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Old 5th June 2023, 20:37   #1
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Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-0.yet-another-milestone.jpg
Miles to go before I sleepÖ.yet another milestone

It's that time of the year where Himalayas beacon you to visit it, last year we did Spiti and parts of Himachal, this year it was Uttarakhand . Kids had booked a 10 day hike to Dayara Bugiyal with Indiahikes, this is a kids only hike no adults. ( Do look it up itís a very good learning for the kids and also will hook them up for hikes for a lifetime). The option we had was to use the chaperone service all the way from Bangalore and back but given our travel bug that was not an option we even considered! Given that we still have the flexibility to work from anywhere we decided let's just drive up and we will work from Rishikesh while the kids go on their hike. We threw in 2 days at Agra as an enticer , this would be the kids first New Seven Wonders of the World , sixth for wife and me ( Petra in Jordan is still pending), this got them hooked for yet another road trip. The plan was set, take a week off to travel the first 10 days, the work from Rishikesh for next 10 days and then travel back on a weekend back home.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-1.can-get-better.jpg
Can the roads get any better

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-2.yes-can.jpg
Yes they can and will

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-3.tehri-dam.jpg
Any distance travelled would be forgotten when you see these marvels

Machine

: Toyota Fortuner , 2021 Model

The Hero Honda CD100 advertisement of the 90's "Fill it, Shut It, Forget It" is what I remember every time we take the Fortuner out on road trips, well I am not talking of the 80L fuel tank or the mileage (12KMPL which is respectable) But the trouble free car, just service it regularly every 10k KM and hit the roads, any type of roads. The car never gives any room for complaints. We use it as a 4 seater so that gives us ample space for the baggage and people. Even after a 15hour drive one doesn't feel the travel fatigue of a long drive. If you have road trip in mind just go for this vehicle. Having said that ,this car doesn't see much of Bangalore city/traffic we prefer to stick to a Maruti Celerio/Public Bus for in city errands.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-4.machine.jpg
Ever Dependable machine

Preparation: Just the regular 30K servicing of the car. Knowing that we will do more than 5000 KM I took an additional 5L of AdBlue for the return journey( Call it OCD I donít like any warning lights on the dashboard so the moment the AdBlue warning pops up I top it up)

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-5.-full-house.jpg
A full House

People: Wife , Daughters and Me
Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-6.our-6th-wonders-world.jpg
Our 6th New Wonders of the World

Executed Plan:

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-7.route.jpg

Day by Day itinerary
( Request: For all the travelogue writers please always put this in , this helped us a lot in planning)
Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-8.itinerary.jpg

Onward: Donít touch what works that's the policy we used. The onward route was straightforward we have done it a few times for our earlier trips. An early start to Nagpur covering KA-AP-TS-MH via Hyderabad . MH-MP-UP to reach Agra on Day 2. From Agra it was expressway to UP-UK to reach Dehradun. The interchange between the Yamuna and Eastern Peripheral Expressway is expected next year, looking forward to that.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-9.who-has-more-hp.jpg
Car(t) before the Horse....Who has more HP?


Return: Well why change what works return journey was the same as onward, including the pitstops (restaurants)! We did think of coming via Jaipur/Mumbai route but then we decided we will wait for the new expressway and explore that side of the country in greater detail.

The places we visited are all high tourist footfall places so not going into the description of each place. We did the usual plus some small hikes/detours , I will mention those in more detail.
  • [1]Tiger Falls / Chakrata

It was my second visit , last was 20 years back in a Maruti Esteem. We had done a long hike to reach the falls but now it has changed they have a road right up to the base of the falls. One has to be careful driving on those roads large section is mud road. It was crowded but then it was a long weekend and this place is very close to Delhi. The infrastructure has improved by leaps and bounds from my last trip here in 2003 to Chakrata, there was a one way road to the top so it was usually 2 uphill trips in the morning and 2 downhill, But all that is history we have wide roads to accommodate the ever satiating love for huge vehicles!!

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-10.tiger-falls.jpg
  • [2]Moila Bugyal / Chakrata
About an hour's drive from Chakrata market the roads till Lokhandi are great then one has to move to the mud/stone roads. It's also called Moila Top. Deodar trees thousands of them all around you. Its an easy hike just to make it a bit longer and more exciting for the kids we parked our car about 4 Km before thus making it a 7km hike one way. Itís a serene and tranquil place, there is a Shiva temple on the peak, keep lots of time one can easily spend 2-3 hours exploring the peak. Jackets are a must as the clouds and sun play hide and seek. Also there a bit of a rain when we were climbing, the trees gave enough shelter so we didnít get wet. There were many cattle's grazing peacefully. One can spend hours here just sitting and relaxing and enjoying the nature. Bonus there was a group of young girls who were making a dance video in their traditional dress, we sat and watched the graceful dance ( wonders of travel you never know what you will get!!)

