A Trip To The Mighty Himalayas

Well, here I am again, writing my second blog. To be frank I have always been a lazy guy who always found it difficult to hang on to something. Never thought I will come back to blogging again but it sure looks like this is the perfect time to make one and keep everyone excited. I hope everyone are healthy and safe. I can see that everyone are looking forward to do something that will help them keep up with this crisis. I see people coming up with art, music and many other creative stuffs, which has inspired me to start blogging once again and this time it is going to be about one of my travel diaries, about one of my most cherished journeys till now, the trip I took to the Himalayas in 2019. In fact everything about the Himalayan trip began during our trip to the Jog falls in Karnataka in 2018. That trip was about to end and as usual we were planning about our next destination and that’s when we came up with the Himalayan plan. Initially everyone thought it was never going to happen.It was merely a dream which we were never sure of. But like they say, every dream will come true if you truly believe in it and looks like everyone in our little team believed so. I had already made up my mind that I will leave for the Himalayas after college and I remember how I used to tell mom that I will leave for the Himalayas one day, even before the actual plan started and the way she used to give me that neutral stare of hers.

The final exams were over, the college days were done and I was sitting idle at home and like all of the other trips we had, suddenly popped up a message in our little 6 member trip group we had made in WhatsApp. “Get ready guys we are leaving for the Himalayas next month”. A message from none other than Edwin our trip captain along with a set of pictures displaying the current offers in rental cars, the train ticket availability and other factors describing how perfect the time was for making the beautiful journey we had planned months ago. We were all thrilled and started to plan accordingly. The plan was to rent a car from Chandigarh and drive to the Himalayas (A feat Edwin was looking forward to). So we booked a car for rent which was residing in Chandigarh and planned to reach there by train. We were a gang of six and we got our tickets booked and waited for the day to arrive. But sadly one of our gang members had to opt out due to his work and hence we got rounded to just 5 people for the trip. Our first checkpoint was Chandigarh so we had to catch a train to Nizzamudhin, then Delhi and then finally to Chandigarh as there were no direct trains available to Delhi or Chandigarh from Kasaragod. Edwin and me boarded the train from Nileshwar (My motherland) while the other three were about to join us on the way.

Nileshwar Railway station (left to right — Me and Edwin)

Sreenath boarded the train right after us from Kanhangad and finally Manoj and Shreenidhi joined us from Kasaragod and that completed the entire gang. We were going to spend 3 days and 2 nights in the train.We were pretty excited about how the train journey was going to end up (well..it ended up pretty lame).

Sreenath with his usual weird selfies

Although it was all fun and joy initially.. everyone started to lose their patience eventually as there was nothing else left for us to do to keep us entertained and it was a long journey ahead. We were reading books, scrolled through feeds, stared at each others ugly face. We were literally running out of options and were desperately looking for boredom busters and then suddenly a voice came to our rescue….Ludo!!… Sreenath had just come up with the daily game which we used to play outside campus during our lunch hours when we were in college. We were all like how could we forget about our favourite passtime. And then it was Ludo all the way to Nizzamudhin (I know…but we had no other options).

Ludo after dinner

The same continued for the next day and the day after. The 3 days in train literally sucked the life out of us. Finally the train journey was coming to an end. It was the third day and our train was about to reach Nizzamudhin in 30 minutes. We had another train to catch from Delhi which would take us to Chandigarh. So we booked an Ola just a few minutes before our arrival at Nizzamudin and finally got into our cab immediately after our arrival at Nizzamudin. Then it was a race against time.

Racing towards the Delhi railway station (left to right — Shreenidhi , Sreenath and Manoj)

The traffic was pretty high and we had no clue that if we would be able to reach the Delhi railway station on time. On the way we had the opportunity to see one of the most famous Indian monument as we passed through the heavy Traffic of Delhi , The India Gate. It was a wonderful experience to have seen it upfront. I always saw it on the television and books but not in real life. Getting to see such an iconic monument literally awakened the patriot in us until we got back to our senses that we are getting late and we are gonna miss the train. We finally reached the Delhi railway station, ran and boarded the train just a few minutes before the train departed.

Delhi railway station

We boarded the train to Punjab. Sadly we didn’t get enough time to have our lunch before boarding the train. So we looked out for a vendor within the train and had our fill. Finally the train reached Ambala Cantt in the evening around 6pm. We really had a wonderful experience at Ambala cantt. The train stopped there for about half an hour and we began filling our tummy with some yummy chole bhature.

Yummy Chole bhature @ Ambala Cantt railway station
Manoj trying to have some fun @ Ambala Cantt

Right after filling up we started to wander in the railway station and suddenly just to make things funny and worse at the same time, Manoj came up with a daring plan to ask a lift from an incoming train. At first we thought he was messing around and walked away and when we saw him missing from the gang we turned back to check on him behold the sight, Manoj actually trying to ask a lift from one of the incoming train. At this point people started to notice him. Thank god we reached in time before he got beaten up, but his effort didn’t go in vain as we took a picture of this incredible feat. Finally after that short train journey we reached Chandigarh railway station. The railway station was indeed beautiful. Right outside the railway station we were immediately approached by many agents who were willing to show us a place to stay for the night. Well…one of the agents asked us to follow him. While 2 of us went to get the car we had booked. The rest of us followed the agent to get a look at the Hotel. He then introduced us to an auto wala who took us to the hotel. Fortunately we got one big room enough for the entire gang to get the much needed sleep, we got freshed and had our dinner from a nearby hotel and then we called it a night as we had to leave the place pretty early.

Chandigarh Railway station

It was 2 am in the morning we got dressed up and started our journey towards Shimla. The entire gang was powered up thinking about the adventure ahead (Until we got caught by the police on our way). It was just 10 minutes into the journey and we got caught by the police who were checking the vehicles in this early hour. I was sitting in the front seat bombarding the entire car with music and not letting the others sleep along with distracting Edwin while he was driving. Midst all these I forgot to wear my seatbelt .We slowed down as the policemen came forward for checking the vehicle and I felt like I was forgetting something. The seatbelt cried my mind. I immediately tried to put on my seatbelt while he stood staring at me with his torch light flashing up on me. I knew I messed up things pretty bad so I had no other options but to give him my usual funny grin and he fined us .

Shimla

After driving an entire night we finally reached Shimla. It was all foggy up there. When I woke up I could see that the city was entirely covered by fog due to which even driving through the place became difficult. It was also drizzling in Shimla. Just when we got a clear view of the place we got off the car to take a look at the beauty. Oh my god what a view was that. The beautiful houses lined up on the steep hills looked like toys. The cool wind was brushing against our body and the feeling we had was something out of this world.

After a heavy rain in Shimla

After the drizzling it started to rain heavily in Shimla. We were moving as per our plan. We stopped by a petrol pump just to be on the safer side of the long journey that was awaiting us. After getting a full tank we were on the lookout for a restaurant to have our breakfast and after travelling a few kilometers we finally found one. We had our fill and we were all set to begin the journey. It was already minus degree celsius in Shimla and when we got out of the restaurant the climate had already become worse and we were shivering and running around to get into the car.

Me trying to replicate Hrithik from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

And then the adventure began….Stay tuned.

Software Engineer at FRND