Author: Niraj Yadav

Cycling to office India

My one year of cycle to work in Mumbai

  Cycle to work was a long-cherished dream popping time and again to see the sky. In February 2017, I got my childhood crush back in my life. Purchased a used cycle from OLX and rode 30km the first day after 12 years. It was a pleasure for my thighs: D I parked my cycle near Andheri railway station inside a closed pay and park. Got the monthly parking charges negotiated Rs.550. My office is opposite Infiniti mall on New Link road. So the route was going to be Andheri station to Infiniti Mall. Total distance of one way was not more than 5 Km max. First Day of Cycle to Office On the day one, I got the cycle repaired a bit. Height of the seat was low and it was painful for my knees. It took me a week to find 15-inch seat rod. Rest of the thing was just okay. First week was tiring. I was not used to too much Stop and Go. Traffic and metro construction has practically made half the road unusable. When I …

Along the Kosi River on Bike : 1 – Beginning

  This is the first post of my Kosi river trip. I toured the entire length of Kosi river in India under my Anaadi River Project. Let me introduce you one of the oldest rivers of the Indian subcontinent. Kosi River – An Introduction Kosi river is quite ancient you can say older than the Himalayas. She takes birth on the higher altitude of the Himalayas in Nepal and then rolls through the lower hills of Nepal before entering India in Bhimnagar. From Bhimnagar she flows through Supaul and Saharsa district eventually meeting Ganga near Kursela in Bhagalpur district. She is called Sapta Kosi in Nepal due to seven tributaries she has in Nepal. Kosi is titled as sorrow of Bihar, dayan (witch) and sometimes mother by the people of Bihar. People living along the bank of Kosi river do not stop cursing her as soon as heavy monsoon begins making her swell her banks. Whatever people name her, but for me, Kosi is very very special. Not because I am from Bihar and she flows …

Beautiful Chena village nestled in Ghodbunder hills

I live in Bhayandar near the hills of Ghodbunder. I know both the names sound weird. Bhayandar, a western suburb lies on the southern bank of Ulhas river or rather Vasai creek. Starting from Bhayandar if we keep on going upstream on the river Ghodbunder falls next. Geographically this region is in continuity with the Borivali National park and spans  18km straight from Powai in the South to Ghodbunder in the North. This region has kept hidden many picturesque lakes and streams which are often overlooked by the local populace that includes me as well 😛 Yes, its a fact that we often tend to ramble far and wide in search of beauty and happiness. But at times we just miss the wonderful and tranquil nature which lies very next to us right in our backyard. As a matter of luck, I had to visit Chena village to attend a spiritual event. Chena village is just around the corner of Chena bridge on the Mumbai Nashik highway. The small village has a beautiful river flowing by …

Vashishti River : 1 – Planning and Mumbai to Chiplun

I am excited to publish this blog as this is the very beginning of my अनादी River Project. This project is my attempt to get a first-hand understanding of the condition of rivers, lakes and wells of Bharat. You can read more about the अनादी River Project here.   To begin with the project and try myself and my readiness Vashishti was a trial. Why did I select Vashishti ? In the river project, I desired to know what sort of groundwork is essential for large rivers. When I was exploring this topic, I came across ‘Sandrp’ website. It had a comprehensive research on the rivers of Konkan. Vashishti was one of the rivers in the list. In fact, Vashishti was the most polluted among other rivers of Konkan. The foremost reason of pollution was letting out the untreated water by chemical factories in the Lote-Parshuram MIDC setup. The level of organo-chlorides was so high that even bathing in the river was severely hazardous and may lead to cancer. This created a curiosity in me and I wished to witness …

