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Old 28th September 2011, 14:59   #1
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Thumbs up Leh in a Linea

Before starting this travelogue, let me salute the valiant Indian security personnel, both who sacrificed their precious lives and who were/are working against odds in bad weather conditions at unfriendly, isolated locations, but for whom, this expedition would not have been possible.

Leh in a Linea-dsc05039.jpg

Leh in a Linea-dsc05057.jpg

I started dreaming of driving to Leh in my Linea in May 2011, when the roads to Leh were open to civilian traffic. First, I wanted to take my family. When I came to know that my Linea just cannot climb Zozilla Pass with the entire family in the car, I dropped that idea. Then, I invited my friend to join in Leh expedition, which he readily accepted. Later, I had to postpone the expedition due to unavoidable personal reasons. Afterwards, when I rescheduled it, my friend's leave application was rejected. The next right of refusal was given to my son, and as expected, his leave was also not granted. The reason why I wanted to take my friend or my son was there must be somebody to push my Linea from behind at Zozilla Pass in case she struggled to climb! Then I thought, I must do this trip, come what may! So, I asked my wife and she readily agreed. The planning part of this trip has been detailed here (My Linea's Dates With Punjab, J&K, HP, Uttarakhand And Chandigarh).

I reserved our accommodation in advance for the up journey including Leh. The return journey part was left open so that we would have some flexibility.

Since we had to participate in a marriage at Chennai, we decided to start the expedition from Chennai, actually from my niece's home at Orchards, Arcot Road, Chennai. My niece had packed enough chappathis and mixed veggie side dish to last for our dinner and breakfast. Myself, my wife and my Linea left Orchards at 6:05 pm on 9 September 2011 [Friday].
Leh in a Linea-dsc04427.jpg

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I took the route of Chennai>Ongole>Chilakaluripeta>NagarjunaSagar>Hyde rabad>Nagpur for the first lap of my Leh expedition. The road from Chennai to Chilakaluripeta was superb 4-laned NH 5. However, from Chilakaluripeta to Nagarjuna Sagar, there were many bad stretches. My Linea bottom-scraped 4 times. Again, from Nagarjuna Sagar to Hyderabad, the road was very good. I drove on NH 7 from Hyderabad to Nagpur. Except for about 100 km, where 4-laning work was still in progress, the remaining stretch was fantastic.

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We reached Peanut, Nagpur at 2:24 pm on 10 September 2011 [Saturday] after driving for 1171.8 km.

Leh in a Linea-dsc04443.jpg

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After checking in, we had a wash, rushed to the nearby Haldiram's at Bardi, tasted our favourites, returned to Peanut and crashed to the bed for much-needed sleep.

More to come.

Last edited by bblost : 30th September 2011 at 12:47. Reason: Moved the images into separate lines as it was causing issues with smaller screens. Thanks.
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:05   #2
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Some vital statistics of my Leh expedition:

7849.8 km

19 days [9 - 27 September 2011]

13 states/UT [TN/AP/MH/MP/UP/HR/DL/PB/JK/CH/RJ/GJ/KA]

2 occupants [Myself and my wife]

1 car [My Linea]

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

We got up late in the morning, breakfasted in the room itself ordered from room service and again rested. Peanut was a good budget hotel. I made advance reservation through MakeMyTrip at a lower tariff. I went down and requested the security guard to arrange for a car wash and my Linea was gleaming and shining within another hour or so.

We checked out at 1 pm on 11 September 2011 [Sunday] and went straight to Haldiram's at Bardi for lunch. After relishing a delicious lunch, we headed for IOC COCO pump at Nagpur where my Linea had her tankful.

We headed for Amritsar at 2 pm. I took Seoni>Lakhnadon>Narasimhapur>Sagar>Jhansi>Gwalior> Agra>Delhi>Panipat>Ludhiana>Jalandhar>Amritsar as guided by my MMI Lx130 navigator.

Leh in a Linea-dsc04447.jpg

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I had horrible experience of driving through many bad roads all along the night. My Linea bottom-scraped 21 times before reaching Gwalior. One good stretch followed by a bad stretch. All along the route, there was cattle menace in MP and UP. Driving through huge mound of slush, craters and potholed roads in towns like Lakhnadon, Sagar, Jhansi, etc. was pain in the neck. At that time itself, I decided that my return journey would be via NH 8/4. I got fed up of North-South Corridor. I could not click photographs in the night as I had to concentrate on my driving and my wife was totally shell-shocked.

Leh in a Linea-dsc04459.jpg

Leh in a Linea-dsc04467.jpg

Since the road-widening works were in progress, there were no signages, no indicators for diversion. At a Y-junction, I entered into Narasimhapur town instead of its bypass. At last, I found some human beings from whom I came to know that I had to take the bypass on the left fork. My MMI navigator many times went blank or showed old route through the towns. After Narsimhapur bypass, we stopped and had delicious tava roti and dal fry at a road-side dhaba frequented by truckers.

We reached Gwalior the next day early morning. The road condition improved after Gwalior. After crossing Agra, we had sumptuous breakfast at Bikaneerwala on NH 2. Later, I had a power nap for about half-hour and continued the journey.

We continued our journey, crossed New Delhi and entered NH 1 and stopped at Sukhdev Vaishno Dhaba at Murthal for late-lunch at 4:30 pm. We ate a hearty and satisfying meal. The journey continued. I parked my Lina at the road side and had the second power nap for about half-hour in the night somewhere between Ludhiana and Jalandhar.
Leh in a Linea-dsc04476.jpg

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We reached Hotel Sapphire, Amritsar at 2:30 am on 13 September 2011 [Tuesday], checked in to our room and slept immediately.
Leh in a Linea-dsc04637.jpg

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Leh in a Linea-dsc04641.jpg

Many more photographs are waiting in the queue!

