Ride to Kinnaur District in Himachal Pradesh,India - July 2009

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jitubisht, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Let me start with giving a brief "run-up" to this ride. A ride which almost did not happen. I have worked in Hyderabad between 2006-08. Before I moved back to Delhi, I told all my friends over there to visit North India once and give me a call once they do. Ashwin and his wife Kavya decided to come over. What we originally planned was to go to Chandigarh first, where we will be joined by Sanjeev(another friend from Hyderabad who had moved back to Chandigarh) and his wife Divya. The four of them will travel in Sanjeev's car while I tag along on my Royal Enfield. A little less than a week before Ashwin was supposed to come down, Sanjeev and Divya had to pull out of the whole trip due to their work commitments(hate it when it happens!). Trying to figure out how we will co-ordinate and travel around Kinnaur is when it hit me. Ashwin has a Royal Enfield too and he was going to come down to Delhi and back in a train. I asked if he could get his motorcycle along with him. He liked the idea, however was hesitant. He had never been on a ride longer than 80kms before. He checked with Kavya, who simply 'loved' the idea and now wanted to travel north India on a bike only. He checked with me a couple of times about the various logistics and exactly 2 days before he was to start from Hyderabad we decided on changing the whole plan. Its going to be 2 motorcycles and one sweet ride. I told about about the trip to everyone at work and thats when Preeti asked me hesitantly if she could join. I didnt mind that since I would love some company when the couple would need their space. Its Friday already and the plan had changed head over heels.

    Ashwin took a train out of Hyderabad on a Saturday morning. Its a 28-30 hour train from Hyderabad to Delhi and hence reached here on the morning of Sunday. Unfortunately, if I needed leaves for the trip I was required to work on Sunday. My dear pal Daksh agreed to help them out in buying some spares,etc. I lended my Cramster Saddle bags to Ashwin since he had no other way to carry all his and Kavya's stuff. I kept in touch with them through phone. He was to start for Chandigarh on his own the same day. Sanjeev knew he was coming down and trust Ashwin to change plans last minute. He got busy catching up with other of his friends in New Delhi and finally started somewhere around 11pm from Delhi and finally reached Chandigarh around 3.30pm. Its a 220kms ride from Delhi to Chandigarh. Right before the 'Welcome to Chandigarh' board showed up, we had the first breakdown of the trip. His steed wouldn't fire up. He was a first time rider and had no clue what to do. He called up Sanjeev who reached the spot he was at. They decided to leave the bike there and Sanjeev got them to his place. Next morning, Sanjeev and Divya had gone to their offices and Ashwin got up around 9.30am. He got his bike fixed, it turned out it was just the FUSE which caused the whole problem. It just needed a change of FUSE and he was ready to start. Its a Monday today, Ashwin and Kavya had decided they will go to Narkanda and spend a night there. We were to start on a Monday evening after work and reach Chandigarh by night. Tuesday is when Preeti and I were to catch up with Ashwin, and we had decided that we would all reach Sangla by Tuesday night.

    WOW, that wasn't brief was it? Without boring you with the FLUFF.. following is the ride report, its written by Preeti. So everything is from her perspective. Here it goes...

    PS: Preeti is aware about her write up being posted on this site. She is okay with it. Secondly, some of the pictures have dates in it, kindly ignore them. They are obviously incorrect :|


    Hindi words used:

    Nimpu paani - lemonade

    Aalo-pyaaz paraantha - bread stuffed with mashed potato and chopped onion

    Maggi – Instant noodles (popular in india)

    Gyaan – Insight/knowledge

    Saunf – Fennel

    Dikhaao – Show

    Pakoras – vegetables wrapped in gramflour batter and deep fried
    #1
  2. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Day 1 - 20th July’09

    Delhi--Chandigarh

    Total Distance covered - 220 kms approx

    Started our day at work, at about 8am. We had got our bags to work and kept them in a room at reception. We had to pack for the rains, which meant 2 pairs of shoes, lots of socks, reasonable change of clothes to sustain any downpours, and a raincoat. Also, everything packed in plastic bags. Although I took very less clothes, but due to the rain preparation & my dear D40 that I tag along for every trip, my bag ended up being quite heavy. I later realized that Mr Better-be-over-prepared-than-under had taken multiple changes of everything, including 13 t-shirts for a 7 day trip! And here I was, thinking that my 6 tees were too many (Btw, I didn’t even use all of them).

