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Old 3rd August 2010, 17:18   #16
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
Personally I would back out from such a place. And putting myself in danger is not a kind of thrill I want to experience. Beauty of Leh, offroading in Leh, sure.

As far as Leh being something to experience, I would advocate alternate and more organized means of travel. Air, train, govt organized groups whatever else might work there.

This might raise the cost but there are not many leisure activities without cost.
Flight option is there for people who want to go there. But from the jam pictures I saw, they are not something one does not see anywhere else. Does it mean people should not live there as well? Mumbai suburban train is grossly over crowded because of short supply of trains and more and more people. Should'nt Mumbai become untouchable as well?

It is these organized travels that spoil the places. Because the lure of money is irresistable these organizers multiply and the number of tourists will increase as well. Then we need govt to regulate to number of tourists, then we introduce license raj, corruption and what not!!

Let me give you my personal experience as well.I was planning to drive to Rajasthan and before doing it myself approached one tour operator who promised help with itinerary, stay and all taken care. And he charged almost like Rs.4500 a day. And when I did the leg work of asking people, doing the bookings myself I could do it at @2500. There is one company that organizes Leh trip from Delhi in bikes, and they charge a whopping 2100 euros. Clearly they are not designed for we Indians. Our guys could do the trip in less than 800 euros. So it is the organized trips that many times cause the crowd.

Instead, it is the nature's own way. If you have the drive to go all the way there to enjoy, going through those challenges, you do it. Else, take a chill pill, go to the crowded nearest shopping mall and splurge.

I dont see the reason for this thread but the logic is totally flawed.

Nainar
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:21   #17
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Oh!!! Vivek, there's a point that I can't stop help thinking; the crowd at Leh is atleast 1000 times better than the everyday crowd at Tirupathi. Trust me, one visit inside the sanctum will change your mindset for ever.

PS - It changes your outlook towards people & hatred to have come there. Trust me, you gotta believe me on this.
No, It won't. I have already made up my mind not to add to an already crowded place, tirupathi or elsewhere. I am not being Paranoid, but it's just common sense, and courtesy to more needy religious tourists. I am not really the type who hates people or people's smells, or community living for that matter. But as I mentioned earlier, when we talk about large group, managing in case of a small problem can be difficult and can easily turn into a stampede. From what I know, in tirupathi there is very strict crowd management, which is a good thing. And didn't somebody tell us back in the days that you can have god right in your backyard if you have faith?

And there is no hatred involved. Probably what you meant is I would start enjoying the ambience to forget about the risks and problems. I doubt that.

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The jams you see are at rohtang pass, and one in 20 vehicles there are tourists going to leh. Rest are tourists just going to see Rohtang Pass.
There is no "kumbh kind of rush" in Leh. It gets crowded in July, but even then the crowd is much less than what you see in your typical tourist spot.
Tanveer, I know Jams are a part of life. but Jams in difficult areas can be much more difficult to manage when it gets worse than in regular places. To top that, people playing with landslides makes it worse. May be I am not used to that type of thrill.
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Or are you suggesting a blanket ban on visiting any place that draws large crowds (kumbh, Haz, parades, concerts) because accidents happen and people die?
No, I am not suggesting a ban. I am more like suggesting self control. I have only highlighted the problem. The solution is really not that easy. As I mentioned, may be it's not much different from the rest of the life in India, but it's still a discretionary trip. And you endanger everybody's life when you add to the crowd.

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It is these organized travels that spoil the places. Because the lure of money is irresistable these organizers multiply and the number of tourists will increase as well. Then we need govt to regulate to number of tourists, then we introduce license raj, corruption and what not!!
exactly, there is no easy solution. But leaving it to the people is not the best alternative either. People dont always make good decisions, like electing a government, or doing circus on roads.

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Instead, it is the nature's own way. If you have the drive to go all the way there to enjoy, going through those challenges, you do it. Else, take a chill pill, go to the crowded nearest shopping mall and splurge.

I dont see the reason for this thread but the logic is totally flawed.

