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Thread: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

  1. #1
    Addicted raakeshchauhan's Avatar
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    Default Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Travelogue of my solo bike trip to Badrinath & Mana.

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    Yes!!! Bathroom is the place where you make most important decisions of your life. Under shower, on toilet seat.. Don't you? I do!! And that is where I decided to write my first travelogue of my recent road trip to Badrinath and Mana (Tibet border).
    I wouldn't be alive at this moment, and when I say this, I mean it! You'll get the reason as you go ahead.

    Theres only one life. And you can make it better with the choices you make. It was June that I thought of doing a solo bike trip to Badrinath. Initially I was thinking of doing it alone but thought it would be risky to go on a bike ride first time that too alone to an unknown land. But as fate must have decided I did it alone as none of my friends showed courage to come along and have a life time experience.

    Rest on thread approval.
    Dream. Dare. Discover. - Travelogue of my solo bike trip to Badrinath & Mana
    The Chronicles of LADAKH - A factual written account of my dream roadtrip to Leh, Ladakh
    The Chronicles of LADAKH [Video Chapters] - Video series
    International Roadtrip to Mustang, Nepal & North India on Yamaha R15 [Video Chapters] - Video series


    www.facebook.com/IamTravelancer


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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Approved!

    Love the opening picture. Seems you quite had some ride!

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    Addicted raakeshchauhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    Approved!

    Love the opening picture. Seems you quite had some ride!
    Thanks Divya Sharan for quick approval. Yes the ride was as amazing as it seems in the picture.

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    There’s only one life. And you can make it better with the choices you make. It was June that I thought of doing a solo bike trip to Badrinath. Initially I was thinking of doing it alone but thought it would be risky to go on a bike ride first time that too alone to an unknown land. But as fate must have decided I did it alone as none of my friends showed courage to come along and have a life time experience.

    So it was the month of June that idea of bike trip struck into my mind and I decided to do it in a Diwali vacation. I had enough time to prepare myself for the ride. 4 long months to plan for a 3 day ride. Believe me I was so excited for this bike trip that I used to get dreams about the same. Soon those 4 months passed and I had not done any planning. I had only googled the routes and nothing else.

    It was a day before Diwali, after returning from office I packed my bag with all the necessary things as I had to catch the train early next morning from Pune for Delhi and then from Delhi to Haridwar.

    I had booked bike online and had to pick it up from Rishikesh early in the morning on Sunday, 26th October 2014. I reached Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh at around 7 in the morning and was waiting for Guddu. Guddu is a local guy who was supposed to deliver me the bike. Till the time he came, I picked up a water bottle, a veg cake, amul milk and a 5 star to have in breakfast from a shop which opened so early in the morning. Guddu arrived by 7:30. I had booked Bajaj Pulsar 150. I had asked for Pulsar 180 or 220 but bike provider suggested me to go with Pulsar 150 as 180 and 220 freezes in the subzero temperature up above at Badrinath and lack of kick makes it difficult to start the bike in morning. It was 2013 model of Pulsar. The new look pulsar. It was Blue in colour. He also provided me the blue helmet which suited the blue colour of bike. I then asked for the original documents of the bike to carry with myself to avoid any trouble during journey. After inspecting the bike till I did not fully satisfy, I paid him the deposit amount and waved a goodbye with a hope of seeing him again on the fourth day.

    Then I headed a kilometer back towards Haridwar to fill up the petrol tank. "Tank full kardo bhaiya" I said, "kaha Badrinath ja rahe ho?" asked the pump attendant. I answered him Yes with lot of excitement and also enquired about the condition of roads ahead. He replied with a positive answer and helped me keeping myself calm.

    After filling enough petrol, I started my journey at around 8 in the morning from Rishikesh. I started slow and saw many vehicles including sumo, bus and bikes pass by me. After about 8-10 km of driving, I stopped at a place from where I could see the town of Rishikesh and had my breakfast over there. It was cold but light sunrays did not make me feel cold.

