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Old 5th January 2016, 00:31   #151
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

The ring gear and the pinion will easily be available in mayapuri. I can pay a visit soon and find out. But given that you have two differentials, you will have to replace both for a functional 4wd. IMHO, this change is going to be pretty much useful given that you arent planning to put bigger 34- 35 inch tyres. But there will be some loss of torque in first gear. Very rarely you might find yourself in a position wherein shifting to low is the only way out. But this upgrade is about gaining more and losing less. I will definitely honor your invite very soon. Just few more weekends before i am sure of a troublefree 1k km trip. Updates from last weekend are as follows:-

New headlight domes, sealed beams and rings.
New rear lights. Roamed a lot to find OEM.
Side and front indicators.
New thermostat valve.
Rear view mirrors.

Regards
Vikrant.
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Old 14th February 2016, 20:02   #152
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Quote:
Originally Posted by bushmaster View Post
I will definitely honor your invite very soon. Just few more weekends before i am sure of a troublefree 1k km trip. Regards
Vikrant.
Your Marshal is looking good, and can't wait to see it in person, preferably along with its owner!

Met your junior colleague up here a week or so ago, with his own fresh project about as near to completion as one ever gets with a Jeep... thanks for the referral, it was a very pleasant (albeit short) time spent. He was one of a few other T-Bhpians who seem to be increasingly popping up around here, on occasion following me down the road till they can get into position to approach with a hearty, "Hey, Eric!!??".

A practically snow-less winter this year, but still some good times with this car.

1. What vehicular alternative do you have when you need to get nine full-grown adults and two kids up a muddy, and then snowy, unused link road to a little-known snow-point in a nearby side-valley??? Marshal truly in its element here...

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-wp_20160201_13_39_07_pro.jpg


On the Rohtang Road approaching Gulaba - as can be seen, there's no snow on the surrounding mountains, and just a little ice/snow on the northerly faces devoid of sunlight. I heard today that till the light snow of a week or so ago, a few taxis were even sneaking up and over Rohtang through to and from Lahaul (!), and it sounds believable. Only 2-3 inches of snow on the ground (and none on the road) even substantially beyond Gulaba checkpoint.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-dsc07748r.jpg


Car seems to have settled into its "groove" and has not required much attention lately. Being fifteen years old, will be trying for the inspection/passing this month, hoping to be granted another five. My "to-do" list is looking surprisingly short these days, and that would seem a happy thing (hope I'm right, as runs to Shimla and Delhi are likely in the works). If only I, as a human had as few outstanding issues / faults left to resolve... (but there is, by God's grace, progress to be had there, as well).


Regards,
Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 14th February 2016 at 20:19.
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Old 14th February 2016, 20:28   #153
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Well, it did finally get snowed on a little bit...


Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1356.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-wp_20160211_09_56_21_pro.jpg


I do like the white on orange theme... and figure, practically speaking, that if I'm ever lost in a blizzard in some remote region, it'll make things a little easier for the search&rescue crews... (harder to hide it if stolen, too).

Statistically (in North America, that is), bright-colored cars are involved in less accidents... but on the downside, receive many more speeding chalans.

-Eric

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Old 15th February 2016, 10:19   #154
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Hey Eric! Seems a lot of BHPians are popping up in Manali flagging you down for a quick 'Hi!' as we did last month.

A very practical "made for the terrain" vehicle you have there. Hope the renewal of the RC goes smoothly.

PS: Sorry for not being able to meet again that evening. Do let me know when you are in Delhi. Good to see the snow fall finally.
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Old 15th February 2016, 22:21   #155
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Eric please do post if you get your FC beyond 15 years. Mr Bali seems to be making things tough for poor guys like us with old jeeps.
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Old 20th February 2016, 12:21   #156
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Quote:
Originally Posted by bushmaster View Post
The ring gear and the pinion will easily be available in mayapuri. IMHO, this change is going to be pretty much useful given that you arent planning to put bigger 34- 35 inch tyres. But there will be some loss of torque in first gear. Very rarely you might find yourself in a position wherein shifting to low is the only way out. But this upgrade is about gaining more and losing less..
You're right, I've never had a situation where 1st gear (high range) didn't pull very easily, and with stock tyres I'm typically going to be traction-limited vs. torque-limited, even with a bit higher gearing.

