K2K: A JOURNEY FROM SKY TO OCEAN

by Captain Suraj Singh Thakur of Indian Army

Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K)

(A 1000 km Ride for Every Rider)

RIDE INTRO

  1. It’s been almost 2 months since I completed my K2K solo ride, a Journey from Sky to Ocean, from world’s highest motor rideable road Khardung La Top (18,380 ft) to Kanyakumari at Indira Point. Nothing can fully prepare you for India but, perhaps, the one thing that best encapsulates the extraordinary country is its ability to inspire frustration, thrill and confound all at once.

 (a) Overall distance covered is around 13,000 km ride.

 (b) The journey starts from Kashmir and ends at Kanyakumari.

 (c) Distance is covered through 11 states.

 (d) Type of Bike: Harley Davidson Iron 883 Custom.

 (e) No. of Days taken to complete the ride: 17 Days.

  1. The K2K ride commenced on 7th Oct 2016 and was completed on 23rd Oct 2016 at Kanyakumari’s Sunset Point. If you talk to me from a rider’s point of view, it was a hard nutshell to crack and my ride covered both the axis to Leh Ladhak (Zozila Pass and Rohtang Pass), including Spiti Valley and all four important passes Marsimek La, Khardung La, Tangrang La and Baralach La.
  2. This write up is all about my journey which I have covered and about my experiences en route which might help other Harley riders to do the same in near future and to scale those cold arid desert mountains of Leh Ladhak, Leh – Manali highway which is considered as one of the toughest and dangerous roads of the world.
  3. Climate: The most important thing that you must keep in mind before you start your journey for K2K is that climate is the key factor in deciding when to plan out for K2K. One should keep in mind that climatic conditions in the far north are distantly different to those of the extreme south.

RIDE PREPARATION

  1. It took me precisely 6 months to formulate my overall plan for the journey that included initial recce of the route in the month of April and May on to both axes towards Leh Ladhak (Zozila and Rohtang). After my initial recce, I moved back to central India (Raipur Chhattisgarh), my hometown, where I was having my bike and from where I was supposed to start my journey for K2K in the month of June.

K2K FIRST STEP

  1. To ride all alone on such a long stretch needs a high level of mental preparedness because at last, it’s just you and your bike. The journey starts from the middle of the country towards icy mountains of north and planes of Punjab and then the mighty Himalayas. This is exactly why India is considered to be one of the most diverse countries in the world. I started my journey from central India (Raipur, Chhattisgarh) on 23 June 2016 and it took me precisely 6 days to reach Leh. I reached Leh via Srinagar on 28 June 2016.
  2. 1st And 2nd Day Ride (Raipur-Bilaspur-Pendra Road-Rewa-Sehdol-Allahabad-Kanpur-Agra Highway-Delhi)

 (a) Route Taken: While Driving from Raipur to Allahabad, I have come across one of the beautiful highways of India, my route was via Ballarpur, Pendra Road, Rewa, Sehdol and Allahabad, I totally outflanked Jhansi & Gwalior en route because of ongoing road construction work. Also, the route is not safe if you are riding solo. So if you are planning your ride via Jhansi, you better think off. Later on from Allahabad, I took Kanpur, Agra highway. For me, it was a clean go. Once you hit Agra and are ready to roll on to Yamuna Expressway towards Delhi, it will take precisely 3 hours to reach Delhi.

 (b) Distance Covered: (580 and 697) 1277 km

 (c) Things to Do & Places to Stay

 (i) Allahabad: Allahabad lies 135 km west of Varanasi at the confluence of two of India’s most sacred rivers, the Ganges and Yamuna. The mythical Saraswati river is also believed to joined them here and people call it SANGAM. Places nearby Sangam also have Mughal fort and tombs. Hotel Milan Palace is one of the best places to stay. Remember, Allahabad is one of the sacred places for Hindus and morning sunrise is just mesmerising. Don’t miss it at all.

 (ii) Delhi: J W Marriott is an option for riders where our local chapter has the HOG tie up. So, you will be able to get yourself a room for less cost with 5-star service. Delhi is famous for its nightlife and so, you can have a ball of a time at HAUZ KHAS, F BAR and many other places where you can have a good time. In case you need any assistance, you can buzz Delhi Chapter Manager Mr Tushar who is one hell of jolly good fellow always ready to help. His contact number is 9910401532.

(Crux of this 1000 km ride: This ride is all about beautiful site scenes, beautiful ghat sections and beautiful highways).

  1. 3rd And 4th Day Ride (Delhi-Panipat-Pathankot-Jammu-Udhampur-Patnitop-Banihal-Srinagar-Kangan-Sonmarg).

