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Old 6th May 2011, 15:03   #16
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Hey, did you get to check the status of the road that was being built to connect Rohru to Dodra Kwar in Chansal Valley? I've seen some pics of the vistas beyond Chansal pass and the views are amazing.
Nopes. We were still below the tree line when we had take to take a U-turn. The last 8 kms were non-motorable as of now. Since we could not make it to the top of Chanshal pass, we couldn't see the vistas beyond towards Dodra Kwar. Initially the intention was to go uptill Kwar. Maybe some other time, when the roads (till Rohru) get better.
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Old 10th May 2011, 10:21   #17
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Default Day 2: Shelapani - Rohru - Chansal pass (almost) - Shelapani: 160kms - Part 2

The aroma of packed sandwiches mixed with that of the pine-wood forest enticed us to break for lunch before we left for our long and bumpy journey back.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5108.jpg
A view of the peaks through the thick pine forest

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5110.jpg
Another view

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A closer view of peak: 300mm at work!

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A recently "dozed" route.

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A perfect spot for a packed lunch

A half an-hour lunch break, ensured that we reached the base of the hill, next to the river by 4:45 pm. It had already been a 6.5 hours grueling drive since morning, and we were already quite pooped. On the drive back, a huge collection of boxes lying on the ground caught my attention, and on a closer look a masked fellow in the middle them arose further suspicion. It had to be an apiary.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5129.jpg
The view opened up as we went further down

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This is where the road becomes much better.

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A nice pattern of construction of a village

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A village on the hill on the opposite side of the river

Mr. Anil Sharma from Bahdurgarh, (near Delhi) was managing his apiary business far up in the mountains. He was kind enough to give us a really long tour of his prized possessions, explaining at length about birds and bees ;-).


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5141.jpg
Mr. Anil Sharma, caught in action

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A closer look at the hive in his hand

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5145.jpg
A little more closer

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5151.jpg
Further up! Disgusting!

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5153.jpg
Aarti tried to be really brave

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5154.jpg
Bees just disgust me!

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5156.jpg
Mr. Sharma's prized collection of bee boxes.


Bidding adieu to him as soon as we could, we reached Rohru by 6:30pm, in a hurry to get the car repaired. Sadly due to the mela mentioned earlier, no one is interested to have even a look at the car, leave alone to get it repaired. We must’ve tried about 10 odd shops. Getting late ourselves to catch the Mumbai vs CSK IPL match, we dashed off towards our abode for the weekend, and reached just in the nick of time to watch the match from the 3rd over. Sadly CSK lost that day, but the day was #win.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5166.jpg
Sunset over Pabbar river

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5167.jpg
Sunset over a quaint house on a hill

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5168.jpg
Over the peaks far in the distance now

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The river bed

A decent dinner of some veg pasta with some garlic bread awaited us Dwarika on our arrival. Pretty decent stuff actually, especially when compared to the Indian fare Vinod dished out for us, the night before.
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Old 10th May 2011, 17:29   #18
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Default Day 3 (morning): Shelapani - Offroading - Shelapani : 5 kms (2 hours)

We decided to take our last day at Shelapani a little easy. The Chanshal trip the previous day had been exhausting, and we wanted to relax a bit and enjoy the estate itself. While Aarti decided to sleep late, I wanted to catch the sunrise, so woke up at 5:30 am. Sudhir, the owner of Dwarika, was awake and we had a cup of tea together. I took some shots of the house from the outside, but sadly was not able to get the desired effect I had in my mind.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5183.jpg
The lovely Dwarika residency at sunrise

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5199_stitch.jpg
A panoramic shot of the compound from the front.

Since time was on my side and I had plenty of time before Aarti would wake up, went off to explore an off-roading track that I’d been itching to try since we came to Dwarika. It was a path branching off the track from Mandhol village to Dwarika Residency. It was pretty steep and quite muddy with deep ruts (also since it had rained a bit the previous day), but totally exhilarating for me! The sunrise was not great, the sun having risen behind the peaks, but I did find a cute little companion on the top of the hill. After a few shots, I retraced my steps, this time stopping every few meters to take a beauty shot of Kiyang.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5208.jpg
The U-bends are the worst ones to tackle with the mammoth turning radius of Kiyang.

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5211.jpg
A terraced farm on the top of the hill, development of an orchard going on

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5213.jpg
The giants standing tall, providing connectivity everywhere

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5218.jpg
A lone house perched at the edge of the hill-top. This is where I decided that I'd done enough walking for the day.

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5221.jpg
A great company to have early in the morning

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5224.jpg
Would've loved to kidnap him but the owner was nearby

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The last U-bend before the top. Of course, taken while on the way down

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5229.jpg
A somewhat narrow stretch, but nothing too dramatic.

