Post Monsoon Drive to DHANAULTI – Part-1

Well this trip came out of no where. In last week of September, my Dad was on leave from his office. Out of 7 days, 4 days had already passed with no plan whatsoever as I was down with throat infection and fever. On 28th Sept, in evening we were having tea. Don’t know how it came, my father said “Lets Go Somewhere Tommorrow”. Immediately I got up from the bed and could not believe what he was saying. But It was true. Now where to go was an issue and we had to decide in few minutes as time was already 7 pm. My mom told Himachal, but it was a big no from me. Then came Rajasthan but still no. I think Holidays are not utilized if one doesn’t go to hills (My personal view). 15 minutes wasted but still no place. Time was running. We had to make the trip short as we had only 4 days in hand. Then Came my favourite Uttarakhand. But where, was still a question. I told – Lets go to Dhanaulti. Finally my parents agreed.
Before I move further some vital stats –

Date of Journey – 29th Sept’11 – 2nd Oct’11
No. Of Travellers – Three (Me with my family)
Mode Of Transport – My Silver Queen (M800)
Total Distance Covered – 711 Kms
Average Distance Covered – 17.2 Km/Litre
Places Covered – Delhi- Dehradun- Dhanaulti- Mussoorie- Haridwar- Jwalapur

A starter pic –

Silver Queen just loves these Hills

As the destination was decided, the time was 8Pm. The next main thing was to prepare the car. Just took the car to the Petrol Pump and made its tank filled completely.Then went to the puncture shop and and made the air pressure correct in all the tyres. It was 9 Pm by this time. Now it was the time to clean my silver queen. Washed it properly. After the cleaning, now time to pack the bags. Doing all this, the time was 11pm. Took the Dinner and then went to bed at 12am. The alarm was set at 3am. But as always, “Jaane se pehle neend Kahan aani thi” .Time was 1 am. No sleep. Then 2am still no sleep. As my body was aching with fever, got up at 2:30 am and took the medicine and antibiotic.Got to bed again. Still no sleep. Finally alarm started ringing. I popped out of the bed without any sleep and ready to drive for 7 hours and above all this under fever and throat choked badly. But still I was full of energy and enthusiasm. Ran to the bathroom and got fresh. We were ready by 5am a little late. Finally started my silver queen at exactly 5am from Rohini.

Silver queen ready for its drive

There was very less traffic in Delhi.From Rohini to ISBT then entered in East Delhi. But still it took about 1 hr and 10 minutes to get out of Delhi. From Delhi we were on NH-24 to Ghaziabad. After Ghazaibad, turned left on NH-58.Now the roads started to get bad. Same old bad stretches as last year.This was the after effect of heavy Monsoon.

Road Condition
GHAZIABAD – MODINAGAR – 25 Km – Very very Bad
The road started to get worse at Muradnagar.Totally broken roads, stones all over and huge pit holes followed till Modinagar.Modinagar was totally devastated. It was all the more difficult for a small car to cross these huge pit holes. My queen’s under belly was scratching now and then. Till now I was cursing the UP Govt. that they could not repair the NH-58 even in a year. By 6:30 Am we crossed Modinagar.

Very bad roads

The Bad roads followed till Meerut City Turn. But as soon as I saw the board- “Toll Road Starts” which marked the start of Meerut Bypass, my curse turned into a blessing. Now I could not believe that this was the same old Western UP Highway. Last year this road was good , but now it was excellent. The queen was cruising over 100 Kmph. This was a sheer pleasure to Drive.We crossed complete Meerut Bypass by 7AM. The Bypasses of all the three cities are complete and the road ranges from 4 lane to 6 lane highways. The toll tax booth is just at the end of Meerut Bypass. At the Khatauli Bypass, we stopped for 20 Min to do Breakfast.

