From a long time I wanted to go for long rides, but was not thinking of this weekend as I was having same unavoidable meeting this weekend. As the weekend starts things started going in my favor and at the last moment the meeting got canceled…. Hurray… At around 12 midnight I pinged my fellow rider (Ramnnek) “Guys I am in”.
The plan was to sleep for some time and start my trip at 4:30 early morning but it is not always that things go as you like. By the time I was about to sleep Olympic Opening Ceremony started and how can I miss this... So continued to watch this, I looked at my wall clock and it was 4, I started to buckle up for the ride… went out… and horror.. It was raining heavily... So what now…
Ujjal Mahanti : it has started raining over here
Ramneek Singh: its not raining here, put on ur rain coat n come
Ujjal Mahanti: you can contact me @ 8972544978, will try to come at the earliest, may be a passing by shower
Ramneek Singh : okay.. try to leave ur place.., just spoke to a friend.., its not raining in salt lake, so may b a little drizzle in ur area
Ujjal Mahanti : hmm, logging off
Following are the riders:
- Atanu on Honda Unicorn Dazzler
- Arijit on Bajaj Pulsar 150 UG
- on Bajaj Avenger
- Ramneek on Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS
- Tarun on Kawasaki Ninja 250 R
- Arvind with pillon Pradeep kumar (AKA Fidato) on Bajaj Avenger
- Ujjal on Bajaj Pulsar 180
Kolkata- kharagpur- Ghatshila : 260 Kms
I started from my room at Kestopur around 4:30 with all if & buts in my mind, It was still dark night with rain gods pouring in their full furry, it was not long that the rain god made me stop for the first time near airport and it was no longer a passing shower.
And was it not raining… let the below snaps speak:
Waited for 15 min and then continue in the rain to rode till the Kona Expressway where I met Ramneek, Arvind, Pradeep and Tarun. We then proceeded till Kolaghat where Atanu was waiting for us. We were now waiting for Arijit who started from Kolkata late because of unavoidable reason but the wait was a long one!!! In the meantime we decided to take a chai-break, click photographs and get to know each other as we were all meeting for the first or second time.
With some delays all the riders got together at around 7AM at Kolaghat. From then it was quite a usual journey. In no time we reached Kharagpur where we met Parantap who had come all the way from Midnapur to have breakfast with us. We stopped at a Dhaba and had the usual breakfast with some chai and lots of photographs.
Roads till the borders of West Bengal were pretty good, en-route we crossed the Lodhasuli forest. The ride through the forest was a beautiful one but we could not stop to capture the beauty of the forest in our cameras as we were advised to race past this 10 kms stretch because of the Maoist influence in the area. However, our moving photographer Fidato did capture a few click while sitting as pillion on my bike and they were indeed beautiful!
On entering Jharkhand we faced a stretch of very bad roads for about 10 kms but it was nothing compared to what were going to witness later that day. We reached Ghatshila around 12 or so with a lot of pain at you know where. Quickly found a decent hotel and got fresh and left for Sightseeing after a lunch of Rice and chicken curry.
Ghatshila - Burudih Lakes - Dharagiri water falls - Ghatshila - 40 Kms of Off Road (Dirt Track)
Now, Here’s the best part. We started for Dharagiri falls and adjoining Burudih lake at around 3.
What makes a ride ideal? Good road? Good weather? Good scenic views around road? Good company of friends? A good bike? What else?... ...Apart from good roads we had plenty of everything. Riding at curvy roads at the edges of mountains amidst the green lush forest with the flavour of pleasant drizzling with no traffic was one of our best experiences of life (though may not be for our bikes).
Rain made taking snaps a little tough though our photographer (Fidato) made tremendous effort to take snaps and make video logs. Unfortunately, our beloved digicam got fever (or something) after getting wet in the rain and we lost some good pics. But, even more worse was the fact was that were now left with only our mobile cameras to click photos with
We rode on our bikes till it was possible but the last few hundred metres of the journey to the Dharagiri falls required us to trek on foot, only to make the journey more accomplished. Walking in dense forest in rains with small clues of route was amazing in a different way. Some of us took a dip in the mushy water of the water walls other didn't perhaps because of fear of snakes. We then traced our way back to the lake and then jumped inside the warm water of the pristine lake surrounded by hills on all sides!!
Other than all the riders I want to thank Rain God. Of all the days of rain. The rain god poured some of the best showers making journey even more beautiful. We intentionally dropped raincoats to enjoy rain to the fullest.
When we came back to the Ghatshila town our bikes were looking hideous, with mud covering almost every part of bike and this was somewhat making us get worried as so much dirt on our bike's chain was not good for our bikes health
It was even worse!!!!
We had tortured our bikes to the extent but it was all worth and I am sure neither the bikes nor the bikers would ever complain. Though, my bike was particularly not in good health and in fact it also had a flat tyre in the middle of the forest!!! I somehow managed to bring his bike back to the highway and after this tiring journey we stopped at a small dhabha to fuel our 'paapi pet'. Garma garam onion pakoda and chai in this wet and tired situation was no lesser than little drops of heaven. We came back to our den and later the day ended with late night dinner with India's thrilling win over Srilanka to put a full stop.