 (a) Route Taken: This particular journey moves all along NH 1A till Leh. You will be riding all along the long stretch highways of Delhi to Pathankot with beautiful valleys and ghat sections once you enter into Jammu to Udhampur highway and subsequently to Srinagar and Sonamarg.

 (b) Distance Covered: 613 and 155 (768 Km)

 (c) Things to Do & Places to Stay

 (i) Udhampur: Hotel Singh Axis in Udhampur is pretty much good with its awesome Kashmiri cuisines like kheer and kabab. One must try it as the hotel also provides a reasonable discount to riders. So, I am gonna give four stars out of five for its stay and food.

 (ii) Sonamarg: A cluster of buildings strung out all along the highway, Sonamarg is the last town of interest on the road of Ladhak. Its name means “Meadow of Gold” and it sits in a gorgeous location in a cleft of sweeping wooded valley. In happier times, Sonamarg was popular with trekkers. You can plan your stay at Hotel Glacier Heights surrounded by beautiful ice-clad mountains. You can also go for shopping for world famous handicrafts of Kashmir like pashmina shawls and Kashmiri dress. Skiing at Gulmarg and gondola ride in the month of January and February trekking at Sonamarg Tajiwas Glacier can be fun.

(Crux of this 1000 km ride: This 1000 km ride is all about riders’-dream-come-true Highway. Riders can ride all along the highways witnessing beautiful site scenes, beautiful ice-clad mountains and beautiful NH1 highway)

  1. 5th And 6th Day Ride (Sonmarg-Baltal-Drass-Kargil-Nmaika- Fotu La-Nimon-Leh).

 (a) Route Taken: It’s always better when you start up your ride early in the morning at around 0630 hours. It took me two days to reach Leh because it’s always better when you have proper acclimatisation. If you are moving towards Leh Ladhak, there is a famous saying “Don’t Be Gama In Place Of Lama” even if it can be done in a day. This route will be along NH 1 which goes through Zozila Pass and then entering into Drass, Kargil having refuelling station, Namilka, Fotu La, Lamayuru, Khalste having refuelling station, Nimon and at last Leh.

 (b) Distance Covered: 82 and 140 (222 km).

 (c) Things to Do & Places to Stay

(i) Kargil: Hotel Siachen Heights can be an option for overnight stay at Kargil. If you guys are seeking for 5 star service at Kargil, then just forget it. After crossing over Zozila Pass, you will be entering into Drass War Zone. You must be amazed to know that Drass is the second coldest place in the world as the temperature is approximately -60 degree Celsius in January. Also, don’t forget to visit Kargil War Memorial and being a citizen of this country, pay your tribute to the martyrs who fought against the Pakistani aggression and sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

(ii) Leh: Once you start up your ride from Kargil, you will be riding all along the banks of Indus river through moon land by passing through Namika La and Photu la pass. Also, make an endeavour and visit Lamayuru Monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries en route. Towards Leh, you will also come across hills and experience zero gravity at Magnetic Hill. You can actually feel pity about human beings that are actually so small in front of mother nature. You must visit the holy shrine of Pather Sahab Gurudwara and by evening, you will be at Leh. Leh city is full of good hotels and resorts in and around. Hotel Grand Dragon and Hotel Zen Ladhak are your best options at Leh. Also, don’t forget to visit the Leh market.

(Crux of this 1000 km ride: Nothing can beat the Himalayan road journeys, high passes, massive snow-capped mountains, spectacular views and dreamy landscapes. Drass is said to be the second coldest place after Siberia. All riders can ride along the mesmerising Indus river, beautiful ice clad mountains and beautiful NH1 Highway).

Caution: All riders are requested to do proper acclimatisation for at least 48 hours because bike ride on those roads give you a feeling of roller coaster sickness since you’re constantly dealing with high altitude passes, snow crossing, water crossing, bad roads, landslides and glacier melts. Riders experiencing such an altitude for the first time and frequent change in altitude may cause them AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), HAPO (High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema) and HACO (High Altitude Oedema). In case of an emergency, you are requested to report to nearby Primary Health Care centre or any Army Medical Unit.

CONCLUSION OF 6 DAY RIDE

  1. I got a chance to ride on all kinds of terrain. As a result, this journey helped me to improve as a rider as I started my journey from central India to the mighty Himalayas. It really feels great when you start your journey waking up to the views of snow peak mountains at the enchanting Dal Lake at Kashmir. Nestled in the foothills of wonderful Himalayan mountains, also known as Venice of the East, the scenic splendour of Srinagar in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has attracted people since time immemorial. The city has mesmerised the Mughals, the Sikhs and the British over the course of history.
  2. Though I have covered only one axis towards Leh Ladhak via Srinagar, some stretches were too good to not ride at high speeds but it had nominal human presence. As a result, it tested my concentration and mental toughness with no one around you as you will need to stay alert all the time, because, if you crash or breakdown, you’ll be on your own. You have to be prepared for such scenarios. It took me precisely 6 Days to Reach Leh. I reached Leh via Srinagar on 28 June 2016.

