North East 2018 planning

Long prologue … someone once said
“Happiness is to plan a trip to somewhere new with your loved ones”. 

One best friend from Santanu’s engineering college got transferred from Bangalore to Shillong last year. In his send-off party, everyone committed that they would like to visit that part of the country. The friend in question is serving our country and he promised to be our host there while we visit Shillong, the Scotland of East and British summer capital of North East.

Our travel planning started way back in the month of January it was left to Santanu as he grew up in NorthEast to talk to relatives & friends, read travel blogs and come up with a rough itinerary. While initially, he wanted to travel all the way to Dibrugarh, he has fond memories of that places as he studied there between 1st and 4th standard a long long time ago.  But he dropped that idea as it would have been too much of traveling. So the first cut and final looked like this. We are really thankful to Mr. Manju Barua (Wild Grass, Kaziranga) for his valuable selfless inputs.



First Draft
What we did
Guwahati
Guwahati
Kaziranga
Shillong
Gibbon
Cherrapunji
Majuli
Kaziranga (bypassing  Guwahati)
Nameri
Gibbon & Sibsagar
Shillong
Majuli
Cherrapunji
Nameri and back to Guwahati



It is easy to start and end with Guwahati in NorthEast as it is well connected to rest of India with many flights and trains. To explore and have a relaxing trip we almost decided to have 2 nights halt in most places. The key challenge was rain as Kaziranga closes by end of April. One friend said he would be joining us for Meghalaya part so we changed the first draft and opted to visit Meghalaya first and Assam second. 

Seeing our detail itinerary many eyebrows were raised.  Few of the friends gave up saying they can not have this type of strenuous vacation. Vacation for them is getting up late...relaxing, enjoying food and not mandatorily visiting all tourist points….aargh just the opposite of our thinking style.

We never gave up on our thinking as we are what we are….For us traveling means getting up early, beat the traffic or the other tourists irrespective of breakfast time, cover as many possible, eat foods from roadside small eatery or any recommended place(traditional food) as per convenience. We are so used to all this that my 10 years old also got adjusted to the same. Without complaining, he too enjoys this kind of travel.

“Once the travel bug bites, there is no looking back we are happily infected till we can”

Exploring so many places means we need to have a car of our own to travel. We talked to few reliable drivers as suggested by friends and family, their rates were almost similar but was on the higher side for us as we had almost 2 weeks to cover. Moreover, each day we do not plan to travel a lot on the road,  so it was more economical to self-drive. There are not many options like other major Metros but ZOOMCAR is there and we made our booking with them in advance. 

Also, we are used to self-drive as it gives us privacy and the complete back seat to Aarush. He really likes it that way as it gives him liberty to take a small nap in between if needed. Santanu made most hotel booking well in advance, but he kept two buffer days without any prior hotel booking to accommodate any unplanned situation.

We also planned to visit to Siliguri to visit my mother-in-law for a day and Calcutta for 2 nights on our way back.

While we write more on this long trip,  please take few minutes off and see this wonderful official video of Assam Tourism.



Day 3 - Rishikesh

The weather looked gloomy with an overcast sky as we woke up. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to visit Rishikesh today. Again we headed back the way we came yesterday and after crossing Rajaji National Park the road divides and one goes towards to Dehradun and one to Rishikesh. The drive was pleasant, as we opted Laxman Jhula as our destination google map smartly took us via highway bypassing the main city.But at the end the roads started to get narrower lucky for us we found a parking lot packed yet as we early risers ;)

The weather was little cold compared to the planes of Dehradun with lots of breeze coming from Ganga. We walked to Laxman Jhula to cross it. Oh boy! We have no idea what local authority allows two-wheelers, cycle to cross the hanging bridge which is meant for a pedestrian. And top of it you even have some cows standing in the middle.

