All India Bike Trip Travel Blog shared by Alokebanerjee : Read more useful travel stories from All India Bike Trip Travel Blog at



I want to go to  
Home IndiaTravel Blogs

All India Bike Trip

Alokebanerjee | Views: 159007

Comments: 5 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Saturday , Apr 30, 2011 At 22:04 PM

Panipat, Chandigarh


We are staying at Panipat tonight.

Three great battles were fought here. No trace of them remains now. It is a dusty, rickety town of few very rich and mostly very poor people. It is also a town of perennial power cuts and countless country liquor shops.

Here youngsters wearing ear rings and Reebok shirts ride Royal Enfield bikes. But they first remove the original silencer pipes and replace them with Patiala-made ones which sound like defective stone crushing machines. They feel proud of the sound.

Once again we are facing the typical question:” how much does your trip cost?” They are just not interested in knowing where we visited and which places we liked most.

Young women are hardly seen in the streets. When they appear, they wrap their faces in a manner Arab guerillas used to do once.

In our hotel, we have to ask five times on a average for a bottle of water. The hotel owner is going to Australia tomorrow.

Panipat is 100 kms from our national capital and within the NCR region.

Panipat is in the state of Hariyana.

Our plan was to go to Delhi. We had started early. But when we stopped at a place called Karnal to adjust our baggage, the bike toppled and the wire of the ampere meter snapped. we were relieved to find a Royal Enfield showroom less 500 m away. But the great mechanic took seven hours (10.30 am to 5.30 pm) to fix it.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Anything can happen here. Anything.

I hope to catch some sleep, which I really need. But our room is full of fleas. Pat is trying to kill them with his toothbrush cover. He is doing a great job. Actually.   





We reached Chandigarh yesterday.

From Pahelgaon we came to Pathankot, losing our way often. We had blindly followed advise of the locals, tried to save 30 kms and in the process wasted 2 hours riding through narrow, broken, hilly roads. It was a tough ride.

Chandigrah is among the few planned cities that India has.  planning is Its architecture is not extraordinary but extremely useful. The town planning is simple and comfortable.

We will shift to Delhi tomorrow.

After Coming down from the mountains, the heat is giving us real trouble.

I hope we will get used to it in the coming days.    


Report Abuse

Comments: 5 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Friday , Apr 29, 2011 At 01:21 AM





We reached Chandigrah today.

On the way we visited Pahalgam and Pathankot.

Sad to leave kashmir. Happy to leave kashmir.

More than kashmir’s breathtaking natural beauty, which doesn’t need to be told, i fell in love with the people – not of the Jammu region but of Kashmir. The common kashmiri  is poor, very poor - among the poorest in the country. But they have a grace few Indian have. The way they carry themselves, the manner they greet complete strangers, the help they extend to “Indians” like us who are exhausted after a long journey, the way they suffer harsh nature and cruel security forces is not to be seen anywhere in the country.

A tea shop owner lit his kerosene stove to dry us when he saw  we were completely drenched and shivering. he refused to take money for the tea. When we thanked him, he was shocked. he thought it was his duty to help people in distress.

People allowed complete strangers like us to use their cell phones, which is very risky in Kashmir.

A motorcycle mechanic travelled 30 kms to fix our bike when he was told that our gear had snapped and we were in serious trouble in the middle of mountains. he did not charge extra money and instead invited us to his home to have lunch – Kashmiri wazwan!

“Go back India,” yelled slogans painted on the walls at the heart of Srinagar.

“hame na Hindustan chahiye, na Pakistan,” at least 50 people told us during our stay in kashmir, in a cold, matter of fact way. “We need azadi, not only from these two countries but also from the corrupt politicians.”

In Srinagar we saw martyrs’ coloumns – more than 2000 of them. All had been killed by security forces – some of them 10-year-old.

Traffic was suddenly brought to a halt by ear- piercing sirens as about 20 cars, with army jawans CARRYING HMGs and LMGs and AKs, surrounding an ambassador with jammers fixed to its tail. They  whizzed pass us.

“Who was it?” I asked a shop owner.

“Koi chor mantri hoga,” he said, without even  looking up.

