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Thread: Diwali in Nepal

  1. #1
    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Diwali in Nepal

    Diwali for definition is the festival of Lights. But Diwali is a fun festival in India, no matter where you are coz, you get good sweets, food and meet up friends and do some mischief with firecrackers. This is a routine, Each year we do the same and I thought, wait a minute. Am getting 4 days off from the company & anyway am away from home and all the colleagues left for their natives, Why can't I go to Nepal and see how they celebrate Diwali?

    So I took my bike and went to Nepal, along with 2 friends who were in car.

    This trip was a spot planned one, which turned out to be a good experience and opened up cross-country touring plan for me.


    Trip Details:

    1. Total Distance - 2300 kms

    2. Route - Onward: Bhiwadi-->Agra-->Etawah-->Lucknow-->Ghorakpur-->Butwal-->Pokhara
    Return: Pokhara-->Lumbini-->Butwal-->Kanpur-->Bhiwadi

    3. Vehicles - CBR 250R (Myself)
    Alto K10 (2 Friends of mine)

    4. Trip length - 6.5 Days

    5. Expenditure - Around 10K

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    Route Map

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    Story to follow after mod approval!

    DAY 0.5: Bhiwadi to Etawah

    Day 0.5?? Ya, you read it right and I wrote it consciously cos we were in Office that day. I was asked to go to Gurgaon urgently to attend some meeting, and my friends and I had a plan of leaving directly from bhiwadi. Now that's screwed up we agreed rendezvous at Mathura using different routes, so I went to gurgaon, completed the meet by noon & started. Took a route through rough areas (I meant people) and I was scared all the time passing that 60 kms. Reached Hodal and calmed my mind a bit as I got back on main Mathura highway.

    I was searching for a landmark so that my friends can meet me up there, and I found a crazy hotel name on some board. Hotel "Dubchick". I realised my friends could find this chick easy & messaged them the landmark. They arrived in few minutes and had a laugh regarding the name & we started the trip together as planned.

    Initially our plan was to halt at Agra since we thought it would be better to stay in known place than riding late nights in UP. Since it wasn't dark by that time, we decided to continue and halt at Etawah. We reached late around 9: 30 pm & found a hotel (But no closed parking), so I had to lock my bike to a tree using a thick chain but a puny lock (I forgot to get a good lock- my bad!). We were roaming outside to find some food, and every person pointed out to a small dabha. Roti, sabji was light but good, we had food alongside of 2 cops. I think they were heavily influenced with Bollywood movies. One cop had his Gun(Pistol) between his back and the pant, even with the holster strapped empty onto the belt.

    Anyway, we had a stomach filling food and went to bed after 320 kms in half a day after Office hours.

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    Day 2: See Next Post..

  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    Travelogue Approved

    Apologies for the delay in approval. Waiting for the rest of the log!
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    Interesting, 'would definitely like to see how diwali looks in Nepal.
    Keep posting mate.
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    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    Quote Originally Posted by chaosaddict View Post
    Interesting, 'would definitely like to see how diwali looks in Nepal.
    Keep posting mate.

    Might be interesting if you are not into firecrackers or if you are in agreement with environmentalists.
    Firecrackers are banned due to wildlife, environment & pollution.

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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    Really liked the way you started your log with day 0.5! Bring on the rest.
    P.S. There seems to be some issues with the font size. They appear differently in the beginning and the end of the post.

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    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    DAY 2: Etawah to Ghorakpur & Sidharthnagar (Nepal)


    We didn't want to stay long on UP roads and we thought there might be no good roads in UP, so we decided to skip breakfast with few dry fruits & nuts and started early. Stopped immediately to refuel in one of the bunks before getting onto the highway, the guy asked "for how much?". I said tank full, but he put petrol only for 100, I thought he wasn't alert when i said full tank. So I said fill the tank to him again, this time he started filling the tank starting from the 100 rs where he left. Then he said you need to give Rs.100+690, I was like whoa wait, I saw that you added that 100 already. He was in full argument mode, I got furious and disappointing. I didn't want my day starting like this, I just gave him the Rs.690 that he must get and left without any word. Its foolish to argue with these people. Then got on the highway and kept riding non-stop, needed to cover 600 kms and border crossing formalities. So we were stopping only after few hrs for food and water.

