Now let’s start with the trip
Then we rode nonstop to reach chamoli. We were hungry at that time, so we stopped in a hotel named Colonel’s Cottage. We had some tea and snacks there. The sun started to set as it was round 6 PM and my friend was highly tired.
Jaini wanted to end the first day at the same hotel and to start for Joshimath the next morning. Joshimath was another 100 or so km away from there. I know that it was his first time on a ride like this, but I didn’t want that day to be wasted as even if we started early in the morning it was quite difficult to enjoy the next full day in Joshimath. So I convinced him to reach Joshimath the same day. We started again from there at around 6.45 PM. Now the most difficult part of that day had started. There were no lights in the mountains and it was quite difficult to judge the road with the lights of the bike and even my helmet visor was also black. It is not advisable to drive on mountain roads at night. The roads were empty. Only a few cars were passing through. Then suddenly an idea struck my mind. I decided to drive my bike tailing the passing car. It made us fully dependent on the cars for the drive. Though it was risky but very helpful. I thank God for the roads conditions and our safety. Like this we somehow managed to reach Joshimath at around 10.30 PM. We easily got a hotel room there, as it was off season. But the problem we faced there was that there was no restaurant open at that time from where we could have our dinner. It was a dhaba just below our hotel, which was open but services were closed. Thanks to the hotel manager who spoke to the dhaba owner to give us something to eat. They served us by giving some dal and tava roti, onion and some achar. That’s how we had our dinner. We were very lucky. Then after a little walk around the area to relax and then we went to sleep. Yes it was a long day.
It was an experience for my friend as he had never seen snow in his life. People were enjoying skiing, playing with snow, although the number of people were less. There was also a group present there who were there to learn skiing. It contained mostly teens. They were doing good skiing. We also tried our hand on it. It cost us Rs. 300 per person. We thought it would be easy but it turned out to be rather difficult. We were falling more than we were up, it was our first time.
We were done doing skiing in an hour. Though it was tiring but was a great experience. Then we saw people sliding down on an air filled tube. It seemed to be very exciting, we also tried that. But believe me it was more fun than skiing itself. It was great fun. The weather changed rather quickly as it always does in the mountain ranges and suddenly it started snowing. Oh man that’s the real beauty. It was my second time to see a snowfall, but it was his first time. We had come so far and even god didn’t disappoint us. We were very happy as well as lucky as the local guy told us that the people here had waited for around 10-12 days to see the snowfall. It was a great moment for us. Then we headed back to Joshimath from the ropeway. It was around 4 PM. We explored the Joshimath area, got the tank full of my bike from Indian oil petrol pump which I guess is the only one there then went to the Narsimha temple which is around 1200 years old. In winters when the Badrinath temple is closed people believe that Lord Vishnu(Badrinath) reside here in Joshimath. Then we went for dinner in the main market and the restaurant provided us good food. With that our day ended.
Day 3On that day we went towards Mana Village early with the sunrise, where NH-58 ends. It’s around 48 kms from Joshimath. Even there, road construction work was in progress. We were stopped by ITBP(Indo-Tibetan Border Police) just 13 kms before Badrinath. They told us that the road is closed for civilians. They even told us that the road was covered with heavy snow and even the military trucks were struck on the other side. We tried to convince them that we will go no further than where the road can allow and will return very soon. But they didn’t allow us to go further even by foot. There was a temple known as Hanuman Chatti and the river Alaknanda can also be seen around there. We took some snaps there and returned back toward Joshimath as we had no choice.
We missed the end of NH-58 by just around 16 Kms. Then we decided to go towards Tapovan. We halt at Govindghat for some tea and snacks before we go any further. Then we moved on.
And after crossing Joshimath, roads towards Tapovan were even worse. When we reached there we saw NTPC hydro plant construction work that was in progress and when we moved further away from Joshimath we found hot water springs just besides the road. The water was boiling there as u can see in the images.
That’s quite unbelievable beauty of nature. We had already packed our bags & checked out of the hotel as we had decided to spend one day at Rishikesh before we reached back home. We thought we will manage to reach Rishikesh the same night. We started the journey towards Rishikesh around 2 PM. The clouds had gathered around and started becoming darker. On the way back it suddenly started raining, which got converted into snowfall in no time and it continued till we crossed Joshimath. After wards it was rain that accompanied us till we stopped at some dhaba around 10 km before Chamoli. Thank God we had water proof clothes for rain. The rain had stopped by then and the dhaba walas had lighten up some fire. We sat around it to relax and gain some heat. We changed our wet socks and dried out our feet before we could have something to eat. It was very refreshing. After some time we came out and found that the bike rider’s nightmare had come true. Yes the rear tyre of my bike was punctured. There was a nail stuck in it that we removed so that there is no more damage to the tube. The closest town was Chamoli where we can find a puncture wala but that was 10 kms away. We had no option other than dragging the bike there. It was around 5.30 PM when we started again. Soon the sun lights disappeared and it was dark all around. We were alone but only thing that didn’t leave us was the beautiful singing sound of the river Alaknanda. We reached Chamoli town around 8 PM and the puncture shop was already closed. Riding bike is easy but when bike rides on us, it takes all our energy. It was very tiring and the situation forced us to stay there till the next morning. Before then the tyre can’t be fixed. So, we started searching for a room to stay, and got it in a tourist rest house easily. Then we went out for dinner. After that, we walk around for some time and then we returned to the room.
When we woke up next day it was already 10 AM. We rushed to the puncture shop to fix the puncture, took breakfast on way back to the room and quickly started the journey towards Rishikesh. Nothing went wrong this time and we reached Rishikesh around 6 PM. We started looking for room there but this time it won’t be easy to get. All hotel rooms were full, as International Yoga Festival was on. Rishikesh was overcrowded with both Indian and foreign tourists. We kept on looking for room and after around an hour we got a room in a small hotel which was on the highway, few kms away from the main market. Thank god we got a room in time. We got fresh and moved out for dinner at the famous Chotiwala restaurant in Rishikesh. The food was really delicious. Then we went to explore the market, crossed the Laxman Jhula and sat beside the river Ganga. It was around 9.30 PM and very few people were present there. It was very quiet and relaxing over there. We felt like all the tiredness and pain was gone. We went back to the hotel after 30-40 minutes from there. We knew, the next day we would be back to the world where we came from, the same routine of life, college, lectures, etc., but the feeling one experienced on these kind of places would never be feel there.
We started over journey back to home at around 10 AM after getting tank full of my bike and our stomach. We travelled nonstop till we reach Cheetal Grand. Had some snacks and started again. I had to go to my Hostel in Sonepat before we could reach Delhi. So we left NH-58 and went on road that leads to Bhalgarh Chowk which is on NH-1. From there my college hostel is around 10 kms. When we reach there my hostel mates welcomed me and my friend and they were happy that I came back alive and in one piece. We got fresh and relaxed for sometime in the hostel and had some talks about the trip with everyone. They all were eager to know everything about it. Then around 5 PM we left the hostel and went back home which is only 50 kms away. And at around 6 PM our trip ended and we were home. Everything went just fine. It would be the most memorable trip of our life.
We travelled around 1300 Kms and our total expenses were around Rs. 8000.