NORTH BY NORTHEAST ‘17 – ‘DEHRADUN TO BIRTHI’

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Dehradun – Rishikesh – RudraPrayag – Harmani – Bharari – Birthi

Distance this period: 442.80 km Total Distance: 3881.89 km

Byasi, Rishikesh – 86 km

RudraPrayag – 100.10 km

Harmani – 79.90 km

Bharari – 105.50 km

Birthi – 71.03 km

3 days of rest and family visit was lovely. Reached Doon by bus, had breakfast there, by 10 am was ready to say good-bye. Went firefox, changed tire and sarted riding towards clock-tower onto Rishikesh via Raipur, a quite road. Rishikesh but then continued. Found one empty tea stall shed, pitched my tent inside and slept.

Total KM – 86.00 km

Total expense – 1180/- rs.

Approx time – 6.30 hrs.

Started pretty early following The mighty Ganges on my way up to Dev Prayag sangam, took right to Srinagar and found one hotel 15kms short of Rudraprayag.

Total KM – 100.10 km

Total expense – 560/- rs.

Approx time – 8.30 hrs.

Rudraprayag. then good road to Gaucher KaranPrayag. At junction asked a hotel guy for night stay he says Narayan Bagar for night. Road is bad now, widing work in progress. it was 6 already so continued in dark. A bad decision. Scared but found a place called Harmani, bought juice n stuff and camed at the varandah of SBI branch by the roadside. One drunk guy came said he is a local reporter and I need to get permission from the brach head before camping there.

Total KM – 79.90 km

Total expense – 250/- rs.

Approx time – 7.30 hrs.

Started early, at Tharali took left turn towards Roopkund road, thinking of a trek upto to Bedni Bugyal but couldn’t make a decision at the junction. Pretty good road till Gwaldam, lunch there and downhill to Baijnath, turn to Bageshwar. Rakhi day so market was closed. made it to Kapkot. School kid came asking for a ride so gave them for a round. 2 kms up Bharari and found hotel Glacier for the night.

Total KM – 105.50 km

Total expense – 330/- rs.

Approx time – 10.00 hrs.

Bharari is the place where you get perters for your Pindari Glacier trek. I went up riding to Sama. Pretty quite road. Then the road was hell, small stones big stones you name it. I was pushing my bike downhill crazy!!! so many punctures. Then up/straight at the junction of Tejam. Talked to a policeman he offered me tea, 2 cup of them and said KMVN TRH Birthi some 12-15 km from here. Made it there by 7:30pm headlight clutched in-between my teeth. Got dormitory, dinner and sleepy good night.

Total KM – 71.30 km

Total expense – 450/- rs.

Approx time – 8.10 hrs.

Up along the Ganges

 

For the good-night
DevPrayag- where Alaknanda (right) and Bhagirathi (left) rivers meet and take the name Ganga or Ganges River.

 

Beautiful but time to hurry to find sleep
Yes. this road will take you there.. The Mana Village. last town at China Border

 

Lets take a U turn
Well.. distances to go

 

Lovely day to ride..
Some sleep time…

 

See the nightmare? downhill & rocky surface full of accidents..
Nice TRH at Birthi… yes thats a beautiful Birthi Falls up right corner

North by Northeast ‘3 – Roadside Dhaba Near Udhampur to Sonmarg’

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Roadside Dhaba – Udhampur – Ramban – Toofani Nalla Camp – Kangan – Sonmarg

Distance this period: 343.51 km Total Distance: 1152.74 km

Udhampur – 24.37 km (Day 11)
Ramban – 84.98 km (Day 12)
Toofani Nalla Camp – 55.06 km (Day 13)
Kangan – 134.90 km (Day 14)
Sonmarg – 44.20 km (Day 15)

It was a rainy night at the dhaba, my bags were wet but then it was going to be a short ride today. Found a hotel in Udhampur, washed The X, cloths, myself and rested whole day, it was raining anyway. Stay – Hotel Sasan.
Kms covered – 24.37
Total expense – Rs. 765/-

Laundry day at Udhampur.

It rained on n off and in the morning too. I went out to have tea, owner tells me about the blockage after Patni-Top and traffic wasn’t allowed to pass from here itself. I saw an opportunity to have fun on the empty roads. I started in the rain, passing the long line of vehicles.

It was a yatra season (Amarnath Yatra) so traffic was heavy and continuous rain made it worse. I was gaining elevation as soon as I left Udhampur. But the good thing was no traffic, pleasant weather, and roadside Bhandaras. Made it to the top pretty early, so decided to continue on the downhill; a bad decision. Traffic was blocked for two days from both the sides due to a landslide; as I was enjoying the foggy breeze on downhill, something worse was waiting for me. Traffic was open by then, a huge jam, slippery slush, and long array of bloody trucks honking shouting like they just got released from prison or something. One hell of a ride, made it to Ramban. Booked one unmaned hotel.
Kms covered – 84.98
Total expense – 610/-

On the way to Patni-Top. a beautiful gentle climb.
When you get tired on a climb, all you do is experiment with various stuff. Trying photoshoot.
After the slushy ride on Patni-Top downhill. Dangerous yet fun.

