Glory To The Almighty

Glory To The Almighty

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 6 (Sonepat-Shimla)

Day 6 (Sonepat-Shimla)

Click the pictures to see it in more detail


Gears up, we woke up in the morning knowing we will be at Shimla by the end of the day. Wake up, pack up and we are ready to go.

First stop, we just had to get breakfast to the famous Gulshan Dhaba. Just nearby from our stay.

From this day onwards until the day I reach back to Delhi, I was a full vegetarian. Except for few meals I had omelets as my source of protein.

Gulshan Dhaba


The Best Butter on a prantha with a very delicious thick lassi

Then we head along the highway towards Shimla across Haryana. I had never seen this many Gurudwaras and turbans in my life. All I had seen was few of my Sikh friends in Malaysia which I can count with my fingers and one Gurudwara in Johor Bahru. Along the way we met The Bikers Cafe NH22. 

Some random big shot guy with body guards accompanying him behind me while I took this picture

The Bikers cafe organizes rides to the mountains from June until September. You can zoom into this picture to know a rough idea and what clubs are organizing it.


COzy interior


Click this picture if you want to go for a bike tour to the Himalayas

Avoided the city of Chandigarh, Capital of Haryana. After that the scenery of the mountain starts following the Himalayan Expressway.

Punjab

It was hazy on that day

In Hindi, that writes Shimla




Good looking McD over there




Haze or clouds, I don't know


Our honeymoon suite. Haha

It was a short ride from Sonepat to Shimla. But we encountered a problem, Himachal Pradesh is one of the two states in India that I know the pillion must also wear a helmet.
If you are not in India, helmet is not mandatory for motorcyclist except in the cities but then only the rider needs it not the pillion. I stay in the outskirts of Mangalore city so I seldom use a helmet except if I’m going to the city.

Got a warning from the traffic police once we entered the city. He was also surprised two KA(Karnataka) plate numbers were there in Shimla. He told get a helmet and we were good to go.

Its cold in Shimla. It was colder at night. I can’t stand it so I just confined myself to the safety of the hotel room. We were just to tired to walk around in the higher levels of the city. Shops closed early here. Who would not, its cold outside.

Started at 8 a.m. Arrived at Shimla around 4.30 p.m. If you are using a car from Delhi. It will take 6-8 hours.

In Shimla, its time for Suhas to depart because he has exams in Manipal. Darshan met up with us at the hotel after roaming around with his brother back in Agra and Delhi. So we were still four of us.

Meet Shrikanth's friends here. They are locals in Shimla. Akshita and Amit.

We had almost one week on the road. Deprived of sleep and energy. Eating food(although it was veg) and this honeymoon suite for the four of us with its circle bed and similar sized mirror at the ceiling(I know its weird right), finally we had a good rest.

Himachal Pradesh is one of the highly educated population in India. Beautiful and clean environment. I mean cleaner than most parts of India. At least they throw trash accordingly and not to mother nature. Follow traffic rules unlike most parts of India again. Easy for a foreigner like me because they speak english.

And the scenery is beautiful. But the best is still to come. The road to Manali from Shimla is up at my list as the most beautiful route I had seen.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day 5 (Gwalior-Sonepat)


Day 5 (Gwalior-Sonepat)

Sorry for the late post. I was busy for the past week on a bike trip and events here.

You can click on the pictures below for a better view.


Our bodies felt tired while waking up, but we had to and be excited about because we were going to see Taj Mahal.

Who would ever imagine riding a bike for 14 hours on bad roads. Not to mention risking our lives among the lorries in the middle of nowhere under the constant of their insane and unforgiving high beams.

We started the day a little late at 8 a.m. Gave tips for the hotel's fine service then we head of to Panipat, Haryana 100 km north of New Delhi, Delhi. The distance to cover was 385 km.

Our first stop is Agra, the place where Shah Jahan made his unimaginable marble mausoleum of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, The Taj Mahal.

Good news, NH3 has just resume its service from Gwalior. Thank god otherwise it will be a long ride to Agra.


Never I have thought that I would travel with my own motorcycle to Agra.

We reached Agra at 11 a.m. Took our tickets. 750 rupees for foreigners, 20 rupees for Indian nationals. God, the discrimination. Hehe. Taj Mahal is always full of people. So we can’t decide when is the right time to visit.

Are you kidding me? but for the the welfare of the workers and the effort of making it a heritage, its a fair price.


One tip if you arrived at Taj Mahal, never ride the rickshaws. Take the electric cars or buses to the gate of Taj Mahal. Its just 600 meters from the parking site. Its free for foreigners. Also you get a free water bottle.

I just can’t imagine the number of people there. A long queue to pass the security check then a long walk from the gate to Taj Mahal. Its October and the weather is so warm and dry. I finished my bottle of water half way walking there. Can’t imagine during the summer months.










video

Shoes must be clean. Do not smudge the white marbles of Taj Mahal.


Yamuna River



After spending 30 minutes walking in the compound. I decide there was no point of queuing  to see the tomb in Taj Mahal because of the long line and the heat in the mausoleum. So we went off and search for a place to eat. This is Kesar restaurant opposite to McDonald’s at Agra. 


Then we head to New Delhi. A 6 hour ride from Agra. 4 hours by car. We entered Yamuna highway, to me the most expensive highway in India because motorcycles had to pay 150 rupees. This is our first paying at a toll plaza. A four or three lane highway. Owned by multibillion rupees company Jaypee which they owned almost everything on this highway including the Buddh International Circuit at Greater Noida south to New Delhi.

The road was too straight, wide and empty that I slept while riding. I know it was dangerous and I promise I will not do that again. We had to stop at the emergency lane because the R&R was 3 hours apart. The heat reflected on the tarmac was unbearable almost the same at Madhya Pradesh and the same situation, no freaking water in our  water bottles after the first stop.


Getting frustrated

Finally at resting area

We reached Delhi at 8 p.m. One massive city. I would say a metropolis. Multiple times the size of Kuala Lumpur. I would say the traffic was good regarding to the size of the city.  Rode along with high powered bikes at the highways in New Delhi. Also a heaven for Harley Davidson fans.

Met Shrikanth’s cousin at Khan Market for some guides and tips. A beautiful shopping district. So alive at night. Repacked our bags there to reduce our weights for our ascend to Shimla and Manali and left it at a hotel we are going to stay after the trip to Manali.

Then we head to Sonepat, we took 1 hour figuring out to reach the outskirts of the city and finally we reached National Highway (NH) 1/ Asian Highway(AH) 1. By that time my clock was at 10 p.m. 

Shrikanth was already sleeping at the pillion. All of us were tired and we need rest. We stopped by the roadside to google map nearby hotels when the police truck pull beside us with their interrogating head lamp. 

We explained we do not do anything wrong and we wanted to rest at a nearby hotel. Thanks to their help, we decided we will stop at Panipat. We arrived Panipat by 12 p.m. noticing a large dhaba(roadside R&R or restaurant) named Gulshan Dhaba with their parking and eating area flocked with people. Its rare to see shops open 24 hours and full of people in India. 

Its India's famous dhaba along NH 1. We will come first thing in the morning.

In Mangalore, even the clubs had to end their music at 11 p.m. No night life in Mangalore.

So we went into our slumber to be fresh the following day because we are ascending to Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

Sorry guys no pictures at night because my cameras does not have high ISO to capture the moments in the dark. Maybe need an upgrade.