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Old 15th June 2015, 17:42   #1
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Default Road-trip: A taste of Himachal & Uttarakhand

Hello everyone,

I am writing my very first travelogue. If I make any mistakes, kindly forgive, but do correct me, so that I do not repeat the same mistakes in future.

I would like to start by thanking fellow BHPians who advised and helped in planning this trip.

This trip holds a significant value in my life. Me and my wife have been on many trips as couple, but this was a first trip for us as a family. It was my son's (Divyaan Soni, who is 5 months old), first road trip with us. I will divide this travelogue into parts depending on the start and stop destinations point.

Part 1
New Delhi to Chandigarh

Google Map Route
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Ne...30.7333148!3e0

Simple route, nothing interesting, in-fact so simple that it makes you fall asleep. But in my case, Divyaan kept me awake, as he was completely enjoying his first long drive and was really excited and making tons of noise. Few small traffic jams because of Highway renovations. "Leave early to avoid initial traffic jams" is best advice given by all.

Breakfast Break
Mandatory break to enjoy lovely early morning breakfast
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We took a break at Chandigarh to meet the family. They had this industrial cooler at their house which made me and Divyaan fall asleep like small babies. It was so much better than any A/C.

In the late afternoon, we drove to "Nik Bakers" in Sector 37 C Chandighar, one of the amazing places to have great food. Got some cookies and stuff for the long trip ahead.

Part 2
Chandigarh to Neo Vedic Resort

Google Map Route
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Ch...d30.890551!3e0

Late in the evening after having tea and bidding good byes at Chandigarh, we left for our resort. Within half an hour we were on Himalayan Express highway.
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Soon, we were accompanied by darkness and heavy rain. This was the first time I was driving in the hills in the dark of the night, that too in rain. Simple lane driving, controlled speed and good car lights did the trick and we reached our resort with in no time.

As the heavy showers stopped, we saw this on our way
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After having a relaxed dinner at the resort, we ended day 1 of the journey with a plan to start a early day 2.

Part 3
Neo Vedic Resort to Shimla and back to the resort

Google Map Route
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Ne...31.1048145!3e0

View from the room at resort
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One of the toy train tunnels is right under this resort. The whistle of the train was our wake-up alarm, which gave getting up in the morning the best feeling.
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But it wasn't the first train of the morning. We were really late to wake up, it was almost 11 am. By 12 noon we got ready and started to move towards Shimla and decided to take breakfast on the way itself.

The weather was amazing because of last night's rains. We stopped for a small tea break, the shop was not that great, but the location and view were amazing. The cookies we bought from Nik bakers were really tasty and they gave a great start to the day along with everything.

Picture from the spot
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Also spotted this beautiful bird around the corner
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Soon we reached Shimla and parked our car at the parking available at the road below the mall road, which was just a 2-minute walk from the lift that takes you up to the mall road.

We started with some shopping at the mall road
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After this, we decided to walk up the ridge to the famous church. While we were walking up the ridge it started to rain, but it was like water mist rather than water drops.

The architecture of the church, especially the artwork on the windows is nothing short of spectacular. We did not click any pictures - don't know why, probably because I was lost in admiring the church. Even the location of the church is amazing - top of the hill and very light sunlight coming in from the windows, making the whole scenario mesmerizing.

After spending a few hours there, we moved back to the mall and had a relaxed lunch at "Cafe Sol" Mexican restaurant - great ambiance, greater view and greatest Mexican food.

It was almost dark when we stepped out of the restaurant.

This picture will summarise the Shimla
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With a promise in a heart to return and spend much more time in Shimla, we walked down to the parking instead of taking the lift because of the huge line and definitely saved an hour. As soon we started our drive back to resort, both my wife and Divyaan dozed off.

We reached resort sometime around 11:30 in the night. I decided to have a cup of tea and click some pictures on the roof of the resort before calling it a day.
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Part 4
Neo Vedic Resort to Shri Paonta Sahib Gurudwara

Google Map Route
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Ne...d30.435319!3e0

Since we were travelling on a less travelled road and had a lengthier trip in front of us we decided to start the day by 10 am.

About 100 meters from the resort, there is a road to Nahan and onwards. The entire route was traffic-free, although there were a few travellers all along. The road was similar to that at Shimla. At certain stretches it, especially on the curves, the road was even broader. Be careful the route is curvy all the way to Nahan.
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Half an hour on this route, we stopped for breakfast at a small Dhabha (under construction building). Ordered a simple breakfast of omelette and tea. The owner of the shop himself cooked food for everyone, the omelette was very amazing and we order for another one.

After finishing breakfast, once I stepped in to pay him, I noticed a picture.
Road-trip: A taste of Himachal & Uttarakhand-dsc_0257.jpg

After enquiring, he told me that his name is Mr. Gurvinder Singh, and he has won several medals for our nation as he is an ex-Olympian. It was the politics and the nature of government which lead him to this situation.

Few pictures of him and his place
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He asked me to wait and got his Indian Blazer from his room and then gave me a few shots
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After this memory and with a sad heart, we carried on with our journey and decided not to stop before Shri Paonta Sahib Gurudwara. The beauty of the route, the green valleys, monkeys playing on trees, and perfect driving experience changed our mood back to normal.

