Motorcycle Diaries. Road to Badrinath…

Table of contents for Motorcycle Diaries

  1. Motorcycle Diaries. Road to Badrinath…
  2. Motorcycle Diaries: Road to Pushkar…


They say, a simple news snippet can give birth to a lot of actions. It happened with me this May, when the news channels aired that the gates of the famous Badrinath Dham Temple opened on 1st May. That’s when I decided to ride my Royal Enfield to this revered site of Hindu pilgrimage situated upon the peaks of the Garhwal region of north Indian state of Uttarakhand. Nitin, my younger brother and a newly christened biking-enthusiast, readily agreed to join in.

We decided for a four-day trip. Well, it is exactly 1100kms journey to & fro Gurgaon that we had to cover. Keeping in view that nearly 600kms out of them were on the mountainous terrain, it was a tall feat we planned!

Indeed it turned out to be one heck of a tall feat…

Day 1 – 17-May: Gurgaon-Rudraprayag; 394kms. We planned to leave Gurgaon at 5am – after all, we hoped to cover almost 400kms and reach Rudraprayag – our first night-halt. As it always happens, anxiety and excitement ensured neither of us slept properly the night before! I was well awake, when it started pouring at 3am and then arrived the rogue winds, as if daring and deterring us from commencing the trip! Deterred we did not, and started sharp at 5am.

Taking NH-58, we sailed through the National Capital Region of Delhi. Almost negligible morning traffic and superb highway stretch after Meerut Bypass ensured we cross Meerut and Muzaffarnagar smoothly. At 8:30am, McDonalds Plaza before Muzaffarnagar was our first break, and by now we had covered 140kms.

A scary incident happened here. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t sleep at all the previous night. As we left the toll-road and entered the single-road after Muzaffarnagar, pangs of sleep started to hit me on & off. Mindlessly, I kept riding. However, at one point, body gave away to the call of sleep and the bike swerved! Sheer luck I could control it, stopped at the next Dhaba and dozed off to sleep on a charpoy in the open! Remember our roadside dhabas always house one? A brief power nap of about 60min and I was charged again. And learnt a life-saving lesson – never compromise on sleep night before hitting the road.

We reached Purkaji well in time in time. Here, instead of driving towards Roorkee-Haridwar route, we took a slightly less-travelled road, turning right to Laksar-Haridwar route. This is a low traffic road connecting Purkaji to Haridwar, and is approximately 7kms longer than the Roorkee route. However, decent roads and limited traffic helped us sail through and we reached Haridwar-Rishikesh bypass by 12:30pm, hitting Rishikesh at 1pm. We halted at Muni Ki Reti, a bathing ghat of Rishikesh; we had completed 265kms and reached the foothill of our mountainous journey. A quick, refreshing dip in the holy Ganges and a brief lunch of fruits (Trust me, that’s what you should eat when riding a bike for such long trips!), we resume the ride.

From Rishikesh to Badrinath, it is a ride of 294kms, stretching over several mountain ranges; it covers famousPanch-Prayags – Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnapragyag, Nandpragyag and Vishnuprayag, in the ascending flow of their occurrence. Prayag, in Sanskrit, means ‘confluence’ and Panch Prayags represent the five sacred river confluences. These rivers are – Alaknanda, Dhaulaganga, Mandakini, Pindar and Bhagirathi. Pilgrims take a dip in the river at these locations before embarking on visiting the holy shrines in the ‘Deva-Bhoomi’ (God’s Land), as Uttarakhand is commonly referred to.
Confluence at Devprayag

Ride to Devprayag – our next destination at 65kms – was really smooth. Once on the hills, you will find several spots selling all types of eatables all through the ride. At 4:30pm, we left Devprayag to ride another 70kms towards Rudraprayag. I must say, roads in this whole stretch of 135kms were in real good condition and thus, despite the hilly terrain and our aching backs & arms; we arrived in Rudraprayag by 6:45pm.

Herein I would add – we were true bikers in this trip, with no hotel bookings done pre-hand! My travelling experience in the hills all these years taught a simple lesson – while it is good to plan a trip in the Himalayas, it is not wise to plan the stay, specially if you are riding motorcycles – you don’t know where the weather and road conditions force you to ditch the plan and plan the night-halt!

