Author: Niraj Yadav

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

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintAfter 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 …

the-road-racer-interview

Interview of a Road Racer

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintHello guys. You all will be excited to meet our today’s guest. It was very difficult to connect with him due to his busy schedule. Popularly called Road Racer, we are the first one to interview Mr. Binahel. Welcome, sir! Would you like to introduce yourself to our new audience? Mr. Binahel: Hello, friends. I am sure you all know me. Yes. You must have probably seen me many times, either vrooming through the narrow city roads, zipping fast on the empty fly over with that loose unbuttoned Shirt filled with air and a nice pair of floaters.  Remember? Yes, there you are!! Interviewer: Thank you for your sweet introduction. We have heard that people use slangs for you when you pass them on your motorcycle? Is it true? Mr. Binahel: No, that’s not completely true. They are losers! Do you know one thing? I was loved by everyone, particularly young boys. And when I use to pull that throttle, all the heads turned towards me. I use to be the centre of …

Best places for bike trips in India

Ramgarh to Tanot Mata Temple – Rajasthan bike trip – 5

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintWhat 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 …

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

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

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintWe 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 …

Sadhu with Transistor in Rajasthan

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

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint 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 …

Trip to Jodhpur

Exploring the blue city of Jodhpur – Rajasthan bike trip – 1

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Incredible India and Rajasthan tourism advertisements were so lucrative to hold back. A long research of the must visit tourist and offbeat places in Rajasthan helped me finalizing my trip to Rajasthan. The tour covered the blue city Jodhpur, heritage city Jaipur, Golden city Jaisalmer and Indo-Pak border in Tanot and Longewala. This is the first travel blog post from the 7 days tour of Rajasthan. I was accompanied by my friend Vishwanath. We used public transport for a major portion of our travel except in Jaisalmer. In Jaisalmer, we rented a Hero Impulse motorcycle for three days to tour in and around Jaisalmer. Here is the plan we chalked out: Day 1: Mumbai to Jodhpur [Overnight journey by train] Day 2: Jodhpur to Jaisalmer [Overnight journey by train] Day 3: Kuldhara, Sam Sand dunes and stay somewhere en-route Tanot [Touring on motorcycle] Day 4: Tanot, Longewala and back to Jaisalmer [Touring on motorcycle] Day 5: Explore Jaisalmer Fort and city [Touring on motorcycle] Day 6: Jaipur in a Day [Rented a …

4 boys ride to a tribal village Khadki for World Yoga Day celebration

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I along with 3 of my friends was in a tribal village Khadki to celebrate the first World Yoga day on June 21, 2015. Yesterday i.e. 20th June 2015 was quite eventful.  Bike breakdown, sent back from Purushwadi, welcomed by an unknown host and night walk in the jungle by the river was much more interesting than what we had expected.  I remember Bhangre ji saying yesterday, government teachers will come to teach Yoga to the tribal kids in Shiva temple tomorrow morning. It was a good opportunity to contribute to the International Yoga Day and make this day memorable.    Our tent was pitched in the temple. Rajkumar and I woke up at 6:30 AM and left the place for morning activities. We took a tour of the village to witness the grace and simplicity.    Some photos from the morning tour round the village Getting ready for school Shyish smile Village colors Khadki village River flowing by the village Morning chat   Children started gathering in the temple by 7 AM. Chatais …

Bike trip to Purushwadi

In search of million Fireflies : A weekend getaway to Purushwadi

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I was all planned to do a bike trip to Firefly festival in Purushwadi village of India. However, the things didn’t go as expected but the consecutive events ended in a wonderful experiences and adventure. Fireflies. Amazing creatures they are! A single firefly can make tens of children running on their feet. A lone nomad firefly can make the boring night interesting. Can you imagine the thrill when not hundreds but millions of fireflies dance around you? Yes, you heard it right. And when they cover a tree to perform the dance of light you just watch them dumb folded. It seemed so surreal so fantasy and like a fairy tale. The city folks asks. But where are these fireflies? Well, if you stay in Mumbai, Thane or Pune you are very close to them.Although the place is not a popular tourist destination but they are worthy to be featured in the list of must visit places near Mumbai, Thane and Pune Let’s start the story. One of my friends told me about …

Raja Ram temple, Orchha: Where Ram is worshipped as King

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Finished with the sightseeing of Orchha Mahal we moved towards Raja Ram temple. Both the places are walking distance apart. The architecture of the temple is as fascinating as temples in South India.   Some centuries back, one night King of Orchha dreamed of Lord Ram and received inspiration to build a temple/palace dedicated to Ram. The construction was finished soon and opened for worship. A peculiar thing of this temple is that Lord Ram is not worshiped as a god but as a King. The temple too was constructed more like a Raj Bhavan rather than a temple.  Even today, Police stand at the gates pretending to be guards of Lord Ram. The temple is revered by devotees throughout India and they pour in large number throughout the year. From Bloggers desk: A place where the beauty of rural India is at its best. Read here.. Raja Ram temple Temple is built of golden brown stones and has lots of rooms. We had just finished the ground floor and were about to leave the temple …

