We started on Saturday, 5th of Dec 2010 for Kotdwar. And it was not the best of beginnings. Started late than we had planned and got lost in the maize of connaught place's circle before reaching to anand vihar. The entire process of finding out the correct way just took too much time. But once we reached Anand Vihar things changed. Roads got better, almost creamy from there on. But my biking partner and me lost track of each other. Assuming that both of us would keep moving, and we did keep moving met at some place near Meerut.
Discussed about the directions and the best roads with the locals present and we were all set to rule the roads from there on, our next targets being Kotdwar. Soon bikes were taking with the winds making a noise that every biker loves. Views changed as fast as a movie played on fast forward mode where you know of everything happening around and at the same time you don't know of anything in proper details. Anyways reached Kotdwar by 3 o'clock.
It was time for some food. We hadn't had anything since morning except some tea. After having our food we decided to move on for destination next , Lansdowne, some 45 kms from Kotdwar. It was a moment which played on my nerves because I had never driven bike in mountainous ranges and path to Lansdowne is known to be no less tortuous than any of its counterparts in shivalik mountain ranges.
Anyways, risk is the name of the game. Prepared myself mentally and set we were for the next part of the trip. Was anxious at first few turns, especially the U turns but got hold of things pretty soon and it did not really take time when I had started to enjoy biking there. Stopped at many spots in between when ever got a view worth trapping though the lenses . Though after every shot clicked got the same feeling that God is the greatest painter and eyes are the best cameras invented. The images that i was clicking were not doing anything close to justice to the panorama of the hills. With this process repeating after every 20-25 mins it took us some time reaching Lansdowne and we reached there by 6 o'clock .
It was my first time at the place and I was just mesmerised by the tranquility the town threw at you. Very small town, hardly commercialised , offering you with decent market where one can get all basic amenities (I hope you all understand). We did not rush for any more hustle and bustle, got a cheap n decent room for ourselves. Made use of the basic amenities to beat the chill and got a nice sleep in the lap of nature.
Next morning was equally serene and temperature was not as low as the previous night.
We were late in waking though and missed the chance to trap amazing sunrise through the curtain of mountains in our gear. Without delaying it any further we started for our next destination Tarkeshwar temple, located 35 kms from Lansdowne this was probably the most solacing place I visited in the entire trek.
So this lace presented me the first encounter with a zero point, site where the roads ended at that point and we were there biking till the very last nook.
The temple had a mystique associated with it and it hovered over you just as you a get a glimpse of it. Surrounded by tall coniferous trees from all around and zillions of bells hanging everywhere, the landscape it presented to the eyes could be nothing other than a treat. Ride back to lansdowne was amazing too, was feeling pretty fluent with driving in rocks now and had made friends with the curves. Once we reached a point from where there were two ways one back down to kotdwar and other to lansdowne it was a emotional moment.
Other friend(Ashish) was returning from this place as he hadn't any more leaves approved with him and I was supposed to go further in the terrains alone. Well we bid each other happy journey for the rest of the trip.
My next destination was Khurshi (An even smaller village in Pauri) some 100 kms from the Lansdowne. Was not sure whether it would be worth covering so much distance. Had read about this village on Internet and that was all the information I had as it is not a well known hill sttaion type of place. But all kind of doubts were over when i saw the sun set over the snowcapped mountains on my way to Khurshi.
Reached there late evening took a room and went straight forward to sleep. Next morning was special. Roamed through the narrow foot walks in the village observing the details of the place and the beauty of nature of course.
It was amazing to see how people living there adjusted their lifestyles according to the tough conditions these terrains provided. Interacted with some elders of the village who introduced me to the history of the village, the knowledge of mountains, and the bliss of having abode in those mountains.
On feeling content with my intimacy with the place I decided to start my journey back home but through a different route to learn about more unknown lands. Rode from khurshi to srinagar. This time the confidence was all boozing while biking.
Stopping at random points, interacting with locals, and enjoying every bit of nature. After reaching sri nagar I had made up my mind of wrapping things up fast now and not stopping that frequently. But the mountains were also in love with me by that time it seemed. The terrains got rougher forcing me to stay longer. It was tough and challenging but equally enjoyable. Next stop was at Devprayag. After this the roads turned better and raced up my accelerator. Did not stop much. Though did stop a rhishikesh n haridwar for small breaks and some odd clicks which did not come well in all those hassle. Went nostalgic when i stopped at roorkee in front of my college.
Never thought that just passing in front of it would have such an effect. Had first good meal of the day at Punjabi Dhaba(There would be hardly any soul from IIT Roorkee who would not remember this name). It was already dark by that time and was time for cautious driving. Delhi was still 170 kms and I was feeling the tiredness now. Did it the best way I could and when I was just few 100 mts away from ma place in gurgaon a smile effused on ma face broad and loud, celebrating the journey, the destinations and every moment of it.
PS: There is so much to write that I can just go on and on. Still I have tried to brief it up expressing the best parts of it.