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Old 31st May 2007, 12:25   #1
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Default Ranikhet and Kausani, 1000kms 3 days!

Day 1
Some trips just happen. There is no booking, no well in advance planning. Its just lets go, and all it needs a trigger. This time the trigger was Delhi heat and sheer boredom.
So we decided to go a little of the beaten track to Kausani. The plan was simple, go to Ranikhet via Corbett, and if we reach Ranikhet by 3pm, then head to either Almora or Kausani, depending on the mood.
So early morning we got ready, with plans of starting by 8, but as in all our Himalayan trips, the start happened only at 8:30am. The first leg of the trip will Moradabad was hell as usual. NHAI work is progressing as slowly as possible, and to add to that the traffic in this region is the worse you can encounter. Tractors coming the wrong side, bullock cars in middle, you name it you have it.
But non stop we pushed and soon we were passing through the Corbett park, towards ranikhet.
The road was deserted, with a capital D, and it was bumpy. With the aging suspension groaning, balding tires refusing to provide any grip, and tail skipping on broken tarmac, not to mention the bone rattling thuds every time a big pothole came after a fast sweeping turn, we reached Ranikhet at around 3:30pm.
Decided to stay here for the night and leave for Kausani only in the morning. After haggling, struggling with hotel guys got one at exorbitant rates, but it was the best option. This was the Woodsvilla, formerly the cost plus resort.
It was cloudy and hazy, so just decided to take a walk, not much opportunity for pictures here. Took a few which were bland.

Soon the hills got hit by a thunderstorm, and it appeared that if the skies cleared up, we could see the peaks in the morning

Day 2
Checked out by 10pm, and decided to follow the map rather than the directions given on roads.
Plotted the shortest route through a place called Majikali, and in all the excitement, forgot that the fuel gauge was slightly above the 1/4th mark. Somewhere on the route the car crossed 80,000 on the odo , and I also noticed the fuel gauge. It was too late to go back to Ranikhet, so asked from the villages about the nearest petrol pump. It was around 20kms away now, around 15kms before Kausani. So we continued through our personal chartered route, where breathtaking scenery greeted us.

Reached the pump, and a sign greeted us, no diesel only petrol!
Asked from the attendant and he informed us that we have to go to Baijnath, around 20kms from Kausani. Since the fuel gauge was till above 1/4th when car was at level, decided to trudge on.
No traffic, and occasional tracts of good roads ensured good speed, and by early afternoon we crossed Kausani. Asked for directions, and got bombarded by hotel offers by the guides. Unfazed we drove the Baijnath. The road was good initially, with fast corners and little traffic. Well behaved traffic I must say. The taxi guys gave way gracefully. Just one I got struck behind a dude in a M800(Delhi number) who thought it was below his dignity to give way to an oil burner, but frequent honking and couple of fast turns and he was diminishing in rear view mirror.
He tried to give chase, but 2 suitcases on the luggage rack on top does not do good for handling, and he gave up.
Reached the HP pump and filled up diesel. That guy told us that the next petrol pump was 20kms away. Actually there is a cluster of 2 petrol pumps there, so in this area no problem of fuel. On the drive back stopped at a tea stall opposite the tea factory and drank horrible tea.
The view was good, but cloudy

Drove back to Kausani, and started looking at the hotels. The private guys were almost full, and tried to charge high rates, coming down after bargaining, but we moved on to the govt tourist home, and got a cottage for 990rs!! No wonder the private guys were ready to come down to 2000 bucks. But we chose the cottage and had a short nap.
Got out in the evening and it was drizzling, no Himalayas in sight.
So took a short drive and it started clearing.

Even saw a rainbow

Soon the mightily Himalayas came into sight.
In their partial glory, obscured by clouds






Took a short trek on the roads and roamed around breathing fresh air.

Soon it was time to retire for the night, with plans to wake up in the morning, before sunrise.
Day 3
But plans are meant to be broken, and Himalayas were already fading from view as it was almost past 9
Still used the telephoto to catch a peak

Had breakfast, a really heavy breakfast at the KMVNL tourist cottage, and clicked a few flowers



Around 11:30am we started to head for Corbett and reach before the gates closed, If we were lucky we could have a safari too!
On the drive back decided to follow the signboards, instead of our own route. Distance was same, views were great

But roads were horrible. I tried to push hard, to reach Corbett in time. We were wondering whether the decision to follow signboards was wrong.
After lot of hard driving reached ranikhet, and since the fuel tank was 3/4th full+ decided to move on to Corbett.
Reached there an discovered that entry permits were full. So no such luck.
So with a reluctant heart drove back to Delhi.
Had a late dinner at 7 at the A1 plaza, and then the nightmare started.
UP transport has got new buses. They are air conditioned. They are new. And they have atleast 6 lights. 4 in the headlamps, and 2 supplementry fog lamps. Many have 8 lights.
They light up all of them.
On a 2 lane narrow highway when you have 12 headlights coming at you with broken berms, you have to get off the road, jarring yourself and the car.
Many times there was no berm and the only option was to stop.
Had a narrow miss when a villager decided to cross the road without looking. Missed him by inches by swerving violently, luckily the speed was low.
Now it was like "When will the journey end".
Reached home at 10 at night dead tired. 10 hours of driving is no joke, esp when last 4 hours are madness. The poor car also took some beating, with the suspension aging and ditto for the tires.
Next morning when I discovered a puncture, also say this

She needs new struts and definitely new dampers.

