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Old 29th November 2016, 19:37   #31
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

@harimakesh, a true Heart travelogue. Very inspiring and it shows only determination matters, not the machine that you drive!! You are proud son!
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Old 30th November 2016, 07:41   #32
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Day 22: March 16, 2014
Route : Ambaji-Ranakpur-Udaipur

Distance : 300kms


We left from Ambaji towards Ranakpur & Srinathji.

Aravalli hills of Gujarat & Rajasthan is quite different with not much of lush greenery or the altitude expected of a mountain range, yet there are some water streams and some winding roads going down from Ambaji towards Ranakpur.

Mango tree in full bloom in desert land Rajasthan

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This 55kms hill road from NH 27 to Ranakpur Jain temple is well maintained and delight to drive with its bends & twists.

Mahadev temple inside Ranakpur Jain temple complex

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Ranakpur Jain temple : A white Marble Grandeur

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Great NH 27

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Construction of four lane NH 27 cuts the Aravalli hills at many places to make way for four lanes and 2km long tunnels. The entry/exit of these tunnels are made to look like high walls of Rajasthan forts. Gave a Feel India is moving towards becoming a developed Nation.

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Aravalli hills

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Rajasthan's NH 27 truely gave a genuine feeling What a nice Road to drive. (Road NH 27 is 3500kms long, forms India's East-West corridor from Porbandar in Gujarat to Silchar in Assam.)

Reached Ranakpur by 4.30pm and the Jain temple complex is huge with many temple blocks. Spent 45minutes and again while climbing up to reach NH 27 the sight of moon rise has been delightfully unique.

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Reached Uadipur by 8:30pm. Had some nice dinner and slept well.

Last edited by harimakesh : 30th November 2016 at 07:59.
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Old 30th November 2016, 09:36   #33
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Day 23 : March 17th, 2014
Route : Udaipur-Nathwara(Srinathji)-R.K.Puram(Delhi)

Distance : 690kms


17th March 2014 has been holy festival day. Udaipur monuments were all mostly shut for holy festival, we decided to move towards Nathwara, Srinathji, Sri Krishna Temple.

Srinathji Lord Sri Bala Krishna :

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Throughout the trip, I Could experience the fact that the very culture,heritage & significant economic prosperity of our country is kept united & intact ONLY by the holy rivers and temples of Lord Siva, Lord Sri Krishna & Godess Sakthi.

On holy festival day, by 11am we entered into Nathwara town to reach Srinathji. Being Chennaites, in our lives we haven't experienced Holyfestival in its true fervour.

We have been unaware of a true spirited Holyfestival. We just had a book knowledge that holy is a spring festival celebrated in Northern India.

Nathdwara a small town where Srinathji Mandir is located. Here Lord Krishna is manifest as a young 7year old boy. Srinathji is the center for a key Vaishnav Sampradaya established by Vallabhacharya.

Being a holy day the narrow gullies leading to the temple heavily crowded full of people.

Mostly youngsters throwing colour powder indiscriminately on everybody creating a colour dust pluming and hindering visibility.

I just Turned to check where are my parents. I couldn't find them as the holy colour camouflaged every one.

The temple Sanctum was crowded so much awaiting a stampede. Unable to see the idol of Srinathji, I just worshipped the sarvavyapi-all pervading form Lord Krishna.

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Now I ventured out looking for my parents inch by inch in the colour dusted narrow street. 30minutes of intense search, I couldn't find my parents. I prayed unto Lord Krishna to show them to my eyes.

I was getting exhausted & felt hungry, had alu poha, jilebi & tea. Started once again sifting the streets several times for my parents who cannot understand Hindi language.

As I moved up & down the temple and car parking area my head was getting thicker & heavier with colour powder by a good one Kilogram as people throwing holy colours on me, I looked like a multicoloured crazy clown.

I Now realised for the first time I am handicapped as my parents haven't taught me what is our family song to which I can try singing they can revert back.

I looked at my car, over enthusiastic people sprayed my car too with colours, I thought let me sit down behind the car for a while and I found my parents safely tucked themselves in that hide with my father taking colours on his head.


Car amidst holy fervour at Srinathji

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By now it was noon, Now My cousin called from Delhi, I decided to drive directly to R.K. Puram in Delhi. Just off Nathdwara found a petol bunk, filled fuel & washed off my coloured head with water.