I am sure the people coming all the from abroad to Rishikesh for peace, meditation and self-purity do get a complete shock with this madness. Once crossed the bridge we spent a good amount time seating on a ghat and enjoying the beauty of Ganga. There were many rafting boats and other boats with tourists For lunch we decided to try our luck with Ramana’s Organic Cafe as suggested by Tripadvisor.  We walked the Ganges to reach and only to realize we are at the back of Raman’s Cafe. The final part of the backroad was absolutely no road so it involved little tricky.

The place is quite interesting. They have on floor seating arrangement. As there were many kittens I was not comfortable to sit there. So we opted for the floor above with chair and tables. All the vegetables they produce at their farm. They are an NGO with a school for village kids where they are giving education not only with books but with sports and working small work here and there.there are many expats who are living for a couple of months all together to help this community and managing the hospitality part of the center.

As we settled for lunch with our food came rain drizzle came and forced us inside. Oh God, it was tough on me I HATE cats and have fear cats I do not like them. I suffer from Ailurophobia. But the truth is the food was delicious which took away a lot of pressure for me to enjoy the situation.

While exiting the property we thought we will proper path this time. So we exited from the front gate but after many twist and turns ended up again on the back side from we entered.

Walking back Laxman Jhula we thought of taking a tuk-tuk and visit another ghat where Ganga Aarti happens. But At The end, we opted to take our car. The journey was through narrow lanes but being the second day we are getting used to the same.

Reaching Triveni Ghat we were not so impressed and it looked like we had to kill another 3 to hours. So after a lot of deliberation, we decided to rush to Haridwar. So we get back to our car and headed to Haridwar. Google map tried to be funny again and put us through narrow lanes. But as we had enough time today we did not panic As soon as we parked our car at the hotel we rushed for Har Ki Pauri. We got a premium location today but which also means we were facing Sun for a longer time. After 2 hours of waiting the Aarti started and we got an undisturbed view. Of course, there was some mean last-minute entry who tries every kind of tricks to squeeze in. So we had to accept that :(

After Arti I decided to take a dip in Ganga after all. It was an experience with chilled water and you really need to hold onto the chains for your own safety. After that, we visited temples nearby.

We opted to have dinner at Big Ben just opposite Railway station. While we were waiting we found our rickshaw-puller at the window. I was not sure why he was there but soon I realized he was there to return the lens cover of my lens. Sometimes this kind of big acts by our daily hero puts a smile that no money can buy. But out of my joy, I forgot to take a selfie with him. 

The delight of yummy food in a comfortable seating with Aircondition was really worth the value. The place is little expensive in Haridwar standard but would recommend it any day.

Day - 2 Dehradun & Haridwar

We work up fresh after a good sleep. But soon we realized we are in a place which we are very not fond off. May be the Mussoorie did not blink with us. After taking shower and getting ready for the day we went up to the restaurant for breakfast. But looked like we were an early riser as there were no one else and the place was not cleaned up for the day. So we out for a stroll.

The breakfast was quick and we cleared our dues and packed our bags. Now getting the car out was another struggle but with daylight, it was little it was little easy but still lots of maneuvering.

We decided to give Mussorie a complete pass and started for Dehradun. The downhill journey was quite quick. We thought to cover Indian Forest Research Institute first. Somehow we could not follow Google Map’s initial direction so had to go through the city. We saw Ram Krishna Ashram along the main road itself.

Forest Research Institute is almost 100+ years old Institute set up by the British to study and preserve diverse forests of India. It is a must visit for anyone. From Wikipedia

FRI Dehradun is one of the oldest institutions of its kind and acclaimed the world over. The institute’s history is virtually synonymous with the evolution and development of scientific forestry, not only in India but over the entire sub-continent. Built on a lush green estate spread over 450 hectares, with the outer Himalaya forming its back drop, the institute’s main building is an impressive edifice, marrying Greco-Roman and Colonial styles of architecture, with a plinth area of 2.5 hectares. The building was listed for a time, in the Guinness Book of Records, as the largest purely brick structure in the world.

