Travelogue on Garhwal : Back from Heaven

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#1 Feb 8th, 2013, 22:12
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#1
PROLOGUE

We, four in the group, had been to Garhwal during the period from 06.10.2012 to 15.10.2012. The places we covered during our tour were Kotdwara, Lansdowne, Pauri, Khirsu, Rishikesh and Haridwar. The places chosen for this trip was mainly due to inspiration from a write up in a leading Bengali Travel monthly magazine on the topic Lansdowne and Pauri.

It took us about 3 – 4 months to gather all information, mapping our route, plan the whole trip, book hotels etc. And most importantly all went on in a smooth fashion as we got all the bookings as per our choice.

The train tickets were confirmed on both on and return journey with lower and middle berths.

The bookings in the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Rest House at Lansdowne and Pauri were also made from its Kolkata office and were confirmed instantly. Accommodation was also booked for Haridwar.

Only thing left was the hiring of car. For this I contacted directly with GMVN Rest house, Lansdowne over telephone. I didn’t ask the name of the person on the other side, who assured me of getting enough on-spot transport facility at cheaper rates. He even gave me the general rates of the car and guided me to bargain on reaching Kotdwara. Well, I was little bit relieved after getting the advice of the person and decided to hire it right on spot.

We, all, were right on our toe to start our tour and waited for the day to come. Excitement in the mercury was on a high as the places were unknown and offbeat. Many of our friends, relatives and colleagues were even not heard of Pauri and Khirsu and starred at us when we narrated our plan to them.

Thanks to asishdas, S2dude & jituyadav and indiamike for their valuable suggestions which had helped me of a successful trip.

Their guidance is at: http://www.indiamike.com/india/uttar...souri-t173879/

To Continue......very shortly.......
#2 Feb 8th, 2013, 22:34
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Day 1 : 06th October 2012

We reached Sealdah station at about 03.15 p.m. It was Saturday. So the station was overcrowded with daily passengers returning home / daily work from their Office (half day). It was announced that Sealdah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express would leave from Platform No. 9B. It was noticed that passengers were already waiting on the platform since it was of routine nature of Sealdah Rajdhani leaving from Platform No. 9B. Tight security with sniffer dogs were noticed. The empty rake from the Carshed reached the station at about 03.40 p.m. We, one by one, boarded the train with our luggage. After all routine checking from the technical and security point of view on the part of the Railways, the train checked out from the Sealdah station dot on time at 04.30 p.m.

Soon after departing from Sealdah, we were provided each with a Mineral water bottle and a welcome announcement on behalf of Indian Railways for a happy and safe journey. The train schedule and food menu during the journey were also announced.

Within 10 minutes, the evening breakfast was served with sandwich, sweets, mango juice, veg pakora, toffee, biscuits and tea.

During our conversation with the co-passengers, it was found that they were on their way to Kashmir. And most surprisingly, about 70% of the passengers in our compartment too were not the exception. So we could easily calculate the heavy rush to Kashmir taking into consideration the percentage of travelers only from a single train.

Veg Soup was served at about 07.00 p.m followed by dinner at about 08.30 p.m. The quantity of the food served on board the train was adequate and of good quality - Rice, two parotas, dal, chicken curry, pickles, salad, curd (dahi).

We all were about to go to sleep with lights already switched off, when suddenly the staff appeared with vanilla ice-cream. Had we gone to sleep, we would have really missed the sweetest flavor at the end of our first day tour. So, the first day ends here packed with sweetest memories and lots more to come on the coming days.
Last edited by kol2012; Feb 9th, 2013 at 21:14..
#3 Feb 9th, 2013, 00:40
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enjoying micro details....... keep going
.


Totaly confused how to explore the beautiful earth when one life is too short to complete my great India


Photo-Story: HARI-SILA or HARSIL Deoriatal-Chopta,
#4 Feb 9th, 2013, 21:17
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Will return very shortly...... PKanti.
#5 Feb 9th, 2013, 21:27
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Day 2 : 07th October 2012

Good Morning Sir! Your Bed Tea ……..

That’s how the day starts with a hot flask of tea (not cup). It was 06.30 in the morning and most of the passengers in the compartment were still in their sweet dreams with high and low note melodies. Freshen up was our first task. Took our first sip and the staff brought English and Hindi newspapers. As we went through the papers, one of the staff informed that the train was not only on right time but running before schedule.

At about 08.30 in the morning, the morning breakfast was served with sandwich, sweets, mango juice, veg pakora, toffee, biscuits and tea. It passed stations one by one and went nearer to New Delhi. The catering staff and the sanitation staff appeared separately for tips.

The train arrived New Delhi station at 10.20 a.m. We spent the entire day with one of our relatives and enjoyed very much. So nothing special to mention.

We transferred to Old Delhi Railway station at about 05.00 p.m. We hired a taxi from the pre-paid booth for Rs. 145/-. We waited in the retiring room. Took our dinner from the cafeteria at the station. The food was very tasty and economical.

Mussorie Express from Delhi Sarai Rohila arrived at Old Delhi with one portion for Dehradun and other portion for Kotdwara. No rush in the train. We boarded it and left at 10.20 p.m for Kotdwara. Since it was too late and very much tired, we went to sleep.
#6 Feb 9th, 2013, 23:19
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Day 3 : 08th October 2012

We woke up early in the morning at about 05.30 a.m as the train was supposed to reach Kotdwara at 06.05 a.m. And ……it really did so.