LEH LADHAK CHAPTER

  1. Introduction: It took me precisely 3 months to explore the whole of the Leh Ladhak region. You must be amazed to know why I took 3 months for such a place like Leh Ladhak. For me, even these 3 months were less. Wherever I went in Leh Ladhak throughout my journey, I at least stayed there for 10-15 Days and the reason being for such a diverse weather condition and different altitude you have to stay at places for a number of days and it’s nothing better than to stay at such a place with serenity where people are coming from all over the world to enjoy the beauty of the mighty Himalayas and its serenity. Leh Ladhak is literally the land of the high passes, separates the peaks of the western Himalayas from the vast Tibetan Plateau. Ladhak is often called “Little Tibet” due to similarities in topography and culture nearby Tibet.
  2. Geography: Ladhak is bound by mountains. To the north lies the mighty peaks of Rimo and Teram, Kangri in the Ladhak range mark the border with China while in the south, the slopes of the Stok range grow in size until they merge with Zanskar mountain region. In the west, the snow-capped peaks of Nun and Kun are the gatekeepers of the great Himalayas.
  3. Leh – Karu – Chang La – Durbuk – Tangste – Pangong Tso: Distance from Leh to Pangong Tso is approximately 150 km and it’s gonna be a 5-hour Journey. In between, you will come across the mentioned towns/passes:

 (a) Leh: Once you complete with your perfect acclimatisation at Leh, you can proceed to Leh market and then river rafting at Sangam where two rivers – Indus River & Zanskar River, both with different water colours unite. At Leh, it is dominated by dilapidated nine – storey Leh Palace, home to the La Dakhi royal family, Hall of fame are some of the tourists’ favourite hot spot.

 (b) Karu: Distance from Leh to Karu is approximately 30 Km and Karu is famous for its beautiful monasteries like Hemis monastery and Thiksey Monastery, and believe me, both monasteries were worth visiting.

 (c) Chang La: It’s famous for the world’s 3rd Highest Motorable pass and sudden changes in weather condition and pass is generally located at avalanche prone zone. So you better hurry up spend less time at this location.

 (d) Durbuk – Tangste – Pangong Tso: Once you cross Chang La, it’s gonna be a hard nutshell to crack till Soltak because you are gonna ride all along the avalanche prone zone and existing route track. It was just, Oh My God. Once you cross Soltak, it’s a clean sweep till Pangong Tso.

 (e) Pangong Tso: Ladhaki people call it the Lake of thousand colours. Pangong Tso is surrounded by mainly three mountain ranges: Angtong Mountain ranges towards its north, Changchemo ranges towards its east and Pangong ranges towards its west. Pangong Tso lake is divided between India and China in which India is having 1/3rd part of it and the rest is in China. This place has always been one of the famous tourist destination spots for the people. This place has come into limelight after a superhit movie named 3 Idiots in which the last scene of the movie was shot. Tourists generally came here to see 3 Idiots point and the majestic Pangong Tso lake. A piece of advice for riders: there is no refuelling station at Pangong Tso (Lukung), so get locked and loaded at Leh only or carry extra fuel with you. A place to stay at Pangong Tso is Chang La Queen Resort or the so-called Ladhak Hut which is under J&K tourism. It is a beautifully maintained hut on the bank of Pangong Tso Lake just 2 km away from the one of the happening tourist destination 3 Idiots point. Rate list of the resort is quite reasonable.

 (i) Distance: 150 Km Approximately.

 (ii) Place to Stay: Chang La Queen Resort.

  1. Pangong Tso – Spangmik – Man – Merak – Chushul – Razang La – Nyoma – Mahe – karzok – Tso Morari Lake: After exploring on to Pangong Tso lake for your further journey, you will be riding all along the Pangong Tso lake. Though after Spangmik village, there is no existing road track available for your further journey. So in short, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride throughout but believe me, it’s worth riding as it saves your time for the further journey towards the north-eastern part of Ladhak which comprises of another beautiful lake named Tso Morari Lake. In between, you will come across Razang La war memorial, Mahe valley and then Tso Morari Lake. This particular trip is gonna take you another day.

 (a) Razang La: Being a citizen of this country, you must know the importance of Razang La. During 1962 Indo – China War, this place was defended by Major Shaitan Singh and his company where the famous battle, The Battle of Razang La, was fought against very heavy odds. A group of people showed extraordinary courage and fought till the last men and the last bullet. You must go there and pay tribute to the martyrs.

