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Old 14th October 2008, 11:03   #1
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Default Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more

Destination Vaishali(Ghaziabad) to Mcleodganj.
Route Taken Vaishali – Karnal Bypass – Panipat – Ambala – Rajpura Toll – Banur – Ropar – Una – Kangra – Dharamshala – Mcleodganj
Total Distance – 540 Kms

Travel bug was itching again and again since last 9-10 months and everytime something or the other just couldn’t let me go out for a vacation.These some things include corporate slavery and sometimes family commitments.Last few months have been very hectic and the result is some missed T-BHP meets and some wonderful opportunities of a long drive.

This time the plan was to go to Dharamshala/Mcleodganj for 2 days and then 1 day at Khajjiar but trust me planned things seldom work for me.But somehow we started on 9th morning at 2 AM from my place in Vaishali,Ghaziabad.Weather was a bit on the cooler side and things were smooth till Karnal ByPass only as we were greeted by lot of trucks.Somehow managed to whizz pass thru them and entering Haryana made things a bit smoother and I was constantly doing a very relaxed 100+ .

This was my first time using the Newly opened Panipat Toll and its is surely a delight though not much during the night time but still enjoyed that.
After Panipat lost almost 30 mins due to an accident and the resulting diversion.First break was intended at Ambala but after that standstill 30 mins in the jam never felt like taking a break.

Took the shortcut through Rajpura toll -- Banur to Ropar bypassing Chandigarh and then stopped by some over jealous Traffic cops at Ropar and they wasted 10 mins trying to find a problem with the papers,sunfilm etc.Never expected cops at that time as it was not even 6 AM.
Never mind,we were again on our way through the beautiful toll road of Anandpur Sahib and Nangal.

Then entered Himachal and was at UNA at around 8 AM and roads started going bad and for next 20-30 kms on way towards Kangra.So decided to break the journey and took our first stop at some place before Kangra.After munching some Alloo pranthas and taking a half an hour break we started again and scenery was getting better and better.Driving till now was totally relaxed and somewhat boring too due to not much vehicles on the road.

Started getting the slimpses of the mighty Dhauladhar mountains around Kangra though the view was not so clear,Finally reached Mcleodganj at around 12 noon.
Safari was again tanked full at Dharamshala and tyre pressure checked and it returned a mileage of 13+.This time we decided not to stay in Mcleoganj but in Naddi which is a wonderful small village full of hotels and giving you a wonderful view of the Dhauladhars.

The hotel was UdeChee Huts which is the oldest in Naddi and offers best views and trust me we were not disappointed with the cleanliness,staff and views from our balcony.As soon as we entered our room,we rushed to balcony and just one word Wow for the view.All tiredness vanished after staring at those mountains for sometime.Had some snacks at hotel and a hot shower and dozed off.
[FONT=&quot]Evening was spent in Mcleodganj market and dinner was a usual candlelight affair at Nick’s.Weather was really cool at night,must be around 7-8 degrees but thats what we all wish for while going to hills. [/FONT]

End of Day 1.

Pics from Day 1 Below

Attached Thumbnails
Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1134.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1135.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1139.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1140.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1141.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1136.jpg  


Last edited by simply_sunny001 : 14th October 2008 at 11:07.
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Old 14th October 2008, 11:20   #2
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Nice pictures Sandeep, truck's looking real nice. 13 kmpl is pretty good mileage also I'd say. Looking forward to the rest of the travelogue.....cheers:

PS: Just some snacks & a hot shower, what about the liquid nourishment which is so essential for us?
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Old 14th October 2008, 11:41   #3
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What is the Karnal bypass you are mentioning - is it the Ghaziabad-Hindon-Baghpat-Sonepat road which joins Nh1 at Sonepat? How bad is the NH1 between Azadpur Junction and Haryana border - some road widening work was going on?

The Ambala-Banur road is narrow and I always felt it was a little unsafe, and predictably the cops are there to harass you!

