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Old 13th January 2012, 22:52   #1531
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
Phobrang to M-Top is one hell of a route. I did it in 2003 on a RE 500. The ITBP folks at the Phobrang camp told us that even their Gypsies struggle to reach M-Top and the only two means are - Stallions and horses. They actually laughed at us when they learned that we intend to go to M-Top on bikes

We started off as a group of 7 bikes, all RE and eventually only 2 could make it to the top (both 500s), rest of them giving up due to rider fatigue or burnt clutch. There were ascents where my bike was gasping for breath and I had to get down and 'walk' along with the bike so as to reduce the load! Also, we had left all luggage at the ITBP camp at Phobrang but for a small bag of spares - that too had to be abandoned (and picked up on the way back). The whole 28-odd km stretch is sandy/gravely and pretty treacherous! There is no road/directions as such - there are only Stallion tracks to be followed.

But what a feeling it was once we were at the top - there was no fancy sign-board or welcome placard - only one broken marble signboard which said 'Chak De' and something to the effect that you are at the highest motorable road in the world. When we came back, the ITBP folks at the Phobrang camp congratulated us on being the first civilians to have reached the M-Top

Sorry for digressing there - was reliving one of the most memorable moments of my life!

And as for this travelogue, I am struggling to find words to comment on it... so will just go on with the reading!
Yes, M La remains the last frontier even today in Ladakh.
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Old 14th January 2012, 16:05   #1532
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

HVK Scorpio
Aug 12, Bombay-Behror, 1402 kms
Aug 13, Behror-Rampur, 692 kms
Aug 14, Rampur-Chitkul, 144 kms
Aug 15, Chitkul-Pooh, 207 kms
Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza, 178 kms
Aug 17-19, Kaza, 291 kms
Aug 20, Kaza-Jispa, 236 kms
Aug 21, Jispa-Leh, 374 kms
Aug 22, Leh-Kargil, 343 kms
Aug 23, Kargil-Padum, 248 kms
Aug 24, Padum-Kargil, 275 kms
Aug 25, Kargil-Leh, 259 kms
Aug 26, Leh, 148 kms
Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms
Aug 28, 2011, Leh-Pangong Tso, 445 kms


Aug 29, 2011, Pangong-Hanle, 203 kms

Early morning cold, the first time we were shivering in Ladakh this season - we took a walk down to the banks of the Pangong Lake. We also discover this tent just below our expensive resort selling ticket & food, he has lots of beds and charges Rs 100 per bed, surely a good cheap option for anyone wanting to stay in Pangong. Looked like he could accommodate 20-30 heads in there, they will be gone by October.

Does any one know if camping is permitted on the banks of the Lake?

Back to the resort, cups of hot tea, and we are packed up and ready to go at 800 am or so. It was cold, but not that cold.
One - Alto starts
One - both the Swifts start
Two - the BolBolero Bolero starts
Three - the Jeep Captain Bolero starts
They are all in business - but my Scorpio refused to start. Repeat of what happened at Turtuk the previous morning where it was not even cold. Try as I might, it refused to start, there was something wrong with the battery - which we are to discover as we went on with the trip.

So that is how you see Jeep Captain roll his car along side and use the jump start wires to start my car.
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We went down to the lake for the customary photo shoots. Pangong is more the nice peaceful isolated place it used to be - although we were the only tourists, there was a film shooting crew already preparing the ground for some shoot later during the day.

Apart from the Marisimik la Resort and the tea tent, there is only the army camp at Lukung. We set off for Spangimik, the village some 5 kms away. I had been there twice before but during the 2009 drive, we could not reach Spangimik because of some terrible roads. This time, we drove on some good dirt roads, passing some newly-constructed (but not opened) resort on the way. I guess the Watermark Resort was also somewhere on this 5 km route. Spangimik is a village with lots of homestays, where a backpacker would be very happy.

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Our friends loved Spangimik too going by all the gymnastics they did from one of the rocks at the water's edge. Till the previous year, no civilians were allowed beyond Spangimik towards Chushul, but this year we had got permits to go on to Chushul & Hanle this way through Man & Merak.