 (b) Tso Morari Lake: Beautiful Tso Morari salt water lake is surrounded by barren hills. The length of the lake is approximately 28 km long and 8 km wide and 4000 m above sea level. During the peak winter season, the whole of the lake gets frozen and generally, local people use it for ice skating. Tso Morari Lake is another example of the outstanding Ladhaki scenery. A permit is required to visit Rupsu Valley. Also, local venders are available at Tso Morrari for petrol refuelling.

  1. Tso Morari – Mahe – Chushul – Tangtse: After Tso Morari Lake road track till Mahe, it is gonna be a bumpy ride. There is no way around and so, you have to go through it. Once you reach Chushul then till Tangtse, it’s gonna be good patches and bad patches. So, till then you gonna have a little comfy ride. Again, riders must keep this thing in mind that always carry extra fuel. It might come handy to you at any point of time because in a place like Leh Ladhak, believe me, you don’t wanna venture around for fuel. I really had a terrible experience. Place to stay at Tangtse is again Chang La Queen Resort which is one of the best in Tangtse. Room rent is like you are really like paying nothing; just Rs. 3000/- for a night. For refuelling, local venders are available. Even vehicle mechanics are available at Tangtse who can check up your vehicle in case you are having any problem in your vehicle. Places to Visit at Tangtse: Yes, you can go for a couple of monasteries here like Sachkul monastery, local gompa etc.

(a) Distance: Approximately 216 km

(b) Place to Stay: Chang La Queen Resort (Tangtse)

  1. Tangtse – Agham – Syok – Khalsa – Diskit – Nubra Valley – Hunder: After resting my soul for a couple of days at Tangtse, I started my journey again and my next stop was at Nubra valley. Before I reach my final destination Hunder, I rode all along the Syok river, Agham, then Diskit. At this place, you can stay for a while and visit Diskit monastery which is one of the best in Leh Ladhak. Subsequently, you will be heading towards Nubra. Nubra is famous for its mesmerising landscape, white desert and none other than double hump camels. Also once you are done with your double hump camel ride, you will be heading towards Hunder and you will come across one of the beautiful landscape en route.

 (a) Diskit: After the turn off to Diskit, the valley’s largest village, the road stretches about 3 km alongside the rocky flooded plain before climbing and clinging to the hillside for another 13 km. One of the best tourist attraction Diskit Gompa with about 100 monks is the oldest (more than 500 years old) and biggest of its kind in the Nubra valley. If you want to see the heads of the statues uncovered, you’ll have to visit during the Dosmoche Festival. The gompa roof offers glorious views of the valley. Between Diskit and Hunder is an area of white sand dunes which is not unlike the Sahara if you can ignore the snow-capped mountains in the background.

 (b) Nubra Valley: It is also known as the valley of flowers. Nubra means Green and has always been green cultivated, fertile and famous for its beautiful lush green landscape. Riders are requested to carry permit for the same.

 (c) Hunder: Hunder is an attractive village and is nicer than Diskit but, being smaller, has slightly fewer facilities. Riders must go for wild camel safari and white sand dunes at places.

 (i) Distance: Approximately 190 Km.

 (ii) Place to Stay: Nubra Sarai Camps (Hunder).

  1. Conclusion : Leh Ladhak has always been my dream come true ride. I had a dream that one day, I would ride all along these beautiful ice clad mountains with my Harley and now, I made it. I remember that I was sitting on the bank of Pangong Tso lake and cherishing some of my ride moments with other riders that “How we have come up so far”. I strongly believe that its the bond between you, your machine and the ride that matters. During my ride, sometimes it used to get really frustrating that at places, I used to ride 600 km a day and now I was barely able to make it 150 km in a day. But slowly and stately, I understood that those were highways and these are mountains, and you must pay great respect to these mountains. Wherever I went, I at least stayed there for 15 to 20 days and enjoyed the serenity of that place as I was away from all possible human hustle. It was just the open road, me, my bike and the beautiful mountains. I always considered life just like an open road and our life is just like ONE BIG RIDE. During this big ride, sometimes you gonna get good patches just like happiness and sometimes you gonna get bad patches just like unhappiness or our bad moments. But the best thing about this BIG RIDE is all about enjoying the ride; enjoying this beautiful life. There is no doubt that we could learn so much out of those bad patches. It’s not that our good patches that make us good or great riders but it’s those bad patches who will improve you as a rider, as a human being and whenever we fall, we just say one thing to ourself:

 “I Have Miles to Go, Before I Sleep”

