It’s been a year I proudly owned my hot and gorgeous Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500cc and since then I have been trying every now and then to go for a bike trip. As everyone else, I also fantasized to go for a bike trip to Leh but then I realized that’s not really everyone’s cup of tea and that too when I have a very weak and vulnerable lower back. So one fine day I finally made up my mind, discussed with my wife to go somewhere close, may be Rishikesh or Lansdowne which are like 250 km from my place.
Since we have been to Rishikesh so many times in the past we started doing our research on Lansdowne and realized it’s quite a boring place for our choice with no cool cafes or places to hang out and we totally do not like laid back quiet n calm places, we simply love all the happening places with hippy crowd, hundreds of cafes and places to shop. So we zeroed down on Rishikesh again.
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I was excited and little nervous too, took my bike out for servicing, after all we were to travel about 500-600 km all alone, just the two of us. After getting it serviced by a renowned Bullet mechanic Shahzad of Bikers clinic, Patparganj, Delhi (Ph:+91 9871493384) I was totally pumped up for the trip next morning. Then again had some thoughts on my mind that night to go by bike or go by car, bikes are a little risky, I have a family, a kid, I am almost 40, might not be well prepared for adventure and many such negative thoughts started flickering in my mind but I still decided to go by bike – Jo bhi hoga dekha jayega!!
Packed a small rucksack, probably the smallest bag we ever packed for our trips, after all my wife enjoys changing three dresses every day and getting clicked, tied it on the left side of the bike’s rear wheel on the saree guard, covered with a plastic sheet, packed some first aid including cotton, savlon and bandages which my wife was also not aware of, didn’t want to scare her and we were all set to start…and the trip started sharp at 6 am…vrooommm..
Like a decent middle aged man, I started riding at about 60-70 km/hr till Modinagar bypassing all the Jain shikanji outlets which is like 30 km from my place then a few bikers on their Bullets just drove past me with that signature roaring thump at about 80-100 km/hr and I got really motivated and started riding with them as a convoy and at the same speed and I started getting the feel of a biker and started enjoying the trip.
Fortunately unfortunately there is only one nice n hygienic restaurant to stop on this route, Cheetal Grand, at about 100 km from Delhi, we stopped here for some breakfast and freshening up at about 8 am. Cheetal Grand has a nice variety of food including Indian continental Chinese Veg, non veg both, but it’s little overpriced and they also try cheating in the billing wherever possible. Best is to order and check your bill and pay in advance.
After a short half an hour break and some selfie sessions we resumed our trip again. The weather was very pleasant, neither sunny nor cold. To my surprise the road was really great from Delhi till Rishikesh, mostly dual carriageway(roads with central dividers) and there wasn’t much traffic as well being a Saturday. And we reached Rishikesh by 12 noon.
Rishikesh, a paradise for people like us, so many nice cafes to eat at, so many small shops to shop from, so much to shoot…Though people visit Rishikesh to find some peace even Beatles came, learn some yoga, take a dip in the holy Ganga(Ganges), some go for smoking up as well, we went to just have a relaxed weekend, eat some great food and click lots of pictures and shop some hippy clothes for our next trip.
Nice places to stay – Tapovan, Lax man jhoola area, Swiss cottage area, Badrinath road near Tapovan
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Places to eat as per my preference:
60’s (Cafe Delmar/Beatles Cafe) – Tapovan side before crossing Laxman jhoola – Nice Ganga view, amazing food, perfect for a relaxed meal preferably in the evening.
Ramanna’s Garden – Tapovan side before crossing Laxman jhoola – Near Divine Ganga Cottage – Run by a few westerners and the profit goes for study of street kids and orphans. Closed on Sundays and opens from 10 am till 5 pm only
Bistro Nirvana – The only restaurant that serves non veg in Rishikesh – Swiss cottage area on the road that goes to Anandas – Excellent seating, amazing food, excellent service.
Cafe de Goa – Tapovan side on the left side before crossing Laxman jhoola behind Devraj coffee – Excellent food, Indian and Italian both – Ganga view – outside seating
Little Buddha – after crossing the Laxman jhoola inside the market towards Ram jhoola – Nice Ganga view, amazing food specially salads, chilled out seating arrangements for a nice meal preferably during daytime.
Pyramid cafe – after crossing the Laxman jhoola inside the market towards Ram jhoola – little tricky to find out – behind Soul kitchen – excellent food and the best hummus I ever had – everything they serve is from their own garden.
Zorba cafe and Royal cafe – after crossing the Laxman jhoola inside the market towards Ram jhoola -good food – live music every evening
Honey Hut – Tapovan side before crossing Laxman jhoola – Nice tea coffee cakes shakes and masala idly to die for. One can also buy some organic beauty products like lip balm etc
A Tavola Conte – The lane opposite Pundir general store on the road to Laxman jhoola Tapovan – An Italian restaurant run by an Italian – Good Italian food, garden seating – wood fired pizza and home made pasta. Though they don’t like Indians much!!
Soul kitchen – after crossing the Laxman jhoola inside the market – Everything organic – nice food nice chutneys and detox juices
I have even eaten at most of the other cafes there during my past trips too like Madras cafe, Chotiwala, Devraj coffe etc but I didn’t like them much.
So that’s the end of the trip, time to return home but who wants to narrate their story while returning home…who wants to return home anyways….
Thanks for stopping by – Joy