Now here I am at Kashmir. Words are never sufficient to describe Kashmir and its breath taking beauty. The green and beautiful mountains covered with blue skies are worth admiring, Here are few pics when I came here few months back. So I came here only to see my father and then left for Leh.

When I left the Kashmir City and started towards Zozilla pass, the view started getting better and better. Being September and tourist season you may found lots of tourists, bikers, motorcyclists, backpackers. Its an thrilling feeling to meet so many people from different backgrounds, origins, locations, countries.  Would suggest always go for small food stops and shops as you will find better stories and memories over there.  And yes make sure to carry multiple camera batteries which will help you a lot.

Anyway mine whole ride was kind of different, with no fixed destination and timing. I stopped where ever I feel like, went where ever I enjoyed.

Zojila War Memorial
 One of most sentimental  moment of journey, when I reached here at Zozila War Memorial. As it was getting dark and temperature was decreasing, sun was setting slowly and I was here.

"To Travel is to Live"

They have not seen the real India, they have not seen the real beauty of Incredible India.
These are the people who goes to a tourist place, take lots of selfies with their DSLR to be posted across social media.Being a traveler is hell lot difficult task and for me this is what I am. I loves exploring places in the way, I interacts with people, talk to them, capture emotions , stay with them and this is what makes my trips different and this is why I travel solo.

This is my story of Pune to Leh and back a solo trip of 8500km across many cities including Indore,Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Leh, Kargil, Manali, Chandigarh, Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Mathura, Jhansi, Bhopal, Nagpur, Bangalore. It took me 3 weeks approximately 24 days to complete the whole journey and while on the trip, I came across 100s of stories which changed the way I use to travel and see things.

Journey from Pune to Ratlam : Day 1 :
As I already mentioned I started my trip only having destination in my mind and as I was travelling solo, had no time constraints, no distance, no location, nothing. I started and ended days as per my wish, stayed at location I loved, had food I prefer, without worrying about anyone.

As I was in no hurry, I started from Pune approx 8am in morning, crossing Ahmednagar, Shirdi, proceeded towards Ratlam which was near Indore. That was my day 1 plan. but who cares, after every 15 or 20 min I was stopping and reason being the beautiful terrain, location and picturesque hills.

As I was excited about being at Leh, I was at easy also, riding slowly, enjoying the endless beauty of changing locations, hills, mountains, grass meadows, paddy fields, temple, etc. It was like having a dream. As if everyone was wishing me all the best for my trip. After crossing Shirdi, I found a fort and a baba near a small temple, and when I asked him about the fort and location, he started expressing about his journeys he took, he mentioned as he walked from Pune to Vaishno Devi with other babas. He also dictated stories of the fort and some "Saint" who use to stay in the fort. It was a long discussion for hour and at end I had to stop him to let me continue in the trip. He was happy and wished me for my trip.

Now Madhya Pradesh was different, it had lots of beautiful and dense forests. Once you enter Madhya Pradesh, you will feel the difference. At few location, it was so beautiful and amazing that you can compare that place with Switzerland. That day I was not able to reach Ratlam, so spend night at a Dhaba and camped over there after my dinner. Before sleeping I had a long chat with the dhaba cook and owner. They were some good guys. 

One advantage of solo trip is because you are alone, you are exposed to many things, and if your attitude is correct, people starts understanding and respecting you. They will love what you do and help you. My parents were worried about me, but during my whole journey I had no issues any place, as there were someone or else at every cornor to help you out.

Day 2 & 3 Ratlam to Amritsar.

Starting every day with the sunrise, would reassemble stuff, tent, have hot tea and tasty parathas. As per my plan, I was supposed to cover an average of 550km per day, but every turn, every corner seems so beautiful and new that I had to struggle every day to complete my journey.

Crossing Ratlam, I entered Rajasthan, and it was hell different than any other state I had ridden. I was completely speechless and was lost in the beauty of Rajasthan. And that point I decided to leave the state as soon as possible, so that I can come again only to enjoy the beauty of the state, to get lost again in those sand dunes and forts, which stands tall and tells the story of brave kings who ruled this land once.

