes spicy when we experience bad luck and failures. This is because then we have the chance to bring out something from inside and make the things correct again. This is where satisfaction comes in.A few bad chapters doesn’t mean your story is overInitially it was a solo trip to Spiti. Though it would be winter in Spiti and rarely people travel there due to rough condit

Strolling around Mumbai on Cycle – Tips and Experiences

Bicycles have been one of my best childhood memories. My first love, a gearless Hercules AXN. How could I sleep that night? That night ended waiting for tomorrow’s light. We were together for 4 years before it was stolen. Tried luck second time with second-hand Ranger Swing, unfortunately, that too remained for a couple of months before getting stolen. Now, after 12 years I have the pedal back. Yes, a long wait indeed 🙂 The excitement was same as it was on the first day with my first cycle. I take it to my office daily riding 4.5 km one way on the chaotic Mumbai roads. Can’t express the joy of getting on the seat and feeling the breeze. After trying my hands for one month, felt like I should take it for a tour around Mumbai. So friends, take your popcorns sit back and enjoy the post. And yes, do not forget to comment. You don’t know how much your two words make me feel. Preparation Frankly speaking, I had no clue of the kind of …

North India Bike trip – 3: Golden Temple and Attari Wagah border

This is the third post of North India bike trip. Here is the first and second post. My time in the mountains was over and I had to reach Amritsar by today evening. Packed up and left Shimla in the morning. With no traffic, Shimla to Chandigarh was a fast ride. Took the following route for Amritsar. Shimla -> Chandigarh -> Rupnagar -> Phagwara -> Jalandhar -> Amritsar. A major portion of the route was two lanes divider-less highway. With lots of towns and cities coming in, it burnt a good amount of time. Ulte haath se mood jao I remember a nice man directing the route to the highway in Chandigarh. Standing at a junction, I asked him ‘Bhaiyya Amritsar jana hai, kaunsa rasta jaayega?’’ He said ‘Yaha se sidha jao, phir ulte haath ghum jana. Aage jaakar phir se ulte haath ghum jaana. Chauda rastaa aayega waha se phir ulte haath ghumna hai. Thoda sidha jaakar ulte haath par highway aa jaayega’ I was shaking my head vigorously at every ulte haath and before …

North India Bike Trip – 5: Mathura Vrindavan

It was a beautiful morning. Air in Agra had a different smell. I decided to leave Agra as early as possible. If I could do so, I would have enough time to roam around Mathura, Vrindavan and reach Delhi before the Sun sets. Agra to Mathura Took the national highway NH19 instead of Yamuna Expressway. National highway was really in a bad shape throughout the route. Moving consistently without break reached Mathura around 10 AM.  Paid visit to the Baba Jai Gurudev Temple located right on the highway. Left the bike and luggage with the shoe keeper and went inside the temple. The temple has glittering white marble all around and is a sheer beauty. Prayed and meditated, took blessings and left for Vrindavan. The long narrow road which leads to Banke Bihariji temple is lined with a number of temples and ashrams. The road gets choked due to traffic. Left the bike and luggage trusting a paan Wala. Paid him Rs. 100 to trust me 🙂   The place was still dipped in the …

North India Bike trip – 4 : Taj Mahal via Yamuna expressway

Back on the saddle left Kurukshetra early morning. Read previous posts of this series Delhi to Shimla, Shimla Narkanda, and Amritsar post. Ride till Delhi was super smooth and zero traffic. Delhi to Agra on a bike can be made with Yamuna Expressway or the old national highway. I took the Greater Noida Highway and entered the Yamuna Expressway. It was going to be a hard afternoon ride on the concrete. I wished if I had Superbike here. 100 kmph seemed nothing. Do’s and Dont’s for bikers on Yamuna Expressway 1. Yamuna Expressway or Taj Expressway is access controlled like other expressways. It is fenced throughout the distance. One cannot enter or exit anywhere in the middle. 2. Are bikes allowed on Yamuna expressway?  Yes, bikes are allowed on Expressway. 3. The road is six lane and has concrete throughout the route. 4. The toll for bikes on Taj Expressway from Delhi to Agra was Rs. 150 in 2016. 5. Is the Expressway safe for bikes? Absolutely, if someone follows the traffic rules. With rules, I mean; a. …

