Shiva has travelled solo for 5 days for a bucket list trip covering 1100 kilometres from JNU, Delhi to Kedarnath to pay a visit to the Adiyogi Lord Shiva on his motorcycle ‘Chamki’ (a Royal Enfield Classic 350).
In September 2014 Shiva got his driving license in New Delhi. Until then his brother Ravi had already made his dream come true of becoming an owner of Classic 350 Royal Enfield. He named it ‘Chamki‘ meaning ‘shiny.’
No doubts that his brother who is a passionate and a professional biker and works a bike tour leader himself, had inspired him for riding an Enfield Bullet but Shiva was not so deep into it.
“I guess the surroundings of JNU helped me shape a completely new, daring, full of adventures & risky dream of riding Chamki solo to the Himalayas-Ladakh, the ultimate dream of every rider from across the globe.”
Shiva went on research mode and started hunting for information on the web about the Leh-Ladakh tour, on the routes, the safety precautions.
In 2014, when Shiva shared the idea of paying a visit to the Adiyogi Shiva at Kedarnath with family & friends, nobody was ready for it.
“I understood them because, after the scenario of disasters at Kedarnath in 2013, nobody would desire to go there but my dream of visiting the adiyogi Shiva at Kedar even after the deadly floods was unshaken & all these years I would dream of Kedar often.”
He wanted to go to Kedarnath during the summer break itself. The idea of Kedarnath with the Royal Enfield flashed on his mind one night when he came across an article about a guy of his age, Rohith Subramanian who was on a Grand Tour of India & much more on a Royal Enfield motorcycle.
“A beautiful idea struck my head, why not Kedarnath on an Enfield?”
He went on the internet once again and found that when compared to the Ladakh-tour it seemed quite simple, just straightforward Highways NH58, 14 kilometres of a trek to the temple & overall it would take less time.
Eventually, he took up on his brother’s suggestion of riding to Kedarnath instead of Leh-Ladakh. Shiva had no experience on a heavy motorcycle like the Royal Enfield Bullet.
Shiva rode his bullet to Kedarnath via Haridwar, Rishikesh, Rudraprayag, and Gaurikund & trekked for 14-kilometres trek to the Kedarnath temple.
On accomplishing his first bucket list trip to Kedarnath, Shiva feels that the trip has enhanced his confidence levels. There is a bond between a man and his machine. The trip has strengthened his relationship with Chamki.
The same has encouraged him to accomplish his next bucket list trip to Leh-Ladakh.
Over the period of five days, Shiva shares the most astounding scenes and the difficulties he had experienced. He has witnessed a flood of people gathered at the Har-Ki-Pauri ghat near Haridwar worshipping and chanting the Aarti synchronously. He recommends being there early in the evening, for a front seat.
The roads are pretty smooth up to Rishikesh but after that, they turn narrow, curved and ascend. Shiva suggests being careful on that route because he had witnessed terrible accidents.
He describes a beautiful scene from Devbhoomi-Devprayag – the confluence of the Alaknanda River from the and the Bhagirathi River from the left.
He even recalls of a ‘sadhu’ who could speak fluently in English, rode a bullet himself and is available on Facebook as well.
Finally, after deviating from his route and finding a way back on track, with tiredness and disappointment, Shiva found a troupe heading to Kedarnath who cheered him on. And after a biometric scan followed by a 14-kilometre trek, the mortal met the Adiyogi at the Kedarnath temple.
In order to justify his bucket list ride to Kedarnath solo, all Shiva felt that he had to do was to prepare himself and his Royal Enfield.
“Preparation is the most important part of the trip.”
He feels that if you prepare well, no trip is that difficult. He made sure to be present when fine mechanics tuned his ride. A good research on the web about the weather conditions and itinerary has helped Shiva overcome difficulties. He even connected with fellow riders and travellers to help him get an overall idea about the ride.
For riding enthusiasts waiting to go for their first bucket list ride, Shiva has some recommendations for you.
“If you have a big dream to realize, start planning.”
- Carry spares because you’re on a machine and it might stall.
- Don’t be afraid. No matter what you ride, have faith in your machine and ride slow where you must.
- Enjoy the beauty of the valley.
- Follow the Riding Mantra- “Sun-rise to Sunset”. Avoid riding at night. The point is to enjoy riding and not to die while riding.
- Medicines and cash, of course, to be on the safe side. Don’t expect ATMs and pharmacies everywhere.
- Warm clothes and a postpaid Sim card if you must.
Shivdutt is a follower of the Adiyogi Lord Shiva. There is a set of 12 important shrines spread all over India where the ‘Mahadev’ is worshipped in the form of a ‘Jyotirlingam’ or ‘Lingam of light.’
“There are four Jyotirlingams in Maharashtra. Two are in Madhya Pradesh, 1 each in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.”
Shiva plans to visit these temples in one go. He wants to explore them from a solo bike covering as many states as possible. He plans to initiate and proceed on his ride in a clockwise direction starting from Bodhgaya (Bihar), his birthplace.