At Pathankot, we were surprised to see army jawans smiling, sipping tea.

In Kashmir they always look grim, their AK 47s at their sides  always, the fingers on the triggers, always.

“Amazing yaar! I don’t understand why they don’t consider themselves to be Indians.They all support f…ing Pakistan, these bas…ds.”

“The chor netas keep them poor. That is why they become militants. The same chor netas don’t give us jobs. So we join the army. Kashmiris  consider us to be militants – Indian militants.”

These words from the 6’ 5” Harianvi, posted at the army cantonment at Sonmarg, stirred me. He was a “bara-class” pass.

When Sonmarg was cut off from the rest of india, he, like many of his comrades, survived for six months on dry food. He saw only one colour – white. He had to go on LRP, high above the mountains, wading through knee-deep snow, looking for the elusive Kashmiri militant he knew was no where around.

“It is a got up game. Pakistan pushes the militants across the borders, informs the Indian soldiers. And the  lads are butchered. their photographs are taken by the media and spread all over the world. This is a money-spinning business,” said a graduate, who had taken over arms 10 years ago and is now disillusioned. 

“Mujhe na Hindustan chahiye na Pakistan. Mujhe azadi chahiye. We want a country where people will learn not to cheat. We want an honest country, even if it remains half-fed,” he said.  “I know this will never happen. But even at the time I die, I will have this dream.”

I wanted to upload photos of the martyrs' coloumns. I failed. some software blocks them.





Report Abuse

Comments: 5 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Monday , Apr 25, 2011 At 21:07 PM

Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg




Less than two weeks ago we were in a desert in Rajasthan. Today we are at Sonmarg. There is snow all around us. The road has just been cleared. But most of the shops are still closed because they are under snow. there is a 20/25 ft snow wall along the road, which is almost completely broken and very slippery.  There is still no electricity, no water supply. Water is being brought from ganderbal 20 kms away. The Sonmarg village is under snow and people are yet to return. It is very cold here. It looks like a devastated ghost town.

We had to drop our plan to visit Ladakh. The army refused to allow us to go beyond Sonmarg. Avalanches and landslides are happening all the time.




Too tired to write. See the photographs today. The bike is giving real problems. This time it was the gear. Started for Gulmarg at 7.30 in the morning. Waited for four hours at a place called Kunjar for the spindle to arrive from Srinagar. Reached Gulmarg at 3.30 pm!




We have finally reached Srinagar.

The weather cleared in the morning leaving behind fresh snow all around us. It was very cold. So we started late – at about 8.30 am because it was terribly cold .  We lost half an hour also because a family of 14 wanted to have pictures with us and our bike. They did not pose together but one after another. They took my autograph! Ahem!!!

We travelled fast for about 15 kms from Banihal. Then clouds wrapped us from all sides. Visibility was less than 10 ft. Inside Jawahar tunnel, it was absolutely dark. The lights had not been put on for whatever reasons.

A group of army jawans took pity on us, stopped us, offered us tea and a fur jacket each.  “You must be crazy. You can’t proceed any further with only these clothes,” one of them said firmly.  The foam jackets we had purchased yesterday were actually doing no good.  When we insisted, they agreed to accept Rs 200 for the two jackets and a pair of woolen gloves for Pat.  We took only the fur inners and left behind the olive green outers. “Go slow Sir. It is dangerous to drive fast on these roads,” the major said, as we waved and drove away. The roads are in a really bad shape because of the rains which is continuing for the last 20 days. Without those jackets, it would have been really difficult for us to reach Srinagar.

 The snow cleared, though, as we came closer to Srinagar. It was not that cold either. There was no time to move around the city. So we decided to celebrate. The “official” mission of reaching Kanyakumari and Kashmir from Kolkata is complete now. We ordered a Kashmiri thali each, which contained a shikh kabab, mutton keema, Rogan Josh, Rishta and Gustaba along with rice for Rs 180. Delicious !

Every house boat in Dal lake has a name – some are too original. People dress up to pose before the camera during Shikara rides. (see photos).

