Hello, this is Siddharth Khanduri a professional Yoga instructor, Trek guide, and boxer from INDIA.
I’m going to share with you my journey of Bike packing to the HIMALAYAS; hope you’ll enjoy it.
Note: Siddharth Khanduri, a well-wisher of The Cyclist Guy from India shared his adventurous bike journey to the Himalayas with us.
How I Started With My Bike
Cycling has been my hobby since childhood. I used to go for small cycling trips to mountains or riversides with my friends during the weekend. When I grew up I could only go to nearby places or my training center because of my work.
Dehradun is a valley where you are surrounded by adventurous activities. The second Covid-19 wave was about to end and the local people were allowed to travel within the state, so I grabbed this opportunity because I had no work at that time and asked my friend if he was interested to go on a backpacking trip to KEDARNATH Temple to which he agreed.
Journey to the Himalayas Begins
We got our bicycles prepared, bought all the important stuff, the covid test reports with a dose of vaccination certificate, and on 20th June at 5 am we started our journey. It was raining that day but we still continued our journey. Till Rishikesh, it was all plain. After that, we had an uphill ride. From there it was like, you have to climb a mountain, then go downhill, then again climb another mountain, and so on.
Basically, we were crossing mountains one by one. The Himalayas are young fold mountains due to which there are many landslide-prone areas. So at one place, we were stuck for around 2 hours and people there started talking to us and were also shocked to see us on our bicycles. They were blessing us and giving us respect for what we were doing, which motivated us.
After riding for around 110km we reached Devpryag. Prayag means confluence of two or more rivers in Hindu tradition and it is considered holy to take a dip at any of these confluences. Of special significance is Devprayag.
This is the Prayag where the two rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet and is called the Ganges from this place onwards. On day 2 my pump broke down while filling the tire, making it flat. And in mountains, things are not easily available. That’s why we started late around 12 pm for Rudarpryag and on our way was Dhari Devi temple.
The temple is home to the upper half of the idol of the goddess Dhari, while the lower half of the idol is located in Kalimath. Dhari Devi is a temple located on the banks of the Alaknanda River between Srinagar and Rudraprayag. Rudraprayag was my grandfather’s hometown, but he moved to Dehradun for work.
We still have relatives there as well as an old abandoned house and Khanduri’s clan Devi temple, so I quickly visited it, took the blessings in the morning with one of my cousins who lives there, and then started the journey towards Guptkashi, our destination for day 3.
On our way, we started seeing snow-capped mountains which were mesmerizing and gave us the energy to keep moving forward. We reached Guptkashi around 6 pm. In the morning we visited the local Vishwanath Temple where Lord Shiva proposed to Parvati to marry him but the wedding ceremony took place in the Triyuginarayan temple, which was around 37km from Guptkashi.
Triyuginarayan has been there since the “three ages” or “Triyug”; the perpetual fire burns in front of the temple since the time of Lord Shiva’s marriage. Devotees carry wood to offer in the holy fire and take back the ashes as it promotes marital bliss.
After the temple visit we went to Sonpryag; the last spot where all the health and document check takes place for the Kedarnath trek, but sadly due to corona rules where no one was allowed to go so we decided to park our bicycle and go to Triyuginarayan temple via foot because it was 5km away and then go back to Guptkashi.
When we reached the temple it was so pretty. And the plus point was that there was no one there. It was so peaceful and calm. By the evening we were back in Guptkashi. At night we decided to go to Kalimath temple which was a 10km detour on our journey back. Kalimath Temple is where only the lower portion of Goddess Kali is worshipped, while the upper half is worshipped at Dhara Devi Temple, located between Rudraprayag and Srinagar as I have mentioned above.
It is believed that Goddess Kali killed the devil Raktavija, who settled under the earth at this very place where now the temple stands. Also, it is said that your wish will come true if you ask sincerely. After the visit we paddled back to Devprayag which was one of the longest days of our journey of 125km.
On our last day when we reached Rishikesh my riding partner’s father, a police officer who helped us with all the permissions and lodgings in this corona time, asked us to stay there and go back to Dehradun the next day, which was 40km away. So we stayed there and ended our beautiful journey on 26th June 2021.
The whole journey was a whole new experience with lots of things to learn and we got to know more about the mythological stories of temples, which were all related to each other in one way or another which we didn’t know. I request all the cyclists to visit it at least once. you’ll be amazed to know about the stories and facts.
Read about more exciting adventurous journeys from The Cyclist Guy.