But I checked back and it was actually a 3.54:1 set that another tbhpian had used for "a couple months" in his Jeep. Don't know that the 3.92's were ever fitted in India, but if you're at Mayapuri and can check, that would be a 47/12 tooth count (ring/pinion); Other issue is that allegedly this is the lowest (numeric) ratio that was available with the larger carrier I've got. 3.73's are all over, having been fitted in Bolero's and the like, but might require the carrier change, and might be going a little too far ratio-wise for a non-turbo engine with taller-than-Bolero-fitted tyres. Would cruise pretty well on the highway, though.

An alternative to the marginally higher final drive ratios would be a bit taller tyres, which, assuming we someday get deep snow again up here, would also be helpful in terms of ground clearance. Sector 45 Chandigarh has a lot of importers of used tyres, and something like the 225-85-16 (or thereabouts) foreign-market Bridgestone Blizzak that mysteriously popped up on one corner of my father-in-law's Mizoram-driven Sumo taxi would be just about perfect, at maybe a couple inches taller (around 31+ vs. 29.5" if memory serves) and not excessively wide (considering fender clearance), while also granting me a radial upgrade from the antiquated cross-plys. Trouble is that they may not be cheap even as bald casings, since these load-rated tyres are in high demand for retreading on commercial vehicles.

If/when I get a new 5-year registration paper in my hands, I'll be looking into some of these relatively non-invasive, practical enhancements/changes and see what, if anything, emerges.

Thanks for your comments.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 20th February 2016 at 12:37.
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Old 1st March 2016, 16:39   #157
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Default Manali-Shimla-Shallaghat-Kangra-Dharamsala-etc-

First part of what should shortly be a multi-post depicting bits of our most recent journey:

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1631_stitch.jpg
(the hills surrounding Shimla, from our ridge-top guesthouse... the snowy mountains in the distance indicating from whence we'd traveled the previous day)

Was needing to go to the capital for some mundane official work, and with our elder son about to start school (and thus, "life as we know it" shortly to end, we figured), we decided to append and make a little tour of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Eric please do post if you get your FC beyond 15 years. Mr Bali seems to be making things tough for poor guys like us with old jeeps.
An hour from home we stopped in hopes of finishing the process to acquire the registration renewal for the Marshal; The technical inspection a few days earlier had gone off without a hitch, though due to a clerical error / misunderstanding on the part of the MVI, it took a little extra office time to get things completed. Nonetheless, everything progressed, largely because the RTO is one of those exemplary and perhaps rare officials who - besides being quite honest and committed to the work, to his office peons (recognizing them for their sincere efforts, and openly acknowledging in their presence that his own success depends on them), and to the public he serves - is also a genuinely reasonable and friendly person; It so happens that his son is employed by an automaker in my land of origin, and that having visited there, he came back impressed with what he perceived as a system of "minimum government, maximum governance". Those five years of "new lease on life" for our venerable Jeep being granted and fresh RC in hand, though running a little late, we were on our way to the capital.


Though improved considerably as of late, I still find these roads rather grueling (this coming from one with multiple earlier experiences in Ladakh, Spiti, Western Nepal, rural Bihar/Bengal, etc, etc); However/whatever this committed state government may try, roads are in many parts still rough and/or dusty, nearly everywhere either ascending or descending, often narrow, and of course endlessly twisting and turning. It got me thinking that there can't be many conditions worse than these in terms of strain on nearly every system of a vehicle: gearing, braking, suspension, engine, body, chassis, tyres, final drive, you name it - everything's being pushed hard for hours on end. Speeding along after a couple hours' delay in the office, I got thinking, looking at the rock faces so often on one side, and severe drop-offs on the other, how deadly something like a steering failure would typically be out here. Little did I know how near we had come to just that.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1643.jpg
(one that didn't make it - a fairly common sight in the hills)

Though it's proved increasingly reliable in local use almost from the beginning, it seems we can hardly complete a longer trip in this car without some issue, minor or something more, coming up with the car. The Marshal, despite all the rebuilding / refitting / upgrading has always been a somewhat shaky/rattly sort of car, and I'm getting to the point of acknowledging that it's just the nature of the beast. Occasionally annoying, but in this instance it proved, quite literally, a life-saver, when upon re-parking it our second day in Shimla, I was thus motivated to do a brief visual inspection of the car's underpinnings... and discovered that the two top bolts holding the steering gear to the chassis had actually snapped off - no doubt the culprit behind the bit of vagueness in the steering wheel that I'd been noticing the past week or two. One was still in the chassis hole (but the empty gap between chassis and 'box told the whole story), the other had fallen out entirely after snapping.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-wp_20160224_14_46_51_pro.jpg