 JOURNEY FROM SKY TO OCEAN BEGINS

  1. Yes! Now the party have started. From here onwards, the ride begins for “A JOURNEY FROM SKY TO OCEAN”. This journey starts from the World’s Highest Motorable Road KHARDUNG LA Top with a height of 18,389 feet and culminates at KANYAKUMARI (Indira Point). This ride includes 2nd axis to Leh Ladhak which also included Leh – Manali via Spiti valley and highway which is considered as one of the toughest and dangerous roads in the world. I knew only that route via 2nd axis from the beginning and so I have chosen it. Things are gonna be really tough and it’s gonna be a hard nut shell to crack. My journey started on 7th Oct 2016 and culminated on 23rd Oct 2016. So here I am, I hope you are also gonna enjoy this part of my journey.
  2. 1st Day Ride: (Hunder – Diskit – Khardung La – Leh)

 (a) Route Taken: The journey begins from Hunder where I have been staying from last 15 Days and exploring downtown and the area around. The nearby refuelling station is at Nubra. After Hunder, your journey will be moving all around Nubra valley and Diskit. Then by lunch time, you gonna reach Khardung La top and then Leh on 7th Oct 2016.

 (b) Khardung La: The World’s Highest Motorable Road with a height of 18,389 Feet but as the name and altitude suggests, spend less time at such an altitude. Just click some good pictures and make your move for Leh. The initial 10 km downslope is gonna be your biggest nightmare as the patch is just too bad. So just keep moving till Leh.

 (i) Distance: 160 km Approximately

 (ii) Places to Stay: Hotel Grand Dragon and Hotel Zen Ladhak are two of your best options at Leh

  1. 2nd Day Ride: (Leh – Karu – Upshi – Pang – Sarchu)

 (a) Route Taken: My 2nd day journey started on 8th Oct 2016 from Leh and ended at the beautiful Sarchu valley. I started my journey pretty late because, believe me, after my 1st day ride, it was really tiring and the sudden altitude fluctuation might be dangerous for me. So I took my call and the ride began at 1000 Hrs and I reached my destination at evening 1800 Hrs. Piece of advice for riders: Once you cross Karu, then next refuelling station is at a Keylong around 264 Km. So riders better be carrying sufficient amount of fuel with themselves.

 (b) Taglang La: Once you cross Karu and Upshi, you will be riding all along the beautiful upslope of Pang Highway and her beautiful curves will make you mesmerised. You will reach Taglang La World’s Second Highest Pass with the altitude of 17,582 feet. Taglang La boasts several other world records such as the Second Highest temple and even the Highest Toilet in The World. This place is very cold and arid. Once you cross pass, the downhill slope will lead you till pang and the road is just fabulous or I would say a dream-come-true highway. You can even see straight 40 km, one of the best works done by HIMANK, or so called BRO (Border Road Organisation).

 (c) Sarchu Valley: The Beautiful Sarchu valley is seen surrounded by mountains and as you start getting down towards Manali, you start getting lush greenery and the Sarchu landscape is just far apart. You don’t wanna miss the sunrise. So have a good camera and make an indomitable memory of a lifetime. Riders generally consider this Sarchu as an overnight stop, reason being that if you are coming via Manali to Leh, you must plan to stay put for proper acclimatisation for your further journey.

 (i) Distance: 260 km Approximately

 (ii) Places to Stay: Sarchu Camp and Resorts

  1. 3rd Day Ride: (Sarchu – Baralacha La – Kunzum La – Losar – Kaza – Spiti Village)

 (a) Route Taken: My 3rd day journey started on 9th Oct 2016 from Sarchu valley and ended at beautiful Spiti village. As you move towards Spiti Valley, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. So be mentally prepared and move on.

 (b) Baralacha La: It means “Crossroads Pass”. This particular route is one of the hard nut shells to crack as this route is a tricky one. I would say riders, kindly do take care and ride safe on this particular pass.

 (c) Kaza: Kaza is the administrative and transport hub of Spiti subdistrict and it is surrounded by inspirational scenery. It’s an easy going place to spend a few days to rest from hectic and bumpy rides and visit some stunning monasteries.

 (d) Spiti Valley and Spiti Village: Driving from Sarchu to Manali via the most beautiful city of Spiti. The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. The land between Tibet and India and also World’s Highest Village. Explore the dry deserted region and Attend the Ki Cham festival in Spiti. This high mountain passes are open from April to October.

 (i) Distance: 286 Km Approximately

 (ii) Places to Stay: Spiti Kara Resorts and Tents.

  1. 4th Day Ride: (Spiti Village – Bharatpur – Baralacha La – Zingzingbar – Darcha – Jispa – Keylong – Tandi – Sissu – Khokhsar – Gramphu – Rohtang Pass – Marhi – Manali)

 (a) Route Taken: 4th day ride started on 10th Oct 2016 from beautiful Spiti village and ended at Manali. One of the major breakthroughs of my ride is that once you reach Manali, I would say the toughest part of ride is over.

