20th – 21st May 2006
“I want to break free..I want to break free”
Everything was planned out and since it was only a weekend, two day trip lots of preparation was not required. I just wanted a good night’s sleep but God always makes it a point to test my guts and patience. I was sent to
Met Vivek outside his house and we hit the highway by The weather was showing sure signs of rains but it was cool and cool breeze was acting like a icing on a cake for the wonderful ride. Took a breakfast break at Chittal Grand. The roads in that area a lot improved since January, the last time I went there.
We were not sure whether we had crossed the turn towards Bijnaur but Vivek was a little confident that we were on the right track.
Worst would be we would have to take the route from Haridwar which would be something like 70-80 kms. etc. We hit the road again and found the turn around 21 kms. ahead.
The upper ganges canal before bijnaur
Before Bijnaur, the road was beautiful, smooth like the legs of Yana Gupta, curves like Angelina Jolie and the green trees encompassing it gave it the beauty of Aishwarya Rai. So smooth was the ride, so good were the corners that I had already decided to come back again. We crossed the upper
The continued to be good and smooth with very less traffic but the wet roads reduced our speeds considerably. We reached the foot hills at Kotdwar and then the long winding road started. Its about 45 kms of narrow twisting and turning road. Most of the turns are of only 40-50 kmph grade. The entire way has dried Pine Leaves spread like a carpet made the road look like a door way to heaven.
We very comfortably reached Lansdowne at about Its one of the quietest hill stations and is not visible until you are there. It is like as if
Gharwal Rifles were instrumental in the 1962 china war. A board outside there mess said that had all regiments stuck to ground like this one did, 1962 would’ve been a totally different story. They take a lot of pride in the small town and have maintained it well and quiet a number of buildings there
We first went to a small lake there. Indians can do boating even in a ub I believe. There was hardly any water in the small lake but there were still some people moving around in pedal boats.
We met Mr Donald duck
In the evening we went for a short trek to ‘Tipin Top’. Had a beer each in before hitting the bed.
Had a great 10 hour sleep and then woke up in absolute silence. After having a hearty breakfast, we visited two famous churches the ‘St. Mary’s church’ and ‘St. Anthony church’. They were built in 19th century on request by wives of British officers for whom this place was a summer get away.
St. Mary’s Church also doubles up as a library and is laden with magazines and books on Gharwal Rifles. The interiors look very refreshing and for an atheist like me, the place was persuading me to start believing in god. I will once I am sure that people will never kill in the name of religion.
St. Mary’s church
I always wonder if only we could combine the architecture of Churches, the dedication of Sikhs, belief of Muslims, prayers of Hindus and create one common religion, the world would be a much better place to live. If only!!!!!
Then we went to the
Saint John Church
Inside Saint John's Church
It was an enriching experience.
We then went back to our guest house, packed our bags and started our journey to home and with plans to visit ‘Karnvashram’, a sacred place hidden in the pines on a small hill. The route goes from kotdwar. It is a little away from the road connecting Haridwar to Kotdwar.
The road was bad and as soon as we left that road, it only got worse .They are re-building that road and the entire way is but a long pile of small stones. We anyways reached our destination and crossed the small stream to reach the temple. It is the place where Maneka wooed Rishi Vishwamitra and the place there Shakuntla gace birth to ‘Bharat’ who gave his name to our mother land. The panditji there was speaking English quiet well and was wondering whether we had come on trekking. He then told us a alternate route to go to Kotdwar.
Although there was no mettaled road but it was much easier than the other one and much shorter as well. We reached back kotdwar much quicker than we expected. The best part was riding on the round rocks on the river bed where your rear wheel goes on a tango with them without synchronizing with your commands. I had come problem in cornering as my bike started bouncing on high speed corners so I was lagging behind Vivek quite A bit.
Then I had a puncture after crossing Bijnor and it happened at 110 kmph. A little scary but I held the handle tight letting the rear wheel pass as much gas as it wanted, do as much tango as it wanted and braked slowly to a halt. I turned back as I had just passed the city and saw a puncture repair shop soon. The valve of the tube had come off and the tube was so hot one could hardly touch it. The culprit was a huge nail. If you ever run out of nails at your home, do not go to a hardware store, go and look around a puncture repair shop and soon you will have enough for months. The MRF shop nearby did not have a new tube and I had to go into the city to fetch one. After this we did not stop at all and rode all the way 145 kms. non-stop this time taking the
Came back home very comfortably at , all smiles.