Travelogue

THE DREAM RUN

I was always attracted by the hills. Trips to Nepal, Ooty, Darjeeling and Gangtok with my parents at a very young age left some unclear vision in my mind of the hills and mountains. Subsequently, at later years, trekking escapades to Sandakphu, Har-Ke-Dun etc. with my brother, sister and friends made my attraction towards mountains more pronounced. Then, my next love affair started with the bikes when I possessed my first ever Enfield Bullet Std. 350.With it came unusual mobility to move around at a relatively cheaper cost. In short span of becoming a member of The Saturday Club Kolkata, I met two of my good friends, Indrajeet Sen and his elder brother Hero Sen, who were equally passionate about riding their Royal Enfields. They were the ones who had, by then already started a close knit association of Bullet lovers in Kolkata, called ‘EASTERN BULLS’ which happens to be the only known registered club of Enfield owners in the city. Now it boasts of about 80 odd members aimed at helping each other to maintain their bikes and at the same time provide help to the members in any other way possible to solve any specific problem.

Idea of undertaking a long and grueling trip to Ladakh and back on bullets was mooted during one of our discussions in late 2005.We needed time to organize it well as we knew it required meticulous planning and above all arranging finance. In the meantime Indra (Indrajeet) being a veteran of all India tour already at a very young age of 22, got in touch with a similar organization in Chandigarh and thus made it possible for us to seek assistance during such an arduous journey. After a great deal of efforts, Castrol India came forward to help us out financially. Obviously, we are extremely grateful to Castrol for being such a sport and do realize nothing would have been possible without their timely help. Schedules and logistics were drawn out and final arrangements made to start from Kolkata around early July 2006 to beat the onset of heavy monsoon. Finally the D-day arrived and we were flagged off from in front of the famous Victoria Memorial on 2nd July 2006 at around 9am by the GM of Castrol India. Initial plan was that a group of four of us would join the trip comprising Subro Pratim Dutta, Srikant Banerjee, Indrajit Sen, and I, Arijit Bhattacharya. Despite all efforts put in by our friend Indra, unfortunately he had to drop out at the eleventh hour because of some domestic compulsion. Even then he gave us the company by riding with us on that day till Burdwan and returned. This was a big psychological setback for us. Eventually, three of us who undertook the whole journey were my other good friends Subro Pratim Dutta an engineer by profession, Srikanth Banerjee, a businessman, and myself.

Our first halt after leaving Kolkata was at Topchachi near Dhanbad, Jharkhand.We covered around 350 KM to reach there by dusk. Despite dismal road conditions we encountered on the way we made it to Allahabad at 3rd July and then Kanpur covering almost 1000KM, thanks to Castrol Active 4T 20W50 which did a marvelous job and kept us in good spirit all through. At Kanpur we were met by Castrol’s representative and also attended a Mechanics’ meet there to learn more about the efficacy of the new formulation of Castrol Active 4T 20W 50 oil. Then after further loss of time following two minor punctures, we drove in to Karnal, Haryana on July 5 and by mid day on July 6 we reached Chandigarh and lodged ourselves in a guest house there. So far the journey was uneventful with the exception of a few minor mishaps. At Chandigarh we were received warmly by the members of a club called Road Survivors, formed by the local Bullet enthusiasts. We were overwhelmed by their hospitality. They also helped us in getting our bikes repaired and serviced for the next phase of our impending mountainous journey and wished us luck.

The very next day we bade them good-bye and preceded towards Manali, one of our prized destinations. We were delighted to find the roads to Manali were as good as any. We broke our journey in Manali for some rest and site seeing for a couple of days. We visited the famous Vashist Temple, took bath in hot spring to refresh ourselves. After two nights of rest and recharging ourselves we made our way towards Leh, the capital of Cold Desert- Ladakh. In between, on our way we spent a night each at Jispa and Pang, two picturesque locations at high altitude. On the way to Pang we crossed two important milestones Rothang Pass (the land of the dead) and Barlachla Pass at 4000m and 4590m respectively.What made our journey more memorable was the rugged beauty of the region, river crossings and water falls. All this hardly compensated for the miserable battered roads which took a heavy toll on our bodies and bikes. Pang was a barren place, bitterly cold and food was hardly edible, because of the nature of cooking by the locals without spices and salts. Moreover, the night was spent in a top exposed tent in freezing cold as this was the only place available for us to stay at Pang. We could hardly get a wink of sleep. The road from Pang to Ladakh at the start was much improved however.