 (b) Baralacha La: 4th Highest Motorable Pass in the world, altitude is Appx 15,000 feet and once you reach at the top, then you gonna have good and bad patches. Road condition is bad and challenging. Once you cross this, you gonna face riders’ biggest nightmare nearby Zingzinbar. People named it PAGAL NALA, so riders, be careful about it.

 (c) Manali: Manali is situated in the Beas River Valley is a hill station nestled in the mountains of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. It is located about 270 km (168 mi) north of the state capital, Shimla.

Things to Do: Visit Hadimba Devi Mandir and waterfalls, Nightlife at Manali is awesome must visit cafe 1947 amazing ambience.

 (d) Useful Info For Riders: Accommodation available at Bharatpur, Jispa, Keylong, Khokhsar, Gramphu and at last Manali. Refuelling Station is available at Manali and last refuelling station before Leh is at Keylong, so get locked and loaded at Keylong. Some of the things to do are Camping at Beas Kund Pass, River Crossing and Rafting at Manali, Para Gliding Manali, Trekking to Hampta Pass, Bath at hot water spring at Manikaran Gurudwara, and Kullu market.

 (i) Distance: 196 Km Approximately

 (ii) Places to Stay: Ride Inn cafe and Resort at Manali – One of the best places to stay for riders

  1. 5th Day Ride: (Manali – Chhaki- Kullu – Mandi – Bilaspur)

 (a) Route Taken: The ride starts after having a party at Manali on 11th Oct 2016 celebrating my victory over Leh chapter. Nightlife at Manali is just fabulous, believe me, you must try it. So after crossing Manali, I got lucky and from now on, the road condition was good and full of beautiful ghat sections which kept rolling like a roller coaster and till Bilaspur, we had a clean go. Route will be all along the beautiful town of Himachal Pradesh such as Kullu, Mandi and Bilaspur.

 (b) Kasol: The tiny village of Kasol has developed into a busy traveller’s hang out. Set amid pine trees and streams, it’s a relaxed place to kick back. But the rash of German bakery, body piercing and trance music gonna move you like hippies.

 (c) Bilaspur: One of the beautiful towns of Himachal, surrounded by lush green mountains and in the middle of the town, there is a beautiful lake enhancing its beauty to the glory.

 (i) Distance: 292 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Lake Side Resort (Bilaspur)

  1. 6th Day Ride: (Bilaspur – Swarghat – Kiratpur – Rupnagar – Chandigarh – Ambala – Delhi)

 (a) Route Taken: The ride starts with my pleasant stay at Bilaspur on 12th Oct 2016 nearby lake resort. Its road moves around like a rollercoaster ride from Swarghat till Kiratpur. Then ride moves via NH 21 Chandigarh, Ambala and Delhi.

 (i) Distance: 430 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: J W Marriyatt

  1. 7th Day Ride: (Delhi – Alwar – Jaipur – Vijaynagr – Chittorgarh).

 (a) Route Taken: My ride starts after a day resting at Delhi with my loved ones and partying with Delhi HOGs again. I started on 14th Oct 2016, it’s time for my bike to go for a thorough check-up because after such a long run on the mountains, bikes need to be rectified. The route chart has been made by Delhi Chapter Manager Tushar which goes via NH 12 beautiful 4 lane highway till Indore.

 (b) Chittorgarh: Chittorgarh fort is one of the tourist attractions, the town itself is grotty, but the fort is well worth the detour – it could be squeezed in as a day trip to Chittor from Udaipur, or as a stop between Bundi and Udaipur.

 (i) Distance: 580 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Pratap Palace

  1. 8th Day Ride: (Chittorgarh – Mandsaur – Ratlam – Ujjain – Indore)

 (a) Route Taken: Ride begins with a beautiful sunrise of Chittorgarh fort on 15th Oct 2016, and it moves via NH 12 to Mandsour, Ratlam, Ujjain and Indore. This particular highway is just far apart till Indore, so just roll on.

 (b) Indore: Indore is a good start for visiting Mandu, or to make your move towards Rajasthan, Eastern Madhya Pradesh or towards Maharastra. This place is just a rerouting point for your journey to explore towards south India. Tiger Chapter Indore HOGs are just fabulous – the way I have been facilitated for my K2K ride by local HOGs and being assisted by them for my further ride ahead. At last but not the least, I wanna say “THANK YOU” guys. I took a halt for 3 Days – 15, 16 and 17 because it’s party time, believe me, tiger chapter guys are crazy riders. I felt like home because the amount of love & affection they have it for me, it’s just far apart. That’s why I always love to visit Indore Harley Davidson Showroom, right now, it’s my parent chapter.

 (i) Distance: 430 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Sayaji (Indore)

  1. 9th Day Ride: (Indore – Maheshwar – Malegaon – Nasik – Igatpuri – Old Mumbai Pune Highway)

 (a) Route Taken: Ride began on 18th Oct 2016, and it moved via NH3 and NH4 towards Pune via Old Mumbai Pune Highway. The ride began after resting for 3 days at Indore, the highways are beautiful but you will memorise the dangerous ghat section of Igatpuri.

