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Old 7th July 2011, 17:30   #16
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

Day 10,


Day 10 - Kargil - I woke with the shock my friend leaving. Stayed in bed until 11 and then had a good hair cut - the story is that night before we were searching for soda water and all we could find is a dozen of small saloons here. I was tempted to get a hair cut, just because the number of saloons outweighed everything else. I also got to the taxi stand and asked about roads to Rangdum -> Padum. Why? I had this plan earlier. However that plan was when we had 2 drivers. flashback a week before, my friend from Calcutta who was supposed to join me, cancelled the plan. With two drivers I had made the plan to visit Rangdum and Padum, in which case i would be in Srinagar by the 3 or 4th day max. With myself only driving we reached Srinagar on the 6th day. I had already dropped Zanskar from my head, however just for the sake of the heck, I inquired and got a shock, when the taxi drivers informed, none of the taxis go there. Its virtually a car breaker road. Only 4x4 sumos are going on that side. I heard for the first time that there exists a 4x4 version of Tata Sumo. I even saw one of them later in keylong.

Leaving aside all, I had a nice haircut and a very nice hot bath. I had been taking diamox from Mt. Abu itself so I was pretty relaxed and at home with the altitude. I did see tourists panting on the road. Ok so, I start at around 1 PM (not a nice time to start at all, since all the taxis leave by 10 AM max). Alone I was getting the chills and a newfound freedom I had never felt. One small detail, our mobiles were out after we left Srinagar, and still not reachable. So I called my wifey and kids from a std booth, and let them know I was OK, Hiding the fact that I was now alone

next about 100 kms was rough, but drivable. Let me compare, If you have driven on the Sakleshpur ghat roads to Mangalore, then these are 10 times worse - I learnt, our cars are lot tougher than we think. The rest was good tarmac right till Leh. Good point was I had enough time to pull up whenever I wanted and have as much of the Ladakhi breeze enter my lungs and then feel the lonely feeling on a lonely place. If Nirvana exists its very close.


Now some pictures :

Day 10 - 5th June 1 PM started from Kargil and reached Leh at 9 PM (kargil -> mulbekh -> lamayaru -> Khalsi -> Nimmoo -> Leh - 230 Kms approx) Thanks to Kumar HV's logs I knew exactly what was coming before it came and I was ready with camera. Lamayaru snaps, and khalsi I took a bottle of Indus river (alas, my wife later on, threw it thinking it was dirty water. I forgot to say that it was Indus water)



As we aproach Mulbekh
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_1.jpg
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_2.jpg

Mulbekh, its an extremely inspiring small town, where the folks have to really work hard. The town must have 4 to 5 house. Sorry if I am wrong, thats all I could see adjacent to road.
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_3.jpg

Indus river after Mulbekh
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_4.jpg

Somewhere I just stopped
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_9.jpg


Namikala Pass (12198 Ft - 3700 m)
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_13.jpg
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_11.jpg
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_15.jpg

Fatoola Pass ()
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_16.jpg
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_17.jpg

Departing Lamayaru, golden mountains
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_21.jpg
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_23.jpg
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_25.jpg
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_27.jpg

Khalsi, where you can go down and touch the river from Kumar HV's mails. exceptional info. thanks Sir.
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_28.jpg

Hindukush range
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_30.jpg

magnetic point - it actually is amazing, your car tends to move under magnetic powers
The person in background is a ladakhi driver, whose omni was stuck at Noom nala crossing. The Nala falls off the main road, it was a shortcut which he was trying, and his axle broke. He desperately wanted to reach Leh and get the parts, as he could himself fix that. Nevertheless, I gave him lift.
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_32.jpg

Dorjee Guest House. Good, the Ladakhi had a brother in law whose guesthouse I checked in. It was little outside the hustle bustle, and with a Ladakhi Family who were very nice.
Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)-day_10_nk_34.jpg
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Old 7th July 2011, 17:55   #17
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

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Originally Posted by droolingvoyager View Post
21 Days and a journey which will be engraved deep in my psyche. A Journey that has changed my life. The cherished dream of travelling to Ladakh was nurturing from 3 years now. Finally left Bangalore on 27th may evening.
Amazing trip and awesome pictures. Interesting TL. The incident of road edge caving in was scary.

I have observed that you have fairly dark tints on your windows (correct me if i am wrong ) was there any problem enroute from police due to tints ? Asking this because I am too looking forward for a similar trip and i have similar tints on my Scorpio

cheers !
NH
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Old 7th July 2011, 19:55   #18
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

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Amazing trip and awesome pictures. Interesting TL. The incident of road edge caving in was scary.

