Tag Archives: Dehradun

Royal Enfield embarks on its first ride to the Land of the Gods – Tour of Uttarakhand

First edition of Tour of Uttarakhand begins September 15th, 2017

Royal Enfield, the world’s fastest growing motorcycle brand has opened registrations for the first ever edition of the Tour of Uttarakhand for its customers and aficionados. Leisure motorcycling enthusiasts can register for the most recent addition to Royal Enfield’s coveted line-up of rides at https://royalenfield.com/tou/register/. Commencing on the 15th of September from Dehradun, the Royal Enfield cavalcade will traverse across one of India’s most picturesque regions, the home of the Himalayas before culminating at Dehradun itself on the 24th of September.

The ride to the land of the Gods will be a journey like never before for the participants, taking them through the lesser explored regions of the Himalayas, forest reserves, wildlife and to Mana, the last village on the Tibetan border. The riding terrain will give them a scenic view of landscapes, barren snow-capped mountains and frozen water bodies while allowing for an intriguing pure motorcycling experience. Whether appealing to the explorer in oneself or alluring the ones looking to break out of the monotony of everyday life, The Tour of Uttrakhand will be an experience worth cherishing for one and all.

Flagging off from the capital city of Uttarakhand, the convoy will make its way to Harsil, Nelang Valley, Niti Pass, Auli, Kausani, Jim Corbett and back, covering a distance of close to 1,500 km for over 10 days. Royal Enfield has been pioneering leisure motorcycling in India and with the Tour of Uttarakhand, it aims to provide a novel riding experience by chartering into an unexplored yet fascinating territory.

Royal Enfield aims to provide “pure motorcycling” experience, wherein the man, machine and terrain come together as one. In its constant endeavour to support and encourage the riders to explore the unexplored terrains, Tour of Uttarakhand is one such initiative that will bring them closer to fulfilling their need for exploration in the home of the Himalayas.

The oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production, Royal Enfield made its first motorcycle in 1901. A division of Eicher Motors Limited, Royal Enfield has created the mid-sized motorcycle segment in India with its unique and distinctive modern classic bikes. With its new manufacturing base in Chennai, India, Royal Enfield is able to grow its production rapidly against a surge in demand for its motorcycles. With more than 50% growth every year for the last 5 years, Royal Enfield is fast becoming a very important player in the global mid-size motorcycle market and is working towards re-inventing this space with motorcycles that are evocative and engaging and great fun to ride.

Royal Enfield also organizes and supports many motorcycling events and rides globally, more prominently the Rider Mania – an annual gathering of Royal Enfield riders from all over the world to the lovely beaches of Goa, and the Himalayan Odyssey, the most arduous motorcycle ride over some of the toughest roads and highest mountain passes in the Himalayas. Royal Enfield also conducts the popular ‘One Ride’ where people around the world ride out on their motorcycles on the first Sunday of April.

To know more about #TOU2017 visit: https://royalenfield.com/tou/

Kempty Falls, Mussourie, India’s answer to Niagra Falls (???)

April 28, 2015: Early morning we headed to Kempty Falls in Mussourie via road from Dehradun. The journey on a narrow path amidst hilly terrain was breathtakingly beautiful. The hills, the greenery, the vegetation, the monkeys, small waterfalls, clouds…all added to provide us the unique experience. We stopped the car at many places just to stop by and enjoy the beauty of hills. On the way we caught the glimpse of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Indo-Tibetan Border Academy, Many wonderful boarding schools and Colleges. Yea, we missed visiting Ruskin Bonds House which my daughter Tanya was very keen to visit. Never mind…next time!

So coming to Kempty Falls which I was visiting after many years (visited as a child) and it was just the same, I mean there is no effort to make it tourism friendly except that there is a ropeway now to ferry passenger and yes, commercial activity has increased manifold. So finally driving up and then down, several kilometers, we reached Kempty Falls. What added to our joy was that we met the same family who were our companions in the train enroute Dehradun and their children had become great friends of my daughter. Once again united, children had great time at Kempty Falls. We loved the falls amidst thick forests of Mussourie where fall was making great sound and people were having great time under the fall.

