A spontaneous ride to no fixed destination in particular, leads to discovery of a great lush green getaway in Rajasthan!
Story: Dhairya Gupta
Recently, I became a proud owner of the Pulsar 220 DTSi. Ever since I got it, I had been itching to take it for a long ride. It happened when I least expected it! I got a call from a friend on Friday night – ‘Want to go for a ride tomorrow?’ In spite of all his persuasion, I declined his invitation. I had to run some much-postponed errands on Saturday. Dispirited, I sat down on the sofa next to my sis who was watching her daily soaps on TV. Looking at my gloomy face, she asked me, “If you are feeling so bad about it why don’t you just go for the ride? And then it struck me, she had a point, you see. How could I let some mundane chores get into the way of the ride which I wanted to do for so long. I made a quick phone call to my friend, packed all my stuff and set my alarm for 4:00 A.M.
We started riding at around 5:00 AM and hit the Gurgaon highway by 05:30 AM. It was three of us – me with my brand new Pulsar 220 DTSi, still in the running-in and my two friends on a 6 year old CBZ and a Pulsar 180 DTSi which had done 89,000 kms. The prospect of the long ride ahead seemed more exciting than ever. We planned to take a twisty road around Sariska and ride to Silisher Lake and snap some nice photographs along the way.
The highway was good but there was some light traffic even at that hour. Being a Saturday, I believe a lot of people head towards Rajasthan for a getaway. The weather seemed pleasant at dawn with the sun yet to rise to its full glory. But fun-time was soon over. The sun brought scorching heat along with it and pretty soon I was sweating like marathon runner inside my mesh riding jacket. The heat was so intense that I thought I would just evaporate into thin air.
In the interest of re-hydrating ourselves, we took a long breakfast break. We had set off on the best kind of ride, the aimless one and were in no hurry to reach any destination as we didn’t have one. I kept checking my odometer to see when my bike would cross the 1,000 km mark. After riding for about 150 kms or so, we turned left towards Sariska. We spotted an abandoned Fort. Intrigued, we parked our bikes in the nearby village and decided to check it out.
Stripped of all its past glory, the fort stood there in ruins, unused, unmaintained, unrepaired like a host of other heritage sites in our country. We just took some random pictures and reminisced about how well the fort had been built for strategic warfare. The fort had a bird’s eye view of miles of terrain in every direction and some ingenious design aspects making it perfect to ward off any attackers. However the maharaja’s did forget to factor in one thing
when they built the fort, the future governments’ negligence!
After our short excursion, we rode on – clicking pictures, climbing water tanks for photo-ops and drinking locally made nimbu-soda! We finally reached Silisher Lake. It was hot like hell and we went into this rather peculiar place where they had a bed in the dining room. We were able to stretch ourselves out on it. The lake had surprising amount of water in it in spite of the rainfall being extremely scant in this part of the country. We climbed down to the lake and spotted a few birds and hold your breath – a crocodile! The crocodile was just sitting there with its mouth open perhaps waiting for its prey or just regulating its body temperature. At the lake, I indulged in my favorite pass-time of clicking birds in flight.
After spending a lethargic couple of hours at the lake, we realized that the light had started fading. It was getting late and we embarked on our journey back. The day was great – lots of riding and relaxation. On our way back I was reflecting on how refreshing our ride had been and the therapeutic effect that lush green surroundings can have on our minds, yes even in Rajasthan. When people think of Rajasthan they always picture sand dunes and camels. But that is not what Rajasthan is all about. There’s green mountains and beautiful lakes too!