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5232.jpg
Stooped low to get this one!

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Just another bend in the road, those ruts were quite a challenge (to avoid)

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5236.jpg
Another beauty shot on the same bend

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5241.jpg
Sadly the gradients are not easily captured on camera! This particular one was something

By 8 am, I was back at the house, and Aarti too was awake. We had a cup of tea, lazed around, and then had breakfast. It was our 7th anniversary that day – 7 years of being together – and we’d decided long back to celebrate by watching ‘The Seven Year Itch’! We thoroughly enjoyed the movie (who wouldn’t? Marilyn Monroe looks like a dream!), and then decided that we should now head out to get the car repaired.

We left finally at 12:45 pm, and headed straight to Kharapatthar, where Sudhir had said that we’d find a mechanic. We were really hoping that we do, since neither of us was in the mood to drive till Rohru to get the car repaired, the bad roads being the reason. Thankfully, we found a mechanic in the first workshop we stopped at, and he fixed the leaking brake fluid in 10 minutes flat! As I’d expected, only the washer had to be changed. I took some spare washers from him, just in case something were to happen again, and then we moved on.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5246.jpg
A bunch of kids from a local school came in the afternoon for a picnic.

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5249.jpg
A blooming flower on an apple tree

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Another shot of the walk from the parking lot to the house through the apple orchard.

Right next to the workshop was the Giri Ganga hotel. We were quite hungry by then, and decided to stop for lunch there. The lunch was indeed super, much better than the kitchen at the resort.
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Old 12th May 2011, 14:21   #19
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

Excellent TL.. This place is mindblowing.It would be like a dream come true if i visit this place.. First need to acquire a kiyang like beauty..

Keep it on.. i m hooked.....
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Old 13th May 2011, 13:38   #20
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Default Re: Day 3 (morning): Shelapani - Offroading - Shelapani : 5 kms (2 hours)

Vardhan.Harsh, you've driven me to depression and totally ruined my day!

Take an extra deep breath of the fresh mountain air for me please. I wish you the full enjoyment of this beautiful trip.
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Old 13th May 2011, 15:36   #21
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

That house, those pine trees, those snow packed roads, the rivers, the snow peaks, the 'Kiyang' the smell of pines, the crunch of dried pine leaves and cones under your foot, the birds, the little sounds of little known animals and insects, the pleasure of having a true 'companion' - all the things I envy by ready your trip-report. Excellent write and fantastic photos. They are awe-inspiring!!

Happy belated Anniversary!
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Old 13th May 2011, 16:13   #22
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

Whatever gtonsing said... .

Boy, some travelogue this is turning out to be! Well done, vardhan.harsh!

Amazing pictorial account of the trip. Some of those routes look nasty.

Regards,
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Old 14th May 2011, 17:49   #23
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

Amazing report.

You also have a strong penchant for photography. The snaps alone tells a story by itself. "A picture is worth a thousand words. So true.

Just looking at the snaps, i am reminded of what I am missing in my life. I envy you man. Bravo again to the write up and also the snaps which topped the cream
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Old 14th May 2011, 22:20   #24
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

@Harsh: It was all a matter of Chanshal that you had to face disgusting things like bees (and not birds too, hopefully! ) on your (itchy) 7th anniversary, along with brake fluid dripping from leaky washers while you watched Marilyn Monroe...

Must congratulate you on another great travelogue. Enjoyed reading it.
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Old 15th May 2011, 00:33   #25
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

The road to dodra kwar is not open and moterable as per hill standards. I drove to about 500 mts of the chanshal a few years back when the road was just a first regular cut in the hill side.
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Old 15th May 2011, 00:51   #26
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by spadix View Post
Whatever gtonsing said... .

Boy, some travelogue this is turning out to be! Well done, vardhan.harsh!

Amazing pictorial account of the trip. Some of those routes look nasty.

Regards,
spadix
Thanks spadix. The nastier bit is only the offroading part which, is not a part of the regular route there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushmenon View Post
Amazing report.

You also have a strong penchant for photography. The snaps alone tells a story by itself. "A picture is worth a thousand words. So true.

Just looking at the snaps, i am reminded of what I am missing in my life. I envy you man. Bravo again to the write up and also the snaps which topped the cream
Thank you for your kind words menon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
@Harsh: It was all a matter of Chanshal that you had to face disgusting things like bees (and not birds too, hopefully! ) on your (itchy) 7th anniversary, along with brake fluid dripping from leaky washers while you watched Marilyn Monroe...

