Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated

Tripoto
25th Apr 2014
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
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Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
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Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
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Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
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Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora
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Photo of Land of the Gods; Wanderism Rejuvenated by Rahul Arora

;Land Of The Gods: Wanderism Rejuvenated

 7 days of bliss, adventure & vigor... 1575 kilometers of life...

What a ride it’s been! Dense forests, malignant roads, curious curves, fierce rivers, mighty peaks & remotest hill stations. I lived by the TW3 tag line aptly, free to wander but never lost. I had planned for the most isolated places in Uttarakhand, but the outcome is even more enthralling. In spite of the loneliness in the air, I wandered into the most untouched places of the dynamic valleys.

Greetings to everyone out there! Kudos to the initiative by Wrangler & xBhp, to bring forth the vigor & love for motorcycling to a nationwide platform. I’d like to devote my sincere thanks to the organizers, the judges and my friends & family who voted for my travelogue in the prelims. I have come to believe that love for something so materialistic yet profound, shall go in vain unless gone too far.

Who am I?

I get startled when someone asks me if I’ve left my full time job. To my surprise, some of my friends believe that this is a part of my job, which I think is very thoughtful & I aspire so. My name is Rahul Arora and I’m from Delhi. I’m a mechanical engineer by profession, a writer-photographer-blogger by expression, a music lover by nature & a fervent biker by obsession.

Day 0 | 24th April’14: Preparation, Planning & Curiosity

The moment I had been waiting for finally arrived. I prepared a vulnerable itinerary that captures some of the most untouched parts of Uttarakhand. Major chunk of preparation involved compiling enough knowledge about the destination as well as the road conditions. A special thanks to my friends & family who have been there by my side every time I headed out to a new direction. I presume this ride to be one of a kind. I’ll be wandering in the thickest of the forests & eyeing down from the highest of the peaks in Uttarakhand. The itinerary is in place, everything else will be dealt on the road.

Day 1 | 25th April’14: Bon Voyage | Delhi-Haldwani

The day arrived. The most satisfying fact about the flag-off was that my parents & my friend joined me there. It was great to meet the Wrangler as well as xBhp officials. Onlookers stared as we clicked a dozen photographs, with Wrangler staff, xBhp members & my family of course.

Beholding warm wishes from everyone, I kicked off the ride of a lifetime. I got myself on NH-24 within an hour. And from there, it was just me & the highway. Roads were in fine condition. Especially, the one joining Moradabad Bypass-Rampur is a gem of a tarmac. But not for long; it took me hours to get past the pot-hole ridden roads of the countryside. Hence, I had to cut short the day’s ride to Haldwani instead of Nainital as initially planned. I reached Haldwani at 08:45PM, had a nice dinner & decided to call it a day.

Day 2 | 26th April’14: Into the hills | Haldwani-Chaukori

The uphill ride from Haldwani started with some broken roads, but soon the road conditions improved. I was riding through some curvy roads & all of a sudden the Naini Lake appeared. I clicked some photographs around the Naini Lake & the mall road, and quickly headed for the Snow View Point situated 6 kms uphill from the town. It’s situated at a height of 7460ft. asl & offers panoramic views of Himalayas. Next up on the list was Sattal, a cluster of seven freshwater lakes located 22 kms from Nainital. Oak & Pine trees filled the environs & it was lush green all around. Tourists enjoyed boating in the green colored lake while kids tried their hands at rappelling.

It was 01:00 PM; I saddled up & headed towards Almora. Going forward, I was past the townships of Seraghat & Berinag by 06:30PM. I managed to arrive at Chaukori at 07:15PM. The tiny hamlet turned out to be exactly as I thought, if not immensely silent & remote. It’s a small hamlet; luckily I got hold of a fine place to stay. I had dinner and hit the bed hoping for a mild encounter with the sun the next morning. 

Day3 | 27th April’14: A mix of good-n-bad | Chaukori-Munsyari

Good-n-bad seemed just an apt title for the day’s ride. Good because I laid my sight on the humble Himalayan peaks for the first time on the ride & bad because the roads that I chose turned out to be terrible.