We spent a good amount of time to explore the museum and its different section. It is really vast if you are not a museum person you might get bored too quickly with so many exhibits and history.

After exploring FRI to our heart's content we left for Robber’s cave or Guchhupani. The road from FRI to Robber’s cave goes via military area. As we took a wrong turn out of FRI we crossed the main gate of Rashtriya Indian Military College another imperial legacy. It was on our list but we could not stop due to high security to take any decent picture of the building from outside.

Once parked at Robber’s cave we changed our shoes for Crocs ;). This is a river cave which has a waterfall (a small one) at the end; almost half a kilometer long with a narrow passage. The water was low so it was a pleasant walk in summer but at times crowded.

After covering these two attractions we decided to leave Dehradun for Haridwar post lunch.
We had lunch at a kebab place on the Haridwar road.

Rest of the drive to Haridwar was OK. Most roadways was an undivided road which means we have to be extra careful. We crossed the lone airport of Uttarakhand which is halfway between Haridwar and Dehradun. As we approached Haridwar the traffic increased and one or two places it was snail pace. The last few KM was to our hotel was tricky as we cross the Ganges and drive through narrow lanes.

At one point we made a left turn before and we could see Sadhus wearing saffron on Royal Enfield bullets coming. We immediately stopped on the side and could see a big procession coming towards to us and an elephant leading the gathering. Immediately with a fraction of seconds had turned the car and headed back from we came. It was one of those escapes you remember after month while trying to pen down the diary. Soon we were next to the bus stand and railway station. And our stay was next door. The hotel was again from GMVN with a huge parking.

This time the hotel was much more cleaner compared to last night.  Our room was big and OK. We freshened up and headed towards famous Ganga Aarti on a Rickshaw. The journey was like crawling at the end with any rooms with so many people and narrow lane.

Even though it was just 5 in the evening we were already late for Ganga Aarti. All the available place to view the same were taken and we had to squeeze ourselves. We had to stand separately as I was with camera and Pamela with Aarush. Lucky for Aarush he found some place to stand to peep through the crowd.  The crowd and the atmosphere are altogether a different experience and I do not possess the writing skill or the photography skill to narrate the same. It is a must watch if you are traveling to this part of India. The Aarti (evening prayer) is about 40 mins or so long with many small activities in between.

Post Aarti we stopped for dinner into a restaurant in the very corner. The food was OK the service was crazy as it was very crowded. We decided to walk back to our hotel. It was around 2 KM of walking and we opted to walk using bylanes full of shops rather than the main road which is always full of honking from bikes.




Day 1 - Drive to Mussoorie

It was a crazy week, as usual, it always happens that the week is very bad for work, commute and others just before we go on vacation and come back. So somehow we finished our packing on Thursday night and set our alarms for early Friday.

T3 Delhi Airport
We woke up on time and got ready and then call for Uber, the app shows the taxi is just next to our apartment where normally few Uber/Ola always are found. on tracking it was found no movement, I call the number and no one picks. After trying few times I gave up and cancel my trip. Again book another Uber and this time the guys picks up the phone and promised to be there in 5 minutes. The cab was an old one the headlight was barely working asked him to switch on the headlight and his response it is already on. Well, finger crossed we reached airport and journey to Delhi was in peace.  
All excited for vacation to start
We landed on time and called our car rental company they told us to come to a designated spot but the wait was quite long. The representative does the handover outside Airport area near Aero City Metro (Mahipalpur junction). Signed few documents took pictures of the car. There were lots of dents around ( nothing surprising a rented car in Delhi). The car had around 53K KM on ODO. What was bad is that the car came with very low fuel where the pre-sale promise was it will come with full tank fuel. Now it was already 11 and the traffic was horrible and we started our journey in crawling speed. The names were familiar but I could not recollect anything about Delhi, like Bhikaji Kama, AIMS, SouthEx... .
RTO TAX collection points
We crossed Jamuna and stopped for UP road tax. Now the real UP wala feeling came alive. The tool was only 120/- but the guy wanted 170/- When asked 50/- is his fees for which there was no receipt. After raising my voice little and asking what is wrong it was agreed at 150/-. We crossed Noida and then entered Ghaziabad.  Traffic was getting little better but the day was getting hotter and hotter. Now I was desperate to find a petrol station. Thanks, Google Maps we had to take few U-turns very confidently as for no reason it asks you to take a road when your common road sense also tells you it is very wrong. We saw a massive amount of newly constructed apartments and people are waving their hands to the car so take a look. Indian realty market did not look that promising.  We fill our car and then stopped for a quick bite. The food was OK but the moment we come back the car felt like a furnace.

