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Old 14th April 2010, 17:43   #16
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Continued…

The Bolero had Hr registration and there were three middle aged men in that. They followed us for good two kilometers, what for? Just to have a look at the Nano, what else. They kind of looked amused to see a Delhi no. Nano on the highway and they analyised every bit of my Vikram I am sure. Soon, we went past Karnal and we were clocking good distances. The roads were almost empty devoid of any traffic specially the villages along side the road. This is the reason I like to drive at nights or early mornings, highway feels like a highway at these time and the car runs in top gear throughout ( 4th gear in this case).

As the time was apt, we were feeling hungry and needed to freshen up a bit also, we decided to stop at Choupal. This is very good family restaurant on the other side of the road and I had been here earlier also so I was sure of the food and the kind of facilities they have. We were the first customers in the morning and the place was totally empty. We opted for the breakfast of sandwiches and Paranthas which was delicious. I had planned to take breakfast at Himachal tourism stoppage at Kalka but then stuffing the tummy just before climbing the mountains should be avoided I guess. More so if you have a lady that feels mountain sickness easily, I make sure to eat light. Overall I would recommend this place to everybody, the ambience is good, the toilets are clean and the staff is courteous.

Back on the road, we went past the Ambala Cantt flyover and the time was to fill up the tank. For the uninitiated, Ambala is the last city in Haryana and the petrol here is approx 4 Rs cheaper than in Punjab, so filling up here makes sense. But not in my case this time.

Delhi to Ambala – 192kms
Fuel taken – 7 ltrs
FE- 27.42 kmpl

Amount saved (if tanked somewhere in Pujnab) - 7 * 4= Rs28. Wow.


Stayed on the left at the Chandigarh crossing and headed straight to the Chandigarh road. Took a right to Panchkula and some diversions on the roads as well as the some distractions off the road gave us company. The traffic was light but the roads are patchy in some places due to construction work going on. It’s worth mentioning here that the houses here in Panchkula are just too good. You feel like leaving everything and start living here. Some more kms on the Odo and now in the comfort of Nano’s superb AC, we were at the foot of the hills, at Kalka. From here on a new journey would start that would burst some more myths…
Attached Thumbnails
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Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01347-1600x1200.jpg  

Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01348-1600x1200.jpg  

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Old 15th April 2010, 10:03   #17
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Nice TL there KKG..looks like we did the same highway at a little different timings on different cars but with same likings.

Even i noticed 2 HAVELIS before the actual 1st Karnal wala HAVELI which is my original joint whenever i'm on this Hwy. What was the max speed you did on this hwy as i personally feel that it's a dream hwy in the entire north at the time that you travelled.

Very few pics..very disappointing..We want more pics of the LITTLE WONDER.
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Old 15th April 2010, 14:28   #18
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CONTINUED…

While you are on your way through Kalka it is hard to believe that this village road which is actually a national highway would lead to the mountains which are our destination. I mean, the road is kind of narrow here with small shops on both sides which makes me wonder how this road does takes the load all year long. Anyways, now is the time to push the Vikram and climb the hills. Although the traffic was a bit heavy here, I was managing to overtake mostly all of it quite easily. In only few kms of the Hill driving I realized that 3rd gear is the way to go and a quick downshift to 2nd would start the overtake process. I would like to mention here that the small but chunky steering wheel of the Nano makes the job delightful. Sudden flashback into memory lane and I remembered my self playing NFS and driving Porsche 911 in the Alps mountains. Now I was doing the same in another rear engined masterpiece but the fun was many times higher. It’s quite a fun actually to push Nano into the corners; you just have to follow the inner line from the left pillar.

My spirited driving was quite evident and my wife made me notice it by saying “something is burning, I can smell it”, please pull over. I pulled over and as I expected there was smell, smell of burning brake pads emitting from all the wheels. So nothing to worry about as I told to my wife and also said “ get used to it” because I knew that this smell would be our companion for rest of our trip on the hills. So we continued our uphill journey and in around two hours we were at Victory Tunnel, Shimla. This indeed was a victory for the Vikram.

