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Old 28th June 2013, 19:54   #121
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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I was sceptical about the Chushul route, but for that no questions were asked
Chushul is allowed as such. But from there what route is granted is quite subjective and as you will read a post from me few posts above, it is also subjective to Army guys spotting which route one takes from Chushul. The army, if stops you, will not allow Tsaga La route due to China border sensitivity but will advice alternative through Kakasang La to Mahe and then forward. So make sure which route is allowed there. It is advisable to add Tsaga La to permit for safety, still that may not be sufficient for Army people if they do catch you. Ask your relations to be aware of and ready for the alternative route if not allowed on Tsaga La route.
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Old 28th June 2013, 21:11   #122
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

The newest twist in Ladakh permits is the weird rules applied by ITBP at places. These days they do not allow cameras to be taken beyond Loma checkpost towards Hanle. At Loma they asked me to deposit my Cameras and take them back whenever i return, i told them i will go back via Kyun Tso route but they said they cannot allow this. I asked them to let me talk to their seniors, they took me to their officer, i explained the thing, he allowed me to take my cameras with me but asked me not to click till Hanle.

At Tso Moriri, a ITBP Jawan came to our car and asked if we had any kind of GPS navigator with us, the OEM GPS of our XUV was turned on, so i clearly told him yes we have GPS installed in the car- 'Factory Fitted'. He says we cannot take GPS to Tso Morriri, we need to deposit the device with them, i told them this cannot be done, obviously i cannot rip off the dashboard and hand over the whole infotainment system to them. Their officer arrives but he again is equally ignorant about all this, he says he cannot allow us, i tell him atleast 10% cars that might be at the lake side might have onboard GPS installed and almost every smartphone has GPS installed, he refuses to budge. I tell him clearly that i am going to file a complaint and a PIL as soon as i reach Delhi, he lets us through but tells us don't use it.

So if you come across ITBP checkposts next time, don't be surprised by weird requests they might make, it was Cameras and GPS this time, next time they might be looking for Thermometers, Torches or even Puncture repair kits. The army guys are much much better in public dealing.

Last edited by .anshuman : 28th June 2013 at 21:15.
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Old 4th July 2013, 10:06   #123
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@Tanveer: Though the title of the thread says it already, I must repeat that this is an outstanding guide and reference for people wanting to drive to the Ladakh & Zanskar region. Your passion for travelling across the region, your zeal and commitment to accurately logging the data of every last detail of each of your trips, and especially, your dedication to putting this all together into the form of this thread - all this needs to be complimented. A few thanks and one more 5-star rating is the best I can do online, till we meet up sometime (soon)!

Let's have an encore for the Lahaul and Spiti region!
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Old 4th July 2013, 11:37   #124
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At Tso Moriri, a ITBP Jawan came to our car and asked if we had any kind of GPS navigator with us, the OEM GPS of our XUV was turned on, so i clearly told him yes we have GPS installed in the car- 'Factory Fitted'. He says we cannot take GPS to Tso Morriri, we need to deposit the device with them, i told them this cannot be done, obviously i cannot rip off the dashboard and hand over the whole infotainment system to them. Their officer arrives but he again is equally ignorant about all this, he says he cannot allow us, i tell him atleast 10% cars that might be at the lake side might have onboard GPS installed and almost every smartphone has GPS installed, he refuses to budge.
At Tso Moriri, they asked us about the GPS and maps - we politely said yes, we have GPS in our phones and printed maps as well. They discussed internally and allowed us to go. They guard our country so I was always polite and respectful. Many tourists were discussing and remarking about the knowledge levels of our armed forces, etc. Somehow I don't like to do that - they live a tough and boring life and those roads are built and maintained by BRO. It's a previledge to be able to drive on those roads and right of admission is reserved which is kind of okay for me. In fact, I found most of the ITBP and army jawans and officers to be through gentlemen in their dealing with us.
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Old 4th July 2013, 19:18   #125
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At Chushul, there are 2 roads at the junction of Chushul Police Check Post.

The upper broken tar road goes over the hill right into the Army base, left of which is the Chushul Bridge that takes to Tsaga La and right of which is the Army Gate that takes to Tangste.

The lower rough road, it was recently laid gravel/gitti road when we went there, which directly takes to the Chushul Bridge bypassing the Army camp.

