A small travelogue
After ages did a road trip with the Polo. It was all planned spontaneously. Couple of college friends from Pune called me up on 12th Dec as they wanted to do a small 3-4 days trip anywhere in North India. They had been to my place multiple times and I had previously taken them to various tourist destinations such as Dharamshala,Mcleodganj, Shimla, Dalhousie, Rishikesh, Mussorie, etc. So places left for a short 4 day trip were rather few. Decided to head to Jim Corbett National park this time. Started asking people who had recently visited there and came to know it was more or less an off-season right now and finding an accommodation outside would not be much of a trouble. Called up a few other friends and two more were ready to join in, one putting up at Dehradun and the other one studying at Moradabad. And in addition we made a plan that if we are done with sight-seeing at Corbett early then we will head to Nanital for a day.
A short summary of the trip - Itenary
1. Day 1
- Chandigarh to Jim Corbett National park via Delhi. (494kms)
2. Day 2
- Jim Corbett to Nanital (95kms approximately)
3. Day 3
- Nanital local sight seeing(30-40kms)
4. Day 4
- Nanital to Chandigarh via Delhi (560kms)
Day 1, 15th Dec, woke up early and was in the car at 4.30AM. Had already got the fuel filled and tyre pressure as well as pollution check done last night.
Getting the pollution certificate -
I travel light.
Hit the highway in no time and I was already cruising at speeds of 120-130kmph. Fortunately, there was no signs of fog that morning. With literally no traffic on the roads, I was at Karnal at 5.45AM. My friends train were to reach New Delhi station at 7.10AM and figuring how the Indian railways work, I was safely presuming them to be late by an hour at the least. Gosh, I was so wrong and they had arrived before time. Anyways, I was at Ajmeri Gate,New delhi railway station exactly at 7.30AM. Picked up my friends from there and we straight headed towards Jim Corbett with a slight detour to Moradabad to pick another friend.
Crossing Ghaziabad was a big pain as there was a good amount of morning office goers coming from every possible side imagine. I guess I've not verbally and mentally abused people like I did in those 30-35 minutes of chaotic traffic in Ghaziabad. Thereafter the roads were smooth and we were again cruising at great speeds. Polo was pretty stable and there was no amount of nervousness felt. We halted at McDonald's 25kms short of Moradabad for a quick breakfast and by 11AM we were at Moradabad.
Our first pitstop - McDonald's on NH24 at Gajraula
We had a nice 2 hour halt there and after that we started for Jim Corbett via Kashipur. Roads again were really good, though it was 2 lane highway at places.
In Kashipur, we met our other friend who drove in his Cruze from Dehradun and then the 2 car convoy finally reached Jim Corbett around 3.15pm. We had no bookings done, so we started looking for some nice resorts there and as to our expectations they were more or less quite empty. Decided to stay in a place named Corbett Rattan as they provided us with independent huts at pretty nominal prices along with complimentary dinner and breakfast. I must say the hospitality they gave us was outstanding and I would really recommend it someone heading to Jim Corbett.
Our independent huts at Corbett Rattan
Other rooms also available
Small parking lot.
We had a lovely bonfire evening followed by a nice homely cooked dinner. Morning 6AM we were supposed to head for the Jeep jungle safari so the plan was to retire to bed early. But as we all were meeting after a good 6 months, the party went quite late in the night.
Next morning, we got up a tad bit late but were there in the Gypsy at 6.15am. The temperature must have been around 5-6 degrees and with the wind felt sitting in an open Gypsy, even 3 layers of woolen felt quite inadequate. We headed from the Dhikala gate and to our bad luck we could not sight any tigers although some fresh footprints of their paws were captured in the lens. Lots of deers, jackals, wild-bores and other animals were seen. 3 hour long jungle safari was quite an enjoyable treat and our guide too had lots of nifty facts and files up his sleeves to keep our attentions grabbed even in half asleep state.
Here are a few snaps for our safari ride inside Jim Corbett
We came back to our resort at 9.30AM and had a sumptuous breakfast there and told the resort manager that if possible we will be checking out a little late around 2PM as were to catch up with some more sleep. We checked out at 2PM and headed towards Nanital. The roads again were pretty amazing and we stopped in between for a cup of coffee and a little picture sessions and still managed to reach Nanital at around 4.30pm.
