Day 2 Ambala to Dharamsala
Day 2 (July 9, 2012) we had travelled around 200kms from Delhi and were in Ambala. After a tiring day already we thought it would be better to stay for the night in Ambala itself. And next day we can head to Dharamsala which was approximately 300kms from Ambala.Stayed in a hotel, Hotel Amrapali, situated on the highway itself. It was suggested by @ajay ananth who had stayed here earlier in the month when he was on his Leh trip. Decent hotel with not too high rates for the rooms.
Next morning woke up early, checked out from the hotel and started fixing the bags on the bike. We were still getting used to fixing the bags on the bike and hadn't figured out the optimum way to do it. While doing that, I unfortunately dropped my helmet on the ground and the whole assembly for fixing the visor came out of the helmet. We wasted our precious one hour time just to fix the helmet.
We started by 8 or something, crossed Chandigarh after enquiring the route for Dharamshala. The route which we decided to take was Ambala to Dharamshala (via Ropar- Kiratpur-Nangal-Una-Chintpurni-Kangra)Took breaks in between (it was hot for the most part). It was Moreen's first long trip and didn't want her to get tired too much. Plus we had decided earlier that she will have to carry a back pack on her shoulders, and under the heat it was tougher to do that. To carry the sleeping bags and winter gear is an overhead while riding on hotter places along the trip.
We had already booked our stay in Dharamsala in Norbulingka Institute Guest House (Norling Guest House). This place I came to know through a very informative website/forums, BCMTouring.com BCMTouring is probably the most comprehensive website/forum for traveling in India. The members are very helpful and most of the parts which I didn't have any idea about on our trip, I referred to this website. It would be crime not to mention the amazing info on latest road conditions for both highways to reach Leh:
It helped us a lot in keeping an up to date info. After reaching Dharamsala we called up Norling Guest House, spoke to Sherab who is the in charge of the guest house in the Institute and took directions to reach the place. The institute is on the road to sidhpur.
While going to that place we passed the famous cricket ground which is the home ground for the well known IPL cricket team Kings XI Punjab, the stadium is built on top of a mountain. By that time it had started drizzling and we had put our camera under the cover and didn't click any pictures of the magnificent cricket ground. After some enquiries we finally reached the place and was cordially invited by Sherab and he showed us the room. The room was simply amazing, neat and clean with a nice balcony with a view of the institute from there. And the kind of welcome and treatment we got from Sherab and the staff there was overwhelming. I would strongly suggest other tourists as well to go there and stay at Norbing guest house.
Following are the details of the place:
Sherab Front office manager
Norling Guest House
Dharamsala, Distt Kangra(H.P.)
IndiaPhone: +91 (0) 1892 246406
Cell: +91 (0) 9816 646423 +91 (0) 8988159349
Next day's destination for us was Udhampur which was 250kms the usual way using NH1 but as suggested by BCMTouring members there was another route which cuts the distance by some 40-50 kms. And I was very much looking forward to taking this route...