Himalayan Saga- I  

Posted by Praveen in , , ,

It started off as a plan for an one month long all India car trip. The plan went down the drains the next day as the great man who suggested it asked us to postpone it by one year. Then it morphed into a trip to Ladakh, as we decided to fulfill our long cherished dream of setting foot on India's own heaven. Everything was set and then on the day that we were to start the sojourn comes in the devastating news of a cloud burst killing hundreds and ruining large parts of Ladakh. Ideas of cancelling the trip never crossed our minds. We set on, deciding to re route on the way. And so, it started, an epic 14 day trip to the Himalayan country...

The early rays of August 7 were coming in as we reached the Bangalore International Airport, which seems more closer to Hyderabad than Bangalore. Our lowest of low cost flight, courtesy Go Air, was on time. We realised that low cost meant you wont even get water free of cost. Two hours went by gazing at the deep blue sky and by catching up on lost sleep. At the Delhi airport, we ran into the guys from Indian Ocean, one of India's most loved bands. The unassuming, but sage like Rahul Ram was happy to spare few minutes with these unknown fans. It felt great to meet the band in their own backyard, where they were back after yet another concert. I forgot to show him the rolling stone mag with them on the cover, which I bought at Bangalore airport.

Delhi was as hot as expected. We passed the current epicentre of Indian corruption, the Commonwealth Games HQ on the way. Hungry media vans waiting for the next murky deal leak were also seen. We walked the streets of Janpath in search of low cost dhabas. And a panwala directed us to Saravana bhavan. The irony of it, coming from south to north and eating at saravana bhavan. The bill rather than the food filled our stomachs. Next was destination India Gate. As we walked along a long road full of MPs official residences on both sides, we had a small idea to head inside a Kerala MP's house. After a long walk, the India gate came on view...MAJESTIC. Far away, along a straight line was the rashtrapathi bhavan. Pity that someone undeserving resides here now.
Amar Jawan jyoti...the undying flame in memory of our brave soldiers..

the top of India gate

India gate

the names of soldiers who died fighting for British India in the 1st world war, inscribed on the walls of India gate

Up, up and above...the men working on renovation of India gate

a cyclist passing by the rashtrapathi bhavan at dusk..

The names of those soldiers who fought for India in the 1st world war were inscribed on all sides of the walls. And then there was the Amar Jawan jyoti, that undying flame in respect of our brave countrymen...RESPECT. Maintenance work were going on in the India gate. The scaffolding did spoil the view a bit. The rashtrapathi bhavan was not as near as we thought. It moved further away as we walked towards it. The parliament also came on view on the side. The sun was shining from behind the rashtrapathi bhavan. As dusk approached, we rushed back to catch the bus to Manali. The journey started at 7 PM and its still not dark in Delhi. We pass landmarks like shakthi sthal, rajghat on the way. We pass through Chandni chowk as the Delhi 6 theme plays on my mind. A part of red fort also came on view.

The Delhi-Chandigarh highway is a marvel, a straight road that extend till the horizon. The road that pass through Haryana and Punjab is peppered with a 1000 dhabas and those colourful Punjabi lorries parked in front. And wine shops were as common as tea shops. The last scene I remember from the day is that of a view from the top of a hill of a city full of lights down below in the valley. The bus sped on as I slipped into (un)wet dreams of dreams of whats in store for the next fortnight...

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at Tuesday, August 31, 2010 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

10 comments

My man, lucky you here to write this, after all that happened in Ladakh. jeez!

Good to know you enjoyed the trip. And classy photos as well. Put them up at the contest in SSC man, plz. I liked the Cyclist shot in front of Mrs. Patil's house :P

8:28 PM

Nice warmup! Waiting for more!

8:53 PM

Nice one..waiting for lot more and as always awesome pics..

11:05 PM

I could not have not commented on this! Dilli meri jaan!

**Closer to Hyderabad than Bangalore
I so agree on this. Five!

**Delhi was as hot as expected
Whoa! By Delhi standards, Delhi has been very 'pleasant' this August. It's cool, it's breezy and it's nice. Bangaloreans seem to find this hot, hmmm. :)

The irony of life, coming all the way and eating at Saravana Bhawan! How (un)adventurous! ;) It's exorbitant, yet it's always full of people. The food though, isn't too great. Sad.

I am wondering, how much did you guys walk? From Janpath to CP, then India Gate and then Rashtrapati Bhawan also! Ouch! :-o

India Gate is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! It's grand, it's majestic, it looks over the city and yet it's quaint and subdued in its own way. It looks even better at night, India Gate really comes alive at night. Next time you come, do visit it at night. There's a whole economy there that thrives by the night. Ice cream wallas, buddhe ka baal wallas (cotton candy that is), families picnic-ing, film reel wallas, miss those days! :(

Rashtrapati Bhawan near India Gate? It's just along the same straight road, it seems near, it isn't. :| Did you guys try the Metro?