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    It was around 8:45 that I left the place after finishing breakfast and clicking pictures. I've never been on time in my life. People close to me will agree with this. I had decided to leave Rishikesh by 6 in the morning but it’s almost 9 am and I am still in the outskirts of Rishikesh. Better if I had left early. Will tell you why before I reach Badrinath.

    Disposed the glass bottle and kept the plastics with myself as I did not want to litter around. Then I pulled up the chain of my jacket, wore the hand gloves and helmet and started my bike for the ultimate journey. I decided not to waste time and cover the wasted time by not stopping before lunch time. Next 60-70 km of roads were okay. I drove at a normal speed. Had a small water and photography break few kilometers after crossing Devprayag. It was I believe the top most place of that specific mountain from which I could see the beautiful chain of mountains standing tall one after another. Clicked some pictures here and started again.

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    From here onwards, roads were smooth till Srinagar. I really enjoyed this long stretch. There was a Xylo travelling towards Srinagar. I found the guy in Xylo localite as he knew the roads and was driving very fast. I took the advantage and followed him. At some point of time I followed him at the speed of 80-85 kmph. You can hardly cross the speed of 60 in mountains. Now you can imagine the condition of road as I was driving at such high speed. Throughout the journey everywhere you have to drive slowly and carefully. It was the highest speed I achieved during the whole trip.

    Bike provider had told me that the chain is bit loose, so get it tightened after 80-100 km of driving. So I found a garage in Srinagar which is around 100 km from Rishikesh and got the thing resolved. It gave me some rest as well. Srinagar is a beautiful town located on a side of a dam. I don't know what that dam is called but it looked amazing. I'll talk more about Srinagar later during my return journey.

    It should be around 11:30 that I left Srinagar. From here onwards you find the roads pretty smooth but because of hilly area you can't drive fast. Its best to target covering 30 kilometers per hour after Srinagar. Drive at the speed of 40-50 and be safe.

    On my left there was beautiful Alaknanda river, and on my right there were huge mountains throughout my ride. The view of large river and series of mountain was awesome. You feel like to stop your bike every now and then and capture all those beautiful scenes in your camera. Ohh.. Let me tell you I did not carry any camera with me. Actually I do not own one. I tried borrowing a DSLR from few of my friends but all of my efforts failed. So I had my Samsung Galaxy S3, having 8MP camera, to click pictures. I wish I had a camera.

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    I now had started seeing signs on the road saying "Landslide and Rock Fall Zone - Drive Carefully". The first time I saw that sign, one of the most horrific memory of the same place struck into my mind. This sign freaked the hell out of me. Let me tell you about that. During my trip to Badrinath and Kedarnath by bus back in 2008, while returning we were late and were advised by Badrinath locals that "Do not drive in dark. Break the rule and face the consequences". As we were already late and had to reach some place that evening, we decided to go ahead and take risk. It was raining heavily. I could hardly see anything on the road. And suddenly driver stopped the bus and said let me check the road as he wasn't sure about something. I didn't get him so I went with him to see what’s happening. He took a torch with him and I followed. It was raining so heavily that there was water all over the road. After walking about 100 feet he asked me to stay behind and went ahead with torch. It was so dark and heavily raining that you cannot see what's there right next to you at the distance of 2 feet. He came back and said "Bhaiya raat yehi rukna padega, aage raasta nahi hai". "What do you mean by raasta nahi hai? Kyu kya hua?" I asked in shock and insisted him to show me what’s happening ahead. We went ahead and I tried to make out what had happened but couldn't. Driver told me that the road is broken due to landslide and we cannot move further until it is reconstructed. I couldn't see anything that time in the night and what I could hear is only water flowing everywhere. We came back to bus and that’s what our home was for that night. No one of us had their mobile charged due to long journey. You know how govt buses are. You cannot fully close the windows. It was heavily raining and temperature out there was chilling. No one of us said a word that night. Early in the morning as we could see little bit, all of us went ahead to see what had happened. What I saw I cannot forget even today. There was no sign of road over there. The road was washed out. By now some other travelers had also arrived and then there were so many. All of us with some local travelers help and advice, started constructing the washed out part of the road. Some people were pushing big rocks. Some were laying small rocks one onto another. Some were calling the name of lord Badrinath and some were just seeing what’s happening. There were around 50 of us who were working out there. Soon we saw an excavator coming from the opposite side of the road and we were at relief then. It started working on making the path worth driving and we were doing all the possible help. It took 2 hrs. to make the road. Driver started the bus but I was not sure of the newly constructed road. What if we get on it and it washes away. But it was only my feared mind. We successfully crossed that part and every one of us were clapping and cheering. The lesson I learnt from that incident is do not drive in the dark while in mountains. And as the locals had said, face the consequences.

