How to Get High Security Registration Plate for Your Car in Gurgaon

How to get High Security Registration Plate (HSRP) for your car (especially if you didn’t buy it recently) in Gurgaon? (How to get Driving License in Gurgaon, click here)It can be a pain – a pain I had been suffering for a long time now. But after doing a lot of research, bashing my head everywhere, trying all modes – surfing internet (forums, websites, etc.), making phone calls (RTA and SDM office – hats off to the gentlemen and lady who picked 3 calls I made to them and gave me all the information I desired and didn’t mind repeating one thing even thrice, and that too with complete politeness), trying car dealers (from whom I bought), probing friends and foes alike (can’t name them here), visiting all possible places (Mini Secretariat, areas around it), I finally figured out how one can get High Security Registration Plate for his/her car in Gurgaon. And I thought I should share it with everyone.

  • If you are not a new car owner (if you bought it last year or earlier)… Click here
  • If you are a new car owner… Click here
  • If you own a bike… Click here
  • If you own a truck, heavy vehicle, etc… Click here
  • To apply online (shared by Arihant in the comments below)

If you are not a new car owner (if you bought it last year or earlier)… 

To go to the top Click here…

I had bought my car last year and been trying to get the High Security Registration Plate for it for couple of months now. Sometime back I found out where exactly they install it and the process around it (found it to be useful for new cars only) but biggest of the issues was figuring out the very first step for a car which was bought in the past. Thankfully, I managed to crack the code and here’s the step-by-step process that you need to follow;

Step 1: You need to get the authorization letter for High Security Registration Plate for your car. For this, you need to visit the Ekal Seva Kendra which is located at the Ground Floor, Mini Secretariat, Gurgaon. (Click here to Get Directions to reach Mini Secretariat).  The Ekal Seva Kendra is open only from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm. And there are no charges for the authorization letter.

If you are going in your car, don’t park outside, there’s plenty of space within the Mini Secretariat complex and you should explore that first.

PS: Please see the comment by Tej below (click here), he mentions that the authorization letter is now available at the HSRP counter itself. This will save you a lot of time and running to the Mini Secretariat.

Step 2: The documents you should keep handy when you visit the Ekal Seva Kendra are;

  • RC of your car (keep the original and a photocopy)
  • ID proof (keep the original and a photocopy)

Step 3: Once you enter the Ground Floor building gate, the Ekal Seva Kendra is to your left. Inside the hall, go straight to the left hand extreme corner at the far end. The person sitting on the left hand corner (he will be the 3rd or 4th person if you start counting from the right) is the person you are looking for. You hand over your RC to him and in no time he’ll give you the authorization letter for your car’s High Security Registration Plate.

Step 4: Now next step involves visiting the place where the High Security Registration Plate fees is paid and the plate is installed. The things you should keep handy here are;

  • Authorization letter you got at the Ekal Seva Kendra
  • RC of your car (keep the original and a photocopy, the guy at HSRP counter charges INR 5 per/photocopy )
  • ID proof (keep the original and a photocopy)
  • Cash (INR 365 for car; keep the exact change, it helps save money)

Reaching this place is a little tricky, however, I would suggest you check with traffic police man on duty in the Mini Secretariat or the parking attendant outside. This place is not too far off from Mini Secretariat (around 1km) but involves driving on the wrong side of the road, and it’s alright too.

To find the location on Google, click here. Once you are near this place, you’ll see long queues outside a building with Apollo red color board – this is the exact place you are looking for.

Step 5: Once you reach here, you’ll need to pay the fees (INR 365 for car) for which you need to stand in the queue (HSRP fees counter) to your right (when you face this building). You’ll need to produce the authorization letter here and a valid ID card. The important point here is, they accept fees only from the person who owns the vehicle (you need to be present there) or maximum from family member (at their own discretion and they will ask for this person’s ID card). Given the amount of rush there, if you are not the owner, they may not accept the fees, so calculate your risks here.

The HSRP fees counter is open only from Monday to Friday and from 9:30am to 1pm.

Once you have paid the fees, they give you a receipt and your day’s job is done. Make sure you keep this receipt safe and sound with you as you’ll need to come back with this receipt after a minimum of four days and produce it at the 2nd counter (to your left when you face this building) and that’s when they’ll give you your car’s High Security Registration Plate and install it too.

