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Old 6th April 2011, 19:35   #1
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Default The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Some of you guys may remember that I travelled to Kailash Mansarovar with my mother in 2008. Unfortunately I could not finish the Parikrama around Mt. Kailash because my mother had a fall from the pony and broke her ankle.

Anyway, this year a friend of mine and I applied to the MEA, for the trek organized by them to Kailash. The computerised draw was today and as luck would have it I got selected and unfortunately he did not. I guess I was destined to go back there some time.

Now I am all excited as the dates for which I have been chosen suit me the most. Its a 28 day trek and I would be reporting in Delhi on the 16th of July and returning back on the 14th of August.

So now it gives me little more than 3 months to prepare for "the mother of all treks". Yes I have been there and done that but that was in Jeeps for most of the route. I would not like to be over-confident and mess up on things hence I would like to start from the basic.

Here I would like to have your inputs in my preparations and give me suggestions on each and everything.

Let me get over my initial euphoria and then hopefully by tomorrow, with a cool head I will break down my preparations in various headings and require your inputs.

Till Then "Om Namah Shivaya"

Edit: In the meanwhile, contact numbers of friends and family who have done this via MEA will be greatly appreciated

Last edited by deky : 6th April 2011 at 19:47.
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Old 6th April 2011, 20:24   #2
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Good luck mate. Knowing you we have a beginning of a great resource in this thread. Looking forward to regular updates.

I am also praying that in my life time the Leh route is also opened and a "self" drive becomes a reality. Till then reading all the stuff.
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Old 6th April 2011, 20:46   #3
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Lucky Deky...Congrats. Will be watching this thread very very closely..
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Old 6th April 2011, 23:35   #4
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Congrats Deky. As you rightly said, it is the mother of all treks. Please start preparing with cardio and move on to walk/jogging with weights.

If you want I can put you onto a few friends who did the Everest Base Camp Trek and Kanchenjunga Trek so that you can discuss the regimen.

All the best!

Cheers

P.S: IIRC my FIL has the video of one of the Ramakrishan Mission Swamiji's doing the trip through MEA. If you want, can mail you a copy.

Last edited by MileCruncher : 6th April 2011 at 23:36.
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Old 7th April 2011, 00:43   #5
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Congratulations, deky, and wishing you all the best for your trek. Not only is this the mother of all treks, I look forward to a mother of all travelogues. MileCruncher would of course be more than happy if he is appointed your personal trainer for the next 3 months, although he is a little out of breath nowadays while holding his breath for the Getaway to arrive!
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Old 7th April 2011, 12:51   #6
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Default The Itinerary

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Good luck mate. Knowing you we have a beginning of a great resource in this thread. Looking forward to regular updates.

I am also praying that in my life time the Leh route is also opened and a "self" drive becomes a reality. Till then reading all the stuff.
Thanks Sudev, I shall try and do justice to all the effort that will go in before the trek starts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Lucky Deky...Congrats. Will be watching this thread very very closely..
Thanks GD, I shall need inputs from you and others on a few technical points on various issues as the discussion goes on here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Congrats Deky. As you rightly said, it is the mother of all treks. Please start preparing with cardio and move on to walk/jogging with weights.

If you want I can put you onto a few friends who did the Everest Base Camp Trek and Kanchenjunga Trek so that you can discuss the regimen.

All the best!

Cheers

P.S: IIRC my FIL has the video of one of the Ramakrishan Mission Swamiji's doing the trip through MEA. If you want, can mail you a copy.
Thanks, will love to have inputs on anything and everything. Will pm you my email id

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Congratulations, deky, and wishing you all the best for your trek. Not only is this the mother of all treks, I look forward to a mother of all travelogues. MileCruncher would of course be more than happy if he is appointed your personal trainer for the next 3 months, although he is a little out of breath nowadays while holding his breath for the Getaway to arrive!
Thanks Doc, lemme finish the trip first. One of my concern which I shall discuss later is battery life for camera's. In the trip via Nepal we had car chargers/ car invertors to charge batteries, lets see what I can do to maximise battery here. As this is a 25 day trip ex-Delhi and I believe charging places are very limited.

Now lemme start with itinerary that I have sourced from the MEA website.

As mentioned in the previous post, I have been selected for batch 9 and batch 9 will commence on the 16th of July and will finish on the 14th of August. That makes it almost 29 days from Delhi to Delhi

I am posting a map to make things easier to understand.

