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Old 26th August 2012, 13:00   #706
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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
Been waiting for this day since last year...reached Leh yesterday after a rocking time in Zanskar. If there are any TBhpians in Leh today/tomorrow, lets catch up.

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Dying to see my Safari there next month. Just a question , Are there any issues with tinted glasses enroute?
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Old 28th August 2012, 13:02   #707
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Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Route - DL - Manali - Sarchu - Leh - Srinagar - DL ( GOT TO KNOW THAT THIS ROUTE IS FULL OF KNEE DEEP SLUSH & ICE SO NOW I NEED GUIDANCE ON THE ALTERNATE ROUTE )
You will encounter slush only in Rohtang. Should be manageable in the Safari. Lots of broken roads after Keylong, but shouldn't be an issue. There is very little snow at most passes so don't worry too much about snow/waterfalls.

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Challenges/Recommendations needed
Nothing in specific. We were able to complete the entire strech quite smoothly. The various checklists and tips by people like HVK sir are more than adequate IMO.

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•How are the latest road conditions
Bad I would say, but nothing a Safari can't overcome.

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•Whats the latest weather condition
Was mostly hot in and around Leh in the daytime, and cool in the evenings/night. Didn't encounter freezing weather anywhere, except for the passes where too it is manageable.

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•Hotels recommended to stay - So that i can make the bookings right away
If you intend to stay in Keylong then the HRTC one (name: Chandera Bhaga) is quite good. At Sarchu, try the tents at the very beginning and haggle for prices.

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•Any other place to be visited within this time limit - I'm ready not to sleep for a minute but cover everything possible
I woudn't suggest that mate. Adequate rest is a must to make sure you are in the right frame to drive on the tough terrain. It seems like you will be the only driver, so take it easy. I would rather say that visit less places if you have to, but don't compromise on rest/sleep. Anyway, the journey itself is the highlight of this route so why rush?

Although you will have to travel backwards on the same path you came for Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri, but can't help it since permission is required from DC office at Leh.

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•Any passes needed ?
One in Manali to cross Rohtang, and another in Leh to visit the places nearby. Please time your travel accordingly.

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Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Dying to see my Safari there next month. Just a question , Are there any issues with tinted glasses enroute?
Didn't encounter any such issue, but please don't drive inside Chandigarh on your way

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further info.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2012 at 12:43.
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Old 28th August 2012, 13:59   #708
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Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
Please see my replies in bold. We travelled the same route from 10th to 20th August by Safari.





Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further info.

Thanks for those valuable inputs , i'm confused now as i've already made alternate plans to go via shrinagar. I guess i'll come back via rohtang to get the best of both the worlds.
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Old 28th August 2012, 15:33   #709
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Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Thanks for those valuable inputs , i'm confused now as i've already made alternate plans to go via shrinagar. I guess i'll come back via rohtang to get the best of both the worlds.
Yes even we were quite tempted to reverse our route at the last minute, but went ahead because one colleague in office had done the same route a week ago and told us to go ahead. Due to the extensive coverage on media about the rains etc, the traffic was 20% the normal (as told by locals) and we smoothly did the route without any glitches.

What you are doing makes more sense, you can ask around in Leh and come via Manali if Rohtang is open.

Also another input is that please do have some extra coolant and engine oil and check the same especially after you are done with the passes around Leh. We found both to be less in both our Safari's and thankfully noticed well in time.

Khardungla is in the worst state currently, the condition of roads near the pass is miserable to say the least. As mentioned many times by others, so try to leave by 5 or 6 am for Nubra, Pangong Tso etc., and try to return before the sun sets.

Ohh and try to avoid staying at Sarchu if you can. The one night spent there was perhaps the most miserable experience during the entire journey. A straight dash from Leh to Keylong is what you can aim for, although it's a bit tough with the current road conditions.
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Old 28th August 2012, 16:28   #710
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Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
Yes even we were quite tempted to reverse our route at the last minute, but went ahead because one colleague in office had done the same route a week ago and told us to go ahead. Due to the extensive coverage on media about the rains etc, the traffic was 20% the normal (as told by locals) and we smoothly did the route without any glitches.

What you are doing makes more sense, you can ask around in Leh and come via Manali if Rohtang is open.

Also another input is that please do have some extra coolant and engine oil and check the same especially after you are done with the passes around Leh. We found both to be less in both our Safari's and thankfully noticed well in time.

Khardungla is in the worst state currently, the condition of roads near the pass is miserable to say the least. As mentioned many times by others, so try to leave by 5 or 6 am for Nubra, Pangong Tso etc., and try to return before the sun sets.