    The night shift team wished us a good trip and said their good byes. It was just me and Jitu in the shift from Gurgaon. So, after the night shift left, it was just the two of us, sitting there, doing our work, and watching the time. We had been getting more and more excited about the trip as the day got closer, and could hardly wait for the shift to get over now. Thankfully, it was quite busy and it wasn’t too long before it was time for us to start. Jitu had been telling me that we’ll leave at 4pm sharp, or if we can leave by 3:30pm. I told him we’ll aim for 4pm sharp. But somehow, things came up at the last minute and we got a little delayed. We finally left at around 4:40pm, barely able to contain the excitement, despite the sweat and heat! We had to pick some stuff from Daksh (Jitu’s friend), so we were to meet him at Dhaula Kuan. We reached there and waited for him. He reached after some time too, all sweaty and grinning (as always). He got us the air pump (which we took so much pains to tie and untie every time, kept checking if it was still there, while riding, but didn’t get to use even once, thankfully!). He also got me gloves, that saved me from the sunburn and the cold, and a pouch, which we didn’t use at all as we felt it would be better to just get it changed. After packing all the stuff and ourselves (with balaclava, gloves and jacket), taking directions from and saying bye bye to dear Daksh, we finally started from Dhaula Kuan at about 5:20pm.

    Right before I was about to start from Dhaula Kuan. Me and Daksh
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    With the heat, humidity and traffic as amazing as it gets in monsoons in Delhi (with no rains from the sky and sweat raining down bodies instead), we finally hit the highway at around 6:05pm. It got little better, as there were no more stopping for red lights and traffic jams, and we began to enjoy the ride, despite the humidity. Jitu asked me if I wanted to eat something at Moorthal or Karnal. As we were already running late, I told him we’ll halt at Karnal, although I was beginning to get a little thirsty. We crossed Karnal at about 7:40pm and I got little anxious when Mr Biker didn’t stop. I reminded him, as I was really thirsty by then, and we finally halted (at Mayur dhaba) at about 7:48pm, a little after Karnal. Jitu got busy with flushing out his bike (a routine at every halt) and checking other stuff, while I got some water and guzzled it down. There was no Nimpu paani to “hydrate me”, so I asked for some mango slice instead. Also ordered an aalo-pyaaz paraantha, as I was feeling a bit hungry. I couldn’t finish it though, despite the yummy white butter accompanying it. As always (on trips and when we are eating together, and I can’t finish), Jitu came to my rescue and finished it, saving me the guilt of leaving food. He had given me strict orders to make it fast, so that’s what we did, and left from there at about 8:15pm.

    Right before we started out from the dhaba after Karnal:
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    We rode non-stop after that and managed to reach Chandigarh by around 9:55pm. Made it well in time for dinner and drinks! We had requested Jitu’s friend Sanjeev, who was our host in Chandigarh, to get us the famed “Apple Cider”! Jitu called him once we reached the entrance, and he came down all the way, to get us, which was really nice of him. We could probably not have made it without him, considering how every place looks the same in Chandigarh, the planned “City Beautiful”. We did little bit of photography while waiting for him.


    Welcome to Chandigarh !
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    After he reached, we took off our jackets and kept them in his car. It felt very nice to feel the cool air, but then I started sneezing after a bit. Talk about having a sensitive nose! Finally, we reached his place at Mohali (It’s a tri-city; Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula). Jitu was teasing him that his wife must be mad at him, with friends showing up so late at night (our co-travelers, Ashwin and Kavya had reached around 3:30am, the night before!). But she was quite cool, and very nice to us. We freshened-up after reaching, and headed straight for the cider! We chit-chatted for some time, while having cider, and then food. Then, it was decided that we would go out for ice-cream (can’t recall if I suggested it or Sanjeev). So, he again obliged, and drove us down to this nice food court kind of a place (“The eating place”, at hotel Aroma), and the ice cream there was quite nice. Enjoyed it, came back home and said good night. I went to brush and decided to take a quick bath too, as I was feeling kind of sweaty after the long ride, and knew that there would be no bath tomorrow morning. So, I did that, and crashed after that.
    #2
  3. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Chandigarh—Narkanda--Sangla

    Total Distance covered - 230 kms approx

    We got up around 6am. Jitu made us some green tea and we started getting ready and packing up while having it. The target was to leave by 6am but we finally left at around 7:10am. I had got a packet of big garbage bags to pack my stuff, due to lack of big plastic bags. I only used 2 of them though, but got the rest along, in case needed. We decided to cover the bags with those, and it turned out to be a good idea, in the long run, not due to the rains, but due to the dust and slush on the roads (which happened later).