Spectacular views at Naddi - how does one get to Naddi from Mcleod/Dharamsala?
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Old 14th October 2008, 12:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
What is the Karnal bypass you are mentioning - is it the Ghaziabad-Hindon-Baghpat-Sonepat road which joins Nh1 at Sonepat? How bad is the NH1 between Azadpur Junction and Haryana border - some road widening work was going on?
sir,its the main Karnal Bypass near Azadpur mandi while going out from Delhi.

The Ambala-Banur road is narrow and I always felt it was a little unsafe, and predictably the cops are there to harass you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Spectacular views at Naddi - how does one get to Naddi from Mcleod/Dharamsala?
For Naddi,you can go via Mcleodganj main square and then going through Dal Lake or there a road turning right almost 1.5 kms before Mcleodganj main square,using this you dont have to go to Mcleodganj and you can go straight to Naddi.
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Old 14th October 2008, 12:24   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Nice pictures Sandeep, truck's looking real nice. 13 kmpl is pretty good mileage also I'd say. Looking forward to the rest of the travelogue.....cheers:
Thanks Dada,and on way back it was beyond 15 and i'm very much surprised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
PS: Just some snacks & a hot shower, what about the liquid nourishment which is so essential for us?
This trip never involved any liquid nourishment you are talking about as there was no one to give company.
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Old 14th October 2008, 12:38   #6
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Sunny, your Safari looks fantastic!
Being amidst the serene mountains must be awesome to say the least.
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Old 14th October 2008, 12:47   #7
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Looks like i am the one who is home :( Tanveer had a blasting rajasthan trip so looks your trip sunny.

Pics looks nice, keep them coming.

OT: Looking at color density of your sun-film cops are bound to do atleast some natak-baazi
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Old 14th October 2008, 13:24   #8
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Default Day 2

Thanks a ton guys.

and there is lot more to come.Here is the account of a lazy and less eventful Day 2.

Day 2

Day 2 started with some very beautiful clear views of the Dhauladhar mountains(Notice the clear view in the below pics) and then a sumptuous breakfast sitting in open terrace of the Hotel.Then we decided to visit the bhagsunag temple and Waterfall.

The waterfall was almost 1.5 km from the temple and a very narrow trek connected them.Weather was really nice with lot of brightness all around and on the way back from the waterfall which became very crowded after we reached,we trekked down and sat on the stones and feet dipped in water.

After some more time relaxing in the sun we returned back to Bhagsunag temple area around lunch and thought of checking out “German Bakery” for lunch.But it was a huge disappointment as at even 1.30 they never had their owen ready,only Indian food was available so decided to walk down to Mcleodganj and have lunch at some other place.

Returned back to Mcleodganj main square and next 3-4 hours were spent shopping,things are kinda cheap in Mcleodganj specially the junk jewelry,handicrafts items etc etc.Though I think that the above statement is always an excuse by females to blow a big hole in your pocket.
Anyways I relished the fried momos while this shopping was going on and trust me they were much more tasty then I anticipated.

Lunch was at another small,Italian place called “Ogbo’s”.Mcleodganj is a great place for foodies and you can get some very good quality Italian,german,Isreali,Tibetan and of course Indian food there and that too at very VFM prices and there are few places whose food quality and taste can bring shame to the big restaurants of our metros.

Returned back to hotel around 6 and rest of evening was spent sipping tea and appreciating the view from the balcony.

End of Day 2
Attached Thumbnails
Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1150.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1151.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1157.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1163.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1168.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1186.jpg  

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Old 14th October 2008, 14:17   #9
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Day 3

Day was not something that we planned.Earlier we planned the Day 3 at Khajjiar but came to know from local guys that the road from Dharamshala to Khajjiar is single road and terribly broken and it will take 7 hours to reach.
So had to ditch the plan to visit khajjiar and thought of returning Delhi on Day 3.But then thought why not take a different and more picturesque route i.e. via Palampur,Mandi this time.