We went through plain fields with mountains on both the sides. It stretched for miles. After the eventful sleepless night at Pang again our luck ran out. This time we had to ride through more terrible stretches to reach the second highest pass on Earth, the Tangalangla Pass at 17500ft. Our joy knew no bound but was somewhat short lived because of the lack of oxygen and seemed as the most distressful of the ride of all so far. Less air at that altitude and tired bodies due to little rest, it turned to be most unpleasant experience for us all. After conquering the TangalangLa, on the way we crossed small villages Upshi and Karu. At Karu we came across an Indian Army base. Once at Karu we breathed a sigh of relief and regained our rhythm and composure after some rest and reasonably good food. We landed at Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, at11500ft. Leh was mild in comparison. The temperature was comfortable and pleasant.We were delighted to find Juma the so called best Enfield mechanic in Leh.We finally got our bikes thoroughly checked there. After three grueling days of rough riding we tasted some good food at Leh for a change. That very day we secured our permits from the Dm’s office to visit Nubra valley and Pangong Lake which we were looking forward to for long. Next day, we left in early hours of the morning for the highest motorable road in the World, the Khardungla Pass situated at 18380ft. We were very lucky to encounter a small amount of snowfall, though it was very cold out there. The view was breathtaking with the snowcapped mountains all around. We had coffee at the Army canteen, took some pictures at the locations and were ready to proceed to Nubra Valley.Then as bad luck would have it, my bike started giving trouble.We knew that it would be rather a risk job to take my bike along to Nubra and therefore after consulting Subroda and Srikanth, we decided to quit Nubra Valley and return to Leh and got the bikes thoroughly checked by Juma again. We were explained that the valve was not working to the fullest and hence total compression was failing.Though we were little bit disheartened about not making to Nubra Valley we were very excited and exaulted by conquering the Highest Motorable Road in the World, KhardungLa, which is said to be among the 10 toughest stretch of roads in the world.

On the 15th we left for the renowned Pangong Tso (lake), bordering China some 150km from Leh.There also we had to cross a very tough road over ChangLa (third highest Pass in the World),at 17000ft.While going to Pangong lake we unfortunately met with a small accident though it could have been much worse.Subroda while riding down to a crossing, gone for panic braking seeing a BRO truck standing in the middle of the road. As a result, he skidded on loose sand and toppled rather badly and Srikath, following just behind also could not control his speed hit Subroda’s bike and then rammed against the BRO truck.We thanked the almighty that nobody got that hurt except a few bruises and small damages.We reached Pangong lake around 3pm on the same day.The place was awesome, a huge lake like this in the middle of the Himalayas at 14000ft surrounded by mountains. The Lake itself is130km long of which ¼ is in India and ¾ is in Tibet.We learned from the locals that the water of the lake on our side is saline while it is sweet on the side of Tibet, China.The colour of the lake was bluish green and the colour changed at night and dawn from deep blue to orangish respectively. We spent the night at Pangong Lake. The night sky was magnificent. Brightly starlit clear sky was a sight to remember. On the 16th we returned to Leh.The road on our way back from Pangong Tso was the toughest of the whole journey considering appalling conditions of it and its inclinations. Before reaching ChangLa, we had to climb four of five steep 45 degree or more inclined passes where even 500 cc Bullet had a tough time climbing. Srikanth and myself with Std. 350cc at times had to climb down from the bike and push it up the hill on 1st gear to reduce our effort.

