Fujiyama, Japan

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bangalore-Mumbai Road trip

  • Start as early as possible. The 600 miles between Bangalore and Mumbai is impossible to cover unless you start before 6 in the morning.
  • Else start after breakfast, visit the beautiful fort of Chitradurga en route and stay overnight within a hundred miles. We stayed at Shigaon.
  • Mumbai during rush hour is hell. Enter at noon or after 10PM.

The road that joins 'Bangalore the silicon valley' and 'Mumbai the commercial capital' is as engrossing as the life in these two cities. An exact 1000 km separates the two. We started for Mumbai on the afternoon. Both of us were scheduled to start our internship two days later.

Smooth roads, Bangalore - Pune Highway

Friday, 5 March 2010

McLeodganj

Google Maps: McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh, India
Trip: Dalhaousie > KhajjiarChamba > McLeodganj

Come to McL for leisure. From Dalhaousie we had come to McLeodganj, the haven for foreigners with its weather and stockpile of drugs. I was with four of my closest friends this time. It was bound to be fun. We started with the little marketplace.

Main Market @ McLeodganj

Chamba

Google Maps: Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India
Trip: Dalhaousie > Khajjiar > Chamba > McLeodganj

The town of Chamba has historical and administrative significance in the region. There is little for a tourist although a well developed marketplace and few nearby religious spots make it ideal halting place. It is said that in the month of August there is hardly space for parking in the town as pilgrims from around India come for the Manimahesh trek. A big festival is funded by the local government in this month.



Khajjiar

Google Maps: Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India
Trip: Dalhaousie > Khajjiar > Chamba > McLeodganj

We moved towards Khajjiar before it was noon. Khajjiar is a popular tourist spot some 15 miles from Dalhaousie as well as Chamba. The charm of this place is a large meadow land that would come at sight while moving towards Chamba town. Khajjiar is often referred as mini switzerland of Kangra region.

Khajjiar Meadows

My first visit of this place couple of years ago is something that will remain in my memories for long. We were trekking from nearby peak called Kalatop and after some 10 miles in forest this vast green area just opened up. It was all the more surprising since nobody told me before about it.

Lake @ Khajjiar

It is said that this area was once singed by a meteor fall and later on only grass grew over this area. A little pond at the centre adds to the charm. Piyush had heard too much from too many people about this place which actually spoiled the surprise factor.

Sports @ Khajjiar

All we did was taking pictures around in our brief stay at this place. As such there is nothing here. There is a trek that links Khajjiar with Chamba that takes around two hours. I consider it to be one of the most beautiful treks I have done.

Dalhousie

Google Maps: Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, India
Trip: Dalhaousie > Khajjiar > Chamba > McLeodganj

The four of us took the 9 PM Jammu Mail from Old Delhi Station. A vehicle was waiting for us at Pathankot station and we were able to hit Dalhousie at 10 AM as per our plans. Piyush had done extensive preparation to make us comfortable. Our further plan was to move as quickly as possilble to Chamba via Khajjiar.


Dalhousie is a small cloudy hill station with the market place starting from Subhash Chowk and ending at Gandhi Chowk within like quarter of a mile. We loved the weather. In the army guest house we were staying, clouds would come in through doors.


Last time I was in Dalhousie in the December of 2006 on a trekking expedition. It was dead cold then. The three days were fun as I was a part of a big group and we used to make little treks around the town as a part of acclimatization exercise.


We had our lunch with Piyush before starting for Khajjiar via the Mall Road of Dalhousie. As it was a weekday in off-season, most of the shops were closed. We ended up having just a cup of tea near Gandhi Chowk which I kept suspecting was made of goat milk.