I left Chaukori at 09:30AM with my next halt set at Thal. And the roads to Thal were amazingly good. Accompanied with the oak & pine trees throughout the length of the road, I reached Thal at 11:00AM. Further, making my way through some really bad tarmac, I reached Munsyari at 04:00PM. Perched at a height of 7500 ft. asl in the Johar Valley, Munsyari offers panoramic views of the cluster of Panchchuli Himalayan range. I felt sanctified to be surrounded by the mighty Himalayan ranges clothed in snow touching the skies. 

Day4 | 28th April’14: The appealing quaintness | Munsyari-Kausani

At dawn, the crimson light from behind the sky-shattering mountains filled the air with serenity. The sun peeked out from the cracks & conceded life to the world. The cluster of five peaks appeared ravishing. As the sun scaled up, the secretive Nanda Devi started to appear & surrendered to the crimson love.

I had a light breakfast, suited up & kicked off towards my journey towards Birthi Waterfalls, Girgaon. The roads from Munsyari to Girgaon are well-laid but the valley is seemingly dangerous. Vertical hills make up for a thrilling vista. Birthi Waterfalls, falling from a height of 126 meters, looked quite humble. I moved forth & making my way through Tejam & Sama village, I reached Bageshwar at 03:00PM.

Moving ahead, I could easily reach Kausani by 05:20PM & the sun was still up. But I was little disheartened as there was no view of the Himalayas from the hotel, just clouds. Well, there was nothing I could do about the clouds, but the hotel interiors appealed to me. It was all carved out of wood, the furniture & the corridors were nicely pared. There was a long corridor with a balcony facing the valley over which the snow-clad peaks of Himalayas rest. Next was a fine dinner & I was off to bed.

Day5 | 29th April’14: Wander into isolation | Kausani-Chopta

While the Himalayas didn’t quite interact when I arrived in Kausani, they made it up to me at dawn. As I woke up to the crimson colored skies, the Himalayas looked placid. The creeks bubbled in the silence of the quaint morning & the chirruping of the birds filled the air. Looking at the need of the hour, I quickly wrapped up my stuff & left for my next destination. The hotel owner told me, “Sir, it’s not easy what you are doing! It takes a lot of heart to do so.” I smiled at the kind accolade & waved him goodbye.

I blazed through the townships of Karanprayag & Gopeshwar while the sun was still fierce. The roads were absolute pleasure to ride on. Once I crossed Mandal, the last station before Chopta, the roads almost disappeared. Broken at almost all places, the roads took me into the thick forests of pine, deodar & rhododendrons. It was 06:00PM already & the sun almost disappeared. I lost hope of catching the sunset from the hilltop.

I steadily moved on but it was boundless pain for my bike to climb those heights in those conditions. At last when the 2 km-stone arrived, a sharp hairpin turn got me face to face with the dipping sun. After all the pain I & my bike suffered, I was finally glad to have chased down the sun. Chopta turned out to be the smallest hill station I’d ever seen. The accommodation was cheap & very basic. It’s an ordinary hamlet perched at an astounding height of 8790 ft. asl, but is rich in flora & fauna. Plus, the view is jubilant. There are thousands of reasons why one should avoid visiting Chopta for its lack of basic amenities, but the serenity of the place is unmatched.

Day6 | 30th April’14: Down to the woods | Chopta-Lansdowne

As I already knew that there won’t be a sunrise to witness in Chopta as it faced the sunset side, I had a fairly sufficient sleep & woke up at 06:30AM. I ordered a morning tea while I packed my stuff & got ready for the big ride ahead. It was a long day on the road. I passed some of the flood affected zones of Uttarakhand & it’s good to see that things are steadily coming back on track. The roads were smooth at almost all the parts except for Augustyamuni where the landslides were frequent & disrupted the construction process.

I set course towards Rudraprayag some 70 kms down the road. Within in an hour, I was in Ukhimath from where the road to Kedarnath diverts. The place experienced some share of destruction in the floods of 2013 & seemed like coming back to life with average roads & rebuilt civilization.

