Delhi to Kathmandu – 2500 km Enroute to OYO with ScoutMyTrip
We were just back from our road trip through Bhutan when we received an invitation for one from ScoutMyTrip to be on a road trip from Delhi to Kathmandu in Nepal. ScoutMyTrip is a company that makes road trip planning easy and simplified yet comprehensive. With 5 fellow bloggers, 2 cars and 2 experienced captains for the trip, this sure was going to be an amazing cross country journey. As Vishu could not take time out from his busy schedule, I decided to hop on and travel through 5 different cities involving loads of fun, food and history brush up. The road map for this trip was Delhi-Lucknow-Gorakhpur-Kathmandu and back. The return journey had a stopover at Agra in place of Lucknow.
Let us first introduce you to the team which was put together for a dream road trip for a week. With a mix of experience energy and enthusiasm, the team consisted of the following people:
Vineet & Deepak: The co-founders of ScoutMyTrip and very experienced travelers, they have traveled through leaps and bounds of the country. Vineet and Deepak share a very special bond and have an unmatched co-ordination when it comes to road trips. Vineet being the fan of Pink Floyd, Deepak is more fond of Bollywood numbers. We all knew we are going to have a great ride under their captainship.
Sudipto De: Blogger by passion and a surgeon by profession, Sudipto has an immense knowledge of food and drinks. Along with blogging at Salt and Sandals, he loves to travel and appreciates the beauty of nature. A fun loving company and a guy with a good sense of humor, Sudipto is a great travel companion.
Deepak Amembal: The eldest but the fittest member of the group, Deepak can compete with any youngster when it comes to stamina and enthusiasm. The man with the magic eye, he loves to spell the magic with his camera.
Ami Bhat: A powerhouse of energy, she enjoyed monuments more than food. The lady behind Thrilling Travel, she was a digital marketeer by profession.
Ayushi Anand: A journalist and the founder of 365DaysofBliss. Ayushi loves to travel at the drop of a hat. Someone who loves to get clicked, she is a fun loving girl.
Ankit Sharma: A digital marketeer by profession and the guy behind Crazemag. Ankit was my GoPro buddy as we shared a lot tips and tricks of using the camera proficiently.
We all gathered in the evening at OYO Townhouse in Delhi a day prior to the start of the journey. A beautiful and cozy property, it had everything you would want in a stay. Great ambiance, clean rooms and very helpful staff was the USP of OYO Townhouse. After the customary greetings and a know your buddy session followed by dinner we called it a day for the big start tomorrow. Our journey was flagged off by the OYO family and we started for Lucknow early morning. The advantage of starting early is that you skip the routine morning traffic and get going.
We hit the Yamuna Expressway in no time and were cruising swiftly towards Lucknow. We crossed the Agra Lucknow Expressway and were able to reach Lucknow from Delhi in flat 6 hours. All thanks to the superb expressways which made the journey easy and enjoyable. On reaching Lucknow, we checked into the OYO Rooms before we start exploring the city.
Lucknow being my hometown I got an opportunity to guide my fellow travelers to experience the best of the city in a very short period. Thank you so much guys for allowing me to guide you and I hope you enjoyed Lucknow as much as I did. We started with a lunch at Tundey Kebabi followed by the famous Prakash ki Kulfi. After that we went on a historical tour and visited the Imambaras, Bhool bhulaiya and Rumi Darwaza.
The evening was dedicated to Hazratganj, Royal Cafe ‘s Chaat and the beautiful Gomti river front. After a quick, informative and pleasurable tour of the city we returned to our base. The Oyo Rooms was very well located and was at a walking distance from the bus stand and railway station. The next morning started on a good note with a scrumptious breakfast at Chappan Bhog followed by some lip-smacking tea and samosas at Sharma Ji ki Chai in Lucknow followed by our visit to Residency.
We started for Gorakhpur after the heritage walk in Residency. Lucknow to Gorakhpur had a stopover at Faizabad but as it was almost lunch time and we were hungry we took a halt at Trimurti restaurant before Ayodhya for lunch. Faizabad holds a great identity as being one of the cities in Uttar Pradesh and in India which bears the most of such buildings. The Nawabi culture still holds its traces in the monuments of Faizabad.
We went to the the Gulab Bari and tomb of Shuja-Ud- Daula, the Nawab of Faizabad. This tomb was constructed by the Nawab himself during his lifetime. Faizabad has history in the air. With good history brush up and knowing some unknown facts about Faizabad, resumed our journey for Gorakhpur.
We trusted the Google Maps to guide us straight to our OYO in Gorakhpur, however, we got stuck in the Spice Market of Gorakhpur by following the maps. It is recommended to consult the locals especially when in city to get the best possible route. As it was a long day on the road and we had a longer day ahead we decided to crash early and start afresh the next morning.