Step 6: After a gap of minimum four days (from day of step 5), you’ll have to come back to this same place again (Click here to find location). Here you go to the 2nd counter (HSRP installation counter – to your left when you face this building), show your receipt and then wait till they call out your car’s number or flash your HSRP. The minimum time you can expect is somewhere around 1 hour, rest is your luck.

Needless to mention you’ll also need to keep the RC with you and the most important thing, you’ll need to bring your car with you for sure. About parking the car, there is not much but ample space on the other side of the road and you can park your car there for free.

A person will come carrying your HSRP (both front and back) and will install/fix it on to your car. He’ll not take much time in installing the plates however he’ll ask for some tip for sure. Once you get the new HSRP installed, you’ll be a pretty relieved self.

The HSRP installation counter is open only from Monday to Saturday and from 9:30am to 1pm.

The whole process will take a minimum of 4-5 days (Steps 1 to 5 on day 1 and Step 6 on day 4/5)

If you are a new car owner… 

To go to the top Click here…

If you are a new car owner, then there are two scenarios:

One: You would have crossed the first hurdle automatically, though rest of the journey is equally stressful for all owners. Your car dealer will give you the authorization letter for High Security Registration Plate, this is something as the owner of a car that I had bought last year I suffered the most in figuring out how to get my hands on.

The step-by-step process that you need to follow is mentioned above and best part is you skip the first 3 steps and start off from the Step 4 right away.

Two: Many new buyers are now able to get HSRP installed at the showroom itself. One of my friends bought Hyundai Verna and the dealer installed it at the showroom itself.  Also, Gaurav has posted a comment below about similar experience with his scooter. So this in fact is a really a good news and relief for the new buyer.

There is one more thing that will matter to you here and that’s the road you’ll take to reach HSRP fees and installation counter if you are coming from the Rajiv Chowk (you can go to the Mini Secretariat and follow the path mentioned above in Step 4). For that you can follow the following map, it again looks like going in the wrong way, and that’s right also, the only thing is that everyone uses it. The moment you take a turn from Rajiv Chowk towards the Mini Secretariat/Old Gurgaon side, immediately take a left turn. You’ll see lots of cars using this route, and there’s a proper barrier there to keep the traffic segregated and in line. Just follow the black line shown in picture below, or the car in front of you till you hit the first T-point (there’s a Wine Shop there) and take a right turn and the place you are looking for is right there.


And yes, for you too the whole process will take a minimum of 4/5 days (Steps 5 on day 1 and Step 6 on day 4/5).


If you own a bike… 

To go to the top Click here…

If you own a bike, then the procedure and process is the same as for the car. The only difference is that you pay less than INR 150 for HSRP and the amount is different for a bike and different for a scooter.

If you own a truck, heavy vehicle, etc… 

To go to the top Click here…

I am not sure of the entire process that you’ll need to follow, but what I found out was that for an old truck/heavy commercial vehicle, instead of Ekal Seva Kendra you will need to visit the RTO office. I don’t have any more information for you and I don’t want to misguide you here.

Spread the word…

I hope the above information is useful to you. I had a tough time getting this all together, getting the right procedure and process, finding the places and ways to reach them. I hope sharing it will make someone’s life easy.

To go to the top Click here…

The Dark Knight Rises – Legend dies, rejuvenates or?

One of the most awaited movies of the year, Christopher Nolan claiming the legends ends with this and audience waiting for another Joker – The Dark Knight Rises had its plate full of expectations, promises and expectations. And did it live up to the hype? I won’t want to spoil it for you, well, not entirely.

So, who will enjoy the movie the most? If you have seen Batman Begins and The Dark Knight then you are the one who’ll be amused the most, mind you, not entertained the most. If you have seen The Dark Knight only, then don’t go with the expectations of seeing someone topping the Joker act, The Dark Knight Rises is still a good movie nonetheless. If this is your first take on the Trilogy, hmm… then I’ll leave to you to decide for yourself.