Naina
A lot of threads won't exist here if we all took a chill pill. By that logic, your post could also not be existing here. I agree that if you enjoy nature, go out and drive. Just use a little common sense before heading out though. And if you read my post clearly, I am including all crowded places, religious, parades, concerts, what makes you think "crowded malls" are safe?

WORKER KILLED IN WAL-MART STAMPEDE - NYPOST.com

But I am not suggesting we all stay home . Just maintain a coarse balance between onr enthusiasm and ground reality.

Last edited by vivekiny2k : 3rd August 2010 at 18:36.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:26   #18
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
Tanveer, I know Jams are a part of life. but Jams in difficult areas can be much more difficult to manage when it gets worse than in regular places. To top that, people playing with landslides makes it worse. May be I am not used to that type of thrill.
But this thread is about "kumbh like situation for leh". Not about traffic jams. I was just pointing out that the number of travellers to leh is still quite low as compared to other destinations.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:47   #19
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But this thread is about "kumbh like situation for leh". Not about traffic jams. I was just pointing out that the number of travellers to leh is still quite low as compared to other destinations.
We may be nitpicking now but I related them on want vs risk basis, not numbers. And I still stand by my statement. In one case it's religion, in another it's travel and thrill.

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People just want to go there regardless of the risks involved.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 18:50   #20
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k
From what I know, in tirupathi there is very strict crowd management, which is a good thing. And didn't somebody tell us back in the days that you can have god right in your backyard if you have faith?

And there is no hatred involved. Probably what you meant is I would start enjoying the ambience to forget about the risks and problems. I doubt that.
Vivek, pls come back from states & make one visit there & you'll know what I'm talking about. I stay just about 130 Kms away & it takes hardly about 2 hours drive for me. Yet, I do not go there for only this reason - mad crowd. Trust me, its highly mismanaged & not managed at all when you reach the sanctum.

Anyway, that was little OT, sorry about that. But I know you're not a people hater. But the point I'm trying to say is, if there's something that can be visited, people WILL visit. C'mon that's part of democracy isn't it? The difference between states & here is, USA has vast land & less population & India has less land & vast population. So even a family walking on the street will appear as procession. And its right of everyone to visit any place.

The entire beauty of NE India hasn't been touched due to the fear of naxals or maoist or what you call as insecurity. If at all these issues are cleared by our Govt, you can see people flocking there to enjoy the beauty from bikers to trekkers & the crowd on Leh/Ladakh will come down.

PS - The fear from human (same species) is much more than any natural disaster
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:18   #21
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@aargee
India doesn't have less land and vast population. The main woes of India is that the population is always having a one way migration.
People flocking to Mumbai for a living.
People flocking to Tirupati for darshan.
People flocking to ooty for summer vacations.

Singapore has very less land and huge population. Schools have shifts in singapore due to space un-availability. But the way they've managed the space there is commendable.

But don't let the crowd at tirupati deter you though you are 130 kms from there.
When I first landed in Mumbai, I stayed in a chawl for a month. I used to take the BEST Buses. When there was traffic jam, I walked. The trains were a way of life, though we were packed like sardines.
I went to over 10 countries and standard of life improved.
When I came back to Mumbai after 2 years in US, the first day I took first class ticket in the local train.
I found the crowd over-whelming and felt very bitter.
That night it struck me, the same stretch which I travelled 2 years back, I spent 8 bucks for a second class ticket. Never grumbled.
What changed in 2 years that paying over 150 bucks, I'm grumbling.
I realised that I'd changed. It was about mindset.
The next day I took a second class pass and it was routine again.
When in rome, do as romans do.
So when in Tirupati - dance to the tunes of jarugandi jarugandi.
I adapt. I survive.

And I agree to Anainar when he says that bulk of the crowd goes to Rohtang. Been there, done that.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 19:28   #22
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When in rome, do as romans do.
So when in Tirupati - dance to the tunes of jarugandi jarugandi.
I adapt. I survive.
Sorry MX6, I cannot kick someone, that too on the outer sanctum when I see someone pushing my Mother. Have you experienced it? Have you watched someone pushing or kicking your Mother or Wife in front of you? I'm amazed on my self-control to have stopped my hand just before slapping him.

