First things first…my sincere apologies for writing & posting this Blog Post so late…11 months after this ride got over…immense guilt feelings in my mind! Hope I don’t repeat this mistake ever again…and maybe that’s the reason I have written such an extensive travelogue; this by far is the most detailed Blog Post I have written for a 3/4/5 days ride and also have worked really hard on this one…going through all the Ride Mails, writing this in a 7-page long MS Word Document and making 24 Collages as there were far too many brilliant pics taken in this ride; I couldn’t post all of them so thought of making collages so that I could cover the best ones! – this is the first time I have done this in a Travelogue! Hope all my effort is worth it…I apologize to my comrades for duping them by delaying this for so long & robbing them of reading through all the fun which happened in this special ride…read on with some patience!
India is a land of traditions as they say and Bulls on Parade (BoP) being a true-blue Indian Motorcycling Club tries to follow traditions in our own way! One such tradition is to ride to a Rajasthan-based Destination for our Anniversary Ride every November…Our club was founded in November 2007 and since then we have celebrated 3 Anniversary Rides – Pushkar, Ranthambore and Chittorgarh…come 2011 we decided to head towards Bundi – a non-descript & small but nonetheless a beautiful town tucked in Rajasthan some 450 kms away from Gurgaon…we decided to chose Bundi over host of other destinations just for a simple reason that it was one of those places where not many people pay a visit and as a club we have always tried our best to cover remote locations rather than the “touristy” locations!
The Ride Invite mail was floated by me in September 2011, 2 months before the actual ride so that maximum riders could join in but sadly in the end only 3 riders signed up – Ajit, Vikas and me…and for the first time Diptinder missed our Anniversary Ride as he went to UK to do his MBA…It felt very said as he is a close friend, a dear comrade and most importantly one of the founding members of BoP but as they say “life goes on” and we got to do what we got do so we went ahead with just 5 comrades signed up…but there was a last minute surprise waiting for us…our dearest non-BoP Comrade Vihans Gupta aka Jaanu, Cheenu and Chunnu was planning to buy a RE CL350 Bike but that sadly got delayed due to non-availability so I decided to take him along as my pillion for this special ride; even though I always tend to avoid pillions but for my Jaanu I can do anything…just about anything! Francis had to drop out to some personal reasons few days before the ride & Rohan ditched us at the last moment without even bothering to inform us that he won’t be joining the ride!
This was going to be a very special ride for me for another reason! As this was my last bike ride as a Bachelor! I was getting married on 18-November-2011, the excitement was palpable and was accentuated by this upcoming ride…you know us motorcyclists…always yearning for Bike Rides on the open roads and that camaraderie with our comrades…some people told me and questioned my decision “what if you meet with an accident, the ride is so close to your wedding?” and I calmly answered them back “If an accident has to happen, it would happen even if I am in Gurgaon”…the die-hard Optimist that I am, this fear never crossed my mind!
I landed in India on 4-Nov-11 and got my bike ready for the ride…as always Zaheer Bhai did a stellar job and I was all set…finally the day arrived…Friday 11-11-11…yeah you read that date correctly! Special date for a special ride!
The BoP Bundi Bandidos were:
- Vikas Garg on his Black-Maroon Modified RE Standard 350
- Ajit Singh Bhullar on his Chrome RE Machismo 500
- Vihans Gupta aka Jaanu on his “Dhui”
- Che on “The Mighty One”
Day 1 ||| Friday 11-11-11 ||| Gurgaon – Shahpura – Manoharpur – Change to NH-12 – Chaksu – Tonk – Bundi
Ajit & Jaanu stayed over at my home overnight and we 3 got ready by 5 AM and left for our customary Rajasthan-Ride Starting Point at Leisure Valley Park, Gurgaon where Vikas also joined us by 5:15 AM & after clicking the regular bike formation pics we started the ride at 5:30 AM amidst the loud chants of “Jai BoP”…
The roads were relatively empty and I was back on the road! What an awesome feeling that was – can’t be defined in words……The only disappointment was that the weather wasn’t as chilly as I was expecting, it was quite warm for early November and I was sure that there would be not much respite from the Heat! We stopped exactly an hour and 70 kms later to enjoy some Bakchodi and have a Sutta break…started again after some 10-15 minutes and the engine just died, I checked it & found out that the Battery Wiring was giving some issue as it was getting short, opened the cover, made some minor modifications to the wiring and started again…it was a big relief indeed…also clicked some Sunrise pics with The Mighty One!