    All packed up and ready to hit the hills!
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    I was beginning to feel like throwing up when we started, as I only had tea, whereas I am used to having something along with it. Jitu asked me if he should get something from Sanjeev’s place but I told him not to, as we had already come out, and they must have gone back to sleep. I thought we’ll pick something on the way. And, as we were riding through Chandigarh, I started to feel that I want to eat the tempting old maggi. We ended up eating at a sad place, due to my “craving”, and I gained some “gyaan” on how one should not be fussy about eating, while on rides. We hit the highway at around 7:50am and stopped for our first break at the “sad” dhaba (as that was the only place out of the 3-4 we asked at, that had maggi), at around 8:30am, a little after Kalka. The uncle at the dhaba was quite experimental and decided to put some “special” spices in my maggi as well as the tea. He left the maggi half cooked as I had told him not to over-cook it. Had to ask him to cook it little more. And, he put saunf in the tea, to give it extra flavour. Asked him to make the tea again, too! I really wanted to do potty by then, as I couldn’t do it before, but the toilet there was so small that I decided against it. That didn’t stop the “Potty King” though.


    Finally some winding roads!!
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    This was the greenest Himachal I'd seen:
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    We finally started from there at about 9:20am (such a waste of time!). We rode on after that and had crossed Solan by 10:10am, and Shimla by 11:20am. We had taken about 15 mins of piss and wake-up breaks in between, and I had got my first “sermon” for being sleepy and not telling, by the time we halted near Kufri, at about 11:50am. We had sandwich and coffee, and took off again at about 12:20pm. Also bought batteries for Ashwin’s camera. We reached Rampur by 3:07pm. We had only halted twice before that, for about 5 mins each, first to address nature’s call and take picture near the scenic Narkanda, (which was full of Deodar trees. The whole stretch starting from Shimla-to Kufri-to Narkanda was like that), and then to admire the “mighty” Satluj (that is one ferocious river!!), a little before Rampur. We had also begun to spot the apple orchards, near Narkanda. The road had been pretty good so far, but it got little rough after Narkanda. The road was again awesome as we approached Rampur. Ashwin and Kavya had stayed at Narkanda the night before, and were waiting for us at Rampur. They were already done with their lunch by the time we reached. So, Jitu told them to carry on, while we get done with our lunch and other stuff (I had to do potty, remember). We decided to again catch up at Wangtoo, which was about 80kms or so, from Rampur. We had nice lunch and “hydrating” nimbu paani (it’s quite hot at Rampur) and then started again at about 4:05pm. After that, the view and ride were quite nice.

    Right after Narkanda:
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    Along the mighty Sutlej
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    Huge mountains, covered with the greens after rain, and the river flowing down below. It was a sight to behold, especially since our tummies were full and the weather was nice. At about 5:37pm, we had to stop about 4 kms from Wangtoo, due to the Wangtoo-Karcham dam construction work. They had probably blasted the mountain, and were clearing the debris. I sulked at Jitu for telling me that I am taking unnecessary pictures, and didn’t take anymore after that, till we were about to reach Sangla (“Sulking Queen” as I am!).

    Some of the scenes along the way, after we entered the Kinnaur region:

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    Debris cleaning in progress, the blasting was done before we had reached:
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    We were able to start again at about 5:50pm. We reached a place called Tapri, by 6:16pm, and realized that we probably already crossed Wangtoo, and didn’t realize it. There was no way to check with Ashwin/Kavya, as none of us had network (both being Vodafone) in our phones. The road after that halt was quite treacherous, due to the dam construction. There was mud all over and the ride was bumpy. We decided to carry on, as people told us that Sangla is only about 28 kms or so, from there. Jitu said that knowing Ashwin, he would probably make it to Sangla too. So, that’s what we did. The road to Sangla became quite secluded, after a turn separated us from the road we had taken so far. It seemed like no man’s land. It was a relief to see the first vehicle coming from the other side. That was another experience though. I felt so small (I always do when I contemplate while out in nature), and everything else seemed so immense. I felt if I were to die here right now, I would just become part of everything else around. There was an absolute stillness about everything. The mountains were huge, and there were rocks jutting out on the road, above our heads, while we rode. Trees abound everywhere and land had slid at several places, taking huge trees along with it. I marveled at the enormity of nature, earth, and this universe. All I could hear was the roar of the bike, and the absolute silence of the valley. And then suddenly, just like that, we came across this amazing site, after taking a turn (which happens quite a lot in mountains, and happened quite a lot with us on this trip). We saw the river, which had been flowing down in the valley, all this while, coming down from a great height, and there was a dam there, in the middle of nowhere.

