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Old 15th October 2021, 19:09   #1
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Default First snow in Mana - Badrinath on a Honda CBR 250R!

I have seen Uttarakhand enough to say most of the lower ranges are green and beautiful! But this time we decided to see some white, like Icing on the cake. This log is about the ride to Badrinath & Mana to see the first snow of the season. Hmmm, but it snowed 2 days before we went there, so technically it's the second snow (who cares).

This is not going to be an comprehensive travelogue but a photologue. I was working in Hero MotoCorp in Dharuhera and was staying in Alwar district but my hometown was Chennai. Being a bachelor with the career in middle phase (back then in 2015, not now), we were broke mostly due to financial responsibilities and burdens back at home, we used to travel home only a couple of times in a year. We couldn't afford back and forth flight tickets or spend 4 days of 5 days leaves travelling by train. But what to do when you have long holidays for Diwali but not going hometown? This made us develop a habit of low budget travel to lower ranges of Himalayas. I say low budget because, back then the petrol prices were not so high, we used to camp in a tent or find a low budget accommodation and eat only in dabhas.

So, where should we go this time? We were a simple group of automotive enthusiasts with fingers into anything related to riding bikes, motorsports. So we never had someone who will affect the instant plans that someone in the group comes up with. It was always like, who will join (out of 6) and who is out and when do we start? Usually plans get egged out a couple of days before the leaves start, everyone is tasked to read automotive forums for travelogues or zoom into some random place on google maps within 1500 kms of circuit distance. We all have someone in the group who watches the weather channel/news, and one such friend came up and said it's going to snow in Badrinath in a couple of days. It was somewhat aligned with our initial thought of going to a place with snow. Based on this trust on the weather channel, we laid the course. Completed our pending work at office and all set to start the trip.

People & Rides - Myself on my CBR250R, Friends (BC & VH) on R15 & Impulse.
Stay options - Camping, Hotels/Guest houses - nothing planned ahead.
Route - Bhiwadi -->Meerut -->Rudraprayag -->Badrinath & Mana -->Kausani --> Ranikhet & Jim Corbett --> Bhiwadi
Luggage - Lightly packed



The original Plan
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Entering Ghaziabad

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It took an hour and a half to cross Ghaziabad, full of traffic, swarms of bikes trying to crawl into whatever gap was between four/six wheelers. Mostly we were doing off-roading by the side of the road, which cut down little time. Got frustrated though.

Crossed Ganges
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and there comes our freedom a bit from Ghaziabad. We stayed the night in Begumpul, Meerut after struggling to find some good parking space for bikes,
The hotel name was Royal palace, charged a decent 1200 rupees for three people and locked our bikes with chains bigger than ship's anchor chains! Concludes the Day 1.

On route to Lansdowne. Beautiful roads and good views, Temperatures were perfect for a ride.
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Had food in Lansdowne, good non-veg
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Gorgeous curves, I mean the road!
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After that, off to Rudraprayag Via Srinagar, the roads were twisty and surface was awesome, Since it was Diwali season the traffic was less and we were on full cornering frenzy, but cautious though.

Used almost full tire profile, this is how we pamper those gorgeous curves. felt awesome. Which reminded me, this is how you learn cornering by feeling the curves and test your limits on racetrack. No speed violations or rash riding done.
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Road of bones
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At least we could see one without going through Russia/Siberia. We were taking it slow, we had ample amount of time and Excited about GP Valencia(201x year) at 6:30 pm. We reached Rudraprayag and stayed at Shagri La resort just in time ordered veg pakora and chai and were watching GP. Was such an awesome ride by the Doc. Felt bad for him at last, slept off after a good day 2.


The morning was colder a bit, took bath with warm water and shooed off the cold. Started riding towards Karnaprayag and we stopped for getting cash/breakfast. We saw " maggi" board after a very long time and decided to order, but it wasn't there. We ordered chowmein and omelet. The guy took his sweet time 1 hour to make both, but was worth a wait as it was good. This was when maggi was banned due to some complaint.

Waiting for breakfast!
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I hope this is Karna Prayag, darn all the pictures of this view of different towns here look the same to me.
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Beautiful views everywhere! One needs to take this road slow to enjoy the beauty of these places.
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On route to Badrinath, past Joshimat. Am not describing Joshimat as it was horrible with traffic.


Roads were deprived of tarmac and full-on off-road track. Good fun! Had lunch at Pandukeshwar- This time it was real Maggi and some snacks with Chai.
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Old 15th October 2021, 19:18   #2
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Reached Badrinath by late noon. 1st things first, went to temple. Was a different experience, and temple was so different from what I had seen till now.
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Colorful Shops! Down the line.
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Then to Mana, brilliant place!
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Small water crossing on route. We planned to camp there, and we found a nice spot near the riverbed, down the village. No one around and the temperatures dropping crazy, we then asked for some firewood and the women over there were so kind to help us out with some firewood, cow dung cake.

We set up our tent and had dinner in Mana - Of course maggi, chai & Eggs. Started the campfire, kept us warm till 11 pm in the night.

Camping on the river bed
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Friend's photography trials
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Camp fire
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Nice one BC, VH
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We camped just beside this, and this was the morning view when we came out of the tent. BTW all these pics are from My Nokia Lumia 730, NEX 5. Thanks to my friends for few of the pictures.