I've never seen this sort of thing happen before, but apparently it is not rare on related M&M products (fore-mounted Rane manual gear, as on pickups, campers, etc). I told the wife to go ahead up to Mall Rd. with the kids and relax, while I extracted the car from its tight parking spot at the back of the lot, and just down the road managed to find a good mechanic - a portly, middle-aged, balding fellow - in a tiny shop, sitting without any work. He seemed unimpressed with the failure, and matter-of-fact regarding what had to be done. Within minutes the 'box was out and sent with his assistant by bus to the welder for extraction of the broken bolts, while I hiked a mere 150 meters or so up to a huge hillside M&M showroom (built on perhaps a half-dozen levels) where I was able to procure four new, extra-strength bolts (10.9 markings vs. the original 8.8's - an indication that the manufacturer was aware of the issue).

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-wp_20160224_15_08_22_pro.jpg


I arrived back at the workshop just before the steering gear, which was shortly installed, everything inclusive coming to something around Rs500. With the thing firmly mounted and a new sway-bar bush installed on that side while we were at it, the Marshal was driving like an entirely different car - very responsive directionally, besides being of a less body-rolling nature in the twisties. I slipped back into my tiny spot in the same, virtually packed parking lot within not much more than an hour (this time beside a Maruti of the color I'd had in mind for our Jeep - unfortunately one introduced in the market just a few weeks after I painted ours by inconveniently having to derive a custom formula!

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1743.jpg


Now, you might better perceive the difficulties in parking when you see local innovations such as this one...

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1640.jpg


...And/or when I reveal that I actually had to engage 4x4 to get into this one and only legal parking spot we could find within a half km of the office demanding our presence:

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-wp_20160224_10_17_20_pro.jpg


Anyway, with the car repaired, was able to stroll the Mall with family after all, checking out the beautiful stained-glass windows of Christ Church for the first time:

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1660.jpg


...and experiencing a quite different but perhaps even more delicious local rendition (served with a heavy cream) of the ubiquitous Tibetan momo, while the kids got their first ride on horseback. "All's well that ends well" as they say.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1729.jpg


But it can be sobering to think how near to our demise we were: the remaining two bolts holding the gear were badly bent from over-strain (slightly visible in the bolt photo) and definitely would not have withstood the repeated opposing loads of hundreds of km's yet to be traveled. Just another one of those times when we can only look upward and thank God for his protection of our family.

I got thinking: If it hadn't been discovered so near to a qualified technician and the requisite parts, our whole schedule would've been thrown off considerably... Much more significantly, IF, in view of the impending "passing" inspection, I'd finally got around to reinstalling that cosmetic plate behind the bumper that hides the steering gear, I wouldn't have caught this at all. And IF some unrelated rattling or the other hadn't been irritating me, I wouldn't have caught this, either. IF we'd left Shimla after dark as planned, and driven a couple dozen km's outbound as it was, perhaps those bolts would've broken, and our remains, with those of the car, would be laying down in some deep, less populated valley somewhere to be discovered a day or two later (if the wildcats common in that region were to leave anything behind). If, if, if... IF we didn't know His favor and grace...

....More to come,

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 1st March 2016 at 16:54.
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Old 1st March 2016, 17:26   #158
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Default A little pre-school tour (part II)

Onward things were less sobering and more cheerful, and we experienced no further issues with the car: Having left Shimla just before dark, first stop was an hour onwards near Shallaghat, in the Arki sub-district, to visit with a friend there staying in a very beautiful, pristine, remote home. As an aside, for anyone finding themselves near Arki sometime, the well-preserved wall-paintings in the ruins of the old palace there are both beautiful and historical and well worth a look, as are the old photographs of royal scenes elsewhere in the compound. And the attached heritage guest rooms would seem worth a stay, as well. I suppose that on account of less water supplies (no higher mountains with glacial-fed-streams) than we know around Kullu, the population is relatively sparse - which I suppose is a good thing overall, though for many living long-term out in single homes an hour's walk from any neighbor or road, it could prove a lonely, if beautiful, existence.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1780.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1789.jpg

After a long walk next morning out to one such home - his uncle's (avid hunter and farmer of a couple high plots more than sufficient to feed the family for a year) - we were feeling lazy enough to desire no more than a bath and afternoon nap, deciding to leave next morning for Kangra.



