Posts Tagged ‘Road trip’

“At one stage of life, one only remembers the best moments of life. To gain more of these memorable moments, one should never stop exploring, dreaming and discovering. For enjoying holidays away from the exhausting routine, nothing can be better than experiencing the natural beauty and serene environment with the family during a tour!”

We went to Nainital for the first time in October 2019. Our Journey was started from Delhi to Bareilly, train time was at 6:30 PM. After the journey of 5 hours, we reached Bareilly Railway Station at 11:30 PM. Next day we attended housewarming ceremony of my sister’s new home. It was a major event, there is a lot of ritual around the event. Usually This Pooja is done to ward off the negative vibration and create a peaceful ambiance.

This is the first time when the whole family gather outside the hometown to be a part of any event and it was such a memorable moment for all of us when we all were together to celebrate family function apart from marriage 😊. We had already plan for a 1 night and 2-day trip of Nainital and Mukteshwar because its nearby Bareilly. We were very happy especially for our parents that after a long time, they were going for a trip by excuse of housewarming ceremony, nowadays they rarely leave the house/hometown because of health issue. It was also our first trip with parents, so our excitation was at its peak.

Nainital offers many attractions, including the beautiful mountain views, to the amazing boating experience in its huge lake. It also possesses a fun filled Zoo, for the children to enjoy, with the finest animals to amuse them and famous ‘Mall Road’ for shopping where you are bound to buy the exquisite decorative pieces, candles being the specialty of Nainital.

Day-1

Next day morning we all woke up early, done with the breakfast and got ready around 7 O’clock in morning. We have already hired a traveler from Bareilly to Nainital as we were 13 people. Nainital is around 145 km away from Bareilly and approx. 4 hours of journey. We enjoyed the scenic view of the way with 90’s melodious songs and eagerly waiting for the destination, had some snacks, small nap and we finally came to Nainital around 11 AM. The climate was very cool, as this beautiful place welcomed us with a sunshine smile and soothing breeze.

The exciting thing about the place was sudden appearance of the beautiful lake when we entered in Nainital. My heart got lost in the lake. The water is lush green, the view of lake was awesome. You keep on waiting and looking curiously and wonder how possibly a big lake could be residing in between those mountain ranges. Our hotel was very close to the Lake, we check-in into hotel, dumping the luggage and got ready for city tour. The rooms were nice, comfortable, spacious and quite cosy with big glass windows offering a beautiful landscape of the valley. The ambience of the room also felt good. You can see the beautiful sunrise, right out of the window and admire the colors falling in the valley from the top.

Our plan was to first go to Naini lake to do boating, we reached at lake. This beautiful lake is surrounded by seven different mountain peaks and is divided into two distinct sections, with the Northern part, named Mallital and the Southern part – Tallital. Naini lake is Nainital’s jewel and is said to be the emerald-green eyes (Naina means eyes in Sanskrit/Hindi) of Shiva’s wife, Sati, that fell in that exact spot after she self-immolated. The Naina Devi Temple is near the lake and said to be located at the exact same spot where the eye had fallen.

Somehow plan was changed, and we went to a restaurant in the market for lunch. The food was really delicious and during the lunch we decided to first cover all the local points of Nainital. We hired cab and driver took us to several points and first one was Eco Cave garden. It’s a small garden with six caves in the shape of various animals.

Naini peak

This is the view point of Nainital Lake, from here you can see the whole lake in Mango shape. You can also see the Panoramic view of the Nainital city. In the evening with the lights around it looks even more beautiful. if you are nature lover, I am sure that you will love it.

Lovers Point

Lovers Point and Suicide Point are two nearby viewpoints in Nainital. Lover’s Point is famous for the scenic views it provides. The Lovers Point is genuinely romantic and gives an extreme perspective of the rich green mountains and valley incorporating it where excellent pictures and videos can be taken.

Snow View Point

This is one of famous view point in Nainital. Here we seen the Himalayas range that are covered with snow. You can eat here, play games, get photographs clicked in traditional dresses. There was a rope-way from Mall road to reach here. We were here for an hour and then headed toward “Fun Adventure Park” we clicked some pictures and then back to Naina Devi temple.

Naina Devi Temple

It’s a beautiful temple located one side of Naini lake and Tibetan Market. The temple is at a walking distance from the Nainital lake and mall road, which makes it easily accessible. The atmosphere is divine, and the views are just awesome.

