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ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

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  • [Photo Feature]: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

    Reason for naming this travelogue as "Road-Less Traveled " is that it was truly one of my toughest journey so far. Literally some parts were totally washed away. As one of the locals in McLeod Ganj rightly said to me, "Sir, few tourists visit McLeod Ganj in monsoon. I am amazed to see that you did & that too on bike & that too straight from Delhi!".

    I will give you a detailed analysis of this trip & lesson learnt so far.

    A special note of thanks to the following:
    1. My wife, who is one of the toughest pillion rider known to me. I am lucky to have you as my life partner.
    2. My family for their wishes though mom & PiL were totally against it
    3. Mithun, my best buddy for his rain coat for my wife.
    4. Sandeep aka Titanic4u for his saddle bag without which it would have been really difficult.
    5. Last but not the least - My ever faithful & old bike. Never has let me down. This trip has been very tough on my bike but it survived.


    Few Teaser pics??...


    Monsoon Clouds looming over the valley...



    This is near Chintkurni - Jwalamukhi. I guess the rock formation is nothing but lava being transformed into rocks.


    Mr & Mrs. Barua
    "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

  • #2
    Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

    Travelogue approved.

    Kudos to the pillion, not an easy thing to do if you are not used to it.
    (Been There Done That) x 3.25

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

      Originally posted by rx100.7050 View Post
      Reason for naming this travelogue as "Road-Less Traveled " is that it was truly one of my toughest journey so far. Literally some parts were totally washed away. As one of the locals in McLeod Ganj rightly said to me, "Sir, few tourists visit McLeod Ganj in monsoon. I am amazed to see that you did & that too on bike & that too straight from Delhi!".

      I will give you a detailed analysis of this trip & lesson learnt so far.

      A special note of thanks to the following:
      1. My wife, who is one of the toughest pillion rider known to me. I am lucky to have you as my life partner.
      2. My family for their wishes though mom & PiL were totally against it
      3. Mithun, my best buddy for his rain coat for my wife.
      4. Sandeep aka Titanic4u for his saddle bag without which it would have been really difficult.
      5. Last but not the least - My ever faithful & old bike. Never has let me down. This trip has been very tough on my bike but it survived.


      Few Teaser pics??...


      Monsoon Clouds looming over the valley...



      This is near Chintkurni - Jwalamukhi. I guess the rock formation is nothing but lava being transformed into rocks.


      Mr & Mrs. Barua
      hats off to the pillion riders!!! and nice teaser pics as well!!! keep them coming bro..hungry to see more!
      I Ride to Forget the World, and Sometimes I Ride to Forget Who I AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

        Yes SunilG. Indeed it was very brave of my wife.

        Continuing...

        Here how it was planned..

        I have been longing for a road trip. The last bike trip was done by me with my few biker buddies in Dec'12 when we went to Bikaner. The last bike trip with my wife was a year ago!! So, I had been thinking about a destination for quite some time. One fine evening, over couple of drinks (may be more) my good old buddy, Mithun suggested while sipping his glass of 100 Pipers, "Lets do a friends & family trip to McLeod Ganj during the 15th Aug week." Now, who am I to reject such proposal when the environment consisted of good old friends, bottle of 100 pipers & the sun settling down? As a biker would respond instantly, I nodded my head in agreement & said, "Yes, I am game for it provided I combine my bike trip with this." Almost everyone had thought that I must have had too much of drink & it was the alcohol & not the biker spirit which was controlling me. Buggers didn't knew that once a biker is always a biker be it sober or drunk :P So, the plan hatched was something like this..

        1. Me & my wife would leave for Chandigarh on 13th night & have a halt over. Next morning we would start for McLeod Ganj.
        2. All other 20 people would take the train to Pathankot on 14th Night & reach McLeod Ganj on 15th morning.
        3. Spend good time together for 2 nights, i.e. 15th & 16th.
        4. 17th would be departure for Delhi by train. My wife would do the return leg to Delhi by train with the rest & I would straightaway ride from McLeod to Delhi.

        The final plan got changed or to be precise tweaked.

        As fate would have had it from the initial group of 22 people including us only me & my wife would do the trip finally!!

        This was the route considered. My good friend Ankon had visited McLeod Ganj just 2 weeks before we were scheduled to do our trip though by car. He too suggested this route.