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None of us in the team had gone beyond Spangimik and this was the first time for all of us. In planning this sector, I have to thank SS-Traveller for his inputs and photos which gave me confidence that not only the Scorpios and Boleros, but also the Swifts and the Altos. In his TL, he had up several photos of the "road" and also described road conditions in detail.

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Totally uninhabited, the tyre tracks that indicate the road run along the banks of the Pangong Lake for most part, and in some parts, it dipped into some water crossings which the smaller cars found difficult to cross, but ultimately did.

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Through my rear view mirror, not only the magnificent mountains & waters, I could also see KSM-VTEC doing gymnastics with his Swift in the loose soil of the expanse on the banks. We hardly knew when we crossed the Man Village - are there any homestays there? - and reached the Merak Village check post at 1130 am. We were 65 kms from Lukung now.

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At the check post, what we dreaded (and almost predicted) happened - TS being a foreigner was not permitted beyond that point. If you recall, his permit did not mention Chushul & Hanle, but we wanted to take a chance and see if they would yield. No such luck, the check post guys said sorry, foreigners are not allowed to go near the Indo-China border. You must remember that the road we are taking skirts the border all the way and is considered "sensitive".

Now the next task - now that TS was disqualified from going with us, there was this task of getting him out of this circuit and him rejoining the team 24 hours later. He would have to rejoin us at Mahe check post.

That meant we take the following route:

Merak-Chushul-Loma-Hanle (overnight halt)-Loma-Nyoma-Mahe check post (next day midday)

.....and for that TS would have to take the following route:
Merak-Man-Lukung-Tangtse-Chang la-Karu-Upshi-Chumathang-Mahe

Preparing for the possibility, TS and I had already researched bus routes and other public transport options to reach Leh and we had already shortlisted that one bus (which ran on Mondays) from Leh to Nyoma which would be the one TS could take to get to Mahe. But how does TS reach either Karu or Leh where he can take the bus the next morning?

All photos are from the lenses of Lalu, TS & JP

....to be continued
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Old 14th January 2012, 18:12   #1533
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

HVK Scorpio
Aug 12, Bombay-Behror, 1402 kms
Aug 13, Behror-Rampur, 692 kms
Aug 14, Rampur-Chitkul, 144 kms
Aug 15, Chitkul-Pooh, 207 kms
Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza, 178 kms
Aug 17-19, Kaza, 291 kms
Aug 20, Kaza-Jispa, 236 kms
Aug 21, Jispa-Leh, 374 kms
Aug 22, Leh-Kargil, 343 kms
Aug 23, Kargil-Padum, 248 kms
Aug 24, Padum-Kargil, 275 kms
Aug 25, Kargil-Leh, 259 kms
Aug 26, Leh, 148 kms
Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms
Aug 28, 2011, Leh-Pangong Tso, 445 kms


Aug 29, 2011, Pangong-Hanle, 203 kms

So we went back to the Merak Village to the only house which had a Bolero pick-up standing outside. Will they be prepared to take back TS to some spot where he can hitch-hike his way to his rendezvous with us the next day? Lukung? Tangtse? Karu? Leh?

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TS is one of those global travellers who is game for anything including riding a Kiyang, chasing a Mormot, driving a truck or, why not, climbing the high mountains to the other side where presumably Mahe is!! The guys were friendly, also offered their house for homestay too, and were OK giving a "taxi" ride to Lukung, but their asking price was too much. So over the next 15 minutes, we tried to wear them down on the price and after some haggling, we did bring the price down - although I guess TS thought the price to be too steep! So we put TS on his way much to his regret, he had wanted so much to do this Merak-Chushul-hanle circuit which is definitely one of the prettiest in Ladakh. So we said bye to TS with the prayer in our lips that we meet each other after 24 hours!

That episode caused a delay of an hour and we left Merak Check Post at 1230 pm. Truly the most spectacular terrain, as the "road" winds its way along the banks of the Pangong Lake as we moved closer towards the China border.

Kijangs! Being on the Scorpio had its advanatges as we were the first one on the spt, being the leading car, but the Kijangs are not that timid and they gave us enough time to shoot them.