Ohh and try to avoid staying at Sarchu if you can. The one night spent there was perhaps the most miserable experience during the entire journey. A straight dash from Leh to Keylong is what you can aim for, although it's a bit tough with the current road conditions.
Sounds good. I'll keep some extra coolant & engine oil , also HVK sir suggested to get the filter cleaned in LEH to avoid issues on high altitudes.

I got to know that there is a TASS in LEH , is that correct? If yes, then i can get the vehicle checked once i reach there.
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Old 28th August 2012, 16:56   #711
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Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Sounds good. I'll keep some extra coolant & engine oil , also HVK sir suggested to get the filter cleaned in LEH to avoid issues on high altitudes.

I got to know that there is a TASS in LEH , is that correct? If yes, then i can get the vehicle checked once i reach there.
Its a "psuedo TASS". I suggest remove air filter yourself, and give it to the wash shop for air pressure cleaning. Many times their lone service engineer is on a field trip to rescue some stranded vehicle. He serves the entire ladakh region!
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Old 28th August 2012, 17:10   #712
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Dying to see my Safari there next month. Just a question , Are there any issues with tinted glasses enroute?
Why do you want to take risks with tinted glasses? Its banned and police in all northern states target outstation vehicles for 'easy' money. For example, Punjab Police will try to issue a Court Challan (even at 2:00 AM ) after keeping your RC/License and then either you will agree to appear in court on a specific date or you will offer him a bribe.

Choice is yours!

EDIT: It's good that you have changed your plans to visit Leh via Srinagar and come via Manali. All the best! And Happy Journey!!

Cheers!
Irish

Last edited by Irish : 28th August 2012 at 17:12.
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Old 28th August 2012, 18:17   #713
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Its a "psuedo TASS". I suggest remove air filter yourself, and give it to the wash shop for air pressure cleaning. Many times their lone service engineer is on a field trip to rescue some stranded vehicle. He serves the entire ladakh region!
LOL on ( Many times their lone service engineer is on a field trip to rescue some stranded vehicle. He serves the entire ladakh region! ). I'll try and do it myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
Why do you want to take risks with tinted glasses? Its banned and police in all northern states target outstation vehicles for 'easy' money. For example, Punjab Police will try to issue a Court Challan (even at 2:00 AM ) after keeping your RC/License and then either you will agree to appear in court on a specific date or you will offer him a bribe.

Choice is yours!

EDIT: It's good that you have changed your plans to visit Leh via Srinagar and come via Manali. All the best! And Happy Journey!!

Cheers!
Irish
Yes , I faced that last month in CH , had to pay INR 500 as bribe + rear window film removed.

Already got the film removed on Sunday , actually that query i had put was before getting them removed so that issues stands sorted. Thanks for the suggestion though
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Old 6th September 2012, 11:46   #714
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Reporting from Keylong..

Crossed Rohtang Jot yesterday and below are the updates on the road status.

Manali to Marhi - 99% roads are great, broken in very few places but nothing that bikes/sedans/cars can't handle.

Marhi to Rani Nulla - upto 3kms after Marhi, roads are good, after that the torture starts. There is heavy slush upto Rani Nulla - a total of 6-7 kms, with intermittent stretches that are rideable. Some places the middle of the road is full of slush but the cliff-side is hardened mud that can be fairly easily negotiated.
Slush as per locals is much-much less than last year but still a challenge, the deepest slush we had was abt 1feet deep but enough to get my bike stuck and had to be pulled / pushed out on several occasions.
After you cross the Rani Nulla Flyover there is one last patch of slush about 200mts after which roads are okok - with work being done on them and lots of loose gravel that you need to watch out for and drive slowly.
1km before Rohtang roads become good and Rohtang top followed by 6kms after Rohtang are great and very scenic roads.

Rohtang to Koksar - 6kms after Rohtang Roads are great and the views really open up!! After this all the way to Koksar roads are broken- in some places very badly so - but there is no slush and the roads are completely dry!! Can be done slowly - no problem!!

Koksar to Tandi - Roads for abt 40kms from Koksar are fantastic and offer great driving experience. There are a few water crossings but again nothing to major. 10km before Tandi roads are broken again but dry, so driving is easy and a piece of cake after Rohtang.

Tandi to Kelong - 7kms of broken + okok roads.

