Dope Shope trip @ Himachal Pradesh

Continued from my previous post —
Baraat was a total dance dhamaka, I never felt any jetlag. All the mishaps in the last few hours were behind me. We had loads of fun. Post Baraat, the food was a-mazing.
The next morning after the wedding, is when the 5 of us Sunil, Shaz, Kumar, Charan and me started off our Uttarakhand trip.
Our trip from Roorkhee to Rishikesh was in a local bus. We then hired a Tata Sumo for our remaining trip.
Drive along the Tehri lake was quite an experience. The small trek along the river and hot noodles we had on the banks of Tehri lake was a nice experience. We stayed overnight at Uttarkashi dowtown.
The next day was our big trek day. The dayara bugyal trek. Our drive till the foot hills of dayara bugyal was a scary one. I cant just forget the moment when our trek guide played the devotional Shiva songs as we drove past Ganges gorges. Trek was a little tiring. But it was worth it. The views of the Himalayas from top of Dayara bugyal was quite a stunner.
Other highlights of our trip was our visit to the Uttarkashi temple. Ganga snan in freezing temperature, rafting in Rishikesh, night out roaming around Ram jhoola and lakshman jhoola, dinner at Buddha bar and our foodmadness at honey hut.
The best part of our trip was our visit to a cave in the mountains near Rishikesh, a cave which’s home to Naga sadhus.
By the time we reached the caves, after a brief trek, it was already dusk.
The yogis offered soup of herbs for all of us.
We had carried milk n sugar for the sadhus, and they prepared kheer for us which tasted very nice.

As the night progressed, we smoked ‘chillam’ with Sadhus.. (Chillam with fresh n pure Cannabis grown in the Himalayas).
In no time, we were so high on cannabis. I just could not get a control on what was happening out there. Someone just whispered in my ears, it’s time for you to medidate. And I started medidating.
And then the ‘Homas’ started, sadhus recited Shiva chants sitting around the homa-kund (fire). The ‘damaruga’ n ‘shankh naad’ n chants n ‘Shiva hymn’ echoed through the himalayan mountains. I was not in an involunatry trance anymore.Everytime I remember that exact moment, it send shivers down spine.

It was bitter cold all night. The sadhus never slept, they kept medidating all night.
Early morning when I woke up in the caves, I was in my normal senses and I could feel the chillness in the air which hit me harder now. I was like ‘where was all the shivering and cold last night’.
We took blessings from the Sadhus and trekked back to our normal-world. Our time at the gufa was simply out-of-the-world literally.
What a trip this one turned out to be!

In a couple of days, I was back in Bangalore. 9-5 office hours. Job. Boring!

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An Epic Travel – From Boston to Roorkee

It HAS to be one of the craziest travel experiences EVER !! coz it involved a travel distance of 12,000+ kilometers half way across earth, a travel duration of over 2 days, and on all modes of transportation – air, bus, train, taxi and walk.

Unfolding it from the beginning-
I alway end up dragging my office work untill the very last minute.  My journey started off from Hopkinton (my work location in US). After I finished off my last minute office chores, my colleague dropped me at Logan Express Bus terminal (Framingham, MA). It was a 45 minute ride from Framingham to Boston Logan Airport. I was reminded by the ticketing crew that I made it just in time, and should be cautious in future to arrive on time.
Advice taken! (as always).
I was like phew, everything went just clock-work.

My flight itinerary was a funny one though, Boston-Heathrow-Kuwait-NewDelhi (Thanks to my employer’s ‘book the cheapest airticket’ policy).
Even though I had a tough time fighting off cattle class passengers at Kuwait airport, none my flights got delayed.

I reached New Delhi on time, and I had already booked a train from Delhi to Roorkee. Now, all I had to do was pick up my luggage, hire a taxi, reach railway station and board train to Roorkee. As simple as that.

By the way, did I mention why I was heading to Roorkee instead of Bangalore? ..
So as to attend my friend’s marriage in Roorkee. 🙂 ,, and obviously many of my friends too were traveling towards Delhi / Roorkee on the same day.

It had been six months since I’d met my friends, n I was a little too eager to meet them all.. I took a shuttle from International airport to Domestic airport. Shaz, one of my close friends was supposed to land in Delhi airport in an hour. So, I was like let me meet Shaz in Delhi only, have a small get-together and then let me go to the railway station. I had enough time for that.

#Kirik1- For some reason my Cell phone stopped working.

At 9 am, I met Shaz, his flight had landed on time. After a little chat, we decided to have breakfast together. In the mean time I called up cell phone customer care from Shaz’s phone and got my cell phone fixed.

Shaz said he would accompany me till Railway station since I had lot of luggage to carry., and more over his connecting flight was at 2pm. By the time we hired a taxi, it was already 10am.

#Kirik2 – Crazy Traffic Jam, we managed to reach railway station only by 9:55am. My train was at 10 am. We hurried to the platform, train had already started moving slowly, I dint have time to verify my seat, and my seat was showing as ‘empty’ on the chart so I got into the train,, .. Bye bye Shaz, thanks a lot I shouted as I waved at him, more or less like a DDLJ scene..  I put my luggage under my seat, and sigh.. I was like, Thank God, made it just in time… again!

#Kirik3 – Shaz calls me in 10 minutes, and says I had boarded a wrong train. #wtf . To make things worse, I was traveling in the exact opposite direction.
Everyone in train were trying to help me. I almost  had a thought of pulling the train chain .I eventually got down in the next station, at Faridabad with a 40 kg luggage with me.

#Kirik 4 – I had only 100 rupees with me, no debit card either.
Shaz hired a taxi till Faridabad so that we could come back to New Delhi together. This meant he’s gonna miss his connecting flight.

#Kirik 5 – As I waited for Shaz , my phone battery said 2% remaining. I was literally kicking myself for getting into such a situation on a sunny hot n humid day, that too after my 32 hour flight.
Kumar my other friend had landed in Delhi by now. I called him up, and asked him to hire a taxi till Roorkee from Delhi.
Shaz reached Faridabad, and we decided to take a local train till Delhi Railway station.

#Kirik 6 – Local train experience!!  Close to hundred people in a bogie. What an strenuous experience, a couple of days ago I was chilling out in US, now I was hanging on to my life with 40 kg bags on my shoulders in an overly crowded local Dilli train.

#Kirik 7 – Kumar missed his connecting flight.
Shaz and me reached Delhi railway station at 3ish. Baraat in Roorkee starts in 5 hours. We were still in Delhi.

When I saw Kumar at the railway station with the taxi, it was such a huge relief. I put my luggage in taxi, gave a big hug and we travelled towards Roorkee.

We reached Roorkee, just a few minutes before the Baraat started.

I met all of my biing friends, the Wildriders..

Wow, only now I could say ‘Alls well that ends well’

Shaz’s quote at the end of it – If all these hadn’t happened we would’ve missed so much fun, well what should I say.. lol