At one point, we turned away from the Pangong Lake from which point it entered China - where over 75% of it flowed - and we had already driven 45 kms from Lukung. Chushul was the only decent-sized village which was also one of the major border posts. The road leading into Chushul had a broken bridge and we were left wandering around searching for a way to get to the village. That involved the cars dipping into a water crossing with a steep descent/ ascent and with the help of some kids who were excited to sit in our car and guided us we managed to reach Chushul village. No army in evidence though. You can also reach Chushul directly from Tangtse via Parma, that must be across the mountains. All the way to Chushul, we had driven on plains, but after Chushul that was to change.

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We did have some ideas of having "lunch" at Chushul, but there was no restaurant, not even a tea shop there. So I guess the hunger put some more determination into the team to go on as fast as possible.

I was worried that we were already quite late - we had covered less than 70 kms since the morning at 200 pm and we still had to cover double that distance to reach Hanle before dark - seemed like a tall task, and a scary one at that too since we had to cross some mean mountain passes and check posts in between, with no facilities for food or stay anywhere till Hanle. And that was totally new land for all of us, none of us had any experience with the route ahead. My stress levels - my speed moved up proportionately, but so did the joviality of the team (and inversely their speeds!) - and I started up the steep ascent to Tsaga la as though I was on an expressway. I am sure that Lalu was sorely disappointed that I did not stop at Rezang la for some photo shots - which the others behind me did - and we found ourselves marvelling at some incredible views all around.

There was no road (or sign boards) - we had only some faint tracks to follow. All I knew was that I had to climb up the steep Tsaga la, and I navigated looking at that squiggling track up the mountains afar!!! There was a sole army truck chugging along which we soon overtook. Then I saw a Police Gypsy come from the other side, and they were bemused to see us - gestured us to stop, asked to see our permits and then waved us on. Needless to say, we had not seen any other tourists after we had left Spangimik - and we did not see any till we reached Tso Moriri the next night! I guess the cops also shared the same feelings - who are these guys?

Some bad sections with water crossings, but the Scorpio pulled ahead hoping that the rest of the team would catch up till a stage where we were almost 30 minutes ahead of the rest of the team. I remember stopping in the middle of nowhere, turning off my blinkers and hoping that the next car (Jeep Captain Bolero) would see me. There was a confusing fork that the army truck took, which I could espy what looked like an alternative road on the foot of the mountains - we were on a plateau - and of course, we were not sure of our route anyway, but had high hopes that we would get somewhere!

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415 pm - Tsaga la, 4660 metres
Later on when I saw Google Maps, I realised that the "road" all the way from Chushul was hugging the border with China with only the high mountain between us. At Tsaga la, there was this sign post pointing to Tara which presumably was one of the border positions.

Descent from Tsaga la was steep towards the Tsaga vllage. So far, the only signs of inhabitation had been the army truck, the police Gypsy and an old lady in the shepherd's hut, aprt from a small worker's camp that we saw far away in one of the detours.

Tsaga village looked quite big, it even had a bypass, and some way ahead, we got to the Tsaga check post where we all regrouped after the permits were checked.

445 pm when we left the Tsaga check post. Red carpet - as Lalu described it. The mountains around acquired all shades, colours and hues, but the lovely tar road took us fast on what looked like a huge valley. And with greenery in it. Ladakh truly is astounding, we thought, every valley is different. Lots of kijangs, horses, sheep, birds, yaks - truly a wild life paradise. By now, I was in a hurry to reach Hanle before sun down and everyone got down to business rapidly as the 6-car convoy loved the beautiful tarmac as much as the grand vistas all around.

The oncmoing army convoy - one of the drivers got excited seeing all those MH number plates (since he was from Maharashtra too!). We were on the banks of the River Indus again since we left Leh - this was one of the points where it entered India from China, the bird life was rich. We could see on the far side the road to Dungti/Fukche/Demchok and at the Loma check post, we met some friendly army men who were happy Indians also were intrepid enough to come to such far away and difficult places. Loma (525 pm) is the junction of roads leading back to Leh (via Nyoma, Mahe, Upshi), Demchok (via Dingti, Fukche) and Hanle (via Rhongo), also our route.

