Hey everyone...! We finally completed our trip to Rishikesh on the morning of 8th December 2019. You may ask... Why was this trip so important? we tried to complete this trip almost 4-5 times and went out but faced some issues and had to return back home on 2 occasions. The first time when we tried to cover this route on bicycles. You can read about it here. The second time, which wasn't mentioned anywhere, we tried to do this route on a bike. The bike we selected was a Pulsar LS135 which belonged to Kanishk. Although it was a pretty old bike, it never gave us any major problem to not select it for a short trip. At that time, we started good and maintaining a speed of about 50 Kmph and after 17 km was done, the bike came to a sudden halt and refused to start no matter what we did. We tried for about 45 minutes everything ranging from cleaning the sparkplugs, checking all the fuse, checking every bit of wiring, checking the fuel, trying to kickstart the bike, electronic ignition and also the desi jugaad - putting the bike in gear and pushing it; but all was in vain. We then had to push the bike and return home. After that also, we made attempts planning for a Rishikesh trip but somehow, in the end, it didn't work out.
A new start
This December, Kanishk had a new bike, a brand new Apache RTR 180. Also, my roommate got himself a used, but in a really good condition, an Apache RTR 160. Both the bikes were fairly powerful and we decided that even if one of them fails, we will tow it with the other till a repair shop could be found.
This time, we were determined to go, no matter what. The only concern was our own safety, we would be riding at night in the chilly winter night. After completing our shifts at work on Saturday, 7th December 2019, and a bit of rest, we departed for Rishikesh at about 9:30 pm. The departure location was from my home. We stopped for a refuel and went towards Rajnagar, from where we would take the route of Muradnagar-Meerut-Muzaffarpur-Roorkie-Haridwar-Rishikesh. Click here to get the complete route in google maps.
Till Rajnagar, we followed the overpass and then faced heavy traffic. We faced our first hurdle when Pankaj slipped on some mud on the road and low-sided the bike. But to our luck, he escaped without any injuries. Then carefully, we crossed Meerut and took a halt at a Dhaba as the cold was getting intense and on high speed, the cold wind was seeping into our Jackets and passing through multiple layers of warm clothes and reaching our skin but it wasn't a great issue.
We had some chai and sat by the fire that the Dhaba owner prepared for us. I doubt that will any restaurant with a 3-5 star rating provides these services even after charging hefty amounts that these dhabas provide for just having tea from them. After resting for a bit, we proceeded to complete the rest of the trip and crossed Roorkie with ease. Till now, we were feeling the cold, but it was tolerable. After Roorkie, we reached an area where there were large areas of dark/unlit roads with no buildings or anything in sight. The cold in these parts was intense and the fog was much like a blanket on the road or you can compare it with a flowing river of dense fog going across the road. We were barely doing around 30-40 Kmph on these stretches and there was jungle on both sides of the road so it was pretty scary. By now, I was chilled to the bone, all thanks to some permeable patches on my Quechua Jacket. Although the jacket works fine in most cases but failed miserably in high-speed winds. The whole of the jacket was warm enough, but the permeable patches at the sides and the underarm area were allowing cold winds to seep in rendering any and every layer of clothing on my body useless. I highly recommend this jacket to anyone as it is really good at keeping the cold out and being stylish at the same time, but don't go for it if you have to travel on bikes or face high-speed winds.
After a long ordeal, we found another roadside Dhaba and stopped there for a break. There I came to know that not only me but Kanishk and Pankaj, both were chilled. After warming up for a bit and having the hot tea, we resumed our journey. Initially, we had planned to reach Haridwar and have a long halt there to watch the sunrise and the morning aarti (worship). However, we reached Haridwar much earlier than expected and there was no reason to wait there till the morning. We decided to continue forwards to Rishikesh and rest there so that we can continue our activities throughout the day. The Rajaji Tiger reserve gates were also opened so we reached Rishikesh Super early- so early that we couldn't even find a single hotel to stay in. We searched for a place to stay and looked everywhere, but there was no place to stay. Only a hostel to stay but it was expensive as per the rooms. So, we decided to pass the morning time huddling by fire and search for a hotel after the city wakes up. After about an hour, we proceed to search for a hotel again, but this time we were dead tired and needed rest urgently. After a few unsuccessful attempts, we found a hotel and went to sleep till noon. At noon, we went for the rafting session and it was an intense experience. The whitewater rapids and the boat riding over them all the while we trying to hold on to the boat and row it at the same time. I can't express it in words, hence I recorded a POV footage of the complete rafting session. You can see the complete footage here on youtube. It is said that everything happens for a reason. For the rafting, we were late and we had to literally rush the raft along the river to reach the end before dark. As a result, we experienced the best sunset at the end of the session when the raft was just going along the calm waters of Ganga. After the rafting, we went back to our room for a quick change of clothes to dry ones and visited the adjoining local market. But by this time, we were dead tired and after a few minutes of walking in the market, we decided to have dinner and slept till the morning of the next day.
The checkout time of the hotel was at noon, and as per previous plans, we were scheduled to checkout after visiting the local attractions in Rishikesh. However, after judging by the time and situation, we decided to checkout by 10:00 a.m and then after visiting Rishikesh, we would leave for Haridwar and leave for home in the afternoon. After spending a bit of time photographing the banks of the river and having the morning tea, we decided to leave for home as we didn't want to face the brutal cold again.
So, at about 11:30 a.m. we left Rishikesh and the next stop was at Haridwar for the Lunch. We took a brief walk along the banks of the Ganges and inside a tiny lane was a restaurant which wasn't much large or crowded at all, but provided us with really awesome food and that too at a very low cost. After that, we waited for a while at the banks of the river and I took the time to try the eagles swooping the waste floating in the river mistaking them as food, but none of the pictures turned out good enough.
After that, we left Haridwar and reached home by the end of the day and slept peacefully for the night as we needed to be at the office the next day and the vicious life of office - home - office continues even today.
This trip was not an easy one, neither for Kanishk and Pankaj, who were driving the whole night after waking up early morning and working at the office the complete day nor for me, staying awake at the pillion seat after that long shift at work and at the same time battling cold and high-speed wind all thanks to an almost perfect jacket. We did it because we wanted to... we had the urge and the dedication to go against everyone saying that "since you failed earlier, this time also you will fail." So.. have you ever done a trip like this? I would love to listen to your trip. You can tell me about it by emailing it at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment down below.