Around one kilometre before Nahan city, the road became very steep but it is an easy climb for any good vehicle. A small and warm town was the feeling it gave. For one kilometre after the Nahan, the roads were neither good nor very bad. But after this, the road conditions were never same. Single road with no extra borders, no railing on the valley side, and road distorted because of the rain I guess.

Last edited by Aditya : 16th June 2015 at 17:36. Reason: Spacing
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Old 15th June 2015, 18:15   #2
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Around 12:30 we reached Shri Paonta Sahib Gurudwara.
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We spent around two hours in Shri Gurudwara. It was calm and peaceful there, even though it had a wall completely dedicated to weapons which were actually used in the battles for the independence of our nation. After having lunch (Langar), we started the next part of our journey.

Part 5
Shri Paonta Sahib Gurudwara to Mussoorie

Google Map Route
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Gu...585113!3e0!5i1

The roads were OK, if not that great as compared to those before Nahan. I guess within 1 hour, we were at the Indian Military Academy area and bypassing Dheradun city almost completely, we were on the Mussoorie road. After 45 minutes or so of driving, we reached Mussoorie. We stayed at the Kurli end of the Mall road, right at the starting. Relaxed at the hotel for a while and then went out for dinner and called it a day.

Next day started with an early breakfast at "Chick Chocolate". We went there because of its reputation, but neither the food, nor service or the hospitality of the couple running the joint is the same. It has become more of a money making joint because of its reputation in past. Sorry, but that is my opinion.
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We ignored the wasted time and money and went out for a walk
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We only walked on the Kurli end of the Mall road and came to the resort when it got hot in the afternoon. We again went out for walk and shopping on the Mall road in the late afternoon.
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We bought tons of stuff from this shop, owned by a very sweet family
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Some other shots
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It was good to see this robot, brought back the childhood memories
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Tons and tons of people selling (butta/challi) corn
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Did tons of shopping from this market (Tibti bazar)
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Last picture of the evening
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We had a chat and went for dinner at the Library end of the mall. But that side has become completely commercialized with a huge crowd. We did not stay there for a long time and walked back and called it a day.

We started a relaxed next day in the late afternoon, but we had something big planned. We knew that Mr. Ruskin Bond lives in Mussoorie, but to our surprise he was coming to one of the book shops for book signing. Niharika is a big fan so we bought few copies of his new book and waited in line. We bought Divyaan's first book too.
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After 45 minutes of waiting, he came in and we got to meet him. This made the trip more memorable for all of us.

A picture of Divyaan with Mr. Ruskin Bond. We got Divyaan's first book signed by him
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We went for a walk on camel back road and after clicking a few pictures, I gave rest to my camera for the trip
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Part 6
Mussoorie to New Delhi

Google Map Route
https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Mu...28.6139391!3e0

We started our journey back to boring life. As soon as we were about to reach the tunnel near "Dot Wali Mata Mandir", we faced our first traffic jam - almost 3 km long. After that at every single lane bridge, we faced similar traffic jams. We wasted a good amount of time here.

Once we took a left from Chutmalpur, I hoped that there would be no more jams. But I was so wrong. This route turned out to be worst drive ever. I have driven on this route earlier, but it has become horrible now. It took almost 9 hours to reach back to New Delhi, this time is excluding the breaks we took. On top of everything, the heat was really bad. I will not advise anyone to take this route, especially on Sundays.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this Travelogue.

Last edited by Aditya : 16th June 2015 at 17:50. Reason: Spacing
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Old 16th June 2015, 12:12   #3
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th June 2015, 12:45   #4
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Default Re: Road-trip: A taste of Himachal & Uttarakhand

You missed Renuka ji on route to Shri Paonta Sahib. Beautiful place and 45 mins drive from Jamta on the way to Paonta Sahib
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Old 16th June 2015, 13:13   #5
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Default Re: Road-trip: A taste of Himachal & Uttarakhand

Light, heart warming read with blissful and varied pictures. It's sad to see that our olympians get no recognition or support. You must have made Gurvinder Singh's day by taking his photographs.

Good to see you're imbibing the travel bug in your son at an early age. Thanks for the share!
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Old 16th June 2015, 13:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyrana View Post
You missed Renuka ji on route to Shri Paonta Sahib. Beautiful place and 45 mins drive from Jamta on the way to Paonta Sahib
Hi Mandyrana,

We will plan a small trip to Nahan and around soon (I hope very soon), at that time we will include
Renuka ji lake and the fossil park and so many things in that area.

thank you & regards
vineet
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Old 16th June 2015, 13:58   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VineetSoni View Post
Around 12:30 we reached Shri Paonta Sahib Gurudwara.

Attachment 1382348

We spent around two hours in Shri Gurudwara, it was ......I will not advice to take this route, especially on Sundays.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this Travelogue.


Hello Vineet,
This was a very pleasant and relaxing travelogue to go through. I too sympathize with your sentiments regarding the poor treatment meted out to Mr. Gurvinder Singh - we wish him success in his new venture with the restaurant. Look forward to more from you.
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Old 17th June 2015, 17:29   #8
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Originally Posted by Tushar View Post

Good to see you're imbibing the travel bug in your son at an early age. Thanks for the share!