    We stopped, and Jitu asked me to take a picture. That’s when he realized that I had not been taking any, all this time, and laughed about it, when I told him I had been sulking. Anyway, we took some pictures and moved on. Up next, came the land slide prone area (which was again a constant feature on this ride). I took a big sigh of relief once we crossed it. We could see the Sangla valley after that, along with the full dam site. The valley was full of trees, mostly apples. Apples were still small in size and green, at most of the places we went to. We also started seeing the local people, and we noticed that they all wear the traditional himachali cap, both men and women. I had never seen women wear them before. Also, many women were wearing their traditional dress too, which includes a warm wrap around, top and shawl, along with the cap. We finally reached Sangla at around 7:15pm or so. It was getting dark and cold. Although it’s a valley, but it is at such a high altitude, that it gets quite cold at night. There is a hotel Prakash in Sangla, that was recommended to Jitu by one of his club members, and we started looking for that. There was still no signal (and it stayed that way till we reached Narkanda again, on our way back).

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    The hotel we had stayed at (this was actually clicked the morning after)
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    We were also worried about Ashwin/Kavya, and looking around for them as well. We couldn’t find them in the main market (which is quite small), and therefore rode on, in search of hotel Prakash. Jitu asked if we should ride on to Chitkul and halt there, but I was too tired and cold by then, and it was getting dark. I told him we should halt at Sangla. We found the hotel a little after the market, and by the time Jitu came out after checking the rent, Ashwin and Kavya appeared too! It was such a relief to see them! We had decided to try and call them from a PCO, after finding the hotel. They told us they had reached some time back too. They had waited for us at Tapri, had tea there, but we missed them. They also tried calling us and left a message, but we didn’t get it, of course. They both had airtel connection and it was working fine. Anyway, we were finally re-united and it was time for celebration. We went to the market, got some “warm’ stuff to counter the cold weather, and checked-in after that. The hotel was alright. Beds were clean and it had a geyser. We only washed-up a bit, and sat down to chat, eat, drink and be merry. We were all quite tired and our behinds were sore from the joyride from Wangtoo to Sangla, but it was nice to be together and sharing our experiences. Both Jitu and my shoes and denims (at the bottom) were spattered with mud. And mysteriously, Ashwin and Kavya’s white shoes were still quite white, with probably just some dust on them. Haven’t been able to solve that one yet! Anyway, we called it a night after we all started feeling sleepy, post dinner.

    One of the boards in the Sangla market, I wonder what PainCake is all about:

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    #3
  4. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Day 3 – 22nd July’09

    Sangla—Chitkul—Sangla—Rekong Peo--Kalpa

    Total Distance covered - 150kms approx

    I got up in the morning, to a splendid view of the Sangla valley, despite being in a “room without view”. I sipped my green tea outside, savoring the sight along with it. The sky was a little overcast and it was bit cold. The river was flowing down below (it was pretty close, and we later repented not going near it when we had the chance), and we were surrounded by huge green mountains and apple trees from all sides.

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    It was so refreshing to have the first cup of tea in that place. I thought to myself, how lucky to be able to do it everyday of your life. But then I realized that we always tend to take for granted what we have, and pine for what we don’t. The people around there might not be much different. I wanted to linger on and enjoy the experience, but we had to get going. So, I reluctantly started getting ready. I had a cup of coffee after the tea, as Ashwin and Kavya confirmed that it was nice. I did a bit of exercise, jumped on my bed for some time, and eventually went for bath. Everyone else was already done with their breakfast by the time I got ready. I had mine too, aloo paraantha (they were really yum. The best we had in the trip) and coffee. I packed up my stuff, and we started from there around 12:30pm.

