This is not strictly an SWBT trip but I thought I will share all my travel updates on this blog. So here it is, a travelogue on my road trip from Delhi to Chandigarh to Amritsar.
The road from Delhi to Amritsar is smooth as butter but you pay a bit of price for it at the several toll gates through the journey amounting approximately Rs. 1500 in toll tax for both ways. Long drive is therapeutic for me, it keeps my mind focused on the road, makes me forget my worries and sorrows. And the scenery through this journey was particularly soothing.
As I took the Grand Trunk Road zipping through Haryana I could see hundreds of fruit seller selling Kinu / Orange juice on the road side. The piles of bright orange coloured Kinus make the road absolutely vibrant. The day I was traveling there was some activities in Sikh religion, every few kilometres there were camps set up which were distributing free food, tea etc. to the passing vehicles.
The landscape in Haryana consisted more of factories and industries than green fields and farms but in Punjab all you see is farm lands, green fields, rows of trees with yellow leaves, wealthy farmers using tractors to plough the fields. Another most interesting view was the several Jaggery making huts every few kilometres in the open fields next to the highway. I pulled over to one such unit, they were making Jaggery from sugarcane juice using technique of boiling, draining, drying etc. I didn’t observe the whole process as I didn’t want it to be late in the evening when I reach Amritsar.
I went to Amritsar after giving a halt at Chandigarh. Well, not exactly Chandigarh, at Panchkula a planned city in Haryana. Chandigarh City Center, Rock Garden, Rose Garden were all at a distance of 10-11 km from Panchkula. I stayed Ror Bhawan, situated inside the Mansa Devi Temple Complex in Panchkula. It’s a large, beautiful, neat and clean dharamshala with huge double rooms with wardrobe, two sofas, one table, attached bath, geyser, big balcony with direct sun light all for Rs. 800/- only. Though it didn’t have TV and no room service at all. Ror Bhwan was opened only in 2013 so not many people know about it, thanks to a friend’s recommendation I couldn’t have found a better place to stay during a Chandigarh visit.
Spectacular scenery and landscape greeted me when I drove to Amritsar from Panchkula taking the Kurali-Chandigarh Road, leading to NH 21 onto NH103 A to Phagwara Mohali Express Way and finally getting onto the NH 1 for the last 150 km. I would have missed these beautiful visuals if I would have driven directly to Amritsar staying continuously on NH1. It was the internal roads through the many villages of Punjab that made the journey so beautiful. At certain stretches there were just green fields on both sides and those Jaggery making huts I mentioned earlier, at other stretches there were forests and hillocks. Also massive real estate development, sexy roads and a fancy Omaxe tower in the New Chandigarh area, which is going to be one of the smart cities.
The distance of 246 km from Delhi to Chandigarh was covered in about 6 hours (7.30 am to 1 pm) including breakfast break, coffee break, photography breaks, traffic congestion at the entry of Chandigarh, and a silly accident. The distance of 237 km from Panchkula to Amritsar was covered in about 7 hours (12.30 pm to 7 pm) which included similar breaks. The route is rather simple, take the Outer Ring Road from Delhi and get on NH 1 from Mukarba Chawk and stay on NH 1 all the way to Amritsar. Google Maps work fine throughout the journey and there are plenty of sign boards with directions so finding your way is very easy.
On my way back I didn’t give a night halt and drove straight from the Golden Temple Road to Dwarka covering a distance of about 470 km in 12 hours including the breaks. I started at 8.30 am from Amritsar and reached at the ‘Welcome to Delhi’ signboard on GT Karnal Road at 5.30 pm. It took me another 3 hours to reach Dwarka thanks to the hell raising Delhi traffic.
I did not see a single solo women traveller through my journey or women driven vehicles on the road except the lady in a scooty who hit my static pulled over car, nicely parked off the road for 5 mins, from behind in full speed. Silly accident I tell you.
Coming up Next Part – The Stay