 (b) Pune: While moving from Indore, I have come across some of the beautiful highways of India or so called Indian Central Corridor which will straight way lead you to Kanyakumari. Also during this particular trip, I have come across India’s Oldest Wineyard nearby Nasik. Must taste some of the best wine of India or I would say in the world. Also when I reached Pune, I was received by the local HOGs and the accommodation was catered by them. The beautiful guest house courtesy goes to Arvind Sir, thank you so much sir for taking care of me after such a long ride. Next day, I took a day halt and visited Two River Chapter and Showroom where I was able to meet Director Pune Chapter Sunita. I was so glad by her riding experience and wanna thank her for her guidance for my further ride ahead. KUDOS Two River Chapter. I Started riding back on 20th Oct 2016 for Belgum (KA).

 (i) Distance: 591 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: MILIT Guest Room (Pune)

  1. 10th Day Ride: (Pune – NH 4 – Satara – Kolhapur – Belgum)

 (a) Route Taken: Ride began on 20th Oct 2016, from Pune and it moved via NH4 till Bangalore. Pune, Kolhapur Highway will just mesmerise you with beautifully maintained highway. Though it was my continuous 13th day ride from North India to South India, your body will tend to give up at places but it was my willpower which was pushing me to move ahead and finish my ride with flying colours and I did it subsequently, I took a day halt at Belgum (KA) and I started my ride again on 21st Oct 2016 for Bangalore.

 (b) Belgum: Belgum is the border between Maharastra and Karnataka, a midpoint for Bengaluru and a best place for night halt.

 (i) Distance: 342 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Green Leaf

  1. 11th Day Ride: (Belgum – Hubli – Devnagree – Tumkur – Bangalore)

 (a) Route Taken: The ride began on 21st Oct 2016, from Belgum and it moved via NH4 till Bangalore. This straight highway will lead you to Bangalore. So fuel up, wear your gear and ride on till Bangalore.

 (b) Bangalore: The Surging Capital of Bangalore is regarded as one of the country’s most progressive cities. It’s streak contrast with the rest of the state is most evident in Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG) or so called MG road that is famous for its fast food joints, yuppie bars, sophisticated lounges and high end malls with the ever changing flavours of the day. Things that are taboos are elsewhere – men and women holding hands, sleeveless shirts etc. are very often seen here. Also, I took a halt for a day at Bangalore and visited my cousins and loved ones. I wanna thank Amardeep Sir and Ma’am for such a lovely lunch and also want to thank Tuskers Chapter and Chapter Manager for my further route chart for Kanyakumari. Also, I wanna thank my cousin brother Thakur Amit Singh and Bhabhi Sa for the wonderful hospitality.

 (i) Distance: 506 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Hyatt Regency

  1. 12th Day Ride: (Bangalore – Salem – Madurai – Tirunelveli – Kanyakumari)

 (a) Route Taken: Ride began on 23rd Oct 2016 at morning 0600 Hrs from Bangalore to Kanyakumari via NH7, the highway is just a dream come true till Cape Comorin or so called Kanyakumari. I managed to reach KANYAKUMARI by 1830 Hrs evening sunset time.

 (b) Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari is the ‘Land’s End’ of the Indian subcontinent, where the Bay of Bengal meets the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Chaitpurnima is the best time to experience sunset and moonrise over the ocean simultaneously. Even during normal times, morning sunrise will just memorise you. I witnessed the spectacular sunrise as I reached Kanyakumari. I completed my journey from Sky to Ocean, My K2K Ride. During my journey, I have crossed almost 11 states and completed this journey in 17 Days. Yes, my K2k Ride has been completed but my journey hasn’t finished yet. Now, I have to strive hard to reach my home town Raipur.

 (i) Distance: 782 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Sea View

  1. 13th Day Ride: (Kanyakumari – Madurai – Bangalore)

 (a) Route Taken: Ride began on 24th Oct 2016 at morning 0600 Hrs from Kanyakumari to Bangalore via NH7 after encountering morning sunrise by looking at “India’s Statue of LibertyLord Vivekananda Statue, believe me, that site was just astonishing. Then I just fell back via the same route so I believe there is no need to brag about the route again.

 (i) Distance: 782 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Hyatt Regency

  1. 14th Day Ride: (Bangalore – Anantpur – Gooty – Mahbubnagar – Hydrabad)

 (a) Route Taken: Ride began on 25th Oct 2016 at morning 0600 Hrs after my night halt at Bangalore. I started up my ride for my hometown Raipur but gonna take a night halt at Hyderabad. This route reaches Hyderabad via NH7 and the highway is just classes apart. So just roll on. I reached Hyderabad by evening 1600 Hrs. You don’t wanna enter a Hi Tech city like Hyderabad during late evening because the traffic is just terrible during late evening hours, so better plan accordingly.

