Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 21st October 2012, 14:06   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Prologue

Life has been taken for granted, camouflaged by the fast pace of all the good things, glorified by all the successes in life, and turning blind to many things including the changing you. A few changing tides make you grounded and force you to really slow down and take a look at yourself. I was reminded of a poem by James Shirly, from my high school, which made me sit back and introspect.

"The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;"


One of life's long cherished wish, a thanks giving, a pilgrimage, a get away, had been in my mind since ages.

One fine day my good friend BolBolero shoots an email and tells me a plan to drive to Uttarakhand. Chota Char Dham - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri were in the plan. I was quite passive in the discussions which followed.


Days later while I was thinking about the plan the same poem came back to my mind

"There is no armour against fate"

Is it providence that the plan has to come now? Is it that the time has come for me finally to do it? I don't know. But then of all the times, Why Now? Why Not Now? The inner call was strong - may be it is now or never.

I called BolBolero and confirmed my availability for the Uttarakhand Trip just 7 days before he was to start. By now the trip had a lot of participants - most friends from our IPHE (HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)) drive, and a few new ones. I was keen on meeting BolBolero, KSM-Vtec and Jeep Captain again. I was asked to be in Delhi on 22nd September 2012 where I will be picked up for the onward drive to Uttarakhand.
laluks is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 14:55   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

The Plan

Day 01 : Reach Delhi, Drive from Delhi to Haridwar, Evening Ganga Arati at Haridwar
Day 02 : Drive to Yamunotri base
Day 03 : Trek to Yamunotri, Darshan at Yamunotri, Drive to Uttar Kashi
Day 04 : Drive to Gangotri, Darshan at Gangotri, Drive back to Uttar Kashi
Day 05 : Drive to Kedarnath base
Day 06 : Trek to Kedarnath, Darshan at Kedarnath, Drive to Rudra Prayag
Day 07 : Drive to Badrinath, Darshan at Badrinath, Drive to Mana, Drive back to Joshimath
Day 08 : Drive to Auli, Auli, Drive to Ranikhet
Day 09 : Drive to Nainital, Nainital, Drive to Lucknow
Day 10 : Lucknow, Return to respective home town



The Team

For Privacy reasons I will not divulge the names of the members.

BolBolero, KSM-Vtec+3 friends, SS, KP, VB, laluks + BIL, akaush and his parents, JP and his fiancée, BM, CV, MS, CK, Jeep Captain, Gamer, Uncle S, Uncle M, AP+2




The Convoy


BolBolero's Bolero from Mumbai
Jeep Captains Bolero from Wayanad
JP's Indigo from Tamil Nadu
MS's Punto from Bangalore
CK's Indica from Mumbai
Mumbai Roadster AP's Swift from Mumbai
akaush's Ritz from Haryana
laluks is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 15:14   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

A sneak peek into the drive.


Ganga Arati at Haridwar
Name:  DSC_2268.jpg
Views: 12872
Size:  368.3 KB

Somewhere in Kempty Falls
Name:  DSC_2315.jpg
Views: 12471
Size:  567.6 KB

Yamunotri
Name:  DSC_2403.jpg
Views: 12248
Size:  614.8 KB

Gangotri
Name:  DSC_2552.jpg
Views: 14418
Size:  513.5 KB

We offered our prayers
Name:  DSC_2576.jpg
Views: 11935
Size:  524.6 KB

Vishnu Ganga (Alaka Nanda) at Gangotri
Name:  DSC_2591.jpg
Views: 11928
Size:  371.0 KB

We tried to fly
Name:  DSC_2852.jpg
Views: 10873
Size:  308.1 KB

We drove through difficult terrains
Name:  DSC_2921.jpg
Views: 10648
Size:  368.5 KB
laluks is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 15:25   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

We took a pony to Kedarnath
Name:  DSC_3002.jpg
Views: 10776
Size:  526.3 KB

Some came by chopper too
Name:  DSC_3047.jpg
Views: 10876
Size:  492.4 KB

Kedarnath

Name:  DSC_3075.jpg
Views: 13911
Size:  645.8 KB

Rudraprayag - Confluence of Mandakini and Alaknanda

Name:  DSC_3236.jpg
Views: 10357
Size:  352.3 KB

We went to Badrinath
Name:  DSC_3474.jpg
Views: 10281
Size:  357.7 KB

Badrinath
Name:  DSC_3512.jpg
Views: 12051
Size:  626.9 KB

We went to the last Indian Village
Name:  DSC_3562.jpg
Views: 11972
Size:  407.5 KB

Saw Saraswati River gushing through the opening in the mountain
Name:  DSC_3652.jpg
Views: 10093
Size:  595.0 KB