Rhongo is one of the largest army supply bases for the entire region, and we wondered at the exotic border posts which depended on them for their survivial. The place is full of ITBF jawans and trucks. The Loma-Hanle road was one of the best experiences this day. Mountains changing colour faster than a chamelon, bright-coloured flower/ bushes growing out of nowhere, Kijangs grazing peacefully in the all-pervasive pastures and the sun setting on the hills casting its golden colours.

Ecstasy - what an experience, what an ambience, what a feeling! I think all of us had that buoyant feeling as we neared Hanle - the road itself was fast although there were some nasty ups and downs - and for the first time in many days, the music blared out in my car radio. KSM-vTEC was chasing me and just before Hanle town we stopped for the others to catch up - and did a jig on the road!

2 Swifts, 1 Alto, 1 Bolero - all present, but where was the JC Bolero? We were anxious that he was missing although the rest of the team had reached. It turned out that one of the ITBF trucks did not let him overtake and he got delayed, but he appeared on the horizon finally to our collective relief.

The sun had set when we entered Hanle at 645 pm. Before town, we saw another exciting road go off to Photila, surely n our shopping list for the enxt trip!

We drove through Hanle village in, ahem, 1 minute or so. Nothing inspiring there, no one to be seen. No hotels, we knew that earlier, but we were now searching for homestays which was the only way to stay here. The Hanle Telescope Guest House was not the place to house 14 guys, which was one reason we did not try booking rooms there in advance from their HQ in Bangalore.

How does one find a homestay in Hanle? Leaving behind the team, I went around, found a guy with a Vespa scooter and he directed me to the only 2-storeyed building in the village, apparently some sort of Town Hall with dorm acco. But that was securely locked and reminded me of one of those Ramsay Production haunted houses. Thankfully, just behind that, a lady responded to our shouts and said, why don't you come over, we may have rooms for you to stay!

That was the house of Mr Rangdor 08991922047, also the place with a satellite telpehone booth. We looked around the place, one room was musty, the other reeked of fresh paint, but did we have a choice? No.

We asked for dinner. She said No. We asked for Tea. She said maybe. We asked for hot water. She raised her eyebrows. Toilets? She guffawed. I guess you mentally get the picture now!
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Old 14th January 2012, 22:54   #1534
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LOG BOOK OF HVK SCORPIO, Aug 29, 2011, Pangong-Hanle, 203 kms
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Old 15th January 2012, 02:58   #1535
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
We looked around the place, one room was musty, the other reeked of fresh paint, but did we have a choice? No.

We asked for dinner. She said No. We asked for Tea. She said maybe. We asked for hot water. She raised her eyebrows. Toilets? She guffawed. I guess you mentally get the picture now!
Looks like you guys had a bad time or landed in such a remote border village! well,as such what else to be expected in such inhospitable terrains? But, any army officers on board the IPHE team would have helped you guys secure the tents inside the secure camp site.
In any case, one can bear such difficulties to see such exotic places isnt so? Its probably once in a life time experience for many if not all! or atleast, the probability of such team getting formed and visiting such places with so much enthusiasm is quite low! I would say, worth the pain!
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Old 15th January 2012, 08:37   #1536
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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
Looks like you guys had a bad time or landed in such a remote border village! well,as such what else to be expected in such inhospitable terrains? But, any army officers on board the IPHE team would have helped you guys secure the tents inside the secure camp site.
In any case, one can bear such difficulties to see such exotic places isnt so? Its probably once in a life time experience for many if not all! or atleast, the probability of such team getting formed and visiting such places with so much enthusiasm is quite low! I would say, worth the pain!
No, we knew that Hanle does not have any proper accommodation other than the homestays and the Observatory Guest House (which can be booked only in advance through their HQ in Bangalore, and that too for not more than 1-2 rooms).

That is what makes such trips to desolate places great, we were happy to get what we did, one of those lovely evenings. People are very hospitable. I would not want Hanle to be any other way, it is best left undisturbed and free from tourists trampling all over. We were the only outsiders that day anyway and very few who go to Ladakh venture that far, but all I can say is that they are missing something spectacular.

Imagine all of us sitting in a small room - I am sure that we will see photos of that soon - clutching tea mugs and exchanging banter. The lady of the house had one of teh best collections of flasks one can ever see.