    The roads were not bad as we thought, 6 lane highway with service roads. But it was fully laid with concrete, WHY ON THE EARTH???? concrete may be durable for them, but screws the tyres, heats up crazy in summer (although we were not riding in summer) and exhausting our eyes and the lines for grip on the road narrows the vision.

    We were doing good speeds and covering the distance, but it looked like whole of the UP lives on the sides of the highway. Whenever there was a small crossing in the highway we needed to slow down too much, and it costed us great time as there are a THOUSAND crossings on the frickin! highway. We crossed Ayodhya by noon and closed Ghorakpur by evening, the road to Ghorakpur split from the highway and is some 15 kms to the city. The road was deprived of vehicles, just the trucks, there were potholes which were exposing layers of roads laid generations back or in cretaceous era. It took great deal to reach the city, and the road got even narrower, full of potholes and it became dark. We were pushing ourselves and doing 80-90 kmph on those roads, and we my friend's car's tyre lost pressure on hitting a stone (rim bent on tubeless tyre). To our luck there was a puncture shop few meters in front, he hammered the rim into shape and good to go. But the puncture shop fellow told us the border would be closed by 8: 00 pm. But we took a decision to take a look ourselves & if the border had been closed back to the shop and there was a hotel next to it.

    We reached the border, the roads were queued with trucks and we cleared the Indian side by registering the vehicle number and name (Barely 2 minutes!). Then we were asked to park our vehicles in neutral zone, few forms were filled up and we had to attach License, Registration certificate and paid entry fee. My friend got his paperwork done, I had everything but I had forgotten to carry my original RC. DAMN.. They straight away refused me to take my bike in, and they said you can carry on by parking this vehicle in neutral zone and go ahead in your friend's car or GO BACK!

    I came this long only to ride my bike in Nepal, so pleaded them to allow me using the photocopy. I had to wait for 2 hrs & still no response. Then contacted few fellows and they gave a solution that "get customs OUT seal on a RC photocopy from Indian side and customs IN seal here at Nepal check post. I got that done by the agent and paid the fee. Finally we got in, I was so relieved and hated myself for almost jeopardizing the trip by forgetting RC.

    We exchanged some money, they accept only INR in Rs. 100 or the denominations below. so we had half converted into NR & half in INR. It was almost 11:00 pm, there were no proper roads on Nepal side of the border, just dozed and gravel. We were desperate to find a good hotel after such a tiresome day, luckily we found one nearby in Sidharth nagar. Ordered some biriyani, updated our parents of the status (Only few networks worked in Nepal) and ended the day.

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    Hotel that we got on good deal.

    DAY 3: Sidharth Nager to Pokhara

    All the night in sleep, I felt a bug or something was always getting on to me, when I woke up in the morning and opened the curtains of the window there was a swarm of locusts (Grasshopper look a like insect) on the balcony. Okaaaayy, that was the first time I saw such thing outside TV. We quickly got ready and were so curious to ride and look around, but 1st we had to pay the taxes in local RTO for the car. So we searched for it and paid the taxes and got receipt (no road tax for outside bikes though).

    It was few kms to butwal from where the climb for Pokhara starts, the roads were good but no markings, trees planted alongside but at a distance of 40 feet away from road, houses were spaced good and vehicles they ride/drive. We started feeling the difference of being in foreign land immediately, I never thought just a border can change habits, food, language so abruptly. This induced a slight insecure feeling in me, I was cautious. We filled fuel for slightly higher price than India (Expected), and continued the road.

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    On route to Pokhara.

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    Beginning of the road to Pokhara.

    We saw lot of bikers on route, most of them use off-roaders (dominated by Hartford and Honda) or scooters (monopoly by Honda).

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    Honda CRF 250R.

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    HARTFORD VR 150.

    Seeing all these bikers I got excited and overcame the insecure feeling, we started climbing for Pokhara, the roads towards was initially bad & broken, but got better. So took it slow as it was just 180 kms.

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    Regular checks.

    We then stopped for tea and snacks at a small town, the road was too steep that we parked our vehicles with great difficulty. Tried local specials like fried rice cake which looked like doughnut, but the samosa was better hands down. Started again and we closed Pokhara by late noon, we were averaging 40 kmph and it took 6 hrs including breaks to reach Pokhara.

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    Welcome the board said!