However, we had done our share of some searching on the net and came across Bhatt Resort, a descent motel 6kms before the town of Rudraprayag, which was rated high on clean rooms and good service. Well, at Rs.1500/- per night, the place is a steal – hot water, great location, good vegetarian food and the sight of river flowing by – all are worth it. Would recommend it to all travellers on this route.

Day 2 – 18-May: Rudraprayag-Badrinath; 159kms. Volini spray did the trick through the night and our backs were game for the final leg of 160kms towards Badrinath via Joshimath. We started the ride at 8:30am sharp and thought of arriving in at Badrinath by 3:00pm. Well, that’s one thing planning Himalayan trips is all about – it can all go wrong!


No Roads!


Great Roads!

This stretch is a wonderland – really great roads and lack of roads co-exist so well here! I found these roads to be a biker’s delight and nightmare – both at intervals. After Rudrapayag, roads between Nagrasu and Gauchar – a 5kms stretch is really bad. You need to be a really careful rider here. However, very organized, self-disciplined traffic made it bearable for us (only vehicles carrying Delhi number-plates honked even here!).

Largely, owing to good roads, thanks to the Border Roads Organisation, and timely water-breaks, we continued our journey. Crossing Karnaprayag, Nandprayag and Chamoli, we reached Srinagar and re-filled our fuel tanks. I am purposely not writing too much about this part of our travel – nothing eventful really happened here.

And mind you, though the sights all through were really captivating, I would strongly advise you against taking a peep while you’re a riding a bike; one second’s break of concentration and the slip may be fatal for you! In case you feel like taking a peek, stop and park at a safe corner and allow yourself the use of the eyes and camera!

We arrived Joshimath at 1:45pm. Herein, due to wrong directions given to us, we missed the bypass leading to Badrinath and took the road from inside the town. I would recommend you carefully avoid this route, as a long traffic hold-up can cause a unwanted halt for hours – we were lucky as bikers could pass through the narrow spaces on the sides of the jammed cars and buses! So did we.

Some details on Joshimath. It is a popular hill station and a famous center for pilgrimage at a height of 1,890 meters above sea level in Chamoli district of Garhwal division in Uttarakhand. It is the base for trekking to the famous Valley of Flowers. It is connected with a 4km cable car up to Auli, a hill-station famous for ice skiing sports, making it the longest and highest trolley of Asia. Joshimath is the also the home of the oldest tree of India, Kalpavriksha, which stands here from the time of Adi Guru Shri Shankaracharya, who established this town as one of the four maths or monasteries, in the 8th century.

Here I should mention – we were advised that there are very few petrol stations and ATMs one the entire route – we found both of them in aplenty on our way, almost every 30-40kms.

Badrinath is about 46kms from here and we took our 30-minutes lunch break 2:15pm at the Army Wet Canteen – a small shelter after you drive about 3kms downhill from Joshimath. Great views of snow-clad peaks, the descent towards what we then thought the last hill to conquer, and superb-tasting bun-omelette – all charged our batteries up. Baba Badrinath – here we come!


Gurudwara Sahib Govindghat


Unique Rock Shiv Temple

Well, as they say, challenges come wrapped in good-looking covers – they lure you, tempt you and promise you a smooth sailing. They hide any hint of what you’d come across as you venture ahead. Our ride hereafter was just the same – we came across superb weather, gentle sun and cool breeze on our sun-burnt hands and faces, outstanding roads, low traffic; all this and the fact that we were near the end of the journey – masked clearly what lay ahead of us.

During the next 16kms, we passed seven mountain ranges, crossed Govindghat, the base-station of the sacred Hemkunt Sahib Gurudwara, the world-famous Sikh shrine. As we bowed our heads here, we also observed Jaypee Group’s hydro power plant. We also saw a very beautiful site of Shiv-temple, a unique rock-temple built amidst a huge green belt in the valley.


Last 10kms to Badrinath!


Riding Through the Waterfall!

From here the final ascent to Badrinath started. Next 15kms were the best roads I have seen in any of the hilly regions – we rode uphill at about 40kmph! As the milestone of ‘Badrinath 10Km’ arrived, with it arrived the challenge! It began in full force – we came across absolute lack of any roads! As the ascent became tougher, steeper and tiring, roads became narrower, muddier and deadly turns leading to next-to-impossible biking journey greeted us!