Does the legend end? You must be kidding yourself if you think the legend ends. I mean does the legend ever end when it comes to super heroes? The most interesting part here in fact is, does the legend rejuvenate? I think you would enjoy spending time inside the theater watching this movie to find the answer then reading it out.

And if you want to see another Joker (really?), well that doesn’t happen in movies and you should know that. What Heath Ledger did with Joker can’t be redone and we all know that. So prudence demands that such expectations are well unrealistic, just to say the least.

Anyhow, if you want to ask me whether one should watch this movie, well I liked it, I just might not mind watching it again!

Reach out to me, in confidence..

ISKCON Temple in New Delhi

ISKCON Temple in Delhi is a place where you can spend your Sunday with your friends. It was opened in 1998 and is located at the Hare Krishna Hills, which is in the East of Kailash, New Delhi.

If you want to visit there, it’ll make a lot of sense to do so around the time of daily aarti, like 4 pm. The idols placed there are awesome and will take your breath away. The temple complex is so constructed that it looks quite majestic from inside.

There are a few other interesting things also. If you go there; parking is free and is adjacent to temple up on the hill, just opposite the temple is an eatery where you get nice rajmah chawal for rs 30 only and there is an artificial tree inside the complex which looks really out of place. And yes, the kulfi they sell inside the complex is really nice too.

Here are a few pictures from my trip…

Lotus Temple in New Delhi

Lotus Temple Delhi is the famous  Bahá’í House of Worship and is definitely one place you would like to pay a visit. The temple is no doubt a marvel of a building and is also a place which does amazing things to people. If you have been to this place then you know that you have to keep quiet inside it and that’s what stands out as this may be the only place in India where you see lots of people and no noise what so ever.

Here are some of the pics from my last visit to the temple…


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Bhangarh Fort – the haunted fort or something else

Bhangarh Fort, they say, is one of the most haunted places in India. Well, ‘they’ can’t be trusted to be right all the time. But they can’t be questioned just like that too either.

After a rather disappointing visit to Sariksa Tiger Reserve, courtesy Supreme Court’s order and a 15 min delay on our part which could have been avoided, we got over excited to realize there is a haunted fort just 45km away waiting to be exorcised by us.

Highways and Forts

The journey towards the fort was quite interesting especially the Rajasthan State Highway that we took. The road was so bad and narrow that I suddenly found the really bad road to my village in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, nothing less than an autobahn.

What were exciting on the road though were the three more forts (see the gallery below) we encountered; two on the way to Bhangarh Fort, one was the Ajabgarh Fort – this also looked haunted and another fort – don’t know what its name was but i think it was Kalighati Fort, and third one calledPratapgarh Fort on way to Jaipur from Bhangarh.

Anyhow, the most amazing part was the Bhangarh Fort, a little 3km off the National Highway (this road was better, but unlike any other NH I have seen). For me, this fort was the hallmark of my trip.

Fortified Fort

This entire fort has been well planned and constructed, the main bazaar, dancer’s place, temples, everything was quite amazing, nothing less thanreliving the past, if you have a strong liking for historical places and a stronger imagination.

And when I entered the palace, the hauntedness of the place started taking precedence. There were many things we found interesting especially while taking the pictures. For example, we took 2-3 pics in an otherwise dimly lighted room. There was an unnatural glow or kind of halo around us while we clicked pics, something which stayed in the pictures we have now. Spooky!

Tourists were making small houses of stones to keep the spirits away. And there was a temple dedicated to the Rani Ratnavati of the palace, right in the middle of the palace, never heard and seen anything like this before.

Pictures don’t lie, or do they?

As if this was not enough, when we saw all the pictures from the trip, we noticed a peculiarity in all the Bhangarh Fort pictures (see the gallery below), the left side of each picture is hazy whereas rest of the picture is crystal clear. Now, if that’s not a hint of hauntedness then what is?

There were a few dampeners too though. I did some research over internet before going to the fort and many people had written that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) clearly prohibits entry (legal word was used too) after sunset to the fort as it is haunted, the dampener is that there is no such thing written except general directions (see the picture in gallery below).

And we checked with local residents, kids who force you to buy water from them and call you Bhaisa, and they said that it is not haunted. They did tell us that there is a threat of animals hence they avoid going out at night. Also, there was a pond inside the fort which has been closed now as 4-5 people have died after jumping into it. And that was all about it.

