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Old 9th September 2012, 14:12   #721
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Reporting from Leh -- YAHOO, we made it!!

Follow-up on my last post.

7th Sept: Keylong to Pang

We did Keylong to Pang on the 7th of Sept.


Roads 10-15km after Keylong a mixture of good and bad. Most roads are undergoing construction and hence filled with loose gravel+bare surface. Again no real problem for hatches/sedans/bikes.

Thereafter roads are very - very good till you start the ascent to Baralachla.
Roads for the next three passes - i.e. Baralachla, Namikla, Lachlungla and gata loops are 80-85% good. By this time you will get used to bad intermittent roads.

On the whole would say that roads are good with several broken patches in between.

My bullet was struggling on the passes but we made it to Baralachla, Gata Loops, and Namik La without any real problem. However, she finally ran out of breath on the ascent to Lachlungla about 30kms short of Pang.

Managed to get a lift for my wife from a passing Scorpio, after which the bullet was ok.

Roads after Lachlungla all the way upto Pang are 75% broken and dirt roads.

Started from Keylong at 0900 and reached Pang at 1830!!

8th Sept: Pang to Leh

Roads after pang all the way to Morey Plains are good and the climb is easy.

25kms of roads thereafter are super - duper fresh black tarmac. Keeping safety in mind you can do practically any speed, but please drive safe - also watch out for the random sink holes in between, gave my shockers a thorough work out a few times before i got the message and drove slower!!

Last 25-30kms of roads in morey plains are under construction - so have a few diversions and the roads are bare with lots of loose gravel. A lot of sections have rippled surfaces like very shallow rumbler strips. Felt like my innards had been put through a blender!!

As the ascent for Tanglangla begins roads start getting bad with very few good patched in between. But again, if you have driven and survived the last 600 odd kms it is nothing you can't handle. Had light to heavy snowfall at Tanglangla Top and 3-4kms on either side!! Woohoo!!

Decent from Tanglangla and roads will get better and better - after you have crossed TanglangLa - nothing to worry about, roads are 95% good - with very few broken patches.

Started Pang 0900, reached Leh - 1430.

All roads are open and functioning.

Drive safe and enjoy!!

Further..

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
What time did you cross Rohtang yesterday? Did you see my White Laura?
No Anshuman, i did not notice your laura, we were Crossing Rohtang in the afternoon from abt 1430 to 1630 on the 5th of Sept.
Was too busy huffing and puffing and pushing my bike.
Maybe you saw a hapless couple pushing a Silver Bullet with a lost and tired expression wondering when this was going to end!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
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!
We did not encounter traffic at Rohtang - there was no traffic jam at all. Traffic was moving as smoothly as the roads allowed. Manali too was bare and bereft from Tourists. Our HPTDC Hotel at Manali had only 4 rooms occupied!!
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Old 13th September 2012, 18:33   #722
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Hello Guys,

Everything seems set. Day after tomorrow morning at 1 o clock is the scheduled leaving date.

Car is in order.

Service done a week back.

Alignment done, balancing done.

Tyres checked. Air pressure checked.

20 litre can with a funnel brought

fuses brought, extra bulb brought

Engine oil, brake oil, coolant brought

Hella 500 FF with extra grills and bari locking nut fixed.

Searching for a rope, not able to find the right one. taking a rope in case the car gets stuck somewhere

Here is the route plan which was given by Kumar Sir. Anyway people who have just come back from the trip, please make suggestions or amendments if any.

Day Sector
0 Thane-Hanumangarh
1
2 Hanumangarh-Amritsar
3 Amritsar-Srinagar
4 Srinagar-Kargil
5 Kargil-Leh
6 Leh
7 Leh-Turtuk
8 Turtuk-Pangong
9 Pangong-Tso Moriri
10 Tso Moriri-Sarchu
11 Sarchu-Manali
12 Manali-Hanumangarh
13 Hanumangarh-Himmatnagar
14 Himmatnagar-Bombay


