Heading to Dehradun, a city which is too pretty!: #28States28Plates Day 11 Blog
Day 11 of our #28States28Plates drive was going to be a long one, the longest yet. We were heading from our previous halt in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh to Dehradun, Uttarakhand. We were on the road by 6am and to save even more time, we’d replaced our usual heavy breakfast with some sandwiches packed for the road. As we were in the hills, the day started with driving through the twisties. A couple of hours later, we munched on the sandwiches when we stopped for a photoshoot and then continued the long 9 hour journey ahead.
At lunchtime, we wanted to take a break from the overload of Indian food and stopped at a KFC just outside Chandigarh. You can never go wrong with fast food! After the meal we quickly made our way out of Chandigarh and took the Chandigarh-Saharanpur route which meant going through Uttar Pradesh for a while. We avoided the shortest route and instead, took a few diversions through small towns to get on to the NH344, which started just after Ambala and continued all the way to Dehradun and it was well worth the effort! The four lane highway, with its smooth tarmac, offered the ultimate #ChillOfDriving and when it turned into a twisty hill climb heading up to Dehradun, it offered the ultimate #ThrillOfDriving! Just as we entered Dehradun, we understood what the fuss was all about. The hills, with their cloud filled peaks, surrounding it make it a very beautiful place. One thing which was the opposite of pretty was the traffic — rash driving and bad roads don’t make a good mix.
We reached the Red Fox hotel in Dehradun at 6pm, the earliest time we've reached a hotel in this journey so far. This meant that we had the time to go out and explore the city, but the chef at Red Fox very generously took the responsibility to prepare an authentic thali for us, with dishes from all around the Uttarakhand region. It included 14 types of dishes, which we surely enjoyed a lot. From pahari-style mutton and chicken curry to creamy spinach and potato sabzis; not to forget the aate ka halwa and kheer. The plate looked properly colourful, just like the state itself and what a delicious way to end the day! Today, we all go to bed early, because tomorrow starts the 10-hour drive day saga, beginning with the long haul from Dehradun to Lucknow.