Apart from the suspension part, everything is good.
The FE was phenomenal. After tankful at Baijnath, till Delhi we covered 500+kms. I tanked up only on the next day at Delhi. Total 550kms, and the tank took in 32 liters of fuel. Now this included narrow hill driving in second and third gear all the time, crazy highway driving with frequent braking.

It was a crazy trip but thoroughly enjoyable.
The cold up there was great, and in the middle of summer shivering is a wonderful thing

Last edited by tsk1979 : 31st May 2007 at 12:26.
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Old 31st May 2007, 12:45   #2
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Great review, awesome pics buddy. Felt as if i was there myself.
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Old 31st May 2007, 12:46   #3
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Well a very well written travelogue. That was a good adventure out of the blue. I am jealous man.
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Old 31st May 2007, 12:48   #4
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Nice pictures; What camera you have.
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Old 31st May 2007, 12:51   #5
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Great Pics, specially the ones having Snowy Himalayas.
Pics reminds me of my trip from Nodia - Shimla - Kufri which I did in Feb 2003 in my M800.
Looks like I should accept the offer from Ciena and go back and settle in north, Then these trips wont be far away.
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Old 31st May 2007, 12:51   #6
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good report Tanveer , so did you find the cover for the safari which Ishan guided you on the way to moradabad
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Old 31st May 2007, 13:05   #7
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I have a Canon 350D. Did not spent much time taking pics this time. It was more of a driving holiday, going on drives in the rural Himalayan roads, and roaming around in the woods.
@lbm, I was told about moradabad after I came back to Delhi, this was a Sat/Sun/Monday trip
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Old 31st May 2007, 13:16   #8
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Nice trip Tanveer

Am planning somthing similar will post up once done

Which camera btw

Also whats with the dent at back & broken taillamp glass
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Old 31st May 2007, 13:31   #9
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Nice report of the short weekend trip. And great pics to say the least. The tyres as you rightly said look indeed quite bald.

Just curious, what was the temparature at that altitude?
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Old 31st May 2007, 13:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Nice trip Tanveer

Am planning somthing similar will post up once done

Which camera btw

Also whats with the dent at back & broken taillamp glass
Camera is the 350D, as mentioned earlier. The broken tail lamp is very very old. Actually the reverse light enclosure is broken, but otherwise its fine.
As for the dent its from reversing into a tree in a Noida parking lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Nice report of the short weekend trip. And great pics to say the least. The tyres as you rightly said look indeed quite bald.

Just curious, what was the temparature at that altitude?
The maximum was around 30 in the valley, to around 20 in the hills. Evening temperature was around 12-15, early morning being around 10.
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Old 31st May 2007, 14:02   #11
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Great pics Tanveer..... The tyres & the D definitely needs an overhaul now...

Abhi
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Old 31st May 2007, 14:05   #12
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tanveer, is their any alternate route to go to kausani, avoiding the mess of western UP.
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Old 31st May 2007, 14:19   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garychopper View Post
tanveer, is their any alternate route to go to kausani, avoiding the mess of western UP.
Nope, unless you want to do a very very very long drive.
Delhi to Nahan area - 5 hours.
Nahan area to Dehradun side - 5 hours
Dehradun to Kausani - 8 hours approx
8 hours to 18 hours journey!
If you start early(7ish is enough) you don't suffer much in UP.
Coming back is an issue, but you can time it such that you hit moradabad at around 9pm
The traffic will be less at night, but you have to watch out for those mad buses and trucks with 6 headlights.
A very tempting option is to take the overnight train to kathgodam, but until cheap self drive rental mania catches up in India, you are at mercy of taxi drivers.
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Old 1st June 2007, 02:02   #14
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Wonderful report Tanveer, looks like you guys had a great time! A couple of weeks back I covered the 110-odd kms distance from Moradabad to Ramnagar in exactly 1 hour!!! Good fun that road is!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Had a late dinner at 7 at the A1 plaza, and then the nightmare started.
UP transport has got new buses. They are air conditioned. They are new. And they have atleast 6 lights. 4 in the headlamps, and 2 supplementry fog lamps. Many have 8 lights.
They light up all of them.
On a 2 lane narrow highway when you have 12 headlights coming at you with broken berms, you have to get off the road, jarring yourself and the car.
Many times there was no berm and the only option was to stop.
Had a narrow miss when a villager decided to cross the road without looking. Missed him by inches by swerving violently, luckily the speed was low.
Now it was like "When will the journey end".
Tanveer - Welcome to HeadLamps central!!! This is the place where all your 100/90, Xenons etc. become absolutely useless! Now you know why I desire better headlights. As for driving there I guess it becomes a habit after a while, even with these new buses & most heavy vehicles with the their HL's on full beam & focused on your face I have no problem driving at night, that also at a pretty fast pace. I can say I can still see most of the view even with glaring headlights in my face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by garychopper View Post
tanveer, is their any alternate route to go to kausani, avoiding the mess of western UP.
It's not that bad, if you know the rights times to travel at (like Tanveer said) and are aware of the driving conditions. If you're not comfortable with the driving stlye I would suggest you take an experienced driver along rather than drive yourself.

Last edited by iraghava : 1st June 2007 at 02:05.
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Old 1st June 2007, 10:11   #15
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We did it in approximately 1.5 hours. The traffic was bad with buses stopping in middle of the road and bullock carts coming from nowhere. Besides that, there is a limit to how fast a cractor can go
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