All posts by Palampur Bikers Club

Palampur Bikers Club Installed Dustbins around Saurav Van Vihar

Taking forward the clean Palampur initiative launched last year, Palampur Bikers Club in association with Spaces Home Decor installed dustbins in Palampur. These dustdins are placed at the road side between Saurav Van Vihar and Awarna village. PBC members have done the cleanup drive in this area several time before and taking a step ahead, this time PBC members decided to install dustbins in this area and also pledged to take the responsibility of keeping this area clean and maintained. Participants from Delhi, who were on visit to Palampur for Multi Activity Program organized by Palampur Bikers Club during 2nd April to 5th April also contributed in the activity along with PBC members. The participants were mesmerized by the beauty of the surrounding areas around Palampur and appreciated the efforts by PBC members to keep the area clean. The visiting participants have also shown interest in other social initiatives started by PBC.

The area where dust bins are installed is most popular among tourists who visit Palampur but because it lies outside the municipality limits; hence there is no mechanism to clean the garbage. Garbage once thrown here always remain there. Due to frequent tourist activity ; over a period of time , a lot of garbage mostly chips wrappers and plastic bottles remain scattered all along the road side. In order to save the beauty of this place and keep it clean and maintained , PBC members have chosen this place for clean-up drive. We thank our members and all those who contributed in the process of accomplishing this task.

Special thanks to:

1. Spaces Home Decor and Aditya Pandit for funding the dustbins
2. Public Welfare Department (PWD) Palampur for arranging the old used tar coal drums which were used for creating the dust bins.
3. Neugal Arts painter who worked till mid night to finish the painting work.
4. Welder near to old Sabzi Mandi Palampur who transformed the old, damaged tar coal drums of no use to robust useful dustbins.
5. All club members and friends for contributing in days and nights for various assigned tasks.

It couldn’t have been possible without the support of all above.

Thanks again to each one of you for your support and love.

Pictures of drive:

Palampur Bikers Club Dustbins Installation

Palampur Bikers Club Dustbins Installation

Palampur Bikers Club Dustbins Installation

Palampur Bikers Club Dustbins Installation

Palampur Bikers Club Dustbins Installation

Palampur Bikers Club Dustbins Installation

Palampur Bikers Club Dustbins Installation

5 less explored but best OFF BEAT extended weekend destinations in Himachal Pradesh

1. Barot

Barot-Featured

Barot is a place which people from lower Himachal choose as an offbeat destination for their vacations. One can imagine if people who are living in mountains and choose this destination as the offbeat spot for themselves what people coming from plains will feel here. This used to be and is my favorite spot for short vacations.

Barot Village is a small village located in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The small village comes under Chauhar Valley and is located at approx 1800 meters above sea level. This is a nice off beat location away from maddening crowds at popular tourist destinations of Himachal. The entire Barot village lies on the banks of Uhl River and there are two reservoirs under Shanan Power Project. UHL River adds charm to the village and also allows for trout breeding. The road to Barot village bifurcates from Ghatasni (place on Mandi – Pathankot Highway) 35 KMs from Joginder nagar. From Ghatasni; Barot is 25 KMs ; the road is narrow and metaled but expect lot of potholes on this road. The route includes terraced fields and thick cedar forests, rising to Jhatingri at the hilltop. The remains of the summer palace of the former rulers of Mandi are located here. Through the little village of Tikkan, the road carries on to Barot. The town has a range of outdoor activities, including a trout breeding Centre from where fish are released into the Uhl river.

Please click here to read more about places to visit, activities to perform, accommodation options and how to reach Barot.

2. Narkanda

DSCN3130

Probably the coldest place yet easily reachable from Delhi and Chandigarh. Here you may need Jackets in the hottest day of year. I remember during school days when I used to go to Rampur (Nathpa Jhakri Project) where my father was working, I used to shiver in Narkand when bus takes halt for tea break. On the same day when bus starts from Shimla I used to sweeten because of heat and when it takes halt at Narkanda the feelings were of shivering. I love this place since then and that’s why I suggest it to everyone who wants break from the heat of plain in the peak of Indian summer.

Narkanda is a beautiful and isolated place in Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at an altitude of 8600 feet and surrounded by Shivalik Ranges that span a large part of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 65 KMs from Shimla on Hindustan Tibet Road. It connects Shimla with Rampur and is the highest point in this connection. The popular Apple belt of Himachal Pradesh is connected to Narkanda and Kotgarh the place famous for Apple orchards is just 16 KMs from here. Because of its proximity to Shimla and located on the National Highway, visitors can easily reach here.

