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Old 26th August 2011, 14:35   #1
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Default Mystic trip to 'The North' - 2007

Our first trip to North India, way back in 2007, may be bit older but evergreen to us. More than it been our first trip to the North, it is our first one after marriage. Like many others, we also started our life journey with this live journey. Yet another mystic trip to Manali, on our journey towards North.

Here are few eye fresheners for you.

Sunset near Mandi, HP

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Waving High

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We were very much prepared for this trip well in advance. Booked Air tickets from Chennai - Delhi - Chennai, a month in advance. We booked a cab for the entire trip from Delhi to Manali and return for 8 days through one of our relatives who helped us through out the entire trip. We were all set to travel.

7-Jul-2007 6:40 AM

We reached Kamaraj Domestic terminal, Chennai to board the flight to Delhi. Though it was a pleasant beginning, there were few dramatic moments in the airport which raised our adrenaline.

Stay tuned...

Last edited by ramanan.skr : 26th August 2011 at 16:26.
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Old 26th August 2011, 15:23   #2
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Default Re: Mystic trip to 'The North' - 2007

Hello,

Thanks for sharing your travelogue with the community.

I've temporarily moved your thread to the Assembly Line Section (More Information about this sub-forum (The "Assembly Line" Forum section)), where can EDIT your posts over an indefinite period of time. Add text, pictures, edits and more at your own convenience.

Please edit the opening post, complete your travelogue, and then report the post (Report Posts : Contribute in Maintaining Team-BHP's post quality) so that we can move your thread back to the public forum section.

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Old 26th August 2011, 16:00   #3
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Default Drama unfolds

Once all the baggage clearance were over, we got into the waiting room. It was the erstwhile Deccan Airways, which we were supposed to take on that day. Did we board on the flight???

One of the airport clocks showed 6:10 AM. We were relaxing a bit occupying few of the chairs. Still some time left, so defied going into the flight. Suddenly an airport guy changed the clock time to 6:35 AM. I just then realised that the clock was not working till then and soon I heard the announcement - "Last call for Deccan Airways to New Delhi.....".

We rushed towards the boarding area, literally running, awaiting another surprise. I almost felt that we were going to leave the flight. Finally got into the flight, first unreserved flight I ever heard. Then before the flight could take off, I realised that I did not have my mobile with me. I rewinded to feel that at the last scan before boarding the flight, I forgot to take back my mobile. After boarding, since we are not supposed to come out as the flight was about to take off, I felt no way getting it back even though the staffs promised that they will safeguard the mobile and will be returned when I come back. Hence, I bid a Goodbye to my mobile.
Our journey thus started with a trill of almost replanning the trip itself.

Lesson: Dont relax till your task is over.

Beas, slicing the mountains
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7-Jul-2007 11:00 AM

Got back my mobile?

Landed New Delhi Airport safely. Since my wife didnot switch off her mobile while travel, the entire battery was dried then. After realising there was no place to charge the mobile, we were looking at the sky in despair. Reason is that we stored the contact number of the cab driver only in the mobile and no way we got to reach him till the mobile is charged.

Lesson: Replicate the important contact numbers in multiple places, in multiple medium.

Then I called my parents to inform about that we safely landed & also informed about my mobile lose. Immediately, my Dad went to the airport and using his influence got the mobile from the Airport authorities.

How did we contact the travel agency?

Last edited by ramanan.skr : 26th August 2011 at 16:38.
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Old 26th August 2011, 16:26   #4
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Default Expecting the Manali

Finally, got the numbers after my Dad read out the numbers from my mobile to contact our relative who has the cab driver number. The driver was very kind & friendly. He was in full flow through out our trip explaining about each and every location. It was an Indica cab.

Lesson : Destiny takes us through so much surprise pit falls in its journey. Each step should be taken carefully.

First day our plan was to reach Koldam, HP. It was a long drive from Delhi through one of the oldest routes in India, Grand Trunk Road or NH1. Road condition was fantastic as it was fully 4-laned. Had our lunch in a roadside Dhaba near Panipat. Crossed Ambala around 4 PM. Started to climb the ghat section towards Bilaspur around 6:30 PM. Reached Koldam around 11 PM.

8-Jul-2007 11:00 AM
Next morning, it was intermittently raining and the climate was very nice. Soon after 11 AM, we tied our boots to move towards Manali, the Lover's Paradise. Beas was flowing in full strength all the way. We were experiencing a very contrasting climate compared to our hot Chennai. It was a beautiful drive, winding roads. Weather was better till we cross Mandi. Crossed Kullu around 3 PM. Now it was little cooler and we started to shiver as our journey was welcomed by the Rain Gods.

Coolers to Eyes

Stone House

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Koldam site

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Green Everywhere

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Mystic Misty

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Swallowing Floods

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Stay Tuned...

Last edited by ramanan.skr : 26th August 2011 at 22:43.
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Old 26th August 2011, 22:38   #5
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Default Expecting the Manali

It was a long drive the day before. Beas had a flood, thrown open an entire village. There were people over the bridge and water below the bridge, to their fullest extent.