        Delhi to Chandigarh was simple. 13th Night, she was would take the Chandigarh Shatabdi & reach at 11:15PM. I, after attending office, would leave by 5 PM for Chandigarh Railway station so that I could reach within time. Well, I started from my place, C R Park at 7:00PM!! Got the tank filled up at Def Col petrol pump. Encountered heavy traffic at Delhi border. Encountered traffic near Kurukshetra as 2 lorries got stuck in mud & cars & bikes were diverted through the town. Finally was able to reach Chandigarh Railway Station at 11:30 PM.

        Next day, we would take the following route from Chandigarh to McLeod Ganj.
        http://goo.gl/maps/V6Ou2

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

        14TH AUGUST - CHANDIGARH TO McLEOD GANJ.

        We stayed at Railways Officers guest house at Chandigarh Railway station for 13th night. Next morning, we got ready to leave for McLeod from station at 8:30 AM.

        Shipra having few words with the in-charge.




        All geared up!!



        Following were the items we carried apart from the regular stuff
        • Cramster Saddle Bags weighing in total of 30kgs+ (got it weighed on a weighing scale in the rest house).
        • RJays tank bag.
        • Canon Sx30 IS P&S camera.
        • Sony mini P&S (Data got corrupted so few pics & videos missing)
        • Installed Rover mobile phone charger in bike. It would prove to be one of the wisest decision of mine
        • Got the pillion seat modified with extra foam to provide extra comfort to my wife again a very wise decision


        Another poser pic of the couple...
        Last edited by rx100.7050; 08-21-2013, 09:21 PM.
        "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

          Bravo RX bhai. So good to see the travelogue. Keep it coming.
          Congrats and yes, kudos to Shipra as well.
          Rachit K Dogra

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

            Thanks guys...

            We took our first short break just after crossing Chandigarh & near Behrampur. The sky was clear & road seemed pretty good although it was 2 lane undivided highway NH21, we realized that it wasn't that good as we thought. I was tailing a car at 70-80 speed & suddenly a big pothole jolted us out of our smooth ride comfort. I needed to stop as I was concerned for Shipra. She was in a state of shock but she was fine overall. Checked damage to the bike. Remember that my bike was carrying extreme weight. Almost 200 kilos of combined weight of mine & wife, saddle bags, gears, tank bag & tankfull of petrol. Damage was cosmetic, thankfully. One of the mesh piece which is attached right besides the lights came off & rear tail light got dislodged from it's housing which I rectified somehow.

            Even that place seemed quite beautiful as both sides were surrounded by greenery...






            Minimal damage to the tail light...


            Green is the colour...


            We continued our journey through Rupnagar, Naggal & Kiratpur Sahib. Road condition improved after Rupnagar & it was now a proper divided 4 lane highway. We were enjoying since the weather was perfect. It wasn't raining, it wasn't hot either. We both were quite hungry & decided to have food at a roadside dhaba which should have good view in Punjabi Ishtyle. Afterall, we were in Punjab!! Meanwhile my airfilter started showing choked sign. I wanted to get it cleaned & kept a keen eye on both sides of the highway for the word BAJAJ.

            Stopped at a decent looking Dhaba. Though there were no other customers but we decided to give it a try.



            Moonlight Dhaba it was..




            Seeing my wife smiling boosted my morale & assured me that even she is enjoying the ride & weather.






            It had it's own small garden!


            Bike parked under the shade..




            the ubiquitous DAHI with Parauntha...




            New sign of life...


            a big BURRP from me


            After satisfying our pot bellies, we moved on to enjoy the scenery & good weather...
            This is how the entire road should have been..








            We had to stop near this bridge as it provided a FANTASTIC view!!!





            One of the many canal system which supplies water to the beautiful farm fields of Punjab..
            "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

              Nice going there, bro. Though I have not met you in person but must say, you look drastically different from your earlier travelogues, atleast the last one.
              Nice pics BTW & going by your narration, I guess the better ones are yet to come. Keep'em pouring!!
              BENEATH THE REMAINS.........
              Instagram - chaosaddict666 (follow for atypical uploads on heavy metal, bikes, alcohol, chakna, life, fashion yada, yada)
              YouTube - chaosaddict666 (Disclaimer: crappiest uploads ever, viewer discretion is advised)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                Thanks chaos. Yes I do look DRASTICALLY different. I have put on massive weight. I tried to click as many photos but persistent rain somewhat restricted that. I dearly missed having a go-pro

                Sent from my Micromax A110 using xBhp Connect mobile app
                "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


                http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

                http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

                http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

                http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

                http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                  We soon reached the Nangal Dam. We tried clicking few photos but as expected, the policeman asked us not to click any photographs.