All in all, Bhangarh Fort is a place you can visit and take away your own set of memories.

Puran Singh Ka Mashoor Vishal Dhaba in Ambala – the epitome of greed, discourteousness and is not recommended at all

The Puran Singh Ka Mashoor Vishal Dhaba in Ambala is a place where they serve greed with a lot of dis-courteousness. While returning back from my home town after a memorable Diwali, we decided to have a ‘memorable lunch’ at Puran Singh Ka Mashoor Vishal Dhaba in Ambala and the greedy guys made it memorable for all the wrong reasons.

We went there to enjoy food, and with 100s of similarly named dhabas in Ambala we put our trust on the popular NDTV Good Times show and their stamp this particular Puran Singh Ka Mashoor Vishal Dhaba had put on its hoardings. But they disappointed us to no end.

This is how our experience goes. A guy came to take our order, and we ordered three dishes and roti for all. We were carrying a few Diwali snacks from home and thought we’ll eat them with our lunch. To this the guy said that they don’t allow outside food and we joked that it was ‘home cooked’ and not from ‘outside.’ Anyhow, we decided that we’ll eat these snacks in the cars and have only proper lunch which we had already ordered from the Puran Singh Ka Mashoor Vishal Dhaba.

But that was not to be. In 2 mins their manager came and asked us to place our order. Assuming that he honestly wanted to take the order as the waiter may have missed what we had ordered or maybe the manager didn’t know we had already placed the order and wanted to give best service  (not knowing his real intentions, how sad I feel now) or whatever, we again placed the order. And before repeating the order I did tell him that your waiter had already taken the order and should I place it again. The manger said yes and I very innocently repeated the order.

Now this gentleman manager told us that we should order one more dish as due to the quantity they serve 3 dishes will not be sufficient. We told him that we’ll order more if we feel like. But the manager persisted and we told him that how would he know how much each of us eats and may be 3 was good for us. After this the truth came out in open. The manager said that they had a policy that each person must order a separate dish and there is no sharing. In other words, if you are 5 people eating together, you have to order 5 dishes, and your can’t share. We are like, are you kidding us? Also, this also didn’t make sense as we were 6 adults and one kid – I don’t know what math he was doing in his head as one more dish would have meant 4 dishes for 6 poeple, not exactly as per their policy.

Anyhow, I mean how weird is that? I have been to my share of restaurants and that includes road side redhiwalas to fine dining restaurants and there are no sharing of food rules if you are eating buffet or thali, etc. But this was a-la-carte for crying out loud. Needless to say we got his real meaning, the Puran Singh Ka Mashoor Vishal Dhaba’s real motto was making money only and at any cost, even being totally weird and stupid, period. And this manager actually wanted us to either get the hell out of there or order as per their ‘policy’ – a fact the initial waiter had failed to mention and in fact had never been shared with any of us who had had lunch there in the past. Why he brought it up this time should have some reason behind it for sure.

Well, next we asked him to at least show us where the rule is written as it was not there on the menu given to us. The confident manager took us outside and proudly showed us the signboard (I have attached a pic of the same here). This was a shocker, a-la-carte and no sharing. This one is something the NDTV Good Times guys missed, in fact this one is for Limca Book of Records or may be Ripley’s Believe it or not. And mind you, the policy is invoked under ‘special circumstances’ only – like ours today.

Anyhow, after it left a really bad taste in our mouths, we decided to spend our money where we can also get some respect and basic courtesy which I believe is the least you can expect. And our much looked-forward-to trip to Puran Singh Ka Mashoor Vishal Dhaba in Ambala turned out to be a big thud and a real disappointment.

Whether I’ll ever go there again, of course that’s out of question. Whether you should go there, well you know the best for yourself. May be you can go there when you are really hungry so that you can do full justice to their one dish-per person rule.

Response from NDTV Goodtimes

I shared this post on NDTV Goodtimes Facebook page and following is their response..