NOTE:- THIS MAP IS COURTSEY KMVN WEBSITE

Name:  routemapimg.jpg
Views: 21664
Size:  74.4 KB

IN INDIA
16th July: first medical test and passport collection in Delhi
17th July: Second medical test at I.T.B.P
18th July: Briefing at MEA, Visa collection, foriegn Exchange and payments
19th July: Delhi to Almora (900mtrs) by A/C bus
20th July: Almora to Dharchula (920mtrs) by Non-Ac bus
21st July: Dharchula to Tawaghat/Pangu (2200mtrs) by bus
21st July: Pangu to Sirkha by 4 hrs trek
22nd July: Sirkha to Gala (2400mtrs) by app 8 hrs trek
23rd July: Galat to Budhi (2700mtrs) by app 7 hrs trek
24th July: Budhi to Gunji (3200mtrs) by app 7 hrs trek
25th July: Stay at Gunji for another medical test at ITBP, if unfit, go back
26th July: Gunji to Navidhang (4200mtrs) by app 7 hrs trek
27th July: Navidhang To Taklakot (4600mtrs) in Tibet by app 6 hrs trek after crossing Lipulekh Pass (5100mtrs)

IN TIBET
28th July: Halt at Taklakot, order ponies and porters for parikrama. Break group in two. Group A & Group B. hand over 700usd to Chinese

29th July- 1st Aug: Group A goes for Kailash parikrama and Group B Stays at Mansarovar doing the Parikrama

2nd Aug - 5th Aug : Group B does Kailash Parikrama and Group A stays at Mansarovar

6th-7th August: Taklakot Halt

IN INDIA- Return Journey

8th Aug: Taklakot - Navidhang- Kalapani (trek)
9th Aug: Kalapani - Budhi (trek)
10th Aug: Budhi - Gala (trek)
11th Aug: Gala - Sirkha (trek)
12th Aug: Sirkha-Pangu (trek)
12th Aug: Pangu- Dharchula (bus)
13th Aug: Dharchula- Jageshwar(bus)
14th Aug: Jageshwar- Delhi (bus)
14th Aug: Delhi -Jaipur (Maybe AC 1st Class Sleeper Train)
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Old 7th April 2011, 12:58   #7
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

@SST - Killing many birds with one post ;-)

Ek kavita ho jaye?

Decky is tired of being in plains
Mountain trekking is his new game
Travelogues take a new meaning
When penned under his name

@Decky : Sorry for the hijack but you can see how we are all set to support your preparations. All for enjoying the fruits of your "future" travelogue.

Edited and added: Oh we had a crossed post decky. Re camera battery look out for charge monkey/gorrila (something like that). Its a solar charging system for cameras and cell phones etc.

Last edited by sudev : 7th April 2011 at 13:01.
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Old 7th April 2011, 14:10   #8
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Wonderful that you got selected, the trek is everyone's dream, happy to see that you are realising it.

I am told that Lipulekh Pass is the toughest. Start a fitness regimen to get yourself in top physical shape.

And are you also going in the same group as Rajnikant!? I hear he goes every year on the trek!

Are you allowed to carry a GPS with you? If so, please do, it will be exciting for us to trace your actual route later.
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Old 7th April 2011, 14:21   #9
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Good luck deky... will be watching the thred
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Old 7th April 2011, 14:26   #10
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Default GPS for the trek- Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
@SST - Killing many birds with one post ;-)

Ek kavita ho jaye?

Decky is tired of being in plains
Mountain trekking is his new game
Travelogues take a new meaning
When penned under his name

@Decky : Sorry for the hijack but you can see how we are all set to support your preparations. All for enjoying the fruits of your "future" travelogue.

Edited and added: Oh we had a crossed post decky. Re camera battery look out for charge monkey/gorrila (something like that). Its a solar charging system for cameras and cell phones etc.
Thank you, Solar chargers are a good idea. But has anyone used them? Because I believe they are not very effective. I remember reading somewhere that they do not charge the phone battery fully..only maybe 25%.??

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Wonderful that you got selected, the trek is everyone's dream, happy to see that you are realising it.

I am told that Lipulekh Pass is the toughest. Start a fitness regimen to get yourself in top physical shape.

And are you also going in the same group as Rajnikant!? I hear he goes every year on the trek!

Are you allowed to carry a GPS with you? If so, please do, it will be exciting for us to trace your actual route later.
Fitness is one concern that I will not like to overlook. But one good thing with the above itinerary is that the ascent is gradual and its all on foot, which gives enough time to the body to acclimatise. Thanks

Right, GPS has been one of my concern. I have two GPS instruments but both are run on internal rechargeable batteries.

