Thursday, December 29, 2022

New Delhi To Shimla - Nava's Travelog

Ah! Covid! Wasn't something we expected, did we? And because of Covid, my travelogues have been halted, for almost, 2 1/2 years. Finally, though the borders were opened much earlier, I on the other hand, made my first trip, another one of my solo trips, on 18th November, 2022. Imagine! Please do. Imagine how it must have been, for someone like me, who given a chance, will travel non-stop. Nevertheless. the reality is, money must be sunny for travelling as well? Nevermind, let me work hard, save and then pack my bags again. 

Now, when was the last time I travelled? Oh-yes, across  the sea from West Malaysia to East Malaysia, Sabah (Sabah Part 3 & Sabah Part 1). Prior to that, end year 2019, North India (New Delhi & Varanasi). Why do people like me travel? I travel for sightseeing, I travel for food venturing, I travel for meeting people, but, aha, least on my list? Shopping. Done and dusted. Oh-well, one of the realities of travelling? The more you travel, the least you shop, or you hardly anymore? Now, coming back to this trip of my mine, and as I have already mentioned, another solo-travelogue. Solo as in without my hub, my family, neither my friends. Basically, I hopped into a tour, alongside, a countable number of tour acquaintances, and the rest, who cares. The point is, you can't avoid people, all sorts of people and for travelogues, the same story as well.  

Off to KLIA 1 on this particular day, and by the time we checked into our hotel in New Delhi, darkness has swarmed and when its winter, sky gets darker even earlier. Past 12am, and after quick shower, I crashed on bed. My room? Just enough space for one person. Otherwise, I beg to differ if I had to share with another. What about the ambiance? No, nothing to complain about for the sake of complaining. Neat, spic and span, and oh, oh, all lights lighted up in full force as if its "The Festival Of Lights" in my room. But why? Well, the fear of darkness whilst sleeping alone, and in case, creepy evil carnivals, make their presence known from nowhere. Lights in full force, for me, is a norm whenever I stay alone anywhere for the matter.  

Thank god, thanks to the gods in New Delhi, nothing rocked and rolled me out of bed, next morning after showering, hotel buffet breakfast. How was food? Logically, the first meal in a new country? Will always be meaningful, somewhat to a certain extent. Then again, how different can hotel buffet breakfast in North India be? You tell me please? Oooppps!

Anyway, by 8.30am, we hopped into the coach bus for the, give and take, 9 hours of road travelling, heading to Shimla. Oh-my-god! Traffic jam! New Delhi's traffic jam. Huh! Being a Saturday as well, and considering the sheer number of their internal tourists, gosh. Seemingly, the road scene will be like, may the toughest be the fittest for driving. Now, almost two hours on the road, an hour plus for just routing out from Delhi, next, a comfort break for zzzzzzz, plus food and drinks too. This lady, Ms. Nava, being the adventurous one, she couldn't resist the "Paan" and North India's tea culture, "Tea In Clay Cup", at the rest area, "Mama Yadav, Shiva Dhaba" (Babugarh, Ghaziabad). Amazing, Both. One of those things, why I love travelling, as I have already said, for food venturing, particularly street food. 

An hour plus at this supposedly R & R, thereafter, Jyotisar Temple, for marking the beginning of the most holy place in Kurukshetra. A small pond, a 5,000 year old Banyan tree, where you will see the common ritual of tying wish threads on the tree's branches, also, a marble chariot in a transparent glass closure, Jyotisar Temple holds the history of Arjuna and Lord Krishna, made known in the Hinduism holy book of Bhagavad Gita. Of course, as in all temples, its the vibe of religionism which touches your mind and soul. 
Up next, Bhishma Kund, Narkatari, a place bearing connection to the great epic Mahabharata, and where, there is a temple next to a water tank called Banganga or the Bhishma Kund, which is believed came into place due to Arjuna shooting an arrow into the ground and letting loose a stream of gushing waters. 
After visiting these two places, and by the time lunch was decided upon, hack, almost 4pm. Mmmm! Like what, the food scene at the open space across Mannat Haveli, Kurukshetra)? The push and rush for ordering from the group of hungry people, where I ordered "Raj Kachori". Raj Kachori, a hearty portion, a popular crispy fried shell, Indian chaat,  filled alongside an assortment of items, including potatoes, boiled moong dal, dal, yogurt, spices and chutney. Love it, for the crunch and mix burst of tastes. 

Done and over, tummy filled up, back on the road again for another few more hours on the road, prior to arriving in Shimla, at about 10pm. I skipped dinner, because over the years of travelling, I realize late dinners are the reason why I return home with extra kilos. Splitting away from the group, off to my room, where bags were put aside, followed by a wash up and down, before calling it a night.  

Shimla - to be continue in the next travelogue. 

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