Then came the real threat – flowing water on the main road, with a ditch full of slippery stones! We gazed at it; is it for real? How would we cross this barely 12 feet wide road, with a ditch full of stones and running water? Badri Vishal was testing our nerves and we were really stuck, watching all buses and cars go by. After all, a two-wheeler and four-wheeler are different vehicles – cards don’t slip, do they? We studied the depth of the ditch, with every passing vehicle’s tyres giving us indications of the challenge ahead.

With all this study giving very little courage, we decided on a path offering least depth (read – one-feet); we agreed to give it a try. Nitin took the lead; with me standing by to hold him by the hand, should the bike slip! Terrifying, it was! You may think I am exaggerating. Well, I am not. See the adjoining images to believe it…

Challenges didn’t stop with just that. Four more, similarly notorious ditches one after the other acknowledged us. Somehow, we were emboldened after crossing the first one; so while still fear filled, we managed to ride ahead. As the journey came towards its end, with Badrinath about 1km away, we found tar-coaled roads again – what a luxury!

It took us 70min to cover the last 10kms! At 4:45pm, came our destination and we stood proud posing alongside the milestone. Snow-covered peaks all around us, a sign showed we were at a height of 13000 feet above sea level! We did it! I patted Nitin’s back with pride and affection – it was his maiden trip to the mountains and he answered the call with full guts and glory.

Now was the time to search for a night-halt. Sarovar Portico, the best property at Badrinath was all packed. We searched in vain for a decent looking guesthouse or hotel, which could provide us a clean room with a hot-water bath – the grime on our clothes will tell you why!

Though the town is full of neat and clean places to stay – all good hotels were sold-out and the rest didn’t provide hot water! As we enquired around, we came across a small, six-room property on the main road – ‘Nar Narayan Guest House’. The manager, a talkative yet friendly person, offered us a clean room with geyser – all at Rs.1700/- for the night; what else could we ask for!

Visiting the temple is another task – you have to queue up for the entry-token, which has a time mentioned on it and that entitles you to another queue of devotees at the allocated time, inching you towards the temple. The two queues take an hour each. Each person gets 5 tokens – entitling an entry to 5 people. Then you walk up towards the temple, across the Alaknanda River – the sight is amazing! It grips you with some feeling – nearly 800,000 devotees visited this shrine in 2011, battling the terrain and weather.

Some faith! As the evening came in, so did the chill; within half-an-hour, temperature dropped to about 8 degrees – this was 7:30pm only. Shivering, we crept towards the temple; finally our turn came, and we were hustled inside the temple. We offered our prayers briefly and walked out. It had started to drizzle by this time; we quickly rushed to a nearby eatery – Saket. Really good food was served here; we thanked our stars – our bodies badly needed some energy.

With ample Volini sprayed on our backs, we dozed off. Surprisingly, both of us saw the same nightmare – how would we cross the ditch with the flowing water the next day!!

Day 3 – 19-May: Badrinath-Devprayag; 226kms. Since now we knew what lay ahead, we started off at 7:30am. The chill in the weather numbed our fingers – riding a bike in this weather on such terrain can be really excruciating. While we were carrying our gloves, we trusted only the grip of our bare palms to negotiate the no-road stretch of 10kms ahead. Much to our surprise, we crossed this stretch without much ado this time – we somehow had learnt our lessons in courage while ascending yesterday!

Drive till Gauchar was uneventful and I won’t bore you with details. However, when everything goes just fine, comes another challenge. My Enfield’s rear tyre got punctured somewhere on the poor stretch between Gauchar and Nagrasu; we halted at ‘Dehradun Automobiles’, a Mahindra Dealership at Nagrasu. Rudraprayag was still 16kms away and it was 2pm. We spotted a tyre-repair shop; the owner had gone for a lunch-break.

After half-an-hour, when he returned after receiving our call, he took well above 30 more minutes only to tell us that he does not have an L-key to open the nuts of the upswept exhaust of my RE, without which the rear-tyre couldn’t be dismounted! Face the challenge, biker; here it comes! We decided not to sit wanting, and Nitin walked up to the Mahindra dealership, requesting the manager to help us with un-mounting the tyre. The mechanic – the super-helpful Rajinder Singh Rana – got into action.

