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Old 26th July 2013, 10:25   #181
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by Soumik Ghosh View Post
Hello SS, this route appears in Google map.
It's just a trekking route. Padum-Lamayuru route also exists on Google maps, but it is just a trek.
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Old 27th July 2013, 19:01   #182
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

I was not going to post this until the Kargil -Leh leg came in my travelogue. But since there is some confusion reigning here on routes from Padum, might as well clear some doubts with facts.

I am not sure of how the Keylong side Padum route is.

But here is a glimpse of how Nimmoo side road is. The road begins at the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers at Nimmoo. It is nearly a proper road no doubt about that. It goes down from the main highway, a bifurcation leads to the base made down on the Indus river's bank, and this road "Zanskar Valley Road" leads over a bridge to the other side mountain besides the Zanskar river bank going inside into Zanskar Valley to Padum. It is indeed a proper road. But not advisable. We were even thinking to drive down to the base created on Indus river bank. But let go of the adventure considering various factors. It is very much possible the Keylong side road is similar.

Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-p1180115.jpg

Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-p1190114.jpg
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Old 27th July 2013, 23:44   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
I was not going to post this until the Kargil -Leh leg came in my travelogue. But since there is some confusion reigning here on routes from Padum, might as well clear some doubts with facts.

I am not sure of how the Keylong side Padum route is.

But here is a glimpse of how Nimmoo side road is. The road begins at the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers at Nimmoo. It is nearly a proper road no doubt about that. It goes down from the main highway, a bifurcation leads to the base made down on the Indus river's bank, and this road "Zanskar Valley Road" leads over a bridge to the other side mountain besides the Zanskar river bank going inside into Zanskar Valley to Padum. It is indeed a proper road. But not advisable. We were even thinking to drive down to the base created on Indus river bank. But let go of the adventure considering various factors. It is very much possible the Keylong side road is similar.
This road goes till chilling. It's not ready yet and tentative date of completion is 2017. When done the chaddar trek won't be a necessity at all since this will be an all weather link to zanskar. The keylong link to padum will take longer as it has a couple of high passes to cut through.
Quite a few people venture down to the confluence for river rafting, and few go till chilling to see the BRO camp working.
The trek route in winter is a walk over the frozen zanskar, however, in summer the route is from Lamayuru to Padum. This chilling axis is a new route being cut to make Zanskar valley all weather.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 28th July 2013 at 02:53.
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Old 29th July 2013, 12:27   #184
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by parsh View Post
But here is a glimpse of how Nimmoo side road is. The road begins at the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers at Nimmoo. It is nearly a proper road no doubt about that.
I am completely intrigued, as we travelled on this road as long as the road existed. I never thought it will be complete so soon, it looked impossible.

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This road goes till chilling. It's not ready yet and tentative date of completion is 2017
Ah! thanks tsk1979 for clearing this confusion!
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Old 29th July 2013, 13:36   #185
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
I am completely intrigued, as we travelled on this road as long as the road existed. I never thought it will be complete so soon, it looked impossible.

Ah! thanks tsk1979 for clearing this confusion!
Now, ain't that the great power of community knowledge Atleast people will now not think about the weird ideas of taking those routes unless there is concrete news about them based upon certain maps.

Still, I suspect the road may be tread-able for the likes of Safari and Scorpio by now, even if it may be worse inside. The gmaps even show a Spangmik to Chushul route but which is not there on paper. Those who have done it will know what rough road it gets at times, which is still doable by many and is not recommended for low GC cars. My guess is these 2 Padum routes could be similar or worse in present tense.

There is also a good account of the Nimmoo-Padum route work as of Sep 2011 in Somendra's account of his exploration at Padum, when he narrates blasting in progress at Chilling having traveled from Padum to Chilling

http://somendras.com/?p=728
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Old 29th July 2013, 14:22   #186
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Still, I suspect the road may be tread-able for the likes of Safari and Scorpio by now,
Buy a Bowler wildcat. Or spend crores to buy a tank. Even then the route is not treadable. If you do want to tread it, you can do it on foot. Up there, even cutting through 100kms takes many years, if not decades. I

Quote:
The gmaps even show a Spangmik to Chushul route but which is not there on paper.
What are you talking about. This route has existed for years, and gets done in 2WD vehicles.