So for the uninitiated, The Kempty Falls are situated on the hilly tracks of Uttarakhand, India, 13 km from Mussourie on the Chakrata Road. It is nearly 1364 meters above sea level, at 78°-02’East longitude and 30° -29’North latitude. The Kempty Falls, and the area around is surrounded by high mountain ranges at an altitude of 4500 feet.

Kempty Falls were developed as a tourist destination by a British officer John Mekinan, around 1835. The name Kempty is probably derived from the word ‘camp-tea’, A stream of water running throughout the year starting from the southwest of village Banglow ki kandi moves northwest and falls from 4,500 ft. Splitting into five other cascades, the water falls a further 40 ft.

Indeed, the place filled me with wonderful memories. It was really hard to get our eyes off the mesmerizing Kempty falls. Though I decided not to step into the pool formed by the falls and join its game. Had I taken the dip or splashed the cold water on my friends and family, enjoyment would have been greater. But yes, the place filled me with extra energy, soaking us in the fun and frolic.

Though I couldn’t help myself comparing it with Niagra Falls (The US & Canada) which I visited 10 years ago and was expecting something close to that…but I was hugely disappointed.

But you should not miss visiting Kempty Falls while in Dehradun just for its fantastic drive… I loved the day in Mussourie, it will be etched in my memory forever!

Gangaji ki Aarti on Har-ki-Pauri, Haridwar!

Mesmerizing, enchanting, lingering experience…
…Visit once for the entire soulful experience!

As goes the name – Haridwar, it is indeed Hari ka dwaar where you enter to meet the divinity in its full glory. So much so that even Haridwar station is made in the shape of a temple. Quite excited to be in Haridwar, we reached there on the afternoon of April 29, 2015 from Dehradun, to be welcomed by courteous staff of Hotel Chitra Heritage, located close to station. After having lunch in the hotel room and a quick nap and a quicker shower we got ready for the evening Aarti at Har-ki-Pauri. My husband Mukund and daughter Tanya, having absolutely no clue how Har-ki-Pauri looked like, they were quite fascinated to catch the first glimpse of green and clean Ganga from the bridge. Ghat surrounded by small – time sellers selling diyas, flowers, garlands, toys, Ganga Jal Cans, Bangles, Sindoor what not delighted Tanya even more. She wanted to check stuff with every seller and found everything quite cheap.

Moreover, the song playing in the backdrop – Ganga Maiyya mein jab tak ke paani rahe, mere sajna teri zindgani rahe…added to the aura of Gangaji. After faced paced, highly commercialized life of Mumbai, religious Haridwar was quite a change. With temples all around us, we were in for a religious sojourn. My daughter a true-blue Mumbaikar, young & modern teenager was too delighted to be there, to my utter surprise. Gangaji at Har-ki-Pauri is quite clean but could have been cleaner. I think people are lending ears to Modiji’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan…

Enjoy the Photo-Essay:

We moved towards Clock Tower which is closer to Ghat where Aarti was to be performed. When we reached around 6:15 PM it was moderately crowded but as 15-20 minutes passed, huge crowds gathered on the Malviya ghat. We were seated on the opposite side of temple where Aarti was to be performed. We had a clear view of the temple ghat and were quite happy about it. Aarti started at sharp 7 PM, and what an experience it turned out to be! Absolutely divine. Lanterns flowing in Gangaji and several Pandits performing Aarti with life size diyas, it was a sight to remember. I am still finding it difficult to get over it…just mesmerizing! I felt one with divinity – the Supreme power, huge crowds totally immersed in Aarti!