The car we will be taking is a Swift Diesel.
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Old 14th September 2012, 00:14   #723
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humyum
Hi
Good luck and drive safe.
As you may get stuck at Bharuch toll naka for more than 2 hours suggest you go through the Ankleshwar town on to the golden bridge and through Bharuch and rejoin the NH8.You save on toll and distance
As the bridge is narrow please drive carefully.It is a very tight squeeze.Do fold your side view mirrrors.HVK saar has marked this route in one of his posts.Please search for it.
Hope this helps
Regards
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Old 14th September 2012, 00:30   #724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
2 Hanumangarh-Amritsar
3 Amritsar-Srinagar
4 Srinagar-Kargil
5 Kargil-Leh
6 Leh
7 Leh-Turtuk
8 Turtuk-Pangong
9 Pangong-Tso Moriri
10 Tso Moriri-Sarchu
11 Sarchu-Manali
12 Manali-Hanumangarh
13 Hanumangarh-Himmatnagar
14 Himmatnagar-Bombay


The car we will be taking is a Swift Diesel.
Some modifications
2 - Do Hanumangarh - pathankot. unless you want to go to Amritsar to see the Golden temple
3 - IF you can start from Pathankot by 7:30am sonmarg is easy, so you can actually stay in sonmarg, instead of srinagar
4 - Srinagar kargil is around 7 hours. Sonmarg kargil is 4 hours So you can actually push to Lamayuru
5. To leh - Gives you lot of time for day sight seeing in leh
7. Do leh - turtuk - hunder as turtuk pangong may not be easy(esp if Wari la is snowed out(it likes to get snowed out, funny pass)
8 - Diskit pangong is doable
9 - Pangong Tso moriri is a long drive
10 Tso moriri - Sarchu? I suggest give it a shot and drive to Jispa, sarchu is going to be freezing, actually below freezing
11 Jispa - Mandi instead of manali - Will give you more time to Hanumangarh
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Old 14th September 2012, 01:12   #725
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
Hello Guys,

Searching for a rope, not able to find the right one. taking a rope in case the car gets stuck somewhere

The car we will be taking is a Swift Diesel.
The rope can be bought from Kathabazar, Md. Ali Rd, Mumbai. Dont go there with your car . Park it somewhere, and walk! As is apparent from the name of the road itself, the whole lane is lined with shops selling ropes, cables and related equipment. I got mine from a shop by the name of Saif Tackles. The gentleman is one Mr. Saifee Dalal, and he will guide you properly. His contact number is 022 66332993. I thank HVK and BolBolero for this contact. I completed my trip to Ladakh and Nubra last month in an Indigo GLS.

It will probably be best if you carry your tow hook with you to the shop so that you can select a proper D-shackle to go along with the rope. I suggest you buy the flat rope (rectangular cross section). It will look like a deflated fire hose. Hope this helps!
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Old 14th September 2012, 10:55   #726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post

Tyres checked. Air pressure checked.
Avoid checking in highway pumps, especially when tyre is running hot.

Quote:
20 litre can with a funnel brought
20 ltr can - try lifting it! NOt easy in high altitude
Funnel - very difficult to pour into taken. Buy a simple siphon which you get in local hardware shops (esp. near slums) which are used commonly to pour kerosene in households.

Quote:
Engine oil, brake oil, coolant brought
Pour some concentrated coolant into reservoir after reaching Ladakh, helps in cold weather & prevents overheating

Quote:
Hella 500 FF with extra grills and bari locking nut fixed.
Be prepared for some extra battering. Strenthen brackets & put extra nuts. No one in the plains will understand this, so convince your mechanic to do it the way you want, as strong as possible.


Quote:
Day Sector
0 Thane-Hanumangarh
1
Watc out for Ankleswar-Bharch road into town (to avoid NH8 bypass jams), turn off onto Sardar Patel Ring Road (on Baroda-A'bad expressway), turn off towards Chittorgarh NH76 at end of Udaipur bypass (get off NH8), and the mess in NH8 at Kishangarh at entry point to Bhatinda Super Highway towards Hanumangarh. Beware of some rough roads approaching Sujangarh thanks to recent heavy rains.


Quote:
2 Hanumangarh-Amritsar
3 Amritsar-Srinagar
As Tanveer suggested, you can avoid Amritsar & go from Kotkapura direct to Jalandhar via Nakodar. Remember that NH1 at Jalandhar is a total mess due to road widening, there are no sign boards, do not miss getting onto the Jalandhar bypass, and thereafter switching to the NH1A towards Pathankot (and not Amritsar). NH1A is still not fully 4-laned between Bhognipur & Mukerian.

If you choose to go via Amritsar, note to leave for Pathankot early morning (5 am), else you will get butchered because of the road widening & maddening traffic on the NH15 till Pathankot.