We stayd at Leh overnight. Next morning we decided to head back home through Kargil and Drass. Drass in Kashmir apparently is the second coldest inhabited place on Earth. On 9th January 2005, we believe it had recorded (-)60 degrees, yet surprisingly it was mild on that very day, so much so that to prove the point Srikanth took a bath in cold water.We were, however, disappointed having to stay the night at Drass as the food was bad to say the least and had to retire to bed hungry. From Kargil onwards we were happy to see Indian Army Jawans in full battle gear protecting our country. We also had chances to mingle with some of the Jawans.They were particularly happy to learn that we undertook this arduous journey on bikes all the way from Kolkata. The very next day on July 18th we left Drass early to go to Patnitop, but sadly just after leaving Drass I experienced a flat tyre because of a sharp stone cutting into it. It took us 2-3 hours to get it repaired from some 8-9 km away. While we went about trying to repair the tyre, Subroda stayed back to take some shots with his camera. We got the tyre fixed and carried on the journey. At Zozila Pass we got down from our bikes and had our license verified by Army Jawans.This place was rather unique in a way for us because it was a place from where we could watch Pakistan soldiers across the border and for this reason, as we understood it remains open from 3AM till 10.30AM only each day and after which nothing is permitted to pass.

The road was also a very narrow one. If an Army truck came along from the opposite direction we had to literally squeeze out our bodies towards the gorge at the point of crossing. Looking back this was one road which we dreaded most in our entire journey. We halted briefly at Sonmarg and enjoyed a proper lunch after quite sometime. This is a place famous for its picturesque view and greenery. As we were late in starting from Drass because of the tyre mishap, we reached Patnitop late, after passing through Srinagar. As we were running out of time we had to skip riding the Shikara on Dal Lake but, nevertheless, we got a good number of snaps of the House- boats and the famous Dal Lake itself. On the19th early morning we left Patnitop for a long journey towards Chandigarh.We had our breakfast at Udampur.There we learned we could take another shortcut to Chandigarh whereby we did not have to cross Jammu and the distance would be considerably shorter. We took the route and were very happy to find roads were free from traffic except one or two Army vehicles once in a while. After riding around 140km or so we came across the famous Ranjit Sagar Dam. While crossing it we were held up by local police. We were ignorant of the fact that it was a restricted defence area and as such were caught trespassing. They insisted on our going back 140km to take the original route. After great deal of pleading and checking our ID’s and baggages they let us through. We rode via Pathankot and spent the night at a Motel just outside Jallandar.

The ride from Patnitop to Jallandar was really a hectic one, and sudden change in climate from moderate to extreme was very painful. The next morning on July 20th as we were about to get started for Delhi, we found that Subroda’s tyre had a puncture again. We got it repaired from a nearby Petrolpump and rode down traveling almost 400km from Jallandar to reach Delhi. We booked ourselves at Yatri Niwas next to the New Delhi station. The night was calm and cozy at the Yatri Niwas with the AC running in full flow. The next day was a rather pathetic experience for us all. It was a herculean task to book three of our bikes on board the Rajdhani, in which we had also booked ourselves. On the 22nd July we finally reached Howrah at around 2pm where friends and family met us with petrol cans to fill up the tanks and to ride back home.

This was indeed a memorably adventurous journey which all of us enjoyed thoroughly. What was remarkable was the bond friendship and commanderie exhibited by one and all to overcome worst situation.

I must take this opportunity at this juncture to thank one and all who have helped us to make it possible- all our friends, members of EasternBulls, Saturday Club, Chandigarh Bullet Club (Road Survivors) and above all Castrol India, who have come forward to sponsor this 5000km trip in 20 days, a journey of a lifetime, encompassing rugged terrains in Himalayas, capped with stunning views and some adventurous mishaps. It was indeed a Dream Run to remember a life time.

Arijit Bhattacharya

RIDE TO THE BUDDHA LAND

This ride has been really special for me. Many will see it as a ride but for me it was a break from too many new things flooding in my life. You often tend to get that lost kind of feeling when everything in your life suddenly starts changing in a good yet unexpected manner. It had been 3 months that I was posted in Kolkata in an IT firm . I wanted to get rid of the feeling of unknown streets and culture by exploring the in and out of Kolkata . For me this was only possible if I got my bike from Pune to Kolkata. This ride was the follow on of exploring Kolkata. One can’t just sit at home with that lazy ass in front of the laptop or TV if you have a Royal Enfield in your parking.