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    The ride to Chitkul was very scenic, and full of excitement. We encountered many mini-streams on the road, which we had to cross, and managed to get our feet a bit wet in the process. Kavya was the worst hit as she had to get down at one such streams and cross it on foot. She got her legs wet almost till knees.

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    The sky was overcast throughout, and it began to drizzle a bit by the time we reached Chitkul. We also saw couple of camp sites on the route, and Jitu told me they are quite expensive. They were down in the valley, right next to the river. Must be exciting to stay in those! We also saw many border security force trucks and personnel en route, as the area is very close to China border.

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    We reached Chitkul at around 1:35pm. The view was amazing; green valley with patches of yellow flowers, mountains all around, mist and clouds, and more of that, in the far horizon. Chitkul is a very small place, surrounded with lush green fields. We stayed there for a bit, took some pictures, and then decided to head back, as it was beginning to drizzle. We met these two cute little kids, who rushed to us, the moment we alighted from our bikes. We took there pictures and they would start shouting “dikhaao, dikhaao”, the moment we took their pictures. Their double doze of innocence (childhood topped with the innocence that comes naturally to people who are yet untouched by commercial world) made them really adorable, and although I wanted to stay on and enjoy a cup of tea of maybe stay, we moved on, as Ashwin wanted to reach Kalpa today, from where he could get a view of the mighty “Kinner Kailash”.


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    So, we started from and reached back Sangla at around 2:30pm. We just took a short washroom break and headed towards Kalpa. We stopped on the way to fix a minor hitch in Ashwin’s bike at one place and then to re-fuel, as Jitu’s bike was running on reserve. He rode on neutral most of the way downhill from Sangla, to save fuel, which he told me is not quite safe, as it reduces control over speed.

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    We reached Reckong Peo, a sizeable town a few kilometers before Kalpa, to have lunch, at around 4:30pm. It was a nice experience to have lunch outdoors, with a view of the snow covered peaks, that were beginning to show now, with the clouds clearing a bit. We started from Rekong at about 5:30pm and reached Kalpa by 6pm.

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    We found a reasonable place to stay, with a nice and clear view of both Kailash and Parvati peaks. We couldn’t see the mighty Kailash till after some time though, as it had gone in hiding, probably due to some tiff with Parvati (I made up a story about that, when me and Kavya went for a walk while the guys were gone booze hunting). Kalpa was again full of apple and other fruit trees. We saw Khubani trees for the first time and Kavya was all excited to taste the “exotic” fruits. She was a little disappointed later, to find none like she had found on her trip to Kodai Kanal. She pacified her taste bud by tasting the raw apples and some ripe khubani’s. After we settled down, the guys went to Rekong, to get some booze, and we had some tea and went for a walk. Took some pictures, went a little far, and huffed and puffed our way back to the place.

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    This probably isnt what you think it is:
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    We sat out in the garden and had some pakoras and drinks. It got little cold as the evening progressed into night, and we finally decided to shift indoors. I had instructed the keeper to make the daal and aloo matar sabzi the way I like it and it turned out to be really yum. He had made it just right. His name was “Pappu” and he was from Kolkata. He told us that they are here only during the season. They shut down the hotel between Nov-March, when it is very cold and there is snow, and go back to Kolkata. He also told us that the snow piles up so high that the doors can’t be opened. Now, that would be some experience. Kavya really wanted to see snow and was quite disappointed when she realized that there would be none close by, at this time of the year. They might come down sometime during the winters later. Anyway, we had our dinner and bid good night to each other.


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    Thats me, this is how my eyes are once I am a few drinks down :D
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    #4
  5. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Day 4 – 23rd July’09

    Kalpa—Rekong—Spillow—Nako

    Total Distance covered -130 kms approx

    Jitu tried to wake me up early in the morning, to watch the sunrise, but I was too sleepy, didn’t realize he tried to wake me up, and missed it. He and Ashwin went to the terrace and took some nice pictures.

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    For me, the day again started with green tea and great view. I didn’t take a bath as it would have delayed us further. So, just had some maggi for breakfast, and packed-up to start. We started at around 11am, but had to halt at Rekong, due to problem with Ashwin’s bike’s forks. It tuned out that it needed to be replaced completely. As there was no other work-around to it, we waited while that was being done. We had decided to reach Nako today, but by the time we got done, we weren’t really sure if we would be able to make it.