Rode for another 70-odd kms and then stopped at our Traditional NH-8 Breakfast Joint – Prem Pavitra Restaurant – we have enjoyed 2 previous breakfasts during “Ranthambore Rapiers” and “Chittorgarh Cavaliers” Rides and following traditions is our forte as all of you know and we followed suit this time as well! The PPR Owner recognized as well – after all it’s hard to forget us, isn’t it? 😉 Had a sumptuous meal of Hot & Fresh Aloo-Gobhi-Pyaaz-Paneer Paranthas laced with Butter & piping-hot Tea and got ready for the ride ahead…
We stopped at the Manoharpur Toll Plaza for a Bum-Break and got into the “Posing” Mood while Jaanu got busy with his Blackberry!
After riding for 280-odd kms, we reached Chaksu and had 165 more kms to go for Bundi… the time got apt for a BBB Break and it was well-deserved one as well; we had covered the distance we had intended and definitely needed some Child Bear with Snakes & Sutta…I did the honours of finding a road-side Theka and then waited for others to join…there was an Egg Joint right next to the Theka and Snakes were ordered and a long Bakchodi session started filled with Beer, Egg concoctions, loads of laughter and yeah Red Bull – I had carried 4 cans with me! It could have gone on for hours & hours but at times we get sensible too and decided to get on the road again and stop only for a Lunch Break…
It was really hot & humid and the riding jacket was making matters worse…we finally decided to stop at 2 PM for lunch…the Paranthas & Eggs had been long digested and we were really hungry…got freshened up after a long process of removing our Motorcycling Gear and got ready for a long lunch in an Air-Conditioned RTDC Restaurant on the highway – yeah even we enjoy such luxuries at times when on Bike Rides 😉 maybe it’s the NRI Effect 😀 The lunch was lovely too…Gatte ki Sabzi, Dal Tadka, Malai Kofta, Zeera Rice and Tawa Rotis…as always I overate! We then went towards the lush-green lawns of the Restaurant and enjoyed some much-deserved rest…There was a superb incident which happened here….we spotted an error in the Menu and when we showed it to the waiter he replied “Haan sir mujhe pata hai yeh gandi cheez hoti hai”…all of us burst out laughing !!!
Rode for another 3 more hours before reaching 5 kms short of Bundi after taking some short Sutta breaks in the middle…I decided to stop and wait for the others to join so that we could reach Bundi together…the scenes were magnificent…the highway road, the milestone slab, my bike and the setting Sun…perfect combination for some memorable pics & I did the needful! All this while Jaanu was busy on his phone finishing some of his ever-so-routine like business deals!
We reached the Bundi city after manoeuvring through some real heavy traffic as expected with the stares of the locals which we are now used to…checked for some Hotels online on Vikas’ GS2 Mobile Phone (more about that later!) and then finalized Hotel Kasera Heritage – got 2 Double Bed Rooms for 1100 INR each. The rooms were quite cosy, clean & spacious…relaxed for some bit, had a hot water bath and then went to the Rooftop to enjoy the scene around…was amazed to see that we could get a magnificent view of the Bundi Fort from the rooftop…it looked magnificent…all of us took a much-needed bath and got ready for the fun times ahead!