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    Yeah so let’s come out of the past and ride ahead. That’s what you should do. So the Landslide and Rock Fall Zones had started and roads in those area were literally broken. One should drive carefully to be safe and also to save tires from going flat.

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    It was 1:30 in the afternoon that I stopped near by a landslide zone and decided to have my lunch. I was damn hungry by that time. I did have some water breaks in between. They are necessary to keep you going. I had some mom made food with me. Some laddoos and sweet and namkeen. I also had Haldiram's instant bhel with me. I finished all of the bhel and kept some of the laddoos and namkeen for return journey. Laddoo gives an instant boost to your energy. And it works magic when they are made by your mom. So I had my lunch there with beautiful nature.

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    Dream. Dare. Discover. - Travelogue of my solo bike trip to Badrinath & Mana
    The Chronicles of LADAKH - A factual written account of my dream roadtrip to Leh, Ladakh
    The Chronicles of LADAKH [Video Chapters] - Video series
    International Roadtrip to Mustang, Nepal & North India on Yamaha R15 [Video Chapters] - Video series


    www.facebook.com/IamTravelancer


  4. #4
    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Waiting for the full story. Nice start.

    Sent from my Xperia L.

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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Waiting for the full story. Nice start.

    Sent from my Xperia L.
    Thanks Krishna, Working on the same..

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    It was 2'o clock and I had targeted Joshimath at 4:30. I did not have much time so I left the place. Now the narrow roads had started. You cannot see 100 meters post the road as there were deadly turns throughout the stretch till Joshimath. Now at this place you start feeling the height. I was driving at such a height that I couldn't see the river down there just by my side. Narrow roads without the railings makes it more dangerous to drive.

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    I went ahead at a slow speed. I was waiting for Joshimath to arrive soon. It is located on a peak of a mountain. Joshimath is a beautiful town. I could see it from far away while driving. It looked amazing from that distance as well. I had to look straight upside to see it from where I was. I had to climb that mountain to reach there. Wish I had taken a picture from there. I had a little time so I increased the speed a bit and went ahead. I must be around 5-10 kilometers away from Joshimath when I saw a mountain covered with snow which was far away from there. I was driving at 60 and after a sharp turn when I saw this beautiful snow covered mountain, I couldn't resist myself from stopping the bike and taking picture. I smiled at it and said "I'm coming."

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    Soon I reached Joshimath. I had stayed for a night here in 2008. It takes hours to come across these 3-4 kilometers of very narrow passages throughout the town in the peak season because of heavy traffic. Thank god they were all empty at that time. After coming through the town, I enquired about that mountain at a petrol pump, the guy said that mountain is not reachable but you will find snow at Badrinath because of snowfall happened last night. I believe it was the last petrol pump that I encountered. I thanked him and started declining from Joshimath. Narrow single road on this side of the town takes you to the bottom of that mountain from where Badrinath is just 45 kilometers away. It was 4:45 and I was too late to cross Joshimath. One should target Joshimath latest at 3 pm to not to invite risk. I was running late since starting of my journey. I asked about the roads to a local army man here and he said "aaj yehi ruk jao, jaldi subah nikal jana, raaste bahot kharab hai aage" and he left. I thought its just 5 in the afternoon and he is asking me to stay here and not to cover the last 45 kilometers of my journey? "Stupid fellow!" I said in my mind, waved him a goodbye and started driving. Another army man standing at the next turn, saw me asking the previous man something, and on arriving up to him he said "jaldi nikal jao". I wondered why?


