Every approaching Sunday, brings with it the need to search for ingredients for breakfast. A breakfast sandwiched between experiences, a night of anticipation, a morning of handshakes, chorus of thumps, eternal lust for roads, oil leaks and dirty boots.
And the search often becomes like being in a room littered with small porcelain jars we have been eating biscuits out of and wondering which one is still not empty.
For this Sunday, we chose to head out towards Ratangarh, a place known for a popular temple pecked on the crest of a hill. The road was to be narrow tarmac, which is a our usual taste and would pass through villages and a shallow jungle. The prospects looked promising and hence at dawn, we started for Ratangarh.
The start delayed as some including me were late to reach the meeting point. Once gathered we took the route from Gwalior to Behat to Ratangarh. Behat is the village where musician Tansen once lived. As we have covered this destination in a previous ride, so we skipped it. The roads till Behat were not impressive in terms of tarmac or even for the landscape.
Although the distance of 22 km from Behat to Ratangarh was more up to expectations. The typing winding roads leading through shallow forests majorly populated by thorny, bushy trees lead us all the way to the top of the hill where the Ratangarh temple is location.
When we head to this place via Behat, the road leads right to the temple, however another, more popular road which goes via Datia, leads to the bottom and thus one must climb hundreds of stairs to reach the top. That road connects to the temple via the infamous bridge over river Sindh.
After visiting Ratangarh, we head out to short excursion to a place called Aam Kho. Now, ‘Kho’ usually refers to a cavity between hills with thick vegetation, a water source and a temple. In this case, the cavity was approachable via a short trail, the vegetation was mostly mango trees, a stream and a pond were the water course and a Shiva temple formed the center.
The temple was told to be built upon a more ancient Shiva temple. Bits of construction are still ongoing with various smaller temples with effigies of saints being added. The pond had clean water populated by turtles and trees were aptly frequented by a bird which called Neelkanth which was interesting from a mythological point of view.
After our visit to the temple, we started our return journey, via the same route. Once back to Gwalior, all the riders were treated to breakfast at the residence of one of our riders Ashutosh Dvivedi.
Overall, the ride was good. Roads may not been as pleasing at the ones in the last few rides, but there were some beautiful stretches.