Naina Devi temple is one of the most revered Hindu temples of India. According to the story in mythology, the Naina Devi temple came into existence when the eyes of Goddess Sati fell to that ground while Lord Shiva was carrying her self-immolated corpse. The deity in Naina Devi temple is the famous Goddess Naina Devi, and the two eyes are represented in the temple in her honor. As one of the famous Hindu pilgrimage sites, it is built amidst beautiful surroundings. This temple has become one of the most iconic places of Nainital and is considered as one of the Shakti Peeths.

We were visited this temple during the “Navratri” and it was too crowded. The temple is very clean and organized and there are no touts to cheat. In the evening, the beautiful lighting covered the whole temple, view was really amazing. Great devotional experience, felt fresh, calm, and exceptional. From the temple, you can view the Nainital lake as well, we captured some pictures here and After that we visited “Tibetian Market” and then went for shopping at mall road.

Mall Road

Nainital is not only a beautiful place where you can go to enjoy the scenic views and the sight of clean waters and green slopes, it’s also offer other stuff to do at mall road including shopping. The Mall Road in Nainital is synonymous to the city itself. Running parallel to the Naini Lake, the Mall Road is 1.5 km long and connects the two ends of Nainital town, Mallital and Tallital. It serves as the prime location for culture, food and shopping. Mall road is your go-to place for some delicious food, especially if you are a Momo-lover, it is heaven for you. Other attractions include local craft, woolens and candles. If, after the exceptional scenic beauty Nainital has something to offer to its visitors, it’s the candles and other aromatic products.

It was generally crowded place. There was Strict traffic rules especially for mall road to control the traffic. We bought some handicraft and woolen, ate various dishes on the mall road. Overall, was a great experience. It had already gone dark by the time when we crossed the lake via mall road during the returning to hotel. The first thing I noticed was the reflection of lights on the Naini Lake and the houses/hotels in the backdrop shining to their brightest. In the end of the day finally took the dinner of typical north Indian food.

Day-2

Visited Naini Lake in the early morning. We dressed up, packed our travel paraphernalia and left the hotel for Naini lake which was walking distance from hotel. The view of the sparkling water of the Naini Lake with huge mountains in the backdrop will leave you spellbound.

Since it was a long weekend, there were a lot of tourists thronging the place. The crescent-shaped lake is a marvelous site to behold. Located at the center of the lake, the air around it was quite fresh and cool infusing us with zeal. The boat ride we took was a relaxing one. Surrounded by magnificent water, we enjoyed the boat ride to the hilt. For a moment, all my worries evaporated, and I felt in communion with nature. After completing the boat ride, we went for the brunch and then we moved for Neem Karoli baba Ashram.

Then after a journey of 1 hr. 30 min we reached Neem Karoli baba Ashram which is also known as Kainchi dham, it is a basically a Hanuman Temple founded by the famous Maharaj Neem Karoli Baba in the year of 1962. The holy temple surrounded by hills, tree, and river flowing beside it. The sound of water flowing makes one go into meditative state. The great saint is no more present in his physical form, one can feel his presence who inspired Apple Co-Founder, Steve Jobs during his visit in the year of 1974. Later Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited in the year of 2008 and 2015 respectively.

Temple has maintained high level of cleanliness by not allowing any pooja items to be offered to deity. We felt fortunate and blessed. A must visit to this place which is full of natural beauty and spirituality.

Mukteshwar

This town got its name from a Shiva temple situated here by the name of Mukteshwar Dham. This temple is 350 years old and it is a very famous pilgrimage spot. Mukteshwar offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan mountain range.

After a journey of 50 Km finally we were in Mukteshwar, had a great fun in that journey. I wanted to visit this place since a long time. The weather was chilling cool. We did our darshan at the temple of Mukteshwar and went to “Chaulli ki Jaali” to witness the higher-raising fall from the top 😉. To be very frank only at the edge, with strong wind blowing my heart pumped a bit but then went calm. It was a feeling of like on top of everything, a great spot to watch some predators like Eagles.

It also offers rock climbing and rappelling. Anyways, we had a quick Maggie, got some coffee at the shack nearby, really enjoyed. We spend around two hours here and then headed back to Bareilly.

One thing I can say for sure that our family loves to travel! Unfortunately, we cannot always travel either for lack of time or other reasons because although we always seek an opportunity in order to reach our next destination, sometimes we are slow to reach.

My purpose of travel is to learn, take a short refreshing break from my professional life, meet new people and to explore something that I have never done before. This time i selected Road Trip but I had to choose that place which would be safer to drive on hills and would be within roughly 300 km radius from Delhi NCR. We had a lot of discussion from Bhangarh to Lansdown and finally we locked Dehradun/Mussoorie as a destination. The date chosen was 29th September and the period when we travelled was 29-Sep to 02-Oct’18. We already planned to cover all the destination of Dehradun. When you plan for any trip, especially when its first of its kind then it’s hard to wait for the moment and same was for me. I haven’t had any experience of hills driving even though I was very excited about my trip as this was my first road trip and none of them knew how to drive but even then, it’s better to have helping hands in case you need one.

