Awara Model 2011 aka Life Begins with Retirement

Awara

Well-Known Member
Day 51. 20 Feb '17. Maheshwar & Mandu



After waking at dawn & then having an early breakfast, we left PACE Hotel, Aurangabad.


Early morning from PACE Hotel


Crossing the Ghats


Breakfast stop. Clean toilets


No wonder Dhabas have charpoys for drivers to stretch out


Smooth toll roads




Wind turbine blade being ferried


Slow overtaking the slower. Patience!


River Narmada


Stopped for lunch at MP Tourism resort on Narmada's banks at Maheshwar. Beautiful place


Fried fish was excellent!


And serene flows the Narmada

Went to the Ghats




The ancient ghats


Eco awareness


Imposing archway


Temple top

Went to Rehwa Society, Richard Holkar's NGO, which is a production-cum-sale centre for Maheshwar saris


Weaving centre in same complex as Sales centre

Bought some saris & stoles & on to Mandu


On road to Mandu

Google misled & we found ourselves on this road under construction




Still on road to Mandu (hopefully)


Entering Mandu

Reached MPTDC's Malwa Retreat, Mandu, at 5:30 PM after negotiating bad road for quite some distance. After a quick cup of tea, on Manager's advice we went to Sunset Point atop a ravine near Lohani Caves. The wind coming up the ravine was gale force as you can see from the tree's branches


Branches bending in the wind


Sunset

Day 52. 21 Feb '17
Early morning to Rupmati Mahal to see sunrise


There was not guard at the gate so we entered


Looking down from Rupmati Mahal on Baz Bahadur's palace




Sunrise


Rupmati Mahal at dawn




Steep climb to Rupmati Mahal, now visible after sunrise


Many Baobab trees in Mandu

We went to Jama Masjid


Jama Masjid


Peeping Toms



After that we went to the Tomb of Hoshang Shah




Hoshang Shah's Tomb


Ashrafi Mahal opposite Jama Masjid


Then to Jahaz Mahal


Tank in front of Jahaz Mahal


Hindola Mahal or Swinging Palace

After that we proceeded to Mhow



Leaving Mandu at 11 AM we reached Mhow at 12.30 PM to meet friends and pick up one more of our party to make us a foursome. At dinner that night local Mhowists advised us to take the road via Rau, Ujjain, Agar, Susner, Jhalawar & Baran to Shivpuri en route to Gwalior

Day 53. 22 Feb '17. Drove to Gwalior


Crossed into & out of Rajasthan at several places







Reached friend's house in Gwalior at 6 PM.


Gwalior Fort from their terrace

Great mutton curry for dinner followed by ...
 
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Awara

Well-Known Member
Day 54. 23 Feb '17



"Gwalior" breakfast of Aloo-Puri, scrambled eggs & sausages too!

Drove to Gwalior Fort


Gwalior Fort. Babur described this as 'the pearl amongst fortresses'






Looking down on the city












Tigers, elephants, ducks & fish adorn the fort walls






Eastern entrance, a steep climb from town



Dancing figures in Mansingh Palace 1508 AD








This palace is said to be one of the finest examples of the architecture of its time



Some of its ancient residents






Oldest existing Zero in Malwa is here



Leaving the Fort



Jain rock sculptures

Then on to Bharatpur. But first Agra to see the Taj again




Very crowded




Selfie craze






No visit to Agra is complete without Sadar Bazar chaat



Then had a hard time exiting Agra for Bharatpur through a very crowded Bazar. Reached Rajasthan Tourism's Hotel Saras in time for dinner.

Day 55. 24 Feb '17. Birdwatching so no pics except to say that after a long day of birding with a very good guide we treated ourselves to delicious Paneer & chicken pakodas at The Birders Inn

Day 56. 25 Feb '17. Birding in the Chambal River near Dhaulpur




We hired MP Tourism boats from here


An hour-long boat ride from 8.30 AM to 9.30 AM


Women from nearby villages have a long trek to fetch water




Had our fill of Indian Skimmers to our heart's content




Bhag Milkha Bhag!




Boys fishing out coins from the river


Trip mileage on way back to Bharatpur

Then to Delhi via Mathura to get on to the Yamuna Expressway




Reached!


