By: Prasenjit Sen (LT MHPS)
For most of the people who are outsiders in Faridabad like us, the city is not as happening as other parts of NCR. Especially in summer, the city is high and dry with loads of dust in the roads. The main arterial roads are crowded with unruly drivers who poses a great threat to cyclists. So, only a few people will vouch for a cycle ride across Faridabad.
However, our friend Rakesh declared that he found a road which runs parallel to Yamuna river, separating Faridabad from Noida. When we asked him for authenticity, he told that he has seen it in Google Earth and knows nothing else!
Early Saturday morning, when mostly people are sleeping after Friday night’s party, we started our adventure on cycle. We met near palla village crossing Bypass road, then went straight through Sehatpur road. This road was narrow and full of potholes. Early morning light rain had made the situation worse. We had to paddle carefully through waterlogged roads and the boulders. So, our initial journey was not very cheering or pleasant. A good 5-6 kilometre had elapsed still we are in the middle of dense locality. There was just one thought: Are we going in the right direction? Google said yes!
So, we kept paddling over the muddy roads till we reached a spot where the road ends. Oh my Gosh, then where to go!? There was no road except an elevated kachha road meant only for people who were on foot. On asking 2-3 passers-by, we got no certain answer that this is the road we are looking for. However, we relied more on google than the physical entities and started our ride on the Kaccha Rasta. The road was narrow and full of soft sandy soil. We realised that because of the pre-monsoon light shower in the early morning, the soil is hard enough to tackle with tyre. Otherwise, it would have been very hard to ride over it. This serpentine road encompasses Faridabad. On the other side, lies the vast Yamuna floodplain. The lush green landscape in early morning light looked amazing. We hardly come across such greenery in our daily lives.
The initial stretch was filled with morning walkers. But, as we proceeded there was not a single person to be seen. Only the three of us riding in that way. Though the ride was bumpy, but who cares when you are having such beautiful serenity surroundings. The morning calmness complemented the surrounding and created an ethereal beauty.
Soon, we spotted the river Yamuna. It was a great moment not because it was a splendid view. We have only seen Yamuna while going to Noida, but never seen in such close proximity. There was not much water in the river, but the curvilinear locus was very beautiful in the lap of nature.
We stopped there and took photographs around it. Then again we started our return journey. We had seen at least 5 pumping stations of HUDA across the belt. It was then we came to know from where the water is supplied to Faridabad. Anyways, we rode between the firm lands to reach near the Greater Faridabad city. The roads are now good. The area is being developed by Haryana government. Lot of high-rises standing tall in the skyline. We have entered the urban jungle again, but we can never forget the countryside that we have just paddled across.
Pic courtesy: Rakesh Solanki