After planning in 1st week of December,a road trip to 3 beautiful places over XMAS and NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS was finalized. Took some inputs from my friends, which helped in making it happen.
ITERNARY and HOTELS
Dec 21 - Bangalore - Nashik (Hotel Royal Heritage)
Dec 22 - Nashik - Bhuj (Hotel Sahara Palace)
Dec 23 - Bhuj - Kalo Dungar - Dhordo - Bhuj
Dec 24 - Bhuj - Dholavira (Dholavira Tourism Resort)
Dec 25 - Dholavira --- Jaisalmer
Dec 26 -- Visit Jaisalmer, Desert Camp Stay. (Royal Peepli Desert Camp)
Dec 27 - Jaisalmer --- Bikaner (Guest House Prakash Family)
Dec 28 - Bikaner -- Dera Bassi
Dec 29 - Dera Bassi --- DevPrayag (Stayed in a room 200rs with dinner some 10 kms ahead of DevPrayag)
Dec 30 - DevPrayag -- Auli (Joshimath)
Dec 31 - Auli (Auli Natrue Resort)
Jan 1st - 8th Return Journey from Auli to Bangalore with breaks at Haridwar,Delhi, Bhilwara and Nashik.
All hotels booked were on rs700 to rs1.3k budget, and were value for money for solo traveller.
Desert Camp in Jaisalmer and Resort in Auli was booked by direct contact via website.
VEHICLE - KTM RC390
LUGGAGE - Viaterra Tail Bag, Rynox Tank Bag.
CAMERA - NIKON B700 and GOPRO HERO BLACK 5
Lets divide this in 3 phases, KUTCH, JAISALMER and AULI.
Initial 2 days were speed run's from Bangalore to Bhuj. Covered almost 1950km in this phase.
KUTCH : From Bhuj, went directly to Kalo Dungar. Enroute there is a check post where you need to get permit for a nominal fee if you plan to visit Dhordo. No permit required for Kalo Dungar.
The view at Kalo Dungar are mesmerizing, clear sky, white sands at horizon and still water at places made the view picteresque. Spent 2 hours admiring the beauty and clicking random pics.
From Kalo Dungar, I planned to go to Dhordo, as read in few posts in the Forum, took a diversion toward's Dhordo. The two-lane road, had literally 0 traffic, desert on both sides. Perfect location for Bike Photoshoot. Spent another hour clicking pics.
Reached Dhordo around 1pm, Permission obtained at the checkpost was verified and i was allowed to pass to Parking. Parked the bike, took essentials (CAMERA) and walked a stretch of km, towards an elevated Ramp.
The view is simply amazing, Pure White Sand to an extent as far as you can see. People posing for pics, families playing with kids, camels walking up and down the pathway to ramp, small live cultural performance. For me it was all i came to see this far. Stayed till 5pm, Only regret maybe, didnt stay for evening festival which starts around 7pm. Started back for Bhuj reached around 6:30pm. Eventfull day ends.
Next day left for Dholavira from Bhuj, roads are almost good. Some stretch under construction. On the way you get this 15km stretch of road with WHITE SANDS on both sides and all you can do is pull over, take out your camera and click pics (that's what i did for an hr), when i got satisfied, i moved on through small villages towards Dholavira Resort. Stay was pleasant. Met lot of people here.
Resort had already planned our visit to Harapan Civilization Ruins, Sunset Point and Fossil Park. All must visit, really interesting places too. Had interesting conversations over dinner with people sharing there experiences of travelling. All in all a fun day.
From Dholavira to Jaisalmer it is around 620km. The roads in whole Rajasthan are so amazing and smooth, it took me 7 hrs to reach Jaisalmer. On the way had some amazing DHABA food, cheap and best.
The stay for the night was cancelled in the city. Booked a tent in some desert camp for the night, Best part was it was 2 person tent that is used for camping with a bedding in it. Different experience altogether.
Next day had booking in another Desert Camp, visited the JAISALMER FORT, the place does not even feel like a FORT from inside, people stay inside the fort, have shops and houses inside. Roamed around, visited view points and clicked some pics.Left for the Royal Peepli Desert Camp by 3 pm.
The place was some 50km from the main town, last 2km to the camp was driven in desert. It was hilarious to see a guy on Splendor run past me with me struggling to keep the Fully Loaded KTM RC390 from not falling. Somehow reached the camp. The thing i liked about the camp was it was isolated, very few people around the camp. Had a chat with the guy running the place and he turned to be a 'Biker' himself. Had a nice conversation describing the iternary and other things that can be done in and around.
Evening the camp organized a small cultural fest midst of a sand dune. By the time it started climbed a small dune and clicked some pics of the setting sun and the place.The fest started at around 8 - 8:30 pm, the weather was bone chilling at night. Danced around with strangers, had delicious food, saw live cultural performances and at 11:30 pm it was time to sleep.
Next morning, changed the plan a bit, decided to go to Longewala Yudh Sthal and Tanot Mata Mandir. Best decision in the whole trip. The roads were amazing, with huge sand dunes all along. Covered both places in around 4 hrs to and fro from Jaisalmer.
From here it's journey towards AULI in Uttarakhand. Took breaks at Chandigarh and Devprayag before finally reaching Auli on 30th Dec.
The drive from Rishikesh to Auli itself so beautiful and adventurous, that by the time I reached Auli, i was already satisfied with the place.
Mostly 2-lane roads, good condition, beautiful view of valley with river flowing right in the middle of it, for a Biker like me, I didn't want anything else. The only problem i had was to keep myself from looking at views while driving on these roads, result took me two days to complete 490km trip to AULI.
Took as many pics as i could, still couldn't let go off the mountains. More i moved up, and the Snowy Capped mountains emerged. Reached Auli on 30th at around 4pm. The stay was nice and pleasant. Spent the remaining day clicking pics from stay and exploring market.
Next day, last day of the year was the best one so far. Went to the Auli chair car station, which unfortunately was not working. As a result I had to did a pretty trek to reach the Skiing Point. It might not sound hard but it really was, only inspirations Skiing and View of Nanda Devi from the last chaircar station.
After the trek finally reached the Skiing place. Had a fun session for an hour, took some superb falls, 360 degree spin and fall, not an easy thing to do in first attempt.
After learning few basics and clicking some pics, moved on towards Gorson Peak. another 2 km trek, over mix of hard and soft snow. The views were simply amazing, the cloud cover over the mountains breathtaking. Every time you look above, you cannot resist clicking a photo. Finally reached the top around 1:30 -2:00 pm. Temperature on top -2 degree with sun shining bright. Spent another hour at the top, discussing about the landscape, different peaks and experience so far with my guide who was an expert trekker.
Started descending around 3pm and came down to base by 4:15. Also saw the artificial lake and ice making machines on the way down. Even though the snow was less comparatively to other years, the place was still as beautiful as it can be. Bad part was it snowed within couple of days i left the place.
Next day started return journey from Auli to Bangalore, had seen all the view possible, took all pictures while climbing. So raced down the curvy roads of Himalayas. Left AULI at 9:30, reached Haridwar around 5:30.
From there on stayed at Delhi, Bhilwara, Nashik, met old friends and family before finally reaching Bangalore on 8th 2AM.
It was my first SOLO LONG TRIP covering overall 7894 km and one i will never forget.
Thanks for Reading