Quote:
Those who have done it will know what rough road it gets at times, which is still doable by many and is not recommended for low GC cars. My guess is these 2 Padum routes could be similar or worse in present tense.
Unfortunately thinking does not create routes, they have to exist. As of now they do not exist. You can read Harsh Vardhans account where he actually went to the road head towards chilling road from Padum, and then went to the Road head for Darcha road from Padum
Quote:
There is also a good account of the Nimmoo-Padum route work as of Sep 2011 in Somendra's account of his exploration at Padum, when he narrates blasting in progress at Chilling having traveled from Padum to Chilling

http://somendras.com/?p=728
I could not find anywhere in this log that he "drove" from Padum to Chilling by the new route? Can you share the exact paragraph?
All I see is
1. Leh-Kargil
2.Kargil-Rangdum
3.Padum
4.-> Chilling Road head
Quote:
We decided to spend the day exploring the road going down the Zanskar river towards the Zanla village and ahead. There is an all season metalled road till the town of Hanumil. After this there is a motorable track to the point where the Zanskar river enters the famous gorges. Construction work on the road is going on here. A 20 km patch is still remains which when completed will provide a welcome link to the town of Nimmu on the Indus.
20 kms remains(Actually its 22kms as of 2012). Its solid rock which has to be cut through to Chilling

Regarding Darcha Route
Quote:
After an early breakfast we drove up the Tsarap Chu to the village of Reru. This is as far as the motorable road is ready upriver of Padum. Work is on to connect Padum to Darcha along this road via the Shingo La pass but it will take some time before this road is ready for traffic.
Please remember, your thought process cannot create new routes which do not exist. These are trekking routes, now being cut meter by meter. The reason is to make Manali - Leh All weather.


After Rohtang tunnel is done, the Darcha-Padum-Route will remain open all year round after completion as this circuit does not get as much snow as the Baralacha La.

However this is a long term plan currently forecasted for 2015(Padum chilling earliest date of completion), and 2017(Padum-Darcha earliest date of completion)

Last edited by tsk1979 : 29th July 2013 at 14:26.
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Old 29th July 2013, 14:30   #187
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post

Still, I suspect the road may be tread-able for the likes of Safari and Scorpio by now, even if it may be worse inside.

There is also a good account of the Nimmoo-Padum route work as of Sep 2011 in Somendra's account of his exploration at Padum, when he narrates blasting in progress at Chilling having traveled from Padum to Chilling
I have done this route in August 2011. I know it first hand. Me and HVK were there in August 2011, travelling right till the end of the road in Chilling. Work was going on, no doubt. On enquiring with the workers they told if all is going on well by 2016-17 it should be open.

HVK Scorpio at the dead end at Chilling

Name:  DSC_6651Edit.jpg
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You can read the full account of Nimmu to Chilling road here (HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)).

I still would not believe that this road has become motorable

Last edited by laluks : 29th July 2013 at 14:37.
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Old 29th July 2013, 15:40   #188
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
What are you talking about. This route has existed for years, and gets done in 2WD vehicles.
Exactly. The only catch is, it doesn't exist as a concrete route, it is still a raw route for most of the stretch and is advised there to be avoidable for low GC ones, whereas most of the cars can do it easily.

Quote:
Unfortunately thinking does not create routes, they have to exist.
You are missing the point. We are talking the same thing in different words.

The fact is even if they are shown on the map, they do not exist per se to be able to drive upon them, e.g. it is only the starting part from Nimmoo side which looks promising but inside, as atleast I do no know, it would not be the same. So one cannot just judge by how it looks or whether it shows in an map without knowing the actual quality.

Harsh, HVK/Laluks accounts show ample vision atleast till 2011 on what situation is out there and also of Somendra as I had read it sometime back.

Quote:
I could not find anywhere in this log that he "drove" from Padum to Chilling by the new route? Can you share the exact paragraph?
All I see is
1. Leh-Kargil
2.Kargil-Rangdum
3.Padum
4.-> Chilling Road head
20 kms remains(Actually its 22kms as of 2012). Its solid rock which has to be cut through to Chilling
He talks about going upto Chillingskyd, Hanumil, and I suppose he did not trek upto there but drive in the Scorpio.

