I don’t know how common the term ‘Hitchhiking’ is in India but I’m quite sure people won’t prefer to travel by this mean in India as compared to western countries.
Also, this blog isn’t about how I explored Amritsar but how I hitchhiked to and back from Amritsar and experienced the people and journey.
What & Why Hitchhiking?
Hitchhiking means travel by getting free lifts in passing vehicles. Reading and watching people in movies hitchhiking to places encouraged me to do it. Hopping into strangers vehicle, indulging into conversations and getting to know people who come from different culture and backgrounds.
Obviously, we were concerned about our own safety and didn’t wanted to get robbed. So, we choose a destination that could be easily within day time ad Amritsar sounded perfect.
Distance between Delhi and Amritsar is around 450 kms and takes around 7 hours to cover, according to google maps.
So, calculation the waiting time to get a ride and traveling in slow speed trucks, it wouldn’t take us more 12 hours to reach Amritsar.
To catch a ride going Amritsar or north we had to be on highway. We started our day early and reached Jahangirpuri Metro Station of yellow line. From there we took shared Van which cost ₹30 per person to reach Delhi-Haryana border (Singhu Border). Due to traffic vehicular moment is slow here and it gets easier to catch a ride.
We asked a truck driver where he was heading to and requested to drop us at the end of our common route. And that’s what we did in our five other rides till Amritsar.
First Hitchhike to Amritsar
I don’t remember his name now but this man was sporting enough to give us a ride than we were on our first hitchhiking trip.
It was awkward at first but as the journey passed, we talked about almost everything. Just like us, he too was very much interested in knowing about us, how we spent our day, what did we do for fun and etc. He dropped us at Karnal bypass.
Second Hitchhike to Amritsar
After waiting for around 15-20 mins, we got our ride. Two childhood friends visiting their friend in Chandigarh. These gentlemen were actually kind. They stopped for refreshments and had burger at KFC, and kept offering us until we said yes.
They dropped us just before Ambala as they had to head towards Ludhiana.
Third Hitchhike to Amritsar
At this junction we had to wait for around 45mins. Not that no one stopped but they were heading in different directions. Finally, we hopped in a truck. This one was a short journey. They, too, stopped at a dhaba after around 50kms. We didn’t wait this time, thanked them and went on to look for another.
Fourth Hitchhike to Amritsar
We didn’t have to wait too long for the next ride. The driver warmly let us accompany him in what he described as a “Boring Long Journey.”
A businessman from Yamunanagar heading to Jalandhar for some business purpose. After a brief conversation of where are we heading, he sarcastically said “lootage to nahi na mujhe.” To which I replied, “nahi nahi aap bhi mat lootna.😂”
We told him we’re hitchhiking and he was delighted to learn a new word and kept repeating it throughout the journey.
He, too, just like ride 2 guys was concerned about our safety and told us it can be unsafe at times. I told him, only after I got comfortable, we’re caring no luxuries and Swiss knife for that.
Fifth Hitchhike to Amritsar
This ride, on back of a truck, made us cross Jalandhar bypass and dropped us on the road to Amritsar.
Sixth Hitchhike to Amritsar
We hopped on back of a Tata Ace- Chota Hathi, which was carrying nut bolts to Amritsar and traveled sitting on them. The bolts were pain in the ass but when you’re hitchhiking you ride in what stops at you. Also, in our case, the sun had started to set and we’re 50 miles away from Amritsar.
With peaceful minds and painful asses we enjoyed the sunset and head light trails.
He dropped us, few kms into Amritsar and we took an auto to Golden Temple.
That long weekend made us tried to death looking for a hotel. After check-in we went in golden Temple and sat peacefully.
Next day, we explored to Jallianwala Bagh, Partition Museum and vicinity of Golden Temple. I was genuinely amazed by the artistic reconstruction of Golden Temple’s surrounding area. Crowded and congested streets converted to paved footpath with statues of our heroes, beautiful lights and benches.
Way back Home
Instead of paying for another night in Amritsar, we decided to head back and stay at a friend’s place in Chandigarh.
On our way back, after waiting for long time, we took the long route and hopped on a truck heading to Moga. But it turned out to be great.
At Moga, we quicky got our next ride. Shiv Khanna, a banker in Ferozpur, heading to Himachal. He casually asked us if we drink and very next moment, he stopped the car and bought a bottle.
He dropped us at Chandigarh, where he was to pick his friend on the way.
That evening in Chandigarh, we met our Hitchhike 2 riders.Next morning, they were leaving for Delhi so we left with them.
And a tiring but amazing Hitchhiking trip to Amritsar came to an end.