Meerut Bypass- NH-58

Toll Tax Booth

Khatauli Bypass

Muzaffarnagar Bypass

This is a video of driving on NH-58 on the Muzaffarnagar Bypass. Shot this video myself while driving –

By 8 am we crossed the Muzaffarnagar Bypass. After the Muzaffarnagar Bypass, as soon as I saw the Board “Toll Road Ends”, the road immediately started to detiorate. The 6 lane highway turned to a single road 2 lane highway with bad patches at reagular intervals. There are some very bad patches at Purkazi and Manglaur, just like the last year.Road widening process is going on but seeing its speed, I believe it will take another year or so. In Purkazi we stopped at the Gupta Chat Bhandar. It was the second and the final stop after Delhi. It was basically my medicine time break.

The time was 8:30 am. Now turning left from Roorkee, we left NH-58 and and joined NH-73. It is also a double lane road. Traffic Density decreases drastically as most traffic goes straight from Roorkee towards Haridwar. Though the road is not very smooth with some bad patches at regular intervals. We crossed whole Roorkee and Chutmalpur by 9:15 am.

After Chutmalpur, one has to leave NH-73 and join NH-307. Earlier this road was NH-72A but now it has been changed to NH-307. Some part of this road is Excellent with brilliant tar quality road, but some part of the road is again bad. After each Km one has to apply brakes as there is always a bad patch which hinders fast speed.

After Biharigarh, then Mohund and then the Hilly Area starts. The road is good in the hills also. Finally came the Dat Mata Temple marking the start of Dehradun. This was a record time for us. We reached there at 10am.
Delhi – Dehradun – 278 Km – 5Hrs (Home to Home) with half an hour total break.

Not very smooth roads

Some broken trees

Every year it easily takes about 8hrs to reach there. But this time 5hrs was only possible beacuse of the improved road conditions. After reaching my grandparents place, got freshned for lunch. I was dead tired as I did not sleep the previous night, above this the fever and throat infection and then driving. But still “Itni Door Ghar pe Baithne Ke liye Thoda na aaye Hain”. After all, We are Ghumakkars and Travelling is our main motive.

View from the bedroom

Went to the MDDA Park with my cousin. It is at a walking distance from the house at Rajpur Road. Beautifully maintained and there is quite a lot to click for the nature lover people like me. The sound of gushing stream of water was very soothing. Some fresh air, green hills all around and away from the rush of Delhi.It was like a dream that the previous day I was just sitting in Delhi with no plans and now this is reality that I am in hills.This was a reward to My tiresome journey. Consumed a good couple of hours there and then went back to my place.

And so the DAY-1 Ended. The next day was the most beautiful even more than what we expected as we went to Dhanaulti. Dhanaulti was just out of this world. We were all alone there. No single tourist. All this I Will discuss in the next part.
Till Then :-)


  • Stone says:

    Hats off to you making this journey while you were ill.
    Thanks a lot for sharing it and a bigger thanks to your Dad for initiating the conversation :-)

    Take care of your health dude.

    Btw, I’m also from Rohini, hope to meet you some day, rather travel with you someday.

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      @ Sandip , Great. So There are Ghumakkars from Rohini also. Good to listen this. Yes, surely a drive together someday.

      BTW, Thank you so much for your appreciation.


  • Devasmita says:

    Really enjoyed the rich description of this post Sahil. I often envy people who have traveled extensively in India, because my travel experiences in India is almost zilch. I look forward to the subsequent posts.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Once again Silver Queen on Ghumakkar…Great. Very informative post supported by beautiful pictures.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    I belong to Dehradun & almost every alternative month I use to visit Dehradun , next sat / sun I will there again. The condition of the road is 100 % better than last year, the main problem is in between Roorkee to Bhiharigarh.

    Waiting for your next post on “Dhanaulati” . I was there atleast 4-5 times. Last time we were there while coming back from Gangotri.

  • ram dhall says:

    Bravo Sahil – despite fever, infectious throat and lack of proper sleep, going on a 250 kms trip is no joke. Hats off to your “wanderer” spirit.

    Looking forward to your next post on Dhanaulti.