Please click here to read more about places to visit, activities to perform, accommodation options and how to reach Narkanda.

3. Palampur

Palampur-featured

Palampur is a hill station situated in the foot hills of Dhauladhar mountain ranges. Palampur is famous for tea gardens and its pleasant climate throughout the year. Because of its proximity to Dhauladhar mountain ranges a lot of water streams flowing from mountains to plains pass through Palampur. Palampur is surrounded by tea gardens, pine trees and water streams, and the combination of all these gives a beautiful and distinctive look to Palampur.

Palampur is at the end of valley merging into the hills so the scenery shows plains on one side and the snow covered hills on the other side. Behind Palampur stands high ranges of Dhauladhar Mountains whose top remain snow-covered for most of the year. Palampur is one of the most preferable residential towns of Himachal Pradesh. People from all around wish to settle here.

Please click here to read more about places to visit, activities to perform, accommodation options and how to reach Palampur.

4. Tirthan Valley

Tirthan Valley

Tirthan valley is one of the hidden treasures of Himachal and is also the gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP).The valley is located at an altitude of approx 1600 mts on the banks of Tirthan river. A long walk through the rugged woods next to the river whispering with the meddling fog is what makes this place so charming. Bonfires, camping and music will only elicit your already developed bias for this place. Follow the lazy roads through the forests and unwind into tiny hamlets of Nagini, Ghushaini, Banjar and Shoja. These are equally beautiful and you would be charmed by their serenity. The valley is known for trout fishing and if you spend some time here and you might just get lucky with a trout.

Please click here to read more about places to visit, activities to perform, accommodation options and how to reach Tirthan.

5. Prashar Lake

PrasharLake-Featured

Prashar Lake lies 49 km from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India. The lake is located at a height of 2700 meters above sea level. The lake with it’s deep blue waters is held sacred to the sage Prashar and he is regarded to have meditated there. The lake is surrounded by snow-covered peaks whereas deep down in the valley river Beas flows.

There is a three storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar. The temple was built in the thirteenth century and as per the legend it was built by a baby from a single tree. Every year in the month of June, famous traditional fair is held here. The lake also has a floating island in it and it is said to be unclear how deep it is, with a diver not being able to determine its depth. During winters (December, January, February) the lake and the surrounding area is covered under snow. Adventure seekers do winter trek from Drang village during this time.

Please click here to read more about places to visit, activities to perform, accommodation options and how to reach Parashar Lake.

Best OFF BEAT extended weekend destinations in Himachal Pradesh

Narkanda – Shimla (Himachal Pradesh, India)

Narkanda is a beautiful and isolated place in Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at an altitude of 8600 feet and surrounded by Shivalik Ranges that span a large part of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 65 KMs from Shimla on Hindustan Tibet Road. It connects Shimla with Rampur and is the highest point in this connection. The popular Apple belt of Himachal Pradesh is connected to Narkanda and Kotgarh the place famous for Apple orchards is just 16 KMs from here.

Narkanda is perhaps the coldest and easy to reach place in Himachal Pradesh. Because of its proximity to Shimla and located on the National Highway, visitors can easily reach here. In the peak summers of June also you need to wear the jackets in Narkanda. When someone ask me for a coldest and isolated place away from crowded tourists places and which is easily accessible from Delhi I suggest Narkanda without any doubt.

Road Map

What kind of travelers can visit Narkanda?
Family, Honeymoon, Solo, Adventure, Nature Lover, Summer Vacations

Why one must visit Narkanda?

  • Narkanda is one of the most beautiful and coldest places in Himachal Pradesh which is also easily accessible from Delhi and Chandigarh.
  • The popular Apple belt of Himachal Pradesh is connected to Narkanda and Kotgarh the place famous for Apple orchards is just 16 KMs from here.
  • When the summers in plain are at peak and you want to visit a place which can give you some relief Narkanda is the place for you. But don’t forget to carry the Sweaters or Jackets even in the peak summers of June. You may need those here 🙂
  • You can spot snow at high peaks around Narkanda on even the hottest day of year.
  • Hatu Peak which is at an altitude of 11000 ft is 5 km from Narkanda.
  • Narkanda is surrounded by Pine tree forests and a beautiful lake Tanujabbar is located 15 LMs from here.
  • One can comfortably plan visiting Narkanda over an extended weekend.
  • It’s situated just 65 KMs from Shimla and distance can be traveled easily within 2-3 hours.

