Trip to Paonta Sahib/ Rampur Mandi/Chakrata/Nahan'Renukaji

#1 Mar 2nd, 2017, 16:53
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Hello,

I shall be going to India later this month. To be precise Phagwara. From there am planning a trip to Chakrata.

Any suggestions shall be welcome. Am planning to hire a car and a driver, as my parents who are aged shall be accompanying me.

Our plan is to drive from Phagwara to Paona Sahib, have langar and visit the holy temple and then drive to Rampur Mandi and stay for a night in the Forest Rest House. (Has any one stayed in this FRH).

The newt day drive to Chakrata (accomodation as got to be finalsed. Not many options, but would have loved to stay in the FRH (problem being that no one picks up the phone), which is alltogether a yet another matter.

Stay there for two nights and then come back. On the return journey we are planning to do break it down and maybe stay in Nahan (any recommendations) or Renukaji for the night and drive back home the next day.

Thanks for your suggestions
#2 Mar 2nd, 2017, 19:04
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Are you all Indian citizens? You need to be to enter Chakrata (even to cross Kalsi).

Which tel. no. were you trying re Chakrata FRH?
#3 Mar 5th, 2017, 04:08
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Hi Dilliwala yes am in possession of Indian passport .
The FRH number listed on the net.
Appreciate your getting back to me.
Hav eyou been to Chakrat?
Would like to know about your adventures.
#4 Mar 5th, 2017, 14:22
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Ok. No doubt your parents are citizens too.

The booking office for Chakrata FRH is at Kalsi, tel. 01360-275078. You need to be aware that you have to bring all your own supplies as far as cooking/food is concerned. The chaukidar will usually cook (although not bound to). There are a few tea shops nearby. Other than that the main market is a few km away.
A better option might be Hotel Snow View, the best of a very small number of hotels in town. Will cost more than the FRH though.

My own trips to Chakrata have been painfully short . No time for adventure (although I did have a damaged hose pipe on one trip. Great "fun" trying to get the vehicle back to civilisation thereafter).

Renuka has an HPTDC hotel which is decent. Had a good lunch there once.
#5 Mar 5th, 2017, 14:48
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For foreigners it is -in theory- possible to get a permit to visit, to be requested from Commandant 22 Force c/o 56 APO, Chakrata. No idea how often this is actually given. Anyway, on my motorcycle I made it until Sahiya (past Kalsi) without any trouble, then took a really crappy road left through the mountain, direction matyana. Awesome scenery but you essentially need to carry your own gear as there is next to nothing in terms of infrastructure. I camped out rough and it got bloody cold, even in May.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#6 Mar 5th, 2017, 15:21
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Originally Posted by dillichaat View Post For foreigners it is -in theory- possible to get a permit to visit, to be requested from Commandant 22 Force c/o 56 APO, Chakrata. No idea how often this is actually given.
Right, in theory. In reality, no foreigner's been given permission in over a decade, not that I'm aware of (even I tried for someone once through some contacts, no go).

Quote:
Anyway, on my motorcycle I made it until Sahiya (past Kalsi) without any trouble, then took a really crappy road left through the mountain, direction matyana.
.
I camped out rough and it got bloody cold, even in May.
Amazing you weren't turned back when discovered. I did read in another thread that you weren't because you gave a cop a lift. Although there you said you went via Tiuni. I'm not aware of any road from Sahiya into HP, where does it come out? Where does it cross the river? Or is there a road from Sahiya to Kwanu or thereabouts, from where one can also reach Tiuni (river crossing at Minas Bridge).
#7 Mar 5th, 2017, 15:36
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I took a couple of trips in the region, the first one (with the cop) was when they explained me the procedure to ask a permit. I'll dig for some pics I took and for the itinerary, should still have a gpstrack somewhere, it's been a while Anyway, 'road' is too much of a compliment, I guess you could best compare it to a cross between what you find in Ladakh and some roads in Rajasthan.
#8 Mar 5th, 2017, 19:36
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You made more than one illegal trip?!! Sheesh!
#9 Mar 5th, 2017, 22:56
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Well, I was riding an Enfield motorcycle and not hiding away or anything. My outfit screamed 'foreigner' with gloves, kevlar jeans, mesh jacket and western helmet. Whenever I was signalled to stop I did so and I gave a lift to cops on more than one occasion. There's the law and then the enforcement, I guess. Chalta hai....

My hairiest moment (with the police) was not in that area but when I got lost (lead to my battery had broken off and gps went down) between Pathankot and Hoshiarpur and ran into a police roadblock on some god forgotten small forest road. Some operation against dacoits and I thought for a moment the cops themselves would do me in.