Inches below the bridge
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Happy kid
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Clouds falling down
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Flood of Fury
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Calmness at the end
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Where does this lead to?
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I am newly formed one
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Restless river
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Pine forests

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Finally reached Manali around 5 PM. Enroute stopped in many places to enjoy the beauty of the nature. We stayed in Woodrock hotel in Manali close to Mall Road.

Last edited by ramanan.skr : 27th August 2011 at 19:34.
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Old 26th August 2011, 22:54   #6
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Default Rohtang Pass, a Pause to Aging

9-Jul-2007 7:00 AM

Started at 7 AM in the morning as our travel to snowy mountains starts. There was a heavy traffic all the way on the Manali - Leh Highway. It was a single lane ghat road. Not even having space for 2 vehicles to pass through parallely. Strictly no overtakes in most places. Lot of army vehicles passed through. The temperature was as low as -5 C degrees. Full of mist. Had our breakfast on a place just before Rohtang, if I am not wrong it was Marhi. It took nearly 4 hours to reach the summit.

Rohtang was the most beautiful place, I have ever seen in my life, wondering the mighty of God on His awesome creation. It is more than an enjoyment or entertainment, to term it perfectly it is a bliss to be there. I could realize I am losing age when I started to play in those snow mountains.

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Soon the darkness started to come down sometime around 2 PM. We took a guide with us from Manali. He insisted us to return. My mind says 'No way'. The child in me wished to stay there for some more time. We had no alternative but to leave. I did not have any interest to take pictures rather photographed in my mind.

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Came down to Manali around 5 PM and thus the unforgettable day in my life happened, longing to go back there again.

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Old 27th August 2011, 23:24   #7
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Default Journey to Queen of the Himachal

10-Jul-2007 9:00 AM

With lot of grief, we bid adieu to Manali. Our plan for the day is to visit Manikaran Gurudwara and reach Shimla in the night. Reached around Noon to Manikaran. It was an offroading experience right from Kullu onwards.

Kullu Valley Mountain Range
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Rohtang Pass view from Manikaran
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Enroute to Manikaran
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Manikaran is famous for hot springs. There are lot of spots where the water is so hot and we could see the vapours coming out of some spots in the Parbati river.

Gurudwara was crowded and people preparing food with the help of hot springs inside the temple. There were lot of Sikhs and Hindus visiting this temple. We were not allowed to take pictures there.

On our way back, our plan of reaching Shimla was spoiled because of a big traffic jam near Mandi. In the end we were able to reach Sundernagar for the night.

Lesson: Be prepared, Mitigate your risks always

Calm Beas. Seen it for the first time
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Beautiful Sunset near Mandi

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11-Jul-2007 8:00 AM
Journey to Queen of the Himachal:

We started towards once the Summer Capital of India during British period. Again typical Himachal road section, winding curves and binding hair pins. Reached there around 1 PM.

Enroute Shimla
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Freshened up and went to Kurfi.There was a horse ride for around 5+ kms. Be careful when you take this ride. I was given a very lean, sick pony as there was no other horse to take at that time. I could not fight there due to language issues. Most of the time, I was just walking along with the Pony. Suddenly it pulled me down and ran away to eat the grass as it was so hungry. I quarelled with the horse man, but he was just laughing saying it happens sometimes.

Lesson: Never ride on a pony.

People in Shimla are mostly modern and it is a cosmopolitan city. Witnessed lot of foriegn tourists along the Mall Road. Really there was nothing much to enjoy there compared to Manali.

Next Day, back to the plains.
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Old 27th August 2011, 23:45   #8
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Default Chandigarh & New Delhi

12-Jul-2007 9:00 AM

Leaving behind the beautiful moments of our best mountain trips except the memories, we were all set to come back to the plains. We planned to reach Delhi by the end of the day. Since we started little late after a morning walk along Mall Road, we settled down on reaching Chandigarh for the day.

Downhill route set parallel to Kalka Mountain Rail Line
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Feeling the heat for the first time in the last 5 days once we were at Kalka. Reached Chandigarh at around 2 PM, had South Indian lunch at Hotel Sagar Ratna. Booked a hotel to stay.

Visited Rock Garden, Rose Garden and other places there. Chandigarh is a planned city with roads cut at 90 degrees to each other. Lot of signages to let us not lose the destination. Only negative factor we felt was that it was very hot comparitively.

Rock Garden
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Rose Garden

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SunSet at Chandigarh

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13-Jul-2007 10:00 AM

Our next destination was New Delhi before proceeding towards Agra. We did not venture much into New Delhi due to lack of time. Started from Chandigarh shortly after breakfast, our plan was to reach Delhi before dusk. Had our lunch at another Sagar Ratna restaurant on NH1. There was a heavy traffic beyond Panipat. We finally were back in the capital by 4 PM. Came through Old Delhi.
Seen RedFort from a distance

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Stayed at the hotel in Karol Bagh area. Karol Bagh is almost like a Mini TamilNadu, where we were able to converse with tamil with many people, eat South Indian food, read Tamil Newspapers, etc. I felt like I was in Chennai. Downside is that the area was not so tidy, generally entire Delhi doesnot seem to be so clean. Apologize as a Chennaite, I shouldn't say this.