Orchha Palace, Incredible India

Orchha Palace: Pride of Bundelkhand

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I am sure Orchha and Jhansi series travel blogs have been refreshing for you. If you haven’t read them, here is the link  Betwa river side, Jhansi Fort. For quite a time, Orchha Palace near Jhansi was waiting for its mention on this blog. Joking 🙂 The Palace commands a very strong connection with history. Let’s take a small refreshing dive in the past. Vir Singh Deo and the Orchha Mahal Vir Singh Deo was one of the finest Rajput rulers of Bundelkhand particularly Orchha province. A contemporary of Akbar, Vir Sing Deo kept raising his voice against the Mughal despotism. To hold back the uprising, Akbar sent his son Jahangir with a sizable army towards Orchha which was the nucleus of rebellion. Vir Singh Deo lost the battle and had to surrender to Jahangir. The palace erected by Vir Singh Deo on the banks of River Betwa became Jahangir Palace or Jahangir Mahal. — You may like this: Auli in Uttarakhand has an artificial lake at 7500 feets. The lake water is used to create artificial …

Jhansi Fort and Rani Laxmi bai: Shuffling the pages of history

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Jhansi – the ancient city of fearless Bundelas and housing the magnificent Jhansi Fort. The city of Jhansi is remembered for the female warrior Rani Laxmi Bai, popularly called Jhansi ki Rani. I was sharing the same connection with Jhansi. How can one forget the words of Subhadra Kumar Chauhan   चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।। Undoubtedly she was and still remains a hero for children. After so many years I was having an opportunity to witness the land of Laxmi Bai, the opportunity was in the form of a wedding invitation. Akash Gupta my friend and native of Jhansi was going to be groomed in November 2014. He was kind in making advance reservations in Hotel Chanda facing Rani Laxmibai Park. I was accompanied by a jolly group of three other friends Swapnil Mhatre, Amod Karve and Viren Shah.Before leaving from Mumbai, I was ready with the list of must visit places in Jhansi …

places-to-visit-in-jhansi-budgetyatri

Betwa river side: A lesser known marvel near Jhansi

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintBetwa river is one of the prominent river in Madhya Pradesh apart from Narmada i.e. Maa Rewa, Chambal and Son. Betwa flows gently on the Malwa plateau before merging into the Yamuna in Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh. Orchha is a beautiful ancient site along the banks of Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh. The history of this place is traced back to the Ramayan era when Lord Ram stayed here during his exile. Then, Betwa was known as Vetravati. A beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ram popularly called as Raja Ram Mandir is located some few meters away from Betwa banks. How to reach Orchha? Orchha is in Madhya Pradesh. The closest railway junction to Orchha is Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Jhansi is some 20 Kilometers from Orchha. Jhansi railway station is well connected to all the metros and other big cities of India. Once you are in Jhansi, hire an Auto Rickshaw for Orchha. They charge around 80-100 rupees one way and 4 people can easily get in. Where to stay in Orchha? If …

weekend getaways near mumbai

Tansa lake: An offbeat place for solitude seekers

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Hunting for another spot to ride on the weekend, I stumbled on Tansa lake or Tansa dam. It is more of an offbeat place. Hardly anybody visits here. There is not much to see there. But some photos on the internet were quite interesting. What’s then, pulled up my bike on Saturday 5:30 AM in the morning and vroomed to Tansa. The total distance of the ride was about 200 Kilometres. It can be very easily done in 1 day or can be stretched to two days if night camping is planned. Mumbaikars, here is how you can reach Tansa lake Route 1: Via Vajreshwari Road Get on to NH8. From NH8 take a right turn for Vajreshwari. Better ask anybody on the highway after Vasai. When the Vajreshwari road ends take left turn from Zidke towards Ambadi. This brings you on SH 35. Now from here, there are two options. One, get onto Dinkarpada-Kondhale road and finally take the right turn from Kambare. Tansa is straight in front of your eyes …

Digital India

Using technology to restore faith in gods

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint What happened on 16 July 2013 in Uttarakhand are still fresh in our minds. Thousands of lives lost and millions of property perished. Destruction was the consequence of unchecked construction of hotels and houses next to river beds. Nature knows balancing itself. Unfortunately, the innocents suffered the most. But the question is did we handled the situation well ? No. People are scared of returning. They fear that they could have been one of the unidentified dead bodies. They could have been one of the families having no clue whether they should consider their parents dead or not. I know sitting at home and talking is easy than being present at the scene. But, Yes we could minimized the losses if we had an fair system monitoring the pilgrims and disaster management plan implemented. After analyzing how things went from bad to worst, broadly two things come into picture First point is that the government didnt had any information of the number of pilgrims on char dham yatra. Pilgrims were the biggest …

Auli ski resort skiing in India

Auli Ski Resort Uttarakhand – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 4