Well, it was 18th December 2014 and I was literally grazing the calender for the upcoming holidays while siting in the office . To my surprise I saw a probability of getting 4 days holidays in a row during the Christmas . Now what I did next was very spontaneous and didn’t even think once before taking the decision. I went to my senior colleague who was more of a friend than senior and asked him “Bro,you wanna ride to Darjeeling next week ?” . He glanced at the calendar in the task bar and without even thinking the answer was “YES,lets do it”. Have you ever had that sudden adrenalin rush in your body when some plan forms instantaneously ?. Well,that was my situation . All pumped up and eager to chalk out this trip. But , there was a glitch. We didn’t have these 4 day holidays in a row as 26th December was a working day. Without even chalking the plan out ,I asked my manager if I could skip this Friday . And the answer I got was “Umm.. ok ,you can take a leave”. I was at the peak of my happiness as everything was falling in right place.

Prasad,my friend had to bluff the leave by stating that he had some NOC work regarding his bike and it would take a whole day at the RTO for doing it. So,now we had holidays,we had bikes,we had that anxiousness . Everyday after 18th December ,we started taking out time from the office hours to chalk out this epic first long ride of ours. First things first, hit the google maps page and check for the Kolkata -Darjeeling route. 650Km one way . We were over confident about the road conditions and were planning to accomplish this in a day’s duration. But ,as the saying goes,”Too many expectations lead to disappointment. We will come to that later.

4 days before the ride
Have you ever experienced this situation ,that everything is planned and something happens that puts your plan in doubts. Same shit happened to me. The thing which I was hoping should be the last thing to stop our ride. VIRAL FEVER. Yes you read it right. I was taking all the precautions that I shouldn’t get this shitty viral fever as it was winters. That day I emptied all the stock that the med-store near my house had and prayed that I feel fine by the time the ride date comes closer. To my luck , just a day before the ride I was absolutely fine and healthy . All set up for the ride.

8 hours before the ride
Prasad and I were suppose to ride after 8 hours . We were packing our saddle bags and checking all the things that we need to carry along. The excitement was building up . But, to add some twist, Prasad came across some emergency and wanted to cancel the ride. And this was just 8 hrs before the ride. I can never forget this epic moment and I am proud of him the way he handled the situation and decided to ride on as per the plan . Early morning at 6:00 am We stacked our saddle bags on our beloved bikes and kick started our most epic journey to Darjeeling. It was so cold early morning that we couldn’t even press that clutch lever by an inch. By 8 am we made it to the Azad Hind Dhaba on NH2 and added almost 4–5 piping hot coffee cups to our chilled tummy. We enjoyed holding the coffee cups more than having the coffee as the cups felt so warm to our frozen hands. By now the sun had come out and it was pleasant enough to rest our bum on that seat and ride on. Till some 70 odd kms the NH 2 was butter-smooth,but we couldn’t cruise those soft rubber tyres anymore on them as we had to take a diversion from Burdhwan and proceed to the SH 7 . The moment we got on to SH 7 we thought we were lost. The road is completely barren for around 30–40kms with potholes everywhere. There is no road as such,just few remains of tar here and there.

Rover enjoying the serene landscape

It was 1 pm now
The road was so bad that we had covered only 12kms in the past 45mins . We still pushed ourselves as much as we could and finally connected to the smooth roads of NH-34 at Morgram . It felt as if we had found an Oasis amidst a freaking barren land . We thought of giving some rest to those suspensions who were swearing at us for taking them off-road for almost 80kms. We had a quick lunch from the tiffin box that I had packed before leaving home. And now time to ride again .
The smooth road continued for a long time . Almost 60–70kms. What we witnessed after that was a nightmare. The NH-34 becomes so horrible from Farakka that the potholes can swallow the whole car in itself. It was 4pm by the time we reached this small town where there were trucks everywhere,leaving no room to escape this misery. The “No Road” part of NH4
It was 5 pm and was really getting dark . We weren’t aware that these potholes were just a small sneak peek of what we were going to witness later. It was pitch dark and the road was full off huge potholes and never ending trail of trucks. We started getting second thoughts of staying at a lodge that night and taking a U-turn next morning to Kolkata. Guys, believe me , when you are in such situation,just distract yourself by singing songs loudly inside the helmet. Worked for me like a charm. We somehow made it to Raiganj where we thought of taking a halt and spending the night as there were no lodges before or after Raiganj . Raiganj is a small town ,around 400kms from Kolkata and 300 Kms from darjeeling.
The clock was showing 9pm and it was insanely cold by this time. Our fingers had become numb. We were riding since last 15 hrs and had just completed 400kms . But the road that we witnessed made us feel a bit proud in what we had achieved . As the road and the landscapes were new we had a good half an hour stop after every 2 hrs because of which it took us a bit long to cover up.