If you have necessary permit in hand and had no issues at the Chushul Police Check Post, Remember to take the lower road directly to the bridge and if no sentries/watch there, you may be able to go through onwards towards Tsaga La route towards Nyoma, Tso Moriri, Hanle and make those circuits.
When we reached the Police checkpost, we took the lower road, reached the bridge, took the bridge and went to the Chushul War Memorial and then onto the Rezang La War Memorial (Major Shaitan Singh Memorial - 13 Kumaon). From there, we went on to Tsaga La and Mahe...

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Actually, if you do not go towards the police check post, and keep right along the hill, you will cross a small crest, and come to an army check post. From there the road takes you to kakasang la and then only Mahe. At this check post they stop you, but since you are going "away from china" they seldom stop you!

Here is the map
http://maps.cloudmade.com/?lat=33.58...1&opened_tab=0
They won't stop you, but then how do you reach the 2 memorials via this route?
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Old 4th July 2013, 19:42   #126
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When we reached the Police checkpost, we took the lower road, reached the bridge, took the bridge and went to the Chushul War Memorial and then onto the Rezang La War Memorial (Major Shaitan Singh Memorial - 13 Kumaon). From there, we went on to Tsaga La and Mahe...
Right. That is the route. When did you do this route, which day/date? You were fortunate to get through.

When we went, a Thar had already passed over the bridge much earlier and the ITBP sentry there and later the checkpost totally blocked us, inspite of trying to reason with the higher officials in their offices, dis-allowed us to take the route and were forced to choose routes back to Spangmik or onto Tangste/Mahe through the checkpost. This was on 11 June 2013.

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They won't stop you, but then how do you reach the 2 memorials via this route?
Yes, you cannot. You have to go via the bridge only, the Tsaga La route to visit them.
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Old 4th July 2013, 19:58   #127
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Right. That is the route. When did you do this route, which day/date? You were fortunate to get through.
27'th June.
I really wanted to see the memorial and pay my respect to the 1962 heroes. And I sincerely explained our good intention at the Police check post so they allowed.
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Old 4th July 2013, 20:04   #128
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27'th June.
I really wanted to see the memorial and pay my respect to the 1962 heroes. And I sincerely explained our good intention at the Police check post so they allowed.
Oh, the Police checkpost is not a problem. We got around to that no worries. The problem there is ITBP and the sentries positioned on/near that bridge. I am happy that you were able to go through long after our time and did not spot anybody on the bridge and did not encounter any resistence there.
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Old 4th July 2013, 20:18   #129
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Oh, the Police checkpost is not a problem. We got around to that no worries. The problem there is ITBP and the sentries positioned on/near that bridge. I am happy that you were able to go through long after our time and did not spot anybody on the bridge and did not encounter any resistence there.
I am sure we were spotted. In fact when I was saluting at the Rezang La memorial, an Army truck was passing by, it stopped and the officers got down, thoroughly checked our info and then joined us to pay their respect to 13-Kumaon (they belonged to another regiment). It was very humbling.
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Old 4th July 2013, 21:27   #130
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Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
I am sure we were spotted. In fact when I was saluting at the Rezang La memorial, an Army truck was passing by, it stopped and the officers got down, thoroughly checked our info and then joined us to pay their respect to 13-Kumaon (they belonged to another regiment). It was very humbling.
Truly humbling experience.

I think that since they saw you at that point and not before, may have helped, also may have led to those officers assuming you were already cleared before reaching there unless there was any detailed conversation etc with them (I am just speculating based upon the situation you have described, hoping it may help others who want to go that way). We were stopped right before the entry of the bridge and led to the ITBP checkpost instead.
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Old 4th July 2013, 23:36   #131
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right of admission is reserved which is kind of okay for me. .
The British left in 1947. With that the right of admission is also gone. So thinking "Right of admission is reserved" is an insult to the idea of a Democratic Indian Republic.
Right of admission to any part of India is your fundamental right.
Even the Parliament of India thinks so. MHA made an official reply that the inner line permit exists just so that outside people (non native) do not settle in culturally sensitive areas.
Unfortunately, the the britishers left behind their legacy of permissions and slavery, and you have the mess now. Babudom somehow still cannot accept the concept of freedom of the ordinary citizen. Don't do this, don't do that.....
Such restrictions have no place in a democracy. Heck even a "communist" country like china does not stop anybody from visiting the border areas. Its easy to visit the entire Changthang desert region under their control(Even if you are an Indian).
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Old 5th July 2013, 00:34   #132
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Hello tsk1979,

We just graduated from college and decided to do a road trip and what better than a road trip from Manali to Leh.We all wanted to thank you right before the trip for all the detailed information regarding the entire region. Nevertheless, a BIG THANK YOU for the terrific thread you have created. We did the trip on rented bikes from Manali. Adventurous would be an understatement. Hoping to post the complete travelogue soon. Thanks again.