And back to the story, the night was cold inside tent even with sleeping bag for me. Got migraine and had to leave the tent and go to a guest house in Badrinath. Thankfully my friend BC accompanied me in mid of the cold night till the guest house. The guest house was booked by another friend KST, who came along with us in car with his family and with slightly different itinerary. The room was cozy but i suffered heavy headache and it ruined the night, my other two friends stayed back in Mana in tent.


The Guest house
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Bikes parked inside with snow on top
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We were trying out some photography to capture the snowing moment and enjoying ourselves the same time. We went in for a small nap and in two hours this was the Badrinath, so different in just one day.

Snow covered everything
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Temple with snowy background
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Hot springs near the temple. This is where we used to get hot water from to bath.
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Old 15th October 2021, 19:26   #3
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We were so happy to see our bikes covered with snow, but worrying about the seat as it became solid Ice and hard to remove the Ice. We used hot water to clear it of and it works miracles.
We spent the night there and got ready for the return trip.

Day 5: We woke up and were feeling bad about leaving this place. My friend then said letís go again to Mana and see how it is now, so we went again. And it was like this below,

The last village
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Icy roads!
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That's where we camped, in the river bed off the bridge
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We thanked the women there and others for their kindness and headed back to Badrinath. Now, we start the return phase of the trip and always the hardest part.

We took the same route till Karna Prayag and from there to Kausani.
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I hope that would be a glacier up front
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It was getting late and the road to Kausani was sooo beautiful that it was through a jungle and small towns in between, we decided to stop somewhere and enjoy the roads and scenery in fresh day light. So, we stopped at a town called Tharali for the night, I got a surprise when we were crossing the bridge to the town. Some Idiot lighted up a loud firecracker on the bridge wall and vanished, it blew off right beside my ear. We then spoke to the owner of the hotel Nanda Devi and stopped there, it was 400 Rs per night for 3 people and they gave us a lot of home-made food without charging for it. We were amazed by their hospitality.

Colorful night in Tharali. Crazy people though, they use rockets as missile and launch them sideways onto roads, river so on.
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Town in the morning
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Day 6: Woke up early, paid the bills and started with a wonderful feeling of beautiful roads. We were not disappointed! The only problem was we had to stop again and again to get some pics, we thought to just enjoy the moment rather capturing everything.

Nearby Gwaldam
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Best local cricket pitch I have ever seen. What a location!
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Awesome Blossom!
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Some Pics on route. Everywhere I saw some women, they were carrying heavy loads on their back - Respect!
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Old 15th October 2021, 19:31   #4
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Default re: First snow in Mana - Badrinath on a Honda CBR 250R!


Just before reaching Ranikhet. It was full of plains with vast fields, I guess they harvested just before we reached there.
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Woah.. What a Road!
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NH 121. After Ranikhet it was 90 km ride towards Ramnagar, Jim Corbett. The only place in the upcoming ride which was pleasing us was Jim Corbett.
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Jim Corbett.
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We were so excited that we would see some animals, least some elephant crossing. But we sighted only few water buffaloes. Nonetheless, the ride was beautiful. We stayed in Kashipur for the evening and relaxed ourselves with good non-veg food, which was just 25 kms from Ramnagar.

Last day of the trip. Plain boring highways and nothing really to say about the day. Maybe I may have to use some harsh/foul words to describe it, so I opt to not do that. Reached Delhi and it took an hour and half to cross it. Sigh!

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Waited for my friend for few minutes as we were separated in traffic, then Normal stupid ride on NH8 till my place. That time I again thought (like every day of the trip), NEVER RIDE ON NH8, JUST TRANSPORT THE BIKE SOMEHOW!
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Old 18th October 2021, 16:44   #5
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Default re: First snow in Mana - Badrinath on a Honda CBR 250R!

Wow,
Lovely Travelogue, I also do own a 2014 CBR250R. Feels really good to see the bikes in snow and hills.
Nice pictures and write-up.

Attaching one of the recent picture of my CBR in the plains.

First snow in Mana - Badrinath on a Honda CBR 250R!-shantiniketan-2.jpg

First snow in Mana - Badrinath on a Honda CBR 250R!-shantiniketan-7.jpg
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Old 18th October 2021, 16:52   #6
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Default re: First snow in Mana - Badrinath on a Honda CBR 250R!

Hi,
Nice little travelogue(or photologue). Its always a special and tougher thing to do such trips on motorbikes since you are deprived of the comfort of a car/suv, but isn't that biking all about.
Reminds me of my trip to Bhadrinath in 2017 in a Toyota Fortunner from Haridwar up and down. I must say, beyond Joshimath the road is inexistent. Its all rocky but I was surprised to see Alto's doing the trip. Could not visit Mana then. Hope to do it in 2022. Happy and safe biking!
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Old 19th October 2021, 14:17   #7
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Default Re: First snow in Mana - Badrinath on a Honda CBR 250R!

Just a coincidence or something, I posted about my years old trip to Badrinath and I found this now on YouTube,

B.R.O rescues a car and passengers when they were trapped due to flash floods,

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