He was nervous – he had never touched a RE in his life. Armed with an L-Key, with some encouragement and help I could offer and the knowledge of the RE I possessed, we took our time to dismount the tyre, get the puncture repaired, take out the culprit nail and re-mount the tyre – another 60 minutes went by – the luxury of day-ride-time went waste – good two hours.

We revised our night-halt destination to Devprayag from Rishikesh. It wasn’t just possible to cover 150kms during remaining daylight hours. It wasn’t before 4:45pm we started again; only after thanking and rewarding the Mahindra mechanics. They were our real saviours in the ordeal. Learning, add a L-Key to your tool-kit, if you have an upswept exhaust – it pays! And always carry an extra tyre-tube. Learn to repair your bike – that’s a must too.

Did we think the challenges ended here? Nah! Himalayas test your grit without fail, they do. After all, you have dared to score a victory over them. Just before Rudraprayag, we were welcomed by rain and storm. Now, those of your who haven’t experienced this weather in the hills, you need to face it to understand how it feels when the winds swerve your 190kg Enfield; when stones fall like rainwater from atop the hills and pose a threat to the bike, causing it to slip down the road at any moment. We drove for another 8kms like this, before halting at a petrol station near Bhatt Resort again. While we filled our fuel tanks, we contemplated about staying overnight at Rudraprayag itself. Covering 70kms more to Devprayag seemed like a real threat – a grave one in this weather. However, luckily the rain stopped and we dared again. Braving the weather and terrain, we arrived at Devprayag at 7:30pm, nearly at the fag end of daylight. The best place to stay here was Ramkund Resort – again all full with travelling tourists, offering no vacancy to travellers like us. However, the hotel manager was gracious enough to help us with a booking at Motel Dev Ganga – a neat night-stay with clean room at Rs.1500/- – air-conditioned! Slept we both – like tired horses. After all, we had covered 226kms of mountainous terrain – despite being paused by tyre-puncture and stormy weather during the day.

Day 4 – 20-May: Devprayag-Gurgaon; 321kms. We started the day at 8:30am, rode non-stop till Rishikesh. Thought of stopping here but finally didn’t and continued till Haridwar. Again thought of taking a breakfast-break, but the 5km jam at Har-ki-Pauri bypass took the hunger out of us. We kept riding at the corners of the road, much to the snooping eyes of car-travellers who were stuck in this long jam till Kankhal.

We kept riding and stopped only at the Patanjali Yogpeeth – Baba Ramdev’s Ashram; it offered one respite to us, an air-cooled eatery with fresh juices and sprouts on the menu! After riding for almost 110kms at a stretch without a morsel and any break in the heat of the plains, this halt came as a real breather. Ample liquids gulped, this time we took the route via Roorkee, surviving the massive jams at Purkaji and took our next halt at Bikano Food Plaza, as we hit the toll-road near Muzzaffarnagar – another break treating us with ice-cream shakes.

Here it said ‘Delhi 170kms’. With an amazing road ahead till Meerut, we again took a stop at Café Coffee Day – gulped more liquids and kept negotiating the heat wave. Take my advice – liquids are the only way to sustain long motorcycle rides. While each one of us may have different energy levels, I still recommend a water break every 40-60min. A 5-minute break gives you ample energy for another 50kms, for sure.

Nothing eventful happened for the rest of our journey. As it were as Sunday, we didn’t face traffic woes at Modi Nagar or Mohan Nagar and entered Delhi at 6pm. With low traffic encountered even inside Delhi, we reached Gurgaon at 6:50pm, just when the weather again gave into a storm. We had come full circle – started and ended both with a storm at Gurgaon! Covering 1100kms exactly in 4 days – 46 hours on the road!

I am sure every biker calls every long trip a memorable one – I am no exception. This was one of the most memorable trips I ever undertook. Covering an average of 275kms everyday, including a 600kms hilly terrain, was indeed a tall feat for me. It pumped my confidence in myself, my stamina to weather it out the next time.