Vrindavan – the Banke Bihari temple, ISKCON temple and Govardhan Parikrama

Of Vrindavan’s private temple, VIP tickets, temple promotions, and Godly siestas…

Banke Bihari temple, ISKCON temple, profound religious history, unimaginable faith and devotion; when I thought of visiting Vrindavan these were just top-of-the-mind recall phrases that were shared by my nears and dear ones. A quick Google search gives similar results. And I am sure Vrindavan is a name that will evoke these emotions in perhaps your mind too, like it did in mine. Except, the experience I had was slightly different, I learned a lot of things which were not in my agenda, nonetheless, the prime motive was accomplished, the religious experience was outstanding.

The “private property” that Banke Bihari temple is   

Banke Bihari temple is said to be the number one attraction, the most important temple in entire Vrindavan. We decided to visit it first. By the way, before I forget, let me tell you there is one very interesting fact about the temple timings, I’ll take it up pretty soon.

Anyhow, coming back to the Banke Bihari temple, it is amazing to say the least. Its history is interesting and importance unparalleled. The deity is matchless and devotion of pilgrims nothing short of unbelievable.

But that’s not all. The very first gate you’ll encounter when you enter the temple complex (it functions as Exit gate from the temple building) has a banner with a message meaning the temple is private property of Swami Hari Dass and his descendants. I also have a temple at home but never thought of it as a private property (I may have been thinking so at a subconscious level, who knows. Reading that message on the Banke Bihari temple and now writing about it has arisen some doubts).

And then, inside the temple there are “VIP tickets” for getting closest to the deity and for getting special calendar. The pujaris at the sanctum sanctorum are open about it, particularly about money. When my mom-in-law requested for a calendar she was told she needed “VIP ticket” – which took a woman who is a strong devotee totally by surprise and she snapped back saying how much you want for it – 1 lac or 2 lacs. The pujari perhaps got ashamed (perhaps) and handed her a calendar.

The temple timings and the siesta

And yes, about the fact about the temple timings. All the temples in Vrindavan are closed from 12:30pm to 4:30pm, that’s the time the Gods enjoy their siesta. And the timings are sacrosanct. So when you make plan to visit, make sure you keep in mind – you must reach as early as possible in morning to be able to visit lots of temples before doors are closed.  And then you can continue visiting temples later in the evening.

One quick tip; if you are going by your car, the 12:30pm to 4:30pm time can be utilized for lunch and for Govardhan Parikrama. For lunch, not sure if you will get the option to use credit/debit card, we didn’t. But there are quite a few ATMs, so no worries.

ISKCON temple, Prem temple and temple promotions

ISKCON temples have a charm of their own (click for ISKCON temple in New Delhi) and the one in Vrindavan was no different. It has supposedly come to be recognised as the second most popular temple in the area. I would also recommend it. We went there at 4:30pm when it reopened and had a great time.

Beyond this there is a long list of temples which are already there and are many more are coming up too. Mind , these temples may have highlights (selling points for some, and could be apparent only) which are other than religious. And there are all sorts of tricks and ways that are being adopted to promote these temples and get the innocent devotees to pay a visit and pay their respect (which obviously involves some monetary donation). Take for example the Prem Temple. Let me clarify, I did not visit it and I am only sharing what happened with me.

The auto we travelled in passed through this temple and the driver told us it’s a popular temple which has amazing lighting effects and we must visit at evening to see that. Then a guy walks up to us while we are waiting for the ISKCON temple to open, chats us up and starts talking about this temple. He repeats the same thing, this temple has amazing lighting effects and we should visit in evening. No one talked about the “temple” as we look at temples. Or maybe it was given that since it’s a temple in Vrindavan, it is Krsna temple.

Weekend road blocks and parking woes

Vrindavan is close to Gurgaon, about 140km, and a lot people visit it from NCR on weekends. In any case, Vrindavan attracts lots of devotees on Saturdays and Sundays from nearby and far off places and this means too many vehicles. The administration there has done some arrangements to manage things during weekends. This is an assumption though as police barricades were put up and half a dozen police personnel and parking lot attendants were managing it. However, the parking lot guys seemed more involved and were the ones talking to visitors, arguing with them and taking the heat in getting visitors to move and accept what was happening. May be it was because it was their primary revenue day.