Had coffee and laughs at the last cafe of the Indian Border
Name:  DSC_3704.jpg
Views: 12495
Size:  658.8 KB

Saw some beautiful shadows
Name:  DSC_3705.jpg
Views: 9639
Size:  150.5 KB
laluks is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 15:36   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

We saw some beautiful cloud formations
Name:  DSC_3769.jpg
Views: 9707
Size:  290.3 KB

We drove through some beautiful roads

Name:  DSC_3901.jpg
Views: 12424
Size:  594.9 KB

We befriended our soldiers

Name:  DSC_3785.jpg
Views: 9609
Size:  343.5 KB

Tried some tricks
Name:  DSC_3798.jpg
Views: 9517
Size:  498.4 KB

Gazed at Nanda Devi
Name:  DSC_3890.jpg
Views: 9568
Size:  328.8 KB

Bid bye to Auli till next time
Name:  DSC_3894.jpg
Views: 9459
Size:  401.0 KB

Went to Nainital

Name:  DSC_3947001.jpg
Views: 9381
Size:  450.7 KB

Enjoyed the lake at Nainital
Name:  DSC_3955001.jpg
Views: 9343
Size:  392.8 KB

We enjoyed the breeze and calmness

Name:  DSC_4080001.jpg
Views: 9362
Size:  435.1 KB

We drove through foggy roads

Name:  DSC_4096001.jpg
Views: 9449
Size:  267.5 KB
laluks is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 18:52   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 0
21st September 2012


After a hectic day at office took a flight to Delhi as to reach there by 22:00 hours. My BIL picked me up and went straight to his house. After a delicious dinner crashed on to bed.

Day 1
22nd September 2012


Got up lazily since the meeting time fixed for the start of the drive was around 11:00 AM. Had a lavish and leisurely breakfast. By then BolBolero called me and gave his update. He was expected to reach the meeting place by 11:30AM.

Both me and my BIL were in for this trip. Like me he too wanted to do the Char Dham Yathra. And having heard about our driving episodes, he was quite interested in joining me for a drive.

We took a rickshaw and went to Delhi Noida Delhi (DND) Toll gate where we were supposed to meet.

In some time akaush, BolBolero, MS, CK, JP, Jeep Captain and AP reached DND Toll Gate. We all got into the cars and the convoy drive started by around 14:00 hours.

Our target for the day was to reach Haridwar for the evening Ganga Aarti.

Haridwar is the gateway of pilgrimage to the Chota Char Dham - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Haridwar is at the right bank of Ganga at the foot of the Shivalik mountains.

We had to push a bit harder to reach the target of witnessing the evening Aarti. We reached the opposite bank of Har Ki Pauri by 18:00 hours just in time to witness the Aarti.

It was an absolutely delightful experience and a wonderful way to start the drive, rather our pilgrimage.

Ganga Aarti at Haridwar



The lamps floating on Ganga. It is amazing to see the faith holding the lamps in the turbulent water
Name:  DSC_2260.jpg
Views: 9159
Size:  208.7 KB

The Main Temple
Name:  DSC_2268.jpg
Views: 9214
Size:  368.3 KB

Name:  DSC_2271.jpg
Views: 9132
Size:  418.2 KB

Name:  DSC_2282.jpg
Views: 9248
Size:  492.2 KB

Name:  DSC_2283.jpg
Views: 9002
Size:  405.2 KB

The pilgrims at Haridwar
Name:  DSC_2287.jpg
Views: 8928
Size:  408.1 KB

Moon and Ganga
Name:  DSC_2290.jpg
Views: 8904
Size:  293.6 KB

A view of the banks
Name:  DSC_2236.jpg
Views: 8896
Size:  311.4 KB

I had a bath in the Ganga, the three dips as a symbolic of washing away your sins. Felt peaceful, and the power of the place was beyond description.

By 20:00 hours we moved on to Rishikesh, where we stayed for the night.
laluks is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 19:04   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 2
23rd September 2012

We left early from Rishikesh and headed towards Yamunotri.