A few quotes from him
Quote:
After the Stongde Gompa, the road crosses the village of Zangla. At one time Zanskar consisted of two kingdoms, Padum and Zangla. The Zangla village still has a palace belonging to the King of Zanskar. Just before the village, on a huge cliff, lie the ruins of the Zangla fort.
Due to shortage time we did not visit the Stongde monastery or the Zanla fort.
....
We continued past the villages of Chillingskyd and Hanumil till a point where construction gangs were blasting the rockface to make the road through the gorge and then we turned back for Padum. We reached Padum by nightfall after a day of very satisfactory landscape photography.
Quote:
After Rohtang tunnel is done, the Darcha-Padum-Route will remain open all year round after completion as this circuit does not get as much snow as the Baralacha La.

However this is a long term plan currently forecasted for 2015(Padum chilling earliest date of completion), and 2017(Padum-Darcha earliest date of completion)
Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
I have done this route in August 2011. I know it first hand. Me and HVK were there in August 2011, travelling right till the end of the road in Chilling. Work was going on, no doubt. On enquiring with the workers they told if all is going on well by 2016-17 it should be open.

HVK Scorpio at the dead end at Chilling

Attachment 1118137

You can read the full account of Nimmu to Chilling road here (HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)).

I still would not believe that this road has become motorable
Absolutely it is due to you guys' firsthand experience and logs the information is getting out in the open for the common public here and it is but without doubt that one takes into account all that knowledge if planning for that part.

It is a gruesome terrain out there and it is quite understandable that they take ages to build/rebuild the roads in there.

Now isn't that adding to the information on the Ultimate Guide and to these future routes? I hope people just do not get absurd ideas just for the sake of it by looking at some nice pics or maps. Also, I just hope if there are bits of information missing for reality check, they get added to the guide to guide others.
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Old 29th July 2013, 19:24   #189
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

@parsh,
I am now quite confused.
Are you advising the reader to take the Nimmu-Padhum route knowing that the route is not completely built or to avoid it for now?
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Old 29th July 2013, 19:44   #190
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
@parsh,
I am now quite confused.
Are you advising the reader to take the Nimmu-Padhum route knowing that the route is not completely built or to avoid it for now?
You did get confused? Oh man.

But even then, how could you think that I would advice anybody to take the Nimmoo-Padum route at all when it only looks good from outside (as in pics) but truly is incomplete as per various information all over. Refer my earlier posts altogether and in totality this is what should come out.

The snaps I posted of Nimmoo route were to showcase how it looks great from outside but truly could be unthinkable insides. When someone looks at such roads, its tempting to think that, hey, this is doable, without knowing about entire stretch. Atleast, I have absolutely no idea about that route firsthand and only knew it to be far from complete with info from past logs. However, you guys have the relevant information from your travels (as you also posted from Aug 2011 and Harsh's logs too). Just that there is no further update on the status of that route and similarly on the other one towards Manali side. Just that people don't realize the information because it is spread all over and at times difficult to pin-pointedly find out, there is no one place to locate it clearly and the maps end up showing things that should not be.


AND if even this is confusing...
No, I am not advising anybody to take this or the other route. They are far from complete even if they are shown clearly (though not concrete like others) on map and only look good from their respective ends.

Last edited by parsh : 29th July 2013 at 19:49.
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Old 29th July 2013, 19:53   #191
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You did get confused? Oh man.

AND if even this is confusing...
No, I am not advising anybody to take this or the other route. They are far from complete even if they are shown clearly (though not concrete like others) on map and only look good from their respective ends.
Blame it on me getting more grey hairs. Now it is clear and I rest my case
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Old 30th July 2013, 10:08   #192
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Dear Tanveer,

As already thanked you for the well written "Guide' and your reply but on reading further posts of the other travellers on this route-please advice on the following:-

a) Is it adviceable, as well as feasible to drive to Pangong Tso, in my Ritz, to & fro in a day? Will the Ritz take that road? Or should I hire a Cab?
b) Plan to stay at Leh for 4 days-two for acclimitization and visiting tourist spots within it and two for sight seeing around Leh-any advice keeping the Ritz in view?
c) Planning Srinagar-Kargill (stay 2 days) and then onto Leh? Or just one day at Kargill?
d) Way back-is Leh sonamarg possible in a day?
e) Please recommend some staying options at Sonamarg, Kargill & Leh-mid segment or budget please.
f) Is Nubra Valley feasible in the Ritz? Is a day enough?
Thanking you in anticipation.