We started at around 10.30 from hotel after having another wonderful breakfast and half an hour of the Cricket match.and we reached Kangra fort at around 12 after asking directions a lot of times as I lost my map-book on Day 2.
And what a fort that was,it turned out to be a must visit property while in Kangra valley.this fort was more than 1000 years old and very very big though I anticipated a much smaller one considering the hilly area.

The ageing Fort had great view from all the sides,and then I realized that erstwhile kings really enjoyed their lives.There was a museum too in the fort.
After spending almost 2 hrs in the Fort we left towards Palampur.

More to come from Day 3,till then enjoy the pics
Attached Thumbnails
Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1192.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1193.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1194.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1209.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1195.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1198.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1203.jpg  

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Old 14th October 2008, 14:33   #10
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Stunning fort.
Normally, bastion of forts are round/half round shaped but kangra fort has square shaped bastion. More straight line than curves on fortification.
Surprisingly, fort entrance is looks like made of bricks may be of clay or stone. correct me.
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Old 14th October 2008, 14:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
Stunning fort.
Normally, bastion of forts are round/half round shaped but kangra fort has square shaped bastion. More straight line than curves on fortification.
Surprisingly, fort entrance is looks like made of bricks may be of clay or stone. correct me.
The Fort was made of Stone Bricks,Stones were cut in square/rectangle sort of brick shape and then used in the building of fort.

Not just the entrance,the whole fort was made with these stone bricks and maybe thats why its still standing tall even after 1000+ years.
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Old 15th October 2008, 12:08   #12
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Day 3 Continued

The road from Kangra to Palampur was a driver’s delight.Some nice curves and beautiful tarmac,only had to slow down while passing through villages.
And on top of everything,the scenary around was asking me to stop every now and then and click pics.
Managed to stop at some places and click pics but the real joy was driving,tyres were squealing at almost every 2nd bend,I dunno why Bridgestones squeal a lot.Maybe need better tubeless rubber for the beast.

Now the surprise part,as soon as we crossed Palampur which was a old style town,we saw Tea Plantations.I was like are they really tea plantations and oh boy it was so cool seeing them.I have seen tea plantations in movies only.
Remember in old bollywood movies,hero and heroine running towards each other in tea plantations in slow motion.LOL

Spent sometime plucking some tea leaves etc etc and then moved towards Mandi.Midway from Palampur to Mandi this place came which is called BIR/BILLING where ParaGliding was going on.We wished we could do that but seemed out of bound due to shortage of time and we both being novice regarding Paragliding,but next time I’m going to do that.

Clicked pics of the Paragliders in the sky and moved towards Mandi which was again a surprise town and it seemed two rivers merged there.Cant describe the beautiful Mandi town in words.After crossing Mandi,the roads were again a driver’s delight till Bilaspur and we also met 2 Army gypsies who were coming from RAID.

Road condition deteriorated after Bilaspur till KiratPur and I could hardly shift into 3rd.Took a break near Ropar for around 10 mins and continued towards Ambala taking the same Kurali – Banur route.

Rest of the journey was sort of uneventful and then stopped at Sukhdev Dhaba around 2 AM for food and back to Delhi around 3.30.
Overall,the whole trip was so refreshing and wish I could spend some more days in the hills.
Till the next trip,adios and enjoy the remaining pics from Day 3
Attached Thumbnails
Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1217.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1220.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1221.jpg  

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Old 15th October 2008, 12:15   #13
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Some more pics from Day 3
Attached Thumbnails
Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1221.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1223.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1224.jpg  

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Old 15th October 2008, 12:21   #14
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Last lot of pics from Day 3.
Attached Thumbnails
Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1229.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1230.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1231.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1232.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1235.jpg  

Highways, Hills, Tea Plantations and some more-dscf1237.jpg  

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Old 15th October 2008, 12:24   #15
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WOW is what i can say....Pictures speak for themselves
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