We drove via Dehradun and Mussorie.
Name:  DSC_2295.jpg
Views: 9380
Size:  406.9 KB

BolBolero Bolero and akaush
Ritz
Name:  DSC_2297.jpg
Views: 8825
Size:  423.0 KB

A temple en route

Name:  DSC_2298.jpg
Views: 8824
Size:  352.0 KB

Land slide
Name:  DSC_2300.jpg
Views: 9043
Size:  505.5 KB

Reached Mussorie
- She is also called Queen of the hills!
Name:  DSC_2302.jpg
Views: 8979
Size:  621.2 KB

Name:  DSC_2303.jpg
Views: 8709
Size:  454.8 KB

Name:  DSC_2305.jpg
Views: 8702
Size:  557.0 KB

A sign board from Mussorie Town
Name:  DSC_2304.jpg
Views: 8731
Size:  428.0 KB



continued...
laluks is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 19:34   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 2
23rd September 2012

We stopped by Kempty Falls
Name:  DSC_2307.jpg
Views: 8760
Size:  602.3 KB

Somewhere up stream
Name:  DSC_2315.jpg
Views: 8575
Size:  567.6 KB

Name:  DSC_2324.jpg
Views: 8616
Size:  543.3 KB

We stopped by at a nice viewpoint
Name:  DSC_2331.jpg
Views: 8572
Size:  508.9 KB

A tributary of Yamuna
Name:  DSC_2332.jpg
Views: 8453
Size:  463.7 KB

Name:  DSC_2341.jpg
Views: 8416
Size:  608.8 KB

Jeep Captain enjoying the drive
Name:  DSC_2334.jpg
Views: 8698
Size:  514.5 KB

We were still 100+ Kms to Yamunotri by 12:00PM

Name:  DSC_2346.jpg
Views: 8794
Size:  757.7 KB

Roads started to deteriorate

Name:  DSC_2348.jpg
Views: 9377
Size:  492.4 KB

We reached a few kilometres before Hanuman Chatti, from where we just could not go any further. The rains and cloudbursts that lashed Uttarakhand till a few days ago had induced a lot of landslides in this sector. It was only this day that a few vehicles stranded on the other side for about two months came through. Probably the two Boleros would have gone through the slush, but it was next to impossible for the hatch backs and sedans in our convoy to do so.

We decided to get our vehicle parked at Rana Chatti, take a room and dump our luggages in there and either trek or get some vehicles from the other side after crossing the slush to Janaki Chatti for the night.

While we were sorting out the parking and luggages, I came to know about our beloved Sam. Felt really bad, and remained silent and in a state of shock.

By 17:00 hours we started our onward journey to Janaki Chatti after leaving our vehicles and luggage at Rana Chatti. A tempo traveller dropped us till the slush. We walked across the slush and reached Hanuman Chatti. We hired two Max's and went towards Janaki Chatti. The roads were totally washed away and it was indeed a wise decision to not even risk our Boleros.

We reached Janaki Chatti by 20:00 hours and settled ourselves into a lodge there. We got rooms for around Rs 200 for the night. We had hot dinner from the nearest shop and arranged for ponies for the next day. Some decided to trek the six kilometres to Yamunotri, while the majority decided on the pony.

By 23:00 hours we called it a day.
laluks is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 19:53   #9
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 3
24th September 2012

We woke up quite early and got ready for our journey to Yamunotri.

The ponies came as planned at 04:00AM
Name:  DSC_2353.jpg
Views: 8335
Size:  386.1 KB

Name:  DSC_2354.jpg
Views: 8544
Size:  491.7 KB

Jeep Captain and Uncle S ready for the pony ride
Name:  DSC_2355.jpg
Views: 8158
Size:  534.0 KB

By 04:30 AM we started our journey
Name:  DSC_2357.jpg
Views: 8087
Size:  399.2 KB

Name:  DSC_2375.jpg
Views: 8048
Size:  418.9 KB

By 06:30AM we still had 2 kilometres to Yamunotri

Name:  DSC_2378.jpg
Views: 8076
Size:  477.1 KB

The journey though 6 Kms seemed unending
Name:  DSC_2380.jpg
Views: 8021
Size:  478.8 KB

Uncle M trekked all the way, he started very early too
Name:  DSC_2388.jpg
Views: 9073
Size:  496.4 KB

We started seeing the Yamunotri Glacier at a distance
Name:  DSC_2386.jpg
Views: 7940
Size:  268.9 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 20:00   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 3
24th September 2012


We started to see the Yamunotri Temple and River Yamuna flowing from the mountains
Name:  DSC_2382.jpg
Views: 8170
Size:  441.9 KB

Name:  DSC_2383.jpg
Views: 7855
Size:  364.1 KB

Name:  DSC_2389.jpg
Views: 8068
Size:  487.2 KB

We took bath in a hot water spring before the Temple.

We offered our prayers at Yamunotri
Name:  DSC_2401.jpg
Views: 7960
Size:  490.5 KB

Name:  DSC_2403.jpg
Views: 7822
Size:  614.8 KB

The origin of the Hot Water Spring
Name:  DSC_2397.jpg
Views: 7753
Size:  344.8 KB

We offered our prayers here

Name:  DSC_2398.jpg
Views: 7884
Size:  480.3 KB

Yamuna flowing from the mountains
Name:  DSC_2409.jpg
Views: 7735
Size:  375.1 KB

My BIL collecting the sweet Yamuna water

Name:  DSC_2410.jpg
Views: 7778
Size:  514.9 KB

Yamuna - Sweetest water I have ever tasted.