    Entered the city, people were good, spacious parking spots before shops alongside the road. We were looking for a hotel and were inquiring about decent places to stay. A guy approached and offered a deal in his guesthouse, Rs. 500 for room (3 people sharing) and food will be home made costs extra. We decided to check the place out, this is what we found,

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    Guest house.

    Decent and very close to the lake side, we closed the deal. He then said this was only possible as it was off season. We spent the evening roaming around the lake side road and getting ready for the Diwali next day.

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    Roaming around!

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    Evening Tea!

    We chilled out that day!
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  7. #7
    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    Going good!

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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    When did this ride happen ,last year ? as Diwali is in November this year
    Sayi mera naam, Cycle chalana mera kaam.

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    Addicted saikarthik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    DAY 4: Pokhara & Diwali

    The night was cold and the temperature was around 6C, Woke up early (this time very early) @ 4: 45 Am and reached a hill top for the sun rise view.
    The place was teeming with photographers and tourists, eagerly waiting for the sun to rise and warm the cold air. As the light started to grow, distant landscapes started to appear but only the hills, valleys were hidden by the shining white clouds. The sun took its usual time to rise, giving us the visual pleasure of the spectrum and warming our bodies. Clouds turned orange and red as if the sun was tearing out the way from the flesh of the clouds, which I imagine the birth of a new day.

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    Birth of a new day..

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    Clouds hiding the valleys..


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    Majestic..

    We spent some time afterwards having some tea, started back. We got to see the might & heavenly beauty of Mt. Annapurna, It cannot be explained by me nor the photography skills that we had. But to our best, down is the pic.

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    Mt. Annapurna in the shades of clouds!

    We then reached the main city and the day there started with soft Nepali prayer songs, people opening up their shops. We got into a restaurant and had local breakfast, headed out for a walk afterwards. Every tourist place has few "places to visit list", so we planned a list and started visit from the International mountaineering museum.
    It was deep within the colonies, not like we thought in a prime place. We had few great surprises inside the museum, read about few people whose efforts mapped the whole Nepal, sacrificing lives to the cause, their tools and suits were on display. Few mountaineers whose achievements like summiting highest peaks in all 7 continents and so on, just dwarfed various things that we thought were great.

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    Museum Entrance.

    We spent half a day there and returned, it was almost noon by then. We then went to Vindhyavasini temple nearby, which was so different yet felt familiar.
    The temple was located at an elevated place, was windy and calm.

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    Temple.

    By evening we returned to the guest house and freshened up. We felt the day as if it was a normal day, no signs of diwali except people turning up to temples and morning pooja. No sound of a single firecracker. Amazed & then we came to know the firecrackers were banned to avoid damage to environment.

    As it started getting dark there were lamps all around, we were walking along the roadside and noticed few gatherings. Curious Indians we are, poked in. There was a celebration, kids were dancing to the folk music in their traditional tribe wear. This was the scene every few hundred meters, different tribes dance along moving one spot to another entertaining and collecting some money. Each group was so diverse, there were even hip hop kids with digital players and speaker sets.

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    Kid lighting candles, usually they use lamps.

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    Folk dances & gatherings.

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    Play.

    Spent the night outside till all the action is over and got back to the guest house. And home cooked dinner was ready for us - Dal Bhatti and rice.
    The day started & ended with great feel, what else one can ask for in a trip.


    DAY 5: Pokhara & back to Butwal

    There were few places to visit in the list which we kept for the first half of day 5, we started with Devi's falls. It was a usual waterfall except that it flows underground in some places. we liked it, but felt the place was over hyped.

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    Devi's Falls.

    Then some shopkeeper said there is a cave in opposite side of the road and this falls is visible from that cave through the road.
    We rushed into the cave and it was slippery and dark, we went down few steps and were able to see the falls all through the way from opposite side of the road.

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    Mahendar Cave.
    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Quote Originally Posted by sayi89 View Post
    When did this ride happen ,last year ? as Diwali is in November this year
    Yup.. Last year.. Got busy in lot of stuff the whole year, so writing now.

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    Default Re: Diwali in Nepal

    Superb mate, detail writing and good pics. The ban on crackers should be done in india aswell that will be a big step towards swachh bharat campaign..
    I DON'T LET MY BIKE DOWN, MY BIKE DOESN'T LET ME DOWN......

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