The Motolethe – The Lake Girl Story

On a fine summer day a set of four riders planned a ten-day’s journey to ride into the record books of India Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, and Limca book of Records. While the entry does not require a ticket or a pass all they had to do was make the attempt to visit the Tso Lhamo/ Cholamu, the highest lake of India at an altitude of 17,490 ft.  They finally managed to achieve what they set out to do in following three categories (please see the certificates as below):

  1. Vartika Jain:First female rider to reach Tso Lhamo/ Cholamu, highest lake of India.
  2. Pratyaksh Jain:Youngest male rider to reach Tso Lhamo/ Cholamu, highest lake of India.
  3. All four riders(Atul Ghosh, Ambar Srivastava, Vartika Jain, Pratyaksh Jain): First group of motorbike riders to reach Tso Lhamo/ Cholamu, highest lake of India.

 

TIME DURATION – 10 DAYS JOURNEY (3rd May’2016-13th May’2016)

Motorcycles – 4 Motor Bikes (CBR250R, KTM 200, Karizma ZMR, CBR 250R)

GROUP NAME – Nawab on Wheels (male participants), TheBikerni- Lucknow Chapter(female participant)

No. Of Riders – 4

Name of Riders– Vartika Jain (KTM Duke 200)

Pratyaksh Jain (CBR 250 R)

Atul Ghosh (CBR 250 R)

Ambar Srivastava ( Karizma ZMR)

As narrated by her, this is their story –

Our journey began with full enthusiasm from the city of Nawabs, Lucknow to their final destination Tso Lhamo/Cholamu Lake.

Tso Lhamo or Cholamulake is the highest lake of India and one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 5,330 m (17,490 ft). Situated in North SikkimIndia  and just 4 kilometres(2.5 mi) southwest of the Chinese border.

 

The energetic journey which started from Lucknow took its first break at Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Post a one-day break, the journey with their beloved bikes started again from Muzaffarpur, Bihar. The formalities of record attempt i.e. filling Log Book and get it signed by the Gazetted officer wherever we stay forced us to take a day’s break.

Next day with all our safety gears, we reached Siliguri via Darbhanga, Forbeasganj, and Purnea.

 

NH-28 is a beautiful highway full of lush green surroundings with cool breezes which creates a fabulous experience that no one can afford to miss. Not only this we also experiences the traditional culture, villages and many more. Beauty of the road becomes increasing as we were heading towards the hills.

 

We rented a hotel room at Siliguri, West Bengal and after freshening up we enjoyed the rest of the evening in the company of the local riders over dinner. They helped us with the route and current road conditions for our journey ahead and also shared their riding experiences. Meeting and exchanging the experience of biking with local riders of Siliguri filled the air of motivation and confidence in our hearts. Next day the showers from the heavens beckoned that we put on our raincoats and got ready to start the journey for Gangtok via Sevoke, Kalimpong and Singhtham. Riders are always enthusiastic when it comes to bearing witness to some kind of adventure and here our first adventure greeted us with the natural beauty in the absence of people and concrete structures.

On our way to Lachen from Gangtok we also experienced panoramic vistas of the stunning landscape and snow loaded peaks around Sikkim, all we did was soak in the hill station’s natural beauty while we rode. It was picture-perfect view of the neatly sequenced alpine pastures, quaint monasteries and water streams gushing down from scenic valleys which refreshed our minds. After covering this stretch and with a desperate wish of having a meal, we stopped at Mangan to relax our starving stomachs. Moving ahead we crossed Chungthang and Thangu covering the top point of 14000 ft to Lachen where we took a night halt.

After two days of acclimatization we started our journey towards the final destination. We could not wait to reach Tso Lhamo (17490 ft Highest Lake of India) to see the beautiful and unbelievable Beauty of Nature!!!The Tso Lhamo lake is approx. 55 kms away from the Lachen but it took more time than expected i.e. 5-6 hrs due to the extremely bad road condition, only Off Road! The journey from Lachen though started with an energized vigour but I guess that energy was not for ride but for something more interesting. We went head over heals with the total offroading and experience of small and large crossings (Waterfall flowing from the road and going to the abyss) and the river flowing along with the road was another charm of the hills. It is our Beautiful nature difficult to explain. Journey to the destination was painful yet worth for our passion.

 

After the adventurous ride we reached our final destination – Tso Lhamo Lake. The lake is indeed beautiful, bluish/purplish in colour and little frozen at the edges. The oxygen level at this altitude is low which gave us a bit of breathing problems but our enthusiasm beat every hurdle. After completing the formalities for our record attempt (like clicking few pictures, and most important the authentication and verification signature from the army base camp, log sheet completion, etc), we grabbed the opportunity to visit Gurudongmar Lake, the second highest lake of India. It was also very beautiful with clear blue water surrounded by mountains covered with snow.

 

We then spent some peaceful time in a temple “SarvdharmaSthal” near Gurudongmar Lake. In this temple, main deities of all the religions reside here. Now, we had to leave from there before 12 noon as the oxygen levels had a tendency to drop drastically due to the strong breeze and some other reasons as informed by the locals. We reached Lachen for the night halt and the next morning we geared up to start our return journey. With the amazing adventures and an experience of lifetime, we Riders (of NOW and The Bikerni) decided to return to Lucknow Via the Same Route.

The 10 days long journey finally came to an end but it gifted the riders an experience of a lifetime and the belief that given the diversity our country provides us with in terms of places, region, people, food, and culture one whole life would be not enough to witness all.

Vartika Jain