1. GPS on Nokia 5230- max battery life 5-6 hrs with gps on
2. Garmin GPS with satnav maps - max battery life 3 hrs

I think Garmin car GPS will be a little tough to carry, so if i have to take I will take nokia 5230 maybe with an extra battery and charge both the batteries wherever we get electricity.

So now, what do you guys suggest, should I start the phone say twice a day only (to save battery) catch gps signal and store the co-ordinates on the phone? And later plot the co-ordinates on google map and draw lines for the route??? Any idea how many times will I be able to start-boot the phone- catch gps- store co-ordinates- switch off the phone in one battery charge? Say I start doing this from Dharchula onwards till I come back to India after Mt Kailash (17days X 2 times everyday=34 times). So can i switch on-off the phone 34 times on one charge??
Heck, I dont even know if I can store co-ordinates on the phone or will I have to write them down on a piece of paper

Or is their an easier way of doing things and saving battery life of the phone??

Kindly suggest!!!

Regards

Last edited by deky : 7th April 2011 at 14:32.
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Old 7th April 2011, 15:06   #11
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Good Luck for the trek Deky.
The trek is organised by KMVN Ltd (Uttranchal Tourism). My dad works with them.
PM me if you need any help anytime.

PS. even i might go for the Adi- Kailash trek sometime in June
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Old 7th April 2011, 20:27   #12
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashthedivx View Post
Good luck deky... will be watching the thred
Thanks Ashish!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
Good Luck for the trek Deky.
The trek is organised by KMVN Ltd (Uttranchal Tourism). My dad works with them.
PM me if you need any help anytime.

PS. even i might go for the Adi- Kailash trek sometime in June
Thanks Tapish. I think KMVN is doing a great job and have lots of information on their website. But yeah if I do need any help/information that is not available, I shall definitely ask you. BTW for starters can you check if they still give complimentary bag packs to the yatris?? I remember someone mentioning that they do

Regards
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Old 8th April 2011, 11:07   #13
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

@decky : Pick up a really small GPS only to mark way points for photo tagging. A set of AAA-cells can power it for full day continuous running. If you use it sporadically I am sure in one or two sets of AAA cells your trip can be covered. Bonus is that you get exact location for each picture.

Google for Amod GL3080. I have one if you want to borrow it for the trip.
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Old 8th April 2011, 12:43   #14
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

Quote:
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@decky : Pick up a really small GPS only to mark way points for photo tagging. A set of AAA-cells can power it for full day continuous running. If you use it sporadically I am sure in one or two sets of AAA cells your trip can be covered. Bonus is that you get exact location for each picture.

Google for Amod GL3080. I have one if you want to borrow it for the trip.
Thanks Sudev, I might take you up on the offer as after the trip expenses, I might just have to borrow things from friends around. Will let you know.

Amod GL3080 looks like a better option as

1. it runs on independent batteries which I can use and throw.

2. it will save exact data which I can retrieve once I am back home. But will it have enough space in the memory to save 20 days (not counting the journey back home) data??

3. As you said phototagging is possible, that sounds like a plus, but how do I tag a pic taken by another camera?? Time and date stamp I presume?

My Nokia 5230 looks a better option as

1. I more or less know how to use the GPS on the phone as against Amod where I will have to learn

2. I can switch the phone on say 3 times a day and record the location/ altitude/ time/ date etc etc manually on a piece of paper and then plot them on google maps.

3. Its just a phone, the high headed Chinese will have no problems in allowing it across the border. But with a dedicated GPS, you never know I might be labelled as a spy, and never come back if caught

BTW I am in touch with a senior IPS officer (retd) who was the Liason Officer (LO) for this yatra a few years back, he mentioned that electricity is available for a few hours everyday through out on the Indian side. So I am hopefull I can recharge my phone/camera batteries atleast a few times.

So now what do you suggest, go the primitive way (phone way) or go the preofessional way (Amod way)??
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Old 8th April 2011, 14:33   #15
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Default Re: The Unfinished Journey- Trip to Kailash Mansarovar via the MEA Route

You can use your Nokia phone to record your location. Your phone will have feature to take photos with geo-tagging. That solves all your issues of recording. You can carry cellphone charges which use normal AAA or AA batteries. Also, you can buy 1-2 battries of your nokia. As per my expirenece, GPS locking takes 2-3 mins min in Nokia and then to take couple of pictures another 1 min. 1 min to power-on and power-off.

hence you wil use your phone 5-6 mins everytime. If you take 1 photo every hour, thats 144 mins ie 3hrs max.

Try it now for couple of days and see how much it lasts.
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