Name:  DSC_2413.jpg
Views: 7695
Size:  492.3 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 20:10   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 3
24th September 2012

This guy wanted to come with us
Name:  DSC_2416.jpg
Views: 7676
Size:  457.5 KB

Some more pictures of Yamuna flowing down from the mountains
Name:  DSC_2420.jpg
Views: 7690
Size:  514.7 KB

Name:  DSC_2440.jpg
Views: 7653
Size:  442.1 KB

A water fall en route

Name:  DSC_2442.jpg
Views: 7593
Size:  448.9 KB

We started our return journey

Name:  DSC_2446.jpg
Views: 7593
Size:  519.9 KB

We reached Janaki Chatti by 09:30 AM
Name:  DSC_2453.jpg
Views: 7582
Size:  539.0 KB

We had our breakfast and started back to Rana Chatti
Name:  DSC_2457.jpg
Views: 7596
Size:  555.3 KB

BM walking across a temporary bridge

Name:  DSC_2458.jpg
Views: 7629
Size:  626.4 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 20:17   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 3
24th September 2012

We took to Max's back to Hanuman Chatti, and walked back to Rana Chatti

BolBolero and KSM-Vtec
Name:  DSC_2459.jpg
Views: 7490
Size:  599.4 KB

The flowing Yamuna
Name:  DSC_2460.jpg
Views: 7842
Size:  592.8 KB

The team walking to Rana Chatti
Name:  DSC_2461.jpg
Views: 7608
Size:  615.9 KB

Name:  DSC_2463.jpg
Views: 7451
Size:  708.8 KB

The slush was getting settled
Name:  DSC_2464.jpg
Views: 7463
Size:  628.3 KB

We have a long way to go, all the Max's from the other side stops here, they don't risk the slush too.
Name:  DSC_2465.jpg
Views: 7386
Size:  510.4 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st October 2012, 20:27   #13
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 3
24th September 2012

By 12:30PM we loaded our luggages back and started our drive towards Uttar Kashi

Roads were getting cleared of the landslides
Name:  DSC_2468.jpg
Views: 7461
Size:  406.1 KB

Bhagirathi
Name:  DSC_2469.jpg
Views: 7312
Size:  561.8 KB

Name:  DSC_2471.jpg
Views: 7303
Size:  545.1 KB

Distances from Uttar Kashi

Name:  DSC_2473.jpg
Views: 7310
Size:  506.4 KB

Name:  DSC_2474.jpg
Views: 7304
Size:  604.6 KB

Orientation of Char Dham circuit

Name:  DSC_2478.jpg
Views: 7196
Size:  382.6 KB

It was overcast, so we decided to stop at Uttar Kashi for the night
Name:  DSC_2479.jpg
Views: 7170
Size:  326.6 KB

BM and BolBolero

Name:  DSC_2480.jpg
Views: 7179
Size:  380.4 KB

We got ourselves a good hotel overlooking Bhagirathi River. Had a very good night's sleep to get ready for the Gangotri visit next day.
laluks is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd October 2012, 15:55   #14
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,738
Thanked: 89,237 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd October 2012, 22:47   #15
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,798 Times
Default Re: Chota Char Dham - A Road Trip to Uttarakhand

Day 4
25th September 2012

Woke up early and got ready to go to Gangotri.

The view from the balcony - Bhagirathi River

Name:  DSC_2487Edit.jpg
Views: 6989
Size:  259.6 KB

The team was already packing up

Name:  DSC_2484.jpg
Views: 6972
Size:  332.2 KB

But we were not taking our cars
Name:  DSC_2508.jpg
Views: 6924
Size:  370.8 KB

We had booked three Max's for the drive to Gangotri - The roads were really battered in this sector
Name:  DSC_2509.jpg
Views: 7015
Size:  506.2 KB

Hotel where we stayed
Name:  DSC_2511.jpg
Views: 6975
Size:  367.2 KB

By 06:30 AM we started towards Gangotri

continued...
laluks is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ahir Dham - Zero KM, Ladakh. A Tribute & Travelogue anandpadhye Travelogues 54 8th August 2014 13:42
Trip to Auli, in Uttarakhand, in my new i10 AT Sportz Capitalson Travelogues 7 21st May 2011 20:16
A Trip to Heaven - Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand trtraj Travelogues 21 31st August 2010 20:42
Urgent route enquiry -- Char Dham visit naman Route / Travel Queries 3 15th June 2008 22:04


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 10:43.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks