Friday, July 5, 2013

Bike Ride along Sunder Nagar->Dharmpur->Joginder Nagar->Mandi->Sunder Nagar

 how have you been? Out of my curiosity, instead of taking the normal road, from Sunder Nagar to Mandi along NH-21, and then from Mandi to Joginder Nagar along NH-154, I chose a different route to reach Joginder Nagar. Please join me on my journey.
Map showing my whole journey route from Sunder Nagar
 to Sarkaghat to Joginder Nagar and back to Sunder Nagar

I started my journey along NH-21 till Ner-Chowk then took at left turn along SH(State Highway)-32, then at Kalkhar one has to take right diversion from SH-32 towards Rewalsar. Along this single lane district road mainly constructed to join it with Mandi, I reached Rewalsar, but I took another left turn from Rewalsar towards Sarkaghat via Durgapur.

From Sarkaghat I rode along SH-19 to reach Jogindernagar, and along NH-154 I turned towards Mandi. At Mandi I joined back into NH-21 to reach back at Sunder Nagar.

Sunder Nagar:

Sunder Nagar is a beautiful city in district Mandi of Himachal Pradesh, along with the beautiful lake view along NH-21, this place is emerging as the education hub of Himachal Pradesh. People at Sunder Nagar, love to take a morning and evening walk on the service road of the lake. They celebrate each festival with utmost zeal and faith.

Along NH-21, after reaching at Ner Chowk, you have to take a left turn towards Rati bridge along SH-32 and then right turn from Kalkhar on a single lane road towards Rewalsar. This road was totally a single lane road, so you have to be careful with your driving, because sight distance is not sufficient at various curves. The road has sufficient traffic to cause a trouble, if proper care is not being taken.


 When you reach near to Rewalsar, there is a diversion, one road goes to Rewalsar town and another on the left side goes to Sarkaghat town.
If you want to have a look at this beautiful religious town, go to the right diversion, it will take only 2 minutes to reach there. The place has more than 4 Tibetan monasteries, 1 Sikh Gurdwara, and famous Lomas Rishi temple. A newly built 37.5 m high Padmasambhava statue stands tall and has started to attract a big number of tourists.

 Rewalsar lake also got famous when shooting of a Bollywood movie song " Chori Chori jab Nazre mili" took place at this lake. Riwalsar is a famous religious town which symbolizes harmony among Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism because this place contain temples, monasteries and Gurudwara at one place.
There had been a small floating island inside the lake but at the time, when I visited this place, it was removed under the lake cleaning process. It was only at a distance of less than 20km from Sunder Nagar.
At a further 3-4 km distance at Hawani, you can take the left turn to travel a 9 km road to reach at a mountain top containing the 

Naina Devi temple. 
Trekking up to the Naina Devi is another pleasant option for the trekkers, on the way you can visit the famous lakes.

Naina Devi Temple: 

For us on car, it was only at a distance of 9 km to reach  along left diverged single lane road. The temple and the nearby Biddhist caves are visited by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike. Sarkidhar is a village, which is famous for the 7 ponds, which are linked with a mythological tale relating to the Pandavas from the epic of Mahabharata.
At the base of the mountain top was a Tibetan monk settlement, surrounding a cave which contains inside the statue of their Guru Padmasambhava.

At the top of the mountain, in a serene environment was located this beautiful  Naina Mata temple.
Temple has a panoramic view of the surrounding places such as, areas of Sarkaghat, Bilaspur etc.
Now, let's get back on the main track, along the Rewalsar to Sarkaghat road.

Once you reach Durgapur i could take two paths to reach Dharampur. One was via Sarkaghat which was about 23 km(Durgapur to Sarkaghat) +15 km(Sarkaghat-Dharampur), and another route was via Kharot, Mandap, Baroti, which doesn't make much difference in difference.
Sarkaghat bein one of the 12 tehsils of district Mandi, you might have some interest in visiting the town. From Sarkaghat one can take SH-19 to reach at Dharampur.

Beas at Kandhapatan(chota Haridwar) -Dharmpur (Sarkaghat):

After traveling 15kms more you will reach Dharampur. It was a small town, mostly situated on the right bank of the flowing down Laungani Khad(rivulet), which merges into the Beas river at Kandha-Patan. The water created problems to the old bus stand and the shops nearby to bank in the past , but now the place is protected by guide banks, and also there is a new bus stand.
From Dharampur, I took my motor cycle 16 km further along the same SH-19 to reach Basahi-Dhar, where another beautiful and very famous temple of Mata Chaturbhuja is situated on the top of the mountain.
Road to Basahi was via Kandha-patan and Neri. At Kandha-Patan, river Beas flowing down toward Dharampur seems to flow in upward direction, so appears defying the gravity.
I experimented with this photograph shown here, I posted it on Facebook and asked my friends to judge the direction, and many stood wrong.
I give you same challenge, judge the direction of flow, and put your answer in the comment box below. The road from Kadha-patan to Basahi-Dhar was still under the development stage, the double lane work was undergoing, so it produced huge amount of dust.

Also there was not much human population residing along the road, and along with the beauty of the Beas, some people find this place scary, because of the silence from the outer world. Road climbs in zig-zag manner through a mountain, and reaches Neri. From Neri diverges the road into two roads, one to Baij-Nath another to Joginder Nagar.

Basahi-Dhar and Chaturbhuj Temple:

My plan was to visit my home place in Joginder Nagar, so I drive along this road climbing on another mountain and reached Basahi-Dhar.
At Basahi Dhar there was this very famous temple called Chaturbhuj(four armed) temple, devoted to goddess Chaturbhuj(Durga).

You have to walk up to the  hilltop along an vertical elevated foot-path of about 200m height, from here you can have the view of Joginder Nagar, Padhar, and Dharampur. A soothing breeze runs the mountain top all day long, and therefore one feels totally relaxed after stepping up the difficult path to reach the top. Joginder Nagar was situated at a distance of 22 km along a then proposed double lane road. The double lane work was undergoing at some places and it was completed at others.

At a distance of about 8 km before Jogindernagar along Ghumarawi-Joginder Nagar road, which you had taken from Dharampur itself, you can visit this holy lake of Machial. Just as the fishes in the Rewalsar lake are considered holy and not allowed to fish around, fishes of the Machial lake are considered holy and are worshiped.

Joginder Nagar was famous for many reason, it has a very old railway station, the terminal point of Pathankot to Joginder Nagar rail line, it is known as the light city of Asia because it contained three hydro electric power houses one of them UHL- stage III had been under construction though, but still it is the only town where such thing is happening.

Back to Sunder Nagar via Joginder Nagar:

From Jogindernagar one can turn back towards Mandi along NH-154, or you can take the toy train to reach Pathankot, which you will love for sure. If you want to stay, there are Government as well as private hotel facilities. I stayed at Jogindernagar before proceeding further.

Along NH-154, when you reach Hara-bhag, which was only at a distance of about 3 to 4 km from Joginder Nagar, has a scenic beauty in its terraced fields. At a further 7 - 8 kms distance was located the famous Gumma salt mine. Further along the road, a left diversion from Ghatasani is the entrance to the Barot valley. This will take you almost one full day to enjoy Barot.

Reaching back at Mandi was a little tiresome work, because the road has numbers of curves, and at the time it was single lane at many stretches.
Mandi, also known as small Kashi, is famous for its old temple, many dedicated to lord Shiva. This will take you full day to visit all of them. From Mandi one can

Thank you for your kind visit!

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