Jammu-Srinagar highway is high-traffic, road widening between Nagrota & Udahmpur is seeing some traffic jams, but still preferable to taking the short cut from Dyala Chak/Samba-Manasar-Udhampur which road has lots of pot holes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Some modifications

3 - IF you can start from Pathankot by 7:30am sonmarg is easy, so you can actually stay in sonmarg, instead of srinagar
But in the rush to get to Sonmarg, you will miss the glorious landscapes in the Srinagar-Sonmarg road which you will end up travelling the dark. Srinagar has good hotels - like Hotel Malik Palace, on Dal Lake, where my name will get you a solid discount, or at Sonmarg try the Sonmarg Palace, where also the same thing will repeat.
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Old 14th September 2012, 11:36   #727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

But in the rush to get to Sonmarg, you will miss the glorious landscapes in the Srinagar-Sonmarg road which you will end up travelling the dark. Srinagar has good hotels - like Hotel Malik Palace, on Dal Lake, where my name will get you a solid discount, or at Sonmarg try the Sonmarg Palace, where also the same thing will repeat.
We started from Pathankot at 10am, and were in Sringar at 6pm.
At that time the lakhanpur-jammu road was not 4 laned, and full of jams.
I think in the current conditions 7:30am start would ensure reaching srinagar at 3pm, so he can reach sonmarg by 6, and also see the glorious sights.
I personally do not like staying in Srinagar.
There is always some risk of bandh and stuff.
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Old 14th September 2012, 11:47   #728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
20 litre can with a funnel brought
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
20 ltr can - try lifting it! NOt easy in high altitude
Funnel - very difficult to pour into taken. Buy a simple siphon which you get in local hardware shops (esp. near slums) which are used commonly to pour kerosene in households.
Cut out a plastic mineral water bottle one inch above the base. Keep it in the car and it'll dry up very soon. Use that as a funnel. No question of spillage.
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Old 14th September 2012, 12:11   #729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
We started from Pathankot at 10am, and were in Sringar at 6pm.
At that time the lakhanpur-jammu road was not 4 laned, and full of jams.
I think in the current conditions 7:30am start would ensure reaching srinagar at 3pm, so he can reach sonmarg by 6, and also see the glorious sights.
I personally do not like staying in Srinagar.
There is always some risk of bandh and stuff.
Unfortunately, this season, traffic is very slow.
The 4-laning from Lakhanpur (JK border) till Jammu is superb, but after Jammu bypass, the road widening till Udhampur is resulting in jams & slow downs. Further, due to heavy rains, roads are also seeing lots of slush in this sector.
Traffic between Udhampur & Kud-Patnitop is super-high, not much scope to overtake the slow-moving trucks moving towards Srinagar.
I would stop and have lunch of rajma-chaawal at dhabas in Chaderkote! Unless you want to have a proper lunch at JKTDC Patnitop which is also a lovely location.
For a first-timer, lots of things to stop, photograph & enjoy.
I would also stop awhile at Titanic View Point, or shop for dry fruits in Qazigund.
Note to buy a consolidated toll ticket for Rs 130 at the Lakhanpur toll gate to cover both Lakahnpur-Qazigund & Qazigund-Srinagar sector. Also preserve it with you in case some rascal cop decides to harass you & asks to see the toll ticket (as it happened to me last month).
Khanabal-Srinagar road is also being widened, traffic is high and slow.
If it is your first time to Srinagar, do stop over at Dal Lake which is anyway on your way through the city to the Sonmarg-Leh road.
The Srinagar-Sonmarg is definitely one of teh prettiest green valley drives, must-go in broad daylight. Current conditions being what they are - plus the conditionalities above _ i think making it beyond Srinagar is difficult, but definitely possible if one wants a fast-paced drive.
As far as staying is concerned, if you want to avoid Pathankot, you can stay at HOtel 17th Mile at Bari Brahma (on NH1A itself) before Jammu or at JKTDC Jammu (inside town, next to Raghunathji temple).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Cut out a plastic mineral water bottle one inch above the base. Keep it in the car and it'll dry up very soon. Use that as a funnel. No question of spillage.
Yes, that is what I do too, simple & best, can be done anytime. Works best with the hard-plastic small Slice bottles
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Old 14th September 2012, 22:43   #730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Some modifications
2 - Do Hanumangarh - pathankot. unless you want to go to Amritsar to see the Golden temple
3 - IF you can start from Pathankot by 7:30am sonmarg is easy, so you can actually stay in sonmarg, instead of srinagar
4 - Srinagar kargil is around 7 hours. Sonmarg kargil is 4 hours So you can actually push to Lamayuru
5. To leh - Gives you lot of time for day sight seeing in leh
7. Do leh - turtuk - hunder as turtuk pangong may not be easy(esp if Wari la is snowed out(it likes to get snowed out, funny pass)
8 - Diskit pangong is doable
9 - Pangong Tso moriri is a long drive
10 Tso moriri - Sarchu? I suggest give it a shot and drive to Jispa, sarchu is going to be freezing, actually below freezing
11 Jispa - Mandi instead of manali - Will give you more time to Hanumangarh
Yes we wanted to visit Golden temple and hence the stop at Amritsar. Rest of the amendments I have made according to your advice except the Srinagar one, as we want to click pictures in Srinagar too of the Dal lake. Thank you very much sir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aalokg View Post
The rope can be bought from Kathabazar, Md. Ali Rd, Mumbai. Dont go there with your car . Park it somewhere, and walk! As is apparent from the name of the road itself, the whole lane is lined with shops selling ropes, cables and related equipment. I got mine from a shop by the name of Saif Tackles. The gentleman is one Mr. Saifee Dalal, and he will guide you properly. His contact number is 022 66332993. I thank HVK and BolBolero for this contact. I completed my trip to Ladakh and Nubra last month in an Indigo GLS.