6.05 a.m in the clock. And the train entered the platform. Right on time.

The platform was very calm and quiet with only few passengers alighting from the train. There was no hustle and bustle. And we were very much reluctant to see such type of scene on the platforms in the country . From the train timing chart, it is noticed that only two express trains from Delhi do come to this remote station.

One is 24041/24042 – Delhi Sarai Rohila - Kotdwara Mussoorie Express (with one portion of Mussoorie Express from Howrah attached with Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express as S1 – sleeper coach which get merged at Najibabad) and other one is 14044/14045 – Delhi Kotdwara Garhwal Express.

The scenic beauty in around Kotdwara station was awesome. Unlike the station, outside was little bit crowded with newspaper vendors, chaiwala selling tea, conductors shouting for passengers ……….etc

A max driver approached us to know whether we require an entire car or share maxitaxi/jeep for transfer. We bargained and booked an INDIGO for drop only at Pauri. A journey of about 105 km from Kotdwara to Pauri cost us Rs. 1600/- (drop only). He even guaranteed us to show important view points on our route to Pauri.

We took morning tea at a tea stall outside the station @ Rs. 5/- per cup. Very hot and cheap…….

Shared taxi for Lansdowne was available outside Kotdwara station. Dropping charges was Rs. 50 per head. Dropping facility other than Lansdowne was not available, so one had to book an entire cab for the transfer. State Government and private buses were also available in quick interval outside the station.

We couldn’t resist the temptation to unearth the hidden treasures left undiscovered in the road ahead. So atlast we started our journey at 06.45 a.m ……….Better late than never…….
#7 Feb 10th, 2013, 00:53
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glued with your TR
#8 Feb 10th, 2013, 17:19
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Day 3 : 08th October 2012 .....Continued

“Sahab ji, Panchso rupayee advance milega”

That’s the first comments of our driver on leaving Kotdwara railway station in his Black Indigo Car. He filled the tank of the car with diesel at Kotdwara for the journey. He pointed out that there was no petrol pump on the way to Pauri. So the tank had to remain in full……..

Our driver soon turned into driver-cum-guide and informed us to show “Siddhibali Temple”. The temple, situated at a distance of 2 km from Kotdwara, is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is one of the world’s renowned place and truly worth a visit. Large numbers of devotees visit the temple all round the year.

07.10 a.m in the watch. Our car entered the parking space. No person to collect the parking fees. No one in the shoe stand. No crowd in and around the temple. And shopkeepers……just opening their shop shutters ……..not even ready to sell their stuff.

We climbed up the stairs and took the darshan of Lord Hanuman.

Jai Shri Ram!!

It’s really a life time experience.

The priest of the temple gave the “Prasad” with long smile in his face. The green valley……. the hilly surroundings……..river flowing…….. ample space around the temple for the pilgrims to relax………. bells tied in the temple ………all amazing.

We thought to spend some more time in the temple premises, but decided to move further to visualize the beauty of nature, as promised by our driver.

07.45 a.m. We stepped out from the temple premises and move onwards for our next destination.

On the way, we came to know that Kotdwara is one of the district of Uttarakhand……often referred as “Gateway to Garhwal”……..situated on the foothills of the Shivalik Range of Himalayan Mountains and three seasonal rivers namely Kho, Malini and Sukhro.…….hills on three sides……..the name indicates the gateway (Dwara) to Dev Bhoomi as the journey to famous temples of Kedarnath and Badrinath start from Kotdwara apart from Haridwar…….
#9 Feb 10th, 2013, 17:31
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doing well keep going



PS: isn't Kotdwar means the gateway to God
#10 Feb 10th, 2013, 17:39
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@PKanti

Yes. you are right. That's why I have mentioned "the name indicates the gateway (Dwara) to Dev Bhoomi". The information have been gathered during our conversation with the driver.
#11 Feb 10th, 2013, 19:17
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its a minor issue....... ......forget it ............ waiting for next installment
Last edited by PKanti; Feb 11th, 2013 at 11:55..
#12 Feb 11th, 2013, 01:51
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Oh! ......sure......will come back soon......
#13 Feb 11th, 2013, 11:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kol2012 View Post He filled the tank of the car with diesel at Kotdwara for the journey. He pointed out that there was no petrol pump on the way to Pauri.
Not quite correct. No pump between Kotdwara and Lansdowne, but at least two between there and Pauri.



Quote:
Originally Posted by PKanti View Post PS: isn't Kotdwar means the gateway to God
Quote:
Originally Posted by kol2012 View Post @PKanti

Yes. you are right. That's why I have mentioned "the name indicates the gateway (Dwara) to Dev Bhoomi". The information have been gathered during our conversation with the driver.
First time I've ever heard that meaning ascribed to the word 'kot'.
And then what does Hari-dwar mean?

Statutory warning: Beware of lofty meanings/significance attached by locals to places in their area. E.g. the priests at Patal Bhuvaneshwar tell you that if you visit PB, that's better than going for Char Dham yatra.
#14 Feb 11th, 2013, 12:04
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almost same DW'ji

Kot= God

Hari= Vishnu = God

and we all know "dwar" means
#15 Feb 11th, 2013, 13:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKanti View Post Kot= God
WHAT??!!!

Let me put it like this - the words kot/kotla/kothi are all related, specially in North India. Nothing to do with powers above.
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