I did my best to find the road we (me and Nishant) travelled in Uttarakhand but we didn’t find any luck. All we knew was that we crossed between the villages of Pauri Garhwal, and we do remember one name, Yamkeshwar. Rings any bell?
It was our Rishikesh bike tour, which ended up at Lansdowne, approximately 125KM away. On our second day at the Yoga Capital of the World, we decided to visit Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, located 15KM above the town. And while our way to the temple, Nishant saw a road sign to Lansdowne, and then we decided to do it.
We had all the day to make it happen, but there were still two prime challenges ahead.
- Our bikes (both Avenger 220) were not having a full tank and we never tested the bike’s mileage on bad mountain roads.
- We didn’t pick the highway which had better road and straight connectivity to Lansdowne. Rather, we picked the road which was mostly broken and was there to connect small villages of Pauri Garhwal.
We confirmed a couple of times about the road to Lansdowne, and each time the locals recommended us to go back and take the highway route. They said it was safe and properly constructed.
Guess what, we didn’t listen!
I’m not sure what triggered Nishant to take this route (only he can explain, if he does, check the discussion section below), but my side of the story can be explained via the following script from Sons of Anarchy TV Season (S05 E01).
“Something happens at around 92 miles an hour. Thunder headers drown out all sound. Engine vibration travels at a heart’s rate. Field of vision funnels into the immediate. And suddenly you are not on the road – you’re in it, a part of it. Traffic, scenery, cops – just cardboard cutouts blown over as you pass. Sometimes I forget the rush of that, that’s why I love these long runs. All your problems, all the noise, gone. Nuthin else to worry about, except what’s right in front of you.”
So, we didn’t stop and ignored everyone’s recommendation. But, what all we found on the track, was simply amazing and almost unexplainable.
There is a story in every place, every village, or town. There is a story related to every road we take. And, we knew that this biking session we’re having will soon become unforgettable.
This (image) was our A point.
And, here is Nishant and our rides.
Following two pictures are of the village and the road.
Finally, we found a sign board, giving a sense of confirmation about the place we’re exploring.
Next, we found two school students waiting to go home. We decided to give them a lift. They have to walk about 10KM of the road (or less if they decide to cross the mountains) to get an education. Both were in 12th standard and I was happy to know that their villages are having the infrastructure available to study Science Maths (or Biology).
From my pillion, I came to know that I was travelling among Pauri Garhwal Villages and they rarely see any motorcyclists on this road. Bottom line, he felt happy to get a comfortable ride back to home.
During the whole biking trip of about 120KM, we found less than 10 villages, a single Resort and Restaurant, and very rare public transport option (personal Jeeps only).
If you’re planning to spend some time in the wilderness, booking this resort is a recommendable option. We spent about an hour there and were impressed by the services they were offering. We even had food, which was tasty and extremely affordable. Here are few pictures of the Resort.
They do offer activities like Trekking and Cultural Fests. Here is their visiting card.
Till now, we’ve crossed couples of dense forests and saw forest fires at several spots, which is catching big attention these days on social media.
I bought a litre of Petrol from a local shop (cost – 85INR, fair, right?) and kept it on the safe side to check the exact mileage my ride was offering.
Next, we see the final road sign for Lansdowne, which was about 22KM away. It was a Cantt area, so usual Army boards were also mentioned.
Before we can get comfortable, the real trouble was waiting ahead. This route of reaching Lansdowne was all broken and due to previous landslides, the road was full of broken sharp stones. From the condition, it’s anyone’s guess that it’s a less travelled road.
You can watch this video Nishant recorded from this smartphone (with the help of Selfie Stick) to get a proper view. It features clips from Roorkie Canal, Haridwar, Rishikesh, and finally, the road I’m talking about.
After driving for about 5KM, we encountered a way to roll down from the main road and meet a river. It didn’t have that much water but was enough to make our day worth. We spent about an hour, capturing dozens of pictures, even recorded few videos, and then rested for a while.
Later, we moved up to Lansdowne to complete our journey.
Throughout the way, the weather was hot, but the moment we entered Lansdowne, the temperature rolled down to just 18-degree Celsius, which was a huge relief, considering what we usually experience in our Capital City.
Finally, the journey ended and we both were happy to do it. We were now sitting in a restaurant, filling our stomach, and planning where next we can ride.
Also, we’re shocked to know the exact mileage Bajaj Avenger 220 delivered. It was above 35KMPL. 😀
Oh before I close this chapter, I remember what exactly Nishant said when were tossing a coin (not literally) about going to Lansdowne via this route or not. He said, “Destination doesn’t matter, it’s the Journey which is Important.”