I cannot be a roman in rome. If I do not like rome, I better move away from rome or see the ways to live better in rome rather than doing things that I don't like to do.

Anyway point is not about crowd & Tirupathi, I'd bought out on totally a context to answer Vivek's point in the previous page.

Last edited by aargee : 3rd August 2010 at 19:29.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 20:06   #23
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I think it's relevant. I did include the religious trips for a reason. While you are discussing whether to participate or move away, I am discussing whether to add to such a chaos on the first place.

Both cases share the same mindset, the want (not need) to be there in spite of all challenges. Now having a chalenge is good. Having a man made challenge is what I have been trying to avoid.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 20:11   #24
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There's a trick here Aargee. I let my mother in front of me. And my big frame helps. No one can push me to get to my mother.
And people who kick me, I forgive them. Just that they want to get to god quicker than me.
I stand rock hard and ensure that none falls on my mother who is ahead.

Guess you've had some bad instances.

Sometimes, it's hard to ignore requests. If my mom wants to go to tirupati, I take her. Then the crowd is something I have to deal with. Had I been Adi Shankara, I'd have got Vishnu to her door step

And if you want to see how ladies push and jostle (Ladies in common), just go to Pothys or Nalli etc. at T-Nagar during Diwali time
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Old 4th August 2010, 08:51   #25
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
No, It won't. I have already made up my mind not to add to an already crowded place, tirupathi or elsewhere.
That is a choice which people make on convenience. Like I don't goto malls on weekends, not because it is crowded or unsafe, but because parking is a problem, tickets are over priced and we spend long time in the queues for making payments. It is more because of convenience.

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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
And if you read my post clearly, I am including all crowded places, religious, parades, concerts, what makes you think "crowded malls" are safe?
The malls have crowd management systems in place, atleast the ones in India where they have a rapid action force, security, fire safety, including a bomb disposal box.. So it should meet the safety norms you were mentioning earlier and one is at a much lesser risk of losing life.

Having worked in the US for a few years, I have seen how paranoid they are about their safety all the time and write volumes of manuals for people to follow but fortunately India is a different country with a different set of people who believe in different things. You should see the cliffs scaled by Shivaji in Sahyadri ranges without any of those safety devices. Or the forts built in Rajasthan to ward off foreign invaders. When one goes through that, we realise that there is more premium in living, than life itself.

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Old 4th August 2010, 09:07   #26
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Vivek, sticking back to topic after going through the link you posted, if are you saying
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In the course of a conversation, Ram happens to casually remark that they were riding upto Leh on a rented bike and that he’s a first time bulleteer, with 2 months of bike riding under his belt
is dangerous, then I'm more than willing to agree with you.

But if you're saying group of motorcycle riding is not acceptable, then sorry mate, that's the only safe way to ride not only in Leh/Ladakh, but on this entire planet.

If you're talking about safety aspects over there, from what I read on travelgues, they're more safe places than our good old neighbour hood in India, where you can see stealers right from safety pin to aeroplane.
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Old 4th August 2010, 10:31   #27
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for the last time , I am not talking about temples, malls, group rides or novice' rides. I am talking about thronging to a place under landslides, snowfall and such, creating a logistics nightmare.
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Old 4th August 2010, 13:31   #28
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Vivek, I really won't say that Ladakh is thronged, not when you see the maddening rush in places like Manali/Shimla/many many more. Ok, Leh is getting crowded as compared to what it was earlier, but it's still a lot better than many other places. And Ladakh is not just about Leh.

Secondly, the road conditions become a lot better by Mid-Aug and there are no landslides (though exceptions may be there), snowfall, suddenly flooded nallahs on the Manali-Leh route. Also the fact, as correctly pointed out by tsk1979, that once you cross Rohtang Pass, the traffic thins down to a relative trickle and you can be rest assured that if you land yourself in a spot someone, maybe fellow traveler(s) or Army will be there for your help. Furthermore, a large number of tourists (other than the motor heads) fly to Leh.