Day 2
Our main target for the day was reaching Darjeeling before it gets dark. We started a bit late from Raiganj at around 10 am. The road was far better than what we had witnessed the previous day. We made it to Siliguri by 2 pm . We had lunch at Darjeeling more . Now Darjeeling was just 77kms far . We started from Siliguri with all our camera gears ready. The route is so amazing ! The road passes through the army cantonment and gives you an amazing view of tea garden-scapes and jungles.
Rover in the jungles of Siliguri
We were supposed to take a right turn for the Rohini pass but we missed it as we were busy looking at the breathtaking landscapes. We didn’t even realize that we were going on a wrong track. But the view we witnessed on reaching the top was something you can just dream of. The fire ball setting into the mighty Himalayas with the mist covering the orange canvas of the sky. It was like I just took the road to paradise.
Mighty Himalayas !
Rover and I having some lone time together. We reached Darjeeling at 7 pm , around 6700 feet above the sea level. Our hands went numb and fingers were frozen . We couldn’t move our fingers to pull that clutch lever . We stopped for some hot tea and samosas and started searching for lodges. There are these few lodges you should look for if you want a good room with reasonable budget : Hotel Choice (near the Mall road), if you want a scenic morning view of the incredible peak of Mount Kangchenjunga then you can check in to Hotel Highland Inn as its windows directly open to this majestic view.
Off-roading with mighty Kangchenjunga in the backdrop.
The beast in the jungles of Siliguri
As it was the Christmas eve ,we were finding it difficult to find the hotels as most of them were sold out. We finally found Hotel Choice and stayed there for the night. The owner was very good and humble and called the food on the house. That day we decided to sleep off early and wake up early.

Day 3
We were so exhausted the previous night that we slept like pigs. We woke up at 8 am and decided to explore the city. It was still very cold . First on the list was the Governor’s house as people told us that we would be able to see the Kangchenjunga peak clearly from there. And man ! it was spectacular. The peak was so clearly visible that we didn’t even make efforts to spot it. The shutter bug within us popped out and we started clicking this beautiful view.
Prasad enjoying the ride in the mist.
Sipping tea while siting on the bench with such a view in front was so soothing that you could just exhale all the stress with an “Ahhh” and nod your head with those uplifted lips. The agenda for the day was to visit the Mall Road , Rope way and the zoo (we couldn’t make it to Tiger Hill as we didn’t have that much time). After all this , it was night and we decided to go to The Glennary’s Cafe. Its an awesome place to chill in Darjeeling. Later, we had some Thai food in a restaurant in front of the cafe and went to our hotel to get some peaceful nap as we had to leave back for Raiganj the next morning.

Day 4
We woke up early and started the engines to ride back . On the way we went to the Ghoom Monastery . It was so peaceful that all the thoughts in my mind were replaced by those mantras echoing in the monastery. We were wearing 4 layers of clothes and when we say the little monks playing football in just their simple 2 layered attire ,we were shocked ! How can someone survive in that much clothing in such a terrific cold. We did some photo clicking session for a while and left for our next stop, Raiganj .
DDLJ moves never get old.
After crossing Kurseong, we got on the Rohini pass road that we had missed while going uphill. Man! What a road it is ! You will feel like scrapping those foot-pegs at every corner. Such smooth curves and that too in a ghat section is really commendable . We reached Raiganj at around 7 pm and called the day off.
Enjoying the off-road enroute Siliguri.

Day 5
We woke up early and left for Kolkata at 7 am . Our aim was to cross Burdwan before sunset as the SH7 leading to it is completely barren and risky to travel at night. After crossing Burdhwan at 5pm we took a halt and rested a bit after a long patch of non-stop riding. When we reached home ,we were so proud of us. We had pushed ourselves through some bad-ass situations and made it back. This was my longest and most tiring ride of all time. I hope that I keep on breaking my record of longest ride again and again with a huge margin. Happy Riding Folks !