NH-88 towards Kangra is overall in very decent condition and at many points beautifully shaded with mature Eucalyptus (though in as many sections throughout the day, old trees were inexplicably being removed from the roadside by the thousands) and we took our time, stopping at some point along the way for a picnic lunch near a small brook and flowering tree, spreading our blanket on an old abandoned section of the highway.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1864b.jpg


At one point we finally glimpsed a section of the Jogindernagar-Pathankot narrow gauge rail line and stopped to have a look:

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1878.jpg

Moments later, the kids were in for a real treat when I heard the train's horn and the whole thing came speeding past, surprisingly well-packed with passengers. It is a long-time dream of mine to one day do the entire journey end-to-end, as unlike the historic Darjeeling line, it passes through scenery far from the motor roads and not really easily viewable any other way.

We found the changes in local architecture fascinating as we traveled away from Shimla district and on through Hamirpur, where homes, regardless of basic construction method, typically became very compact, with sharply sloped roofs covered in thin slate. In many places, individual rooms or small living units, even when connected to a larger whole, had their own individual sloped roofs, creating in many cases multiple peaks reminiscent of those constituting the mountains around, this similar example actually from further on in Mandi district:

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Arrived at friend's place near Kangra to find a land transformed. It had been eight years since I'd looked over what he'd just purchased as pretty much a soggy wasteland some years ago, now developed into a good home for his just-started family and dog-breeding business (Germann Shepherds, St. Bernards, Neopolitan Mastiff, etc). Not far from his ancestral home, he'd bought this land cheap (back when it was cheaper anyway), as it probably seemed useless to most people. But it consists of several bighas of sloped land divided by a swiftly-flowing rocky stream, with fresh springs of water flowing constantly from a hillside behind, and the little village road wrapping around the whole place in a horseshoe shape. Wonderful potential there. Even more impressive are the views of the rocky mountain range rising straight up from above nearby Dharamsala, easily in view from his rooftop whenever the skies are seasonally clearer. It makes me think of "Redemption" in the spiritual sense - taking something deemed useless / apparently unfit and making it attractive and useful towards the purposes of its (M)aker.

Dharamsala was our next stop, where another old friend, who earlier worked as a cook in Manali, lives in yet one more newly-built on a hillside populated by relatives, just below the main market. Great catching up, and meeting young men and women of 18-20 who were young children last I knew... how time flies...

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1912.jpg
(the tea gardens of Palampur, from our next day's journey - it is said (and I've verified) that the produce of these fields makes a VERY light tasting tea, not particularly to my liking - but this field, in particular, was lovely in itself).


After a quick trip up to McLeodganj to see the sights (Tibetan handicrafts, second-hand bookshops, the main Buddhist gompa, St. John in the Wilderness church & graveyard, etc) and enjoy some delicious streetside food (if you want to eat well on a budget here, avoid the main market and head towards the taxi stand), we headed back down the mountain, uncertain of where our night's stopoff would be. Manali at a single stretch seemed a little too far off after all our travels; And as much as we'd been enjoying the varying flora and fauna and little farms and mountain scenes along the way, I'd wanted to bypass Mandi in favor of heading up over the mountain to link up with NH-21 again at Bajaura, as I'd done a number of times years back, finding it a lovely and virtually untraveled route running a bit straighter directly up on top of the highest ridges with panoramas all around, versus following the rivers and or eroded features with all the attendant twisting and turning, further down the mountain, as so many of this state's roads tend to.

More on that up next...

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 1st March 2016 at 17:41.
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Old 1st March 2016, 17:52   #159
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Default A pre-school tour (part III)

I'm not going to divulge to forum readers our exact route here, in part because it would run against my general travel philosophy of (for lack of a better way to describe it) "self-propelled discovery in an aura of uncertainty..." - that so frequently having been my modus operandi and a great rewarder at many points :-) Suffice it to say that I was now carrying along a wife and two little kids and had something more than a two wheeler and myself to try and get down off the mountain in the event of any breakdown, so was a little more anxious; I moreover had forgotten my old paper maps, the ones of yesteryear personally annotated and helpfully marked in the days of my pre-nuptial wanderings (none of the intersections up there ever had any signboards); Looking over my only available alternatives, Google/Nokia maps, I found a number of discrepancies: Neither were complete or accurate (one failing to show a well-travelled link road that's over 40 years old!), and unhelpfully, neither showed a new route through an area where I suspected one existed. After a couple late-night hours of panning, zooming, and comparing maps (more or less like putting a puzzle together), I finally was able to halfway confirm the missing link via satellite image. This road was accessed by leaving NH-20 some 35km's further north than the one I'd used previously, and IF we could somehow find lodging somewhere up there for a night, the route promised to provide a very engaging journey the following day, for both those 35km's and much of what followed would be lofty, hardly visited places of quietness and bracingly pure, fresh breezes.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1918.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1977.jpg

