Uttar Pradesh : between Gorakhpur and Ayodhya
There was some dense fog until noon. I had thought that I would head towards Faizabad but since Ayodhya was located a little bit before Faizabad, I decided to stop there knowing also very well how famous it was. I noticed the presence of many temples in Ayodhya and visited Hanumangarhi.
Uttar Pradesh : between Lucknow and Kanpur
In a Dhaba in Unnao District, when I asked a man whether Yogi Adityanath was a good Chief Minister (CM), he said that if the common man doesn’t create problems, then the CM can do his job but otherwise what can the CM or the PM (Prime Minister) do?
Uttar Pradesh : between Kanpur and Orai
After 54 km, I noticed that a spoke had come off the back wheel. I then hitched a ride in a truck driven by a man who was going to transport 8 tonnes of “mattar” or peas from Orai to Kolkata. He was originally from Bihar, had settled in Kolkata and owned his own truck. He felt that truck drivers were the only ones who knew every part of the country but felt that the government did not do anything for them. I noticed that in Lucknow, Kanpur and Orai hot milk was served in many shops in the evening and upon enquiring was told that it was done only in winter.
Uttar Pradesh : between Orai and Jhansi
I left Orai at around 8:00 am in the midst of some very dense fog. As I was leaving, I asked an elderly gentleman for directions. He then asked me what was my aim and following that what was my message and further suggested that I might paste my message on the back of my jacket for everyone to see.
Madhya Pradesh : in Karera
In Karera, a pharmacist asked me what was my “uddeshya”or objective. I then turned around and showed him the “Peace and Unity” slogan which I had got embroidered and stitched at the back of my fluorescent jacket by tailors following the suggestion of the gentleman in Orai.
Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan : between Karera and Shahabad
It was cold but sunny for most of the day. The landscape varied from fields to hills to semi- arid land. In Shahabad, the owner of the Jain Bhojnalay said that the Dal Batti Churma there was very famous and that people came from far to taste this dish.
Rajasthan : between Shahabad and Kota
The first 3 kilometers or so of the ride from Shahabad were quite steep. After that, the landscape was quite interesting : very green and sometimes hilly. In Kota, when I told the owner of a restaurant that the meat Korma was very hot, he said that that is how people liked it there.
Rajasthan : between Kota and Bassi
While having breakfast in Kota, one person who chatted with me said that he felt inspired and was infused with extra energy from my example. The landscape alternated between arid land with shrubs, fertile green fields and hills. Rajasthan takes the cake for the number of people who waved at me : people of all ages and people in cars and buses honking from afar to draw my attention and then waving!
Rajasthan : between Udaipur and Abu Road
The landscape was very interesting in the sense of being in the hills and being surrounded by rocky surfaces. It was the Aravalli Range which extends till Delhi (the ridge near Delhi University). In a further display of Rajasthani friendliness, when I was riding up a fairly steep road, one person in a car which slowed down, lowered his window and asked me, “would you like some water or something?”
Gujarat : between Shihori and Samakhiali
In the morning, I saw many people flying kites. It seems to be a popular pastime. The landscape alternated between barren land with shrubs and green fields. This particular stretch of the road also seemed isolated as there were no ATM machines and guesthouses right upto Samakhiali.
Gujarat : between Samakhiali and Rudramata
The roads were, as in Gujarat so far, broad and smooth with wide expanses of arid land. After reaching Bhuj, it was confusing to choose the path to take with all the conflicting and uncertain information available. In the end, I opted to go towards the White Desert but after 15 km or so from Bhuj, I gathered that there would not be any places in which to stay for quite a distance or if there were any, they would be unreasonably expensive. I thus opted to stay at a Dhaba near Rudramata. It seemed a bit primitive but it was also a good experience of the countryside in these parts.
Gujarat : between Rudramata and Narayan Sarovar
In the morning, I had to relieve myself in the fields due to the absence of a toilet. The Dhaba staff were very friendly and sent me off with warmth. They said that they spoke in Kutchi rather than in Gujarati. While zooming in on the map, I found out that Guhar Moti was in close proximity to Narayan Sarovar and later discovered that everyone knew about the latter and no one about the former. At 5:30 pm, I found a road which had a sign mentioning Guhar Moti (the westernmost point of India) in Gujarati. I headed further down the village and heard some loud music coming from a temple. When I went in, I discovered that there was a priest whom I requested to show me around and to find written evidence of the name of the place for my photos. He did indeed do that and said that he was from Ayodhya. He was also smoking a Bidi. I then headed to Narayan Sarovar which offered some economical and adequate accomodation. I was satisfied and relieved with how the day had panned out ending this trip rather gloriously.
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