Now a little backdrop of the Aarti – Each evening as the sun’s last rays reflect off the boundless waters of Mother Ganga, people gather for Ganga Aarti at Har-Ki-Pauri. This divine light ceremony is filled with song, prayer, ritual and a palpable sense of the divine. Aarti is the beautiful ceremony in which diyas (oil lamps) are offered to God. Aarti is being done to the deity in the Gangaji temple, and simultaneously on the banks of the Ganges to Mother Ganga.
Ganga Aarti Hardwar is performed at Har-ki-Pauri Ghat. Har Ki Pauri is one of the most famous place to take holy dip in the river Ganga. Ganga Aarti means prayer for the River Ganga. Aarti is an ancient Hindu ritual offered to Gods, holy things, spiritual leaders or to the guests. Aarti word is from the Sanskrit language which means remover of darkness (ignorance). Aarti is performed at the Har Ki Pauri Ghat which is built in 1st century by King Vikram. Bhratuhari was brother of King Vikram who meditated here for Lord Vishnu and Lord Vishnu appeared here to give him blessing. That is why the place named Har Ki Pauri (Foot Prints of God). This is also the same place where drop of nector fell down and that is why it is also prime attraction in Kumbh Mela Festival in Haridwar.

Ganga is not only a river. She is truly a Divine Mother. She rushes forth from the Himalayas as the giver of life, carrying purity, bliss and liberation in Her waters. Ganga is not only water. She is nectar – the nectar of life, the nectar of liberation. She is a source of inspiration to all who lay eyes on her ceaseless, boundless, rushing current. She irrigates not only our farms, but also our hearts, minds and souls. She is the Mother Goddess – giving freely to all with no discrimination, hesitation or expectation. Her waters purify all who bathe in them, all who drink from them. In fact, She is the remover of contamination.
The essence of the aarti ceremony is that all day long God offers us light – the light of the sun, the light of life, and the light of His (Her) blessings. Aarti is a time when we say, “Thank You,” and we offer back the light of our thanks, the light of our love and the light of our devotion.

Aarti in full splendour:

Ganga Aarti is organized twice a day every evening – Morning at sunrise and evening at sunset. Timing is different in summer and winter according to sunset and sunrise timings. Evening Ganga Aarti is more famous. Ganga Aarti has two parts. First part is offering to the river ganga to get blessing. Offerings are done with backgrounds of live chants in Sanskrit language. After short break of 5 mins after offering the second part starts which is Hindi Song for River Ganga. The preist also light the Big Diyas (Multile wicks are soaked in Ghee and the holder is made from copper) during this song. These diyas are waved in clock wise direction towards River Ganga.

We were really lucky that inspite of being late, everything fell into place for us, we got the right place to view so that we could view the Aarti in its full glory and splendor. Luckily the place was not that crowded too. After Aarti, we performed deep daan in Gangaji for our ancestors.

But yes, there are few lessons to be taken like you should reach little early to get the complete view of the ceremony. Avoid giving donations to the so called volunteers, instead you should give donations to Ganga Sabha so that it is utilized for the right purpose.
What is life without few learnings every now and then…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off to Dehradun, Can I miss Sahastradhara?

I am planning a trip to Dehradun, Mussourrie, Hardwar & Rishikesh, end April. Besides extensive sight – seeing in these places, I have zeroed in to breathtakingly beautiful Sahastradhara which is on the way to Mussourie. I had visited this place as a child, and now I am a mother myself…obviously visiting these places with my family. I am really looking forward to this trip.

While researching on Dehradun, first spot which crossed my mind was Sahastradhara. What could be better than visiting Dehradun and revisiting my childhood? So you want to know why I am so keen on visiting the place. I would love to share with you…but if you have some places to share with me in and around Dehradun, then please feel free to share with me. You can post your experience of Visiting Dehradun & Hardwar.

To begin with, Sahastradhara, literally means “Thousand fold spring”. Sahastradhara is a beautiful waterfall located 11 kilometers from Dehradun. Sahastradhara is famous for its sulphur water springs which contain medicinal properties and can cure skin ailments. Flanked by the Baldi River and caves on each side, Sahastradhara is renowned for its natural beauty and is a popular picnic spot. A year round destination, Sahastradhara is best visited in the monsoon when the water comes gushing off the cliff, but that I cannot help. The water in Sahastradhara contains lime due to which is noticeable by the deposits it leaves behind. Popular with tourists, Sahastradhara is a relaxing getaway from the bustling city of Dehradun. The Baldi river and the caves provide a breathtaking view.