The road google map took us bypassed Ghaziabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee, Dehradun for Mussoorie.  

We stopped before Roorkee to pay road tax for Uttarakhand but now this time has to give 300/- to that guy for which there was no receipt. It was a tent where these private operators are working. Only good thing I understood what needs to be done for next time as he did the process in front of me on the computer.

Road to Mussoorie
As soon as we entered Roorkee the roads just disappeared for some good distance. It was back to crawling speed and minute maneuvering. And it seems there is no real bypass as the whole town was on the road.  At last, the road got better as we escaped out of Roorkee. We passed Dehradun around 5/5:30 PM. And from there uphill of 20KM started to reach Mussoorie. We were told the road will be tricky but found it OK. We reached Mussoorie when the sun just went down completely behind the mountains.

As usual like any other British hill station this also has Mall road, and we anticipated that it will be closed to vehicular traffic in the evening. And it was so we had to find a public parking and park our car there. It was a transition from the driving on plains as roads here get really narrow.

Our Dinner at Kalsana
We checked in our hotel GMVN and oh! No, it was a not a room we were expecting. The staffs were courteous but very slow in response.   I really feel bad as most of our hotels are GMVN/KMVN for next 10 days. We walked to another end of the Mall road and had a good dinner. The place was very crowded, but we all have tested better Chinese food. Maybe our choice was not great as the dishes we ordered were extremely spicy or oily.

Now with a little sore mood, we headed back to the hotel and left Aarush for sleeping as we walked back to get our car back to the hotel.

Oh boy! what a parking. You go steeply down from the Coffee day and then drive along two hotels and their parking kissing those cars side mirrors. And then there 90° turn to be made. I really do not know how I managed the same. The hotel guy was there to help me but Pamela was screaming I was maneuvering left, right, front back and what not. Anyway once crossed that hurdle the parking area was just behind our room.

Disappointed so far we just crashed on our bed even without changing our dress. A long day from morning 4 a.m came to an end finally.

Uttarakhand - prelude

It has been such a long time that we posted something we almost forgot how to type long paragraphs. Maybe all due to Facebook and WhatsApp which is instant but then in when you look back you have no way to figure out what all the noise was about. Well enough of rant now let me type….

Beginning of 2017 we were very much looking for a vacation and Pamela was interested in Uttarakhand. Now Uttarakhand is not a big state, it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh around 17 years back(A.D.2000 to be precise). But being a hilly region you can not just go around and see it all. There are two main parts Garhwal & Kumaon. And we were lost in between which part to visit. At the end, we made up some plan after talking to friends who are quite familiar with the UK. That made me more confused. Now comparing to the trip of Himachal Pradesh 3 years back, I was quite sure would be able to drive myself in the hills unless we plan to visit high altitude areas where roads would be narrow and tricky. Also if you recollect there was a major natural calamity in 2013 which washed away most roads and caused havoc during the peak of summer vacation. And I was not so keen for Dhams ( seats/abode) yatra as it means visiting temples and religious places. So at the end, I posted my planned itinerary in team-bhp. Now, as usual, got useful advice and modified our itinerary accordingly.