Vashishti River : 3 – Closing words and visit to Goa killa in Harnai

This is the third and last post of the Vashishti river tour. Day 1 – Mumbai to Chiplun and Day 2 – Along the Vashishti River were splendid. If you haven’t been through follow the link and have a look at them.   Since my primary objective of the trip i.e. touring the Vashishti from source to the confluence was achieved, all I had to today was the homecoming. But it wasn’t going to be plain and straight. I left the town of Dapoli early morning and rode to Fort Goa or Suvarnadurga Fort followed by Mandangad, Mangaon and finally Mumbai. 26  June 2017 – Day 3 Left the hotel early morning. It was raining like hell. Konkan rains are quite heavy. Huge perpendicular raindrop is what you get 🙂 Following the coastal route reached Goa Fort near Harnai beach. Goa fort along with Suvarnadurga fort and Fattegad fort had a significant place in Chhatrapati Shivaji’s naval force. As marked in the image below, Suvarnadurga Fort is at some distance in the sea quite visible from …

Vashishti River : 2- Riding along the river from source to Arabian sea

Yesterday’s ride through the beautiful green ghats of Konkan was refreshing particularly the Kashedi and Khed stretch. Today was the day to travel by the Vashishti river. The plan was to reach as close to the source of Vashishti River and ride along the river until I reach its Sangam with Arabian sea. Hoping the same excitement and adventure we rolled off for the day. 25th July 2017 Chiplun, Maharashtra Chillax Morning 🙂 Missed the morning alarm of 5.30 am. Before we could get the things up it was 7 am. 50% of the total time was spent in doing Datun. Vishwanath and I chewed the neem daatun as slow and leisurely as we can. Standing on the small balcony facing the hotel garden and shamelessly posing topless we chewed like a King. We had all the time in the world, no morning alarms, no to-do list, no client calls. We were just lost in daatun. We moved the neem twig slowly and gently through every corner of the teeth. Dark and dirty places untouched …

Anaadi River project logo

Introduction to अनादी (Anaadi) River project

From the start of 2017, I have been working on a personal project associated with rivers. I have named it अनादी (Anaadi) which means eternal. In this post, I will be talking of the what, why and how of the project. Need more than wanderlust Wanderlust was a pleasant word for me during the early stages of my traveling. I did all was visit a green place or white mountain, capture some snaps and tag wanderlust on it. It absolutely was fun and excitement. However, once days passed all I had was memories and nothing else. It is good to have memories as they take us to the places later in our lives and make us smile. It was certainly good, but not enough. Later on, when I questioned myself that did I definitely liked traveling?  I got an affirmative answer. I liked traveling but so did Neanderthals. In fact, they wandered with purpose but what about me? I had a deep feeling of bringing in some purpose. At the end, I wished to make …

11 simple and elegant motorcycle tattoos pictures

Carrying a tattoo is a way to show our passion. The trend is not new rather we have been decorating our body since thousand of years. It just not looks pretty but expresses our personality and emotion. A simple looking tattoo not only makes us look decent but also shows that we have a beautiful and uncluttered mind. Read: Me, my Enfield Thunderbird and plains of India chronicles  Motorcycling community is known to have huge skull tattoos inked all over their body. For them, it’s a way to exhibit their enthusiasm and attitude towards motorcycling. Being a fellow motorcycle and minimal lover, I have tried to compile a list of simple yet elegant looking tattoo pictures. Do share and spread the post. 1 – One of the best bikers tattoo ever 2 – Brake and Braaap.. 3 – Braap and twist the accelerator. Beautiful dotted arrow motorcycle tattoo 4 – Great tattoo to have in your biking fraternity 🙂  You will love to shake hands 5 – Amazingly simple motorcycle tattoo on Ankle 6 – Gear tattoo …

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 …

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 …

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.         Ulte haath se mood jao 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 🙂 …

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 …

Travelling to India and need guide or assistance

You are traveling to India and looking for a local to assist in pre-planning or some kind of assistance. You can get in touch with me and I can help you in a countless ways. Few things where I can assist you 1. Mumbai has lots and lots of shopping locations. I can accompany you for shopping along the street vendors, electornic items, jewellery, clothing, dash dash dash to make your shopping experience safe and trouble free. 2. Pre-planning Acquaint you with very very important Do’s and Dont’s for your travel in India Get you something that you forgot and need it badly. Arrange necessary medicines. Send me the list and I will keep it ready. Camera items like Memory Cards, Tripods if you are planning to get it here itself. Maps and Magazines (Lonely Planet India Guide) Rent you my motorcycle for a couple of days. That would be pretty cheap 😀 Multi-Socket power adapter suited for Indian plugs …..etc. It will go like, you send me the list of items and approximately 50% of …

