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Old 15th July 2014, 10:46   #1
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Default 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

“Beauty is and always will be blue skies and open highway.”

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The last trip had been in Feb-2014 to Jaipur & Chittorgarh which gave my travel lusty soul some contentment . But the 'khujaal' started again in a few weeks and started looking for destination to drive to . I live in Bhopal , Hindustan ka Dil , but then there is not much to explore nearby . My first preference for any drives is family . asked my sister about her leaves and she said she can manage for only about 4-5 days . Fine ! Agra - Khajuraho - Orchha it is !

A few days later I happen to stumble upon a pic on the internet , There was a small tea shop , nothing fancy , but then the subtle name-board caught my attention , it said - Last Indian Tea Shop ! Man , I want to go there .

Called up Sis again and asked her If she can manage for a few more days so that we can drive upto Mana . sis - Few more days ? no chance , I think I can not even take those 5 days off too . hectic time . pending reports .. etc etc . I lost track when she said she cannot manage those extra days . My mind was already pondering on if I want to drive alone or should I take someone with me . Talked to friends about my plan . some thought I was crazy ( Yeah , driving to far off places is not so common here ). But two of them agreed to Join me . 11 June was Finalized as the date on 9th June . But could leave only on 12th because of some personal work .

so , this travelogue or rather photologue is about 3000 kms roadtrip to the last Indian Village -Mana , to Have tea at the last Indian tea Shop !

Last edited by GTO : 15th July 2014 at 12:32. Reason: Removing extra smiley :). Only two / post please. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th July 2014, 11:34   #2
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Default re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Day 1 - Bhopal to Haldwani
Distance - 914 kms
Time Taken - 16 Hours
Route - Bhopal - Sanchi - Vidisha - Bina - Malthon - Jhansi - Gwalior - Agra - Aligarh - Moradabad - Rudrapur - Haldwani .

the plan was to hit the highway at 4 AM , but was able to sleep only by 1 am ( anxiety got better of me) and got delayed and left by 5 . it was a perfect morning to drive . It had drizzled last light , next to zero traffic on road .

we did good speed upto sanchi where road expansion work for about 7 kms slowed us down . it was a perfect drive after sanchi upto malthon where we joined the North - South corridor .

After joining the North -South Corridor

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At Jhansi .. crossed the flyover and took left below the next to proceed to gwalior . took a tea break immediately after crossing jhansi .

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reaching and crossing gwalior was a breeze due to the recently constructed jhansi - gwalior section and delightful gwalior by-pass .

somewhere after cossing gwalior , proceeding to Agra
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Turnoff before Agra toward Jaipur and Delhi .. is that the By-pass ?

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Entering Agra City

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We had a filling luch at Agra and proceed to Aligarh

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You had your fill , what about me ? asked the swifty .. stopped at the next bunk to tank her up !

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That is the YEW cutting over the Aligarh Highway .. will come for U babe ,, soon !

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The Aligarh Highway

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It started to Drizzle !

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Drizzling Rainfall ... and kullad waali chai made on wood flame ! sheer pleasures of life !

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Barrage on Ganga

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just a couple of more Kms of drive left for the day

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The stead after Day 1 drive on rain soaked Highways

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Last edited by lone_driver : 15th July 2014 at 11:42. Reason: wanted to remove an unused picture
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Old 15th July 2014, 12:16   #3
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Default re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Day 2 - Haldwani - Nainital - Haldwani
Distance covered - 108 kms
Time taken - it was a relaxed drive up n down Nainital . approx would be 1 hr 30 mins one way .

Swifty got its much deserved wash and we left haldwani by 9:30

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exiting haldwani towards the hills . excited . first time driving on the hills

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started the climb

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Maal Road - Nainital

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Khurpa Taal - changes color of the water according to climate/ time of the day

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China Peak view point

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Mango shaped Naini Lake

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Naini Lake

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Boating

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Reminiscence of the Past ! a British era movie hall

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clouds started acting up !

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local market , You can buy a variety of candles here

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HRC ?

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coming downhill from Nainital

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Last edited by moralfibre : 19th July 2014 at 08:27. Reason: Only two smileys permitted per post.
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Old 15th July 2014, 13:48   #4
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

How did your Swift perform, in terms of fuel efficiency? The roads seem to be nice and smooth, hence fatigue levels would be minimal. Right?

I am still to understand whether the tea from the last Indian tea shop @ Mana was worth the travel?

The next time you wish to have a cup of tea after some adventure, try this.
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Old 15th July 2014, 14:32   #5
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
How did your Swift perform, in terms of fuel efficiency? The roads seem to be nice and smooth, hence fatigue levels would be minimal. Right?

I am still to understand whether the tea from the last Indian tea shop @ Mana was worth the travel?

The next time you wish to have a cup of tea after some adventure, try this.

swift returned a mileage of 18-19kmpl over this trip which is quite decent I believe .

ahh .. the tea at the last Indian tea shop is an element of surprise ... wait for it to unfold

having a cup of tea here would be a heck of an adventure buddy .. itaa bhi toofani nahi karna
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Old 15th July 2014, 14:33   #6
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Post Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Quote:
Originally Posted by lone_driver View Post
this travelogue or rather photologue is about 3000 kms roadtrip to the last Indian Village -Mana , to Have tea at the last Indian tea Shop !
It sounds really crazy that travelling about 3000kms just to visit last Indian village to have a cup of tea. I agree people do have such round the bend aim to achieve things, may be others might think this weird.