Now I was in a territory where you see army everywhere. Banihal. Then on my way to Jawahar Tunnel, I met one guy on cycle going to Amarnath cave. He started from Jabalpur and in 25 days he made it here, he was staying in temples, Lungers/Bhandaras. So it was going to be my first stay on Lungers/Bhandaras at Toofani Nalla camp meant for Yatris, just before the tunnel. Though we tried to pass the tunnel but army turned us back; it wasn’t possible to hold the heavy traffic for us.
Kms covered – 55.06
Total expense – 50/-

I wanted to skip the touristy Kashmir & head straight towards Kangan, but the view of Dal Lake was so inviting that I ended up circling the entire lake.
Beautiful sunny day towards Banihal. Sky so clean, lovely.

Next morning we crossed the tunnel, beautiful Kashmir Valley was waiting for us other side. One could clearly feel the difference; Jammu side was bright, sunny and Kashmir was cloudy, a little bit warm. Downhill starts just after the tunnel, again a huge traffic was there. At Anantnag (he called it Chhota Pakistan) departed from the guy and continued to Pampore, then Srinagar, circled the beautiful Dal Lake. Made it to Kangan for the night.
Kms covered – 134.90
Total expense – 630/-

Its been 9 days of ride without a rest day, so it was going to be a short ride to Sonmarg today; where I decided to spend one extra day, resting. but it took ages to cover those 44 km. In between the ride, I washed my bike ‘The X’ on a small river, took a nap by roadside; a sunny day today. I needed a rest now, 9 days of continuous ride was no fun. Finally Sonmarg, booked a room for bloody rs. 700/- after much bargaining.
Kms covered – 44.20
Total expense – 890/-

It rained again, the owner tells me road is blocked from both the sides of Sonmarg. A disaster waiting for me.

Washed The X on this chilly stream.
And after the wash, rested and got bored pretty soon so experimented with the camera.
Nearing Sonmarg. And so tired and messed up.

Trip to Jog Falls

First thing first – Welcome to the travelogue.

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Welcome board near Jog Falls, which is about 30 min walk from here.

As discussed in my previous post, my itinerary was same except the reservation from Birur to Talguppa. I reserved a seat just before starting the trip, later which was beneficial because at 02:00 o’clock night no counter was open at Birur junction.

Train journey was as usual the same. A lot of sleeping and waiting at platforms. Journey from Birur to Talguppa was special, greenery all around, amazing.

Talguppa express reached its destination well in time (07:15) and outside the platform, a long queue of cars, auto shouting Jog, waterfall. Inquired about the fare and without doubt they were charging different-different (huge) amount. Bus stand is close by but no bus was there so took a shared van, fare was 50 bucks for 13 kms journey.

The entry fee for view point is 5 bucks. There are god number of eating joints inside the park/view point. Parking is also available for god-knows-what-charges and PWD rest house is also there.

Idli has become my favorite food by now, during the whole journey I ate idli at almost every station, funny though. So here also had a plate of idli and vada. Finished my breakfast and so weather became foggy, started raining. Seeing the fog, got little bit disappointed but that gave me the strength to walk towards the entry point of the falls, which is about 3 kms from view point.

Another disappointed came when I pressed the ON button of my camera, fuck! battery was dead! Now cell phone camera was the only option.

Morning rain made the weather pleasant, the air around smelled fresh n energetic. Sitting there, watching and listing the water fall was heaven.

Spent four hours there taking snaps, exploring here n there, sitting laying down on green grass, watching girls skidding n then crying, touching water, seeing waterfall & more waterfall and thinking why this name Jog, seeing waterfall & waterfall.

Then I was there in open road waiting for return ride, saw a roadside canteen and ordered fried rice. Got bus, fare 25 bucks. Boarded the train at Talguppa. Two n half of train journey dropped me at Shimoga (or Shivamogga – Gods own town, as one hoarding says there). KSRTC bus left in time and Monday 08:00 o’clock I was inside my bed.

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The first view of the fall..

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The last train station.. TalGuppa. It used to be a railbus journey but now its the usual meter gauge route.

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Listening the sweet relaxing nature;s music..

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One close view..!

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Fog going away, more brightness..

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Another view, walking the other end of the fall.

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As usual, signature pose!!!.

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Entry point…

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One more..!

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beautiful surrounding, nature;s bliss….

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Entire end train journey is full of greenery, rice fields all around. The land is really Gods own Land.. And I agree what with it.

Beautiful journey ended with a lot of fresh thoughts and new approach towards everything!

Kharcha-Pani-

Fare – Rs. 1830/-

Food – Rs. 500/-

Total = Rs. 2330/-

Monsoon Magic–Jog Falls Planning.

Itinerary for the weekend trip to Jog Falls.

Date – 09-08-2013 to 12-08-2013.

Hyderabad to Hubli – S2, 22. Train# 17003, Departure 23:10, Arrival 13:35.

Hubli to Birur – S1, 12. Train# 17314, Departure 20:25, Arrival 00:04.

Birur to Talguppa – Unreserved. Train# 07301 or 16227, Departure 03:25, Arrival 07:15.

Talguppa to Jog Falls n Back – Via Bus. Unreserved.

Talguppa to Shimoga Town – D1, 60. Train# 16205, Departure 14:20, Arrival 16:35.

Shimoga to Hyderabad – Via Bus. 40, Departure 18:11, Arrival 07:00.

Jai Bhole!!

EDIT – Trip concluded. report & pics here.