It was 12:00pm and I was packing up for Shimla. Meanwhile, something that stuck my mind was the way to opt for. It could be Chandigarh – Solan – Shimla (boring asusual), or Chandigarh – Solan- Rajgarh – Nauradhar – Haripurdhar – Rohnat – Chaupal – Shimla, a totally unseen way. Second option was much of excitement & in that zeal I did not check the kilometers I am going to ride. Well, It really did not matter.

With everything packed up, I started on my Yamaha FZ from Panchkula sector 20 and rided till solan with a puckin boring face as if I have received a punishment to drive so far.

From Solan to Rajgarh, it was kind of okay. I was like, okay! Now its time to explore something you have not done so far. From Rajgarh onwards I dint know how road conditions are going to be like, how much its going to take for next destination, nothing. All I knew was that I have enough petrol to make it for Shimla.

Maddest thing was my bike had hardly 5-6 drops of engine oil left.I was totally unaware of the fact untill I gave it for service after reaching Shimla. I have much respect for her for saving my arse on the way.

So, my first stoppage was for a cup of tea near Nauradhar (Sirmour District). A typical village, nothing much to explore except a famous Shiva Temple knows as Shirgul Devta Ji. On seeing a board roadside, I took a turn downside.

Shirgul devta is believed to be another incarnation of lord Shiva and has several arguments, fights with another diety known as Bijjat Maharaj.

Ater giving presense to Shirgul Ji Maharaj, I continued my way to Haripurdhar to be at another temple by time. Although, it was almost sunset in next 1-2 hours.

By the way, do you look at the road in above picture? Believe me, it was same like that & even worse upto Haripurdhar. In the middle somewhere, I came up with a road very well paved and was like my dream has come true but only for 1km.

Don’t you see an awesome road you would wish to drive on?

Well, on your way to Haripurdhar, Nauradhar Range is one you must spend your time on. There are plenty of waterwalls on the way and they are damn rocky. Many people start their Churdhar trek from Nauradhar itself for its scenic offering.

Captured somewhere 30kms before Haripurdhar. This indicated me that I am not going to make to the temple on time. With a “So What?” sort of attitude, I kept on my track.

In middle somewhere, while I was driving, I saw that someone have placed rocks in middle of road. They were placed right on a turn with miserable attentions. While I was taking that turn (aware of those stones) I saw that 3-4 kids are hidden behind two roadside rocks. As soon I looked at them, I stopped my bike and was just about to ask them for the way & how far is Haripurdhar, they immediately ran away. “Ah! I see, its them who have blocked the road” I murmured.

Moment later, it was complete sunset and in another half n hour, I was in Haripurdhar. Drived up to the temple, spent around 20 minutes around, wearing another jacket over existing one asked a shopkeeper:

Me: How far is Shimla from here?

Him: Around 200?

Me: What seriously? Isnt it just 100?

Him: Yes, its 100 from Chaupal.

I was totally blank about this chaupal concept. Did not know that I will have to ride through Chaupal and then furthur to Shimla.

With another scenario, going way back to Solan again and then Shimla was just 150km. Everyone was suggesting me to go back to Solan & then take road to Shimla. To me, back road was just a boring stuff. How about riding to Chaupal instead? Time was 7:00pm.

Although, I had decided to ride through Rohnat-Chaupal-Shimla, everybody looked against my decision, giving several reasonable execuses. Yes they were reasonable and for my own good.

My innerzeal was not ready to accept any excuses & was pushing me to ride. That was like “No matter what they say, you have to do it.”. But question was, for how long?

It takes me 6 hours to drive 250kms at speed of 60 from Pathankot-Chandigarh (plain area). In this case, I was going to ride 200kms & I literally cant drive at 60 on that road. My speed was approx 20-30-40.

Now, think you have to travel in darkness with a totally trafficless road on a speed of 20kms? Are you afraid of Ghosts? Wild Animals? Height?

Just to overcome my fear, I was accelerating too much at lower speed so my bike makes a roar sound & could help resisting wild animals out of road, if there is any.

By 8:30, I reached Rohnat. Rohnat is located at bottom of hill and road bymass the city on the way to Chaupal. View of Rohnat city from top was breathtaking. So far when you look homes at opposite hills at night, honelights look like stars, Shimla is an example. But in this case, I was looking at homes from top to downside hill & instead of star like thibgs, I was looking at home structure and a gradient effecr of light coming out of homes.

I am sorry, I could not manage to take a picture, all because I was too afraid of stopping at that point.

Hardly there was any vehicle that I could see anywhere around. In middle somewhere stopped at a local dhaba for tea. I asked him again for the directions. Thats how our conversation went like:

Me: How far is chaupal from here?

Him: its just 50kms more.

Me: Okay, how is the road?

Him: Road is okay, just take right (while pointing his left hand) from a bridge you will come up on the way.

Me:Little confused? Which direction from bridge?

Him: (Pointing his left hand)

Me: Okay, road is safe to ride right?

Him: Well, it is, but if you want a shortcut, I can tell you one.

Me: And whats that?

Him: But only thing is that there had been many accidents & forest is too dense. If it was me, I could not have opted for it ever.

Me: Thinking (Then why the hell are you suggesting it to me O.o)

Leaving from there, I was all looking for the bridge and took left. While I drived for another 3kms, I stopped at roadside home, where an old lady was helping two little babies for toilet in open. Moment I stopped, she ran away like anything, straight into her room.

Do I look like a terrorist? (Asked myself)

Shouted for someone inside, a younger boy came out, with whom I confirmed the directions.

Well, I was on wrong road to Rohru. Took a U-Turn, reached that bridge and went straight way to Chaupal.

To be continued…