Also, I saw a lot of cars beyond the barricade and most had UP number plates and from the looks of things, most of these were tourist vehicles. In the evening, traffic police men challaned and towed away many of these cars which were parked in no parking zone. So If you mange to take your car inside Vrindavan, make sure you park at the right places.

The narrow lanes and missing signages of Govardhan Parikrama

Like I was saying, the 12:30pm to 4:30pm time can best utilized for performing the Govardhan Parikrama, we did that. This path is on the other side of Delhi-Agra highway. As you come out of Vrindavan and hit the highway, take a right turn and then in 50m take a left (we missed left turn and ended up travelling over 5kms before we realized something is wrong, asked around and look a U-turn).

You’ll need to be careful on two fronts here. One, there are signboards to guide you around the Govardhan Parikrama but these have few shortcomings like these are not at all the places, not at critical places where these are must so keep asking people around at points you are confused. Some of the spans across the road are just too narrow for even one car to pass and there are cars coming from opposite side too. You’ll need all your skills to navigate these parts.

You’ll still be happy

Surprising, confusing, tiring (single day 6am to 9pm, ~400km trip; driving from Gurgaon to Vrindavan, in fact Mathura, I took a U–turn from near the janmsathali, then to Govardhan  then back to Vrindavan and then back to Gurgaon) and above all satisfying, this was a trip that made me happy and I am sure will make you happy too.


All The Prime Minister’s Men

I found the book “All The Prime Minister’s Men,” to be very informative and startling at many points. Too many historic facts about the Gandhi family especially Indira and Sanjay and about many other prominent personalities and politicians. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to find information on the turbulent past of India even post independence, in fact way after that.

It talks about the deeds of many important persons and quite a few of them are still going strong, in a way. You have to read it to believe it.

This book has increased my curiosity to read more about the India of 70s and 80s. Looking out more books.

On Goodgreads All The Prime Minister’s Men

Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection

I came across a list of 50 movies rather Warner Bros Blu-Ray collection which includes 16 of Warner Bros. Library’s Best Picture winners as well. And  I could not resist the urge to cross check which of these I have seen and how much I enjoyed the same.

The list is really impressive and it includes one of my absolute top two favorites (The Shawshank Redemption), the movie that comes 3rd on my list (The Departed), one of the most engrossing movies of all times (Inception), my favorite romantic movie (Casablanca), few one-of-its-kind movies (A Clockwork OrangeBen-Hur and Full Metal Jacket) and for me a long list of movies I am yet to watch, been planning to watch and can’t wait to watch.

My take on Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection


Top ten must read books

“Books are your never failing friends” – I never knew that a small lesson my voracious reader dad taught me quite early in life would turn out to be one of the fundamental principles defining who I would be one day in my life.

Not that I don’t have friends, I have plenty; not that they have not stood by me, many have and still do; yet the friendship I have built with books, good books to be more precise, (and I feel with their authors too) has come to characterize me as to who I am, what I think, how I think. My whole cognitive faculties are now rooted in the information, knowledge and wisdom I have come to acquire out of the books I have read in my life.

From a habit to second nature

A habit which started with The City of Joy, strengthened with Freedom at Midnight, was further cultivated with To Kill a Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn, An Autobiography of a Yogi, The Last Mughal, A Tale of Two Cities, The Fountainhead, 1984, Freakonomics, World is Flat and still continues with Millennium Trilogy, Jinnah Vs Gandhi, The Sufis  and The Himalayan Blunder, and God knows what next is to come, became the second nature and has been an integral part of not only my day-to-day life but why personality, my being.

And the list of my friends and well wishers extended from the ones I knew personally to include Mark Twain, Paramahansa Yogananda, Charles Dickens, Dominique Lapierre, William Dalrymple, Ayn Rand, George Orwell, Steven Levitt, Malcolm Gladwell and many thinkers and philosophers, making me proud of having read them.

Sharing the good tidings

Mark Twain said, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them” and I have lived by that all my life. I also believe, when you know a good book exists, you must tell others about it. The fruits of information, knowledge and wisdom are there for everyone to taste, whether you actually make that effort to taste them is only up to you.

Before I take you through some awesome books one by one, here’s a list of what you can take a look at. I’ll share more on many in times to come.

Shelfari: Books on my rack…

Happy exploring and reading!