We visited Abi karapora – an island village inside Dal Lake – to see the craftsmen at work. tw entyfour year old  Abdul Majid  showed us how they were weaving a pasmina shawl – one single shawl – for the last seven months. It will take another four months to be completed. The cost of raw material will be about Rs  700 and the daily wage is Rs 200. The shawl will sell for anything between Rs 70,000 and one lakh.

We also saw Bashir Ahmed, a 59-year-old man carving out magnificient designs from wood.

We can’t go to Leh, which we had hoped we would be able to do. The road is still closed. We plan to go to Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahelgaon etc in the next few days.

But as night approaches, we can see dark clouds gathering again. We are facing really bad weather for the first time in this long trip. 


Report Abuse

Comments: 11 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Tuesday , Apr 19, 2011 At 19:09 PM

Punjab, Kashmir

Patnitop IIIPatnitop IIThat is in PakistanGrim-faced Pakistani crowdOperation Blue Star. Bullet marks have been carefully preserved.General Dyer's soldiers entered through this gate. The only gate.

18.4 2011


We are at a place called Patnitop. Our plan was to reach Golden templeBullet marksSrinagar. But heavy rain halted us. Once again it was a boon in disguise.

At 9.30 pm the weather is still bad, still raining, very cold. We don’t have any warm clothes. The hotel owner gave us his jacket and his best room. But that is only for tonight. Sweaters/ jackets are not available here. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. I want to reach Srinagar.

We travelled from 40 degrees (Bikaner) to 2 degrees here in three days. No time for acclimatization. But I have fallen in love with this place.


Report Abuse

Comments: 5 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Sunday , Apr 17, 2011 At 18:02 PM




We reached Jammu today. From Amritsar.

Our trip was Kolkata-Kanyakumari-Kashmir. We have reached Kashmir.

Instinctively, as soon as we reached Jammu, I opened the map.

We have travelled a long distance indeed! From a human habitation called Kolkata, we crawled all the way to Kanyakumari. Now we are in Kashmir ! We have travelled 10,560 kms.

like an ant we crawled. like an ant we struggled.

why did i make this trip? i still don’t know.

what have i learnt?  i still don’t know.

where have i reached?  i have no idea.

The people I met in this long journey are the same people I meet in kolkata everyday. different language, different attire, different climate. but they are similar.

nature makes them similar. same people. same animals.


 incomplete? still in the process of evolution?

that is a lie, or a dream.

 or a hope, which will never come true.

nature has created hunger, jealousy , hatred, false ambition, treachery, incomplete human beings.

then why should we love/respect nature?

those gods are most revered which fulfill ones desires – desires to make more money, to have babies, to see the wife/husband die and replaced by the lover, to see the enemy subjugated.

Gods, who do not pamper human greed, are not pampered. Vaishno Devi, Tirupati and so many god’s abodes we have trampled upon, told us the same story.

praying is greed.

(Vivekananda had refused pray, to seek. )

Why do we talk? one upmanship? to forget boredom? to seek care?

Isn’t seeking love desperate seeking of care?

And what is pleasure?

isn’t it prolongation of pain by survival and procreation?


nothing ends in death. the greed continues.

our journey continues.



Report Abuse

Comments: 9 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Thursday , Apr 14, 2011 At 20:30 PM

Shonar Kella (the Golden Fort)

13 April, 2011

These are the pictures of Shonar Kella (The Golden Fort) and of the city inside it. Only some of the buildings are in ruins and not the entire city as was shown in Satyajit Roy’s film. Most of the houses  have been converted into hotels and restaurants. Peacocks abound in Rajasthan. But we have not seen any inside the fort. It is too crowded for the birds. The fort is now a museum. But lack of planning and knowledge is evident in the display of exhibits and in the attitudes of the guards. The management could learn from those in charge of Jodhpur Fort. Also, the authorities must control the Romeos, who leer at women and seek their company particularly if they are from abroad.

The Golden Fort     



The king's bedroomThe Fort IIIEven a road side printer can print these nowThe Fort

The city inside the fort

Most houses are now hotels

Report Abuse

Comments: 5 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Wednesday , Apr 13, 2011 At 18:23 PM

The Desert: Bikaner And Jaisalmer

13 April, 2011

I was jolted out of my sleep. I was dreaming of a leopard brushing its tail against my hand.