    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Trust me these 45 kilometers of ride tests your adventure spirit. It tests your inner strength. It was 5 pm and sky was bright enough to drive. I was wondering why did that gentleman said like that. He was well dressed army man. I had noticed one thing by now. For those 15 kilometers after Joshimath, I did not see any vehicle on the road. Neither coming nor going towards Badrinath. Again I gave a second thought to what an army man had said. But now I had decided to reach Badrinath that day itself so I did not cared. I stopped at a place for a break as I had covered more than 250 km since morning and was bit tired by now. I was right beside the river. There was hardly any water flowing and I could see only white rocks in it. Clicked some pictures here.
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    It was around 5:30 pm and it was bright out there. Then I saw a sumo passing by me. He was driving so fast that soon he disappeared. I wondered what the hurry is. But soon I got know why he was in so hurry. By every passing minute now, the bright sky was turning into dark. Sunlight and visibility was turning negative each minute. In next 15 minutes visibility turned down to 100 meters. I couldn't see beyond that. I switched on headlights. I had also started filling cold suddenly. I drove few kilometers very fast. But then started no road zone. You do not find road from here onwards. Literally no road at all. You have to drive through rough passages full of stones. It was continuously getting dark. I now couldn't see beyond 40-50 meters. Was driving slow and steady as it was all landslide zone for few kilometers. By now I could only see till the headlight reached on low beam.

    It was 6:30 and visibility turned zero. It turns dark early in the mountains, how did I not know that? Then I heard water flowing. I could clearly hear it. After a slight turn I saw water all over the passage. I was already cold inside even when I had shirt, jacket and muffler on me. I was also wearing hand gloves. Thank god I had them with me. Don't know what struck into my mind and I brought a pair of hand gloves from Haridwar. I had not planned to have them till that time. Without them I couldn't reach where I was and without them it was impossible to go ahead. So I was cold and I saw water in front of me. I had to go through it but it seemed difficult. Tires were 6 inch deep inside water. I tried and started driving through water slowly slowly without knowing what’s there under and without any idea how far I have to drive like that in dark. At one moment I drove into a hole and my rear tyre was inside it and I couldn't drive out of it. I had to put my legs down into water to balance myself which I did not want to do. The breeze out there was so chilling, you can’t imagine how chilling the flowing water was at that time. I took my legs up as soon as I put it into water. I had my leather shoes on but still within milliseconds my legs went numb. I couldn't feel my fingers. I tried pulling bike out of it putting my right leg on a rock over there but failed. I could hardly see anything there. I had to get into the killing water in order to get the rear tyre out from there. After 3-4 unsuccessful tries, I pulled it out and sat upon bike so that I could step out of water. I started driving ahead, with fear of falling once again. I was unable to push rear break and put gears as my legs went numb. Soon I came out of water and stopped there to catch my breath. I am repeating this thing again and again that I couldn't see anything. It was so dark there that I actually couldn't see anything. Nothing at all. You can't drive at high beam because of such a bad road and you need low beam to see what's there right next to you. And at low beam you can't judge what's coming through.