  • Sandeep Sehgal says:

    Great writeup, you have an amazing spirit… driving despite of fever…

    Look forward to the followup writeup

  • C V Kumar says:

    Great Show, Sahil. Keep up with great writing along with great driving.


  • Nandan says:

    Fighter Guy. Very inspiring but do take good care of health.

    From Rohini, I am hoping that you took the ISBT Bridge and went all the way down to MohanNagar. After Mohan Nagar, you took a left (which is a fantastic road to drive) which almost bypasses most of GZB. This road is via ‘Raj Nagar Extension’. Correct ?

    The 2nd tweak which you can try (since you go there often), is to not go all the way till Roorkee. There is a left after Chapar (Chapar is the place were the legendary Muzaffarnagar bypass meets the old road) which would take you towards Doon. I am missing all the names but find out more. May be Mahesh knows.

    But all in all, 278 KM in 5 hours is to be celebrated. Good.

    Looking fwd to Part 2 eagerly.

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Nandan Ji ,

      Early morning,crossing Ghaziabad is no problem. Whenever we start a little late, we take the Rajnagar Extension Road. Early morning the main Ghaziabad road is literally empty.

      As I go to Doon multiples times in a year , we have tried many different routes, but still the best comes out to be main NH-58. State highways of UP are in worse condition.
      Last time went from the Shamili – Bagapat – Saharanpur route. This route was totally devastated. it took us 10 hrs to reach Doon.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    @ Nandan– The road ( Chhaper – (M/Nagar) to Dehradun) you are talking about meets nearby Chutmalpur, if you are taking this road you will skip crowded places of Purkazi & Roorkee.

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      I have also tried the Deoband- Saharanpur route , but the main Delhi – Meerut – Roorkee – Doon is the most time tested and the most comfartable one. Muzaffarnagar to Roorkee would also be fine after another year or so.


  • Sameerg001 says:

    hey sahil,
    great writeup, i also went to haridwar and dehradun last week itself and the section between roorkee and dehradun is a nightmare,large potholes one can’t drive in 4 the gear there but rest of the road is good and the toll road section is awesome one can do 3 digits speeds there easily.Those who want to go to dehradun should go via haridwar instead,this route is 20km longer but is far better then the route via roorkee.BTW are you a team-bhpian,as you’ve team-bhp stickers on your silver queen?

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Thanks Sameer. Yes, the Haridwar route is good , but it takes quite a lot of time to cross Haridwar city. So to reach Dehradun , one needs couple of hours extra going from this route.

      No, I am not a team Bhpian but have bought their stickers.


  • vinaymusafir says:

    Jug Jug Jiyo Ghumakkar babu!
    Beautiful pics. waiting for further parts.

  • dsjpr says:

    Nice detailling but wonder you cross MZN bypass at 8am and reached the turn of Chutmalpur at roorkee by 8.30 am , with bad road , single lane and a stop at someplace in purkazi .
    Knowing the conditions well on this stretch , you need to be congratulated..

    • Sahil Sethi says:

      Roorkee and Chutmalpur are two different places .I have written that I reached the start of Roorkee by 8:30 am not Chutmalpur. We were there at Chutmalpur around 9:15 am.

      BTW, thanks for liking.


  • Sanjeev says:

    You have a true ghumakkar spirit. Not well and still driving a good job. Very well presented

  • Sunil says:

    Very nice route details Sahil. Good pics also . Keep up the good work

  • Nandan says:

    Sahil – When do we get to read about Part 2 ? Waiting :-)

  • Sanjeev says:

    Waiting for the part-2….Show us Dhanaulti !!!!

  • Today only i read this post

    its excellent……………………………….


  • shekhawat.giriraj says:

    Wonderful pictures and an excellent write up ………. well the silver queen seems to be the main protagonist of this film …….. I was in Musorrie in 2009 for 4 days but wasn’t able to move to Dhanaulti…….. But this post is an inspiration

    Cheers and happy ghumakkari

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