1st time road trip on bull, amazing experience, mixed feeling of irritation and ride adventure.
Scorching Sun and chilled beer in medical shops and decent tea is hard to find, makes you ponder of lifestyle. Little difference that we share with our neighbouring country, where people are so humble, genuinely welcoming and honest. Overall a complete package for a mind boggling experience on your first road trip.
Don't know where to start, never written anything like this before nor I am a good writer I believe, so I will try to put my best in here. Also this was way back in 2008 so I don't remember too many stoppages, hotels we took and other things, it was month of September'08.
Okay so my childhood friend, Jasjit aka Jagga has just bought a Bullet and got this weird idea of going around India and close by places on Bullet i.e. roadtrips. Now since he couldn't go alone he thought of me ki sabse jyada yahi wella hai (he is the most free person on Earth) :D Having said that, I got an evening call from my surd friend about implementing his idea. Well I was in Mumbai and since was too bored with office daily routine I tend to like his idea but I had no bull with me. So my good friend Jagga arranged his friends bull for me, got it repaired, serviced and made it ready for me. I took a flight and landed in Delhi, my good friend called Jagga, Snoop Dawg etc. etc was there to receive me. I was packing my luggage and my surd friend was onto making Hookah, he added a lemon piece and some more nonsense (my Sardar friend is a hookah lover, adds a pinch of his idea every time and he plans to open a cafe soon) we pushed off to sleep.
So here is a itinerary which my friend on his Electra 5s and me on borrowed Machismo covered. 9 days, ~2500 kms, to summarize: Delhi - Mahendranagar - Butwal - Pokhra - Kathmandu - Butwal - Mahendranagar - Delhi.
Day 1. Delhi to Mahendranagar, ~350km: We kick started for the 1st road trip of our life at 5am, clean roads coz of early morning so we reached quickly to Moradabad, stopped at sardar dhaba (i never understood why Surds always stop at Punjabi sort of dhaba only :P) for a some tea and breakfast. I believe the friend who gave his bull was cursing us like hell sitting back in Delhi so to our greatest shock, surprise, horror my rear brake went for a toss. And as you say that you get to learn from your mistakes only, my good friend forgot to even carry tool kit. New roads were done I guess so we could somehow make it to Mahendranagar via Rudrapur using front brake only and lil of rear what possibly could. After passing through Nanak Sagar Dam there was a bridge half of which has gone missing :D. There was a kachi road over kind of dry river bed, we took our bull down through the sloppy mud.
Crossing Khatima, we got our tanks topped up again in Banbasa. Since we couldn't drive fast enough coz of brakes we reached ~4pm. Driving along the road next to Sharda river & after crossing a small bridge i.e. the border we had to do some paper work at the check post, Gadda Chouki I believe.
We deposited some cash, copy of proof, declared period of stay in Nepal (Don't forget to go through things to carry given at last). It's easy to get hotel at Mahendranagar since there are only 1 or 2 :)
for information on how to get your bike in Nepal refer to link
We were looking for some mechanic so my rear brake could be looked upon but we didn't get any mechanic shop who could do it, cheer to our bad luck. So after evening tea, some wandering around and dinner, we were off to sleep.
Day 2: Mahendranagar to Butwal, 450km: Bright sunny morning and Sun with its full strength was shining down. We left in the morning by 7 max on East West highway towards Butwal. Roads are ossum, not that broad but almost traffic free, test your max speed here :) since my brakes were loose we couldn't throttle much. We both were on T's and ignoring the Sun we kept on riding sweating like shower inside our helmets.
On East West highway you will barely find residency, with mountains on your left and vegetation on your right, passing though some marvellous views you will njoi your bumpfree ride on long straight roads, not to forget that Mr. Sun is alsways taking care of you. At Attariya I believe we got some mechanic, he couldn't do much at least lend us 10 no. ka spanner, well that was also quite a help since every time we could tighten it a bit.
Continuing on the straight roads, guess at Chisapani you get to see river on your right. Take your bull down to the river side, people are friendly so no probs.
Passing through giant bridge you will now have a lil bumpy patches and mountain gate to drive through. At Pratappur there is again a check post, your paper work would be checked again. Keep riding on Mahendra Rajmarg and via Ameliya, Chanuata you will reach Butwal. There are 2 3 more check post, don't remember the places though. There are not too many places for lunch and all so pop something on the way. Butwal hotels are not that cheap, thrz a hotel at Mahendra chowk (i dnt remember the name though) near petrol pump. The guy who owns it is also a bulletbaz so u ll find it easily. Since it was Sunday and evening ~5pm not much shops were open, we went to a mechanic for the brakes, yeah I was still riding on that loose brake. This guy (not a bullet mechanic) tried hard, opened my rear tyre marking everything one by one (so he don't forget which one to place where) somehow fixed the brake. After a tiresome ride, complete sunburns and in an attempt to tighten my brake I had already burnt my fingers cause of silencer.
After spending some time with daughter of grapes, talking about my friend plans of cafe, we headed for sleep.
Day 3: Butwal to Pokhara, 150km: It was a nice sunny morning and after biding adieu to hotel uncle we left for Pokhra. Mountainous ride with river view, nice n easy rock bounded roads we continued on Siddhartha Rajmarg/ H10. Zig zag roads and shades of blue and green continue all the way, at Waling we stopped for lunch. As you close Pokhra splendid view of evening just make you turn your engine off and njoi the calm innocence of nature.