Myself & Wagon R 1.1 Lxi try Matching these desert camels in Ruggedness & Reliability :

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NH 58 Single Road :

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The road 58 Uadipur to Ajmer is a single road, yet well laid, but a Toll road. The Ajmer-Jaipur segment is near finished four-way lane.

12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR-20140317-17.37.00.jpg

Drove 610 kms non stop and Reached R.K.Puram, Delhi by early morning by 2:30am via Jaipur, Gurgaon

Sky with cloud formation at Ajmer :

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12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR-20140317-17.21.03.jpg

Last edited by harimakesh : 30th November 2016 at 10:04.
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Old 30th November 2016, 16:34   #34
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Hats off to you!!! Outstanding achievement. Thanks for sharing it & as someone mentioned here, your parents are gifted to have a son like you -
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Old 30th November 2016, 20:13   #35
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingrao View Post
Harimakesh,

Hats off to your grit and determination to fulfil your parents wishes. Having darshan at various temples not withstanding, the ever changing landscape, the sight of hills, broad rivers and vast fields throughout our vast country must have been a feast for their eyes.

No matter how fortunate you are to be able to take them on such a drive, I am sure they are extremely fortunate to have a son like you !
Thanks for the kind words roamingrao.

While compiling this travelogue after 2.5 years now, I am very happy to recollect all cherished memories of the trip. Greatly varying terrains, people, food made the experience very unique.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Beautifully and sincerely written!

The humble but legendary Wagon-R is known for its bullet proof reliability that very few can match. I too owned one for 3 years and it was fuss free. The older 1.1 litre 4-cylinder engine was a gem in terms of refinement and drivability, but sadly, the newer 1.0 litre 3-cylinder is no match.
Thanks PearlJam. Surely Wagon R 1.1 Lxi stood for its reliability. One of my relative asked am I doing some marketing run for Maruti WagonR with my significant expedition covering most terrains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knp View Post
@harimakesh, a true Heart travelogue. Very inspiring and it shows only determination matters, not the machine that you drive!! You are proud son!
Thanks knp. Yes I agree. Actually Wagon R gave me an edge to drive in narrow, crowded roads @ many places like Gokarna, Godwali Chowk in Varanasi, narrow winding roads of Darjeeling, Ranakpur etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Hats off to you!!! Outstanding achievement. Thanks for sharing it & as someone mentioned here, your parents are gifted to have a son like you -
Thanks Surprise. It has been a great feeling that my country gave me such a great opportunity for us to visit her extensively to know the diversity of her & cherish them.
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Old 30th November 2016, 20:14   #36
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

You are an incredible man! Hats off to you for your commitment to your family. May god keep your parents as happy and healthy as they look in these pictures.

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 30th November 2016, 20:42   #37
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Dear harimakesh,
This is one hell of a journey. I'm surprised your parents agreed for a 12K km trip. Hats of to them and great spirit shown by you to drive them all the way around.

It's not the car that matters, it's the spirit and passion of the people in it that matters.

Waiting to see the rest of the travelogue.
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Old 1st December 2016, 12:30   #38
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
You are an incredible man! Hats off to you for your commitment to your family. May god keep your parents as happy and healthy as they look in these pictures.

Cheers,
Sting
Thanks a lot Sting for your kindness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Dear harimakesh,
This is one hell of a journey. I'm surprised your parents agreed for a 12K km trip. Hats of to them and great spirit shown by you to drive them all the way around.

It's not the car that matters, it's the spirit and passion of the people in it that matters.

Waiting to see the rest of the travelogue.
Thanks for your appreciation Land cruiser.

For over a decade We have been traveling together all over the country by train during summer holidays.

Basically my parents like traveling, I like & longed for years to take up long distance self driving in India in a car.

It has been our pleasure that together we enjoyed the travel. We found to have become good, functional travelling team as we have learnt ourselves.

My parents were happy with whatever was available enroute. Non demanding parents. Their co-operation is the fulcrum of this trip.

Last edited by harimakesh : 1st December 2016 at 12:39.
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Old 1st December 2016, 19:33   #39
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Day 25: March 19th, 2014
Route : Delhi-Haridwar-Wagah border- Pathankot

Distance : 840Kms


Took one full day rest in Delhi. By evening on 18th March 2014 we started again for Haridwar.

Uttar Pradesh Roads roads are very bad. It took over 9hrs to cover 240kms to reach Haridwar at dawn via Meerut, Muzaffarnagar.

Had a very refreshing bath in River Ganga although water was cold enough.