Stay and eatery options:

Accommodation options are very limited in Narkanda. Accommodations of all sorts from budget to luxury are available but in very limited number. So please make sure you have advance booking before proceeding to Narkanda.

You won’t find many restaurants, bars etc in market. You may need to rely on the options available in your hotel/resort. Couple of small Dhabas is there in market who serves the local food.

Local attractions:

  • Hatu Peak
  • Apple orchards
  • Tanujabbar Lake
  • Pine tree forests

Weather:

Narkanda remains pleasant during summer. Summer months at Narkanda are April, May and June. The maximum temperature during summer is 30 degree Centigrade and minimum is 10 degree Centigrade. This is the best time to visit Narkanda.

Narkanda experiences the rainy season during the months of July, August and September.

Winters at Narkanda are very cold. Winter months at Narkanda are from October to Feburary. The maximum temperature during summer is 15 degree Centigrade and minimum is -10 degree Centigrade.

For Current weather conditions you can check the below link

http://www.accuweather.com/en/in/narkanda/198243/weather-forecast/198243

How to reach Narkanda:

Narkanda is well connected by all means of travel. It’s situated 65 KMs from Shimla on Hindustan Tibet Road..

By Bus: Delhi to Shimla is about 8 hours journey. Daily Volvo and other bus services by Himachal Roadways are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Shimla. After reaching Shimla you can take a TAXI or bus going towards Rampur.

By Train: You can come up to Kalka in Shatabdi train and then take the popular Kalka Shimla toy train. From Shimla you take a TAXI or bus going towards Rampur.

By Air: Nearest Airport is at Jabarhatti, 22 kilometres from Shimla. You can then hire a taxi to reach Narkanda from here.

Want to visit Narkanda? We can prepare your personalized travel plan for FREE based on your requirements and suggest you the hidden gems of Narkanda.  Click here to start the process

Road trip to Bhangarh-Abhaneri (Rajasthan,India)

Bhangarh, popularly known as the most haunted place in India, located in Alwar district of Rajasthan is a beautiful example of ancient art and architecture. The Fort is located 235 kms from Delhi at the foot of the hills on sloping terrain. The ruins of the palace are located on the lower slopes of the hills and trees surround the pond area.

We, a group of 12 people started off with our journey from Huda City Centre , the assembly point for all at 8:30 A.M. on 7th Feb, 2015. There were 3 bikes and 2 cars on which we headed our trip. All were excited to know about the reality of the Fort with mind full of questions and heart full of joy to see the ghosts………hahahaha

The TeamIMG_1626

 

Bhangarh has become a main attraction for the people because of its numerous famous stories. Some say that the whole village vanished in a single night, some say that it is because of the curse given by the witch to Ratnavati, princess of Bhangarh and people believe that the ghosts of the princess and that of the witch are there in the fort. Well i must say that the belief is all about believing, here sharing with you all the experience of Palampur Bikers Club.

 IMG_1155On the way to Bhangarh (Pratapgarh fort in Background)

 

Route we followedBHangarh-route-map

We took the Highway route NH8 via Manesar, Dharuhera, Neemrana, Kotputli, Pratapgarh all giving a beautiful view of Aravali Hills and the beautiful villages on the way as Ajabgarh and finally reaching our destination Bhangarh, It took us more than 5 hrs to be there. Finally, all of us were fully excited when we reached the entrance gate; the beauty of the fort is splendid.

Bhangarh FortIMG_1208

At the entrance there is Hanuman Mandir, and a very old Peeple tree. There are many other temples in the vicinity of the fort like Gopinath temple,Keshav Rai Temple, Ganesh Temple and Someshwar Temple.

One of the many temples inside Bhangarh FortIMG_1347

Next to the temples are the ruins of Havelis’ and the bazaars of that time. The ASI has well preserved the structure as much as they could. The entire way has so many birds, langoors and peacocks and really they were so happy.

PeacocksIMG_1378

After passing all the temples and lush green area, we finally headed towards the Palace. The palace is very beautiful situated on the lower slopes of the hill. The pieces of the palace stones are kept in number placed one over the other. There was a mixed crowd of localities and city people.

A local VillagerIMG_1188

We all had a good time there seeing the fort and got some pictures clicked; we then left for Dausa, which was the night halt for the trip. With all the fun, chit chat, masti and of course a pleasant a stay at Dausa, we had a great time. Next morning we started for our next destination i.e. Chand Baori at Abhaneri which was approximately 30kms away.

A little background on our next destination Abhaneri. Abhaneri is a village in Dausa district of Rajasthan famous for its Chand Baori and Harshat Mata Temple. Chand Baori is one the most popular step well in the region and is one of India’s largest and deepest step well.