We reached Pokhra (little China) at around 4pm, too many choices for hotel so no worries, we chose to stay at hotel View point, we got parking in compound and it was not planned and by luck we got room right in front was the stunning Phewa Lake view. After freshening up we decided to stroll around in the market, have some authentic momo's with some chilled beer:) Early morning we left for Sunrise point in my friends bullet. We actually lost our way and headed somewhere, guess to Kalika but people say Sunrise in Pokhra is a must watch, it's in Sarangkot they say. At Kalika we were amazed to see the life people live in Nepal, not even proper bridges to cross through.
With it you get to see gold plated mountains, when 1st ray fall on them. Coming back to hotel we decided to have quick breakfast and leave for other closes nearby. We had already book a paragliding previous day so we had to be back too quickly. It's around 4000 rs for 30 min with photographs included (it's the cheapest I have ever found in India).
We went to Devi Fall, locally known as Patale Chhango. It's a ossom fall where water spins and disappears underground. You can only hear loud sounds and njoi rainbow over water. Close to Devi fall is a Gupteswar Cave. It's a long long cave, some entry fee is charged, I don't remember. The complete cave is wet with water dripping down from almost everywhere, you keep walking through the passages and finally down the stairs you get to see the opening. The water which disappear from Devi fall guess reaches here finally.
After light eating we headed for paragliding, we went on tata Sumo to top of the cliff, my angrej trainer scared the shot out of me that we might fall off the clip instead of taking off we don't run properly. He made us practise for 5 10 min after setting the flying gears. My friend took off first and then Get Set Go and run for your life like never before, guess I kept running even after taking off, my trainer+pilot who had his legs behind my ass, pushed his legs to make me shove my ass in the co pilot seat. Incredible, marvellous, stunning and shocking, I never had this experience before.
After 30 min of flying and after nice shot we were about to land. Yet again my pilot scared the hell to keep on running else the chute falls over head.
My surd friend landed and after that me, running for my life.
In complete Nepal I believe there is only one proper bullet mechanic, we took our bullet for a check and to our shock he told us all bearing of my Machismo has gone since last mechanic didn't fit it properly, gosh thank God we got it checked. There were so many firangi tourist at his place, some working and fixing other people bullets. Firangs are fun to chat with, there was one who has come from France, yeah thats true. After an evening breakfast we headed on my friends bull along Phewa lake side ride. Worth a visit, kool weather + you will find many local bullet gang riding along.
A day halt at Pokhra is a must since there are not too many places like this one in Nepal. Evening was in club Amsterdam, Surd friend went to pool table with his beer and I was with music. Good night guys.
Day 5: Pokhara to Kathmandu, 200km:
My good friend Jagga, does the work of waking me up always since I am not a early rise person. We left at ~8am for Kathmandu on H 04. You will be driving on zig zag, curvy roads along the green mountain. With river flowing on your left through the hot sunny day we reached Kathmandu, "Home of Lamas". My surd friend had a girl friend or just friend who knows, you never know what your friends are upto :) We checked into a hotel, not cheap but okay, I don't remember the name also. We had 2 day plan for sightseeing in Kathmandu.. For religious people don't miss Pashupati nath temple. Few places that covered in our 2 day stay are a. Darbar Square b. Budhanath c. Swambhunath.
There are many more places to cover, depends on time you have with you. Refer to the link below for detailed attractions.
Day 7: Kathmandu to Butwal, 260 kms: We left early morning reached late evening, night stay and left early morning. Day 8: Butwal to Lumbini & then to Mahendranagar, 500 km: We left at 7am and reached Lumbini quickly, Shakyamuni Buddha birth place, you will find people meditating under trees.
In 4 hrs around you will be able to cover major monastery there. Few of which we covered are Zhong Hua Buddhist, Sokyo, Tara Foundation, Indonesian and Malaysian.
A must watch monasteries with big, bizarre curious sculptures. After visit to all pious places we left for Mahendranagar. This was little hectic to cover since too much time was spent at monasteries.
Day 9: Mahendra nagar to Delhi, 350 kms: We left for Delhi along the same route from which we barged into Nepal. We packed our luggage not realizing the fact that we were to be frisked again during our exit from Nepal. So military men asked us to open all again and packing it back, uff that was a PITA. After crossing Khatima, we stopped at Gurudwara Nanakmatta Sahib.
After taking the Almighty blessings kicked off again for Delhi. Reached Delhi in the evening and went to my Surd friends place only.
Tips and Things to carry:
1. Keep your vehicle papers up to date and handy always: registration, pollution, insurance. 2. Passport (good to have), identity and address proof. Carry copy 2, 3 copy of each doc.
3. Keep Indian currency of small denominations, 500 and 1000 notes are not accepted there. 4. Keep spares like Brake cable, Clutch cable, Tube, Tool Kit, Engine oil, you will have to top it up in between. 5. Medicines and First Aid for Emergency.
6. Tarpal for covering your luggage.
7. Balaclava, wear full shirts or wear arm cover to avoid sun burns.
8. Petrol can 5 ltr would be enough for safety.
9. Ensure you helmet visor is white one and is new i.e. free of scratches. else evening drive is a problem.
10. Smokers carry your quota.
11. If you are Tea-holic carry milk powder and tea bags, very difficult to get decent tea.
12. Alcoholic, no worries even medical shops keep it and available 24 hrs.
* Ensure your ATM has International Debit Facility.
* Mobile phones need to have international roaming enabled.
* Photographers carry a decent point and shoot camera also along with your SLR.
* Take some lessons from your mechanic for small repairs, bullet mechanics are hard to find in Nepal.
* Get your bull checked at Pokhra, only place where you get proper bullet mechanic.