Our Hotel Caretaker was named “Aslam” and he was a bit of a “Gay Party” and his mannerisms were funny if put mildly; both me & Jaanu decided to get playful with him and started a bit of friendly banter with him (if one could call that)…when we asked him for a matchbox we got a lighter and he famously said “yeh subah waapas kar dena, haaaaaan” and we blew up! And he was duly named “Aslam Bhen”….
Time was ripe for a night BBB Session and we duly followed suit! The Mehfil was arranged in our Room as there was some Rooftop Party being organized on the Terrace; we were disappointed but it was quickly washed away in the Pegs and the drinks! Jaanu was as always in a playful mood and out of nowhere the famous words came out “Menu laao behenchodon ka” while he was finding some options to make a special mix of you know what ;)… these words were full of angst for no rhyme & reason but then that’s Jaanu for you!
After the 2-hours long session we went for Dinner at a Cafe located on a rooftop and aptly named “Rooftop Cafe”…the service was pretty pathetic and the food below average…so we quickly finished our meal and left towards our Hotel Rooms for a much deserved sleep…covered exactly 444 kms and were on the road for almost 12 hours after starting from Gurgaon…
Day 2 ||| Saturday 12-11-11 ||| A relaxed day in Bundi
The day started at 6 AM for the 2 Photographer Bandidos – Vikas & Ajit who went Bandook-Shooting through the streets of Bundi and clicked some real wonderful images of the city waking up to a lovely morning; while me & Jaanu were oblivious to any such shooting incidents happening so close to us…we woke up royally at 8:30 AM and joined the 2 Bandookdhaaris at 9:30 AM after enjoying some Hot Tea and Parle-G Dose! This was the perfect starter for the lovely breakfast which was waiting us…delicious & lip-smacking! Fresh & Hot Samose, Kachodi and Poha…we couldn’t have dreamt of a better start to the day than this! Roamed around the streets of Bundi for a while before heading towards the Hotel but not before enjoying another cup of Tea…surely one of the best cup of Teas I have had in my life!
I must say that Bundi is a beautiful town and the street scenes were simply too beautiful and unexpected too…in spite of the hustle & bustle the city had a unique charm to it and we got soaked! The kids going to school, the shops getting opened, the honks & bells of the traffic, people gingerly waking up and the Sun getting ready to blaze! Plus the spellings or rather the mis-spellings all over the city were so entertaining and we laughed our guts out!
The POA for the day was plain & simple…exploring Bundi – The Taragarh Fort, Rani Ji ki Baori, 84 Chhatri and the famous Jait Sagar Lakewith some delicious food and Bakchodi on the way!
We started with the Fort which houses the beautiful & relatively well preserved “Garh Palace” and the “Chitrashala” within its precincts…the Fort is well maintained but surprisingly there were’nt many visitors apart from 4 or 5 foreigners…we didn’t want to hire any Guide but we got engrossed when one of the Fort Guides was explaining things to a Foreign Tourist Couple and his English diction skills were par-excellence! Nothing short of being extraordinary…his “Takia-Kalaam” was “Very-Very” and he never failed to use this phrase in every sentence he spoke! We somehow controlled our laugh & tried to pay 100% attention to what he said as what he was blabbering was surely very entertaining & interesting! I even made a video of it 😉 Plus all those hand-made paintings were beautiful too and very well-preserved even after all those years behind them…Vikas was specially engrossed in the Mirror Work and played with it through his camera and came out with some brilliant images! And they were incredible as those mirrors were installed way back in the Year 1761!
After the fun times in the Chitrashala we paid a handsome tip to our guide which was well-deserved too! Then we moved to the courtyard to click the signature pic of this ride!