Chand Baori – AbhaneriIMG_1438

The baori is beautifully designed with an idea to store water in ancient times to be used during parched times of the year. It is another major tourist attraction of Rajasthan. Tourists from all over the globe visit the monument.

Harshat Mata TempleIMG_1406

The Harshat Mata Temple is designed with intricate carvings of sculptures on it and is second major attraction for tourist. It is believed to be the temple of Goddess of Happiness who is always cheerful and spreads happiness to the whole village. After exploring both the places we all had the amazing and famous kadi-kachori of Rajasthan.

The team having amazing Kadi-Kachori at AbhaneriIMG_1520

Kadi-Kachori  was so tasty that all of us ended up eating more than a couple of kadi-kachori’s and icing on the cake was tea served in kullads (small earth pots). We had a time of our life and with this we bid adieu to Abhaneri and started for the journey back to Delhi.

Group picture at Chand Baori – AbhaneriIMG_1445

So, believe me, these are the places one must visit and explore the beauty of ancient times. And of course when it’s with Palampur Bikers Club, it’s an amazing and wonderful experience as their belief is so right: “Some call it adventure, We call it life”.

Story By : Aakanksha Sandhu (Member Palampur Bikers Club)

 

Amritsar – Wagah Border (India)

Amritsar is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Information about Amritsar is spread all over in Internet but we thought of putting up our views in our words. Amritsar is mainly popular because of the Golden Temple (holiest place of Sikh Religion) but there also have a lot of other attractions and historical monuments which bring different type of tourists to this city. Some of the main attractions of Amritsar and nearby areas are

Golden Temple: Golden Temple in Amritsar is the holiest place of Sikh religion. People from all over places come to Amritsar to visit Golden Temple. Upper half of the temple is covered by gold which gives it a distinctive look and also because of that it’s called the Golden Temple. Visitors can visit the temple any time but ‘Kirtan’ at early in morning and the Palki Sahib Ceremony, which takes place twice a day are the best times to visit the temple. Palki Sahib Ceremony takes place once when Guru Granth Sahib is carried to a room for night stay and when Guru Granth Sahib is taken back to the temple.
If you are visiting the Golden Temple then you must not miss the Langar (Prasad – Food offered to visitors in temple). For stay options in Amritsar also the accommodations provided in Gurudrawas are the best.

Jallianwala Bagh: Situated just opposite the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh is a place where thousands of people were shot down by the then British Government ruling in India. Thousands of people, who were gathered in Jallianwala Bagh on the ocassion of traditional festival Baisakhi were killed mercilessly without giving them any chance to escape. Inside Jallianwala Bagh visitors can see:
Memorial built in memory of martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacre
Bullet marks still remain on the walls and adjoining buildings. Bullet marks on walls are quite wide and deep, and gives the sense of impact by bullet hit on the walls.
The well to which many people jumped and drowned attempting to save themselves from the bullets is also a monument inside the park.
There is also a museum inside the park where identify and portraits of some the martyrs are kept.

Wagah Border: Wagah is India – Pakistan border 32 KMs from Amritsar city. Indian and Pakistani security forces conduct the flag ceremony every evening on the Wagah Border. This event is most popular among visitors to Amritsar. People from different parts of country visit Amritsar primarily to see the ceremony and to have the glimpse of other side of border. Visitors from both side feels the true patriotism during the ceremony and sought slogans in favor of their country and security forces. It’s a must attend event once for everyone.

Amritsari Cuisines: Amritsar is popular for its food. Amritsari Kulche, Amritsari Lassi and Amritsari Fish are the most popular ones. Amritsar is one of the best places for foodies. So, if you are a food lover then you must visit Amritsar to enjoy the pure and perfect foods.

Shopping: Amritsar is also popular for shopping among visitors. Ladies suits and dupatas, Amritsari Jutti (shoe), Amritsari Badi, Swords and dry fruits are popular. Good stuff is available in reasonable rates. So don’t much afraid of shopping here in Amritsar 🙂

Route Map:

What type of travelers visit Amritsar?

Family, Groups, Religious, Foodies

 Stay and eatery options:

There are several hotels in Amritsar of all segments but if you are visiting Amritsar to visit the Golden Temple you must try staying in Gurudwaras. It’s a different and unique experience.