Now the plan was to fly to New Delhi and then rent a car and drive to Uttarakhand.  Here is the high-level plan.

  1. Night at Mussoorie - Morning flight to From Delhi and then  drive  to Mussoorie
  2. Night at Haridwar - Full day Explore Mussoorie; Leave for Haridwar later
  3. Night at Haridwar - Explore Haridwar
  4. Night at Corbett Tiger Reserve
  5. Night at Corbett Tiger Reserve
  6. Night at Binsar - Via Nainital & Almora 5/6 hrs Drive
  7. Night at Binsar - Binsar wildlife sanctuary and from there trekking till zero point. Next will be seeing the Jageshwar group of temples.
  8. Night at Kausani
  9. Night at Kausani
  10. Night at Nainital
  11. Night at Nainital
  12. Long drive 7/8 hours & fly out to Bangalore (late evening flight)

Hotel bookings, I pre-booked Corbett Tiger Reserve using their official website. The booking to Corbett is very tricky. You need to be on online and ready and at your best, I had my caffeine shot just before 10. The booking opens 45 days prior for Indians. And without night booking Dhikala region the best region to explore within Corbett remains off limit to you.

If you are serious about CRT, my simple advice is you MUST have a booking at Dhikala. You will see and capture what is totally depends on your luck. But just for the experience, you must do the booking in Dhikala zone. The other zones are small and open for day safari as well so that way they become more crowded.  

Rest of the Hotels are booked via KMVN and GMVN website directly. Also booked Kausani well before hand as it looked like a good option again Team-BHP.

Plan for 2017

Wish list for year 2017/18.


  • 27th August Airtel Hyderabad HM
  • 10th September Chennai Trail Marathon Full
  • 15th October Bangalore HM :)
  • 29th October Gurgaon Full 
  • 10th December Goa River Marathon Full 
  • 4th February 2018 IDBI Calcutta Full 
  • 11th February 2018 Auroville HM
  • 25th February 2018 Delhi IDBI Full

So far I have covered running a Full Marathon in these states of India. Let's see if I can add Goa, West Bengal, and Tamilnadu to the list.
  1. Karnataka -  Shriram Properties Bengaluru Marathon 2015
  2. Kerala -  Spice Coast Cochin Marathon November 2015 
  3. Meghalaya - Satara Marathon (Shillong) July 2016
  4. Telangana - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon August 2016
  5. Maharastra - Stanard Chartered Mumbai Marathon January 2017 
  6. Pondicherry - Auroville Marathon February 2017


2016 Planning


Some Runs/Race I would like to do in 2016.
  • 14-Feb-2016 Auroville Marathon
  • 06-Mar-2016 IDBI Kolkata Marathon ( can not go but listing )
  • 19-Mar-2016 Nirbhaya Midnight Marathon (Bangalore)
  • 12-Jun-2016 Run Your First Half or Full Marathon (Jaynagar Jaguar date not confirmed)
  • 17-Jul-2016 The Cherrapunjee Marathon
  • 28-Aug-2016 Airtel Hyderabad Marathon
  • 11-Sep-2016 Chennai Trail Marathon
  • 16-Oct-2016 Bengaluru Marathon

Cochin Full Marathon 2015

Pre-Race Day

The day started early, we get out Cochin Club today and part our our ways for some time. While Pamela & Aarush goes back to Bangalore on Saturday itself I stay back for the big run on Sunday.

They had a train to catch around 9 from ERS. There was not a single auto around so had to walk and get one from Ferry station and as usual the price asked and agreed is way more than normal,

My running friends already reached from Bangalore while some checked in to Hotel other went ahead to Alleppey to check run route for December MTR run. There was many small plans and phone calls in the morning about how we meet up and spend our day, At the end I came to the hotel in Wellington Island around 10. After 11 we start from hotel for BIB collection which is another end of 

Ernakulam. The bus ride was very long and memorable one not a kind that you suggest. We were swinging …. the drives is rash and the roads are narrow and there is Metro construction going on forever.