And then the Trekker inside us woke up from his deep slumber & we decided to trek towards the Fort-Top, it was really hot and the Sun was shining in its full glory but we didn’t flinch at all – our determination was in the right place after some 45-odd minutes of huffing, sweating & puffing we reached the top and were treated to the brilliant view of the Bundi City! It was definitely worth the effort we made…we even made a German friend during our Trek as he has shit scared of monkeys & we happily obliged…he was a solo-traveller on his India Trip and was fun to talk to as well, it’s always great to talk to such travellers – and I always ask one question to such global travellers – “How many countries you have visited so far?” –his answer was 5, but it was great nonetheless as he was just 21 years old! Just want to mention about one such answer I got…I met a Canadian Traveller – Logan Essu, I met him during our Game-Fishing Trip at Havelock Islandsin November 2011, Andaman and his answer was a mind-boggling 43! And he was just 31 years old then! So we can’t even imagine when he would end with what count!
We also encountered the biggest possible water playground for monkeys on the way down! Those simians were having a whale of a time…lucky buggers! And then we were “Monkey-Menaced”! we reached a gate which was swarmed by some really angry & protective female monkeys who were not budging even an inch to let us go out…their canines were all out in the open and they were some real scary 20-30 minutes where we had no other option than to wait & let those monkeys move away but they were in no mood to budge so we decided to shout for help and VOILA, it worked! The Fort attendants came rushing up and helped us to get out…and all of us were mightily relieved!
After those scary simian moments passed us by we reached the base of the Fort & enjoyed some Child Lemon Soda to hydrate us after the hot & dreary trek…we bid goodbye to our German Friend & wished him best of luck for his travels ahead…
The Bandidos were really hungry & decided to have an early lunch…it was decent lunch and we got what we wanted – delicious food and some respite from the heat!
We went back to the hotel, picked up the Bike Keys and then it was time for some dessert! After some enquiring from the locals we were recommended to visit “Jai Mahavir Kulfi Centre”, we reached there and enjoyed some lip-smacking Kulfi and refreshing Badam Milk Shake & fresh Pineapple Juice!
And then the legendary word of this Ride came out from Jaanu’s vocal chords – “CHALEIN?” and it continued to be used by us all afterwards quite regularly!
Went to see “Raani Jee ki Baoli” – it’s the biggest Baoli in Bundi but unfortunately they close it at sharp 4:30 PM and we reached at 4:45 PM…So close but yet so far…so we relaxed in the lush-green lawns to enjoy some Sutta & Bakchodi whereas Ajit & Vikas went towards the market to click some candid shots…when they came back Jaanu said ““CHALEIN?”
So off we went to the “Nawal Sagar Lake” and once we reached there it was another disappointment as the lake was nothing much except a big ocean of Algae & some lotus thrown in for some good measure!!! But it gave us an opportunity to click some real nice pics & we also spotted some birds too…I switched on my Mobile’s Music Player and listened to some soothing music while reminiscing about my life gone by…Che got philosophical !!! After spending a real good time there, Jaanu again said ““CHALEIN?”
Off we went to see the Chauraasi Chaatri or Chaatri of 84 Pillars but sadly it was pitch dark and some preparations were going on for the upcoming Bundi Festival…me & Jaanu could not stop our excitement out of sheer frustration after facing 3 disappointments, straight after the other and started to laugh like mad & do our Jigs…all this while the 2 photographers amongst us were busy what they do best – clicking some amazing pics! Luckily some of the bulbs came to life in some time and we could enjoy the views somewhat…and then Jaanu once again said ““CHALEIN?”
This time the focus moved from “sightseeing” to “Pet-Pooja”! It was all about Street Food afterwards…one more time…and this time we enjoyed both Sweets and Chat Items!!! Everything we tasted was superb and was also enjoyed as “Snakes” during the upcoming last drinks session of Bundi…First up was Rabri & Halwa at a roadside “Mishthan Bhandaar” followed by another first-time experience – Golgappe made of “Urad ki Dal” which were simply superb & those wonderful conversations with the owner of that Thela…then we went to another Thela making some fresh Moong-Dal Pakoras; we tasted some and got the rest of them packed for the next BBB Session which was organized on the Roof-Top, yeah this time we were not going to miss that experience! What a scene it was…BBB Session on the roof looking at the beautifully-lit Taragarh Fort….straight out of a movie scene! a BoP Movie that is 😉
We reached the Hotel and me & Jaanu had some “Jhoola Masti” as well! Fun moments those were! Later we headed straight towards the Rooftop and started the BBB Session…we had to finish sharp at 12 Midnight as the next day we had to wake up early & start the return ride back home! The Snake-Drinks-Sutta Settings were made and the traditional pics were clicked!