                  We still managed to click few photos nevertheless







                  From here we took the Mehatpur - Una road. Road conditions started to deteriorate now & it started to drizzle. From here onwards, we could manage to click very few photographs since it continued to rain till 15th of evening once we hot Una.


                  We took a butt break before hitting Una. Saw a cute bird sitting on a wire at a distant & had to click few shots It started to drizzle as soon as we began our journey








                  One of the Toughest motorcycle. I realized this after completing this trip...


                  Roads in some place were very bad. We had to do numerous deep water crossing. The only saving grace was there was beauty surrounding us through out. Greenery and river flowing along the entire route. Also, since it was Sawan-ka-mahina, a big fair was organized at Chintpurni. The roads were filled with pilgrims going to the Chintpurni & Jwalamukhi temple. They were on foot, on bikes, on trucks. They were just everywhere. Add some pretty bad roads & rain & think what you can get. I just couldn't dare take out my camera to capture those fantastic view.

                  Finally, we stopped after crossing Chintpurni in the woods to click few pics as it was now drizzling...
                  This was one of the rarest stretch where we found ROAD.







                  I am wearing riding jacket underneath that huge rain-coat poncho.






                  We reached McLeod Ganj at 6:30PM. The conditions were very tough. Incessant rains, steep climb to McLeod Ganj after Dharamsala, bad roads in the foothills demanded a huge physical tolerance from both the rider & the pillion. We checked in at Sahil Plaza which is right on the Temple Road. It's a decent hotel. Don't expect anything fancy as it's a budget hotel. There was no electricity for 2 hours & no water till 8 PM. Due to heavy rains, recently an entire army settlement inside the Dharamsala cantonment got washed away. Gorkha Regiment is placed here. We were feeling very hungry since the last food we had were in plains.

                  To know more about McLeod Ganj, check this...
                  McLeod Ganj - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


                  The best part of McLeod Ganj is availability of one of the best continental & chinese food since many foreigners come here & stay for an extended period of time. We had our dinner at wonderful Tibet Kitchen.










                  Amazing Chicken Soup....




                  Whatever you see here was finished within half an hour by two super hungry traveller please note that my wife is ex-jain and vegetarian & I being a pure Bangali, a hardcore non-veg.

                  McLeod Ganj never disappoints...



                  After having a sumptuous meal, we headed back to hotel. Our hotel, Sahil Plaza, provides a good view of the valley below & the temple itself.









                  This marks end of 14th Aug.
                  "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


                  http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

                  http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

                  http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

                  http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

                  http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                    nicely written and pics too are really good..
                    i had also visited McLeod Ganj many times on school trips.. nice place it is..

                    Ride safe and have fun.
                    Regards
                    Nadeem

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                      A wet 15TH AUG at McLeodGanj

                      Did we had a good sleep the night before? Hell yeah!! Who wouldn't after such a tough ride. I woke up at 6:45AM in the morning hoping to get a clear sky. I woke up to a rainy morning but the beauty which was laid up in front of me by mother nature was truly fantastic !! Rain Clouds were just kissing the valley & the valley itself seems to have got a fresh lease of life with greenery all around. Only sad part was that it was raining & I couldn't do much of camera monkeying






                      We just got out of our hotel to enjoy the rain & have a chai.


                      Now, don't laugh but I was just checking my bike since it had been raining continuously & I installed a mobile charger recently.

                      Me testing the bike's statistics...


                      The only tourists out roaming that time of the morning...










                      It was time to have break fast. McLeod Ganj is the place to try out different food options. McLLo is one of the famous restaurant there. It has a very nice interior & even the food was just awesome!







                      Crowd slowly started pouring in...


                      We ordered veg-pizza



                      Pic looks yummy?? It tasted even better. You will wonder whether Dominos & Pizza Hut served real pizzas or what!!






                      After lunch, we again went on a walk around the same temple road. Just fooling around, wife checking out jewelry & other stuff. Me busy with trying to learn photography

                      A beautiful Buddhist Monastery







                      Phoren Maal (It's hidden!)











                      This road leads to the temple & surrounding compund. HH Dalai Lama stays within that area.











                      Can you spot the bird??













