Sunday, December 20, 2015

Winter Colour Splash- Cycling diaries

Foggy days, chilly mornings, basking in the warm sun, piping hot tea- love winters!

Undeterred by the foggy cold morning, we set of to complete yet another 50 kilometer ride. Fully layered and covered up to face the icy cold winds, we set off at 7 Am. The start was later than our usual ETD of 5 am for rides as the fog is generally too thick early in the mornings these days to allow good visibility.

To our delight , the ride that began as a tedious task at the beginning seemed totally worth it because of the beautiful splash of winter colours that we came across while riding.

The beautiful yellow flowers of the mustard plants in abundance

Riding on a good road is always bliss!

Mustard fields

They say that turn to  nature to look up the best colour combinations! So true!

Fog on the fields

Tree lined good road
Stop over for tea and breakfast was at a Bird sanctuary (Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary) on the way. Birds spotted - Stork, Hippo and Egret.

Approximately 250 species of Birds are found at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. Some of them are resident, while others come from distant regions like Siberia, Europe and Afghanistan . Every year more than a 100 migratory birds come to sultanpur bird sanctuary in search of food and water.
 Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary

After a scrumptious breakfast of toast and eggs we started on our way back with the sun shining on us! Another happy ride, another day made worthwhile.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Driving down the Grand Trunk Road

On a road trip that I had to make all of sudden required me to get from Delhi to Chandigarh in the dead of the night and included a drive of near about 6 hours.

I chose to drive on the 6 lane highway called the Grand Trunk road and completely enjoyed the drive. 

The Grand Trunk Road is one of Asia's oldest and longest major roads. For more than two millennia, it has linked the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent, connecting South Asia with Central Asia. It runs from Chittagong, Bangladesh west to Howrah, West Bengal in India, running across Northern India into Lahore in Pakistan, further up to Kabul in Afghanistan. Its former names include UttaraPatha ("Road to North"), Shah Rah-e-Azam ("Great Road") or Sarak-e-Azam or Badshahi Sarak.

The route spanning the Grand Trunk (GT) road existed during the Maurya Empire, extending from the mouth of the Ganges to the north-western frontier of the Empire.

Today, the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) remains a continuum that covers a distance of over 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi). From its origin at Chittagong, it traverses to Sonargaon in the Narayanganj District of central Bangladesh, it reaches India, passing through Howrah, Serampore, Bardhaman, Panagarh (where it passes Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary), Durgapur, Asansol, Dhanbad, Aurangabad, Dehri-on-sone, Sasaram, Mohania, Mughalsarai, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Kalianpur, Kannauj, Etah, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Delhi, Panipat, Karnal, Ambala, Khanna, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar.

It's the easiest way to get to chandigarh from  delhi and a number of road side restaurants (dhabas) can be found on the highway throughout this journey. The restraunts offered refreshing tea and yummy Indian food.

A popular hangout is the Sukhdev Dhaba at Murthal, Sonepat. It's a multi cusine restraunt but it's famous for its paranthas which are served with white butter and piping hot tea. Even at 2 in the night the place is thronged with people and getting a table is a task.
Sukhdev Dhaba completely thronged at 2 in the night.

The 6 hour drive on the highway becomes a breeze by making a few stops at these dhabas.