Sahastradhara lies on 30.387231 latitude and 78.131606 longitudes. The place has an ecstatic beauty of nature where water drips from limestone stalactites, making the water sulphur abundant and thus the place is also called as sulphur springs. It is sulphur water spring of relatively lower temperature than its surroundings. It is a warehouse of excellent beauty of caves, waterfalls and steppe farming by local people. Its extreme magnificent essence of nature thrive people from faraway places. It surely rejuvenates the soul and mind. All the transport facility like buses, taxi, autos or cabs are available to get to the Sahastradhara.

A ropeway is provided to reach the hill top in Sahastradhara to find a park and a temple. The view is pleasant from the hill top. A very old Shiva temple along with guru Dronacharya cave is present in this location, providing a good mythological scenario and an essence of historical importance to the place. People visit and worship here. This place is also housing a manmade water amusement park and to attract the tourist from various places. Swings and water slides in the Joyland Water Park adds the fun and making this a very popular picnic spot.

This place has numerous hotels for stay and restaurants for the food. Having food besides the nature adds up the pleasantries and keeps you fresh and healthy.

The nearby villages increase the beauty as they thrive on steppe farming. The hills cut in the form of steps are marvellous to watch and is simply a visual delight. The main season is summer and October to March in winter, during which the water has its natural flow.

I am coming Sahastradhara…

Uttarakhand riding on motorsport to take tourism into top gear

For the second consecutive year, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board is co-organizing the Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally. With the rally, the mountain state has brought motorsport firmly back on its tourism calendar. The Second Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally will run from February 1 to February 4.

SKI-RUN-FORTUNER

Uttarakhand relies on tourism as its economic mainstay, and the focus of the rally is on getting tourists back to its green vales after the
devastating floods in June 2013. Secretary Tourism Mr Uma Kant Panwar said motorsport is a valuable addition to Uttarakhand’s adventure portfolio, targeted at mid and high-end tourists.

“The rally, which is organized on international standards, showcases to the world that the roads in the state are great. The rally will pass by
some of our most loved tourism hotspots like the world-class ski resort at Auli, and Ramnagar, which flanks the Jim Corbett National Wild life Park,” said Mr Panwar.

The Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally will have 35 teams driving cars and SUVs, going across about 1,000 kilometers in the state. Each team will comprise a driver and a navigator.

In order to ensure that there are no traffic disruptions, Uttarakhand
Adventure Car Rally will follow the Time- Speed-Distance (TSD) format. This is the sober form of motorsport that allows competitors to go slow in thickly populated areas, and stick to specified speed limits at all times.

The Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally will touch some of the most beautiful tourist hotspots of the state. It will begin from Dehradun on February 2 and move via Dev Prayag, Karna Prayag, Rudra Prayag and Nand Prayag to the ski resort at Auli. With newly-laid out, smooth roads, the picturesque drive leads to the celebrated snow-tops, a delight for skiers and sight-seeing. On the way is Shivpuri, which draws huge domestic and foreign tourism for white water rafting.

On Day Two, the rally will come down from Auli to Ramnagar, which flanks the Jim Corbett National Wildlife Park, again a tourist hotspot. The rally will end at Dehradun on Day Three.

Mr Uma Kant Panwar said that the rally marks the resurgence of tourism in the state. “Uttarakhand has world-class holiday destinations for families and youth alike. The roads are good again, and we invite all tourists to enjoy the unique holiday experience here,” he said. Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally adds to the state’s adventure tourism calendar, along with skiing, mountaineering, white water rafting and mesmerizing encounters in the wildlife parks.

The rally is being organized by Himalayan Motorsport. This is the premier Shimla-based motorsport club which organizes the Raid De Himalaya, one of the top-ten toughest rallies of the world. Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally is being supported by Maruti Suzuki and JK Tyres.

Mr Vijay Parmar, the president of Himalayan Motorsport, said that after the internationally popular Himalayan Rally, motorsport has been re-started in Uttarakhand on a small scale. “Motorsport has great potential to grow in Uttarakhand, and will showcase its excellent tourism destinations nationally and internationally. The state has a super network of roads, and more roads are being constructed in highly picturesque locales,” he said.

The Himalayan Rally, which used to go through Uttarakhand, was last
organized almost 25 years ago.