While I reached Rajasthan, I had plans of visiting Chittorgarh fort, did a quick view of fort, it was a rather a huge one, with lots of places which cannot be completed in an hour. Visited a popular temple inside the fort and continued my journey. By night, I was able to make it to Jaipur. Next day early morning I started for Amritsar, as it was more than 800km. Once I reached Rohtak, it was all 6 lane, properly marked, decorated highway.

Jammu to Kashmir 

From Amritsar, where I spent the whole evening, in the golden temple, completely, hypnotized and lost in tranquillity, serenity, and composure of the temple. Next day early morning started for Srinagar. Till Jammu, it was decent highway and nothing much exciting, but once you leave Jammu city, story changes and you enter the paradise on earth.

Nothing can explain the simply amazing, lush green peaks of Jammu. Too amazing, wonderous, and marvelous to ignore them. Every trail I see, feel like doing offroad. Every turn feels inspiring and stimulating. Every mountain over there is distinct, every turn is contrary, every experience is diverse.

Patni Top is another such place, where lots of off roading trails you will find. A steep uphill and the view from the top is too gorgeous. Spent lots of time enjoying the unseen. Nothing more could have satisfied me, than being over there.

But from Patni Top to Srinagar is scary, cause once you complete the downhill section, you had to cross one of the scariest pass, thin, curvy roads, with lots of truck from opposite side in high speed. One side huge rocks of mountains and other side 100ft of the deep valley, from which nothing can escape.

Slowly and steadily crossed it, took me time to reach Jawahar Tunnel. A funny tunnel rather, so small, no one can overtake. And once you cross it, you are at Srinagar.

With the rise of cycling synopses in India. There are lots of organization coming up with loads of cycling accessories. As most of these are imported.  Viaterra cyclist came up with a nice concept of having touring bags for cyclists. And guess what they are lot different and cool. I had used the touring bags they had for motorbiking and I love them. And as expected they understand the customers and their requirements and create as per the need.

Now we can get much better products at less price. Touring bags concept is new in India. Even though people do buy cycles,  but they keep themselves only to weekend few km's of the ride. Very few serious riders are out there. But still kudos to these guys for coming up with these amazing products. I got the opportunity to test one of these. It was monsoon and planned to do goa ride from Pune, approx 500km, 2-day ride, now carrying a bag pack is different while you are on a motorbike, but once ur starts pedalling,  it's a different version altogether. Now for 2 days ride, it's not an intelligent idea to carry panniers, being huge in size they need proper panniers holder to attach them to your bike, and if you own a road bike, then forget to use them.

So, Viaterra came up with this nice concept,  a handlebar bag, it was perfect for my 2-day ride, and enough capacity to carry 2 days, required essence, but to make it clearer, I carried,
  • Extra tees,
  • Shorts,
  • Daily use material,
  • Extra tubes,
  • Some eatables.
That's it, obviously,  2 days ride right.
It was a monsoon, so the rain was obvious, now this bag comes up with rain cover enough to handle showers to heavy rain. But if you keep the bag in heavy rain for hrs, then nothing is going to work, in that case, so have a break. In my day 2 of the ride, I was in the rain for 4 to 5 hrs and the cover worked in a good way. Moreover, the materials used to make the bag is good, u need not worry about it anytime soon, once u buy this bag.

This bag is easy to attach to cycle. It comes with 3 straps, 2 on top to get tied with handlebar one to keep it steady and avoid from jumping everywhere. Now road bikes are not designed to carry luggage,  so faced issues attaching it in front, as it was causing problems with breaks. So moved it in opposite side. You can see that in pictures. Other than these in back I carried my tent and a sleeping bag that's it. No more extra unnecessary stuff.

You can check the ride story from here.

The bag comes up with splendid zip pouch on top to keep your mobile and screen will be visible from one side as it is made of transparent plastic. I found this very beneficial.  Every part of this bag is composed and made with a thought process, not just a bag. It can be called as a cyclist friend as it is easy to carry, easy to attach to the bike, removes the burden from rider back, can be attached to any bike, good capacity, waterproof covers, good material, what else you need.