Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 9 @ Auli: Switzerland of India

This is a series of my two weeks of tryst with the Garhwal Himalayas:
Day 1&2 : Secunderabad to Delhi
Day 3: Delhi to Haridwar bus ride
Day 3: Meerut Road
Day 3: Har Ki pauri- Haridwar
Day 4: Impressions from Haridwar
Day 4: Through Rajaji national Park
Day 4: Devaprayag-Srinagar-Rudraprayag-Karnaprayag
Day 5: Pipalkoti-Joshimath-Badrinath
Day 6: Mana: The last Indian village
Day 6: Adventure in Badrinath-Govindghat Road
Day 7: The Boys from Rishikesh
Day 7: Trek to Ghangaria
Day 7: Meeting Rajneesh
Day 8: Valley of Flowers

CLICK ON THE PICTURES FOR BIGGER VIEW

(At Auli town)
It was a horrible day for me. After I climbed down the Valley of flowers, I found my wallet missing and with it all my cash. I hitch hiked from Govindghat to Auli. There was just one ATM open. To my frustration that one ATM had run out of cash. Checked in a cheap accommodation for 200 Rs a night, and promised him to pay him money soon when the ATM starts working. The man with a sorry face reluctantly agreed.
I sat in front of the ATM for what seemed like an eternity. Before that I tried to visit the ropeway at Auli. For those of you who do not know, Auli is known as Switzerland of India. And the ropeway at Auli is Asia's highest and longest ropeway. The ride to and fro costs 500 Rs. I returned back feeling sorry about not being able to witness one of man's majestic creations. Feeling sorry and sad, I was staring blankly at the ATM door, when magic happened. DUDUDUDUuuuduuuu!!!!!
(THE BIKERS)
I heard roaring bullets park in front of the ATM with a screech. I was amazed. These were a gang of rugged looking guys with bullets geared fully with leather jackets, kneecaps, huge rucksacks, and helmets. They too stopped for cash.
I tried breaking a conversation. But I failed to generate interest in them. There was one guy who was well built handsome guy. He was a commercial pilot at Philipines and was on his vacation. He was impressed to know that I was travelling alone in the mountains. This was the group of bikers called Himalayan Odyssey. They had been biking for one month now and covered five different states in the North and North East including Rajastan. It was their last leg of biking.
They kick started their bullets again with the engine bellowing. I felt sad to see them go. But the moment after they left, the pilot guy halted turned back, looked at me and asked, "you wanna take a ride?" Those words were like music for me in what was till now a dissapointing day. I sensed adventure. I didnt think twice before nodding eagerly.

And the next moment i was on his bike, ascending heights of Auli witnessing breathtaking view of grand snow peak mountains and the chilling winds cutting my face.


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One we reached atop, I felt nauseated. But it was heavenly. The boys offered me Hash, Charas they say in Hindi. I declined politely. They said it was the secret of their energy for the biking odyssey of that magnitude.
And then I heard gun shots being fired.... contd




Coming next are the videos of the bike ride...

32 comments:

Sirin said...

Heaven. Ravi you would have grown as a person having travelled these mystical places all alone. May the spirit of a traveller remain with you forever.

Sirin

Smile said...

although u have told me the story..it still feels so good to read it here...but it reminds me of the rude commnt made by tht pilot abt love and travelling...i soo hate him...

Mitr - Friend said...

Now that's called trekking... Posted a comment on your post on Valley of Flowers... Great travelogue you have... SO happy to have found your blog... - My Travelogue

Mitr - Friend said...

Hey Ravi,
Check out my blog. There's some little gift waiting for you there...

Mridula said...

Good to see new stuff from you Ravi. Nice pictures. Will wait for the videos.

Vernz said...

A place so pure and uncorrupted .. so perfectly sculpted ... I can live here foreever ... heaven on Earth .... splendid pictures..


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Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful shots !! Even i planned a Tour to Leh and Ladkh on motor bike but some how it got postpone but will do it one day for sure !! Till then happy with your beautiful jounrey !!

Shriram INC. said...

you are living my dream sir!!!
One day i will have a blog like this.

Wordsmithy said...

Hello,

I am the admin of the travel blog Wayfarers and Pathfinders. (http://wayfarersandpathfinders.blogspot.com/)

It is a new blog with numerous authors. The idea behind the blog is to create a collage of the experiences of people who have visited the same place thus offering various perspectives of the place.

I ran into your blog by chance. I wonder if we could exchange links between the two blogs.

Regards,
Wordsmithy

P.S: Sorry for putting all this in a comment. I couldn't locate your email address.

vicious said...

nice blog ..will revisit for more !!

Ajanta Caves India said...

While my trip to uttarakhand i saw some youngsters riding on bike and having all the fun with nature. India travel is a great experience, but Kedarnath and Badrinath have stollen my heart. The Auli is called as India's Switzerland and that is really true.

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Krishna said...

Great post and beautiful photos

thanks for sharing

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Nikhil Gupta said...

I chose Kesari tours as this is the most reputed tourist company I had heard of. But my experience was completely different.The articles in the paper are just your marketing. But no customer care is taken by the Kesari tours guides abroad as the India tour guide has no voice over the abroad tour guide.
Here are my concerns. Please take Kesari tours serious action on this. Please do not fool the clients as they are source to give bread and butter to anyone.1. There was no follow-up for the VISA processing.2. There was no information exchanged before the trip began.3. When we landed in Malaysia the Malaysia Kesari tours tour guide asked us to pick up only light luggage to start for Genting Highlands. But none of the office informed any one of the passengers that they have to prepare two separate packing.4. We did not got all the food items which you hand over at Mumbai. We got only chakali, dry fruit, tea coffee, chocolates, and potato chiwada. We came Kesari tours to know about this only on last day when all the passengers were exchanging the food items. Is it not Kesari tours responsibility to handle such a small thing in a better way? Shouldn’t there be transparency or some checklist to know that passenger has got all the things. Good that I had taken Laddus and Bakarwadi. But again your marketing is wrong Kesari tours you say that don't take anything while leaving.



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Empty Rucksack said...

Thanks for the detailed itinerary! Not been to Auli but for Himalayas beat Switzerland any day. We are so fortunate we don't need a Switzerland in India

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