At minus 7.8, Srinagar records coldest night after 8 years
At minus 7.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season so far as the 40-day long harsh winter period, known locally as the 'Chillai Kalan', reaches its peak."At minus 7.8 degrees Celsius, Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season so far equalling an 8-year-old record when the same minimum was recorded on January 14, 2013", an official of the local meteorological (MeT) department said.Dal Lake and other major lakes of the valley were frozen in many parts.People have been warned not to skate on the frozen water bodies as that could endanger their lives.'Chillai Kalan' will end on January 31.Srinagar had minus 7.8, Pahalgam minus 11.7 and Gulmarg minus 10 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature on Wednesday.Leh town of Ladakh had minus 16.3, Kargil minus 19.6 and Drass minus 28.4 as the night's lowest temperature.Jammu city had 6.9, Katra 4.4, Batote 4.9, Bannihal 4.0 and Bhaderwah minus 0.4 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature.
BENGALURU: King Richard Srinivasan gave himself the best birthday gift he could ask for. The biking enthusiast completed his cross-country biking expedition just a day short of D-Day, which had him whizzing past three continents and 15 countries on his 250 kg Triumph Tiger. “I wanted to cover North America, South America and Australia this time,” says the 45-year-old businessman, who travelled through USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile and Australia, among other countries, over five months.
The journey began in USA in August last year, with Srinivasan being accompanied by his friend Vijay Narayan till Peru, after which the duo returned to India mid-October. After a two-month break, the Bengalurean embarked on a solo expedition to South America and Australia. “I usually rode for eight hours but when I had to cross a country’s borders, I only got 3-4 hours of riding time since the rest was spent on paperwork,” he explains, adding that the trip was self-funded. Ask him about his favourite country and he mentions Chile, gushing about the “ultra HD colours” of the region. But the most challenging ride was at Ushuaia, Argentina, which is often nicknamed the “End of the World.” With strong winds pushing you, lack of control over speed can cause a rider to “fly away,” explains Srinivasan, adding, “The wind can topple a lorry.”
This, however, was not his first international trip, since he took a 72-day trip from Bengaluru to London in 2018. The journey is coloured with many stories, of difficulty in getting fuel in China and riding on two-day old snow in Kyrgyzstan to acts of kindness in Russia, where a woman offered him a meal though he didn’t have the local currency. “The most loving people were in Uzbekistan, where everyone would greet you with warmth,” he recalls.
While the urge to whisk away on his bike is strong, planning is hardly spontaneous for Srinivasan, who runs a machine-manufacturing factory. “I planned for two years for the London trip and a year for the recent one,” he says. The time is spent researching bike mechanics and the regulations to be followed in each country. Srinivasan is already plotting his next escape – the last continent left for him to ride. “I can’t ride a bike through Antarctica so I want to try Africa next year. It’s just a matter of convincing my wife,” he laughs.
No speed bump too big
Srinivasan’s journey gave him a bag full of stories, but none as gripping as travelling through the 2019 Ecuadorian protests. “We carried signs saying we are two Indian riders on a motorbike trip and are trying to reach Peru. We often saw people rushing towards us with sticks and they would stop after reading that,” he recalls. “There are many moments when you wonder why you are doing what you are doing. When you look back, you feel nothing but glad to have overcome yet another challenge.”
THE INCREDIBLE SOLO WORLD RIDE // SOLO MOTORCYCLE WORLD RIDE FROM INDIA// WORLD RIDE COVERING 5 CONTINENTS 37 COUNTRIES //ASIA, EUROPE, NORTH AMERICA, SOUTH AMERICA, AUSTRALIA- A dream journey started by a duo, halted by circumstances but continued to a mind boggling solo ride.
BENGLAURU: Two Bengaluru-based businessmen, who started their bike journey to London on April 16 from Town Hall here, have reached their destination in 76 days.
Manjunath Chikkaiah, a businessman, and King Richard, a factory owner, both aged 42, rode their Triumph Tiger 800 bikes for 23,500km across 21 countries to reach London on Saturday. They are flying back to Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Manjunath Chikkaiah and King Richard rode their Triumph Tiger 800 bikes for 23,500km across 21 countries to reach London
During their two-and-a half month journey, the adventure seekers passed countries like Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands to reach London.
Manjunath Chikkaiah, a businessman, and King Richard, a factory owner, both aged 42
“We covered 450-500km every day. We experienced all four seasons of the weather. The mercury had touched 42°C in China, while heavy rain greeted us in Thailand, following us up to China. It was spring in Estonia and we were stuck for five hours because of heavy snow in Kyrgyzstan,” the duo said.
Manjunath and Richard are part of White Dragon Adventures, a long-distance biker group
Manjunath and Richard are part of White Dragon Adventures, a long-distance biker group. They took to biking as a hobby after realising their busy work schedules were financially rewarding but not mentally.
Asked whether they ever wanted to come back midway, Manjunath said, “This is the first leg of our world trip. It was a challenge for us. We never thought of returning. In fact, everytime we crossed a country, we only became more motivated to reach our destination.” The preparations for the ride began twoand-a-half years ago, as part of which, they went to Kanyakumari and Leh. They even drove a car to Singapore.