Jude

Last edited by Judemayne : 30th July 2013 at 10:34. Reason: An extra question
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Old 30th July 2013, 10:34   #193
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Dear Tanveer,

As already thanked you for the well written 'Guide' and your reply but on reading further posts of the other travellers on this route-please advice on the following:-
Well, till the experts get back to you, let me reply as per my experience in mid May this year.

a) Is it adviceable, as well as feasible to drive to Pangong Tso, in my Ritz, to & fro in a day? Will the Ritz take that road? Or should I hire a Cab?
The road was pretty rough, Chang La was very bad. At many places, saw marks of water crossings as well. Maybe after the monsoons, if BRO repairs the roads it should be fine.

b) Plan to stay at Leh for 4 days-two for acclimitization and visiting tourist within it and two for sight seeing around Leh-any advice keepingf the Ritz in view?
Leh and around is pretty easy. Lots of hatchbacks here.

c) Planning Srinagar-Kargil (2 days) and then onto Leh?
Srinagar to Sonamarg won't be a problem. Roads were pretty good. After Sonamarg till about the Baltal turn-off, the roads were decent. After that, it was a nightmare! Huge potholes, slush and lot of truck traffic! By now I guess, the roads might have been repaired. If its any consolation, I did see an i20 and Swift on the same route.

d) Way back-is Leh sonamarg possible in a day?
We did the reverse in a day. Sonamarg to Leh. It was hectic with limited time for pit stops. Time the start to not get stuck at Zoji La. Do check about the timings before leaving.

While coming back, we started from Leh by early evening and reached kargil by nightfall. Next day, started early(~4am) and reached Srinagar by afternoon.

e) Please recommend some staying options at Sonamarg, Kargill, Leh-mid segment or budget please.
Sonamarg has good stay options, depending on the time you visit and tourist rush, it is possible to get a good deal by landing up there without any booking.

Kargil was very crowded and the stay options weren't great either. Somehow we managed to find a decent enough room. Though I don't remember the name now, it was right opposite a big hospital - Up an incline on left after crossing the main taxi stand (if you are coming from Leh).

Last edited by Dry Ice : 30th July 2013 at 10:40.
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Old 30th July 2013, 10:43   #194
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a) Is it adviceable, as well as feasible to drive to Pangong Tso, in my Ritz, to & fro in a day? Will the Ritz take that road? Or should I hire a Cab?
The road was pretty rough, Chang La was very bad. At many places, saw marks of water crossings as well. Maybe after the monsoons, if BRO repairs the roads it should be fine.

After Sonamarg till about the Baltal turn-off, the roads were decent. After that, it was a nightmare! Huge potholes, slush and lot of truck traffic! By now I guess, the roads might have been repaired. If its any consolation, I did see an i20 and Swift on the same route.
Dear Dry Ice
Thank you for your immediate reply-we are starting on 15 Aug-going via Amritsar-so will be in around Kargill/Leh from about the 24 Aug to about 01 Sep-hopefully by then the roads to Leh from Sonamarg should be better?? Would it be better to hire a cab to Pongang Tso?

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th September 2013 at 18:39. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 30th July 2013, 10:48   #195
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Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Dear Dry Ice
Thank you for your immediate reply-we are starting on 15 Aug-going via Amritsar-so will be in around Kargill/Leh from about the 24 Aug to about 01 Sep-hopefully by then the roads to Leh from Sonamarg should be better?? Would it be better to hire a cab to Pongang Tso?
Let's hope so! I would say take that call, once you reach Leh and enquire about the road conditions from the locals.
PS: I had pasted the rate card for Taxis this year on the previous Leh trip planning thread.

ATB!
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