I found the gpstracks of my ride then but the problem is, I used software then that I don't have now (mapmyindia) and when I look on open street map the level of detail is insufficient, it looks like I rode over the hills where there's no road although obviously I really was following the road. What I recall is that before entering Sahiya proper on the main road toward Chakrata, there is a bridge (actually I think I recall 2 bridges, it's after the first but right before the second). If you take left there, there's a small road, first with some houses, then tree-lined that winds upward. Bumpy as hell and unpaved on stretches but trucks most definitely pass on it. You can follow it a loooonnngggg way up, past landscaped terraces and farms. But you need a gps, there are some side tracks that start out good but peter out to nothing. Running out of petrol there would also be a really bad thing but I had put a 30-l tank on my bike (from my trip to Leh).
Last edited by dillichaat; Mar 6th, 2017 at 20:08..
#10 Mar 6th, 2017, 01:35
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Originally Posted by dillichaat View Post There's the law and then the enforcement, I guess. Chalta hai....
It's one thing not knowing the regulation the first time around, but quite another knowingly breaking it a second time (that too as a diplomat) because enforcement is lax. Not good.

'Nuff said, don't want to hijack ADMC's thread.

Quote:
What I recall is that before entering Sahiya proper on the main road toward Chakrata, there is a bridge (actually I think I recall 2 bridges, it's after the first but right before the second). If you take left there, there's a small road, first with some houses, then tree-lined that winds upward. Bumpy as hell and unpaved on stretches but trucks most definitely pass on it. You can follow it a loooonnngggg way up, past landscaped terraces and farms.
I looked on GMaps and yes, there's the road, and yes, it eventually leads to Matiyana. Which I am consternated to note is still in Uttarakhand , I thought you meant the one near Narkanda in HP. Clear as mud.
#11 Mar 6th, 2017, 02:08
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Thanks Dilliwala and Dillichat for your replies.
How is the road condition. We plan to drive through Zirakpur (condition should be good on that too road. Then to paonta Sahib via Nahan. Then I believe from Vikas Nagar to chakrata is the local road.
The accomodation problem seems to have sorted out
#12 Mar 6th, 2017, 12:45
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You'll have to get more recent feedback to confirm, I was last there 4-5 years ago so road conditions then don't necessarily mean much now. From Paonta onward the first stretch in/just outside the city was potholed and cratered. Then, to my amazement the NH-7 stretch was perfect, new blacktop and extremely good (again, at the time). I don't know where exactly you plan to leave the highway, if memory serves there are various options. The road to Chakrata I generally found was in good shape, no real problems there, only some bumps and holes close to the villages. Again, check with Diliwala or others. The smaller roads that fork off is a different matter. But take this with a big bag of salt, it's been too long to be reliable AND I was on a motorcycle, not in a car or 4WD.
#13 Mar 6th, 2017, 14:30
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Originally Posted by ADMC View Post How is the road condition. We plan to drive through Zirakpur (condition should be good on that too road. Then to paonta Sahib via Nahan. Then I believe from Vikas Nagar to chakrata is the local road.
The accomodation problem seems to have sorted out
Road conditions will be good most of the way, mostly national or state highways. Herbertpur to Kalsi should be fine too. Kalsi to Chakrata was reported a few years ago in bad condition by another member, don't know if it's been fixed.

No need to go upto Zirakpur. From Phagwara, either via Nawanshahar/Rupnagar or via Ludhiana/Morinda to Kharar, then drive through Chandigarh and Panchkula till you join NH 22 (Shimla highway).
Now look for or ask for the exit to Ramgarh and Nahan (NH 73). Some kms beyond Ramgarh there'll be a fork in the road, left here goes direct to Narayangarh where you join NH 72. Do NOT take the right turn to Shahzadpur, it'll only take you the long way to Narayangarh.
From Narayangarh, straight on to Nahan and Paonta Sahib.
From Paonta Sahib, along the same NH 72 towards Dehradun - cross the Yamuna and you're at Kulhal in Uttarakhand. Follow the highway via Dharmawala to Herbertpur. Straight on from the roundabout to Vikasnagar-Kalsi-Chakrata. There is also a shortcut after Kulhal to Herbertpur via Asan Barrage, if you can find it . If you take it, turn left at Herbertpur roundabout for Vikasnagar.
Last edited by Dilliwala; Mar 7th, 2017 at 13:42..
#14 Mar 7th, 2017, 08:01
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^^

Shall keep that in mind Am looing forward to this trip a yet another 25 days should be there.

I might bother you inbetween for some advice though .

Cheers

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