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Old 5th October 2011, 09:46   #76
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Default Re: Leh - in and around

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If i do, i know whom to get in touch with.
Thanks for the compliments, MAS. You are welcome to PM me whenever you want to get in touch with me.
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You didnt go to the DC office on this day for permissions to the regular places around leh.
I got the inner-line permits done in advance through Padma Hotel as I was scheduled to arrive on a Saturday, a week-end holiday and we wanted to go to Khardung La on Monday morning. They charged Rs 150 per head.
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Old 5th October 2011, 10:40   #77
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

Again I must compliment you on the PQ, what camera did you use?
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Old 5th October 2011, 12:42   #78
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

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what camera did you use?
Thanks for the compliment, goandude. Mine is Sony Cybershot DSC T-900.
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Old 5th October 2011, 14:55   #79
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Thumbs up Re: Leh in a Linea

Hello J.Ravi, Fantastic travelouge. It now give me confident to try this next year in my Fabia. I hope the gods agree and I can make the trip. Thanks for sharing.

Regards
RoS
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Old 5th October 2011, 16:12   #80
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

I've been silently enjoying the travelogue all this while - really excellent write up and awesome, detailed photographs! A dream drive, and I hope to do it one day

Your Linea must be proud of her achievement
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Old 5th October 2011, 17:29   #81
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Thumbs up Leh-Khardung La-Leh

I found Leh very congested with narrow roads. I found it difficult to find a slot to park my Linea at the main bazaar. So, during our stay at Leh, my Linea was confined to the secured car parking at Hotel K'Ser. Leh roads were not safe for walking either with taxis zipping at break-neck speed.

******************

On 19 September 2011 [Monday] morning, we breakfasted and left for Khardung La by 8:30 am. Earlier, there was a discussion between me and my wife regarding driving up to Nubra Valley as planned. We were told by the owners of Padma Hotel that the road for 14 km each on either side of Khardung La, totalling 28 km, was bad and comparable to Zoji La. The moment Zoji La was mentioned, I decided to avoid Nubra Valley. Then, the next option was to take a cab, but I vetoed it. Finally, we were unanimous that my Linea should go up to Khardung La, come what may, but not further. We also dropped Pangong Tso for the same reason. So, our stay at Leh, originally planned for a week, was cut short to three nights.

The Leh-Khardung La [35 km] road was a 2-lane State Highway, but could beat many good National Highways easily. The first 25 km stretch of the road to Khardung La comprised freshly laid tarmac and the work was still in progress near Leh. Then came the Indian Army check post at South Pullu, where I had to hand over a copy of the inner-line permit to the check post personnel. He noted down my Linea's registration number, my name and my wife's name on the reverse of the permit copy and kept it. He also confirmed that road ahead was not good. But, I must admit that Khardung La road was much better compared to Zoji La. I drove my Linea carefully, avoiding craters, sharp stones and boulders.
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From Khardung La, we returned to Leh, got my Linea filled with petrol up to the brim, lunched, returned to our hotel room and rested. I settled the hotel bill by evening as we planned to leave the hotel by 4 am the next day to Srinagar. The owner arranged for opening of gates of car parking. After dinner, we watched a movie on my laptop and slept.

More to come.
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Old 5th October 2011, 17:38   #82
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Default Re: Leh-Khardung La-Leh

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post

On 19 September 2011 [Monday] morning, we breakfasted and left for Khardung La by 8:30 am. Earlier, there was a discussion between me and my wife regarding driving up to Nubra Valley as planned. We were told by the owners of Padma Hotel that the road for 14 km each on either side of Khardung La, totalling 28 km, was bad and comparable to Zoji La. The moment Zoji La was mentioned, I decided to avoid Nubra Valley. Then, the next option was to take a cab, but I vetoed it.
Roads in Nubra Valley are among the best in the whole of Ladakh region. Hotel guys cook up stories to "dissuade" motorists by chanting about "bad" roads so that they can convince them to hire taxis. Similarly, never ask a taxi operator in Leh about the condition of Ladakh roads, they will invariably give a negative reply, you can see their distaste when they realise you are not a potential customer, but will deprive them of business! Uniformly, I heard abut "bad" roads in Ladakh where there were none. It is better to reply on what is said in online forums like these than to go by local hearsay.
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Old 5th October 2011, 17:40   #83
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

Hi Ravi,
You should have descended to Nubra...the roads were much better after Khardong Village when we went in late August and Hunder is beautiful. I didnt not have any challenge at D'Zoljila or Chang La but Rohtang La was a nightmare.

You should have also visited Pangong since the roads were much better than D'zojila anyday. Pangong and Tso Morriri were the highlights of my trip...

Regards,
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Old 5th October 2011, 18:07   #84
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

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Originally Posted by rulerofsun View Post
Fantastic travelouge.
Thanks, rulerofsun, for the compliments.
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Originally Posted by anekho View Post
really excellent write up and awesome, detailed photographs!
Thank you, anekho, for kind words.
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Hotel guys cook up stories to "dissuade" motorists by chanting about "bad" roads so that they can convince them to hire taxis.
Thanks a lot, hvkumar, once again. But, the hotel lost my 4 days' business because I cut short my stay! Even I felt that the road was much better than Zoji La.
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But, I must admit that Khardung La road was much better compared to Zoji La.
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You should have descended to Nubra...the roads were much better after Khardong Village when we went in late August and Hunder is beautiful.
Thanks a ton, nix1976in, for kind information. Now, I have an excuse to plan for another Leh expedition!