Honestly, it feels good to read about my city, and such a nice account, really. And I was waiting for this post. :) Most people seem so enamoured by just the wide roads, that they don't notice the little things in between. It's such a contrast, Lutyen's Delhi is all about wide roads, beautiful buildings, and greenery, while Chandni Chowk, on the other hand, is jam packed, with barely enough space to breathe, and yet it is so personal. It's all Delhi. Beautiful.

I want to head to the mountains. Now. Right now. :( Punjabi lorries, all decked up in kitschy coulours, playing fancy horns and with even fancier slogans all over. Buri nazar wale, tera muh kala types, some philosophical ones too.

Really, it's the spirit you can't contain. That's why I don't like calling Delhi just a city. It's really, an experience. :)

And 'wow!' at bumping into the Indian Ocean guys! :D Lucky you! :D

See I told you I get over excited. This is almost a post now. ;)

Can't wait for the next part. :)

11:41 AM

Honestly, it feels good to read about my city, and such a nice account, really. And I was waiting for this post. :) Most people seem so enamoured by just the wide roads, that they don't notice the little things in between. It's such a contrast, Lutyen's Delhi is all about wide roads, beautiful buildings, and greenery, while Chandni Chowk, on the other hand, is jam packed, with barely enough space to breathe, and yet it is so personal. It's all Delhi. Beautiful.

I want to head to the mountains. Now. Right now. :( Punjabi lorries, all decked up in kitschy coulours, playing fancy horns and with even fancier slogans all over. Buri nazar wale, tera muh kala types, some philosophical ones too.

Really, it's the spirit you can't contain. That's why I don't like calling Delhi just a city. It's really, an experience. :)

And 'wow!' at bumping into the Indian Ocean guys! :D Lucky you! :D

See I told you I get over excited. This is almost a post now. ;)

Can't wait for the next part. :)

[Google said my comment was too large to be processed. Boo! Now even Google makes fun of me! Damn.]

11:43 AM

@scorpiogenius
I dint go to ladakh man...had to cancel cos of the bad situation there..instead went all around himachal pradesh...and it was heaven!!

I completely forgot abt the contest running there...just posted there:D

@nryn
coming soon:D

@shaz
thnks man...more coming...

@tara
woah!!now that comment is longer than my blog...a true delhiite speaking there..You cant help but love this charming city..
This was my first time in Delhi and am sad that I couldnt explore more...Chandni chowk was one of the places that I wanted to spend a day..a landslide during my return from manali spoiled my plans for that..so I'll be coming back to Delhi with more days at hand...yea..delhi is an experience ;)

12:47 PM

Nice!! :-) I love the way u write...there is no information overload thereby killing hte whole effect...
just the right amount for an appetizer leaving anticipation for more!
Keep it coming!!!

8:33 PM

Sad yaar you couldn't stay longer, there are so many places in Delhi to see, or just laze around.

Chandni Chowk, went there just last week to buy books in wholesale, have great memories of the place. Don't know if you noticed, the road leading up to the Red Fort is dotted with photo studios, was a frequent visitor when I was still doing photography. :( And ever since the Metro station opened, it's a usual hangout for collegians like me, we call it CC. :)

And no, Chandni Chowk isn't like what they showed in Delhi 6. Not even a little. Rakeysh sir committed a big blunder there, I mean you can't really get the same sort of settings and feel in some Udaipur ka village. No wonder the film flopped, quite badly in fact. And yes, no one really uses words like burgerchaap kahinke. Humph! :/

Yes, do come back to Delhi some time, there's a lot more left to see. :)

****
Notes to self- Tara dear, stop getting carried away. You are getting a little too hyper now, we all know you love this place, but there's a limit. Don't irritate a poor soul with your I-love-Delhi bhashan, but I know this is futile. You are just manufactured this way. Can't help some manufacturing defects.
****

I am sure you don't mind, am increasing your comments yaar! ;)

8:38 PM

Welcome back Praveen! I've been waiting in particular for updates from you following what perhaps was an epic trip of sorts!

Wonderful pictures as always! Cheers!

4:19 PM

@ Aswathy
there's already a lot of info overload on web...so I thought I should hold back my load;)

@ Tara
I've seen chandni chowk in pics too, not only from rakeysh's film. But I loved that whole setting..the lanes, the crowds....and I loved the movie too...:D ..though I dont know how much justice he did to Delhi cos am not familiar with the place..

and its ok to get hyper about a place u love:P

@rakesh
thanks man...:D

7:05 PM

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