"No". He shook his head and spoke with complete certainty, repeating it a couple more times in the course of things: "You cannot stay here, it will not be possible". That was the caretaker of the dilapidated, sign-board-less little two-room PWD rest-house set in complete shade amidst tall pines, at which we'd arrived following a steep climb up a forested road from the state highway far below us now, very much out of sight / earshot. "My boss was just up here, reminding me to not accept anyone without an advance booking." And being late on a Saturday, the J.E. apparently in charge of bookings, who sits at a desk someplace far away, was of course not on duty. The caretaker suggested we head either up to a privately-run cottage up a true Jeep trail newly built for a not-yet-operational government tourist facility... 5km's that, having already started up it when we'd passed by the PWD, failing to identify it as such, it seemed could easily take an hour to negotiate;

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1921.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1975.jpg

Or else we could move towards B***t (now there's a solid clue!), 20-25km's up another link road, where we were assured there'd be guesthouses - but at which we'd be arriving after dark - not my preference in unknown areas. Someone standing there had the number for the private cottage and helpfully called, but was told it was undergoing renovations; I expressed to the caretaker the difficulties in driving 20+km's up a dead-end link road, arriving in the dark with two small kids, and then having to just head straight back first thing in the AM. "Could you maybe call the officer on his mobile number and ask his permission?" I ventured. Well, he thought about that a bit grudgingly and finally did so, was thankfully given the go-ahead, and thereafter actually proved to be a very helpful, gracious, and even sociable host, making us a very tasty dinner, assuring us upon our apolgies that his grandkids - like all kids - made as much a mess when eating as our own were just then, and offering (without us even asking) an electric room heater for the night (my wife's salvation). He's native to the local area there, and says that very few guests come, a fact confirmed the following morning when signing the register - we were the only ones who'd stayed in more than two weeks.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1925.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1928.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1937.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1947.jpg


The following day was our last, and as our son's schooling was to begin in the morning, we took our time, relishing this (last?) bit of relative freedom. The road we were on was lovely, mostly better paved than the National Highway we'd otherwise have taken, and in a few hours we passed around as many vehicles.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1983.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1989.jpg

This road finally links up with SH-23 down in the direction of Mandi, not far from its newly-established IIT campus. The road has been upgraded to true highway standards till that point, and then, just after the school's gate, becomes narrower and rougher again, eventually passing the link road to Prashar Lake before ascending towards a relatively high pass and then beginning the descent to Bajaura.

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1992.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1995.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_1998_stitch.jpg

Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-sam_2002.jpg

Perhaps inspired by all the flowering plants / trees along the way, and sensing that we really were going to skip winter this year after all, my wife was keen to stop at a couple of the nurseries near Bhuntar to pick up some plants in anticipation of Spring's full onset.

Our eldest son's eagerly anticipated first day of nursery school (L-K.G.) was yesterday; he amply distinguished himself by politely informing his class teacher - who was standing in a flustered moment before both the Principal and a running video camera (besides the entire class) - that she was holding her book upside down!

Today was his second in the classroom, and he emerged happily again... but was so tired upon returning home that he actually fell asleep in his bath bucket...
Needless to say, we've got an interesting ongoing ride - albeit of an entirely different sort - ahead of us.

Regards,
Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 1st March 2016 at 18:18.
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Old 1st March 2016, 23:13   #160
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

So you took the Parashar Road all the way to Bajaura? But am curious which road did you take off the main road? You joined near Kamand or near to the river bridge? Again not sure but once around 1991, I think we had travelled to Joginder Nagar from near to Kamand but memory is hazy now.
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Old 3rd March 2016, 11:07   #161
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
So you took the Parashar Road all the way to Bajaura? But am curious which road did you take off the main road? You joined near Kamand or near to the river bridge? Again not sure but once around 1991, I think we had travelled to Joginder Nagar from near to Kamand but memory is hazy now.

No, not the Prashar Road, that's a separate, dead-end link road off of SH-23. Never heard of Kamand, and not sure to which bridge you're referring.