Flasks - that is one of the most critical components in the Ladakhi economy
Everyone serves tea from flasks, whether it is in the gompas, tea shops or houses. They are decorated with beautiful floral designs and come in various sizes. Surely, one must take one of these back home as a souvenir next time!

There was this cop who was also staying there. He had charge f the entire region starting from Nyoma and stretching to the border around Chumur, Photila till almost Chushul, that is like holding charge of over 2 normal districts in any other State. He was on some regular visit to his "parish" and we spend quite some time chatting about the low crime rate in these parts and state of roads.

For those planning a visit to Hanle, don't worry - calling up the homestay in advance (Mr Rangdor is the host lady's son, that is the satellite phone) does NOT guarantee you a room, which in any case is a mattress on the floor (in case you had any doubts). Even as we selected one of the 4 rooms available, the cop walked in and we were evicted from the "best" room in the house so that the cop could take it, but that is all to be taken in good spirit.

In case you had any doubts, we had NO MOBILE CONNECTIVITY since we left Leh-Karu and it is always nice to be rid of voice connectivity - and a relief not to have data connectivity!!!

The lady of the house who was initially reluctant to go beyond making tea took sympathy on us - we had not had a meal all day, not even a cuppa tea except for the one we had when we left Lukung early morning - and gave us a great meal which was not Maggi noodles!

Just one last tip for anyone doing this circuit - there is ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE to get tea or food en route, so if you crave for tea, carry it along with you - in a Ladakh flask, of course! And follow my policy of always having your own food provisions.

Last edited by hvkumar : 15th January 2012 at 08:43.
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Old 15th January 2012, 16:23   #1537
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

Woke up by around 06:30AM. Everybody was out with their morning duties of loading the cars.

What happens when you wake up in a home? You slowly head to the kitchen for a cup of tea. Well I too did the same. The land lady had already made tea and happily served me a cup.

While enjoying the hot cup of tea, I was amused at her collection of flasks. Took my camera from the room and came back for the clicks.

Typical Ladakhi Kitchen with the collection of flasks and other utensils
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A family picture of the owner
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This was where we slept
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The other room was not as much comfortable
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The cars waiting outside the house
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continued...
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Old 15th January 2012, 16:39   #1538
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

Jeep Captain was ready with his Discovery Bolero by then. I just asked him can we make a quick drive till the observatory, and he obliged. So in his Bolero we both went towards the observatory.

The Observatory up the hill
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The village and the observatory
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The road leading to the observatory
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We saw this information and headed towards the base station
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The base station looked just like that from a sci fi movie
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The solar panels, the guest house, Engineers office
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We stopped and went inside. We were greeted by a friendly gentleman, who told us he will get the Engineers permission. We told him we from all over the country and would love to see the installation. He went into the enginners quarters and came back with a smile. He asked us to be at the Observatory by 09:00AM and we will be shown around. We thanked him and drove back towards the village.


Some close look at the installations.
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continued...
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Old 15th January 2012, 16:50   #1539
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

View of the village from the base station
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We took a deviation towards Chumur direction
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Chumur is another way to go to Karzok (Tso Morriri). This could not be done as we had TS waiting at Mahe and also we were not sure how the small cars would have taken this route - heard pretty bad. Something for the next expedition.

The base station from the village
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We reached back our home stay and found most guys enjoying the open air dumps. Some brave souls checked out a loo to!!

continued...
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Old 15th January 2012, 16:59   #1540
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

Very very sad old doggie - eyes tell a lot of tales
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Very tired too
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A Cow Calf moment
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Satellite Connection - There is a Satellite phone here
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View of the observatory from the home stay
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We moved on towards the Observatory to keep the time as committed to the Engineer.

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Old 15th January 2012, 17:22   #1541
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

Swifty heading towards Hanle Observatory
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Roads to the observatory
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Observatory is getting near
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View of the mountain ranges
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HVK near the Observatory
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Discovery Team without TS
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Hanle Observatory
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:30   #1542
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

The Engineer showed us how the observatory is opened to the sky
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Some pictures of the telescope - This is controlled completely from Bangalore
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Liquid Nitrogen to cool the sensor
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Built by EOS Technologies Inc in October 1999
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:46   #1543
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

Hanle Observatory
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Team at Hanle Observatory
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Jeep Captain - Sci Fi Captain
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Dostana
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Can you spot our cars?
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The Police Gypsy
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A small temple on the hill
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:53   #1544
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Fantastique Laluks sar!
(Hope you guys don't mind!!) I shall use this post to steal the attention towards info on the Observatory: Mind blowing facility! Especially the upcoming section seems very interesting!

