Travel reminiscences from the 1970s …

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अब के बिछड़े तो शायद कभी ख़्वाबों में मिलें,
जिस तरह सूखे हुए फूल, क़िताबों में मिले

While recently listening to the above gazal of Ahmad Faraz,by Mehdi Hassan,the line ”jis tarah sukhe hue phuul kitabon mein milen” jogged my memory about the old faded travel photographs of years gone by lying, for decades, in the trunk in the basement.

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Haridwar – Stairway to heaven revisited

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In the dead silence of the night, the gushing sound of the fast flowing river sounded like heavenly music. Soothing, mesmerizing and it deported you a heavenly bliss. It was like being hypnotized, lifting the spirits to incredible heights. I can’t recall when I went off to sleep; but when I got up early morning, I walked to the bank of the river and watched it flowing away gingerly. I have never forgotten that river sound since then.

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Naukuchiatal – a comfortable weekend getaway with family

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While waiting for lunch, I walked around observing the tourists and what they were doing. While watching them, I was reminded of an old saying; When someone used to get sick or feeling “not well’, they used to be advised that “In ko Pahard per lay jao – AAB-O-HAWA badli karao” (Take them to the hills and give them a change of “Water & Air”)!

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Voyage to London from Bombay, via Sea and Road in 1958

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We were among the hundreds of hopeful Indians, boarding the ship, in search of better life and future. Since we had paid the lowest fare, we were directed to the lower deck. The cabin allotted to us had ten other passengers-all young, and we knew a couple of them. Some of them were going to Germany and France, while the rest of us were bound for London.

My wife was the only female in the lower deck. Being all of almost the same age, we got along famously. All of us first time travelers, feeling seasick. The sea was pretty rough, and the food on the ship was disappointing. But we didn’t mind. The prospect of getting to London kept us cheerful.
Aden was the first port of call. And we went around the town with other passengers. Every one wrote a postcard to their families

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Some memories of travels of days gone by – 1960 – 1975

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The title of this blog says “Holiday-Travel of Days Gone By!” and our holiday travel started around 1966. That’s almost 50 years ago! Our first trip, by Jeep ,was to Kulu valley and Rhotang PassI At that time there was no road beyond Kothi to Rohtang. And we stopped at the rest house at Kothi. Our elder son was six and younger was just one year old.

Can you guess the date of our arrival at Kothi ? You perhaps were not even born then, neither was Ghumakkar nor internet! October 30, 1966 was the day we jeeped at KOTHI.!

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Doing nothing in Fagu, beyond Shimla

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I must tell you readers about Fagu-which is 23km away from Shimla (and 3km from Kufree) is a great place for doing nothing and morning walks among apple and potato fields. Fagu is ,situated on the Hindustan Tibet Road at a height of about 2500 mts. We drove through Chhotta Shimla,and other crowed parts on to the road to Wildflower Hall and Kufri, stopping on the way to enjoy the fantastic views. You go thro the Victory Tunnel to CHHOTA SHIMLA- part of Kannaur Shimla, through Sanjauli,,cross another tunnel, through wooded forest toward KUFRI which is about 19 km from Shimla ,thro KUFRI by-pass and Fagu is 3km from Kufri on the Hindustan -Tibet road. It took us about 90 minutes, in our Skoda to reach the hotel of HP Tourism — Peach Blossom. Its a small village with only few small typical shops selling essential, nothing else. But the place is dotted with Apple gardens, terraced fields, potato fields etc . There was another group of People from Mumbai–all senior citizens, enjoying the place. We went down the hill though the apple gardens and fields. you can literally walk for hours- surrounded by Himalyan range so close,you could almost touch it. We were lucky that during our stay from 3rd April to 5th April, it became very very cold and we could see fresh snow falling on the peaks, and the whole area was totally covered by low clouds for hours.

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Mukteshwar Revisited

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Once we settled down, freshened up, we met the other guests, quite a few from Gurgaon, went around the property and watched the view points. Later, in the evening I went down for a walk and to see the area towards Krishna, and Sun set spots. Guess what? I came across a loosely locked gate, just after Krishna, with a notice “Private-No Entry”. Curious, an Indian after all, I sneaked in. There were no security, no dogs, no one out there. I walked up the private road with my camera.

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Maha Shivratri , Kovad Mela and a long weekend…

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We had been stuck in Gurgaon for quite some time, due to work, weather or some other celebrations in the riends/family circle. Luckily Mahashivratri Monday holiday coincided with no other commitments. So, we decided to get out during this long week-end.
For three whole days –February 18 to 21. Decided against hill resorts, due to weather, and a strong call from Haridwar to attend the Ganga Arti and a holy dip at Har-ki-Pauri. WE checked up on the Haridwar from various write-ups on the Ghumakkar site just to refresh ourselves with any tips, though we have visited the place number of times.

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