Akshay Jadhav

JOURNEY TO LEH LADAKH


Day 1 - It was the 19th of July 2010, not at all a bright and a beautiful day for a promising start. It was drizzling a little but by 6:30 am th three of us from Eastern Bulls were ready with our Bullets to begin our journey for Leh-Lwe drove straight to Dhanbad, our first halt.After some refreshments we road straight to Benaras where we spent the night.
Day 2 – Refreshed, we started off for Agra next morning.It was raining very heavily throughout the day and we reached Agra quite late at night.



Day 3 – Next day we rode all the way to delhi but in between found time to visit Taj Mahal and Agra fort.We reached our hotel at Pahargunge pretty late because all out bikes had develoved problems.we were joined by our fourth member at Delhi.
Day 4 - Next day morning one of the Delhi Bullet Club (60Kph) member recomended a good mechanic, Stayed over for a thorough overhaul and then next day left for Shimla.


Day 5 - It was the month of July so we got heavy rainfall all through the way and somehow managed to stop at Kalka, to grab some lunch and headed straight to Shimla. We searched for a good hotel and stayed for the night.
Day 6 - Next day morning two other members joined us at Shimla. On July 24th we members were ready to hit the road for Leh. Exciting indeed, we rode straight to Narkanda, which is 64kms away from Shimla and stayed back overnight.
Day 7 - The distance between Narkanda and Kalpa is 213kms. Road out there was broad but extremely rough patches made our ride slow. Here, the Riding along the turbulent Sutlej River is quite thrilling. Night stay was at Kalpa.
Day 8 -We headed towards Tabo which is 179kms from Kalpa. The moment you leave Kalpa say good bye to comfort. The adventure starts now. The roads all the way to Puh is fairly dull with a bumpy road along with the Sutlej. The greenery gradually disappears leaving barren mountains. After Puh the excitements starts, the roads narrow and climb steep. We crossed by all the small villages which had their own identity and we had to stop at Malinga Nala. A dreadful place where we had to cross a very fearfull rough freezing Malinga falls. Its quite an adventure to drive through the freezing water one after another. Reached Tabo and rest for the night.


Day 9 – We started for Chandratal. We reached Kaza(13500ft) in almost 2hrs and was spellbound with the scenic beauty of Kaza. It was not our plan to stay here but had to stay back because of its beauty.
Day 10 - We planed to stop at keylong. In between Kaza & Keylong we had to cross almost 30-40 deadly waterfalls which generated because of rainy season. The road disappears and the track climbs sleeply to reach Kunzum Pass. 14,931 ft high the pass offers spectacular riew of the Bara Shigri Glacier in the range opposite to Kunzum Pass. Crossed by and reached Koksar at night. Two of our Bikes started developing problems due to bad road and waterfalls.
Day 11 – Due to bad condition of our bike we had to hire a mini truck and load the bikes to return to Manali.




Day 12 – The next morning we drove to Barlacha Pass 16,400 ft above see level. The Pass itself is 8 km long and this is a pass where many roads meet. Routes from Zanskar, Ladakh and Lahoul meet here and is used for centuries by ancient travelers. The two great river of Lahaul, The Chandra and Bhaga also arise from the huge snow field on the opposite of the pass. Next was crossing Naki La and the amazing Gata Loops. Reached Lachung La which is 16600 ft. a rocky height which views of the undulating hills and Ladakh plateau below. Crossing all the famous passes we reached Pang at a height of appx 15,600 ft in the late evening. This place has the world highest Transit camp of The Indian Army.
Day 13 –We reached Tanglang La which is 17,459 ft. crossing the pass was also an experience. Reached Leh at night.
Day 14 - Stayed back at Leh that day for the permit to visit Khardung La and Nubra Valley.
Day 15 – Drove to Khardung La the world highest mountain motorable road which is 18380 ft above the sea level. Reaching Khardung La is a dream of most bikers and Eastern Bulls team has made it successful in achieving the goal. Same day from Khardung la drove to Nubra Valley and Siachen Glacier Base Camp on the bank of the Nubra river. Spend the night at Nubra Valley.




