“Going to Tibet, that too on a bike? Have you gone mad?” That was the reaction I got when I declared that I was going to Tibet on my bike. For me Tibet was peppy so full of life. I didn’t budge from my resolve and I was on my way to Tibet on my bike. I deposited my bike at Lucknow. Here the bike was checked. Now my bike was to be carried in a lorry up to Kathmandu, where I would get it back.
The day before I reached Kathmandu I came to know that there were heavy rains in Nepal. The resultant landslides and floods, particularly in Sindhupalchowk district had created havoc. It had washed away part of road form Kathmandu to the Tibet border in Kodari. I wondered if my trip was to end even before it began.
But God is great, so is His creation. Yes the road was washed away. But there was kutcha path. It skirted around the hill where the landslides had occurred. It was good enough for motorcyclists. I came to know that few of the riders had passed through this path before me. That encouraged me. Though scared I had no option. I revved my engine and rode on the path. At few places my bike was skidding. But I simply raised the accelerator and I had soon crossed the path.
I soon reached Kodari. The next day was taken by border formalities. I spent that day relaxing in my hotel room. I was told that I should not take any photos in this area or else the Chinese authorities may send me to jail. I was so damn scared. I remembered how tolerant mother India was. There are check posts at every thirty forty kilometres in Tibet. Some of the police, some of the military.
I was in Tibet, the land of lamas now. The road was very smooth and the scenery was soothing. I felt absolutely fantastico. I rode the mountain pass of Nyalam Tong La ( I guess I have spelt it right). It offered breath taking view of the great Himalaya. The next day I reached Shigatse. It is Tibet’s second largest city. I visited a few monasteries there. On the way I also covered Tibet’s highest pass Gyatso La. One more pass worth mentioning on this way is that of Tso La.
From there I went to Lhasa. This road was really testing. It was narrow and treacherous in many patches. I visited the Potala palace in Lhasa. I also visited the Jokhang temple in the old Tibet.
This trip has had a great impact on my life. I have always been a spiritual person though not overtly religious. What I saw in Tibet? Sparse vegetation. The one which I am calling vegetation were actually shrubs. There were cold winds in the morning and in the evenings. I had a heavy head due to low oxygen levels. There was pleasure and pain at the same time. There was failure and success at the same level. The sense of self disappeared. Tibet transported me to Nirvana. Such was its impact.
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.