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Old 30th June 2008, 22:06   #1
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Default Mumbai to Ladakh (Advice needed)

me and my brother are planning a roadtrip from Mumbai to Ladakh during the first 2 weeks of August. We have two cars to choose from.
Maruti SX4 ZXI
Maruti Swift VDI (Non ABS)

While the SX4 seems to be a the obvious choice (ABS, better space, better ground clearance, fatter tires ect) the fuel bills would burn a hole through our pockets.The diesel swift would cost us less than half the money but I am not sure how much better the SX4 would be in those conditions.

Also do you think I should get any modifications (lights, engine guard etc) done to the car we choose before the journey?

I have heard from people that a car gets really gets a beating in this journey. what is the experience of those who have done this trip?

I have seen picture and read travelouges of this trip and it just seems to be right at the top f the "bucket list". But this is unchartered territory for us. We have travelled extensively on highways (the last long journey being from Mumbai to Bhubaneshwar) but we do not have too much mountain driving experience.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Sabya
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Old 30th June 2008, 22:43   #2
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Car may take a beating, depends on the state of the roads at that time. Typically, you may have problems with worn out brake pads, damages in exhaust, wheel bearings, wheel rims and suspension.

Does not really matter which car you take - Swift is a powerful car for the Ladakhi conditions. No need to make any modifications.

I have done the Bombay-Ladakh drive twice in a small Matiz and am planning another trip in my Scorpio, starting from Bombay on Aug 23.

There may be several ba road sections, and you need to be very patient in travelling such sections and taking on steep gradients in such bad roads. Often, I had to offload my passengers and go up certain gradients (like in soft snow up Chang la) only after repeated attempts (climb, stall, reverse, try again).

The Ladakh drive is not a 100 m sprint - it is a slow Marathon.
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Old 30th June 2008, 22:44   #3
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Depends on the route you take....via Srinagar or via Manali. Actually either way both cars should be able to make it. Been there twice in an Esteem AT (apart from other times with Qualis/Armada/GV)

Only advice I will volunteers is go easy and in stages beyond the first hills (Simla/Manali or Sirnagar) and allow body to get acclimatized.
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Old 30th June 2008, 23:38   #4
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Thanks guys, I havent yet planned out the route. Most probably it will be the Manali. Folks at home are very wary about us going to Srinagar. All we have now is a 2 week break from office from the first of August.

I would certainly seek your advice on the route and places to go (specially not so touristy places once in Ladakh)
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