I would again like to mention here that in our full journey on the hills I don’t remember anybody overtaking us. I neither am not boasting about anything nor am I exaggerating things, the fact is Nano has good low end torque which helps in overtaking. On top of it the small size also helps. It embarrassed quite a few diesel indicas and taveras on the uphill grinds. I also noticed so many boys on their bikes from Delhi making their way up and they waved to us to acknowledge the Nano. Great feeling.

In an hour or so after checking in 3 hotels (all were full being weekend, as I was told) we got a room on the fifth floor of PINE VIEW hotel. The hotel was called Pine view because if the view it had from the room overlooking the valley. In that sense all the hotels there should be called pines view. The hotel had private parking and the way there from the main road required a steep slope to be negotiated. It was the steepest climb of the whole journey. Even my heart came into my mouth (apart form my wife’s) while going over it butVikram did it, once more, here upon one more Myth was busted “can a Nano take on the hills?” Yes it can and that too VERY WELL>

Some rest now and then an evening on the MALL.
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Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01359-1600x1200.jpg  

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Old 16th April 2010, 14:06   #19
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After resting for a while and then quick shower, it was time to go to the famous Mall road. “The mall is just five minutes walk from the hotel” as I was told but it was 5 then 5 and then 5 minutes of continuos stairs walking and then some more walk over the hill to get there. It was a familiar sight at Mall Road with the usual hustle bustle of the families and newly wed couples. We decided to tale lunch at Sagar Ratna which was good. Then a Walk on the Mall and my wife said this is best Mall road on all the hill stations. She loved the town hall area, the circular Aashiana restaurant, famous Church over the hill. I couldn’t agree more because I feel that Shimla still has that British feel to it, which coupled with the calm attitude of the people here, makes it a wonderful place.

On top of it, families from neighboring states of Punjab and Delhi makes for the good gentry and there are very few instances of cheap looking and hooligan sort of crowd around. Then we went to the Lower bazaar which obviously is any lady's delight. With so many suits and clothes around, who needs anything else? So my wife enjoyed every bit of it.

Now for the main part. When my wife was busy doing what she does best (read shopping or widow shopping) I was thinking about the life here in Shimla. The hard work of the normal labor in these hills is quite a task in itself. When we struggle to keep our own weight on our feet on the climbs, these people carry LPG cylinders, cement pack, N amount of luggage on their backs. Now some of you might say that they are born up and brought up like this, like this to live their hard lives. But I believe that we are blessed to a very easy and luxurious life and still don’t care about it.

Having these thoughts in my mind (which may sound too senti to some) we headed back to hotel, saw Dravid’s 52 off 35 balls taking RCB to a win again; I called it a day ……
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Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01358-1600x1200.jpg  

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Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01375-1600x1200.jpg  

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Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01369-1600x1200.jpg  

Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01370-1600x1200.jpg  

Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01371-1600x1200.jpg  

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Old 16th April 2010, 15:11   #20
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nice pics and write up keep them coming.. How was the temperature there.
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Old 16th April 2010, 16:25   #21
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by akaushik View Post
nice pics and write up keep them coming.. How was the temnice pics and write up keep them coming.. How perature there.
Thanks Akaushik. The weather was pleasant there. Every body said that it'll be too hot there but it was nothing like it. I took bath with hot water on all 3 days.. That says it all i guess.


Coninued...

Day 2: Shimla – Half way to Narkanda- Kufri- Chail


I am a lazy kind of a guy who firmly believes that holidays/vacations are to relax and definitely not to wake up early, get ready and see all the famous tourist attractions as if marking them one by one in some invisible diary only to tell people back home what you have done. But my wife is aware of this notion of mine and she told me in advance that she would like to see as many places as she could as this was her first visit to Shimla. I know, opposites attract and all that stuff but …. Ok no buts, I agreed.

But as luck would have it, wife felt like having mild fever and after having some medicines, agreed to stay in the room. I took the opportunity of waking up late, just lazing around and then standing in the balcony overlooking the valley. Our hotel was just above a HP petrol pump so I enjoyed watching all kinds of buses, cars, bikes coming and getting the tanks filled. Right next to the Petrol pump is a steep hill and the sound of the bikes (Bullets and RX 100s) on that hill just sounded fabulous to me. I spent a good amount of time standing there. But around 1 o clock when my wife started feeling a bit better, we decide to visit Chail. Got down from the room to the car and went straight to the Petrol pump.