5 tips that will surely save your money while booking a hotel

Hello, you all wanderlust folks! Welcome to my blog. At some or other point of time, we all have had bitter experiences when it comes to accommodations during our journey. Here is a compilation of some tips to save a few bucks on booking accommodations in hotel/Dharamshala/Dormitory or wherever you go. Please feel free to share your experience, I will be glad to include that here. Early booking saves a lot This is the best and simplest way to save your money on accommodation. I have saved a good amount of money multiple times by booking in advance. With advance, I mean booking at least 2 months before. There are good chances that you get the rooms at much lower price. The reason is when someone books in advances, owners get a surety of their business and they may agree on low fares happily assuming to make a profit with last minute booking of the empty rooms during the peak period. But… before booking, make sure you have been through point 2 and 3 Look …

Solo travel vs Group Travel

Do you travel solo? If Yes. I am sure you must have been showered with questions like don’t you feel lonely when you travel alone? How can anyone enjoy traveling alone?  Don’t you get bored? The reason people have such opinion for solo travel is because they never tried going out without company. Unless we get into some thing, it looks weird from a distance. But once someone gets a feel of it, they want more and more. Here is my take on solo and group travel. I respect if your opinion differs with mine at any point 🙂 Group travel: Traveling in group is fun anytime, there is no doubt about that. I mean, who wants to miss the jokes and pranks of the best mates. I have always enjoyed the trips and treks I have been with my buddies. When we travel with friends, a connection binds us together. And the more we travel, the stronger it becomes. The most welcoming part of group travel is the witness of the event or the …

motorcycle spares and toolkit essential for bike ride

A motorcycle tool kit to save you from breakdown horror

So you have been continuously hitting numerous sites in search of a perfect list of motorcycle tool kit for your long trips. But like me, you too returned confused and disappointed. Wouldn’t it be a horrible scene that you are riding in a remote land and your motorcycle tyre gets a puncture or the bike refuses to start? Riders have a wonderful habit of ignoring the toolkits unless they face a breakdown. We live under the conception that baby tools under the bike seat will do the job. Frankly speaking, at best they can be used for removing a spark plug and tightening up rear view mirror screws. Now, don’t come to me and fight for the value of baby tools. How dare you to speak about the baby tools, don’t speak if you know nothing 😀 Long distance motorcycle touring is not a joke. Any moment can change into a life-threatening scene. But carrying everything mentioned on different sites is plainly not feasible. We all want our luggage to be as light as possible. That is the reason, I …

एक कहानी थार से

चाय पियोगे भाईसाब  कोने में उकडी मारे बैठे हुए आदमी ने मुझसे पूछा | हालाँकि बैठा हुआ था पर देख कर ही लम्बी कद का पता चल रहा था| मैल से पिली हो गई धोती कुर्ता उसके मुस्कान को फीका नहीं कर पाई। । चाय के लिए, ऊंट का दूध था।  मैंने कभी ऊंट का दूध नहीं पिया था पर बकरी का पिया था, बकरी के दूध की सुगंध मुझसे सहन नहीं होता, यही ख्याल मुझे ऊंट के दूध के बारे में भी आया | मैं उसे निगल नहीं पाउँगा ये सोचकर आग्रहपूर्वक मना कर दिया। पीकर देखो अच्छा लगेगा | जी इस रेगिस्तान की गर्मी में मुझसे चाय हज़म नहीं होगा | जैसलमेर की गर्मी मेरे काम आ गई, बहाना चल गया| कोई बात नहीं, हम तो पियेंगे | ये बोलकर उस छोटे से पिली पत्थर से बनी खोली के एक किनारे में चाय का तसला गरम होने लगा। कहाँ से आ रहे हो । मुम्बई से  मैंने जवाब दिया। अच्छा । मैंने सुना है यहाँ रात में भूत आते हैं । कुलधरा के बारे में उत्सुकता थी | इन्टरनेट पर तरह …