A dog was trying to slide under my quilt and he woke me up. I was grateful.  Millions of stars were staring at me. The sound of the biting-cold wind was enormous. In front of me were waves of yellow mountains.

It took me some time before I remembered that we were in the middle of a desert. I was shivering. The dog, seeing me jump up so suddenly, ran away. Pat was sleeping happily. The young camel owner had left us long ago. His wife was waiting for him, in the village 10 kms away. I was alone, staring at those stars, which look beautiful only from a distance. When people die, they become stars – my grandmother used to tell me. I never believed in fairy tales except in one. Even till recently.

On 11 April, 2011 we arrived near the Sam village to be picked up by two camels. Riding a camel is not easy at all. (I now believe that Santosh Dutta’s expression in Shonar Kella was purely natural.) But this is the only way one can go near the sand dunes in the Thar desert in Rajasthan. The sky was overcast and the heat was no longer intense.  Within hours we left the villages and then even the thorny, bushy topography behind us and directly faced the sand dunes. We had lunch and then an early dinner and prepared ourselves for our first and only night in the middle of a desert. The photos portray only part of the experience.

We returned to Jaisalmer the next morning to see the “Golden Fort.” Built of yellow sand stone, this fort glows in the morning. So does most of the houses in the small city of Jaisalmer because they too are made of the same yellow sand stone.


Thirst II


The museum in the fort is not quite impressive because unlike in Jodhpur fort, the exhibits here are rather poorly displayed. The interesting part is that there is a small but functioning city inside the fort. But most of the houses have been converted into hotels and restaurants. Also, some young men have developed the habit of leering at the ladies – particularly those from abroad – and of seeking their friendship. I don’t know since when this started. But if this continues, the flow of foreign tourists in Jaisalmer is sure to decline in the coming days.


Shonar Kella: The Golden Fort and the city

Jaisalmer city

We reached Bikaner today.

The Route: Jodhpur-Mandore-Agolai-Balesar-Dechhu-Pokhran-Lathi-Chandan-jaisalmer. Distance: 298 kms

Jaisalmer- Chandan-Pokhran-Phalodi-Bap-Bikaner. Distance: 326 kms.  

Report Abuse

Comments: 9 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Saturday , Apr 09, 2011 At 21:22 PM

Crossing Through Bhuj, Mount Abu And Jodhpur

9 April, 2011


 Gujarat: Being sent to the slaughter house

It is interesting to watch how people of different states react when they come to know that we are moving around the country on a motorcycle. Their reactions are always typical of the particular state they belong to. Let me give some examples:

West Bengal: “What! A Bharat Darshan? Want to be a Vivekananda or what?”

Orissa: “Your wife let you go?”

Andhra Pradesh: “I want to buy a Royal Enfield. What model should I buy?”

Karnataka: “You can’t go to Kashmir. The army will not let you.”

Tamil Nadu (at Kanyakumari): “ How will you go to Kashmir? By boat?”

Kerala: “You must be carrying your bike on train. Aren’t you?”

Maharashtra: “Motorcycle pe lamba safar mar rahe ho? Ao. Chai piyo.”

Punjabi truck driver: “Bohut himmat hai apka. Ludhiana aoge to zaroor milna.”

Gujarat: “Safar ka bud-get kitna? Paisa koun diya?  Ye halogen lamp ko bechoge?”

Rajasthan: “Mileage kitna? Koun sponsor kiya? 

The reactions are so typical that we can now predict for sure what questions are coming when we are in a particular state. 

Mt. Abu: Nakki Lake in the morning

By the way, we have left Gujarat and are now in Rajasthan. And we are in perfect shape – only a bit tired. I have lost my mobile. It fell from my pocket in an unmentionable place while I was busy doing an unmentionable but essential work in the morning. So please email me if you have anything to say at The worst part is that I have lost phone numbers of all the people I met during this journey and wanted to keep in touch with.

From Rajkot, we travelled to Bhuj and Mount Abu. Today we reached Jodhpur.

Bhuj has been rebuilt after the earthquake. Almost all the houses look new. Cracks can still be seen in some of the buildings. And two IAS officers have been suspended after their reported involvement in land scam while allotting plots of land to the earthquake victims. Well, some people can think of making money even out of an earthquake that killed about 20,000 people!