    I was scared. YES! I AGREE THAT I WAS SCARED BY NOW. I was damn scared. It was only me over there. No mankind around till far away. What if my tire go flat right there? What if my bike slips? What if I can't go ahead and have to pass the whole night there? In the dark and chilling atmosphere?? Now I realized what it meant by jaldi nikal jao. I was driving slowly trying to make out what’s there on the road. Ohh.. There were no roads at all. So I was going ahead on whatever it was. And then I saw street lights far away. I felt relief and thought finally I reached. I reduced my speed and was going closer to the street lights thinking that I will not have to drive anymore for the day. But I was wrong. It was JayPee Hydro Power Project. As I told you earlier, this journey test your inner strength. It breaks you from inside. I thought I reached but I was only halfway. The real difficulty is yet to come. One wouldn't want to go ahead from here but cannot stay here as well. As I reached the power project, I saw some workers sitting around fire. I asked one of them about how far is the temple from here. The answer was around 15-16 kilometers and I was like damn what the hell is happening with me. I had covered 10 kilometers in the dark taking all the risks and when I thought finally it’s over, I came to know that the final destination, the temple, is still far far away. 15 kilometers and I am saying far far away? Let me tell you last 10 kilometers that I came across felt like 100 kilometers. All of them were looking at me furiously as if I were alien. I know why they were looking at me like that. They shouldn't have seen any person going beyond that point so late, that too on bike.

    I didn't let engine stop because it was cold out there and I didn't want to invite another problem with engine. Till now I was driving on straight ground but from here onwards there was climbing. The most difficult climbing throughout the route in daylight and it was dark when I was about to get started. It was difficult to reach on top and I knew that. No pain. No gain. I said it to myself and accelerated. For a kilometer or two the road was better than before. I went smoothly and then started the difficult task. It was one big terrain to climb. There were rough roads, waterfalls and near to death narrow passages. I came to know about all these difficulties in the day time while returning. While going up in the night, what I could see is only 10 feet of road in front of me, full of small and big rocks and holes on the broken road. I was driving at the speed of 5-10 kmph. Soon I encountered with a sink hole. There was water flowing from the mountain and it was all over the road. I couldn't judge how deep it was. I had no option other than getting into water. I dared and started driving from the edge, where half of my tyres were into water. There were rocks inside water and I was unable to drive and balance but somehow I came across. It was a big trap. After driving for another minute or two, I saw another such trap. The first one taught me how to come across. I came across 3-4 such places.

    I was driving slow and steady as there was risk in increasing speed. As it was all climbing, with every meter I was driving, I was elevating up. Even when I was driving with full attention, I actually wasn't there. I was missing home. I was missing my family back at home, my mum and bro. My friends as well who did not accompany me for the trip. I was thinking about the whole route I came across. I was thinking about how will I cross this difficult long stretch during return journey. I would have easily reached temple in the daylight. Wish I had left early in the morning. Wish I had not passed time taking pictures. I was driving and I was fully in my thoughts, and then I saw headlights of a car right below my left side. I suddenly came out of my thoughts and saw that I was driving on the edge of that narrow passage. What????? I was driving on the edge which was wet and all slippery. One small mistake and I am dead. I was at such a height, one cannot be found alive if fell from there. I managed to get away from the edge and I almost drove upon a rock and lost my balance. Thank god I didn't fall from bike, but the bike did get stopped. Please don't leave me stranded, I was continuously praying the same. I still was in shock that I was so near to death. What if I had fallen from the edge? In a moment whole of my life flashed in front of me. As the bike stopped, the headlights went off. I couldn't see anything at all. I tried self-starting bike but I failed. I was already scared and shocked. All I could see is K 100. Trust me the first thought came in my mind was my family. I felt so alone, so small, so tiny and so helpless. I was so excited for all the four months for this trip, and at this very moment, I felt like why the hell did I came here. The more excited you are, the more difficult it gets. I was tired and shivering because of chilling weather. I was so broken and clueless about what to do next. I closed my hands and started praying right there. Then I thought of the light that I saw few minutes ago. It was a car that was coming up from down the mountain. I felt relief as there were people coming behind me and they could help me if needed. It gave me strength and I tried starting bike and this time it started.

