Ablazing summer is the best time when you have a reason to disappear from all those routine assignments, official calls and meetings, and the best place to rush is either the hills or the beach. You have to manage to get out of the eye-blocking view of the metro city and connect yourself with the nature.That was what we were thinking. So, we decided to drive ourselves to Dehradun in our long-term Maruti Suzuki Baleno.
Sometimes, it does click in one’s mind that what if we had a teleportation device that could get us to a desirable destination within a blink of an eye! But the truth is that thebeauty of the journey is much more tempting than the magnetism of the destination andto feel this, we routed by the long way via Yamunanagar.
Dehradun is situated some 250 km away from Delhi via road, air and railways, but since our course was through NH1, the distance was stretched by few more kilometres, making it 295 km. One has to pass through Panipat, followed by Karnal, Indri, Ladwa and Yamunanagar, and start the final lap from Poanta Sahib to the gasping valley.
We started our run from Delhi at 5:00 am in the Maruti Baleno, to skip the stuffed-up jams, and after passing the ongoing Delhi border traffic, we touched our first stretch
, towards Murthal. Being excited about going through the prolonged route, we thought of taking a snack break at Murthal. Alhough it was too early to have breakfast, but being a foodieonce you stop at any Dhaba, it is an irresistible moment to go further without having at least a parantha.
We were through with our early break, loaded with water bottles, soft drinks and snack-bites, and all we had to do is fasten our seat belts and punch that throttle. Fuelling was already checked and moreover it’s a Maruti’s product, so mileage is something that it will return anyway. We resumed our trip, driving towards Karnal. It was a pleasant surprise that despite running with three people on board and the AC running on full blast, the Baleno petrol was still returning 20kpl of mileage over the straight highway, which is quite close to the claimed fuel efficiency of 21.4kpl.
After driving for an hour or so, we took a right turn on NH7 for Yamunanagar, via Indri city and Ladwa. While on the way I could see miles away, there was something that filled me with excitement to see the magical sunset in the crimson sky at that far away valley.
While driving through the single-lane road, the car helped me a lot in overtaking other vehicles. All you have to do is down-shift the gear and let it reach to 3000 RPM. That’s it! Driving the Baleno premium hatchback was really pleasurable. The engine is smooth along with the crisp dynamics and light body-weight. Practically speaking, the cabin is spacious and has good knee-room
, to make those long drives really comfortable. The big 339-litre boot is well shaped and can accommodate big bags easily.
Now the amazing thing about the route is that you enter into three states – Haryana then a drive through Himchal and finally you touch down the Uttrakhand. We passed by Yamuna Nagar, this town is known for the cluster of plywood units. It is also known for providing the country's finest timber to even larger industries. After a driving for an hour passed through the Paonta Sahib Gurdwara, finally we reached our destination at 2:00 pm.
Nestled in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand and one of the oldest cities of India. It is also referred as the gateway to Mussoorie and Gharwal interiors, and is a world-renowned education hub hosting Forest Research Institute, Doon School, Welham Schools, Indian Military Academy, RIMC (Rashtriya Indian Military College) and more. The Dehradun Tourist destinations include the Malsi Deer Park, the Kalanga monument, Chandrabani, Guchhupani, Tapovan, Lakshman Siddh Peeth, Tapkeshwar Temple, Mindrolling Monastery, Sai Mandirand the list of tourist spot goes on.
Another place of importance is the Robber's cave, situated at a distance of about 8 km from Dehradun. The cave is a natural picnic spot surrounded by hills where water suddenly disappears from sight and goes underground only to reappear after a few yards in the form of a stream.
We stayed at the Forest department’s guest house in the Jhajhra range. The guest house was constructed in 1885, and gives a colonial feel with those high ceilings, big master bedrooms, lawn around the property and a gate too, where the Jhajhra range starts. The food was made by a local cook and was finger-licking delicious. We were planning to go further to Mussoorie, but this rest house just held us to be with it.