Some random pics clicked enroute Nainital -
We checked in there at the Holiday home which is bang on the lake and freshened up a bit. There-after we went exploring the town, but it had already become dark by then.
We went to the local Tibetean market and had some delicious Momos there. After that we headed to hotel Viceroy for dinner and it was quite an enjoyable place to be in. Came back to our rooms and our music jamming session started with one guy playing his guitar and the rest singing in absolute no sync. College memories refreshed.
Next morning we got up really late and after freshening up headed straight to Naina devi temple. After that we explored the mall road of Nainital and after that headed to Boat club Nainital for a lunch. One of the oldest properties there and what a beautiful location it has. We had a great time there. There-after we headed for the much awaited boat ride in the lake. Temperatures were dropping as the sunshine was fast vanishing under the thick cloud cover and the cold winds were creeping in. Since we were 5 of us, we had to hire 2 boats as 1 boat only caters to a maximum of 4 people. We had a crazy time during our boat ride. By the time we got down from them it was almost dark. We started strolling again and saw a nice restaurant named Chandni Chowk. We had all sorts of unhealthy food there starting from dozens of Jalebis to other sweet stuff. After that we headed back to our rooms and the chit-chat started again as our short trip was coming to an end. Next morning we were to depart back for Delhi and then I'll have to drive back to Chandigarh all by myself again.
We checked out and started our journey back from Nanital at 5.45AM. Polo had a thick layer of sleet all over it as temperatures were nearing zero at that hour. Polo was signalling the snow-flake sign signalling a temperature of 2 degrees. Quick splash of water all over and the heater was switched on and the windshields cleared up.
We went again till Kashipur and was following my friends Cruze. Keep the car in the right gear and it was more or less able to keep along the car in front. We bid adieu to our friend who was driving the Cruze somewhere on the highway close to IIM Kashipur and we headed towards Moradabad. This was the first time we experienced fog in our trip and it was pretty dense at places. Still we managed to be there at Moradabad by 9am. Dropped the other friend there and started again and stopped at Bikanerwala on the highway for a quick breakfast. Then again entered Ghaziabad with the Google maps on as we were heading towards Cannaught Place as we had a couple of hours to ourselves before my other two friends had their flights back to Pune. Chaos again with some broken patches of roads in Ghaziabad, we managed to pass through and reach CP at around 1.30pm. Went to our favorite hangout spot there - The Warehouse cafe for a quick bite and therafter a little novel shopping from the roadside vendors.
Indian flag waving high at Cannaught Place, New Delhi
At around 3.30pm, we headed to the New Delhi railway station where my friends took the Airport express metro and I headed my way back to Chandigarh. With some help from google maps I reached the bypass at around 4.45pm and was again crusing at decent speeds.
Smooth 6 lane NH1 from New Delhi to Chandigarh
I halted at Savoy Greens at Karnal for a cup of hot coffee as I was feeling a little dizzy since I had been sleep deprived for the last 4 days. All refreshed started for the last 125kms of the jouney and was home in Chandigarh at 8.15pm.
Did 1197kms in total in the 4 days and loved every bit of it. Polo performed extremely well all along the highways. It was at an absolute ease at triple digit speeds. No under-belly hits anywhere as roads were pretty good everywhere I drove. I loved cornering it in those ghat sections on the way to Nainital as well.
Rather a couple of days later I did about 570kms to and fro to Meerut from Chandigarh in our new Creta and somehow the level of ease and comfort the Polo gave me out on the NH1, Creta simply could not match it. Will write about that 1 day trip too in detail later. Sorry I did not click better pics in peace as we all friends were busy catching up with each other rather than to be interested in to see what's around us.
Total fuel consumed - 62 liters
Distance traveled - 1197kms
Fuel efficiency - 19.3kmpl
This is a beyond expectation fuel efficiency figure for me considering I drove mostly in speeds excess of 110kmph except for the twisty hill sections near Nainital . Pretty happy to say the least. Got the car a nice wash after coming back and its again gleaming back to glory. And my indefinite love for the Polo continues.