Friday, 1 November 2013

Shimla on a Bike!! Part 3

The first morning in Shimla was spent on Mall Road and The Ridge. For me, the most vivid memory of Shimla is the little narrow metal footpaths on the roadsides. I dont know why but thats the first thought that strikes me when I think of Shimla. Post the walks, we walked up to Jakhoo. At that time, the huge Hanuman statue was not there, just the temple, trees and many from Hanuman's army. The climb up to the temple is beautiful. First, the climb through the narrow lanes of Shimla and then through the trees. We didnt see too many monkeys during our climb but when we reached the temple, Hanuman's army was present, quite literally. I had never seen so many monkeys... ever.
Walk to Jakhoo Temple - Fitness Test
Since he is the "I will not go to a temple" kinds, I went ahead with a warning from him. And what was the warning? To be careful with the prasad as the monkey army is very well trained. After a lot of shooing(the monkeys away) we were ready to leave the temple premises. A smartass  monkey decides to not let us leave without taking its hafta. I had smartly kept the prasad in my jean pockets but it turned out that this guy along with its friend were smarter. When he, I mean my HE (not the monkey) was shooing away the accomplice, the smartass monkey pulls open my jean pocket and puts his hand in trying to get some prasad. Luckily I removed some from the other pocket and threw it away. Only then did the monkey go away. Phew!! And during this monkey assault what was my he doing. Laughing like a mad man. We still laugh at that memory and are amazed at how well the monkeys know their tricks.
Walk to Jakhoo Temple - View amongst the Trees
On our way down all we did was click pics and more pics. At the 3 Idiots spot I got mehendi applied and then had lunch at some hotel on Mall road which was one of his regular spots. We passed time on Mall Road and Ridge and then went to Lakkar Bazaar to pick some souvenir. We clicked some pics at the 3 Idiots spot and quickly headed back to the hotel as we had to travel all the way back to Chandigarh.
Our ride back to Chandigarh went by quite quickly. We stopped at Cafe Coffee Day, Dharampur again. We made plans to visit Kasauli sometime. We did not stop at Mughal Garden... again. This time my backside did not co-operate as well as the to journey.
Shimla View
My only unhappy part about this trip was that I didnt go out once it became dark as I was feeling cold. Next time I will brave the cold and see Shimla at night too. And some day I will come when Shimla is covered with snow. Some day..

Monday, 30 September 2013

Shimla on a Bike!! Part 2

The elusive Mughal Garden visit was pushed to another day. Actually HE made the decision and I meekly agreed. No!!! Not because I listen to everything he says. Quite the contrary actually. I agreed because I knew that we the great sleepyheads had left very late and we didn't want couldn't afford any more delays.
Mughal Garden - Pinjore

You must be wondering why the enthusiasm to see something so touristy and crowded. But I cant help it. I like touristy, crowded places as much as I like the quiet, unknown, untouched places. Okay! I admit I love the hustle-bustle of a tourist spot. Somehow makes my trip complete. Some crowd. Some shopping. Some good food and some bad. Some unnecessary overpriced shopping and yes, definitely the quiet, peaceful spots too.HE is the opposite. Quiet, untouched, serene are on the top of his list. But we are learning to appreciate each others views. Me, the quiet ans HE, the hustle-bustle of a tourist town.
Tranquil & Serene Kasol
Crowded Shimla

Riding further from Pinjore, we were soon on the Hills. The views cannot be described. You have to be there to experience it. We passed Timber Trail Heights at Parwanoo(which we didn't visit due to shortage of time), a hotel with a rope-way and a restaurant at the higher end of the rope-way.
Timber Trail Heights, Parwanoo

Finally at Dharampur, with a slightly sore backside, we decided to take a break. After a cup of coffee at Cafe Coffee Day and compliments from HIM that I did not ask for a break earlier, we moved ahead. I was enjoying the sights unaware of the rising tension in his head about reaching safely especially the 16-17 kms stretch near Solan. We reached Shimla safe and sound around dinner time without any unwanted incidents. We finalized on a Hotel on the outer side of the Ridge. Pavan-Hamsa, or some name like that. We ate dinner and fell asleep almost immediately. I was glad we reached safely and I was super thrilled that we were finally in Shimla.
Shimla, finally ...