East Coast-West Coast Trip Odometer - 9202.8 Km in 56 days!
 

Awara

Well-Known Member
Being an Awara is highly addictive, so much so that I've been travelling so much that I didn't get time to post. However, now that I'm going to Spiti in about a fortnight and I've been poring through all the logs on BCMT, I feel very guilty in not sharing my enjoyment over the last 2 years. After returning to Delhi in Feb '17, I went to Dinapani, Binsar & Pangot in March, all over Italy in May-early June (Westerners say that driving in Italy is so unruly but, armed with an India-issue International Driving Permit & compared to North India, it was child's play), & Jilling in Uttarakhand in mid-June. Drove back in October from Delhi to Patna via Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Raichak-on-Ganges, Chandbali in Odisha & Kolkata, another 3200 km to the earlier 9,200 since leaving Patna on 1 Jan 2017. Flew to Goa with family in November for my son's 40th after which I showed some friends around Bihar's Buddhist & other ancient treasures in South Bihar later that month. Went with family again to Jaipur in December for my grandson's 6th. Drove from Patna to Delhi again in May 2018 after which we drove further to Sattal, Pangot, Chaafi, Binsar in Kumaon & then crossed over to Garhwal where we birded with Yashpal Negi ji around Makkumath, Monal Point beyond Chopta, Tungnath, Chandrashila before returning to Delhi & then driving back to Patna via Kushinagar in June. Next went with Nature India in late December to Andamans & Little Andaman (latter by overnight ship with a cyclone brewing) before scuba diving in Havelock with Barefoot Scuba. Welcomed 2019 in Dehradun before driving to Bharatpur later that month. Returned to Patna & was overwhelmed with house repairs & painting. So, apologies folks - in between, I didn't even have time to follow BCMT logs! Wonder when I'll be able to post some of my doings now that I'm so much in arrears. And, as I mentioned, I'm off to Spiti later this month ... but thanks to all the wonderful people of BCMT who post informative, enjoyable travelogues with beautiful pictures! They are such a source of inspiration to all, especially this Awara!
 

Awara

Well-Known Member
Oh, I forgot to mention that during the Makkumath trip in Garhwal, I was having flat tyres everyday due to the rocky roads. Now that I'm going to Spiti, I'm wondering which tyres to buy for my 2011 Innova, Bridgestone or Goodyear that my tyre dealers say are customised for India or Michelin or Yokohama All Terrain, so I'm again scouring the internet, BCMT, etc
 
Apollo has 4g life unconditional warranty
it covers even accidental damage
Apollo 4g life has good sales quantity in Leh region.

2 years accidental damage coverd hai and 5 years manufacturing defect.....

Otherwise
Options are MRF wanderer, Yokohama Earth etc.
 

Awara

Well-Known Member
Apollo has 4g life unconditional warranty
it covers even accidental damage
Apollo 4g life has good sales quantity in Leh region.

2 years accidental damage coverd hai and 5 years manufacturing defect.....

Otherwise
Options are MRF wanderer, Yokohama Earth etc.
Thanks. Will check with south Delhi tyre dealers since I plan to drive to Delhi with current tyres some of which need replacement. Capital Tyres, Green Park, Delhi, told me over phone that Yokohama AT is for about Rs.5,700 with 5-year unconditional warranty. Any idea of how good this tyre is?
 

Awara

Well-Known Member
Now, before I start on another trip, here is my trip to Spiti from May 18 to June 2. Actually my trip began from Patna to Delhi on May 13, starting from Patna at 4 AM and reaching Delhi at 8.30 AM. I went in for 4 new tyres on May 14. Capital Tyres recommended Goodyear Assurance Plus on which the manufacturers had a Worry Free Service Scheme - WFS meant that in addition to the usual 5 year warranty against manufacturing defects, if there was any damage, cut, etc, within the first 2 years even for the driver's fault and the tyres would be replaced! So here goes from May 18. I was with my daughters and their dog.

Our overall itinerary - Delhi-Chandigarh-Narkanda-Batseri-Kalpa-Kaza; trips with Kaza as base; then Kaza-Pooh-Tandi-Dagshai-Delhi:
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Day 1, May 18: Delhi-Chandigarh

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Nothing much to write about.

