Friday, June 20, 2008

Dehradun:Step Closer to Nature

It was a dream.
After my wonderful flight from Pune to Delhi, I was on my way to Dehra Dun. I was really excited to be in Dehradun. I had an option of Flying from Delhi to Dehradun but some how wanted the travel team not to find a connecting flight from Delhi to Dehra dun, and indeed I was lucky, I had to take the road, which I loved too. It was raining hard for quite awhile but later reduced to a mere summer showers. It was 6:30 pm when we left Delhi; soon we were on the Highway.

Since we had someone to pick us up from Delhi, I felt little relieved. The Drive who said he had lived all his life on this Route, took a detour instead of the so called highway, we had to take a deviation & we were just going by a dark, isolated, narrow one way path along a canal.I believe this waterway running parallel to us was River Ganga. It was the “regular” way taken to cut down on few Kilometers. But it was quite Dangerous, I felt.

After few miles on the highway we stopped at Cheetal Grand Restaurant, a regular stop-by for the regular Delhi-Dehradun travelers. Some thing like the food malls on Pune-Mumbai Expressway.Cheetal Grand is located at Khatauli, roughly 100kms from Delhi. It’s quite unique; it has catchy message boards & great flora & fauna. I wonder how they managed to keep so many birds caged. Some, I felt were rare, I had never seen them before. I guess Maneka Gandhi yet hasn’t stopped by here:).The onion & chili Pakoda’s are quite famous here.It was already dark & I could faintly see anything except for the some dark villages (Most of them were without power) which my driver significantly pointed out were a part of Uttar Pradesh (Land of Turmoil, Hope it changes its perspective). I guess by 11:30pm were in Dehradun, little tired & damn hungry.It was just a picture perfect start; I woke up, leaned over my balcony to see lots of greenery &it was pouring, never felt so beautiful about rains. The sound of rain was so refreshing, I never paid attention to how rains sounded before. A Small Church standing at a distance. Just felt nice about the little chill hitting my body. It was one of those days were you just lazed in bed, reading sipping hot cup of coffee or sitting by the fire place & have a drink. Hmm….It felt like heaven. I never wanted to leave…

I got very little time to go around Dehradun; so near but yet far from Mussoorie. I managed to just see Mussoorie over the Mountains. (My first glimpse of the Himalayas). I remembered Ruskin Bonds. He lives in Mussoorie (Had ideas to met him too). But, was unlucky this time, was running out of time & also was advised it was unsafe to go Mussoorie after the nightfall. (If on my own, I would have driven down on my own, even if I had to spent 30mins there). Got time to see the Dehradun market, shopping area, uptown area, the Tibetan market, in & around Clock tower area, walking by. It was a Sunday evening so most of the shops were closed. Went to a sweet shop & had lots of Ras Gulas. It was really a small trip; I just couldn’t get to see much of Dehradun. Yes, I did miss visiting the landmarks- The famous Dun School &IMA.
I had and early morning flight from Dun to Delhi. Dehradun’s only airport known as Jolly Grant is situated 25kms from the main town, the drive is quite pleasant but be well in time to catch the flight, if ever stuck in a jam you can say goodbye to your flight. I’m sure you don’t want to do that as it’s the only Flight out of Dehradun. (Only AirDeccan flies to Dehradun-Delhi Sector, One in the morning & the other in the evening, basically ATR’s).

The Airport is quite small & lack basic facilities, I guess it will improve once the airport is fully built & more flights start operational. There’s just one Air Deccan counter & one foodstall with minimum staff & little Security. The Airport is nestled at the foothills of Himalayas. My dream of Dehradun was pretty much over. I’ll surely come back here for sure, hope not on a Business trip.
Trip Details:
Delhi-Dehradun: 232 Kms Apporox
My Travel Dates : 4th(Reached at 11:30pm, almost 5th), 5th, 6th, 7th April 2008
Pune to Delhi –4th April 08, Flight #SG 212 Y -04APR PNQ-DEL AK1 (1330-1525 hrs)
Dehradhun to Delhi – 7th April 08 # DN 510 Y -07APR DED-DEL (0655-0750 hrs)


manoj said...

kool post..

steve said...

Hey Manoj,

I know no matter what happens you'll read this blog, thanks for being a regular reader.

Anonymous said...

NDA is in Khadakvasla, I think you meant IMA?