The BIB collection was happening inside a newly opened mall. And we came to know there are not going to many runners around 200 registered for FM and another 800 for HM, After usual chit-chat with fellow runners and pictures we headed for food. We were told and warned about the bad road conditions due to rain and that might impact bare-foot runners most. Organizers were also offering early start at 3AM. But the regular start of 4 AM itself was too early for my standard.

While walking to the mall from bus stop spotted the restaurant ‘Dhe Puttu’ a place Pamela wanted to go but we did not. While entering the place we liked it but it usual a clean nice restaurant. But when they served the ‘Sulaimani Tea’ things changed drastically for good. We all must had 7/8 cups of tea and some may be more. It seems this restaurant belongs to one of Malaalam actor Dileep. We all loved the food. And the best part we were full. The puttu is very filling and restaurant guys service was excellent. Post lunch we again walked to bus stop and got a bus to our hotel. 

Pamela and Aarush Bangalore reached Bangalore safely in the evening. They mentioned about the rain and cold weather over there. Personally had a shower and nap in the afternoon. But that killed by sleep in the night as I could barely sleep. 

Race Day


Woke up at 3:15 or so and left hotel at 3:30 in Bus (thanks to soles of Cochin) for the venue. From our group few were doing FM and most were doing HM. In hotel met Balaji, one runners from Chennai who is of my kind of running speed. But he has ran many FM including last month Bangalore on in 4 hours where I took 14 more minutes. It was 3 in the beginning but soon around 6 KM mark I think we lost Patrick and me and Balali continued together. We were running side by side but once the road narrowed we started to follow each other. We completed the half way mark before 2 hours and headed back and crossed 30K around 2 hr 45 minutes or so. But once we were back to the Wellington Island we met up with the many slow HM and Family fun (5K) runners. While they had a turn to complete their race we had to continue on an isolated roads between shipyards and godowns. It was the last KMs that was very dull and boring. And now the gap between me and Balaji increased as I really lost the enthusiasm . Thankfully one Hyderabad runner came to rescue around last 500m to give company. And the race got over in 4 hours 7 minutes. The best part not much walking and stopping in the last 5 KMs but there is way to improve. May be I shouldI think I have 50KM Ultra to run while running those 5KM. 

Post-race as usual Bangalore runner specially Pacemakers were on the podium. And very thankful to two gentlemen who are working in Dubai but avid runners gave us lift to Hotel. We checkout and headed towards MG road and ended up going to Grand Hotel for lunch. This is the same place where we as a family met our Cochin host Gulshan and his family on Tuesday for dinner.

The service was not so great as we were a Bhukkad Gang. Rest of the journey back to Bangalore was fun filled with lots of chitchat which can be shared here ;) 




Driving October 2015







Satara HM 2015

Satara is located in Maharashtra  not very far from Pune, Mahabaleshwar located in western ghat. PaceMakers decided to run this HM instead of Hyderabad beginning of the year and booked a complete hotel in February itself. That caused a uproar in Indian armature running community. The registration for Satara HM for out station also got closed as there is a limited hotel accommodation in this town.  Personally I was not very keen to run to it given the remote location and no direct train and flight. So registered for Hyderabad HM which was only a week before.  Then one day there was a twist :) Satara HM opened additional 300 slots for outstation runners and I applied. The organizers came out with noble and unique idea to accommodate runners via home-stay(B&B).

Initially was supposed to travel in a XUV 500 which got cancelled at the last minute but being part of a bigger group was able to find a free slot in the Bus and traveled with the team. The journey was long and was tired and slept most of the Saturday afternoon as soon reached hotel. The team went to explore the famous Khas that i missed completely.

