As any traveler, or rider, would know – although discovering places solo definitely has its perks – some places or experiences we simply ache to share. Be it the Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim or the winding roads of Ooty in Tamil Nadu, a rider will always be a rider. This especially stands true for Ramneek Singh; a traveller, rider, and story-teller at heart. He has been travelling the length and breadth of India on his motorcycle for more than 6 years now.
He was so enchanted by a place that he vowed to share it and make it memorable to the love of his life.
Of all the places he has travelled in our “beautiful country”, Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim is his favourite.
And there is no doubt as to why it’s scenic beauty and impressive altitude would leave anyone breathless.
Interestingly enough –
Gurudongmar Lake is actually one of the highest in the world at an altitude of 17,800 ft (5,435.5 meters)!
In love with the clear waters, he decided this was the perfect place to take “pop the question” and ask his at-the-time girlfriend (now wife) Swatabdi, if she would spend the rest of her life by his side.
Hence came about the plan of his now national record-winning romantic, “Proposal Ride.”
Stay tuned to the bottom to read about why we say “record-winning”.
Saving his girlfriend the pain of being pillion across the Dakar-rally-like terrain from Kolkata to Siliguri, he set off on the first leg of their journey alone while she caught up with him, after railway delays, almost two days later.
Shocked at the size of the bag she was carrying, but more excited than anything else about the ride (and for good reason), the two began their 10 day trip across the cities – during the season of monsoon.
As expected, a love-hate relationship between the rain and motorcyclists was quickly formed.
10 kilometers out of Siliguri the downpour the duo was prevailing through became a ridiculous amount for any rider, and hence they checked into a hotel, soaked to the bone. The next stop was Rango, although facing an hour long delay due to a landslide – which was far from the worst they encountered, the two were lucky to have the sun brightly shining down on them.
Continuing their journey, the couple rode to Lachen. Staying the night in a small room in a hut with the sound of a water stream close by, Ramneek was about to ask the biggest questions of his life the next day.
On the fourth day of their trip, they conquered the difficult stretch from Lachen to Thangu, climbing up towards the famous lake.
Gaining altitude incredibly fast, headache, nausea, and fatigue were inevitable, but the moment they passed the last check post at Geighoon – the barren and beautiful Tibetan plateau that lay before them momentarily took all the pain away.
“We watched in awe, we laughed, we hugged (…).”
While his girlfriend was glad to be off the bike and soaking up her surroundings, Ramneek felt butterflies appearing in his stomach, and decided to transfer those feelings to her. Approaching the few other tourists around the lake, he shared that he planned to propose and politely asked if they would film the act for him.
With the beautiful lake in the background, his Dukey as his witness, and his beautiful girlfriend in front of him he got down on one knee and said, “The last couple of days have been the days I want my whole life to be like, if you also want the same, will you please agree to spend the rest of your life with me? ”
To such a magical proposal, all she could say was yes – making the four days on the road, and the next six to come, totally worth it!
The initial plan post Gurudongmar lake was to visit Bhutan, but the rain had other plans for the two.
Their ride back was a whole new level of extreme adventure, facing landslides, rain, ripping luggage, seeking refuge at a kind family’s house, even having to trek across a muddy road block – with the help of others carrying their bike across the obstacle!
Also, read the Experience of riding in Bhutan!
Although the trip was cut short, as what they endured in terms of terrain and climate would have taken a massive toll on anyone, and Ramneek bought his superhuman pillion a bus ticket back to Kolkata and joined her after a days’ rest with his bike!
The trip was and is unforgettable for both of them.
Planning a trip like this couple? Check out this list of items to carry for long ride trips!
Remember how we mentioned that Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest in the world with an altitude of 17,800 ft (5,435.5 meters)?
Well, a few months after the road trip a friend suggested that the marriage proposal could be at a record-breaking height and Ramneek should consider getting it registered.
Following the suggestion, Ramneek got in touch with the Limca Book of Records, sent in his proof of the proposal and received a certificate a year later, confirming that it is, in fact, the proposal at the highest altitude in India!
A National Record and a Wife, what more could you ask for!
Definitely, check out the full story written by Ramneek himself here !