Jodhpur Fort

We enjoyed the cold in Mt Abu. There is not much to see here for people who have been to snow-capped mountains. We visited Jodhpur fort today. As a work of art it is fascinating. But the crude display of wealth by the majarajas is disgusting.

Jodhpur Fort II

King's private room

King's private room II

We will be moving to Jaisalmer tomorrow.



Report Abuse

Comments: 7 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Wednesday , Apr 06, 2011 At 22:21 PM

Amazing Gir Forest

5 April, 2011


(We reached Rajkot after spending two days at Gir. Will write in detail after taking some rest. I need rest. Too tired to write now.  Sorry. In the mean time enjoy the photographs.)

Initially we had not planned to visit Gir. Our plan was to move from Diu to Somnath , Dwarka and Jamnagar on our way to the Rann of Kutch. But as has been frequently happening in this trip, mishap brought us unexpected pleasant surprises yet again.

The problem this time was that it was becoming difficult to start the bike. We decided to move to Rajkot, take the bike to a Royal Enfield showroom and to change the point unit altogether if necessary. We had to go via Sashan-Gir – the only habitat of the Asiatic lion. A forest official informed us that no private vehicle was allowed inside the sanctuary and we could hire a Gypsy for Rs 1500 or a forest department bus for Rs 75 per head. We decided for the latter.

(We were already in the middle of the jungle on our bike. The restriction made little sense. We saw various types of deer and Nilgai from close quarters while riding. When we did not stop to take photos, they did not even run away. Only on April 2, a leopard had paid a visit to a village close to Devlia in search of prey. But we did not argue with the forest official.)

The buses operate between 8 am and 11 am and again between 3 pm and 5 pm. We took the 3 pm bus. A huge iron gate opened (much like the one we saw in Jurassic Park) and we entered the sanctuary. We saw deer– hundreds of them- and also a wild boar, which could not be photographed. It was too fast. The main attraction was the lion. We finally saw them. But they were lying behind a tree in such a way that I could not take proper photos. 

I decided to stay back at a nearby dhaba and make another try next morning. The dhaba was inside the forest and it felt good to spend the night there except for the insects, which did not like us in their territory, and also for the cold. While the days are excruciatingly hot, the nights and the mornings are extremely cold here.

Bus ride inside the sanctuary next morning yielded some results. You can see the photos. I realized for the first time why the lion and not any other animal is called the king of the jungle. Lions have an entirely different personality. They are majestic.

The Route:  Diu to Devlia in Gir via Kesaria, Talala, Sashan. Distance: 113 kms

Report Abuse

Comments: 5 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Sunday , Apr 03, 2011 At 21:17 PM


3rd April, 2011

We had been scalded on our way to Bhavnagar. But lush green fields welcomed us as we proceeded towards Diu on Saturday.  Deer and Nilgai roamed around us. Hills appeared again. Even the heat was less intense, may be, because we were proceeding towards the sea. It would have been a fascinating journey, but for the road. It simply did not exist. It took us almost five hours to cover a distance of 225 kms.

Nilgai, barely 30 m from the road

Myths do not explode unless one hits the road and experiences the reality. Most people have been fed with the story that roads in Gujarat are the best in the country. Let me tell you that it took us two hours to travel only 21 kms yesterday.

I have seen roads in Malda and Murshidabad immediately after floods. These roads look similar. The surface has worn off leaving only the gravel. But there has been no flood here. We had travelled on such a road earlier, on the day we had entered Gujarat from Maharashtra. It happened again yesterday.  The roads must have eroded over years and the powers that be have taken no notice. Had this happened in West Bengal, there would have been a bloody upsurge. Even in Baroda and Bhavnagar, which are not remote rural areas but towns, the roads are in really bad shape.

Also, Gujarat is expensive, in fact very expensive. A cup of tea costs Rs 5 in a road side shop. In West Bengal it is Rs 1.50/ 2 at the most. A veg thali here costs Rs 45 to Rs 60. At Tarun Niketan in Kolkata I regularly have two fish items + vegetables+ dal for Rs 45/50, depending on the fish I choose.  The printed price of a packet of Gold Flake cigarette is Rs 35. It is sold for Rs 50. No one takes notice.