And then the Mobile Gaming Competition started…me & Jaanu were competing against each other (for a change) and this was all for a fun game named “Fruit Slice”…I was elading by a big margin but then somehow Jaanu made a big score and beat me by a huge margin & then his happiness knew no bounds…he started to dance like a maniac! A winning maniac that is 😉 those were hilarious & unforgettable scenes! It beat the shit out of all possible winning celebrations you have ever seen in your life! And I can bet on this! 😀
After the fun-filled BBB Session we headed towards our dinner – the last meal in Bundi…this time our choice was a restaurant named “Tom & Jerry Rooftop Restaurant”! as they say the kid in you should always be alive! And we remained true to that saying by selecting that restaurant! Had our dinner and came back towards our Hotel…enroute we were stopped by a man who was surprised to see 4 Indian Travellers in his town! We started to talk & got to know that he was part of the most famous political Family of Bundi! He is a lawyer in the Supreme Court in New Delhi and sis Mother is Mrs. Mamta Sharma who is the MLA of Bundi and the current Chairperson of National Commission of Women (NCW)…he told us about the issues Bundi is facing & what he was doing for the development of this city…it was an interesting & informative discussion which we thoroughly enjoyed…and also gave our inputs and some introduction about BoP & why we chose Bundi over other Rajasthan Destinations, hearing which he was pleasantly surprised! He even gave us a shortcut route via Sawai Madhopur! We reached our hotel & slept with our alarms on! Had planned to start by 6:30 AM which we all knew was going to be tough for us but then there is no harm in trying! Isn’t it? 😉
Day 3 ||| Sunday 13-11-11 ||| Bundi – Sawai Madhopur- Lalsot – Dausa – Manoharpur – Dharuhera – Gurgaon
As planned, we finished all our tasks…woke up, got ready, packed our stuff, loaded our bikes, settled the hotel bill, checked out of the Hotel, filled our Petrol Tanks and started at sharp 6:30 AM from the Petrol Pump! Beat that for efficiency!!! I love riding through Village Roads of Rajasthan and this time as well we didn’t take the main highway but rather a village road and the scenes were superb…mountains or hill rather on one side and lush green fields on the other…and the weather made the setting perfect…little bits of sunshine hitting us !!!It was a beautiful morning; cool & clear weather, smooth Rajasthan State Highway Road to ride on and my Bike! Life set! As always I rode at full blast speed and had to wait for the others to join in! Used this time to click some pics of “The Mighty One” on the road…
The others joined us and we decided to stop for a small tea break at a very small village…and then the fun times began…The tea stall owner was so overwhelmed to see 4 Motorcyclists all the way from Delhi at his small shop!!!He sent one guy to fetch fresh milk for our tea as he thought that serving us Tea made from one day old Milk would be an utter disrespect to us!!! We tried our best convincing him but he was in no mood to listen anything like that!!! This obviously delayed us as I am sure even the cows & buffaloes had not woken up so we decided to sit back & relax and enjoy the Rajasthani Hospitality…Jaanu also did some Chillum Fun while biding his time! And we had amazing fun clicking the kids at the shop and then the tea came…and out came our Parle G Biscuits as well!!! After a memorable time at the shop we bid goodbye to the shop-owner and thanked him for his kind gestures and started the next leg of the ride…
We spotted an abandoned fort as well…didn’t stop there….left it for some other day! We reached a Railway Crossing & encountered the stares once again of the bewildered Rajasthan Villagers – they were shocked to see 4 aliens on Motorcycles wearing some clothes which I am sure majority of them won’t have seen ever!