    I went ahead slowly and after a kilometer of rough driving I saw the town. I saw street lights from far away. I was so happy to see that. Now I was out of danger. As I saw the lights from distance, I increased the speed. I wanted to reach there at the earliest. I couldn't wait to get down from the bike. As I reached, I saw people around the bus stop. I went up to one of the guy and asked "Bhai kya tha woh? Aise hote hai raaste? "I was breathing heavily and was trying to catch my breath. He offered me water and to my wonder he answered, "Hum roz inhi raaste pe bus chalate hai". And I was like what the heck? You guys drive bus, on this road, wait, there is no road at all and it is impossible to get the bus up here with such a bad condition of road. Then he told me that it’s his, lord Badrinath's grace and wish that we can drive here and get people to temple. He was a government driver. I did salute him for what he was doing. He then asked me if I need his help in finding a hotel to stay for that night. This is the goodness of small town people, you feel close to them in a conversation of a moment. I said I will get it on my own and thanked him and left.

    I had planned to stay at Shree Swaminarayan Temple, which is right beside the bus stop. But to add to my bad luck, I found the temple closed. People around told me that the saints have shifted to Haridwar as soon Badrinath too will close. Then I headed towards the town to find a hotel to stay. Checked out few hotels and decided to check in into Shree Narayan Palace Hotel which looked nice and decent in comparison with other hotels. I was so eager to get down from my bike as my whole body was paining. My legs were still numb and I found it difficult to walk at first. Ordered a hot coffee after checking in into the hotel. Had a hot water bath and it felt like heaven. And then hot coffee, I tell you I've never had such a good coffee in my life. Maybe it was just the cold outside and the pain inside. I did not had anything since afternoon but still I was not hungry at all. But I didn't want to invite any problem with health so I ordered some food to have my dinner and got into the blanket. One thing at all the religious places is in my favour that I easily get food without onion and garlic. At Badrinath, they by default cook everything without onion and garlic so I did not have to ask him to cook specially for me. Hotel guy brought the dinner in my room and saw me inside blanket with a muffler and sweater on. He gave me an important tip. He told me that whenever you arrive at Badrinath and if the weather is chilling and you are not used to it, you should first of all head towards Tapt kund and take a bath for 20-30 mins in hot water. People say the water in this hot water tub has some medicinal properties. It takes away all your pain and then you don't have to worry about cold out there. It was late so I decided to have the food and get some sleep, unaware of what beautiful things the upcoming day was going to bring.


    Last edited by raakeshchauhan; 03-03-2015 at 04:18 PM.
    Dream. Dare. Discover. - Travelogue of my solo bike trip to Badrinath & Mana
    The Chronicles of LADAKH - A factual written account of my dream roadtrip to Leh, Ladakh
    The Chronicles of LADAKH [Video Chapters] - Video series
    International Roadtrip to Mustang, Nepal & North India on Yamaha R15 [Video Chapters] - Video series


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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Nice narration.

    Sent from my Xperia L.

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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Nice narration.

    Sent from my Xperia L.
    Thank you.. inspired from you guys..
    Dream. Dare. Discover. - Travelogue of my solo bike trip to Badrinath & Mana
    The Chronicles of LADAKH - A factual written account of my dream roadtrip to Leh, Ladakh
    The Chronicles of LADAKH [Video Chapters] - Video series
    International Roadtrip to Mustang, Nepal & North India on Yamaha R15 [Video Chapters] - Video series


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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Fantastic.
    raakeshchauhan likes this.

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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    Quote Originally Posted by karthik.rajan. View Post
    Fantastic.
    Thank you.. Visit to Badrinath temple, Mana village and return journey is on its way..
    Dream. Dare. Discover. - Travelogue of my solo bike trip to Badrinath & Mana
    The Chronicles of LADAKH - A factual written account of my dream roadtrip to Leh, Ladakh
    The Chronicles of LADAKH [Video Chapters] - Video series
    International Roadtrip to Mustang, Nepal & North India on Yamaha R15 [Video Chapters] - Video series


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    Default Re: Dream. Dare. Discover. (Solo Bike Trip to Badrinath & Mana - 2014)

    I woke up at 7 in the morning. Everything around in the room was so cold that I felt as if I am staying in an igloo. I opened the window and at that very moment I witnessed one of the most beautiful scenic view. There were snow cladded mountains all around. My room was two side open and from both the windows I could see the mountains with snow all over. A cool breeze came inside and I closed the window even when I didn't want to.