                      It was time to go back to the room & get ready for Bhagsu waterfall.
                      "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                        A very nice travelogue. Interesting indeed. Keep 'em coming..!!
                        And a special mention about the different cuisines you tried. Looks mouth watering..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                          Bhagsunag is famous for a temple being built by the army & an amazing waterfall. It's just 2.2 kms from the main temple road but don't be fooled by the short distance. It may take 10 minutes & it may take 30 minutes as approach road is very narrow & BARELY can 2 cars pass each other. We were on bike btw

                          We didn't go inside the temple & headed straight for the fall. BTW, since it was 15th Aug, almost half of Punjab got settled in McLeod Ganj

                          We were greeted with this...







                          There were lots of tourist in this place. Some were drinking publicly too! Pity how we destroy the serene beauty of the mountains by throwing wastes around ourselves. Inspite of several bins being placed, I could still notice wafer, chips, bottle being thrown around











                          We humans are nothing compared to other species!!









                          WOW can be the only word to describe



























                          I just couldn't resist myself & had to order a maggi while I enjoy the surrounding beauty. Having maggi in the hills is one thing which I thoroughly enjoy God bless the hills & maggi







                          Even while posting this, I am feeling DAMN hungry & only maggi would put my hunger pang to rest...







                          "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


                          http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

                          http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

                          http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

                          http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

                          http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                            So it was the evening of 15th Aug. Most of the Chandigarh & Punjab folks came over to McLeod Ganj to have a good time. Saw few DL registered Innova Taxis too. There was a good crowd at the start of the mall road. I missed picking up my "poison" from Delhi. Since it was public holiday, I didn't expected the "Daroo ki dukan" to open up on 15th. But I was surprised to see the Liqour shop open up in the evening!! This would never happen in Delhi but it just happened in McLeod and that too in presence of police!

                            Hurriedly purchased a bottle & while on our way back to hotel thought of packing some chicken pakoras. Instead found out mouth watering Tawa Chicken being sold at Rs 100 per 250gm!! Believe me it tasted like AWESOME. I ate there once & promised the Shop Keeper to come back in late in the evening as that would be my dinner too!! Irony is my wife actually pointed out this road-side eating joint to me though she is a veg herself! Thanks wifey dear

                            I wanna go back to McLeod now





                            There was a power cut for an hour. Enjoyed thoroughly my poison (Old Monk) with the fascinating Tawa Chicken

                            View outside when there was the powercut in the town..






                            And then the lights came back!






                            The camera lens makes me look fatso




                            Ahem Ahem...



                            This marks the end of a wet 15th Aug.
                            "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: ROAD-LESS TRAVELED - McLEOD GANJ IN MONSOON

                              16th Aug

                              Our original plan was to spend the 16th in McLeod too. It was our second trip to this place & the previous time we visited Indrunag Temple. It's almost 7 kms away from McLeod. The approach road is quite steep but the view is just unbelievable!!

                              Few pics from my earlier trip










                              Sadly, this time rain played a good spoilsport. There are few spots which were in our to do or atleast visit list but couldn't. I woke up as usual early to find no rain. It was a beautiful morning. As per the original plan, we would leave the next day, i.e. 17th in the morning so that we can reach Chandigarh Rlw Stn before 6:00 PM as Shipra had to catch her train for the return trip to Delhi. The road condition we faced on our way to McLeod Ganj made it pretty clear that we couldn't have made it in time. So, we decided the last night that we would leave on 16th noon so that we can reach Chd by late evening. 17th we would spend the daytime in-around Chd. Such a shame as 16th was when the skies opened up to a beautiful view but we still decided to leave after visiting the Monastery. BTW, I am a bengali Buddhist

                              Some random clicks while my wife was asleep












                              Didn't I say it was a beautiful morning??


                              DAMN!! We had to leave!










                              It's time to have a last good breakfast. We went to Tibetan Mandala Cafe. This & MoonPeak seems to be always have 2-3 foreigner as their customer. They both offer free wi-fi to customers Tibetan Hospitality

                              As every minute goes by, weather becomes more awesome! We decided to settle outside of the cafe













                              Fabulous Caramel Cafe










                              Dunking the Oreo Chocolate cookie in the Coffee? Wanna taste?



                              I ordered what was mentioned as Farmer's Breakfast. The result was just fantastic. Too much!!













                              yep, I am enjoying a lot
                              I

                              "HASTA LA VICTORIA, SIEMPRE !" - Chesigpic


                              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/18983-spicy-sour-sweet-short-honeymoon-trip.html

                              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/20306-pursuit-swarghat.html#post716409

                              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...sary-trip.html

                              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...adventure.html

                              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...j-monsoon.html

                              Comment

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