Last edited by J.Ravi : 5th October 2011 at 18:11.
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Old 6th October 2011, 12:28   #85
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Unhappy Leh to Srinagar

River Indus flows by the side of NH 1 D for many km from Leh to Srinagar. After flowing through Ladakh, she enters Pakistan, helps its economy grow and finally joins Arabian Sea.

****************

On 20 September 2011 [Tuesday], we were ready by 3:45 am, when we heard a knock on our door. We found the hotel boy designated by the owner at the door-step! He took our luggage and led the procession to the car parking at Hotel K'Ser across the road. I arranged the luggage in my Linea's boot, tipped the hotel boy and left Leh by 4:05 am to Srinagar.
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Much more to come.
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Old 6th October 2011, 13:29   #86
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

J.Ravi Sir,
Amazing travelogue. I salute you for this great expedition. Brilliant photos. I am all inspired and hope to do such an expedition.

Thank you for sharing the prices of petrol. Similarly we would be much obliged if you can share the tariff of hotels where you had stayed. This will help a lot in budgeting.

Furthermore, during the planning stage, did you consider the option of ferrying the car till Jammu by rail and then commence the trip by road?
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Old 6th October 2011, 13:56   #87
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we would be much obliged if you can share the tariff of hotels where you had stayed.
Thanks, Dhar's. I shall post all the account statements at the end of travelogue.
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did you consider the option of ferrying the car till Jammu by rail and then commence the trip by road?
No. I wanted to drive my Linea all the way to Khardung La.
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Old 6th October 2011, 15:08   #88
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Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 6th October 2011 at 18:43.
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Old 6th October 2011, 15:59   #89
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Thumbs up Drass War Memorial - Our Salute To Indian Defence Forces

During Kargil War fought between May and July 1999, Indian security forces successfully drove away the Pakistani armed infiltrators and recaptured the Indian territory occupied by them. Now, we could drive on NH 1D safely thanks to the supreme sacrifice made by the Indian security personnel.

********************

We reached Kargil at 12:30 pm after a strenuous 8.5 hour drive. My Linea had a tankful at IOC petrol pump. After a visit to the clean loo there, we continued our journey to Srinagar. Our breakfast and lunch comprised Kakra+dried fruits+nuts+fruit juice.

En route, we visited Drass War Memorial and spent some time there.
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Crossing Zoji La in the return trip was not that difficult. I drove fast keeping up the momentum, not bothering a bang here and a thud there. At one point, there was a Y-fork. One road went up, and another, down. Since we were descending, I took the downward road. After driving a very dangerous narrow stretch, I started encountering numerous private trucks approaching us from the opposite direction and there was no place to pass through! One trucker informed me that I should have taken the upward road at the Y-fork. A J&K registered Alto, who followed me, assured me that we could go ahead. So, I allowed him to overtake me and I followed him descending Zoji La. But, the trucks were increasing and all the truckers stopped and advised me to take the upper road. Then, we took U-turn at a wider stretch, came back to the Y-junction and took the upper road. That road was meant for vehicles descending Zoji La, it seemed. But, there was no signages, no board, no warning! Anyway, that stretch was worse than the ascending road. My Linea struggled a lot even while descending!

At one hair-pin bend, a truck got stuck and there was a big pile-up of vehicles. So, we were stranded there for more than a hour. Later, the truck could manage to come out and the traffic jam cleared. We reached Sonamarg by 8 pm and had our dinner there. Using the landline of the Punjabi Vaishno Dhaba, where we dined, I informed the staff of Hotel Mirage, Srinagar, that I would be reaching there by midnight and requested them to keep the door unlocked as I did not want to shout at the midnight to wake up the staff as it had happened during our previous visit there! But, I reached there by 10:15 pm itself. True to their words, the main gate was kept fully open! I took photographs of my Linea's MID outputs, unloaded, unpacked and crashed on the bed for much-needed and well-earned sleep.

To be continued.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 6th October 2011 at 16:04.
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Old 6th October 2011, 16:14   #90
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Thumbs up Re: Leh in a Linea

Ravi Sir,

I just read the travelogue in one go. It is a superb one with beautiful pictures and and an equally super & detailed write up.

While reading your travelogue I was reliving my trip to Ladakh in 2009. Dal Lake, Sonamarg, Zoji La, Leh & Khardung La.. The memories are still fresh. I feel that you missed out on the magnificent Pangong Tso & Nubra Valley, but there can always a next time

I liked the great love that you have for your Linea.

It is indeed a great Car unfortunately let down by FIAT's image.

I own a Palio SDX and Linea is surely my next Car. I too had a plan to drive all the way to Leh this year but it had to be shelved for various reasons, but God willing I have decided to make it a reality next year.

Once again I salute your great spirit to do this trip driving alone and you wife who did this trip with you also deserves every encomiums that comes your way!

Adding 5 stars is just a formality
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