Indian Astronomical Observatory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
History In the late 1980s a committee chaired by Prof. B. V. Sreekantan recommended that a national large optical telescope be taken up as a priority project. The search for the site of the observatory was taken up in 1992 under the leadership of Prof. Arvind Bhatnagar. The scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics found the site at Hanle.
The first light was seen by the Observatory 2-metre telescope on the midnight hour between September 26 and September 27, 2000.
The satellite link between the Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology (CREST), Bengaluru and Hanle was inaugurated by the then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah on June 2, 2001. The Observatory was dedicated to the nation on August 29, 2001.
Observation
The Hanle site is deemed to be excellent for visible, infrared and submillimeter observations throughout the year. Specifically the observation conditions yield about 255 spectroscopic nights per year, approximately 190 photometric nights per year and an annual rain plus snow precipitation of less than 10 cm. In addition, there are low ambient temperatures, low humidity, low concentration of atmospheric aerosols, low atmospheric water vapour, dark nights and low pollution.
Facilities
The Observatory has two active telescopes. These are the 2.01 meter optical-infrared Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) and a High Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope (HAGAR). The HCT is remotely operated from Bengaluru from the Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology (CREST) using a dedicated satellite link.
Himalayan Chandra Telescope The Himalayan Chandra Telescope is a 2.01 meters (6.5 feet) diameter optical-infrared telescope named after India-born Nobel laureate Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar. It contains a modified Ritchey-Chretien system with a primary mirror made of ULE ceramic which is designed to withstand low temperatures it experiences. The telescope was manufactured by Electo-Optical System Technologies Inc. at Tucson, Arizona, USA. The telescope is mounted with 3 science instruments called Himalaya Faint Object Spectrograph (HFOSC), the near-IR imager and the optical CCD imager. The telescope is remotely operated via a INSAT-3B satellite link which allows operation even in sub-zero temperatures in winter.
High Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope The High Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope (HAGAR) is an atmospheric Cerenkov experiment with 7 telescopes setup in 2008. Each telescope has 7 mirrors with a total area of 4.4 square meters. The telescopes are deployed on the periphery of a circle of radius 50 meters with one telescope at the center. Each telescope has alt-azimuth mounting.
Center for Research and Education in Science and Technology The Center for Research and Education in Science and Technology (CREST) is situated 35 km to the northeast of Bengaluru near Hoskote town. The Center houses the control room for the remote operations of the 2m Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle, and the HCT data archive. The operations are controlled using a remote satellite link.
Upcoming Facilities The Indian Institute of Astrophysics is collaborating with the McDonell Center for the Space Sciences of Washington University in St. Louis, USA to operate two 0.5 meters Cassegrain telescopes to monitor active galactic nuclei. One of the observatories is to be established in Hanle. The facilities 180 degrees apart in longitude are together to be called the Antipodal Transient Observatory (ATO).
A Himalayan Gamma Ray Observatory (HiGRO) is being set up at Hanle in collaboration with Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. This is currently in the advanced stage of commissioning and is expected to be functional by 2018.
The Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment (MACE) is also expected to be set up here by December 2012 . The Experiment expects to have a 21 meter collector which can collect gamma rays from space . The effort to establish the facility is led by Bhaba Atomic Research Center, Mumbai in collaboration with Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata. The facility is estimated to cost Rs. 40 crores . Once completed it will be the only such facility in the eastern hemisphere.
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Old 15th January 2012, 18:06   #1545
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 19
30th August 2011
Hanle

Our Cars at Hanle
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HVK Scorpio and The Observatory
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The view of Hanle Village
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The view towards Chumur route
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Hanle Gompa at a distance
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By 10:15AM we were already on our way out of Hanle to Loma, and to reach Mahe to pickup TS for the drive towards Tso Morriri.


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