Few suggestions for those who would want to try this trip:

  • Best time of the year to cover this trip is May. June first week onwards, when the gates of Hemkunt Sahib open, the traffic increases manifold. However, early June is good, in case you wish to cover both the shrines. I would recommend you avoid the rainy season – danger of accidents increases a lot.
  • If you are starting from Delhi, plan the trip in the similar manner as we did. Gave us ample sleep at nights
  • Never ride without a helmet, including a visor. There is no such thing like cool breeze kissing your face and other similar cool stuff! My visor has marks of all stones that hit it like a bullet after coming under the tyres of a car driving ahead of me, and visor is the only thing that saved me from going blind!
  • Speed thrills – and kills! Especially on the mountains. An average distance covered of 30kmph is simply great. Aim anything higher – you’re are risking way too much.
  • Adjust! You may need to sleep at the tiniest of the rooms wherever whether forces you to stop. Sometime, inside a sleeping bag underneath a bus-shelter!
  • Learn to repair the minor issues of the bike. DIY is the key! Do carry the toolkit and spare tyre-tubes. You may need them at the unlikeliest of the places.
  • Courage is good. Undue risk-taking can be fatal – don’t drive once it goes dark in the mountains. Start early. Drive slowly. Stop riding before dark.
  • Don’t honk while on the hills – drivers there value the code of the road – they give pass on their own wherever feasible.
  • Water-breaks are the key. Keep yourself hydrated and avoid hogging at nights. Poor stomach kills your stamina.
  • This ride is meant for riders with intermediary to expert riding skills. Beginners should first do few two days 400-500kms trip to test their stamina.

Now, before I sound too preachy, I will stop writing any further. After this trip, I have fallen in love with my new Royal Enfield Classic 350 all over again – this is the bike of the true bikers – always game for a new challenge! Try it to believe it .

Till the next ride, happy and safe riding!

31 Comments

  • sarvesh n vashistha says:

    ??? ??? ?? , ????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???. . ?????? ?? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?? …..???? ????? ???? ?????? ?????? ??????? ???? ?? . ???? ?? ?? ….. ????? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? .
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  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Great post, RRG. Very informative and narrated in a very interesting manner. The pictures took a long time to load…I wonder if the problem is with my connection.

    I too am a huge fan of the RE 350 which used to be called the Bullet (built like a gun, goes like a bullet) in my biking days. It is indeed an iconic bike, India’s answer to Harley-Davidson. Eagerly looking forward to your next.

    • Thanks, Mr, Narayan. The pictures take time to load on some connections, like DSL, etc. I face a similar challenge when not on broadband.

      RE 350 Bullet still comes; Class is a new avatar and is built with a better engine – it is a great ride and I recommend you test-ride it surely.

      I am riding to Ladakh with the Royal Enfield Group – the Himalayan Odyssey on June 22-July 8. Shall keep all Ghumakkars posted.

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    Dear Mr. Rishi Raj Gupta,
    Wonderful writing , nice descriptions point to point , hotels, roads and above all Unique Rock Shiv Temple, marvellous. Congratulations for your new Royal Enfield RE – Classic 350. From years it is first choice for Bikers in India, as I remember I saw it around 1967 when I was kid but it is there from 1949 may be before with other name with Indian army. Most appreciate you wearing Helmet when crossing water give a excellent message for follow travelers.

    Royal Enfield as you describe little harder when replace wheel. Can you tell something about break on left side. As you have so many vehicles and mostly or all have break in right side. Because some people told me they not drive it due to break on other side. How is your experience.

    Regards

    Surinder

    • Dear Mr. Sharma,
      Thanks. Glad you liked the post.
      Actually, Classic is a new version of RE; and is a very refined one, as compared to the Standard 350 Bullet of yesteryears. In fact, RE engines and technology has come a long way since ’60’s models. In new bikes, break is on the right side and left has gears, they have made it really easy for the new generation, who’d otherwise find the old version cumbersome. As far as I am concerned – though I love the good old RE still, I am really fond of the new Classic – it is a very smooth ride for all terrain. Mileage and service-factors have improved a lot too. So, I am loving it.
      Regards,
      RRG

      • What is the mileage and cost of latest and best RE model ????? any idea please share …………….

        • RE starts with about 1.1 lacs and can go unto 1.6lacs – depending on models. I recommend a Classic 350 – it is high on mileage and low on maintenance costs – I get a mileage of about 45kmpl. In Jan’12 – it costed me 1.25lacs on road.

