Monday, 16 September 2019

Burning rubber in Canada - Part I

Hi There

   It has been a long time in fact almost 8 months that I have blogged ,the main reason is due to change in job and location,this  restricted my time on Thunderbird.

   Before I rode Route 66 ,I had thought about doing a trans Canada ride starting from Toronto to Dawson city,however I was not able to find a single firm which could lend me a motorcycle for such a long ride.After sometime I shelved the idea and told myself that I will one day do a ride in Canada.In the mean time Route 66 happened and it opened my eyes to the wonderful world of motorcycling  in North America.

   So this year again I started my search for a motorcycle to ride in Canada, but I changed my start point from Vancouver to Dawson city. Eagle rider were very prompt in response and offered me a motorcycle at very good rate .I was almost going to put the booking amount and behold!!!Canadian visa got delayed in fact it got so delayed that I thought I would not be able to ride this summer and will ride next season.Finally I send a regret note to eagle rider ,and after few days I got a email from the embassy that you have got the visa please send passport for stamping!! I  was very happy, on cloud nine and within 15 days I got my passport back duly stamped .

   However  I had not booked a motorcycle and was contemplating how to go about the tour .In the meantime I spoke to  Deepak and Netrali they were also planning a tour of Canada and we  decided to do the journey in an SUV.This will not only allow us to travel and stop as we want but could at times act as a home too in case we got stuck in some eventualities.

   I had already planned the route and shared with them ,we were to  start from Vancouver go to Banff-Jasper  than to Whitehorse and lastly to Dawson city and back to Vancouver via Liard hot spring.

   My journey started from Mumbai International Airport in Cathay Pacific to Vancouver with change of flight in Hong Kong.

 Beautiful Mumbai International Airport

 Beautiful Mumbai International Airport

My Cathy flight to Hong Kong

Transfer area in Hong Kong Airport

Mini India on Vancouver flight

   I landed in Vancouver on 09 July 19. The weather was lovely and it was good airport.The immigration process was smooth but had a long line .Once out of baggage area ,I faced with my first problem to reach the hotel. Deepak had chosen the hotel in such a way that it had a free pickup from the airport.After collecting my baggage I straight away went to information center which was manned by two Indian origin ladies not just they were  helpful but infact they came out and showed me the place were hotel shuttle will arrive.

   I tried to contact the hotel via wifi but was not able to do so ,in meantime I asked another hotel shuttle driver about my hotel shuttle ,he told me it will come in next 20mins ,however I waited for almost one hour with no shuttle I decided to walk back to the information center and ask for there help.

   I explained my plight to both the ladies they promptly contacted the hotel and assured that shuttle will come in 20 mins .I again walked out and got the shuttle in 20 mins,upon reaching the hotel ,the reception was very apologetic regarding delay in shuttle .

Vancouver International Airport

Vancouver International Airport

   After  completed my check in formalities I crashed in and woke up after about 5 hours of sleep. Went outside to explore nearby areas as well as a Walmart.

Lovely weather 

Live crabs for sale in Walmart

Live fish for sale 

     I came back only to meet  Deepak,Netrali and wonderful kids-Shaunak and Malhar. They were super exited to meet me. I pinched myself that my dream is coming true of  going to Dawson city.

First Hotel in Vancouver

    After a dinner of pizza I again went to sleep super exited, for the adventure began's tomorrow.

     Ride Safe Firm Saddle. 


Sunday, 27 January 2019

Ride to Ajai garh and Khajuraho

Hello their
   It was long time after the Route 66 that I decided to ride back again on my Thunderbird.This time I decided to visit the last  of Bundelkhand forts  ie Banda fort,Kalinjar Fort ,Ajaigarh fort and Khajuraho .I took the opportunity of two consecutive holidays and planned my ride accordingly.
  It was a bright sunny day and I left Jhansi at 0730h,the weather was cold however it was sunny ,it was one perfect day to ride .

  Route                  -  Jhansi-Banda fort(Bhuragarh Fort)-Kalinjar  Fort-Ajaigarh  Fort-Khajuraho.
 Condition of road Good fit for all types of bikes.
 Road side assistance - Limited.
 Eating joints             - I did not have food en route just had tea at few places.

   The first halt was at Bhuragarh fort .The Bhuragarh fort has no proper approach road  and one has to cross the railway line with no crossing place one just has to take the motorcycle over the tracks..Helped by locals I had to took the bike over the railway track .Howevre  I felt after the visit ,that I should have just parked it next to railway track and walked to the fort.

Bhuragarh Fort


       The Bhuragrah Fort or Banda Fort  is situated on the bank of Ken river.It became part of Maratha empire as part of gift given to Bajirao Peshwa .In 1787, Ali Bahadur became the Maratha Nawab of  Banda .In 1792 he   fought a war against Arjun Singh and  captured the BandaIt remained  under Nawab's rule for some time.However Rajaram Dauwa and Laxman Dauwa won it again from Nawab. After the death of Arjun Singh, Nawab Ali Bahudar once again  took the control of Bhuragarh Fort. The  Nawab succumbed to injuries sustained during first battle of Panipat and  died in 1802 .

Passage going to river front

Remains of main Palace ,the palace was blasted by british forces during capture of the fort.

Beautiful Ken river

    The Great Freedom Struggle against British empire started on 14th June 1857. In Banda it was led by Nawab Ali Bahadur II . The struggle was much fierce than expected and revolutionaries from Allahabad, Kanpur and Bihar joined Nawab in fight against Britishers. On 15th June 1857, revolutionaries killed Joint Magistrate Cockrail. On 16th April 1858, Whitluck arrived  in Banda with central India field force and he fought against  the revolutionaries . About 3000 revolutionaries were killed in the fort during this war. Their graves are  still found inside the fort as well as  around the  fort a memorial has been constructed in their honour.

Samadhis of martyrs

Gur Jalebi!!!

Ajaygarh Fort

 First glimpse of Ajaigarh Fort

   The Ajaigarh fort was build in 9th century and gets its name from king Ajaipala.It remained with the Chandellas till Akbar took over the fort which was being governed by Rani Durgawati.

  In 1674 Raja Chhatrasal captured Ajaigarh and remained with the family, till it was captured by Ali Bahadur of Marathas in 1800.However a mercenary Himmat Bahadur along with the british captured the fort.However due atrocities of himmat Bahadur as well as  looting in surrounding areas he fell off with the british and in Feb 1809 the fort  was attacked  by the British.However stiff resistance by troops of Himmat Bahdur led by his danish commander Colonel Meiselback beat back all attacks.

  However witty negotiations brought Himmat Bahadur close to British.The british generously awarded him jagirs and took Colonel Meiselback into there service with  promotion as a Brigade Commander.

Main entrance 

At the main entrance the Kalinjar Darwaza there is a beautiful dancing Ganesha carved on the rock.There are two underground cavers nearby .

Dancing Ganesha

Beautiful anklet

Jain Statues indicates Jainism on the fort

Nandi with Shivlinga

Beautiful shlokas written and graffiti!!!! to destroy the same

There is a famous Ajaipal Talao .Also next to it is a colossal Shantinath which explains Jain presence in Bundelkahand.

Khajuraho temples

     After the splendorous journey through reserve forest it was time to visit the Khajuraho temples .There is large amount of material available on the history of Khajuraho ,so I will not write about it ,but I will share the photos clicked by me.i would say one should visit these temples at least once in lifetime and please give minimum 04 hours to see and enjoy the beauty of the temples.

    After the mesmerizing journey it was time to say good bye to this beautiful place.Untill my next ride Ride safe Firm saddle ,Adios.