If one does proper planning/preparations for this journey (as many BHPians have done, myself included) and drives sanely, I don't see any issues leading to any chaos or mishaps. On the other hand, I've heard of/experienced real chaotic situations on NH24/NH58 without any landslides or snowfall.

Quite frankly, I find driving & living in our metros more dangerous than doing the same in Ladakh (but not in Leh). I keep dreaming all the time about settling in there.
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Old 4th August 2010, 14:26   #29
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for the last time , I am not talking about temples, malls, group rides or novice' rides. I am talking about thronging to a place under landslides, snowfall and such, creating a logistics nightmare.
I am trying to understand what you are trying to convey in this thread but I dont think I understand. Landslides happen in every place which is a ghat section. It happens in Wayanad ranges, Sahyadri ranges( primarily near Lonavala in the Expressway ) and these places see much more foot falls ( or tyre falls )than Leh I suppose.

On another note, what is safe and what is not, is primarily decided at a particular snapshot of time by the concerned person. If you read one of the other travelogue, we had a traveler explaining how she managed to balance her Getz on boulders to get out of a landslide. She assessed the situation and felt safe and neither me nor you sitting thousands of miles away preach them safety. I have had my share of woes in Bangalore itself wading through 2 feet deep water knowing very well the risks, which I may not do the in some other place when I don't know what lies beneath.

Anyway I still dont understand what you are trying to say.

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Old 5th August 2010, 16:55   #30
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Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
Reading about the chaos and two boys dying from here ("bitten the bullet" - my *new* used RE 500 ES), does anybody else think Laddakh has become what kumbh mela has been for years? People just want to go there regardless of the risks involved.
from the person who actually wrote the note... the boys who died were truckers who had been stuck on the mountain for 5 days, with very little food and even less shelter.

it was not because someone had decided to take off to ladakh on a whim, so the whole point of this argument itself is moot.


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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
The whole bike touring scene itself seems to have undergone a drastic change. And not for the better. Gone is the spirit of adventure or roughing it out or exploring the unexplored. The profile of the bike tourer has changed as well. At one time we met highly creative people waiting for their next big idea while on the road. In their place, the touring scene is today full of egoistic underarm-deo deprived call-center trash: for whom a ride to ladakh is about scoring a notch on their belt.

Ladakh as a motorcycle ride is about as appealing today as the leftover sambar from the day before. The touring community has since moved on to newer roads and newer avenues.
with no offence intended bro...

but your read of the sort of people who do this trip are just a little....strong for want of a better word.

i am not as in your words an 'egoistic underarm-deo deprived call-centre trash' who rode to ladakh to score a notch on my belt...

i am a scriptwriter and cinematographer who waited 11 years to do the ride, before which i didn't have the time, the money or the wherewithal to take 11 days off and shoot off into the mountains chasing a wild dream.

An abject dismissal and broad brush painting of all and sundry is both wrong and extremely humiliating. I'm surprised you have such strong feelings towards people riding to Ladakh... Yes, as time goes by, places become better known and people want to be a part of the same great adventure they get to hear about.

Does that make them any less than those who have done what they have in the past? We were prepped for the trip and we still had stuff happen to us...lots of stuff it's one of the vagaries of riding and touring, which are a given. Owing to where Ladakh is, problems tend to just get magnified.

I'm sure the 'touring community' you refer to has found newer avenues to explore....it's just really funny that i still found about 3 different groups of people on my trip who had all been to Ladakh a minimum of 3 times each before this trip and were still having a really good time

I don't accept that the challenge of doing Ladakh is gone... It may have become slightly easier, (when i first did the trip in 1999, our food was restricted to maggi and thukpa only) this time i ate dal chawal on two separate occasions.

I don't like stirring controversy but the tone of the note just got my goat. I apologize for in-advertently offending anyone.

stay safe and drive sane guys.
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