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    Thanks for informaiton, actually from last 8 years I am in Canada and in 1980 I test drove Bullet.

  • Sumit Nirmal Kumar says:

    Hi Rishi,

    Nice travelogue. It is a wonderful written article with some good to know information about the terrain one will expect in the ride.
    I have been on these sort of excursion a no of time but never got enough courage to sit and write an article like this. Nice that you posted something like this.
    Have been to Badri Vishal thrice, first time on my LML Select Scooter, then on Bajaj Avenger and third time by car. And all the other Dhams on my Avenger. Always thought of sharing my experience but . . . . I believe do not have the writing skill as well beside the courage.
    Have faced the same sort of issues all the time i have visited The Badri and other Dhams. It was really scary for the first time when i visited the place by scooter, waited for about an hour before crossing the waterfall that time.
    Looking forward for more articles like these in the future.
    Keep Writing

    Regards
    Sumit Nirmal Kumar
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    • Hi Sumit,

      Thanks for your encouraging words.

      From your note, I can gauge that you write well – so don’t hesitate and start penning down your travelogues! They will be a valuable read for all of us.

      Looking forward to reading your travelogues soon.

      Best,
      RRG

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Good follow-up to your first ride. I liked the focuses-on-riding part of this log. Just the right pics, useful info about pit stops, road conditions and useful summary in the end.

    Just a comment on the honking part. It is advised to honk on blind turns. I often go to Bhimtal area (once every month if not more) and have realized that one can find a good driver or a bad driver everywhere. From my own limited experience of watching and driving in a lot of cities in India, Delhi still has the greatest sensitivity towards honking :-), though same is not true for the sub-urbs where I reside.

    The pics are high res and for next story, we would host a low res version at Ghumakkar servers, so that it loads fast. Look fwd to your next one.

    • Dear Nandan,

      Thank you. I am a proud convert-Delhite myself for last 10 years – on and off – and stay in Gurgaon for 6 years now. My experience of traveling all over India (I am in charge of about 90 cities for my work), I haven’t seen any more impatient drivers elsewhere! Sad, isn’t it? Now, I wasn’t referring to drivers honking on blind turns – there, they should and must. I am referring to that mad frenzy of overtaking when they shouldn’t and honking incessantly when crossing city areas :o)
      Yet, I completely agree that bad drivers don’t come along with any specific city’s tag!

      Your idea on pictures’ resolution appears great – thank you.

    • May I also offer another solution for images? In my blog, I can use the same, high resolution images, yet post them in stamp-size and leave it for the reader to click and see the full-image in a new window. This way, the reader can peruse the whole blog in one go, without having to wait for the images to download.
      This may work.

  • Very good RRG…………..

    You seem to have a very good liking for biking. I think you won’t like travelling that much if you don’t have a bike under you. This posts reflects that.
    The trip was nice and a very good one. The suggestions you have mentioned are equally helping , a pat on your back from my side . But photos is your posts seems very heavy , takes time to open . still while writing the comment the photos are not opening completely. I guess while posting the photos you should reduce its memory size.
    About the oldest tree in India,there is one tree in Kurukshetra also who has witnessed The Great Mahabharata war 5000 years back.
    Well I am not sure .

    Anyways a very nice post and good read . Keep travelling on your bullet and share here in ghumakkar.

    • Dear Vishal,

      Thank you for the encouraging words.

      Well, you are right in assessing my passion for biking – I am a very non-interested car-driver otherwise and prefer to get driven! However, a RE ride is what I truly enjoy.

      I agree on the pictures’ part – Nandan has offered a wonderful solution for next time – that should help.

      Shall keep you all posted on the Ladakh ride…

      Regards,
      RRG

  • ChatpataDun says:

    A very well written post!

  • venkatt says:

    Amazing ride and and an equally amazing narration of it RRG. Envy! Envy! Envy!

  • Nitin Raj says:

    Fantastic to the point narration of the trip which can keep the readers spell-bounded.

  • SilentSoul says:

    Beautiful travelogue guptaji. Can you tell where this Rock Shiva temple is ? i am sure it is not on main road, otherwise we not have missed it ?

  • SilentSoul,
    This Shiva Temple is built inside the JP group’s complex, located on the main road itself, near the Hemkunt Sahib entrance. It is a huge, green complex, with a sizable parking.
    You’d take about 45min drive as you’d descend from Joshimath.
    Regards,
    RRG

  • Mitesh says:

    Hi!!