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Auli Ski Resort is a wonderful Skiing location in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The snow-white Ski slopes of Auli and Skiboarders were waiting eagerly for my appearance 🙂  I was staying in the dormitory of GMVN in Joshimath. The distance between the Auli Ski Slope and the small town of Joshimath is not more than 15 Kilometer. Yesterday’s bike ride from GMVN Gopeshwar to Lambhgadh near Badrinath and back to Joshimath was exciting and fabulous, but it had drained all my energy. I was the only soul in the GMVN dormitory of 10 beds. The freezing night was in its last phase. The winter morning made sure to keep me underneath two woolen blankets apart from body thermals. Mind it winters in Uttarakhand are really cold. Checked my mobile it was around 7 AM of the morning. I could see the dawn breaking from the GMVN window. Chirping of the birds, soft footsteps of the waiters in the corridor, men with sweater and muffler pushing the bicycle pedal hard on …

Bike trip to Uttarakhand

Rishikesh to Gopeshwar – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 2

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I was on my Bajaj Avenger hired from Mountain Fox motorcycles in Rishikesh. Today’s halt was Gopeshwar  220km from Rishikesh. Luggage loaded and geared up, left the place. Went back to Hrishikesh petrol pump and filled up the tank. This was the first time I was riding in the Himalayas. Basically, it was Raid de Himalaya for me. The morning was quite chilly. To make myself comfortable, I decided to ride first 25-30 kilometers with a decent speed. Near Byassi Rishikesh – Ganga flowing down the mountain Rishikesh – Night camping tents on the shore of Ganga 25 rupees Kadhi Chawal in a Dhaba in Srinagar: Roads turned worst after Deoprayag and continued till Srinagar. It was 1:30 PM and I was hungry. I was looking for some small Dhaba to have my lunch. Found one just before the Srinagar town starts on the right-hand side of the road.   Kadhi chawal was ready. Every bit was delicious and the quantity was much more than what I had expected. In the 15 …

unknown places in india for bike trips

In the land of Badri Vishal – Bike trip to Uttarakhand -3

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Yesterday’s tiring ride from Rishikesh to Gopeshwar resulted in a nice peaceful sleep. Opened my day with a shivering bath followed by packing and loading. Tying ropes in a winter morning is what I don’t like. It was around 7 AM, I came down in the GMVN restaurant to appreciate a hot cup of tea in the winter of February. Finishing tea geared myself and left the GMVN. Avenger started with the first hit of self-start. Didn’t faced any cold start problem throughout the journey.  Day 2 route map  Morning view from GMVN Gopeshwar  Reached Joshimath around 12:00 in the afternoon.   Alaknanda – Enroute Joshimath Just as I was to start for Badrinath scene changed and dark clouds hid the mountain. It started drizzling and finally raining. I took shelter under a military ration building.  Playing with time and timer  ITBP training center Joshimath Asked to return:   Two men jumped from a truck which came from Badrinath direction. One guy who seemed army guy very strongly suggested me to return …

Trek to Devariya tal Uttarakhand in winter

Deoria Tal trek – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 5

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint What an awesome day I had yesterday, bike ride to Auli Ski Resort and getting the basic lessons of Skiing was great. Today’s plan included the trek to Deoria Tal. Deoria Tal has its reference in Mahabharat. It’s the same lake where 4 of the Pandavas dies by drinking lake water without answering to the Yaksha’s questions. They were brought to life only when Yudhistir answers all of his questions. I  like that part, especially the question and answer between Yudhistir and Dharmraj. Gopeshwar to Ukhimath via Rudraprayag: In the above map, the route marked in black is a direct route between Gopeshwar and Ukhimath. Chopta, Chandrashila, and Deoria Tal lies between this route. However, the road was closed due to heavy snowfall. Direct road i.e. via Chopta is 60 km and the longer one via Rudraprayag was 130 km. I had no options but to take the longer route. Prepared for the longer route followed by trek after that, I left the place around 8 AM. Reached Ukhimath around 12:30 PM. …

Maharshi mahesh yogi ashram and sanyasis

The Beatles Ashram and 3 Sanyasis in Rishikesh – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 6

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint What a fresh morning that was! All the tiredness from yesterday’s Trek to Deoria Tal had vanished. It felt like I was never tired and this is my home. No worries no plans no mobile no network, just nature and I. But then, today’s plan was to reach Rishikesh and handover bike to Ashok Ji 🙂 Followed by local sight seeing in Rishikesh and attend Ganga aarti in Haridwar. Checked out from GMVN, Ukhimath and left for Rishikesh at 9:30 AM. Two times Aloo Paratha, 4 coffee, 4 Tea cost me Rs.120.   Enroute Rudraprayag from Ukhimath Did my lunch at the same place in Srinagar. This time, it was Rajma Chawal. They were happy to see me and asked if my journey was good. Ukhimath to Rishikesh was around 182km. As I always say returning is always quick. I was aware for the first 20-30 kilometers later everything switches to Auto Pilot mode. When the time ceases to exist we tend to enjoy things the most. The journey was so involving I …

bike trip to Badrinath in winter

Planning – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 1

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintBefore 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 …