Fill no 2: Trip reading: 352.5 kms
Fuel taken: 9.52ltrs @ Rest 49.88
FE: (352.5-192)* 9.52= 16.80KMPL

So we headed towards Kufri on the way to Chail. The roads are very bad in some sections and coupled with heavy traffic, driving is no fun here. After 45 minutes or so we reached the Kufri chowk. I knew that the road upwards is way to kufri and the road straight ahead is way to Narkanda but was totally unaware that one needs to take the road to Kufri, go past it to reach Chail. My bad. We kept going straight for around 10 kms, asked for directions, came back to Kufri and went upwards. Some local boys acting as guides shouted “Nano upper nahin chad payegi.” (Nano won’t make it to the top). This put my wife off a bit.

When I was here at Kufri in December 2007 in my Spark, the roads were damp, with even slush at some places. So all the cars struggled to climb to the top. I even remember pushing a maruti 800 full of people coz it just won’t climb. That hard was the situation then. But it was all dry and nice now, so no problem climbing. But as we reached the parking a scuffle was going on between a local guide and three tourist boys. The local just took them apart. I tell you these locals are strong, real strong. So we decided not to stop here and continue towards Chail which is 28kms from there. Even with no snow here, Kufri was full of Tourists,mainly newly weds, posing for photos, sitting on horses and Yes yaks. I found this funny because with no snow Kufri is nothing but a simple, staid plain. But who cares.

The road from Kufri to Chail is a bit narrow but there are tress all round with almost no traffic. Suddenly we saw Rohit standing on side of the road…..
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Old 16th April 2010, 17:25   #22
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Yes, Rohit...

You travel many a miles but there comes moments and instances which can relate you to your life back home in microseconds. This cute shy boy standing on the side of the road with a bunch of red flowers in his hand signified life with hope for me. We stopped there, bought his flowers for Rs 20 (he asked Rs 10), asked his name, Rohit he said (it happens to be the name of one of my closest friend). I asked him whether he goes to school?, he said yes which is 5 kms from here.5 kms in these hills, I would have been a total illiterate if my school had been 5 walking kms from my place even in Delhi plains, leave aside these hills. But this is life and I regard the hardship of people over there.

So continuing on our way, with some good company of nice landscapes (sorry no pics, I driving Wife- not well), we reached Chail atlast...Asked some locals for the places to visit namely a famous temple (name don’t remember), a famous royal palace (name don’t remember) and then the highest cricket ground in the world. Last one sounded cool, so 4 more kms and there we were at World’s Highest Cricket Ground and yes In a Nano. We stopped there for a while and then headed back to Shimla via Kandaghat and Solan. This route is 15 kms extra than the route we came from but roads were wide and good. On the way a Bridge called Sadhupul comes where I saw families enjoying on the riverside, I asked my wife, No, not well, so straight to Shimla. In about hour or so we were again at Victory tunnel’s traffic jam and then went straight to the hotel.

Time for the dinner: again on the mall road, confused what to eat, we entered a pure veg restaurant called “Nalini’s”. We settled for Sweet corn soup then boiled rice with curd. Yes, BOIED RICE WITH CURD. We were not well you see. I can not vouch for the preparation here because of the items ordered but still service and ambience was ok. Forget to mention this place is situated at farthest end of the mall road if coming from BSNL house. Back to hotel with coffee on the way and I called it a day again….
Attached Thumbnails
Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01385-1600x1200.jpg  

Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01386-1600x1200.jpg  

Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01388-1600x1200.jpg  

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Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01397-1600x1200.jpg  

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Old 16th April 2010, 20:45   #23
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Day 3: Back to Delhi

Before I start here about my trip, I would like to question all fellow team BHPians:-

1 – Why is the weather at its best on the day of you leaving..??

2 - Why you travel quickly back to you home. I mean, the distance and the travel time are equal while coming but it FEELS less while going back. At least I feel that all the time.

Anyways, we checked out at around 10 Am, left the Vikram at hotel and again to the Mall road for the breakfast and some shopping. This time we went to the famous Indian Coffee House. I like this place for the atmosphere it has. Old aged people sitting and having animated discussions, people like me who want to have the feel of British era, some people who just want to have cheap ( only price wise) food. The prices of all the items are rock bottom cheap. We enjoyed the Litchi juice we ordered, it was absolutely fresh. Some shopping for the kids back home and then to the Lower Bazaar where my wife did what she does the best, shopping for herself.