Weekend Bike trip to Dahanu & Bordi beach: Day 2/2

The night was unexpectedly cold. Yesterday’s ride from Mumbai to Bordi was not much tiring. Woke up at 5:30 AM and left for Bordi beach to watch the Sunrise. Bordi beach was almost deserted except for some fishermen and joggers. You can take your motorcycle or 4 wheeler on the beach. It’s wide enough to practice drifting 🙂 The morning was spectacular.   Bordi Beach: Spent an hour practicing photography. I was silly enough to forget my camera battery in the room though managed with Vishwanath’s camera battery. Spotted a Neem tree on the shore. Used twigs for cleaning the dental. It felt so nice to sit under the open sky in front of the blue ocean on the white sand and moving the twigs swiftly round and round in the mouth. My heart whispered this is the moment you keep looking for. And it happens, we go a long distance in search of something. And ultimately spot the happiness in some tiny moment. I feel this is what the moment of life is. The …

sigma lens review

Weekend Bike trip to Dahanu and Bordi beach: Day 1/2

Dahanu and Bordi beach are popular weekend getaways for Mumbai folks. The place remains less crowded compared to other tourist spots like Lonavala, Alibaug and Matheran. And therefore, it becomes an ideal place for people seeking a peaceful, quiet and beautiful place Mumbai to Dahanu Beach: It was around 12 PM on Saturday that Vishwanath and I decided to leave for Bordi beach. Packed bare minimum and left Mumbai at around 3 PM. The distance between Mumbai to Bordi beach is no more than 160KM. That means around 2.5 hours of a bike ride. NH 8 was excellent throughout. Took left from National Highway towards Dahanu. The road from Highway to Dahanu beach is just awesome. The unexpected cold wind on this road made us feel the winter. Wide road with invisible traffic and big trees on both sides of the road made the ride pleasant and engaging.   An evening at Dahanu beach: Reached Dahanu beach around 6 PM in the evening. Sun was half into the ocean gleaming dark red over the horizon. The beach …

Vasai Fort – A living remnant

Situated in the coastal part of Vasai town, the huge walls of Vasai Fort, also known as Bassein Fort certainly shows the test of time it has stood. The Fort overlooks the Vasai creek and had several watch towers. Although there is nothing more than the ruins of huge entrance and arches left, still the place has a unique charm. The inner room probably the biggest one is used as a nice underarm cricket playground. Other locations are very creatively used by wedding photographers. The fort is protected under the ASI. Ride to the Vasai Fort: It was the 21st February 2016 when Rajkumar and I decided to spice up a lazy Sunday afternoon. The distance of Vasai Fort from my house was no more than 30 KM. Hence, it was possible to have a quick bike trip. Left Bhayandar around 2:30 PM and rode straight to Tungareshwar temple. Tungareshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated on a hill in the interior of the Vasai village. Spent an hour and left for …

Bike trip to Invincible Maratha fort : Kille Raigad : 2

Waking up in Sahyadri has always been memorable for me. Fresh smell of air the and chirping birds set a positive environment. It was 7 AM now. Day 1 – Mumbai to Raigad Fort on bike As planned yesterday, if we find a small waiting queue, we will tour the Fort again via Ropeway. Took our bikes and rode to the base village Hirkanewadi. Got to know that it will take one and half hour waiting. Said No to the Fort plan and instead of going up, went down the village. Little did we know that a different world was waiting down the village. Greenery everywhere and crystal clear water flowing down the terraced farm plots. Sometimes beautiful places are hidden a few steps away. I don’t mind going few steps ahead 🙂 That is the reason I love to explore the untouristy places. I believe, it is the odd places where we seek solitude. Returned from the village and began morning routines. Packed the stuff and we were ready to leave for Mumbai. Before …

bike trip to Raigad Fort

Bike trip to the invincible Maratha killa : Raigad Fort : 1

Raigad is a beautiful hill fort some 180 Kms from Mumbai. This is the same fort where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire was coronated in 1674 and he declared Raigad as his Capital. This was the inspiration behind the trip. We (me and Sudhanshu) made out the trip during monsoon in the month of August 2015. Mumbai to Raigad Fort: As decided, we met him near Oberoi Mall flyover and rode towards Navi Mumbai via Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR). Later, took Pali Khopoli route before entering NH 17 i.e. Mumbai Goa Highway. Rode till Mahad, from where we had to take the left turn for Raigad Fort. Mahad to Raigad Fort was another 30 Km. Though the whole ride was quite scenic and beautiful because of the monsoon but the last 25 Km till Raigad fort was splendid. Some photos from Mahad to Raigad Fort route Uphill ride to Raigad Fort was quick and steep. Nice view of the plains can be seen once you reach a certain height. There are …