We stopped for our very-late Breakfast at 11 AM close to Sawai Madhopur; this ride was real good fun as we had also rode on the same roads during our 2008 Anniversary Ride – The Ranthambore Rapiers! And then it happened! My first Open-Air Dump of the ride…amidst some shrubs on the Highway…what a glorious feeling that is! And can be experienced only when you actually do it yourself…I have been privileged to have experienced in the Mountains, Forests, Sea Side, Desert, Road Side and what not! Hope to keep experiencing this magic on some other terrains as well as life progresses! After I emptied my bowels all I needed was a heavy dose of Paranthas and Tea & God was once again kind on me…I enjoyed what I had asked for!
The ride after this pit-stop was full of misery for all of us! We encountered some real messy roads, full of dust & pebbles and to make matters worse the weather was getting hotter & hotter with each passing minute…but we trudged on as Brave Motorcycle Warriors and din’t flinch much! But after 2 hours our body was in mood to go on without some rest so we decided to take a break and give some respite to our exhausted bodies! Enjoyed some rest loaded with Sutta & Bakar! We also made a “Jaljeera” drink to replenish us on the road! The innovative Bandidos! 😀 The female “manning” the shot was full of attitude and had rustic & beautiful looks…thanks to her we all got relieved and the exhaustion went away in no time! She even gave us an expired bottle of Frooti but we didn’t mind that at all either 😉
We made a lunch stop and also some Sutta Breaks before hitting NH-8 at 5:30 PM! Perfectly as per the plan…took a short break at the Manoharpur Toll Plazabefore hitting the road again for the last leg of the ride! The gasket cover of the head-cylinder of my bike started to leak & I could not go beyond 80 kmph which surely was a big relief for my Bike & Jaanu! And the moment we hit NH-8, it was the regular mayhem-filled scenes of honking & jamming! Tourists coming back to NCR after the weekend and making the traffic messy…but nonetheless it gave me ample opportunities to criss-cross my way through the traffic, even climbing footpaths to get through! My previous riding experience in the Delhi traffic for so many years always come handy during such situations and I love riding this way…but Jaanu was no way amused; he was jumping & pumping in the pillion seat & using his choicest profanities…I remember one such sentence very vividly! Once I climbed a footpath and he said “Paaji, BAKHAAUL mat machaao aap, aaraam se chalaao”…I laughed for some 2-3 minutes before commencing my Footpath tryst again 😉
So finally after all these Traffic Adventures the Ride ended….it was a great ride; we celebrated our Club’s 4th Anniversary in true BoP Style with loads of BBB Magic…even though we were just 4 & would have loved to have a much bigger group but nonetheless I couldn’t have asked for more…I signed off my Bachelorhood Riding days with a super-amazing ride! Had to get back to my Wedding Preparations straightaway & this ride provided me all the vigour & rigour I needed!
965 kms of pure Rajasthan magic…4 comrades…yes the Bandidos did it in style!!!
All the pics from the ride:
My Camera: http://goo.gl/TNvRf
Vikas’ Camera: http://goo.gl/ey12p
Ajit’s Camera: http://goo.gl/aDmYf
All the pics from the ride:
My Camera: http://goo.gl/TNvRf
Vikas’ Camera: http://goo.gl/ey12p
Ajit’s Camera: http://goo.gl/aDmYf
I missed Diptinder a lot as I chanted our customary “Jai BoP” all-alone this time at the “Jai BoP” point in Gurgaon but I am sure he was present there in spirit when I shouted it in my loudest possible voice! Hope we can ride together very soon……
The 5th BoP Anniversary Ride is right round the corner and hope it would be an equally brilliant ride as the Bandidos Ride!
Till the time we meet again…ride safe and have safe sex…and cheers to life!
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…