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-11.enroute-moila-top.jpg
Enroute Moila Top

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-12.ascent-moila-bugiyal.jpg
Ascent to Moila Bugiyal

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-13.moila-bugiyal.jpg
Moila Bugiyal
  • [3]George Everest Peak Trek /Mussoorie
This wasnít planned a google search on what to do in Mussoorie led us to this. It's an easy hike from the parking lot. There is also Heli tourism available here. The peak offers a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges and the Doon valley. Yes the Himalayan prayer flags were very prominent on the top. 5km round trip , keep enough time to immerse on the peak. Lots of places offering Maggie, Bread Omelet, Tea around the start point.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-15.-george-everest.jpg
With George Everest

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-16.marching-orders.jpg
Marching Orders

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-14.-george-everest-peak.jpg
At George Everest Peak
  • [4]Bhadraj temple /Mussoorie

As we were short of time and not in mood for another hike in the afternoon after the George Everest Peak hike, we decided to drive down to Bhadraj temple. We took the route through Clouds End. Now this turned out to be an adventure like our Mudh village Spiti trip! The roads were at a gradient where I had my doubts if we will tip backwards add to that loose stones making it more slippery. Finally we decided to park and walk about 2 km on a steep incline. The roads traversed through a small Jungle also. The temple is dedicated to Lord Balrama and is an all-white marble building. It offers a 360 degrees view of the Valley below. Would highly recommend everyone to drive to this place as it was adventurous.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-17.-way-badraj.jpg
On the way to Badraj Temple

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-17a.finally-decided-stop-walkup.jpg
Finally decided to stop and walkup
  • [5]Kaudia Eco Park Hike/Kanatal,Chamba

Its Apr , its summer but in the Kaudia Eco park it was freezing and we were regretting why we didnít bring the gloves! On our way back from Tehri we wanted to do a short hike and a google search suggested this place. In the end it turned out to be a 10KM long hike through the forests . One can skip the Jeep Safari and elect to just walk through the jungle at your own pace. Some of the trails are very steep so would suggest one takes the trail based on experience. Lot of eating options along the route.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-18.kaudia-eco-park1.jpg
Kaudia Eco Park
  • [6]Chicham Bridge/ New Tehri
What's there to say about this bridge, not be banal and using the Nike punch line "Just Do It" . When our Hotel manager suggested we go there in the evening after it gets dark we had our doubts , another hanging bridge won't be an awe inspiring one for us. But with nothing else to do than gaze at the sky we decided why not. We reached there before the sun was setting and stopped at a Dabha few Kilometers away to sip the tea and enjoy the view of the Tehri Lake/Bridge/Floating Hotel. Then the magic happened after sunset they turned on the lights!! This was an awe inspiring view. Let the photos do some justice to the view, I would highly recommend this if you are visiting Tehri!

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-19.chicham-bridge.jpg
Chicham Bridge Early Evening

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-20.chicham-bridge.jpg
Chicham Bridge - At its Full Glory

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-23.tehri-lake.jpg
Tehri lake
  • [7]Koteshwar Mahadev Temple /Dagar, UK
Go here for the views, Bhagirathi River meanders here , this temple a short 500m walk from the tar road. This is on the road from Devprayag to New Tehri. The good part of this route is almost zero traffic plus you get to see the Koteshwar Dam and Tehri Dam, in fact you drive over one dam and go parallel to another. We took this route to Tehri instead of the highway so got to appreciate UK much more.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-21.koteshwar-mahadev-temple.jpg
  • [8]Kimono A Tranquil Hideaway / Chakrata
Why is a hotel being mentioned here , take a look at the view. This too was a sheer accidental find. As the hotels we wanted in Chakrata were all full a good 4 weeks before our travel, one of the owners seeing my disappointment and also the fact that I was driving up all the way from Bangalore, he shared a number and asked me to check if the place is available. We booked it without seeing any feedback/snaps. The drive to it along the mountain cliff just off the main road and the room has the best view of the mountains. We also had a swing and a see saw for the kids to play. A dining table + fire place in front of the room. A hospitable staff to make our stay comfortable.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-22.kimona-tranquil.jpg