Must congratulate you on another great travelogue. Enjoyed reading it.
Thank you sir... Had to read your comment a couple of times before i could comprehend the full extent of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
The road to dodra kwar is not open and moterable as per hill standards. I drove to about 500 mts of the chanshal a few years back when the road was just a first regular cut in the hill side.
I was under the impression that a bus goes till Kwar now! And i think (I'd read somewhere) that the route has been opened only about a year back.
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Old 15th May 2011, 00:55   #27
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

Oops my bad I should read what i write more carefully. It was meant to be " now open" and "not open".
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Old 16th May 2011, 13:36   #28
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

Fantastic travelogue, especially the photos. Makes me so nostalgic about the Himalayas. I could feel the breeze and smell the coniferous trees from your pictures. You Delhi guys are lucky to have the Himalayas closeby :-)

Last edited by nilanjanray : 16th May 2011 at 13:37.
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Old 16th May 2011, 14:25   #29
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Default Re: A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011

Hi Harsh,

This is an amazing log, couldnt work since the time I saw this page, amazing photography as well.

By the way, I was wondering how did you take a "U-Turn" when you were stuck on the icy way to that Pass?
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Old 18th May 2011, 12:10   #30
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Default Day 3 (afternoon): Shelapani - Kharapatthar - Giriganga Temple - Shelapani: 42kms(6h)

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Fantastic travelogue, especially the photos. Makes me so nostalgic about the Himalayas. I could feel the breeze and smell the coniferous trees from your pictures. You Delhi guys are lucky to have the Himalayas closeby :-)
Yes Nilanjan, Delhi is surely lucky to be so close to such regions. But i believe every region in India has something close to it, which is yet to be explored in it's entirety and has something unique to offer. The right season needs to be chosen though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srikanthpotluri View Post
Hi Harsh,

This is an amazing log, couldnt work since the time I saw this page, amazing photography as well.

By the way, I was wondering how did you take a "U-Turn" when you were stuck on the icy way to that Pass?
Thanks Srinkanth,
Well we did not take a U on the ice itself. Backed up a bit and there was some space on that bend, sufficient enough to take a U in a couple of tries.

Moving on with the log
------------------------------------------------------------------------
After having a satisfying lunch, we proceeded towards the Giri Ganga temple. It was only 3'o'clock when we left the Giriganga resort, so time was on our hands. The road to the temple, which branches off the main road just about 3 kms from the Giri Ganga hotel, was not tarred, and very narrow, narrower than the road to Hatu peak or Chandra Tal, if that is possible. The turns were especially scary, with Kiyang’s turning radius not helping one bit. I prayed to all my gods that we do not encounter a vehicle descending the path while Aarti drove. The total length of the road is about 8 kms, and would be best avoided for a couple of days after rain. The track was tricky at places since it had rained a couple of days back.

The temple complex itself was quite beautiful and serene, and there was no one around. The complex is quite unlike the typical temple complexes found elsewhere in India. The quietness of the place along with the fact that no one else was there, and being set amidst a beautiful pine forest, was simply amazing.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5252.jpg
The giriganga temple complex

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5254.jpg
For whom the bell tolls

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5255.jpg
A strange figure at the temple complex

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5257.jpg
Taking a walk inside the complex

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5260.jpg
And of course which meant walking barefeet on cold stone.

We explored the complex leisurely, spending time by the little water reservoir in the middle of the complex. I then spent some time trying to capture a mountain rat on camera. After a bit more ambling, we headed back, stopping at a rocky ledge we’d spotted on our way up to the temple. After a bit of posing here, we moved on.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5262.jpg
A view of the temple complex for a bit far above

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5263.jpg
A stream runs next to the complex, making it even more beautiful

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5280.jpg
A mountain rat

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5286.jpg
The little guy was curious to catch a glance of the visitors

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5294.jpg
Of course, it's a bird. Which one? Dunno!

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5298.jpg
Wonder how this would come out on a canvas print

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5313.jpg
The fall over the ledge is quite something to look at. It's scary

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5316.jpg
Kiyang parked over a ledge

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5321.jpg
The mud trail had resulted in a brown patch over a black Safari. :(

We reached Dwarika Residency in time to see the sunset, which was not very spectacular. Evening tea followed, and then a wonderful bonfire – a perfect ending to a perfect weekend getaway. Tomorrow it would be a long and tiring haul back, back to civilization and work.


A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5328.jpg
Sunset view from the resort. It was quite hazy that evening.

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5411.jpg
A quiet bonfire while having dinner

A drive to Pabbar valley & Chanshal: Spring break 2011-dsc_5413.jpg
The resort by night
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