Jaipur in a day: Amber Fort and the charm of Sheesh Mahal

I was on a one day tour of Jaipur on my Rajasthan trip. The day started with Hawa Mahal and later Amber Fort. Hawa Mahal was a gorgeous to visit.  Masterji picked us from Hawa Mahal and left for Amber Fort rather Amer Fort as called by locals. The fort is a bit at a distance from the old city of Jaipur. Road leading to the fort is shaded with trees on both sides, nicely laid tarmac sort of a curvy hill road. Within half an hour we were at the base of Amber Fort. The fort has two options to arrive at the main entrance gate. One makes use of elephants and another one is for motorcars. People take the Elephant ride from the base to the entrance. The elephant walks up a narrow slope zig-zagging to the entrance. But it costs on the pocket. Masterji dropped us near the entry gate. Punched our composite ticket which we had purchased from Hawa Mahal. Took a guide to get the things explained. Right after the entry …

Jaipur Hawa Mahal photo

Jaipur in a day: See the unseen at Hawa Mahal

If you happen to be in Jaipur, you cannot miss the Hawa Mahal. It is such a gorgeous place to visit in Rajasthan. A technical marvel and historic grandeur. This post is the continuation of my Rajasthan trip. My journey in Rajasthan started from the blue city of Jodhpur followed by a motorcycle ride in the desert of Jaisalmer district for 3 days and now I was in Jaipur. All I had was one day to tour Jaipur. Though my time was limited but I was determined. And luck was on my side. Hotel, car and a driver all in Rs. 800   We were late by 2 and half hours. The Jaisalmer to Jaipur train reached at 7:30 AM at Jaipur station. Just as we came out of the station, an auto driver reached us and asked ‘kidhar jaaoge?’ We said ‘kisi saste aur ache Dharamshala me lekar chalo? ‘Dharamshala me kya karoge ji, aap ko 500 me acha hotel aur 700 me Indica karwa deta hoon. Ek din me pura city ghuma dega?’ Seemed …

Jaisalmer fort traditional musician

Jaisalmer Fort and Bada Bagh – Rajasthan bike trip – 7

What a ride it was from Longewala border post to Jaisalmer. We reached Jaisalmer before evening. Sun was still in the sky. Jaisalmer Fort and Bada Bagh was on the list but only after we secure a room. You would like to read the first 6 parts of the Rajasthan bike trip Jodhpur – Part 1          Gadisar Lake Jaisalmer – Part 2         Kuldhara abandoned village – Part 3 Sam Sand dunes review – Part 4          Tanot border – Part 5        Longewala border post – Part 6 Hunted for rooms and finally moved inside Maheshwari Seva Sadan near Hanuman circle. Maheshwari Seva Sadan is a Dharamshala run by Maheshwari samaj trust. Rooms were quite cheap just Rs.75 per person. Rooms were okay but the water was yellow and hard. Who cares? Filled up a bucket full of yellow water and har har gange 🙂 Vyas Chhatri or Bada Bagh Next, we left for Vyas Chhatri. Vyas Chhatri also known as Bada Bagh is at …

Tanot Mata Temple to Longewala border post – Rajasthan Bike Trip – 6

After taking blessings from Tanot Mata, we continued our motorcycle trip to Longewala border post. The distance between Tanot and Longewala is not more than 35 km.   Longewala needs no introduction. It has been the battleground during 1971 India-Pakistan war. Bollywood movie Border is based on the 1971 war with Pakistan at Longewala. You can still find some captured-destroyed war materials at Longewala.     Tanot Mata Temple to Longewala: The ride was fantastic. It felt like we were the only soul in the endless arid desert. When we reached there, the soldiers asked us to park our bike outside a small room opposite to the war memorial. We also met a group of 4 bullet riders from Gujarat. A military police from Siliguri asked where were we from? He was excited to listen that we were from Mumbai. For the next one and half hour, we were talking about Mumbai. He shared how joyful were his youth days when he was positioned in Navy Nagar, Mumbai. It was really nice talking to him.   The surprise at …