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    We had halted at Rekong at around 12:25pm, and started again at 2pm. The road was being constructed at several places and we had to halt at a place for about 20 minsor so, due to the same. I was quite hungry by the time we stopped at Spillow, at about 3pm. We had our lunch quickly and started again at about 3:25pm. The meal at Spillow was quite nice. I had a vegetarian thali, which included Rajma daal, rice, roti and aloo gobhi sabzi. The route from then on was simply amazing.

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    We saw mountains like we had never seen before. Completely barren, majestic and awe-inspiring. The roads were alright, just broken at few places. The view kept getting more and more enchanting, with every few kilometers. The mountains got mightier and the isolation kept increasing. The words that came to mind were; Hindukush, Afganistan, God, and complete silence. Barring few army vehicles and a few other vehicles far between, we were probably the only people riding those roads at that time.We kept riding by the river for a long time, and then the road moved upwards. There were hairpin bends and the view was inexplicable. The only other creatures we saw on those roads after we took that turn up, were the donkeys/mules. There they were, right in the middle of nowhere, looking vulnerable and at home, at the same time.

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    First this:
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    Then, this!
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    This is a temple right next to the very first Army checkpost along the route
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    I had a sight headache that started sometime before Spillow, and as we rode higher, it began to grow as well. By the time we reached the peak at Nako, my headache had peaked too, and I was in a terrible condition. We later realized that it must have aggravated due to the altitude, as myself and other had a little bit of breathlessness too, while we were there. We first went to see the lake, but I wasn’t much interested. There wasn’t much to write home about anyway, it was quite small, much like a big pond, but I think it might have appeared better, if I was feeling better. I wanted to have some nice hot tea. So, we sat down at a place for tea, and thankfully, they serve tea in tall glasses. Although the tea gave me a little relief, the headache only got worse with passing time. It was quite cold and windy too, and that made matters worse. By the time we managed to find a place to stay, all I could think of was to get in a warm bed and sleep it away. I barely managed to take my shoes off, and dozed off. Jitu came to give me food and medicine and I slept again, after taking that. The others followed the routine of winding down at the end of the day, as they told me later.

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    #5
    knight likes this.
  6. chook chaser

    chook chaser adv

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    111
    :ear nice start I always enjoy the reports from India
    tx
    #6
  7. heffe

    heffe #$%^&U*&^%$#@

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,054
    :D :lurk

    very nice.
    #7
  8. cyberdos

    cyberdos Easy Bonus Loop ♦♦

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    49,205
    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Incredible stuff. :thumb
    #8
  9. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Day 5 – 24th July’09

    Nako--Sarahan

    Total Distance covered - 150kms approx

    I got up quite early in the morning as I had slept early, but I kept lying down. I finally got up when Jitu told me that we need to leave if we plan on hitting Sarahan. I was feeling better by then, the headache was gone but head was little heavy from it. We packed up and had some nice tea before starting.

    Not a bad sight to wake up to:
    [​IMG]

    A kid was looking on as I was packing my stuff on to the bike, true innocence:
    [​IMG]

    Trying to break the ice:
    [​IMG]


    It had begun to drizzle when we started from Nako, at around 7:30am. We took our first break at some roadside dhaba, at around 9:05am. Although it was full of flies and not that clean, we ate there as I was quite hungry and beginning to feel the headache again. I felt much better after the food and tea.

    The dhaba we had the breakfast at:
    [​IMG]


    We again had to halt mid-way, due to the road construction, for about 15 mins or so. We reached Powari by 12pm and started again at 12:15pm, after having some cold drinks.


    The road around Wangtoo-Karcham Dam project was full of dust, the local authorities were watering the surface all day long so that there is no problems spotting the oncoming traffic:
    [​IMG]

    We reached a place called Jeori by 2:30pm and had our lunch. We started from Jeori at about 3:30pm and reached Sarahan by 4pm. The road to Sarahan was quite nice and route was pleasant. We wanted to stay there for the night, and visit the famous Bheemakaali temple. We checked into a place after reaching, had some tea and took bath first. I had not bathed for 2 days and the roads near the Karcham-Wangtoo dam area had been very dusty. It was nice and sunny when we had reached, but by the time we got ready, it was again overcast, and had rained a bit. I had carried and umbrella all this while and now was the time to use it. So, feeling all clean and refreshed, with my umbrella n hand, we went towards the Bheemakali temple. It was getting dark and we just managed to take some shots.