Day 2, 19 May: Chandigarh-Narkanda

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Stopped for tea at Wildflower Hall

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At Narkanda we saw Himalayan Griffons soaring above in the thermals.

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Day 3, 20 May: Narkanda-Banjara Camps, Batseri, in Baspa valley:

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Instead of the direct Narkanda-Rampur road we meandered through apple orchards along the scenic route via Thanedhar.

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House of Samuel Stokes who later became Satyananda Stokes and introduced apple cultivation in Himachal. Apples are now a major source of income for the state.

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Apple orchards are covered with anti-hail nets

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We stopped for breakfast at Nau Nabh restaurant adjoining the Rampur Bushahr palace; good chicken cutlets

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Continued towards Batseri, branching off at Karchham. Amazed at how the road just cuts and tunnels through the rocks
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"Kinnaur Dwar" - yes, it's been written about and photographed many times but experiencing it for the first time is special!

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Nature's car wash!

The road from Karcham to Chitkul via Sangla, Batseri, and Rakcham is mostly rough. It started raining on the way

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Locals believe that accidents have stopped after this temple was built. HP PWD labourer serves as the pujari.

Banjara Camps & Cottages, Batseri, is set amidst an apple orchard with a stone "Retreat", cottages on the banks of the Baspa river and tents in the orchard.

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Our tent amidst apple trees

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Sunset
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The camp has a bonfire every evening before dinner and we went to sleep in our tent fortified with hot water bottles
 

Awara

Well-Known Member
Flashback to Narkanda with some more pics

A visitor on our hotel balcony
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Youngsters having fun (though style is questionable)
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We also walked up to Himachal Tourism's Hatu Hotel
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Narkanda main road
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Waiting for transport
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Family enjoying the last rays of the setting sun
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Hatu Peak at sunset
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Full moon rising behind hills opposite Narkanda with brightly lit Narkanda petrol pump in bottom left. It was open at 5.45 AM next morning
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Lights of Shimla on far hill
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Good night!
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Day 3, 20 May (continued)
Car was parked very near hotel in municipal car park with a locked chain at entrance. Since we were making a 7 AM start, the lady in-charge was phoned and came to unlock it. But, before that some early morning views from our Narkanda hotel balcony soaking in the silence and peace

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Then the scenic drive towards Thanedhar
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Ripe cherries on the trees
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Picturesque houses with fruit godowns and packing centres on ground floor
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A sign of what can happen at any time on this road
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"Zero Waste Management" but burning trash, especially plastic, adds to pollution. Our rule was to carry back all non-biodegradable trash to Delhi for disposal and avoid plastic bottles, etc, strictly
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High above the Satluj till we descended later. It was a steep climb followed by a steep descent to Bithal
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We also made a detour to Tannijubbar to see the lake but it was more of a pond set in serene surroundings
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Now at river level
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Crossed this group of returning bikers
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Jacaranda trees in full bloom adding a touch of colour and romance to the drive
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Stopped at Nau Nabh restaurant and hotel for breakfast. It's adjacent to the Rampur Bushahr Padam Palace. Intricate wood carvings everywhere
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Parathas were below par but chicken cutlets & masala tea were very good!
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View of palace grounds from our table. I've already posted a picture of the palace earlier
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After breakfast we continued onward crossing scenes of several landslides that had been cleared or were in the process of it
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This gate welcoming travellers to Kinnaur was obliterated by a landslide about a month later
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I have also already posted bits of our first day in Banjara Camps & Retreats. Some more to add detail

HP PWD has hacked through the rocky mountain to build the roads and overhangs are their favourite!
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Always ready for clearing roads
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Awesome mountain faces everywhere
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Many such bridges
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Baspa Valley after Karchham
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Mother & baby sheltering from the rain
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Glaciers on opposite hill across Baspa river
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Rain-drenched hillsides
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Turned off towards Banjara Camps
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Our camp below set amidst apple orchards on Baspa river's bank
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Luggage being taken to our tent
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Welcomed with traditional "khada"
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Friendly visitors
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Riverside. One could hear the rush of the river everywhere
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Sunset
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That night after the bonfire and dinner we did some stargazing. I decided to fetch my tripod from the car for night photography the next night. We were going on the Camp's "Signature Rakchham trek" the next day - my next post
 
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