I have observed that you have fairly dark tints on your windows (correct me if i am wrong ) was there any problem enroute from police due to tints ? Asking this because I am too looking forward for a similar trip and i have similar tints on my Scorpio

cheers !
NH
aah! My papers were checked in 6 places in all together, and of all I had to pay bribe at three places, mostly for tinted glasses. Note, I completely avoided Chandigarh, as there is zero tolerance to tinted glasses (as fine was too high, and they make that so that you can bribe). The places where I was checked -
1. After you taken the turn to NH6 before just before Dhule. I was fined for tinted glasses, however I bribed with 200 Rs.
2. After Palanpur in Rajasthan. I was asked to show papers, which I did and they let me go ahead
3. At Mt Abu and was fined for - no yellow strip on the right side. I put a insulation tape of yello color after this incident. Fine was 300 Rs.
4. before Pathankot in Punjab, for tinted glasses, fine was 3000 Rs bribe was mere 200 Rs. I had to wrestle, that I am actually from Delhi. I was audacious enough to capture a shot of the police who was troubling me the most, But with experience I can say please avoid any altercations. The police in Punjab can be very foul mouthed
5. After entering jammu - they checked papers and every bit of the equipment I was carrying. I had a gas stove, but they did not ask any question on that.
6. Before entering Jawahar Tunnel, they ask for registering. Its a fake registration, all they want is something for chai pani. A mere 50 Rs should be enough. I paid that and the person was very happy. I guess that was a high Note, they do not stop the taxi cars, they only stop the out of state private vehicles.

Now, this was on my ascent to Leh, when I was driving back, I was stopped twice in Punjab, I just sped away since I was driving in the night, I also was at very high speed and I just did not want to stop at 2 AM alone with a bunch of rough Punjabi Police. I do not know if that was the right thing to do, I was however not per-sued. rest of the journey done was at pretty high speeds and I failed to notice or nobody just stopped me

Last edited by Stratos : 8th July 2011 at 10:30. Reason: Smileys
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Old 7th July 2011, 20:39   #19
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

That was quite an interesting route to take to get to Srinagar, much like what I did when I returned from my Ladakh trip in 2004. From hot desert to cold desert.

Driving alone also has its own pleasures, as you must have discovered. I am sure you must have attracted lots of queries from cops and hoteliers about this!

Tinted glasses and headlamp yellow stickers - these appear to be cops favourite extortion topics!

Can you also detail the hotels where you stayed in?

What FE did your Ritz return?
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Old 7th July 2011, 21:10   #20
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

Good TL and some very nice pictures.

I hope you had no major issues with the car as such.
Can you also give details of the performance of the Ritz you experienced throughout this particular journey?

For eg, FE, comfort level on long stretches of drives, problems with engine if any, GC issues, performance on inclines, rain, bad roads etc. I am planning for the Ritz VDI and would help me use your inputs in making decision.
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Old 7th July 2011, 21:23   #21
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

Please do NOT use more than 2 smilies per post

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That was quite an interesting route to take to get to Srinagar, much like what I did when I returned from my Ladakh trip in 2004. From hot desert to cold desert.
yes it certainly is, from -15 to 50 is quite an experience and that too in 30 Hrs straight Will come to that when I am doing my return section.

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Driving alone also has its own pleasures, as you must have discovered. I am sure you must have attracted lots of queries from cops and hoteliers about this!
yes true. Sir, however, when I was going I had a friend and that is the only section where Cops stopped me. While coming back, I was quite experienced as to if the cops are really checking or extorting, and as said while coming back, I was only stopped within Punjab and at 2 AM i was reluctant to stop, so just lowered the speed, cut down the lights and sped away when I came near them. My logic was if, I will be per-sued, I would stop, not until that

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Can you also detail the hotels where you stayed in?
thats a pretty difficult part I am infected with short memory and lots of laziness. However, I am trying hard to remember and will put that down after the travelogue.


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What FE did your Ritz return?
[/quote]

My Ritz returns above 21 Kms when I drive below 100 Kms. as soon as I cross 100, the FE is around 18 Kms, and when at 140 I get aroud 13/14 - I was at 13/14 in the major stretches. Its just the stretches which are dull that I speed, most of of NH1 - NH4 (Ambala -> Delhi -> Mumbai -> Pune -> bangalore )which I was returning was really dull, and I had no desire to spend more time on them

regards

Last edited by GTO : 10th July 2011 at 11:37. Reason: Please do NOT use more than 2 smilies per post
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Old 7th July 2011, 22:00   #22
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

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Originally Posted by diogo View Post
Good TL and some very nice pictures.

I hope you had no major issues with the car as such.
Can you also give details of the performance of the Ritz you experienced throughout this particular journey?