Best places for bike trips in India

Ramgarh to Tanot Mata Temple – Rajasthan bike trip – 5

What a peaceful and calm night it was. Hundreds of kilometres away from the bustling city we were in the middle of the Thar desert in a tiny village of Ramgarh . Our journey started from Jaisalmer and today’s plan was to visit Tanot Mata Temple and Longewala border post on our motorcycle and finally return to Jaisalmer. Woke up at 5 in the morning, finished with morning chores, left Ramgarh at 6 AM. From the village of Ramgarh, we had two choices. One road goes to Longewala border post and straighter one goes to Tanot. We took the straight one and proceeded to Tanot Mandir. Ramgarh to Tanot Mata Temple: The distance between Ramgarh to Tanot is 75 KM. Road was extremely fantastic. Very nicely maintained by Border Roads Organisation. Riding on the road over rolling hills of sand is no less than a sense of absolute Freedom. The road appears straight and endless, literally. No sign of life except some military trucks and wild desert for 75km. This area is the core region of Desert National …

Sam-sand-dune-desert-safari-jaisalmer, budgetyatri

Thar desert at its best in Sam Sand dunes – Rajasthan bike trip – 4

We had just left the lonely village of Kuldhara. Our next destination was Sam Sand dunes. Babaji of Kuldhara suggested us to visit Khuri Sand dunes instead of Sam. Khuri was another 45 Km from Kuldhara but in the opposite direction to Sam. Standing on the T-road we were thinking if we should go to Khuri dunes or shall we stick to our plan. Considering the route ahead and the time we had we could not afford Khuri although we wanted to see it badly. From Kuldhara, the distance of Sam Sand dunes was not more than 35 km. Sun was shining high but clean Tar road made the journey comfortable. Sam Sand Dunes – Jaisalmer Sam Sand Dunes or Sam ke dhibbe as called locally are a major tourist attraction in Jaisalmer rather Rajasthan. If you are going to Thar desert you cannot afford to miss a desert safari. Sitting on the Camel in the middle of dunes and looking at the vast expanse of Thar is no less than a great feeling. Other exciting activities which …

budgetyatri-bike-trip-rajasthan-kuldhara

Towards the cursed village of Kuldhara – Rajasthan bike trip – 3

It was 10 AM, Vishwanath and I was lucky enough to have Hero Impulse with us. Our day in Jaisalmer started silky smooth. Gadisar Lake was worth spending time. Now it was the time to head towards the cursed and haunted village of Kuldhara. Before leaving Jaisalmer, we made sure that the bike is working fine. Later tied our luggage and went to Petrol Pump. Fueled it and started towards Kuldhara. The distance between Kuldhara and Jaisalmer is nearly 18 km. The landscape changed in around 15 minutes, we were out of the Jaisalmer city. Splendid roads and views greeted us. Road was smooth featuring newly laid tar. Vehicles movement was next to nothing. Took the left turn after 14 Km and rode another 4 Km on the single lane road for Kuldhara entrance. Please take care while riding on this 4 km road stretch. You can encounter sand stretch on the road. And mind it, it comes as a surprise. In case you are caught, do not brake front wheel. Press rear brakes. And …

Sadhu with Transistor in Rajasthan

A morning at Gadisar lake Jaisalmer – Rajasthan bike trip – 2

We were in the Golden City of Jaisalmer rather Sonar Killa of Satyajit Ray and our next destination was the quiet stairs of Gadisar Lake. Jodhpur to Jaisalmer by Train:   Train journey from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer was good although electricity supply was not available throughout the journey. Later we came to know that Staff forgot to link the electricity wire of the coach. Nonetheless, we were saved as the whole of journey was in night and it was cool enough. Had it been Summer, we would have roasted completely. We had planned the Train journey from Mumbai to Jaisalmer in such a way that we could witness the Sunrise at Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer.  Reached Jaisalmer railway station around 6 AM, actual arrival timing of train 14810 at Jaisalmer is at 5:25 AM. As planned, took an auto rickshaw from Jaisalmer railway station to Gadisar Lake. The distance is not more than 1.5 Km. Auto rickshaw charged Rs 10 for each of us.   A pleasant morning at Gadisar Lake: Rickshaw dropped us on …