Five Roadies and an incredible journey: Landsdowne the virgin hills

Let me have the pleasure to introduce the participants of this incredible journey. I am sure by the time you have seen the snaps of the place almost every soul would feel envy and disappointed for not joining us. Pardon the length, but at any point if you feel that I am reading any script from a fairy tale, trust me we were in one…..

The Bikers Raje Singh Rawat ….our guide and biker no 1.

Bharat Kanodia …. biker no 2.

Inside the Chariot Abhishek… the amazing driver.

Rajiv ….. the navigator.

Sayed …. the bike-car hopper.

Journey Noida to Landsdowne…….. 255 kms approx ( 1 way)

September 29.2007.

4:00 AM Rajiv wakes up and rushes to take a bath and complete the morning routine, followed by a small morning worship for the safe journey. Its 4:45 AM and the other four members are enjoying their sleep. Rajiv rushes to Bharat’s bedroom, wakes up Raje and Bharat and calls Abhishek and Sayed on their mobiles to get ready.

5:15 AM Raje, Rajiv and Bharat starts their bikes and proceed towards the ATM machine to draw some cash.

5:45 AM Sayed and Abhishek are still not there at the meeting point.

6:00 AM Abhishek reaches the meeting point and 5 minutes later we pick up Sayed and head towards another point.

The journey begins…..

We checked our maps to be 100% sure that we don’t take any wrong cut and end up in an unknown location. Our guide Raje was well versed with the road to Meerut so he shared his short but precise road direction tips to head towards our first stop and all five of us (Bharat and Raje in their bikes and us three in Abhishek’s car) raced to reach the place within one and a half hour.

To us it was just not a weekend break, it was an escape from the fast moving city life and the never ending struggle of job and family concerns, so we drove as fast as we could as if we were leaving all those forever.

After we reached Meerut, it was certain that we would be completing this journey no matter what happens. Our guide checked his records and consulted a few locals to reach our next destination Mawana. After avoiding the traffic of Meerut by opting to go from the Bypass we reached a place where there was a new bridge was being constructed and Raje stopped again to check the route while Bharat and us three kept on going. Thank god, man had invented mobiles otherwise we would have reached some other station, hadn’t Raje called us. We all stopped and took a U turn and drove towards the bridge where Raje was waiting for us. We took a right turn to reach Bijnor via Mawana.

The road was in a perfect condition to damage any vehicle’s shock absorbers. We started with our brows up and cursed every inch we managed to cross. Hats off to Abhishek, only he knows and I know how he managed to drive that 7 km stretch. Even the bikers were troubled a bit since they couldn’t drive as fast and missed the speed which they had so proudly enjoyed in the journey so far.

After some trouble we managed to hit a clean and a better road, where we had some cold drinks and some biscuits. We headed straight for Bijnor and drove as fast as we could. The bikers were as usual ahead of us and just like the turtle-rabbit race, this time we left them behind while they happily waited for us in some roadside dhaba.

We crossed the mighty Ganges just before Bijnor and prayed we all were together. The moment we got a call from Bharat confirming their location, we laughed at the situation and decided to move on as the bikers would soon be ahead of us. On reaching Bijnor city we halted to stretch our bodies and smoke a few cigarettes. Within 30 minutes the two super bikers reached the place we confirmed to meet and relaxed for some time. After that we decided to stop at Kotdwar to eat something.

The road strip between Bijnor and Najibabad was fairly ok with occasional speed breakers and ditches and small railway crossings. Abhishek has been driving all the time and needed a break, though he never asked for one. We reached Najibabad in 30 minutes and decided to change seats. I took the driver’s seat and Abhishek took the navigator seat. By now Sayed was fed up sitting at the back and decided to join Bharat and Raje on their bikes.
Bharat decided to sit in the car while we all waited at the railway crossing of Najibabad. The crossing barricade was lifted and we all with our new roles geared up for our destination ahead… Landsdowne.

I drove at a normal speed and kept wondering how Abhishek has been driving on such bad roads. By now the old and the new rabbit had raced the bikes ahead of us and as I need to stay close so I pushed the accelerator to gain speed. The road was now looking good and with less traffic around we cut through the NH 119 road swiftly as a knife on a cake. We reached Kotdwar and then Duggada within 2 hours.
We stopped at a small bridge where a small stream paved its way forming meanders and the sun’s light made the white pebbles under the stream look beautiful. By now we had lost the new rabbit Sayed as he did not pay any attention to the calls we made on his mobile. We took some snaps and started our journey again. Due to a last night rain their were landslides on the hills and from that scene we learned what nature can do to humans when its payback time.

All five of us were together soon and took some snaps on the mountains and decided to take lunch at Dugadda. The food at Dugadda was unexpectedly good and we had it to our fill. After having a good greasy meal we were ready to go, but this time Bharat decided to ride his bike again with Raje, who by now had fallen in love with the biking experience and was in no mood to sit inside the car. So Sayed was back again with us and I was on the back seat.

Soon we lost the bikers and tried hard to meet them. The roads in the hills are different and so were the driving conditions. Soon we saw Raje on the road side on his bike but Bharat was missing. “Now what” was the word that came out of my mouth as Abhishek stopped the car to see what went wrong.

Well this time the biker rabbits had seen a bigger stream and have decided to take a dip in the ice cold water. In flash of a second the two bikers were in their shorts and the fuming rabbit of the car wanted to cool himself as well. Just short of an inners Sayed was asking for one so that he could touch the waters, with no hope from us he was about to give up when Raje gave him his new inner so that he could join the fun.

This would come as a surprise as the two turtles (Abhishek and Rajiv) decided to just remove their shoes and gave the water the honour to touch their feet. This was followed by a photo shoot of the almost naked rabbits.

We started driving again and stopped only to admire the beauty of the hills or to take some snaps. The roads were very narrow and the curves made it more difficult, however at 4:00 PM we finally reached Landsdowne where we were to witness the calmness of nature. Landsdowne is small place which can be covered within three hours, but if you are an admirer of nature, you would like to spend your entire life out here.

Places to watch: Bhulla lake…its a man made lake with 4-5 boats and two guards for watching and selling tickets. Bharat and Raje didn’t spare those two poor souls even and kept troubling them (their first obvious choice is always Rajiv) till the time they completed the boating.

Tipfin Top….one can watch the snow capped Himalayas from here and sit and relax without looking down (the valley below will scare you to death).
Admire the cloud formation on the hills below and believe that you live on cloud 9, up above is just God’s bungalow. The three rabbits were too slow to climb the hill but the turtles were fast and determined to conquer the peak and walked fast to reach the top.

After finishing the trekking we started our journey back home and we all actually missed all the beautiful places where we had stopped to take snaps. The river bed had dried and the place where we took a dip in the water was missed while driving. The roads where we witnessed landslides, now had more rough and dangerous curves.

The rabbit turtle chase continued till the Turtles actually won the race. We reached Noida by 5:45 PM (September 30, 2007). Raje and Bharat reached by 6:30 PM.


  • Mukul says:

    Bharat – I would like to know more about Landsdowne…let me know if i can mail you somewhere

  • Nandan says:

    Thanks for your comment, Mukul. There is another story on Lansdowne as well. You can read it by clicking here

    I would suggest that you ask your question here only (as a comment on any of the two posts), that way it would be useful for anyone who might have a similar query.

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