Still, Gujaratis are happy and always smiling, always helpful. People stop and greet us as soon as they realize that we are doing an all India trip on a bike. An old man offered us his half bottle of water in the middle of a parched country when he found that we were looking for a well or tube well. Girls in bright dresses travel miles to fetch water, smiling and talking all the way.( How do they balance so many bowls at time on their heads? I did not dare to take photos but I will, for sure.)

Diu is a small town. It always sleeps. The roads are always empty. Markets do not open before 10 in the morning. Hotels do brisk business but only on Saturdays and Sundays when Gujaratis escape from their “dry” state, flock to Diu and drink up to their noses. The beaches are absolutely clean. But there are no waves.

The Route: Bhavnagar-Kobadi- Tansa-Trapaj-Talaja-Mahuva-Una-Diu. Distance: 225 kms 

Report Abuse

Comments: 5 |View/Add Comments

Posted on: Friday , Apr 01, 2011 At 20:02 PM

Bhavnagar, Gujarat

1st April, 2011

The dazzling blue sky clamped down like a dome on the dead-yellow sand and grass caging us from all sides. Not a soul was to be seen anywhere. No village was in sight. The sun breathed fire relentlessly.

From Vataman to Bhavnagar there was not one tree to provide some shade. The water we were carrying was almost boiling. The bike was making a strange sound. The temperature was too much even for a Royal Enfield. We were thirsty and heat was burning us. Yet we were mesmerized by the rugged nature. It had a beauty of its own – the beauty of death. This is what we had come here for to see and experience.

The dry river-beds were dazzling white. There was no sand or mud but white salt. The sea is nearby. There was no living being visible for over 50 kms except for the black buck that we saw. The herd looked visibly tired and moved slowly even when they saw us. We could see Bhavnagar town from a distance of 16 kms – yet another experience. We never saw such country.

We had started from Daman yesterday and reached Vadodhara. We had started early but were still exposed to the burning sun because the bike gave problems. Yesterday made us understand that Bharat Darshan is not only fun. It calls for immense determination as well. When the body gets weak, the mind goes numb. We must keep going, we must push on, we told ourselves repeatedly.  The RIL guest house, where we stayed for the night (We are grateful to Mr. S. K. Sengupta) was at the other end of Baroda city and we had to travel another 20 kms or so to reach there. We were thinking of lying down on the pavement and sleep for some time.


We started for Bhavnagar at 6.30 am today.

The Route:

Daman to Palsana to Kakodra to New Pardi to Ankleswar to Jambua to Vadodhara.

Vadodhara to Borsad to Vataman to Pipali to Dholera to Bhavnagar.   

Report Abuse

Hotel Reviews | Destination Guides | Travel Directions | Holiday Ideas | Travelogues | Travel Q & A | Photo Gallery | Plan a Trip | Travel Blogs

Holiday Ideas Maps and Routes India Hotels Top India Destinations India Photos Theme Pictures
Summer Camps for Kids
Shopping in India
Top Weekend Getaways
Spiritual Holidays in India
Heritage of India
Routes From Delhi
Routes from Chennai
Routes from Bangalore
Routes from Hyderabad
Routes from Mumbai
Delhi Hotels
Mumbai Hotels
Bangalore Hotels
Jaipur Hotels
Agra Hotels
Dalhousie Travel Guide
Udaipur Travel Guide
Khajuraho Travel Guide
Harihareshwar Travel Guide
Goa Tourism
Delhi Photos
Mumbai Photos
Bangalore Photos
Chennai Photos
Kolkata Photos
Nature & Landscape
Wildlife Sancturies
People & Portraits
Night Time Photos
Black and White

Travel Forum is India's leading community of travellers and provides a place for travel enthusiasts to find and share travel experiences, recommendations and honest advice on travel in more about us

© 2013 . All rights reserved. is not a travel agent & does not charge service fees to its users.
* All reviews, ranks, ratings & votes on Oktatbyebye are solely the views & opinions of the users. Oktatabyebye is not responsible for content on external web sites.