Day 16 - Returned to Leh from Nubra Valley.
Day 17 – Next Morning we visited Pangong-Tso Lake the world famous saline water lake in the Himalayas situated at the height of 14,270 ft. Beautiful serene lake indeed, this lake inspite being saline freezes in the winter. Same day drove back to Leh.
Day 18 – Started for Kelong but got stuck in the land slide in Pang and had to return back to Leh.
Day 19 – Tragedy struck in the form of Cloud Burst on Friday, Aughust 6th 2010 and it was a nightmare. Abanding our plans to ride back to Kolkata we transported our bikes and came back by flight.

Ali Asgar Totanawala

RIDE TO PURI


It was during the month of January, 2015 when I decided to go for a long ride with my Royal Enfield Classic 350 Silver along with two other person. I have been riding since long and I am also associated with one of the most elite clubs of India, more famously known as Eastern Bulls. The ride was planned for Puri from Kolkata in one day and return again after two days halt after sight seeing. Imagine riding on the highway for 10 hrs continuously through beautiful country roads and highway along with the pleasure of visual ecstasy by witnessing mountains, rivers and never ending Mahanadi Bridge. Yes the dream actually came true on 10 of April when myself accompanied by two other and inspired by Eastern Bulls specially Arijit Da, Faisal Da and Ranabir Da started our epic journey from Kolkata to Puri on our Bulls.



It was 5 am in the morning when I started my ride en route to Puri. The 1st halt was at Kolaghat Food Express where we had our breakfast. Then the tough part started. We went on continuously for 200 kms and took a break at Balasore. We had our lunch at Balasore which comprised of rice and chicken curry in small quantity as we knew that less food gives you more focus to ride. The heat was unbearable and the roads were scorching. It felt like sitting in a sauna with our riding jackets, boots, gloves, and full mask helmets. But the dream to reach Puri was still burning in our heart and the heat from it was more than the temperature we were riding on. We refueled our bulls with full tank and started off again to reach our destination.


From Balasore we went to Bhadrak. In between we were stunned to visualize the mesmerizing beauty of the mountains and Mahanadi river. Its a view that cannot be explained by words but has to be witnessed to realize. The highway seemed to be never ending at one point of time and it was almost 3:30 when we reached Cuttack City. Sigh of relief came for us as we saw civilization and a city in front of us. By this time we were exhausted as we were riding non stop with only 5 mins halt thrice to reach Cuttack ASAP. We saw a new diversion where it was written "Way to Puri 60 kms". We were very happy and relieved along with a bit of shock also as we had already travelled 530 kms in just 9 hrs with our halt. We halted for moment to hug each other in joy and took a few snaps to evident our trip. We started again and reached Puri by 4:30 pm.


Our one way ride was complete. We boarded a lodge in Swargadar and on the very next day we went to Nandankanan through Bhuvaneshwar city for our Safari ride. It was 80 kms from Puri and we reached in a short time. During our way back we faced a terrible storm. however we were lucky enough to bypass the same and reached back to Puri in no time. On the next day we went to the temple of Lord Jagganath in the morning to take his blessings and later went to the Ashram of Swami Nigamananda Paramhansho Dev on Lokenath road where we also had the prasad as our lunch. We also enjoyed in the Bay of Bengal and started our return journey on 13 of April, 2015 for Kolkata.




The return journey was accompanied by a lot of snaps and direction problem. We lost our way near Belda for the diversions of high road. We refueled again at Balasore and this time we planned to have our lunch at Kolaghat instead of Balasore. We rode consistently and reached Kolaghat at 3 pm. We had our lunch at Food Express and started off for Kolkata. Nontheless we returned home on 13th evening at 5:30 pm and our trip came to an end along with our dream coming to us in reality.



Riding is a passion for a rider. Its not about me or him its about us, The Riders. The dream of conquering the impossible is always open for an open hearted rider. He or she can go to any extent to fulfill the target set by him or her. Its not about how hard u can ride or how fast you can ride its about how much you can ride and to what extent with the safety of yourself and your ride. The quote is rightly used LIVE TO RIDE. We LIVE to share our experiences of our ride that we undertake to fulfill our dreams.

Nigamashish Chakroborty

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