Mosquitoes, my god they were so furious to have us, I had a tough time fighting with them, but we were so dead tired that nothing could have awaken us. In the morning I could see the mosquitoes not even able to fly due to the meal they had at night.
This was one hell of a day the day that would cherish in our memories for long long time. In the end we celebrated day one over some fruit juices ; ) and then put an end to the crazy day full of Getting Wild, Wet, and Dirty!!!.
Ghatshila - Phuldungri hills - Subarnarekha river - Jadugoda Rankini Mandir - Ghatshila - 52 Kms
After a fantabulous day 1 my motto of coming to the trip was almost done. I wasn't expecting much for day 2 but the day 2 was even more toofani than day 1. Day 2 started with a visit to the nearby Phuldungri hills, A small hillock just out side the town. Honestly, there was nothing much to see do or write home about the hill. Still we did spend some time atop it, clicked some pics along with the usual giggles and Fidato's leg pulling must be something to do with Fidato
Next was a visit of the Subarnarekha river which was also situated just out side the town but in a different direction. The river looked more like a lake with boulders of rocks jutting out from it, though the river was in a sorry state like any other river of our country. Nevertheless, the place called for a photoshoot and we all obliged like this
The weather was getting hot and our plan was to wash our bikes and lubricate the chain and then go for sightseeing to the Runkini mandir (some 30KMs from the town) and then ride through the forest area in day light and finally stop for the lunch. But no journey ever goes as smooth as planned; honestly these unplanned and abruptly arising situations make trips even more challenging and memorable indeed. While our bikes were getting well deserved bath from a mechanic who was < 12 year old, somehow my bike swallowed some water (read the mechanic kid mistakenly poured some water in silencer which made its way to the engine!!!) and started to grunt like a Royal Enfield!! the misfires sounding no less than bullet shots. Now, this was a disaster as getting the bike repaired took us some time as the genius mechanic had little clue about what to do so we called up a few guys in Kolkata and asked for their suggestion as to what to do. A good hour later the bike was somewhat sounding normal and we started our journey but meanwhile getting suggestions from fellow riders on bike repairing was also good experience for me.
All geni"asses" banging their heads to solve the problem
Day 2 was also blessed with some good rains but the Road gods (if any) wasn't still happy with us as we again faced some bad roads but the views en-route made up for all the pain. The recent rain had made the surroundings even more greener and beautiful.
We reached Runkini mandir at around 2. Once again the place disappointed us as there was not much to see or do but our trekking master Atanu found a trekking route to climb on the very top of the hill and instantly we decided to climb up the adjoining hill. These abrupt decisions have 50% changes of success and you never know where you will land. But this time we were lucky as we were in for a real treat!!
The temple of Goddess Rankini
The climb was little more than 500 mts or so but it took the hell out of us. Half way through the trek we all were panting and we had to take 5 mins rest; At this time we realised that Arijit was lagging a lot behind and upon calling we found that he had given up and retreated back to the road!! We all were very looking and feeling tired except our 35 year young iron man Atanu who was as energetic as in start of the journey!! The trek was the high point of Day 2 and we thoroughly enjoyed it chitchatting, singing, spotting colourful lizards and other animal en route:
We may have seen taller mountains, even more green forests; cooler weather or whatever; but the scene at the top of the mountain was no different of what we may have experienced earlier but the beauty of nature is that we never get tired of admiring its magnificence. The infinite beauty cannot be grabbed in few sights and blinks. All our tiredness vanished within a moment. We were no more panting we got busy with taking our snaps. The true beauty of the place might be better depicted with the following pictures.
The almight right at the top of the hill
Panorama of the view from the top
Tired, but ecstatic at the same time!!!
Ghatshila - Kharagpur - Kolkata - 260 Kms
The rain god who had been shaping our trip indirectly throughout had some different plans for us as it started to rain heavily again. Though we had planned to cover the forest area and bad roads in day light but somehow we got delayed and against all suggestions we had got from our friends about covering the disputed forest area before sundown we covered major part of it in the dark.
But the roads were smooth and we kept a good pace, rain was no more the shows stopper after some time and we reached Kolaghat at around 9PM and decided to stop at sher-e-punjab for dinner. Due to extremely long queue we decided to change the venue to Azad Hind Dhaba at Uluberia. We said bye to our hero rider Atanu here who carried on to his home town Tamluk. Rest of us started again; meanwhile it again started to rain and this time it was very heavy. I had to stop to take an urgent call and I lost touch with others. It was getting difficult to spot fellow riders because of too much of traffic and rain which resulted in a confusion where we missed the place from where we were supposed to take a turn for the Dhaba. So we decided to skip dinner and carry on till our homes as tiredness and heavy rain were getting unbearable and with that confusion the journey ended and we all reached our homes safely by 10:30-11:00 pm.
So that is how The Godzilla Trip of Getting Wild, Wet and Dirty ended. Giving us fond memories, new found friends, and a hope of doing many such rides in the future.
Also I want to thank each one of you to help me out; all your expert comments on the situation & be calm with my baby. & lastly to my baby to take me home safely & smoothly at the end.
Some parts of the logs taken from Arvind & Ramneek’s blog.