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In the land of Badri Vishal – Bike trip to Uttarakhand -3

unknown places in india for bike trips

Yesterday’s tiring ride from Rishikesh to Gopeshwar resulted in a nice peaceful sleep. Opened my day with a shivering bath followed by packing and loading.

Tying ropes in a winter morning is what I don’t like. It was around 7 AM, I came down in the GMVN restaurant to appreciate a hot cup of tea in the winter of February.

Finishing tea geared myself and left the GMVN. Avenger started with the first hit of self-start. Didn’t faced any cold start problem throughout the journey.

Reached Joshimath around 12:00 in the afternoon.
Just as I was to start for Badrinath scene changed and dark clouds hid the mountain.

It started drizzling and finally raining. I took shelter under a military ration building.

gopeshwar to badrinath

Route I followed from Gopeshwar to Pandukeshwar and back to Joshimath

gmvn Gopeshwar Uttarakhand

Morning view from GMVN Gopeshwar

rivers in himalayas, bike trip in himalaya

Alaknanda – Enroute Joshimath

budgetyatri, solo bike trip to badrinath

Playing with time and timer

ITBP Joshimath

ITBP training centre Joshimath

Better you return from here

Two men jumped from a truck which came from Badrinath direction. One guy who seemed army guy very strongly suggested me to return from here.

He said roads are bad from here. Chances of getting stuck there are huge since it is raining. They were back just now and it’s not at all good for a biker that too alone. You won’t get help either.

I kept quiet. I was ready to take chances. I don’t fear being alone.

His assistant was silent for all these 15 minutes. He started repeating same words when the first one went inside. But I diverted him by asking questions. From where did he come? What did he do here?

He was standing wearing a long gumboot loose shirt and a worn-out trouser. It seemed he was engaged in some kind of hard labor work. He spoke with a true smile which made his normal words sound funny.

He belonged to a poor farming family in Jharkhand and he was here in search of employment. ‘हम चट्टान तोड़ते हैं सरजी।’ he smiled and spoke.

I asked where all have you been? He said Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Ludhiana, Imphal, Jammu, Goa, Sikkim, Himachal. A true wanderer indeed. But he loved Nagaland and Malari which is 80km from Joshimath the most.

Malari remains under snow during winters and these people are first to go there and open the roads. Either using JCB or blasting the ice. Kida Jadi. He said it’s very costly.

As the winter comes to end local folks run back to their homes in Malari and start searching Kida Jadi. It resembles worm but actually it is kind of plant. Kida Jadi is valued at rupees 4 lakh per kilogram.

Rain slowed down in 1 hour and by the time these people were gone. Started my bike and left the place.

Attempting to reach Badrinath

Crossing a military iron bridge and landslide zones reached Pandukeshwar, a small village considered important during yatra season. Continued riding ahead.

iron bridge over river in badrinath

Iron bridge over river en route Badrinath

bike trip to uttarakhand, budgetyatri

Mountain road en route Badrinath

landslides near badrinath

One of the landslide zones en route Badrinath

bike trip to badrinath

Enroute Pandukwshar village

himalayan homes, budgetyatri

House amidst beautiful surrounding – Enroute Badrinath

himalayan homes, budgetyatri

House amidst beautiful surrounding – Enroute Badrinath

curve uhill mountain roads in india, trip to badrinath

Winding roads en route Badrinath

winding curve mountain road bike trip

Climbing mountain roads

bike tours to take in india, budgetyatri

Playing with time and timer

Glacier came down just 3 days ago

On moving ahead, I noticed white substance filling the valley between two mountains. It was not as white as snow. On a corner of the road, saw a boy standing in front of a small temple. He accepted my request to click my photos.

He was from Jharkhand and was positioned here to keep a watch on the JCBs. Pointing at the white substance, he said this is a Glacier. It came down 3 days ago. And the interesting part is these Glaciers give a sort of warning alarm in the valley before coming down. This gives the necessary time to evacuate the path of the Glacier.

bike trip to badrinath, budgetyatri

Rough patch en route Lambgadh

solo bike trip in extreme winter himalaya

It’s freezing here

glacier in uttarakhand

The Glacier will came down 3 days back

uttarakhand glacier

Glacial water

glacial river in uttarakhand, budgetyatri

Glacial water

lambgadh scenery in winter, himalayas

Himalayan mountains

Less known places for bike trips

Himalayan mountain ranges

Himalayan scenery, himalayas

Valley and mountains en route Badrinath

Bidding that boy a goodbye I moved further. My journey ahead stopped at Lambgadh village. I was informed that road ahead is covered with 2 feet snow. I had no option other than to return.

Returned Joshimath and went to GMVN Joshimath tourist rest house. Placed my luggage in the GMVN dormitory, I was alone here too 🙂  After a quick bath went to Joshimath market.

Joshimath is good enough town. Shops are placed on both the sides of the straight long road. Petrol pump is at the end of the town on the Badrinath route. Roads to Auli and Malari goes through Joshimath.

During winters, Badrinathji’s idol and palki are shifted in Joshimath.

Pure Vegetarian restaurant and hanging tandoori

The market was bustling with people. I saw a board which read Pure Vegetarian. I was surprised to see 5 grilled chickens hanging.

I said the owner ‘आपका बोर्ड आपके दुकान में लटके आइटम से मैच नहीं करता ‘. In a rough voice, he said ‘क्या चाहिए जल्दी बोलो ‘. Settled for Chow mein. I took another lesson, no Chow mein in Uttaranchal.

Spent my evening walking on the streets of Joshimath and watching the local life.

Planned for tomorrows ride to Auli Ski resort and took off for the day.

Post links of this tour –

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Hello, I am Niraj. I define myself as an amateur photographer, biker and seeker. I like to connect with like-minded friends and share experiences and stories from the place, people and time. I believe life is an endless journey and our actions no matter how small affects this infinite universe in some way or another. So let's not stop and keep our work going.


  1. Sarthak says

    recently i covered on my CD dawn from delhi , bhimtal, berinag (1st stay) via jageshwar, patal bhuwneshwar, (2nd stay – optional) ghatkalika, berinag, chaukhori ,thal, birthi fall, munsyari, ( 3rd night stay), trekked khalia top, than via other side road to dharchula(4th stay) and finally returned to delhi via pithoragarh, champawat, tanakpur, rampur delhi

    attempting delhi badrinath coming week. on the same bike

    • Hi Sarthak,
      Your itinerary looks impressive. Please share some photos with us so that we can feast our eyes 🙂
      Wishing you all the best for your Delhi Badrinath tour.

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