It will probably be best if you carry your tow hook with you to the shop so that you can select a proper D-shackle to go along with the rope. I suggest you buy the flat rope (rectangular cross section). It will look like a deflated fire hose. Hope this helps!
Thanks, did not get a chance to go proper Bombay to get this. Had a hook in the Swift, the rope could not get a chance to get. Will figure something out on the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Avoid checking in highway pumps, especially when tyre is running hot.


20 ltr can - try lifting it! NOt easy in high altitude
Funnel - very difficult to pour into taken. Buy a simple siphon which you get in local hardware shops (esp. near slums) which are used commonly to pour kerosene in households.



Pour some concentrated coolant into reservoir after reaching Ladakh, helps in cold weather & prevents overheating



Be prepared for some extra battering. Strenthen brackets & put extra nuts. No one in the plains will understand this, so convince your mechanic to do it the way you want, as strong as possible.




Watc out for Ankleswar-Bharch road into town (to avoid NH8 bypass jams), turn off onto Sardar Patel Ring Road (on Baroda-A'bad expressway), turn off towards Chittorgarh NH76 at end of Udaipur bypass (get off NH8), and the mess in NH8 at Kishangarh at entry point to Bhatinda Super Highway towards Hanumangarh. Beware of some rough roads approaching Sujangarh thanks to recent heavy rains.




As Tanveer suggested, you can avoid Amritsar & go from Kotkapura direct to Jalandhar via Nakodar. Remember that NH1 at Jalandhar is a total mess due to road widening, there are no sign boards, do not miss getting onto the Jalandhar bypass, and thereafter switching to the NH1A towards Pathankot (and not Amritsar). NH1A is still not fully 4-laned between Bhognipur & Mukerian.

If you choose to go via Amritsar, note to leave for Pathankot early morning (5 am), else you will get butchered because of the road widening & maddening traffic on the NH15 till Pathankot.

Jammu-Srinagar highway is high-traffic, road widening between Nagrota & Udahmpur is seeing some traffic jams, but still preferable to taking the short cut from Dyala Chak/Samba-Manasar-Udhampur which road has lots of pot holes.