Disclaimer: All pictures in this post are taken from Google unless mentioned. If a picture belongs to you and you want me to take it off, please send me a mail. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Shimla on a Bike!! Part 1

Shimla on a bike!! Wow!!! Had I ever imagined something like this, I don't even remember. I'm too excited to think about that right now. Chandigarh is a beautiful city but the best part about it is its proximity to Shimla. (Only after more holidays will I find out that Shimla is highly overrated)
HE and I were supposed to leave at noon from Chandigarh. But being the sleepyheads that we are, we managed to leave only around 3 or 4. Not good considering that we were travelling on our own, on a friends RE bullet that had seen better days and with absolutely no spares. And at the time of the trip, the expressway was not yet completed.
So where was I?? He and I left Chandigarh on a friends RE bullet. (This friend will be a recurring entry in most trip logs).
The thrill of sitting on a bullet with HIM and going for a trip to Shimla. Unbelievable is the only word that comes to mind.There are moments that you want to relive again and again and for me one such moment is that day. I know it might seem trivial, but it was exciting and thrilling for me. My first bike trip with HIM and the fact that I haven't been to Shimla didn't hurt either.
If I remember right, the journey took 5 and a half hours, 5 hours of travel and 30 minutes of time-passing and gupp-shupping at Cafe Coffee Day in Dharampur.
The initial part of the ride didn't feel any different. But as we moved outside city limits, we were greeted by dusty work-in-progress roads. I was trying to soak in as much of my surroundings as possible. We soaked in quite a bit of dust as well. HE kept telling me about my surroundings, about the Shivaliks, being at the foothills of the Shivaliks, the roads, the people, the views and everything. We passed the Mughal Garden in Pinjore, a famous tourist spot. But we had no time to stop and since it was close to Chandigarh we decided to puh it to another day. Little did I know that it would elude me to this day....

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Best Spots to Lose Track of Time

Gaze at the views that surround and be oblivious to the ticking clock. As of 13 Sep 2013 I have been to few such places that make me want to sit and do nothing. My top 5 are...

  • Watching the Sunset in Kumarakom from Vembanad Lake
I've seen a lot of sunsets(Perks of staying in a Coastal Town) but the beauty of that particular sunset I can never forget. It was like a painting, the lake waters and then the trees that formed a silhouette against the sky.

  • Balcony/Courtyard of Naggar Palace
Watch the mountains or the valley from the balcony or the courtyard and forget about time. They have accommodation too.(have to keep in mind for the next visit)

  • Beach Shack in Goa
Sit at a shack, drink in hand, watch the almost hypnotizing waves and calm suddenly gets a new meaning.(provided the beach is not overly crowded, else all you'll see are people)
No pic for this one.. Guess I was lost in my thoughts... ;-)

  • Take Off Point for Paragliding in Solang Valley(Manali)
Solang Valley - Crowded!! But the spot up the mountain from where para-gliders take off, that's the one to talk about. Snow covered peaks that surround you, and in winter, snow under your feet and in the valley below too. All you need to do is pick a comfortable spot and enjoy the view(in winter you'd need waterproof clothing coz you have to sit on snow and last thing you want is your backside getting all wet and cold)

  • Lucky Dhaba in Kasol
A blink and miss dhaba in Kasol. I've nothing to say about the dhaba in terms of food but the location is unbelievable. A river flowing by, coniferous trees, snow clad peaks in the distance and a table right by the river. Could it get any better?(i think i should ask HIM about the food there.. coz hes a more frequent visitor than me)