Next morning we got up at 5:30AM. After getting ready we checked out of the hotel and went to the bus stand that was right opposite. The Nasik bound bus was not available at that time and we took this opportunity to have tea and some snacks. After some time one bus arrived and we boarded that bus and started our journey towards Nasik. Distance between Nasik and Sangamner is around 70 KM. The road beyond Sangamner is also two lanes but has huge traffic. I was surprised that the highway connecting two major cities of Maharashtra i.e. Pune and Nasik is just two lanes wide. It should it at least four lanes keeping in mind the traffic it has.
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirling – from Google.com
Kargil War Memorial
It was time to pay homage to the Martyrs of 1999 Kargil War at the memorial which is situated along the Srinagar-Leh National Highway in the village Drass of Kargil District. We entered into it and walked through the lane ‘Vijay Path’ that leads to the memorial. This path got its name from the Indian Military operation, ‘Operation Vijay (1999)’.
Vijay Path inside the Memorial
Next morning we got up at 4 AM. It was raining heavily. As we were already in railway premises, the rain did not matter. If we had stayed somewhere else then it would have become difficult for us to reach the station. We were ready to leave by 4:45 AM and reached ticket counter and bought 4 tickets for Lonavala. As the train originates from here itself, it had already come to platform. We went to general compartment and took seats. Soon the compartment filled with passengers and train departed on its scheduled time at 5:40 AM.
It was still raining and weather was very pleasant. The train was passing through Western Ghats and many waterfalls and streams had come to live due to heavy rain. It’s not just the air and (relative) lack of pollution that was refreshing – there was a certain acceptance of quirkiness and eccentricity in the hills that is rarer in the lowlands.
The train stopped at Dadar, Thane, Kalyan and Karjat before reaching Lonavla. Maharashtra famous dish Vada Pav was available on each railway station and many vendors were selling these items in the train and every second passenger was enjoying Vada Pav. Finally, the train reached Lonavla at 8:00 AM. Rain had stopped till now. We came out of the train and decided to have breakfast as we had not eaten anything till now. Lonavla Station is small and only one stall was on the platform that too not having any eatables but only tea. We went to the right side towards market in search of breakfast. There we find one sweet shop and ask him if paranthas were available. The shopkeeper refused and offered us hot Vada Pav. As no other option was available we enjoyed hot Vada Pav with green chili and spicy sauce and later some sweets with hot tea.
On the way to Bhimashankar
A few days back I was looking down the Places page of ghumakkar.com to read about different tourist places of India and I found that there were only three posts for state Haryana and all related to holy and historical place Kurukshetra. As I belong to Haryana, I can proudly say that along with historical places and shrines, Haryana has much more to serve in tourism sector. Do you know that the state also has a hill station? Yes, it is Morni Hills. Let me take you all to a virtual trip to this beautiful, peaceful and the only hill station of Haryana, Morni Hills.
About Morni Hills (Courtsey: Wikipedia)
Morni is a village and tourist attraction in the Morni Hills in the Panchkula district of Haryana. It is located around 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Chandigarh,35 km from panchkula as its district and is known for its Himalayan views, flora, and lakes. The name of Morni is believed to derive from a queen who once ruled the area.
It was the November of 2013 and day next to Diwali we decided to visit Morni Hills. Initially we were skeptical about how the place would be, will there be too much to visit, where to stay etc. etc. But all our confusions flew off once we were there.
We started our journey from Chandigarh after breakfast. Took the road to Morni via Panchkula, after about half an hour we were driving through hilly area. It was month of November, so atmosphere was filled with a cool breeze. Since Morni is less frequented, so you will find only one or two cars and few local collegiate and lovebirds on bikes. We reached Morni by around afternoon and headed towards Adventure Park. You park your cars and walk through the entrance and get tickets. There are some adventure activities to do here like rope climbing, bridge crossing, bhul bhulaiya(labyrinth), scary room(which wasn’t scary though), tree house etc. It is a great picnic spot for families. As we saw many families enjoying their home cooked food in big casseroles, the mice in our tummies started running here and there and we looked around for lunch but the place had nothing much to offer than Maggie. Ah! We wished we had carried hot Rajma Chawal or Parathas with Pickle. Good tip for next time visit. After spending some time there, we then proceeded to Tikkar Taal.
The Adventure Park at Morni
20 Jul 2014: Early morning in Sarchu is even colder. I have had a bit of a cold and uncomfortable night. Uncomfortable, not due to any uneasiness or discomfort due to altitude but more owing to the freezing conditions.
The idea today is to start at the crack of dawn and take in Tso Kar before heading out to Leh. It is just a 30 min detour one way and that is very doable if we pace ourselves well. Our campsite is at Nimmu, further out of Leh but that is fine. Nimmu is just a little over 30 kms ahead of Leh. The road conditions in Ladakh are expected to be really good and the passage that much faster.
We leave Sarchu at 0530 hrs. It is the crack of dawn…. the place is overcast and there is a bit of a drizzle. The wind is howling, it is snowing in the higher elevations of the surrounding mountains and I am chilled to the bone!
Right after we set out, we cross a little bridge which I am told is the boundary between Ladakh and Himachal. So now officially, we enter Ladakh! A little bit further we come across this signboard… the BRO has already been spreading the AIDS awareness message…!
Looks like the BRO has already been spreading the message…
Driving along with the Tsarap Chu on our left, we reach the Gata Loops… starting at about 4200 mtrs altitude. This is a series of 21 hair pin bends before we hit the Nakila at 4739 mtrs. All along, the peaks seem to have a sprinkling of fresh snow on them… just as if they were some giant muffins with a drizzle of icing sugar on top! Very beautiful!