Even I had one similar wish to go to the place where river Cauvery (scared river of Karnataka) joins the sea as I wanted to complete the cycle of going all the major places where the river flows right from birth place of Cauvery i.e. TalaCauvery till it joins the sea and I completed it recently .

Cauvery splits into 3 paths and joins the sea at different places Kaveripattanam, Pichavaram and poompuhar.
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Old 15th July 2014, 15:00   #7
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
...
The next time you wish to have a cup of tea after some adventure, try this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lone_driver View Post
...
having a cup of tea here would be a heck of an adventure buddy .. itaa
As lone_driver said - thats too toofani, but this itself may be good inspiration to motivate many!
Start off ... ppl will join!!!
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Old 15th July 2014, 15:00   #8
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik Gullu View Post
It sounds really crazy that travelling about 3000kms just to visit last Indian village to have a cup of tea. I agree people do have such round the bend aim to achieve things, may be others might think this weird.

Even I had one similar wish to go to the place where river Cauvery (scared river of Karnataka) joins the sea as I wanted to complete the cycle of going all the major places where the river flows right from birth place of Cauvery i.e. TalaCauvery till it joins the sea and I completed it recently .

Cauvery splits into 3 paths and joins the sea at different places Kaveripattanam, Pichavaram and poompuhar.
woha ! thats the kind of madness only a handful will understand
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Old 15th July 2014, 15:22   #9
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Day 3 - Haldwani - Bhimtal - Ranikhet - Karnaprayag
Distance - 264 kms
time - 10 hours

The driving on the mountains part is yet to begin - says my Pahadi friend !
What we experienced yesterday driving up and down Nainital was just a trailer of what was in store for me on the upward journey .

Twists , Turns , Curves , Hairpin Curves , Bends , Narrow roads , Steep incline , Steep descend , Going Uphill and coming downhill ( i think I went up and down atleast 6 mountains that day ) and sometimes when you feel you have seen it all then all of the above comes together combined with broken roads

for a regular guy who is used to drive on four lanes and six lanes , this was a heck of an experience !!
there were rare occasions when I could hold the steering wheel straight for more that 3-4 seconds .

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At Golf Course , Ranikhet

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Now that's what I call a Restaurant with a VIEW !

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Confluence of Alaknanda and Pindari rivers at Karnaprayag .

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sunset !
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Karnaprayag at Night !
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Last edited by lone_driver : 15th July 2014 at 15:30. Reason: want to correct a few spellings and insert a new picture
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Old 15th July 2014, 16:28   #10
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Day 4 - Karnaprayag - Nandaprayag - Joshimath - Auli - Badrinath - Mana !
Distance - 148 kms
time taken - 9 hours



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Wish I could have my morning tea here everyday !

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First view of Snow peaks ! at Joshimath .

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At Auli . artificial ice skating rink

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Did not go to valley of flowers . but Auli also had a little bed of flowers for us

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A beautiful waterfall en-route

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Reached Heamkund Sahib and were stopped at a check-post after which the vehicles would be sent toward badrinath at a pre decided time . we reached at around 3:45 and the next slot would leave at 4 .


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3 kms after the checkpost the road deteriorates . The final 25 kms approach to badrinath is in shambles . landslides , big rocks and boulders on the road , waterfalls on the road . Was the most Thrilling 25 kms of the trip .

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Old 15th July 2014, 16:31   #11
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Nice to see another bhpian from Bhopal.
Agra - Aligarh - Moradabad road condition looks to be good. Some time back it was hell.
Nice log in the making. Did you attempt Mana Pass also ?
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Old 15th July 2014, 21:34   #12
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Nice to see another bhpian from Bhopal.
Agra - Aligarh - Moradabad road condition looks to be good. Some time back it was hell.
Nice log in the making. Did you attempt Mana Pass also ?
great to see you too columbus
yes, agra - aligarh -moradabad - rudrapur road is in good condition now .
I did not know about mana pass until I read your comment .. how do we approach it ? the was a single road from badrinath to mana .. !
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Old 15th July 2014, 21:50   #13
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

It was a Thrilling experience to see the Himalayas for the first time !

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The Last Indian Village - Mana ! The pic which is symbolic for the complete drive !

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The Final destination . The board that fascinated me and inspired me for this drive . I was soo excited to be there that I did not take any other pictures of the shop . Enjoyed a couple of hot teas , bread pakoras , maggi and bhajiyas there .
Gave me goosebumps to see this board

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Vyas Gufa . this was where Ved Vyas sat n wrote Mahabharata !

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This is the longest that I have driven till Date to have Tea !

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Old 15th July 2014, 21:58   #14
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Good to see lone_driver! I always thought guys from our state are non-drivers, having seen my friends doing Bhopal-Indore to death and calling themselves enthusiasts leaves me with a bazzinga face

And that's, my friend; is on hell of a drive! I understand you as I have also done quite some solo drives but definitely not of this level. Hats off!

What I enjoy in solo drives is that the surroundings, the machine, the terrain, the weather they all talk to you. Its like (Mein aur meri car, aksar ye baatein..)
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Old 15th July 2014, 22:38   #15
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Default Re: 1700 to 11000 ft! A drive to Devbhoomi

Nice TL with good pictures, @lone_driver. You've helped improve my geography a bit, as I was not aware of few of the places you visited.

It is good to know that you ventured for the first time onto hilly terrain. That is a different ball game together, and one gets exposed to so many tricky things. Congrats for having completed an exhilerating trip, that will kindle your memories in the years to come.

Keep posting more details.
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