Day 1: New Delhi→Dehradun

After counting of days, finally the day had come, we started our road trip on September 29 morning. I took a fine sleep before rising early. we woke up early, got our bags ready and headed for a 3-day trip to Dehradun/Mussoorie on 7:30 AM. Early morning helps you to cut through from the city traffic, the traffic was minimal, and we drove smoothly. At 245 kilometers, the drive from Delhi to Dehradun will take you roughly six hours. Since we’d not had breakfast, so we need to make an immediate stop anywhere for breakfast, but we decided “Haldirams” as our first stop to take a food etc.

While planning for the route, we had no idea about the road conditions and the more worse thing was leaving the highway for a while and take a route of village anyway, next 40 km. we were on kind of worse unending roads. You can imagine the roads with the fact that we were not driving and there was no road at all but just mud. We managed to reach Muzaffarnagar by 11:40 hrs. and our first stop “Halidarms” was just to came. We stopped there for 1 hour, had some Brunch, stretched our legs and then headed towards Dehradun. This was a perfect spot for your one stop travelling destination, situated just midway to and for end route to majestic Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun and Mussoorie.

The road condition was also getting better with every passing kilometer and we gained some pace. Muzaffarnagar to Dehradun is around 130 km and it took us more than 3 hrs. to cover. We faced little jam before Dehradun at tunnel and then we finally reached to our hotel “Amrit Resort”, Dehradun by some 4:00 PM O clock. A little settling in the Hotel we took bath and then we started our party as usual and after that we decided to roam around the city and went out for dinner at “Black Pepper Restaurant”. It is a Lovely little restaurant with great service and awesome food apart from that exemplary ambience, extensive sitting, and an extremely professional staff is the best part of restaurant.

Day 2: Green Mountains, Reckless Roads and Mesmerizing Chakrata

Charkrata is a destination that has a perfect combination of mountains, valleys, and rivers. It is situated between the Tons and Yamuna river, at an elevation of 7000–7250 feet, and is 100 km away from Dehradun. You would realize the height of this place when you proceed further from Dehradun.

We had breakfast and began our travel by 10:00 AM from Dehradun. Today, we had to cover more than 200 Km. Distance from Dehradun to Chakrata is 89 Km. and then 20 km. for Tiger fall from Chakrata. I had never been on such a dangerous, curvy, and narrow route but it felt exciting. The sceneries on the way were terrific and a treat to our eyes. One could see streams of water flowing out of mountains with sheep and farmers on its sides.

Camping in this quaint hill station is one of the exhilarating things to do besides camping there was only one popular attraction in chakrata is “Tiger Fall”. We were keen on clicking a lot of pictures and so decided to move first towards Sunrise/Sunset point where we had spent couple of hours.

We had initially planned to cover tiger fall after Chakrata but we were too late because we had spent a lot of time in Chakrata and 4:10 PM was not the right time to cover 20 km. uphill mountain road. We had discussion whether we should cover the Tiger fall or not because we need around 1 hours to reach there and 1 hour for roaming around the Tiger fall and then time would be approx. 6:30 PM when we started to down from tiger fall to Dehradun. Finally, our risk takers people decided to cover tiger fall with the statement “Which will be seen later, what happens” and then we head straight to “Tiger Fall” without any delay.

DSC_0166

Tiger Fall: Water Roars

We reached at 5:00 PM. As said ‘nothing comes easy’. We had to trek 1 Km to view our destination – the Tiger Fall but the result was worth it. The roaring sounds of water were deafening (that’s how it gets the name ‘Tiger Fall’) and I could literally feel the misty drizzle on my face. The waterfall was one of the most soothing and rejuvenating part of the trip. Later after spending a half an hour at the waterfall, we trekked back to the starting point, took some refreshment and ready to drive downhill and cover 100 km. in darkness means no lighting at all.

I can say that it was very thrilling and most peaceful drive I have ever had, I said “Peaceful” because we were the only one who drive on the road. We felt that driving conditions was less challenging than day because we can easily judge the coming vehicle by their light beside the adventure it was dangerous as well as turns on mountains are extremely sharp, and visibility is not as clear. If you don’t approach them with caution, it can be easy to lose control of your vehicle. Somehow, we reached to our hotel in Dehradun and everybody was feeling tired and we need refreshment.

Overall, it was very enjoyable and memorable journey, and I personally had some takeaway that on a mountain road, it’s important to apply your brakes and horn before turns, not during them. Braking early will help you turn more easily and make sure your mountain trip is safer. While driving on a mountain, make sure you keep your vehicle completely in your lane, staying as far from the center line as is reasonably safe.

Chakrata was an awesome experience for me! In short, I explored and enjoyed a lot here. It was adventurous, soothing and rejuvenating – a combination which is hard to find!

Day 3- Drive to Mussoorie and Lal Tibba: The real hill drive

We woke up in late morning and missed our hotel breakfast. We started our journey in afternoon around 12:00 o clock, we decided to first towards the breakfast, stopped our bikes outside the Forest Research Institute took our breakfast and then visited FRI. The Greco-Roman architectural beauty with the lush green tress makes it the most popular places to visit in Dehradun. These 450 hectares spread beautiful campus has been often chosen by Bollywood movies like – Paan Singh Tomar, Student of the year, Krishna cottage to name a few.

Next, we visited a Robber’s Cave that was not in our list at all but what a place it was. The Robber’s cave is bound by imposing hills and showcases nature at its best. The route to Robber’s cave is kind of Narrow Street. Literally, transparent water touching your feet with its coldness. A kilometer-long trek brought us to a refreshing stream which elevated us of all our tiredness. Trust me it was so much fun there and we were in no mood of leaving the place early. We stayed there for 1 hour and then drove back.

PSX_20181006_005353

Drive to Mussorie started a little late. It was around 3:30 pm in the evening when we finally headed towards Queen of the Hills, which is another name for Mussoorie. Just 35 km from Dehradun, the roads till Mussoorie were quite smooth and easy. In the way we had seen glimpses of nature around the roads, it was ideal for hills ride.

The next target in mind was Lal Tibba about which I heard a lot even since before. At a distance of 6 km from Mussoorie, Lal Tibba is the highest point in Mussoorie situated in Landour area. It is located at an altitude of 2275 m. This place offers scenic views of sunrise and sunset and is one of the best places to visit in Mussoorie. A telescope was placed at the tower on a cliff by municipality to offer scenic views of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Banderpunch, and other Himalayan ranges.

A haven for photo enthusiasts, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Himalayas from here and take back a million good photographs to hang on the living room wall. We had amazing cold coffee, while sitting right on the edge of a cliff and staring at the beautiful mountains. It was all what one would have wanted to draw a painting sort of. The road to Lal Tibba was very picturesque, the route to there was a kind of big lesson for the one who never drove on hills with extremely tough turn on narrow slopes. It was the toughest road I have ever seen. Next, we visited our last stop Mall road.

The Mall road was very crowded, full of shops and tourists but it was so beautiful, bright and colorful. Personally, I would prefer this mall road instead of the Shimla or Nainital Mall Road. There is an awesome omelette shop on the main road. We had already recommendation to visit this place. we went to this famous shop called “Lovely Omelette Center”. This was established in the time of the British. It’s was a small Cafe type shop with a variety of omelets running by a very humble owner. When we ordered the omelette there was waiting for 1.5 hours, Its very normal during weekend. After 1 hour we were able to taste, it was like pizza where you have base as bread cheese in center and top you have eggs. You all the wait time is forgotten once you bite into the cheese omelette – also declared India’s best omelette by many food critics. Lovely Omelette Centre is always packed with students in the morning, who get preferential treatment. kids eat for free! Kids who can afford it pay and eat, and those who can’t, eat for free. I Would certainly recommend it to others.

PSX_20181124_173304.jpg

For a while, we strolled around the mall road only and bought a few things. After shopping, we left for our hotel in Dehradun as Mussoorie had already won our hearts. We started driving down by 08:30PM and driving down was much easier than drive uphill’s for sure. We must have driven at speed of 40-50 hrs. even on those steep curves that we managed to reach Dehradun by 11:00 PM.

We reached our hotel, settled down for a bit, rested and then went out for dinner. Some random walking over the roads and then an early dinner to fill us up after a tiring day as we had to plan for the return on the next morning.

Day 4: Dehradun → New Delhi

After a sound sleep, I woke up early in pleasant Dehradun weather. It was 7:00 AM and time to head back to Delhi as it was a long journey ahead. We have started our return journey with heavy hearts. It was very painful for the pillion to adjust the seat to reduce the stress. The ordeal finally ended by some 03:00 PM.

Reaching Delhi makes you think that journey is almost over while next coming hours tells that much part yet to be travelled. Kind of last mile rush… but finally we reached back home by 04:00 PM and the smile on ours faces despite of being tired was signifying that we have finished our first hill ride successfully without any trouble and would be ready to take on bigger battles from here…