Last edited by bblost : 30th September 2011 at 12:48. Reason: Moved the images into separate lines as it was causing issues with smaller screens. Thanks.
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Old 29th September 2011, 17:27   #3
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

Thanks a lot Ravi. Was looking forward for this with bated breath. Will go through each & every pic.

Wonderful start to the thread, no better way than saluting & remembering those Martyrs, because of whom we can live a peaceful life.

Last edited by AutoIndian : 29th September 2011 at 17:32.
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Old 29th September 2011, 17:29   #4
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

Excitement building up.
I'm already dreaming of this trip in my punto. again!!

If your Linea can do it, my punto can do it is my belief

By the way why did you need a GPS..you are born with one

One suggestion. Please make your posts vertical than horizontal.
I mean post pictures and sentences one below the other than one beside the other.
scrolling horizontal is tough sir.

Also if you can make the watermarks smaller, it'll be good

Anyways, keep it coming...I'm hooked on
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Old 29th September 2011, 17:54   #5
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Originally Posted by AutoIndian View Post
Wonderful start to the thread, no better way than saluting & remembering those Martyrs, because of whom we can live a peaceful life.
Thanks, AutoIndian, for nice words.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
If your Linea can do it, my punto can do it is my belief
Thank you, hemanth.anand, for suggestions, which are noted for the future posts. When my Linea could do it, any car can do it!
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Old 29th September 2011, 18:07   #6
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

I had just asked a question in the other thread if we can do leh-ladakh in a Punto/Linea. I got my answer now. I am glued to this thread. Bring it on!
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Old 29th September 2011, 18:18   #7
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

One more Leh thread!!! and that too in a Linea. Nice going J.Ravi. Me and a friend were planning to do a Bangalore-Leh drive sometime back. We were in a dilemma whether to take my Swift VDi or my dad's Linea (diesel). Now that I know your Linea did it, I'm more confident about our Linea's abilities

Btw, I too have a Suzuki Fiero 2001 model (as seen in your signature)
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Old 29th September 2011, 19:13   #8
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

Thanks for sharing Ravi! Great start for the travelogue

Edit: One suggestion - it will be better if you post the photos one below another (instead of placing horizontally), so that we can avoid scrolling to the right to read the text.

Last edited by vb-san : 29th September 2011 at 19:16. Reason: additional note
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Old 29th September 2011, 19:19   #9
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Originally Posted by flycatcher View Post
I had just asked a question in the other thread if we can do leh-ladakh in a Punto/Linea. I got my answer now.
Thanks, flycatcher. As I mentioned earlier, if my Linea did it, any car can do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
We were in a dilemma whether to take my Swift VDi or my dad's Linea (diesel). Now that I know your Linea did it, I'm more confident about our Linea's abilities
Thank you, addyhemmige. I saw a lot of Swifts in Leh, but very few sedans, that too, MS SX4 mostly and one Honda City. Mine was the only Linea in Leh!
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Thanks for sharing Ravi! Great start for the travelogue
Thanks a lot, vb-san, for kind words.
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Old 29th September 2011, 19:28   #10
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Excellent TL and good pictures, a quick question around the route that you choose. Looks like you went through Lakhnadon (Which is very close to Jabalpur) and i know the roads around Seoni->Lakhnadon are pathetic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Seoni>Lakhnadon>Narasimhapur>Sagar>Jhansi>Gwalior> Agra>Delhi>Panipat>Ludhiana>Jalandhar>Amritsar
Did you try searching for a different route, something through Betul->Bhopal would have been better or am i missing something.
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Old 29th September 2011, 19:34   #11
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Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Looks like you went through Lakhnadon (Which is very close to Jabalpur) and i know the roads around Seoni->Lakhnadon are pathetic.
Thanks, mayankjha. I had driven on NH8/4 in December 2010 during my Delhi trip. So, this time, I wanted explore the North-South Corridor. But, I didn't know that it could compete with Zozilla Pass roads! I was advised to take Lakhnadon>Sagar>Jhansi>Gwalior route as it was better than Bhopal route. I shudder to think what would be the condition of Bhopal route.
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Old 29th September 2011, 22:03   #12
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I am jealous on you Ravi Sir literally.
I have been planning to visit Leh since 2007, but It's not turned up for me.
Definitely I'll go there very soon.
Keep your thread flow with a lot of photos.
Enjoy and Drive Safe
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Old 29th September 2011, 22:31   #13
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Amazing and the excitement is building to see the next part of the trip.

Bring em on.

In the meanwhile, It would have been a real hard trip for the body, do catch some rest and as well cherish the lovely moments of the trip.
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Old 29th September 2011, 23:06   #14
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Nice Travelogue with good number and quality of pictures.

If you were the only driver then I would say you were havnig very high spirits to do this trip.

Please continue to share more snaps taken enroute.

Cheers!
Irish
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Old 30th September 2011, 07:59   #15
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Originally Posted by aks_karthik View Post
Definitely I'll go there very soon.
Thanks, aks_karthik. Linea can easily do Leh expedition.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
It would have been a real hard trip for the body, do catch some rest and as well cherish the lovely moments of the trip.
Thank you, nkrishnap. Both the body and mind require some rest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
If you were the only driver then I would say you were havnig very high spirits to do this trip.
Thanks a lot, Irish. Yes, I was the only driver in my Linea to do this 7850 km-long expedition.
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