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Old 15th October 2011, 01:28   #1
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Default Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Ladakh was fun. (Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.) It was refreshing. It was a dream trip. It certainly wasn't unalloyed relaxation though.

It took just a few weeks after returning from Ladakh for me to want another holiday. Not a fun trip, not a nothing-but-driving holiday, not a sightseeing trip. Just a do-nothing holiday. Hopefully, a holiday that would be just a little different, a little more relaxing.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05780-k200.jpg

Just one where I could sit back (at this place)
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-nishaad.jpg

and read a novel (this one)
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fall asleep and wake up as I please (here)
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-nishaad-b-r.jpg

turn off that alarm, daydream (preferably while staring at a mountain - this view)
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-nishaad-view.jpg

not check mail, not even attend phone calls.

No, my work wouldn't let me do that. No, my daughter's school didn't have a longish break. And I couldn't locate a place other than Tso Moriri & Pangong in recent times, where cellphone networks are not operational. Oh, well, I would try and keep the phone switched off most of the day. But there were a few very important things to decide before we left on that holiday.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 17th October 2011 at 00:08.
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Old 15th October 2011, 15:14   #2
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

I was looking around for a little hideaway in the mountains. Somewhere off the beaten track, where the environs are not noisy (though I found this once we arrived)...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05759-k200.jpg

...a place not infested with pesky and boisterous young pests (though there were some nearby, playing very loud Hindi & Punjabi pop at this place bearing very apt signage)...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05758-k200.jpg

We had found Nishaad Resorts Dharamsala, hotels in Dharamsala, Dharamsala hotels, hotel in Dharamsala, Dharamsala hotel booking, Online Hotel Booking. Located at the far end of Naddi, down a little steep driving track, with no signage to direct you there...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05865-k200.jpg

Quite highly rated on TripAdvisor (Nishaad Resorts (Dharamsala) - Hotel reviews, photos, rates - TripAdvisor), and in the event it was not a disappointing experience either.

It's a small hotel with a few rooms and a few cottages scattered over the hillside, and a lovely view of the Dhauladhar range from the balcony.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05743-k200.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-night-view.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dining-room.jpg

This gentleman owns the place, and we had a couple of long conversations to while the time away on the balcony.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-owner.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 15th October 2011 at 15:36.
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:44   #3
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Before I ramble on about our do-nothing holiday, I would like to talk about the route to Dharamsala.

There are essentially 3 convenient routes to access Dharamsala from Delhi.

(1) The shortest route - via Una. Reported to be in terrible condition for about 20-odd km around Una. Shortest, but certainly not the fastest.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-direct-naddi.jpg

(2) The longer route - NH1 to Phagwara > Hoshiarpur > Kangra > Naddi. We took this one on the way out, the logic being that this being an overnight drive, sticking to the divided NH (despite all the diversions) would make for more comfortable driving conditions than the undivided road which is our third option.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-delhi-naddi.jpg

(3) The route via Ropar > Garhshankar > Hoshiarpur. From the left turn at Shambhu border and up to Hoshiarpur (and of course, onward after Hoshiarpur too), the road is a toll-paying undivided highway. This was the route we took on our return to Delhi, and it was about 20 km shorter door-to-door. The time taken with relaxed driving in the daytime worked out to be the same as our outbound overnight drive, i.e. 11 hours.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-naddi-via-ropar.jpg
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Old 16th October 2011, 23:53   #4
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

The drive on the way out began at 10:15 PM, reaching Naddi at 9:15 AM. On this trip I was trying out the trial version of Sygic GPS app for Android, and found it to be fairly fast and accurate. It also eliminates my need to carry a separate GPS device or the Asus P527 phone on which I have SatGuide. But the Sygic license seems to be quite expensive, and that too valid for only a year. Could someone shed some more light on Sygic?

A few pics from the road...

Severe traffic jam in Delhi on the Ring Road on Mahanavami day
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05721-k200.jpg

Next day in the early hours of the morning - road in PB
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05722-k200.jpg

Road in HP
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05724-k200.jpg

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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dsc05742-k200.jpg

The road up to Hoshiarpur was smooth enough, but turned into rough and potholed surface soon after entering HP. Between Ranital and Kangra, the surface is comparatively better, deteriorating again on the way up to Naddi.

At the HP border, the entry fee demanded was Rs.40. I was surprised, and asked when the fee had gone up. The man said, from April this year. Since I had entered HP in June itself and paid Rs.30 then, I told him so. He condescendingly said Theek hai, toh aap tees rupaye hi de doh (Fine then, you can pay Rs.30 only). The receipt issued was for just Rs.30, and this man was trying to make a few quick bucks on the side - not something I had experienced at toll barriers earlier.