    Great post… Really inspiring someone like me whose thinking in these lines for a while now.

    I am thinking of a trip to Chardham on my bike with my wife and kid (6 years old).

    Any tips for doing this kind of a trip with family?

    Is thunderbird 350 a good option for classic. Or you feel classic 350 is best suited?

    Mitesh from Mumbai

    • RRGwrites says:

      Thanks, Mitesh. I will answer your two questions separately:

      1. Thunderbird 350 is a good bike. You can use it anywhere on our hills.
      2. Family of 3 on one bike on hills is not impossible – but certainly no advised. One, you can’t carry that many people on the steep heights and incline without putting everyone to real danger. Two, there is no way a 6-year old can sustain the ride with two others.
      Not advise, mate. But don’t be disheartened a pal of mine did this kind of trip with his 2 daughters, 6 and 8, and wife. It just that he taught his wife how to ride an Enfield. That would be real fun. And you don’t need to buy a bike – you can very well rent the second one in Delhi.

      Whenever you plan this, I will help. Just drop me an email at [email protected].

      Do plan it – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara!

      Love to your son!
      RRG

      • Mitesh says:

        Thanks RRG for encouragement and love for my really lovely daughter… We shall definitely plan…. Infact my wife rides Enfield very comfortably even today and is equally enthusiastic for this trip :-)

        Another 2 questions that I missed was about the loguage.

        1. How can we manage that along with three is us. Is there any smarter way you can recommend?

        2. Can we do this kind of end of August early September?

        I completely agree with you dude…. Zindagi Maa milegi dobara!!

        • RRGwrites says:

          Great to know your wife is a fellow rider. Then the trip will be real fun.

          1. Best time to travel to Uttarakhand is before monsoons. You can do it in next 10 days or then in Oct. But then, the Char-Dham will close down.
          2. Luggage won’t be an issue – get Ladakh carriers installed on your bikes. Plus, there is an old saying amongst us biker – when you are planning your trip, lay out on a floor all clothes, etc that you wish to carry on one side and all your money that you have on the other side. Now, cut the luggage into half and double the money!

          Hope that helps.
          RRG

          • Mitesh says:

            RRG grateful for all your advice. This gives rise to two more questions…

            1. Best to hire a bike from Dehli or bring my own from mumbai both from cost and convenience stand point?
            2. Ideal Itinerary for some one like me if I plan badrinath trip Dehli back to Dehli?

            Thanks in advance !!

  • RRGwrites says:

    Hey Mitesh,
    1. I suggest you bring your bike – get it couriered via Gati – they are good. The second one, you can rent in Delhi (plan that piece in advance)
    2. If you wish to do only Badrinat; here is what I will suggest (purely keeping me mind that you have a 6-year old kid co-travelling)

    Day 1 – Delhi – Rishikesh
    Day 2 – Rishikesh – Rudraprayag
    Day 3 – Rudraprayag – Badrinath

    Day 4 – Badrinath – Rudraprayag
    Day 5 – Rudraprayag – Haridwar
    Day 6 – Haridwar – Delhi

    If you wish to stay any place, you can add accordingly.

    Hope that helps.
    RRG

  • mitesh says:

    Hello RRG,

    Thanks for your lovely advice. Plans on peak for October if whether is no dangour.

    What all should we carry for fighting the cold if we plan to visit in October. What are the chances of facing the rains? If yes what all is needed to fight the whether for the bikers?

    Mitesh

  • Anurag says:

    I AM planning a bike trip from risgikesh to badrinath .
    I am tacking the rented bike from the thr rishikesh.
    I that okay…rented bikes are allowed??? Need to take any permit???please suggest

  • Avin Rajput says:

    Hi,

    First of all its an amazing post, Thanks for sharing your experience.

    What is the best weather to visit Badrinath. I am planning it this long weekend on 15-16-17-18. I have 4 days for this trip. Is this right time to visit because some people are saying that rain started there and you could get stuck there due to unexpected land slides etc etc.. Can we plan in June before heavy rain fall? Because after this we can plan only in September or October because July and August will be rainy.

    What you will suggest.

    Thanks
    Avin

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