For eg, FE, comfort level on long stretches of drives, problems with engine if any, GC issues, performance on inclines, rain, bad roads etc. I am planning for the Ritz VDI and would help me use your inputs in making decision.
Diogo,

Ritz is a fabulously well made car. I can only say its better than its sibling Swift. If you drive nicely it returns fabulous milage and its really sweet for the pocket. I have driven through some of the worst roads, and My car is bought in 2010 Feb. When I started My clock stood at 16104 Kms, and when I returned it was 24317, so a total drive of 8213 Kms. I can vouch I wasnt fatigued ever. The seating position is very comfortable and its a hoot to drive. The gear position are really the best you can have in a hatch back. The torque was good, however in the steep, mushy, rocky places, you need to come in momentum, you cannot go up from zero on these stretches. That comes from a bit of experience, But I do feel there is no another engine as this in any of the hatches yet. I also own a Vdi and would recommend it for any given day. Millage you can except above 18 even if you drive real bad
I get above 18 in city and above 20 in highway.
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Old 7th July 2011, 22:19   #23
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

Fabulous pictures! Mind blowing scenery! I wonder when I will do this dream road trip (Bangalore - Ladakh)

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3. At Mt Abu and was fined for - no yellow strip on the right side. I put a insulation tape of yello color after this incident. Fine was 300 Rs.
What is this "yellow strip" for? I have no clue. Hearing about it first time here in this thread

Btw, (I know this is a stupid question but) did you face any problem with Ground clearance in the Ladakh region roads? Reason I ask is I might plan to go in my Linea / Swift sometime soon.
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Old 8th July 2011, 07:43   #24
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

Awesome trip, beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing, never would have thought such a trip was possible in a Ritz !

And yes similar to Karthik's question, what's the requirement for the Yellow strip at Mt. Abu ?
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Old 8th July 2011, 09:14   #25
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

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What is this "yellow strip" for? I have no clue.
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what's the requirement for the Yellow strip at Mt. Abu ?
In Gujarat and Rajasthan, yellow sticker [of about 1" wide] is required to be pasted vertically on the outer edge of the right side headlamp of every vehicle compulsorily, otherwise, be ready to face the music from the cops/RTO. But, my Linea didn't have it, and thankfully, was not stopped anywhere during my last year trip to these states. For vehicles bought/serviced in these states, sticker bearing their name is affixed on the headlamp by the dealer/service station.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 8th July 2011 at 09:40.
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Old 8th July 2011, 09:37   #26
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

This is how it looks like - the yellow sticker on your RHS head lamp. They insist on this in GJ & PB.
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Old 8th July 2011, 09:47   #27
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They insist on this in GJ & PB.
In Punjab too? OMG. I thought this menace was restricted to GJ & RJ only.
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Old 8th July 2011, 09:54   #28
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In Punjab too? OMG. I thought this menace was restricted to GJ & RJ only.
No, I have never faced this problem in RJ, only in GJ and PB. Nowadays, the cops waylay cars bypassing Ahmedabad on the Sardar Patel Ring Road, but I have never faced problems anywhere else so far in GJ. But in PB, every cop stops you the moment he sees you are out-of-state and do not have the yellow sticker!
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Old 8th July 2011, 10:57   #29
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

In most of the northern states the cops automatically put out their hand when they see an out of state registration. You should never stop and in case they chase you and stop you( which they never will because of their mala fide intentions) you can say that I did not see you. Also, they mostly stop small cars - if you have a Civic or even a City they are cautious because you may turn out to be a senior babu and they won't take a risk. They will never ever stop a 20 lakh plus car even if a dreaded criminal is sitting in it!
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Old 8th July 2011, 11:22   #30
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Default Re: Bangalore to Ladakh in a Maruti Ritz (27 May to 16th June 2011)

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Now, this was on my ascent to Leh, when I was driving back, I was stopped twice in Punjab, I just sped away since I was driving in the night, I also was at very high speed and I just did not want to stop at 2 AM alone with a bunch of rough Punjabi Police. I do not know if that was the right thing to do, I was however not per-sued. rest of the journey done was at pretty high speeds and I failed to notice or nobody just stopped me
Ethically wrong move, practically good move. Those policeman weren't there to serve and protect, they were there to extract money + you had a car registered in south India. This was good enough excuse for their fortnight's worth ration of some expensive liquor fest. lucky you that you weren't involved in a hot pursuit with PP because if they'd chased and caught you man seriously you could've ended up in neck-deep mess. Punjab Police take such things very personally.


Guys, don't understand what's the purpose of that vertical yellow sticker on right headlight?? Never seen or heard about it!!

Regards
Punzabi

Last edited by Punzabi : 8th July 2011 at 11:30.
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