My good samaritan activity on the morning of Dusshera happened a few km after the toll barrier. The road was full of gravel on a turn, and a bike had skidded and fallen heavily just a short while before I arrived. An old lady on the pillion, and a young man riding, on a pilgrimage to the temple of Chintpurni. Nothing broken, just a lot of cuts and abrasions on both. A wash down with water, a few strips of Band Aid, and they were ready to ride again.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 17th October 2011 at 00:43.
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Old 17th October 2011, 00:48   #5
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Apart from Sygic, one more app I had loaded on the Xperia X10i just before this trip was one called Panorama. The results are quite interesting, to say the least. No stitching required on a computer - this is the unedited result, just resized. Moving subjects do get distorted, but the net result wasn't unpleasant I thought.

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-2011_1007_161258-k200.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-2011_1008_102740-k200.jpg

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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-2011_1008_121659-k200.jpg

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Old 17th October 2011, 10:11   #6
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Sightseeing was not on the agenda, and we restricted ourselves to walking around McLeodganj, and soaking in the sunshine, the sights and the signboards.

The British left the place a long time ago, and their language is gradually changing its nationality!
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-2-.jpg

Over-eating at the above place can lead to indigestion and flatulence, and you would be asked to take up residence here.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-1-.jpg

Don't throw your garbage around McLeodganj, it might be mailed back to you. Heck, even garbage bins here look like letterboxes!
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-0-.jpg
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Old 17th October 2011, 13:03   #7
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

More funny signs from McLeodganj...

Now, isn't that SWEET?
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-4-.jpg

Please enter from the backside and open happiness...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-5-.jpg

Non-vegetarian chocolate, anyone?
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-7-.jpg

Fusion cuisine from Germany. They left out the Americans though.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-6-.jpg

What's that? Very small pieces of cloth?
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-9-.jpg
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Old 17th October 2011, 13:39   #8
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Found this one at the Dalai Lama Temple...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-11-.jpg
Now how does one ensure that? Pray hard?

Cars must compulsorily climb stairs in McLeodganj before they are allowed to park.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-12-.jpg

It's expected that one would find Tibetan massage centres in and around McLeodganj...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-13-.jpg

...but this is the day and age of competition, and the competition came all the way from Kerala!
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-14-.jpg

Gipsy King is so scared of the competition, he diversified from a cafe to a jewellery school!
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-8-.jpg
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Old 17th October 2011, 21:45   #9
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Doc this ain't fair!

You take holidays in the mountain like people take weekend breaks. This just isn't fair.

I don't like this. Someone should make you work

Cheers
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Old 17th October 2011, 22:15   #10
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
This just isn't fair.
Someone should make you work
MC, a few words of wisdom that I collected from McLeodganj, and take the pleasure of passing on to you...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-15-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-funny-16-.jpg
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Old 18th October 2011, 09:49   #11
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

A fantastic collection of witty signboards and sharp observations, you are at your best, Doc

Thanks for the useful tip on how toll attendants extract more money from motorists, most who do not read signboards or examine tickets. Something for all of us to be careful of.
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Old 18th October 2011, 11:29   #12
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Thank you, Kumar-saab!

That there is a counterfeit Dal Lake at Naddi apart from the original at Srinagar, was not something I knew! But then, someone spelt it the same as the one in Srinagar, though IMO this should have been spelt DULL Lake, given how uninteresting (and dirty) it was. Please take a look...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-dallake.jpg

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Old 18th October 2011, 11:45   #13
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Nice photos SS ! Btw, did you get to do the small trek to a water fall which is there at McLeodganj. If am not wrong, its entrance is next to the Temple which has a 'Kund' for devotees to take a dip.
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Old 18th October 2011, 21:49   #14
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Funny travelogue, side splitting pics .

Mcleodganj is one of my favorite Do-nothing holiday destinations. Rather, Dharamsala along with Mcleodganj. Nothing beats a leisurely stroll down the market road in a slight drizzle.

However, I am shocked to see the road conditions in HP leading to Kangra. They were exactly the same almost 3 years back. Sad.
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Old 18th October 2011, 22:33   #15
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonov View Post
...the small trek to a water fall...
...its entrance is next to the Temple which has a 'Kund'...
You mean the Bhagsunath temple at Bhagsu, which is about 2 km from McLeodganj, and the Bhagsu waterfall is a 1.5km trek from there again. Here are the photos - and no, I was too lazy to trek!

The place...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu.jpg


The Bhagsunag temple...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-1-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-2-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-3-.jpg


The story of the temple...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-4-.jpg


Into the temple...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-5-.jpg


The deity...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-6-.jpg


The surroundings...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-7-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-8-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-9-.jpg


Way to the waterfall...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-10-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-11-.jpg


The Bhagsu waterfall...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-12-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-13-.jpg

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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-16-.jpg


Lovely place to sit and have a cup of tea...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-16-1-.jpg


Too many goats got my goat! ...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-17-.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: McLEODGANJ-bhagsu-18-.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 18th October 2011 at 22:41.
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