Later in the evening, we took to the streets of Karol Bagh, went for a ride in Metro train, roamed around Cannaught Palace, again Sagar Ratna for Dinner, finally came back to the hotel around 9 PM.
Ride on a Metro
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Central Park(Rajiv Chowk)
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In my opinion, Delhi is a very nice city, people are so friendly. They respect the strangers and they do expect the same from everyone. Being the country's capital city, New Delhi deserves a better treatment in terms of better infrastructure, socio-economic improvements and safety.

Last edited by ramanan.skr : 28th August 2011 at 11:02.
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Old 29th August 2011, 12:16   #9
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Default Re: Mystic trip to 'The North' - 2007

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th August 2011, 12:35   #10
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Default Re: Chandigarh & New Delhi

@ramanan, very beautifully arranged and planned Travelogue, excellent pictures to go along. Our trip to Manali way back in 2004 was equally adventurous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramanan.skr View Post
12-Jul-2007 9:00 AM
Apologize as a Chennaite, I shouldn't say this.
Not sure about 2007 but in my 6 years of stay in Chennai it was relatively clean (1997-2003). Last week i had to drive to Chennai for some work and now it has clearly become dirty and at the same time crowded. Was happy to see Anna Nagar park being renovated and now its much more fun to go to the park and spend some quality time with kids.
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Old 29th August 2011, 21:21   #11
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Default Re: Chandigarh & New Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
@ramanan, very beautifully arranged and planned Travelogue, excellent pictures to go along. Our trip to Manali way back in 2004 was equally adventurous.
Thanks Mayank for the comments.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Not sure about 2007 but in my 6 years of stay in Chennai it was relatively clean (1997-2003). Last week i had to drive to Chennai for some work and now it has clearly become dirty and at the same time crowded. Was happy to see Anna Nagar park being renovated and now its much more fun to go to the park and spend some quality time with kids.
Due to lot of Govt. funded construction activities like Metro Rail, Chennai is becoming more dirty & dusty.
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Old 29th August 2011, 22:45   #12
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Default Kalka - Shimla Rail

Kalka-Shimla Hill Rail - Youtube
We were so lucky to see the Hill Rail crossing when we return to Chandigarh. Had the glimpse of the train going on both directions.

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Old 30th August 2011, 22:04   #13
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Default Still to come!!

Will add my experiences visiting Taj Mahal, Vrindavan & Fatehpur Sikri shortly

Taj Morning view
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Taj Evening view
Mystic trip to 'The North' - 2007-img_0363.jpg
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Old 2nd September 2011, 22:00   #14
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Default Vrindavan & Fathepur Sikri

14-Jul-2007 7:00 AM

We were so excited that we were going to see one of the seven wonders of the world before the close of the day. As we started very early, we asked the driver to take us through the Capital buildings on our way to Agra.

Here are few pictures of India's most prestigious buildings and many politicians' dream is to put his feet here atleast once in their lifetime. As it was raining, most pictures did not come well.

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It took lot of time to cross Delhi's outskirts & Faridabad township. There are too many industrial townships that have come around The Capital.

Soon we reached Vrindavan. Spent lot of time in the Lord Krishna temple. The temple was carved completely in Marble stone.

Vrindavan Temple from outside
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But we were unfortunate to miss Madhura as the narrow streets of Madhura were jam packed with lot of vehicles that Policemen did not allow us to move any further towards the temple.

Happened to take a glimpse of this wonderful Gurudhwara near Madhura
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Fatehpur Sikri:
Just 15 kms before, we saw a signage indicating 'Fatehpur Sikri towards right'.
We passed through a cross-country road traversing through some of the UP villages.

Fatehpur Sikri is one of the beautiful buildings carved by the Mughal Empire. The buildings reflect the creativity of the Mughals. For few years, Akbar the Great ruled his kingdom keeping Fatehbad as the Capital.

Buland Darwaza
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Tomb inside the Jama Masjid

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Jama Masjid

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Exit to FatehPur Sikri
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Next will be our maiden visit to the One & the Only Taj-Mahal, Asset of India.

Last edited by ramanan.skr : 2nd September 2011 at 22:02.
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Old 28th September 2011, 22:04   #15
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Default Wah Taj

In the evening, close to the sunset, we made our maiden visit to TajMahal. Seeing TajMahal physically is totally different from seeing it photographically. I was proud that I was standing in front of a structure which the world considers as one of the wonders.

My brains glanced through my eyes to take a glimpse of this Symbol of Love thereby, storing it in its memory card(mind). Refreshing it even as my fingers scribble this.

This is a lovely monument, should thank the creativity of the Mughal architects.

Taj Mahal

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Other Structures Inside the Taj Mahal Premises

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A Deeper Look
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More pics on 'The Wonder' to follow.....
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