Regards
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Old 5th July 2013, 01:25   #133
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Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Truly humbling experience.

I think that since they saw you at that point and not before, may have helped, also may have led to those officers assuming you were already cleared before reaching there unless there was any detailed conversation etc with them (I am just speculating based upon the situation you have described, hoping it may help others who want to go that way). We were stopped right before the entry of the bridge and led to the ITBP checkpost instead.
May be.

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The British left in 1947. With that the right of admission is also gone. So thinking "Right of admission is reserved" is an insult to the idea of a Democratic Indian Republic.
Right of admission to any part of India is your fundamental right.
Even the Parliament of India thinks so. MHA made an official reply that the inner line permit exists just so that outside people (non native) do not settle in culturally sensitive areas.
Unfortunately, the the britishers left behind their legacy of permissions and slavery, and you have the mess now. Babudom somehow still cannot accept the concept of freedom of the ordinary citizen. Don't do this, don't do that.....
Such restrictions have no place in a democracy. Heck even a "communist" country like china does not stop anybody from visiting the border areas. Its easy to visit the entire Changthang desert region under their control(Even if you are an Indian).
Honestly, I don't consider "visiting border areas as a tourist" a very high priority item in the list of fundamental rights. This right depends on the security situation and should be exercised judiciously. And you are saying China is better than us at honoring "freedom of ordinary citizen"? Just because they allow anyone to go to LAC (although they restrict access to google and facebook)? Oh, come on.

Note: Even I strongly wish that our government should have the confidence to protect our land and citizens and in that sense, everyone should be allowed to visit all places in Ladakh. But if the government does not have that confidence, what can one do...

Last edited by anandpadhye : 5th July 2013 at 01:31.
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Old 5th July 2013, 01:34   #134
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Honestly, I don't consider "visiting border areas as a tourist" a very high priority item in the list of fundamental rights. This right depends on the security situation and should be exercised judiciously. ..
So how does a citizen visiting an area more than 50kms from the border create some negative security situation? I could not get your point at all.
What kind of security will restricting access to a war memorial cause. I have travelled extensively in that region. All I saw was some kiangs. Unless then are some top secret experimental weapons made to look like Kiangs, I cannot fathom the logic.
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Old 5th July 2013, 01:36   #135
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Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post

May be.

Honestly, I don't consider "visiting border areas as a tourist" a very high priority item in the list of fundamental rights. This right depends on the security situation and should be exercised judiciously. And you are saying China is better than us at honoring "freedom of ordinary citizen"? Just because they allow anyone to go to LAC (although they restrict access to google and facebook)? Oh, come on.
I was able to travel through these areas on 3rd june. I did not have any problems.
However going through this and other forums, I understand that this route is quite difficult to do as it depends upon the impression you make on the army officers at the checkposts and is quite subjective.
As an Indian citizen it is your fundamental right to travel anywhere and everywhere in peace time. Of course formalities like all permits should be obtained. However it should not be subjective.
Equality for all is clearly mentioned in our constitution. However on a lighter note, I will quote Orwell "Some are more equal then others."

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So how does a citizen visiting an area more than 50kms from the border create some negative security situation? I could not get your point at all.
What kind of security will restricting access to a war memorial cause. I have travelled extensively in that region. All I saw was some kiangs. Unless then are some top secret experimental weapons made to look like Kiangs, I cannot fathom the logic.
There is no logic.
The Officers have probably been told to discourage tourists.
They are following orders. This is because of ambiguous and vague orders being issued by bureaucrats in the Home Ministry probably acting in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs.
The MEA as was opined by the Hon. Minister himself, believes that "the Americans just scrutinise our data and region". The average Indian tourist on the other hand is a Spy who constantly has snooping and spying on his mind. (Otherwise why deny common people access to areas which in today's world of satellite imaging is common knowledge).
On another note, during my travels in Ladakh I came to understand that the common man there identifies himself more as a Ladakhi then an Indian. If the Indian Government does not do more to integrate the common man living in the border areas with the mainstream we may have borders shifting inwards.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 5th July 2013 at 10:15.
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