Hi Tushar

Thank you for the sweet comments.

And yes that is the basic idea, of imbibing the travelling bug.

Regards
Vineet
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Old 17th June 2015, 17:37   #9
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Hello Vineet,
Mr. Gurvinder Singh - we wish him success in his new venture with the restaurant. Look forward to more from you.

Hi shashanka

thank you for the comments

The idea behind sharing the story of Gurvinder Singh has two sides, one to share his story and second to share that he is a nice cook.

So if any one is on that route, it is a good place to take a break.

regards

Vineet
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Old 18th June 2015, 10:37   #10
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Hi shashanka
thank you for the comments
The idea behind sharing the story of Gurvinder Singh has two sides, one to share his story and second to share that he is a nice cook.
So if any one is on that route, it is a good place to take a break.
regards
Vineet

Ok, Vineet, I'll take your word for it! If we are down that way, we shall certainly halt at Gurvinder's place to meet him and sample his cooking!
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Old 18th June 2015, 11:04   #11
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Hi Vineet.
Very Well Written Travelogue with excellent pictures. It does give a nice gist of what to expect while traversing the same path that you have taken.

I myself made a similar journey to Mussoorie exactly an year ago wherein we had taken the Meerut - Saharanpur - Dehradun route for our onward journey and the Poanta Sahib - Nahan route for the return journey. I found the Nahan route better.

Since our primary aim was to attend the Passing Out Parade of the IMA, we did not plan to stay overnight at Mussoorie. But I had a torrid time driving up and down the hill road to Mussoorie. It was literally bumper to bumper traffic on that particular day and you can imagine the beating our car must have taken in those trying circumstances.

How was your experience on that front?

Secondly, parking is a big pain in the neck as I found out to my chagrin. There is simply not enough space and definitely not well managed. That's one area that if improved, can be a welcome change. Again, what were your experiences in this regard?
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Old 18th June 2015, 11:47   #12
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A very well written travelogue listing out every single detail along the journey.
Congratulations on your first trip with your 5 months old son. Your son is indeed lucky to have been a part of a team bhp travelogue at just 5 months of age. Do take frequent breaks and drive at a leisurely pace as other wise the child at such a tender age may develop stomach cramps due to the continuous swaying motion of the vehicle.
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Old 18th June 2015, 12:49   #13
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Ohh... the charm that is Shimla. The place I call my home. It never ceases to amaze me.
And the picture of the Willow banks restaurant you clicked is like the cherry on the cake.
Hope you had fun and enjoyed the hospitality.
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Old 18th June 2015, 15:47   #14
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Originally Posted by Hunter3077 View Post
Hi Vineet.
Very Well Written Travelogue with excellent pictures.

I found the Nahan route better.

But I had a torrid time driving up and down the hill road to Mussoorie. It was literally bumper to bumper traffic on that particular day and you can imagine the beating our car must have taken in those trying circumstances.

How was your experience on that front?

Secondly, parking is a big pain in the neck as I found out to my chagrin. ?
Hello Hunter,

Thank you for the comments.

Nahan route is definitely better both ways in all senses.
While driving on Mussoorie road I did not find any bumper to bumper driving except for one last entry place. But I guess that is bound to happen with the history of Mussoorie.
But I have also noticed that the traffic varies with in half an hour to one hour on such routes and also depending on days of we are visiting the place.

When ever travelling to such famous or common destinations that to in vocation times it is better to go with prior hotel booking. Our hotel did provide us with in hotel parking.
But yes I have made many one day trips to Mussoorie in past and parking is a big issue.

The authorities do need to make lot of changes to keep the tourist attracted to Mussoorie.

For example I noticed many local people especially young poor children with toddlers prams (strollers). They offered several other families who were not able to carry there own strollers for there young one for 100rs/hour or so. This people keep coming up to you every five minutes troubling you a lot and along with this I did find it very difficult to digest, how people could leave young ones in the hands of 8 or 9 years old children that to on steep hills.

Along with this I also noticed that we as tourist also have lot of responsibilities. The authorities have provided garbage bins at almost every 100 meters but many of us still choose to through stuff on the road or in the valleys.

Regards
Vineet
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Old 18th June 2015, 17:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunkumarsarat View Post
A very well written travelogue listing out every single detail along the journey.
Congratulations on your first trip with your 5 months old son. Your son is indeed lucky to have been a part of a team bhp travelogue at just 5 months of age. Do take frequent breaks and drive at a leisurely pace as other wise the child at such a tender age may develop stomach cramps due to the continuous swaying motion of the vehicle.
hello

Thank you for the comments.

Even when we were planning the trip many senior BHPian gave useful and helpful tips regarding travelling with very young ones.

We have a travel system (car seat plus stroller) for our son and it is a blessing for us and it proved really helpful through out the journey.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/iipcache/153531.jpg

Though we also kept taking frequent breaks.
I will remember this tip of yours for future trips also. thank you


regards
vineet
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