    [​IMG]

    The Temple at night:
    [​IMG]

    We didn’t pursue it much and decided to return in the morning. The new temple is only about 45 or so years old, but there is a small ancient temple too, which appeared quite old, although nobody was able to tell us how old. The temple has a lot of woodwork and looks very beautiful, in the midst of the surrounding mountains full of deodar trees. The town itself is quite small, but there was no dearth of places to stay. The place we stayed at was very close to the temple, we could see it from our room windows. There is a very beautiful government run hotel right next to the temple, but it was kind of out of budget for us. Anyway, the temple is dedicated to the Bheem avatar of goddess Kaali. She took that avatar and killed the demons in the surrounding area, at that time. It is definitely a worth watch. Sarahan was also the only place where we found the apples bigger than all the other places in the Kinnaur region at that time. After the darshan at the temple, we decided to try out some local dishes, as there are quite a lot of Tibetan migrants settled there. We went to this small place called “New Friends” and had the most amazing vegetable soup, just for 5 bucks!! The lady at the shop was quite nice and told us that they make the soup with fresh vegetables. It is a must try, if you ever happen to be there. We had already ordered dinner at the place we were staying, and after having the soup, we regretted our decision. Anyway, we went back, had dinner, and called it a night.

    The soup:
    [​IMG]

    I found the following abt the temple on the internet:

    The wooden Bhimakali Temple is a grand specimen of hill architecture in a mix of Hindu and Buddhist styles. The palaces of the royal families of the Bushahr rulers are nearby. The present Bhimakali Temple is a new one, built in 1927. The old temple, nearby, has an amusing story to it - it got tilted slightly in the 1905 earthquake, and then miraculously straightened back with a subsequent tremor! It is said that the foundations of this temple are very deep and that there is a disused tunnel that connects this to the village of Ranwin, a kilometre away. Pundits (priests) would enter and leave the temple through this secret passage. The complex has smaller temples too, dedicated to Lord Narsingh and Lord Raghunath.
    #9
    knight likes this.
  10. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks chook chaser, heffe and cyberdos
    #10
  11. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    567
    Location:
    Currently in Australia
    Timed internet here in Australia sucks! tak about culture shock, I just saw an indian resturant with prices for a curry for 16 AUD. Big difference from the once in india for a buck!

    Looks like some good stuff here, but I'll have to come back to it for a better look when I have more time. Good job nice to see more Indians here making reports on their amazing country.
    #11
  12. akshaymurthy

    akshaymurthy Thumping Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    56
    Kickass Ride! Thanks for sharin the pics
    #12
  13. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    23,390
    Location:
    Frazeysburg, OH
    Outstanding photographs! I miss India :waysad
    #13
  14. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,206
    Location:
    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    I must say some of the roads you were are awesome.......
    #14
  15. mega-hertz

    mega-hertz creature of the wheel

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    circle city,ca(home) afghanistan, (work)
    totaly awesome ride.
    i really need to find a way to ride india.:clap
    #15
  16. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Awesome report jitubisht. Thanks for sharing.
    #16
  17. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,394
    Location:
    Rickover's Navy
    Sarahan was the highlight of my trip to Himachal.

    A pic of the temple:

    [​IMG]


    My fav spot in Sarahan, a bar with a view:

    [​IMG]


    :lol3


    THanks for the report, India is an amazing place.
    #17
  18. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for sharing the Sarahan pics JohnyDrunkard

    Love the beer pic :D

    I think thats from the same HPTDC place we couldnt afford. We really wanted to sit there and have a cup of tea atleast.. I know I would ve loved beer on that view for sure :freaky
    #18
  19. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,394
    Location:
    Rickover's Navy
    Namaste jitubisht!

    Yeah...that's the HPTDC guest house, and it was pricey, something like 1500 INR. I saved money by eating in the temple...60 INR for all you can eat veg food.

    :thumb
    #19
  20. jitubisht

    jitubisht Jitendra

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Yup. It was still 1500 INR when I visited in July 2009

    I ended up staying at a hotel which was 300 INR a night. One of the pic here is from the room itself. But I must admit, the HPTDC hotel had a view to die for.
    #20