Haridwar Early morning On the Banks of Ganga

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Misty morning Haridwar Roads

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Moved out of Haridwar as the sun rise, the roads were covered by mist.

Kept travelling via Ambala, at Ludhiana we had brunch and filled fuel to the car moved towards Amritsar to take part in Wagah border evening Flag ceremony.

Reached Amritsar by 4:30 & Reached Wagah border by 5:15; parking the car took good 15 minutes, by the the flag ceremony just began. The galleries were overflowing with crowd. Tucked ourselves in places where we were to get glimpse of the event.

Wagah border Flag folding ceremony :

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We Witnessed a Very very aggressive military marching as a civilian ceremony

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Wagah border stadium

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Golden Jublee entrance

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Last Indian post office at Punjab border

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Parents & Wagon R at Indo-Pak border


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By 6:30pm from Wagah border we started towards Jammu.

It was 11:00 pm when we reached Pathankot. I was tired after driving 600+kms for the day. Also inside Jammu&Kashmir state I just wanted to drive during day for safety & to appreciate nature's Beauty while driving.

Last edited by harimakesh : 1st December 2016 at 19:52.
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Old 3rd December 2016, 13:16   #40
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Default Re: 12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR

Day 26 & 27: March 20th&21st, 2014
Route: Pathankot-Jammu-Katra-Vaishno Devi

Distance: 170 +655= 825kms


On 20th March,2014 Started early in the morning by 5:30am* towards Katra Vaishnodevi temple.

Highway NH 1A from Pathankot-Jammu-Katra-Vaishno Devi

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Early morning traffic was less upto Jammu, passed the wide Tawi river bridge and moved on to reach Katra base by 8:30 am.

View from Tawi River bridge at Jammu :

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Took bath, Went ahead with rapid registration arrangement inside Vaishnodevi temple administred place for stay.

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Had some breakfast in the canteen, it was nice to get south indian Idly & vada in North of India's Jammu Kashmir.

We started our 14 kms+ trekking towards* Vaishnodevi bhavan main temple on the Trikooda hills.

One can climb stairs, walk on gradient slopes, take a pony ride, come by palki to reach bhavans.

I convinced my parents' to go by walk to make our Yatra opportunity to be sincerest in bakthi towards Godess Vaishnodevi.

I let my parents' to Trek at their comfortable slow pace.

Trekking route

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Some mural work enroute depict Kailash

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We will walk for 20mins and rest for 10mins and the gradient was a bit steep as we reached Adhkuwari the middle point and then near* Sanjihchhat highest point 6200ft where the helipad is located, from here the Mandir is 2kms.

Relaxing

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The viewpoint enroute gives a great 270degree view of the majestic Trikooda hills. Nature is untamed here.

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Monkey snatch & drink cold beverages

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The Vaishnodevi board has made Elaborate arrangements for food, beverage, coffee, tea throughout the trekking route which is commendable.

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We reached temple late evening. Gone through Elaborate security check, mobile device was denied entry, some running around to preserveit took some time.

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Stood in the thickly crowded queue for good 2 hours and finally had darshan of Vaishnodevi early in the morning.

Had some breakfast, relaxed our legs for some time, started trekking down slowly, carefully.

Saw a sea of mules with their owners awaiting their prospective rides.

I must appreciate the temple board for keeping the trek route clean by swiftly removing mule dung & paper cups, chips pack wrappers enroute.

Reached Katra base around 9am. Had great breakfast. Decided to drive back to Delhi.

Wagon R gave good comfort, mom made rear seat her bed and my father had nice rest in the fully inclined comfortable front seat.

12,500 km drive circumambulating India : A road-trip in my WagonR-20161124_191801collage.jpg

Drove 650kms from Katra to Delhi. Reached Kurukshetra by wee hours of 22nd March,2014. The Fog at Kurukshetra was thick & visibility was not great, I was tired, pulled the car and slept for few hours and Reached Delhi by 7am.

I Slept & relaxed for a day in Delhi.

My parents were required in Chennai, As we have seen earlier places like Alahabad, Varanasi, Gaya, Kolkata, Puri, Vijayawada, booked tickets for my parents in Tamilnadu Express train and sent them back on 24th March,2014.

I stayed a few more days in Delhi, relaxing my self and for my Wagon R changed engine oil, front two tyres, did emission test in Delhi.

On 28th March 2014, I started my solo trip from Delhi to complete the remaining circumbulate India route.

Last edited by harimakesh : 3rd December 2016 at 13:40.
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