We did not plan it as a pilgrimage, but that’s what it turned out to be. And a fabulous one at that! It all began one day when Sreesh – my son – saw a small hillock and said “Look Dada, Himalayas” and we decided, let’s go up north and show the kids the real mountains! And coincidentally Pawan and family were going to their hometown Dehradun for a vacation and then suddenly things fell in place. Pawan did all the planning and booking and all we needed to do was to just be there and have fun!
Just before we were supposed to leave for Delhi, I was down with a bad case of viral fever – the Doc said, Raj, if you had travelled back from US, I would have had you quarantined. And then the last minute scramble to cancel the train ticket and rebooking ourselves on a flight. Delhi was hot at 41deg celcius when we landed and then the cabbie didn’t knew where New Friends Colony was and drove us all the way upto Noida. In between the guy managed to hit a couple traveling on a bike, and had two narrow escapes with larger vehicles and then has the temerity to turn around and tell us, do you know since how long I have been driving the cab? Three years!!! So don’t worry, I will make sure you reach the destination.
In our mind, we hoped that his and our destination did match!!
And then just before we hit the toll gate at Noida from where we forced him to turn back towards Delhi, we saw a beautiful hoarding with who else, but Guruji’s picture on it – the presence was unmistakable. And I said mentally, Guruji, we know that you love fun, but not today….let us just get to the hotel without further events. Mercifully it was a pre-paid cab and after a little bit of going around we managed to reach our destination for the night halt. Early next morning we were on our way to Dehradun in Shatabdi express.
My last trip to Dehradun was in 1982, when tangas used to run on the road. Obviously things have changed and we really loved the “Vikrams” – shared autos, very efficient, very cheap. We should get them to Bangalore and get rid of the “auto”cracy in the city!
After a bit of sight seeing (Ghantaghar, obviously was a must see place on our itinerary, to go back in time and revisit a romantic story that started near Ghantaghar about 11 years back, we will keep that story for some other time, but it was a must see, even important than Taj Mahal and we had to do it and look at the Ghantaghar from all the 6 angles, lest people get upset!!) eating chaats, kulfi, faloodaa at Kumar’s and doing the regular tourist circuit of Mussoorie we were ready to hit the roads to go up the mountains!!
Coming up Next the trek @ Kedarnath