But in the rush to get to Sonmarg, you will miss the glorious landscapes in the Srinagar-Sonmarg road which you will end up travelling the dark. Srinagar has good hotels - like Hotel Malik Palace, on Dal Lake, where my name will get you a solid discount, or at Sonmarg try the Sonmarg Palace, where also the same thing will repeat.
Duely noted. Will take your name at these places. I forgot to mention. I will take the Manali, Chandigardh, Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai road while coming back as we want to check out Delhi for a day too. I have checked the tyre pressure today, and filled 33 front and 31 behind. I intend not to meddle with the tyre pressure at all or finally get it checked in a petrol pump in delhi before leaving for Mumbai on the way back home. I hope the tyre pressure will be maintained.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Cut out a plastic mineral water bottle one inch above the base. Keep it in the car and it'll dry up very soon. Use that as a funnel. No question of spillage.
Thank you sir, done it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Unfortunately, this season, traffic is very slow.
The 4-laning from Lakhanpur (JK border) till Jammu is superb, but after Jammu bypass, the road widening till Udhampur is resulting in jams & slow downs. Further, due to heavy rains, roads are also seeing lots of slush in this sector.
Traffic between Udhampur & Kud-Patnitop is super-high, not much scope to overtake the slow-moving trucks moving towards Srinagar.
I would stop and have lunch of rajma-chaawal at dhabas in Chaderkote! Unless you want to have a proper lunch at JKTDC Patnitop which is also a lovely location.
For a first-timer, lots of things to stop, photograph & enjoy.
I would also stop awhile at Titanic View Point, or shop for dry fruits in Qazigund.
Note to buy a consolidated toll ticket for Rs 130 at the Lakhanpur toll gate to cover both Lakahnpur-Qazigund & Qazigund-Srinagar sector. Also preserve it with you in case some rascal cop decides to harass you & asks to see the toll ticket (as it happened to me last month).
Khanabal-Srinagar road is also being widened, traffic is high and slow.
If it is your first time to Srinagar, do stop over at Dal Lake which is anyway on your way through the city to the Sonmarg-Leh road.
The Srinagar-Sonmarg is definitely one of teh prettiest green valley drives, must-go in broad daylight. Current conditions being what they are - plus the conditionalities above _ i think making it beyond Srinagar is difficult, but definitely possible if one wants a fast-paced drive.
As far as staying is concerned, if you want to avoid Pathankot, you can stay at HOtel 17th Mile at Bari Brahma (on NH1A itself) before Jammu or at JKTDC Jammu (inside town, next to Raghunathji temple).



Yes, that is what I do too, simple & best, can be done anytime. Works best with the hard-plastic small Slice bottles
Yes, Noted everything done. Infact took a print out of this teambhp post too

Thank you everyone for all the help. We set out in 2 and half hours. Will write a travelogue after I am back.
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Old 14th September 2012, 22:51   #731
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Drive carefully. Travel safe. Do not take unnecessary chance anywhere. Bon voyage.

Will wait for your travelogue.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 14th September 2012 at 22:53.
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Old 15th September 2012, 02:37   #732
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Humyum
Hi
In case you happen to stay in Pathankot a very good place is hotel Le Kingston.
Last year I stayed twice at that place.
Mr.HVK saar has also stayed there.
Their best room is 102 with a very chilling ac.
Receptionist's name is Gurpreet(called me last month to say hello).He would remember me as the senior citizen who travelled fom Bombay alone to Leh/Srinagar.
Incidentally do you want to visit the Golden Temple or you want to stay in Amritsar for a day which would include the temple?
Regards
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Old 15th September 2012, 20:44   #733
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Originally Posted by faustus77 View Post
Humyum
Hi
In case you happen to stay in Pathankot a very good place is hotel Le Kingston.
Last year I stayed twice at that place.
Mr.HVK saar has also stayed there.
Their best room is 102 with a very chilling ac.
Unfortunately, standards have deteriorated & on 2 separate occasions, friends who stayed there in the last month reported that toilets & rooms are not clean & suggested that the hotel be avoided.

I think if you have some more energy left, going forward 1 more hour will reach you to Hotel 17th Mile at Bari Brahma 17 kms before Jammu, on the highway itself.
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Old 16th September 2012, 00:59   #734
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Unfortunately, standards have deteriorated & on 2 separate occasions, friends who stayed there in the last month reported that toilets & rooms are not clean & suggested that the hotel be avoided.

I think if you have some more energy left, going forward 1 more hour will reach you to Hotel 17th Mile at Bari Brahma 17 kms before Jammu, on the highway itself.
HVK saar
Sad to read that.
It was convenient with very good food and ample car parking.Rather unfortunate.
Anyway there would not be many driving through Pathankot as the Leh driving season is coming to an end.
Regards
PS.Before the next season starts we both should call the boss Gurmeet.I am sure he will look into it.You may remember that you met him.
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Old 26th November 2012, 11:45   #735
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Guys, is visiting Leh during this time of the year a very bad idea?

I have some leaves coming up in Jan 1st week, have a friend in Jammu. Initially plan was to visit him, I am wondering if we can do Leh during this time (7-8 days on hand)?

Is it feasible or should I drop the idea and stick to Jammu and near by areas? He has a Bolero 4x2.
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