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    I didn't want to miss on anything so I hurried up and got ready in 45 mins. It was the shortest time I took to get ready. I then had a cup of coffee, picked my bag and started walking towards the temple. Temple is around half a kilometer away from the hotel. I couldn't stare away from the chain of mountains throughout my way to temple. It looked so beautiful and awesome that I wanted to stay there forever. Soon I reached the temple. The temple is on other side of the river. A narrow walkway connects the town and the temple. I headed towards the Tapt Kund first to take bath in hot water before getting into temple. There I met two guys who came from Dehradun on bike. We exchanged dialogues and decided to leave together from Badrinath. I had got company for whole of my return journey. Then 3 of us took bath and went to temple and offered prayers. I thanked God for making me reach there alive and prayed for the safe return journey. It is the second time that I visited this temple. Previous night while travelling I cursed myself for coming here. But at that moment after visiting temple, I felt like I should come here each year. How can someone miss on such beautiful place?

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    Then we left the temple and came in town and had kachori and samosa in breakfast at a local restaurant. We were planning when to leave and where to halt at night. But before that I wanted to visit Mana village which is the last Indian village situated on Indo-Tibet border. The other two agreed to join me for the same. One of the guy took my contact number and I asked them to meet me on the road which leads to Mana village in 10 mins as I had to get back to hotel and bring my bike. It was around 10:30 am by then. I planned to leave from Badrinath soon and cover as much distance as possible on the same day. As decided, I reached on the only road that town has. I didn't find those guys there. I waited for some time but I didn't see them. Then I headed towards Mana village as I had very little time with me. The last Indian village is around 3-4 kilometers far from Badrinath. On the way to village, I took some pictures. That panoramic view of the mountains from there was breathtaking.

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    Just before the town, there is this big sign that says Mana : Last Indian Village. From here, a road separates which heads towards the Indo-Tibet international border which is around 20 kilometers away. A soldier was on duty there securing the entrance of the road. I asked him to take my picture and the young soldier did the favour happily. I asked him whether I can visit the border, to which he answered that a common man is not allowed to go beyond that point. I thanked him for the favour and left.

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    This village is very small and tiny. I had to park my bike at the entrance and walk for some 300 meters. There is Bhim Pul and Vyas Gufa on the other side of village. I visited Bhim Pul and decided to leave. I enquired in the town if they have seen two guys whom I met at temple but no one replied. Looking at people there I felt as if I am in Tibet itself. People here in town look so northeastern. While walking back to the entrance of the town where I parked my bike, I lost in the town. It’s funny but it’s true. A town which is hardly spread over 300 square meters of land, and I forgot my way back and lost. The criss cross narrow passages in the town makes a maze. Most of the houses there were locked as they must have shifted to Joshimath because of winter. I saw one of the house open and asked the lady inside to help me get out and find my way. She laughed out loud upon my funny face and showed me the way out.


    Last edited by raakeshchauhan; 03-04-2015 at 11:44 AM.
    ShankyrDXrocks and MukundRao like this.
    Dream. Dare. Discover. - Travelogue of my solo bike trip to Badrinath & Mana
    The Chronicles of LADAKH - A factual written account of my dream roadtrip to Leh, Ladakh
    The Chronicles of LADAKH [Video Chapters] - Video series
    International Roadtrip to Mustang, Nepal & North India on Yamaha R15 [Video Chapters] - Video series


    www.facebook.com/IamTravelancer


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