Restaurants worth mentioning:
  1. Deepali in Sagar MP: Good place to stop for food. The folks were very friendly in fact they remembered us on our return journey and threw in dessert as a celebration of our travel.
  2. Virasat-e-Punjab ,Rairu - Dabra Bypass Rd, MP turn on NH44: A restaurant 1800KM away from we have already visited it 6 times in the last 12 months! We haven't done that many visits for places in Bangalore also.
    Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-24.our-regular-pitstop.jpg
  3. Original Dasaprakash , Agra UP: Well it happened to be next door to the Hotel in Agra and we wanted some South Indian food to tickle our palates , great service good food.
  4. Rajasthani Sweets Mishthan Bhandar, Rishikesh UK: This was our go to place every day evening for dinner. We timed it so that we are there before/during the Ganga Aarti then its less crowded. Order anything on the menu , you wont be disappointed.
  5. Bison, Pench MP: About 100KM from Nagpur, great place good food, slow service so go there to get a long break from your drive. Folks are very hospitable the owner spoke to us both times and also mentioned when itís a good time to sight animals.
  6. Vital Kamat, Nagpur, MH : Newly opened on NH44 20Km before Nagpur. Yummy food and a clean place on the highway. This has been opened recently haven't see this in the earlier trips.
  7. UP15 Meerut, UP : Ah the modern day dabhas, these are a marked change from my road trips in the late 90's. DO visit this if you are travelling on that route.
  8. Pappu Lassi Rishikesh,UK: One of the best lassis I had in the recent past. Crowded ,narrow lanes to reach but you are rewarded when you get there. This is near Triveni Ghat.
  9. Chacha Sip 'N'Dine Restaurant and Home Stay, Dandasali Dakshani, UK : We had pahadi food here, they have a good variety of traditional and local food on their menu. The team is friendly and they make you feel welcome right from the word Go.
  10. Murgan Cafť, Koti,UK: Not many options near Tehri Lake. Food is good, fast service and view is worth anything else they lack!

Road Trip by the numbers:

1.49 Cost per KM (INR) for Toll
12.18 Fuel efficiency in KMPL
83.00 Number of Toll Gates
88.35 Diesel price (INR) Minimum in KA
99.14 Diesel price (INR) Maximum in AP
472.00 Diesel (L)
5747.00 Distance Travelled (KM)
8565.00 Toll (INR)
43380.00 Fuel cost (INR)

If someone has read this till here, I know you are into road trip but for those who are sitting on the fences. Indian Highways/Expressways are now second to none when it comes to road infrastructure, this is coming from someone who has driven extensively across the world and India starting from late 90's. Bovine population is a concern especially in Central India but expressways take away that worry also. Its predictable with speed limit of 100 & 120 kmph miles can be crunched easily and yes you can have lunch at your favorite restaurant 500km away !

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-28.we-love-uk.jpg
A Mural close to the Triveni Ghat area we stayed

And lastly you need to be flexible to travel :-)
Flexible to food, culture, geographies, weather, people and yes to all sort of driving style!
Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-25.flexible.jpg

Again a big shoutout to all the members in this forum - we all come together to harness the magic of travel.

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-26.creating-memories.jpg
Creating Memories

Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner-27.creating-memories.jpg
Creating Memories
rakutty is offline   (60) Thanks
Old 7th June 2023, 12:23   #2
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Re: Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner

Travelogues like yours motivate me to do longer and frequent road trips.
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Old 8th June 2023, 05:56   #3
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Re: Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner

Thank you for such a lovely travelogue, crisp narration and nice pictures.

You make a great point about the Indian highways though.

Although I have driven 1,100 kms (my place to Buffalo, WY) in a day but never undertaken such a long road trip however I'm now tempted. Now only if I could afford that Fortuner....
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Old 8th June 2023, 11:43   #4
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Re: Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner

Thanks for the blog...really interesting.

Perhaps you can inspire your daugther to write a blog on her trek.

I have a daughter same age as yours and I know she would love to read your daughter's blog.
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Old 28th June 2023, 00:06   #5
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Re: Road Trip to DevBhumi (Uttarakhand) from KarmaBhumi (Bengaluru) in a Fortuner

What a pleasant surprise.
I am with my daughters right now traversing the same region as you were - in Kodiaq & read your post. Additionally I am also exploring MaalDevta region.


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