Amritsar is popular for its cuisines and offers variety of options. Some people visit Amritsar primarily to enjoy the food here. Amritsari Kulche, Amritsari Lassi and Amritsari Fish are some of the popular items here. When you enjoy the Amritsar specialties don’t forget to eat atleast once in Golden Temple Langar (Prasad – Food offered to visitors in temple). Langar in Golden Temple is just awesome.

Weather:

Throughout the year Amritsar has extreme weather. In summer it’s hottest in north India and in winter it’s coldest. But the extreme weather doesn’t discourage tourists from visiting Amritsar. The extreme weather adds more spice to the yummy food options here.

How to reach Amritsar:

Amritsar is well connected by all means of transport. Frequent flight, trains and buses everything is here. But the best option we find to go by Amritsar Stabadi train if you coming from Delhi side. This train starts around 7 in the morning and reaches Amritsar in afternoon. On return journey to Delhi it is starts at around 4 PM from Amritsar and reach the destination just before 11 PM.

 

Sach Pass – In search of Truth

Preface

“There are BAD roads in Ladakh,
there are extremely BAD roads in Spiti,
and then there is SACH Pass”

That’s what I said when I completed the ride across Sach Pass in Pangi Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Truth cannot be found easily, you have to go thru thisRoads of Sach Pass

Did you notice the missing word in above line “road” ? that’s because it would be an understatement to call it a road, better call it a wide mule track. If you could manage to cover only 80 kms in 10-12 hrs without many breaks, you can imagine what I’m referring to. And how often you have heard that the main T bolt (the bolt which puts handle bar in place) of Royal Enfield became so loose that it was easily opened with bare hands. Adventure travelers swear by the name of Sach pass and it’s quite common to compare bad roads with Sach pass. We encountered this and much more in this ride of a lifetime. In Hindi Sach means Truth, hence I see it was an appropriate title for this ride.

You gotta have right Attitude
attitude

Nature has mysterious plans and you can’t do much about it but be ready and be flexible. How many times it happens that you plan for something and end up doing something else. Same happened with us in sep 2014 , when our well laid plan to do the leh-Ladakh circuit was smashed by flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir just 10 days before our scheduled ride. The situation was so scary that all the Riders backed out of the idea of exploring some other place if we are not riding to Ladakh. All riders backed out except the two hard nuts (Me & Aditya), we were not ready to sit at home thinking what we could have done. Hence, an alternative plan had to be chalked out and that too within next 2 – 3 days. Maps were out, discussions, Google search, more discussions, weather forecasts and contingency plans were chalked out.

And have some faith – Trilokinath TempleTrilokinath Temple

After an extensive 3 day research we came up with a probable route. We would be crossing 3 of Himachal’s notorious passes known for bad roads, landslides and what not (Jalori pass, Rohtang pass, Sach pass) and also cover 3 most popular tourist destinations in Himachal (Shimla, Manali, Khajjiar). On paper it was a good plan, but somewhere at the back of our mind we knew, it will not be an easy ride in this season. There has been news of heavy rain in Himachal and there were chances that we may have to ride in rain as well. We bought some rain gear from the local markets and checked all the necessary items which we might need on the ride. So all was set; 2 guys,me (Rana and Adi) , with me on Jr.Black Bull (Royal Enfield Classic 350cc) and Adi on TB Baby (Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500cc). With all things checked out of our list we were ready to ride and face the Truth.

And answer some hard questions – “Why we ride?”Why we ride

Chakrata – Hatkoti (Uttrakhand, Himachal, India)

Preface

It’s not often that one fine day in office you learn that there is an extended weekend is coming soon.Quick check on calendar and and it looks like we have an small window of opportunity to head towards mountains on some lesser known places.

First the maps are pulled out , it’s more often that I pull Uttrakhand and Himachal maps first ; i guess being Himachali , the love for the mountains is too strong to resist.Also , since these are much closer to Delhi (where i currently live) it’s easier to accommodate more places in less days.Discussions with my friend Mohit and looking at the probable places we finally decided on taking an un-usual route to reach Chansal Valley in Himachal via Dehradun.

MapChakrata-Hatkoti-map
With only limited days at hand we also knew that we might not be able to explore much in Chansal valley but agreed anyways to head towards it and see till where we can reach and come back on time.So that’s how it was decided that will go to Chakrata and reach Hatkoti via Kanasar and Tiunni route.Lets explore and find out what do we have in store in this little known route.

We  just looked at the route on map and were eager to go , we had no idea how was the road or what lies ahead.The jittery feeling of venturing into the unknown is what i like the most about such journeys.The plan was simple , me and Mohit will start from Delhi and reach Dehradun (Mohit’s home) and start the onward journey in Mohit’s car from there.