Making my way through Rudraprayag & Pauri, I reached Lansdowne at 03:30PM. As soon as I entered Lansdowne, the scene changed drastically. There were no broken roads & well-kept neighborhoods welcomed me. Lansdowne is a Cantonment area & is home to Garhwal Rifles regiment. I settled in a cottage at the Tip-n-Top point that faced the sunrise side of the valley aptly. It was a graceful forest, opening up to a wide cliffside. While the birds chirruped distinctly, the mighty sun dipped in camouflage. I managed to capture the scene in all conscience.

Day7 | 1st May’14: The homecoming ride | Lansdowne-Delhi

As speculated, the modest sun gave a bright start to the day as it came out of the blues & enlightened the entire valley. I packed my bags & saddled up. I left the idyllic town of Lansdowne & headed to Tarkeshwar Temple situated 35 kms outside the town.

Perched at a height of 5900 ft. asl, the Tarkeshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated amidst a dense cover of cedar & pine trees. Around the temple, thousands of bells have been hung in order & when resonated in unison fill the place with tranquility. I took blessings from Lord Shiva & did my prayers. I didn’t miss out on thanking God for this opportunity of a lifetime to go for a dream ride. With the heart filled & spirits crowned, I made my way back to the exit.

I reached Kotdwar at 01:30PM & the sun was at peak. I stopped for lunch & tossed away the heat. I reached Meerut bypass at around 04:00PM. It took me an hour just to cross Meerut. Soon after I picked up pace, the roads seemed to converge on me & the moments from the ride flashed past me. Making my way through Ghaziabad, I reached the finish line, my home at 06:45PM. My father was already out in the balcony waiting for me to arrive. It felt great to meet my parents after a week-long ride. They sure are proud & that’s the most rewarding fact for me.

A journey ended, only to leverage the moments spent wandering into the almighty nature. It was great to be a part of the captivating journey of a lifetime with Wrangler & xBhp. It’s a superlative fact that I lived the moments with sheer love & passion. I’m heart-filled at the vehemence that I’ve felt throughout this ride & I aspire to share this with others. I wander for essence & this may never change. Cheers to those who love to wander!

Live. Ride. Smile. Find Yourself.

Rahul Arora

The glittering jewel of Uttarakhand
Chaukori, perched at a height of 6600ft above sea level is known for its salubrious tea garden set up by British & of course some splendid views of the heavenly Himalayas
At a height of 7500ft. above sea level, Munsyari enjoys the calmness of exquisite nature. The word “Munsyari” means “a place with snow”, and it totally lives up to its name! Munsyari is famous among trekkers who set their course to Milam, Ralam & Namik glaciers. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect spot to get close to picturesque vistas of the mighty Himalayas. One can eye at acquainting with some mind-boggling landscapes & snow-clad Himalayas.
Kausani is enjoyed as a quite hilltop joint that offers peace of mind & panoramic views of enchanting Himalayas. There are several viewpoints which are well connected by motorable roads. The only sounds to be heard at dawn are the chirruping of birds filling the valley with vigor.
The picturesque hamlet Chopta, precariously rests at a height of 8790ft. above sea level. The place is still unexplored by tourists. Rich flora & fauna along with thick forest cover give Chopta a unruffled aura that a wanderer craves for.
Not too popular among tourists, Khirsu is a set aside beautiful destination for explorers & wanderers. Offering unimaginable views of the Himalayas, the tiny hamlet has very basic amenities for tourists.
A fairly popular hill-station in the Garhwal Himalayas, Lansdowne, is known for its lush-green forest cover. Lansdowne is the home to Garhwal Rifles division of Indian Army and offers fabulous options of exploring the woods.
1 Comment(s)
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Loved the write up. Brave trip young man! Three cheers to you.
Thu 05 12 16, 04:02 · Reply (1) · Report
Thanks buddy. I'm glad you liked it. Rahul
Thu 05 12 16, 23:48 · Report
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