The race started at 6, the starting point was 800M from the hotel. The route profile is very simple UP to the half way half mark and down :). Between 4-7KM is the steep part. I was very unsure how the race will turn up after running AHM a week before. I started my own thinking not to collapse or doing something stupid during the race and also giving my best. Like last week had a GU Gel as pre-race and one around 9KM mark.

I am very happy and pleasantly surprised to see my result. I was on the top 10 of my age category. There were 3 from PaceMakers ahead of me :). As usual our group collected many silverware.




Some pictures from the trip


Hill Section Going Up

At the Start Line

Reaching Finish line 200M more
PaceMakers BIB collection
PaceMakers @ Start
PaceMakers leaving  hotel
Hill Section .. moving legs :)
Expo 
Evening 
Waiting for food
My Chicken Thali with Bajra Roti

43 seconds and counting

Third year in a row ran Airtel Hyderabad half marathon yesterday. There was many things which were different from 2013. Looking back 2013 was my second outstation race with PaceMakers. We traveled in train and return journey was not a great one as we had to travel in sleeper class. The fun was most of us did not had bed linen as we forgot how it was to travel in sleeper class. So Last year though I went with group in train booked my flight ticket for returning and that way I was back home on Sunday itself.

Coming to 2015 booked air tickets for going as well. Left Bangalore in the Saturday evening as reached Hyderabad in time for an early dinner and heading to bed. My roommate was running full 42.2KM in the toughest city marathon of India. Did not had a good night sleep not from pre-race anxiety but due to poor room quality of WoodBridge Grand. This hotel is getting dropped from our Hyderabad running hotels.

In the morning all the autos were asking exorbitant price in the early to morning to take me to starting point which was only 2 KM away. SoI kept walking and good Samaritan offered a ride in his car to Necklace Road railway station.

Was delighted and surprised to meet up with Prithvi Reddy. It is great that he is running and this was his second year doing Half Marathon.

Did proper warm-up with few PaceMakers and was confident for a good enjoyable run. But my Garmin went off before even the race could start :) Not sure what went wrong as I recollect had charged it before leaving Bangalore. Had one large Banana at hotel around 4:45AM & Clif-Gel around 5:45. The digital clock went down before the race director could flag off the race so it was not just me having trouble with watch in the early morning.

Knew  I was running strong as was able to see Brojen in front of me even though the gap between us was widening. Till the first flyover I could see him but  after 5KM mark he really took off.  I had a glass of energy drink around 7/8KM mark and another gel around 11KM with water. I love my coffee. I tried my best to cover up on the downhill parts knowing the course my heart now. Naidu (another PaceMakers) caught up with me around 15KM mark. Asked him what speed he was running and he mentioned something around 5, did not bother with that data as I had only one thing in my mind the last 3 KMs with Gachibowli flyover. Last two years this is where had my trouble and had to walk for few steps. Surprisingly this year there were families with nice Bollywood numbers to cheer runners and I crossed it without much trouble.

But the at the end there was no mark of how much is left and once again there was surprise. As this year also the entry to the stadium was changed and I was not sure how much is left. Only once I saw the stadium entry I started sprinting to the finish line. The clock at the finish line was clicking 1:43:XX and my heart had no joy as at last I felt I cracked the 1:45 mark. I was not super confident with the clock as did not have my own watch to double confirm the same.

So with lots of selfies and groupies and chit chat with known runners we headed back for hotel. But getting taxi was not easy but at the end we managed one with bribe ;). The driver switched off his GPS phone with Uber. The uber guys caked him few times and he ensured to maintain a silence.
The lunch was HUGE at DineHill but these year we were very few runners there. But the whole celebration of 1:45 got busted as soon we reached hotel with SMS from TimingIndia. It said my provisional timing is 1:45:43.

Oh! Now you tell me the value of 43 seconds and the difficulties I had to explain the same to my non running friends.  It was great  to run at an average 5 KM pace for the whole distance. The weather helped big time but somehow feeling down. In three years my ranking and running had improved (2013 - 2:01, 2014 1:50) but I am no longer super excited.