It was time for us to start our journey to Nepal the next morning. With almost 14 hours drive ahead involving different landscapes, our captains looked calm and composed. Their experience of driving in different terrains had made them so confident. The journey to Kathmandu from Gorakhpur is ususally a 10hours drive but it was much more eventful for us. We needed to cross the Indo-Nepal border Sanauli before afternoon to get the permits on time. We took a detour and trusted the Google maps to reach our destination as the usual road was closed for repairing purposes.
With multiple landslides on the way, driving on the piece of land which can hardly be called road, many breaks for breathe and smoke, we managed to finally reach Kathmandu in 16 hours.The journey gave us new challenges and tested us both mentally and physically along with the bonding developed amongst us. With a day spent on the road we finally reached our destination, OYO in Kathmandu.
The staff at OYO was well prepared for our arrival. We were greeted and welcomed nicely which acted as a sedative to the fatigue. The first impressions of this OYO Property in Kathmandu was that OYO has raised their bar in Kathmandu. The property looked well maintained, fresh and had all the things you need in a perfect vacation stay. We shall be sharing a detailed blog post on the OYO Rooms in Kathmandu next where we talk about the features to look forward to in this OYO. As it had been the most tiring day of our journey so far we decided to call it a day soon.
The next day was the first relaxing day we got. It started by a traditional welcome from the team of OYO. The team of OYO Kathmandu greeted us with garlands and told us about how they planned to set up OYO here. This was followed by an amazing spread of breakfast buffet to enjoy. The food served was so delicious that it ensured we did not ask for more in the next few hours. It was our time to explore the city of Kathmandu and we dedicated this day to the temples here. We went to Pashupatinath Temple, Budhanilkantha Temple and Swayambhunath Stupa.
Pashupatinath is the biggest temple of Lord Shiva in world, and only Hindus are allowed inside temple. It is located on the banks of the Bagmati River Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupatinath.
Swayambhu literally means “self-existent one”. Swayambhunath Stupa is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley, located atop of a hill in Kathmandu. The view of Kathmandu city from Swayambhunath is mesmerizing. A golden spire crowning a conical wooded hill, The Swayambhu complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period.
With the blessings of all the deities and admiring the beauty of the city, we returned to the hotel in the evening. We had a cultural event planned for the evening at Utsav Authentic Nepali Restaurant. The Nepalese dance followed by authentic Nepalese cuisine was enjoyed thoroughly by all of us. We went to the Casino Royale after the dinner to try our luck. As I wasn’t feeling good, I decided to come back to OYO Rooms. A special thanks to the team of Casino Royale to have me dropped safely by their company cab. The employee also shared her ID with me for my safety as it is not very safe to travel alone at night in Nepal.
Our second and last day in Kathmandu was meant for shopping along with visit to some of the most happening places of the city. The day started with a breakfast at OYO followed by a visit to Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Patan is located very close to Kathmandu but has a different environment to be experienced. It is one of the three durbar squares in Kathmandu. This square has a lot of small temples and shops around the area.
After the Patan Durbar we went to the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Very photogenic, this square was full of locals from the city. The next stop was Thamel where we went for some souvenir shopping. Thus on a happy note we called it a day to start our journey back home tomorrow.
Kathmandu had been a pleasant city to visit and with some very fond memories of it we started our journey back home. The first halt was again at Gorakhpur which we managed to reach early this time. As we were on time before dinner, after checking into our OYO, we visited the newly opened theme restaurant Shehanshah in Gorakhpur. Conceptualized by a true Amitabh Bachchan fan, this place had BigB all over it. Being one of its kind in Gorakhpur, Shehanshah served delicious food and is a must visit the next time you are traveling to Gorakhpur.
While on the way back from Gorakhpur the next day we did not stop at Lucknow and proceeded straight to Agra. After a good 7 hours drive we reached Agra and visited the Mehtab Bagh at Agra. Mehtab Bagh is one place in Agra from where you get the best view of the Taj Mahal. After clicking some beautiful pictures of the Taj, it was time for us to go for a food walk at the Sadar Bazaar. We started with Chaat, Dahi Bhalle and Kulfi and ended up having Frankie at the Mama frankie house. The Frankies and food seemed over hyped and did not fit the bill. After spending some time in the city, we reached our OYO Home and took some rest.
The next day was dedicated to the Taj Mahal before we started for Delhi. After capturing some good shots of this wonder we started for Delhi and reached OYO head office in Gurgaon for a meet with the team of OYO. We met the Chief Growth Officer at OYO Rooms, Mr. Kavikrut who talked about the idea behind OYO Rooms. He also spoke about what makes OYO the most convenient and affordable stay option when you are traveling.
After the meeting it was finally time to say goodbye. The past 7 days had been one of the most memorable and enjoyable days of our lives where we shared numerous stories, had our share of laughter and built a bond that will remain forever. It will always be a journey to remember!
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