We started late unfortunately - abt 1300 from Manali.
Reached Marhi at abt 1430 - 2 stops
Reached Rohtang at 1630 - multiple stops, dont ask, ride through hell!
Reached Tandi at 1830 - 3 stops and slow ride
Reached Keylong at 1915 - no stop, but moved very slow as it was past sunset and dark.

We were two people (wife and me) with luggage - on a bullet 350cc 2005 Electra.

For further information saw a swift doing Rohtang - with a couple inside, also saw a nano returning from Rohtang - front bumper was ripped off and hanging.

We were riding along with 2 Pulsars 150cc - each with a pillion and luggage - though all bikers' pillions had to get off at several places - impossible to ride thorough all of Marhi - Rani Nulla stretch with Pillion right now!! But we all made it.
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Old 6th September 2012, 12:36   #715
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

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Slush as per locals is much-much less than last year but still a challenge, the deepest slush we had was abt 1feet deep but enough to get my bike stuck and had to be pulled / pushed out on several occasions.
Quote:
For further information saw a swift doing Rohtang - with a couple inside, also saw a nano returning from Rohtang - front bumper was ripped off and hanging.
What time did you cross Rohtang yesterday? Did you see my White Laura? I crossed Rohtang yesterday coming back from Leh. Slush was very very bad for a sedan but we managed to cross without any damage to the car, all thanks to underbody armor, traction control and a good spotter.

When i saw the slush i had doubts if my Laura would be able to cross it. Saw a few 2wd UVs including Safari and Innova stuck, momentum and calculated driving saved the day, crossed without getting stuck, had to get the passengers out of the car at one place to gain some GC and lose some weight to climb a slushy incline.

Traction Control light never stopped blinking for the whole stretch, i made sure not to lose momentum, but in a sedan too much speed can be damaging to the underbody. Overall a scary experience, i could not believe i crossed in one go without getting stuck with zero damage, knowing the car is the key. Underbody armor was godsent(Thanks Skoda!).

I drank more than 2 litres Water during this stretch, my heart was pumping at max rpm and i could feel the adrenaline flowing in my nerves. Icing on the cake was the stupid local cab traffic.

Last edited by .anshuman : 6th September 2012 at 12:37.
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Old 7th September 2012, 13:46   #716
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IS there still rush at Rohtang. I think during this time the stretch is mostly empty.
Surprised to find lot of traffic at this time of the year!
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Old 7th September 2012, 14:04   #717
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Traffic is not too much from what I know. But that slush is just terrible. We had two Safari's, and even the 4X4 one was struggling. Amazingly, we saw a Nano and a Santro make it in as much time as us! Figured it must be due to these being relatively lighter. But it was the most difficult strech of the entire journey without doubt.

Anshuman, even I'm surprised to know a Laura made through such deep slush without getting stuck, you must have driven her really well. And yes as you rightly said, having some momentum is the key, and driving downhill helps too.

Although the real fun starts once some vehicle gets stuck/stops in front of you on your way up
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Old 7th September 2012, 22:22   #718
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IS there still rush at Rohtang. I think during this time the stretch is mostly empty.
Surprised to find lot of traffic at this time of the year!
4 stretches of deep slush in Rani Nullah.
All cars making it without too much trouble. My friends during the last 10 days have gone down from Leh to Manali in various cars - Xylo, Scorpio, Innova, Swift Dzire, T-Fort. None faced any problems, just good driving technique only mattered, not the car itself. Traffic has been light, hardly any of the pesky day-trippers from Manali. Usual truck traffic. Road being closed daily 9 am - 12 noon for routine maintenance, Tuesday still a full day closed, I believe. Expect to get from Gramphoo to Manali in 3-4 hours.
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Old 8th September 2012, 02:58   #719
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Default Re: Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here

Leaving on 14th Night in a Swift Diesel from mumbai. As per Kumar Sir's advice, will be taking the Srinagar Route.

PS: reading some of the posts here is kind of making me sceptical about the Swift D returning back to Mumbai in one piece.
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Old 8th September 2012, 08:07   #720
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Leaving on 14th Night in a Swift Diesel from mumbai. As per Kumar Sir's advice, will be taking the Srinagar Route.

PS: reading some of the posts here is kind of making me sceptical about the Swift D returning back to Mumbai in one piece.
Swift D is the most competent of the hatchbacks/ sedans for a drive to Ladakh. Don't worry, your car will do it in style, but it also depends mostly on your driving skills, technique & care. Several Swifts have done it this season in worse roads, and as I had mentioned, our friend also crossed Rohtang last week.
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