 (b) Hyderabad: When I reached Hyderabad, I have been received by Chapter Manager Banzara Chapter, and had big time party with my friends. I wanna say thank you to Banzara Chapter, and Rajesh Sir for all his love and affection.

 (i) Distance: 570 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Hyatt Regency

  1. 15th Day Ride: (Hydrabad – Nizamabad – Gondia – Raipur)

 (a) Route Taken: Ride began on 26th Oct 2016 at morning 0700 Hrs after my night halt at Hyderabad, and route moved via NH7 till Nagpur, then via NH6 till Raipur (CG). Riders are requested to cover their ride after Nagpur in broad daylight because of forestal area enroute of Appx 150 Km. So plan your ride according to that.

 (b) Raipur: I was so excited & wanted to reach my home as soon as possible as my loved ones were waiting for me to come back so that I could share my ride experience. Raipur is famous for its indigenous arts that have created a highly distinctive regional art form in metalworking, terracotta and woodworking (CG). Chhattisgarh considered to be tribal belt 35 tribes live across the state and each group has got its own culture. Some of the happening places are as follows: Kawardha Palace, Sirpur Temple, Chitrakoot (India’s Naigra Falls) etc.

 (i) Distance: 781 Km Approximately

 (ii) Place to Stay: Hotel Hyatt Regency

CONCLUSION OF MY K2K RIDE

  1. I am very grateful to the many people in India who generously proffered advice and pointed me in the right direction. Also, I wanna specially thank Harley Davidson India and the various chapters and the HOGs for their guidance. A big thank you to my Armed Forces Chapter, Tiger Chapter Indore, Capital Chapter Delhi, RJ Rachna for media coverage and making this K2K ride a big time success. Also my sincere thanks to Lonely Planet India for their guidance. Being a rider, I got a chance to ride on all kinds of terrain; as a result, this journey helped me to improve as a rider as I started my journey from Central India to Mighty Himalayas and again back to Kanyakumari.
  2. The Tales of a Traveller: Hey, I am Thakur Suraj Singh, travel blogger based out at Raipur, India. Software engineer by profession and travel freak by passion. I share my travel stories, tips and ideas to inspire people to travel the world managing a full-time job. Join me on our journey as I unravel beautiful destinations, luxury resorts, offbeat locales and food find.
  3. What the Ride Means to Me: The Ride gives you the best of everything and satisfies your hunger for adventure, cultural scene, trekking, beautiful landscape from snow clad Himalayas to secluded beaches of Kanyakumari, tasting the different cuisine, meeting different people, speaking different language and lifestyle, and for me, riding is the way of life, for me, Ride Isn’t About Milestone but Moments.

“Life is Short, Break the Rules, Forgive Quickly,

Love Honestly, Lough Easy, Keep It Simple,

 Ride Often, Ride Hard, Ride Free And

 Never Regret Anything That Makes You Smile”

  1. Credits

 (a) TEAM 14

 (b) Harley Davidson India

 (c) Armed Forces Chapter

 (d) Capital Chapter New Delhi

 (e) Tiger Chapter Indore

 (f) Two River Chapter (Pune)

 (g) Tuskers Chapter (Bangalore)

 (h) Banjara Chapter (Hyderabad)

 (i) RJ Rachna (Raipur)

 (j) Aditya Pratap Singh, Rahul Bhai, Aarti, DK Bhai (Indore)

 (k) Sunita Director Two Rivers Chapter (Pune)

 (l) Arvind Sir, Amardeep (Bangalore)

  1. Feedback

Kindly send me your feedback or call me for any assistance kindly contact me on my email address given below or subscribe my channel on YouTube for recent ride videos (A Journey from Sky to Ocean):

 (a) E Mail Address: surajthakur8055@gmail.com

 (b) You Tube: A Journey from Sky to Ocean

 (c) Mob No: 9419800594

  1. Route Chart:

Raipur – Allahabad – Kanpur – Delhi – Panipat – Jammu – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zoji La – Drass – Kargil – Khaltse – Lamayuru – Nimmu – Leh – Sarchu – Manali via Spiti – Old Mandi – Kasol – Bilaspur – Via Chandigarh – Delhi – Chittorhgarh – Indore – Pune Via Nasik – Bangalore- Kanyakumari via Madurai – Back to Bangalore – Hydrabad – Nagpur -Raipur

 

Ride Hard

Ride Safe

 (Thakur Suraj Singh)

“Ride Isn’t About Milestone That We Achieve,

It’s About Moments We Get”

 

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