Well, I suppose I can divulge it now... Somewhere after Joginder Nagar on NH-20 (coming towards Mandi from Palampur) there is a place called Khatasni, from where the road (not shown on Nokia Maps) ascends, heading towards Barot. One benefit here is the avoidance of much of NH-20 between J.N. and Mandi, which is said to be in very poor condition at present. Anyway, heading towards Barot, the first settlement you arrive at is Jhatingri, and from there is a newly-opened (2 years hence, the locals tell me) road - not shown all the way through on Google maps - heading towards what shows on the maps as Dynapark (where there is a very attractive but unfortunately non-functional gov't tourist facililty named, a bit humorously to me, "Diana Park"). From there one continues towards Kathindi, Kataula (key town also not shown on the GPS maps), and other places I can't remember the names of, before finally joining up with SH-23, the road that runs from Mandi to Bajaura. There are a number of merges / intersections along the entire route, most of which I remembered from earlier, and only a few of which actually had signboards; if you're traveling daytime, there might be a few people around to ask directions, but overall the place is pretty sparsely populated prior to reaching SH23 and at a few points after. Incidentally, navigation via Nokia (HERE) maps was completely, ridiculously errant, frequently instructing me to turn where there were no turns (I'd have driven off the side of the mountain, in fact), while not telling me anything at all at key intersections. Anyway, the whole endeavor requires maybe 5 hours or so to complete in a relaxed manner, and as you can see is quite beautiful.

-Eric
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Old 3rd March 2016, 12:07   #162
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

The region in which that road merged with the Bajaura Road is the Kamand Area. There is a big Animal Farm of the HP Vety department there. From the point of intersection, had you turned right towards Mandi you would have reached the bridge from where another road turns right to go towards Barot. I presumed that it was that road but now as you informed that the road got through in the last 2 years or so now I know which road you are talking about.

Last edited by wanderernomad : 3rd March 2016 at 12:09.
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Old 23rd October 2016, 18:51   #163
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Birds of a feather... in the absence of a flock... at least move in the same direction...


Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-dsc03345.jpg


He says this thread was the inspiration for his build....

But with A/C, P/S, solar charging, and 34" tall 9.00x16's, a tent platform, and the whole aura of "mil-spec", it looks like a clear case of one-upmanship...


Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS-dsc02790.jpg


It also looks (to me) very much like a candidate for a vintage Marlboro Man advert! (fellow TBhpian Vikrant here - with his brother, good company at Batal, and while he might not post much in the forums, I might note that he's an extraordinarily knowledgeable engineer and hands-on technician.


Over the years I'd done all but the Tabo to Nako stretch... some of that on two wheels, solo or with a single companion, whereas this time it was in the rattling Marshal with the whole family and a visiting cousin and her husband from abroad riding along, which of course changed - and overall bettered - the dynamic.

SO MANY interesting / beautiful scenes we beheld during this Dusshera break from school and other responsibilities - Here are a few of them, and as I have time, perhaps some more from this "epic" Banjar/Spiti/Kinnaur loop will be posted.

I am not providing many captions or explanations, partly for a serious lack of time, and partly in the belief that such scenes and experiences are for each traveler to seek out / discover for themselves. I might note here for the sake of example that we had no intention of spending a morning out there watching the Raid-de-Himalaya rally, and didn't know it would be going on till the night before we left - one of those nice little surprises.

Regards,
Eric
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Last edited by ringoism : 23rd October 2016 at 18:54.
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Old 23rd October 2016, 19:02   #164
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

Some more... not necessarily in any order...
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Old 23rd October 2016, 19:21   #165
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Default Re: Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS

The famous shooting stones of Malling (and a missed turn which took us onto the abandoned, landslide-ridden and absolutely treacherous old highway that NOBODY should be driving on...); Chandra-Tal; Pin Valley beyond Mud; the terrifying hundreds-of-feet high almost completed bridge between Chicham and Langza; unplanned overnights on account of landslides; Kibber to Demul across the high ranges; the flaming colors of Nako in Autumn; riverside reposes with the kids (if there's water they're happy); the inviting greenery and babbling brook running through Jibhi in Banjar; and much much more...

The last photo batch for now... we're highly grateful to God for having been given the time, resources, good company and energy to complete this loop after having thought about doing it for years. Also grateful that the car didn't break down at any point (though it wasn't exactly easy to start on the colder mornings, we did pop a clutch cable on the way up one of the passes (spare on hand) and lose an axle u-bolt nut (both easily replaced) along the way). So many we know have had a lot harder time out there, and with small kids along we were glad to have been spared the worst of it.

Regards,
Eric
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