At last and not the list, thanks a ton to Hyderabad Runners for their execution in a flawless running event. There were volunteers who were excited and enthusiastic not just holding glass of water. The post run arrangement was also great with zero waste. Even though there is nothing new after this 3rd edition for me might comeback one day to complete the ‘toughest city marathon’ one day. Till then À bientôt.












Gujarat 2011 - Map




Need to write the 4 years old road trip before my memory fades away. The pictures are there to help but need lots of coffee to complete the writing.

Our itinerary to khushbu Gujarat ki

  • Day -1 By flight Bangalore- Bombay. We took a morning flight for Mumbai and reached around afternoon. Same day boarded train to Baroda from Mumbai Central. Reached Baroda by night around 9. It was a chair car train. 
  • Day-2: Went to see Champaner, Evening met with old friends of Pamela from school 
  • Day-3: Drive from Baroda to Ahmadabad, Went to Adalaj Stepwell, Sabarmati Ashram, 
  • Day-4: Early exit form Ahmadabad to avoid traffic to Modhera, Afternoon stop at Patan & Lothal on the way to  Palitana 
  • Day-5: Visit to Palitana hills and left for Diu
  • Day 6: Wanted to explore Gir (Asiatic Lion) but it was still closed and we wen to Junagadh via Somnath.
  • Day 7: Junagadh ; climbed Girinar hills. 
  • Day 8: Left Junagadh very early one to  Porbander (being 2nd Oct  could not do much) went to Dwarka and Bet – Dwarka and left for Bhuj. A long long day on road.
  • Day 9: Great Rann of kutch
  • Day 10: explore Bhuj and left for  little Rann of Kutch
  • Day 11: via Ahmadabad back to Mumbai by bus.



Half early update


It is June. And honesty this year looks like going on faster speed then the previous ones. January was fun when we celebrated Aarush birthday with Misra Families. It was really great but that ended too soon. February and March was superfast with schools, exams and work. April We traveled to Durg, Pamela and Aarush sent 4 weeks there and here we are in end of May.

So just before school reopens we had out of Bangalore for 2 nights. We opted for something closer to home Coorg but on the southern side. We opted for this side as we been to more popular side near Madikeri in 2008 when Aarush was around 9 month old. Time do really fly.

We started at 8:30 from home, very late compared to our slandered but that day had Bangalore TCS 10K. We stopped for a break around 10:30 near Madur. We bypassed Mysore via Brindhavan Garden road and continued till Hunsur. Google Map was helpful and we took a bypass before Hunsur town and soon reached the gate of Nagarhole National Park. We need to make an entry in the logbook and were reminded no food, no music, no stopping and speed up to 30KMPH while crossing the park. We saw lots of spotted deer and few monkeys. But soon it started to rain heavily. The rain continued till our destination Kutta a small town. We stopped for a late lunch a placed called ‘Café Robusta’. Other than the name nothing was fancy and would suggest you might want to miss it but there are not many choices over there.

We easily found our homestay asking person on the road and following the sign to Irpu falls. After settled in in we went out for a stroll to nearby temple. The owner of the home stay has an excellent taste in maintaining her garden. Just to mention there were hundreds of flower pots of different times.

Next day we went to Irpu falls, only Aarush had a great time showering over there. After that we tried to stroll little mode but the weather was too hot. So we headed back to guest house and after shower had a big lunch and too a long nap. Evening we went out in search of ATM to nearby T.Shettigeri.

Next day after breakfast we headed out for Bangalore via Shrimangala & Gonikoppal . The road condition was great. We stopped at Mysore palace as Aarush said he wanted to see it. It was very crowded, And we did not enjoyed it so much. After lunch at Mysore we started back from there and experienced heavy storm and rain as we were about to reach home. Thankfully that rain just started and we were not stuck for long anywhere else it would been a different story at the end.

Now with school being open not sure when we will go out anywhere soon.