One thing I don’t understand about women ( and I know I am not alone) that when they like a item say A, and there are other items say B, C, D etc and they ask for your choice and you say for e.g. C . Then you are given all the reasons why A is better than C (as if you understand) because her heart was always at A. So why I was asked at the first place? Here goes one more MYTH: your choice matters. While coming back to the hotel I noticed this Nissan 4*4 fire engine. It had 3 gears and awesome presence. I couldn’t resist taking its pictures
Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01413-1600x1200.jpg
Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01415-1600x1200.jpg
Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01416-1600x1200.jpg
Back to the hotel and back on the road, we left from Shimla at around 12:30, battling the traffic jam at the tunnel once again, we hit the highway soon. The weather was pleasant with sun behind the clouds and slight chill in the winds. We also had few drops of the rain on the way. Only stopping at a Chhole kulcha wala for some light snacks that would keep us going till Delhi. But on the Panchkula –Ambala highway my wife wished to see the Vikram go past 105 kmph to see the electronic cutout. So, “your wish My command maam” here we go. It is again a Myth that Nano struggles to reach 100 rather it does that very well indeed. Its 80,90,100 and then finally 110 on the odo. I decide to keep pedal to the metal, so once there is electronic cut off, speed reduces and the engine comes back to life. Technically this can go for a while if you keep pressing the pedal. But I had to let it go as there was a smell from the engine bay

This time the Myth comes as the fact that : Nano’s motor is only happy till 80. Beyond it anything can happen. Nothing happened in our case though.. we were lucky. Next stop was a Petrol pump at Ambala:

Fuel stops no 3

Trip reading: 653kms
Fuel taken: 12.57ltrs
FE: (653.5- 352)*12.57=23.94kmpl( with all hill driving and some driving on the plains with AC on)

Rest was kind of boring and straight forward journey back to Delhi. The roads are in the process of widening at some places in Haryana and have quite a few diversions. A board by the govt read “ Today’s pain s Tomorrow’s gain, Please bear with us”. Ok then, I will come tomorrow.
Straight to Delhi and straight to Petrol station:

Trip reading: 840.9kms
Fuel taken: 8.9 ltrs
FE for this leg: (840.9-653.5)*8.9=21.05( all with Ac on)


Total distance for the entire trip: 840.9 kms
Total fuel : 37.99 ltrs

Overall FE 22.13kmpl

Biggest myth busted: “ ALL NANOS WON’T BURN”
Yours' truly
Delhi-Shimla-Delhi. In my Nano called Vikram. ALL IS WELL.-dsc01393-1600x1200.jpg

The End.
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Old 16th April 2010, 22:57   #24
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the Jonga is so nicely kept.

thanks for sharing
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Old 17th April 2010, 12:35   #25
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the Jonga is so nicely kept.

thanks for sharing
Is that a Jonga or a nissan?
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Old 15th May 2010, 13:39   #26
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^^ Jonga was made by Nissan, it had a 4000cc 110hp engine with a 3 speed gearbox.
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Old 17th May 2010, 14:08   #27
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Good that you covered lot of details on the trip, it would help relieve the stress undergoing with the NANO owners .

Jonga Fire Brigade is super.
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Old 17th May 2010, 16:57   #28
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You made Ratan Tata and the Vikram (nano) feel proud....

I like the name Vikram, you know why bcoz he is my favourite hero in Tamil, watch out for him in Raavan
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Old 17th May 2010, 23:37   #29
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Good that you covered lot of details on the trip, it would help relieve the stress undergoing with the NANO owners .

Jonga Fire Brigade is super.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
You made Ratan Tata and the Vikram (nano) feel proud....
Thanks for the compliments guys. Yes, the idea of this whole this trip was to prove that Vikram can do it ( to me and to everyone).

Come August and i am thinking going to Manali ( and beyond if possible) with Vikram. Any suggestions and opinions on this?
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Old 18th May 2010, 17:18   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Is that a Jonga or a nissan?
The model was known as JONGA PATROL. "Patrol" as in "round", "watch", "search", although it was petrol engined too!
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