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Old 20th December 2011, 17:15   #1
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Default Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011

Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition Travel -> Incredible Zanskar + Absolutely Unknown & Enchanting Kashmir-"off-season" October 2011 ///aka/// Safari Dicor 2.2 LX VTT-TMT 4-year Grand Ownership Travelogue

Quote:
One of the seats of emotion and memory in the brain is the amygdala, he explained. When something threatens your life, this area seems to kick into overdrive, recording every last detail of the experience. The more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. “This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older,” Eagleman said—why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down and the more quickly time seems to pass.

-The Possibilian by Burkhard Bilger in The New Yorker (April 25, 2011) [here "he" is "David Eagleman, Professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston]
David Eagleman and Mysteries of the Brain : The New Yorker
Reading this fantastic subliminal article, I got the reason for why I recall clearly some quite interesting incidents. For example, I remember the day in almost very clear detail, aged 10 or 11, hurting down towards ground from the first floor roof as a pipe that I was holding on to while getting down gave way, me looking directly to bricks and hard concrete ledge as I was going to crash down in less than a second. In that second somehow by reflex caught some part of wall ledge and though my skin and hands were all scrapped to blood, I could walk away. Similar close shave was one of Bullet rides when much younger and still there are couple of incidents more, like if we take this forum domain - some incidents with our Safari VTT-TMT whereby we also have come out unscrapped - incidents which could have gone wrong greviously. And I almost remember each and every moment clearly, though many other less volatile situation memories have dulled out as I grow older.

And then the above quote and article in general made it all clear, I remember in detail because of amygdala of my brain being in overdrive!!

Now what the heck has all these to do with or about a travel or a travelogue?

As part of that para says: "The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down and the more quickly time seems to pass."

All these 4+ years of travelling to some of the most lesser known places, from less travelled Chhattisgarh forests of Udanti and Sitanadi is search of wild bufflaoes to Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Indo-Nepal border of Bihar and the experiences there encountered to Ropa valley while completing the Kinnaur-Spiti Loop or while going towards absolutely empty high altitude plateau of 17k feet along the Indo-China border towards Demachok during our Ladakh and Changthang travel to going to the Bonda tribal market of Koraput district to driving up to the Bum la border of Arunachal to discovery of that fantastic white sand beach in the middle of a dense forest at the origin of a river at Sunabeda and a few more - these have been unfamiliar territories - and all these incredible journeys have and will remain long cherished and we remember the details of all these unfamiliar places.

So when I read that New Yorker article, made a corollary like, till as possible, we are going to travel to some of the most unfamiliar territories and vistas - to keep recording the memories much better in the amygdala and thus remember more as we advance in age towards senior citizenship!!

And after that stupendous Ladakh and Changthang drive, the wild frontier of Zanskar got itself chosen quite naturally this year as being the "unfamiliar terrain" and then we began to think - Ladakh again was out after being travelled last year, so parts of Kashmir could be squeezed in while on the return. Now my wife asks me what are the unknown or lesser known places in Kashmir, we all know about Dal Lake, Gulmarg and Pehalgam from the magazines and these can be travelled any time. Are there any unfamiliar places and even if there, can be travelled to by all of us [wife, our 6-year old son, and me]?

Soon enough a little research on the net and I have come up some of most "unfamiliar" places of Kashmir, names that dont come up due to the terrain and/or also due to the "situation" as that we perceive through our always "breaking news"

And how do we go towards Kashmir, is it the known routes of via Leh or via Jammu. Why not being a little "unfamiliar" here?

And of course, the month itself is "unfamiliar" - October - when almost all travel cease. We never met a fellow traveller or tourist in all of Zanksar and of course in the regions that we travelled in Kashmir.

And with all those "unfamiliar" points we decided to travel, - a journey that we remember for long - again as per Dr Eagleman "unfamiliarity" being the most important factor as I recollect each and every detail of the wonderful people and their land - the visceral thrill of a someplace new!
As I have said in another post, As and when I get time, do come across quite a few extraordinary travel tales from ordinary citizen travellers -sharing and reliving the experience - and thus encouraging all us to undertake a similar beautiful journey. Thus too is one of purpose/reason why I write this travelogue - as I write about these almost never to lesser travelled places, do hope more of us make this journey - so many a stereotyped ideas about a land will be trashed, many a beautiful places revealed, many a interactions recorded and told again.

And of course, one is discernable enough, one may say the "familiar" part of this travel would our vehicle, the one and only Tata Safari 2.2 LX 2wd VTT-TMT. Why not that being "unfamiliar" But then again it is now a part of the family. We all know that I could sell it now and still get around 4 lakh at least to fund my always aspired 4-wheel vehicle, but then, as said, VTT-TMT is now a family member. What to do!

As again and always, it took went through whatnot and whatever to bring us back all safely in the cold month of October, the last of window for a road travel - but then it has been doing such a thing regularly for the past 4 years of ownership. And thus again, this travelogue is too named as the Safari 4-year Ownership Travel.

We three [wife, me and our 6-year-old son] were the travellers when one of my good friend, Surja, joined in for some part of this travel. An impulsive poet and an absolute architecture buff, he was till Zanskar and then stayed at Srinagar as we went into the unknown Gurez and Bangus.


A lot of thanks and good wishes have been with us as we roamed around there, to SStraveller for all the good talk and the updates out here while we were on travel, to Harsh and Tanveer as we talked about a recalcitrant clutch pedal, to Kshil from indiamike about staying tips in Zanskar and to all my friends out here and quite a few out offline who called up intermittently as shared experiences with them.


And thus we left on September 30th, 2011, at 8 pm from Kolkata towards Delhi for what came out to be defining 8000 km journey.


The schedule:

Quote:
[start of travel]

Kolkata - Murthal [beyond Delhi] - An overnight journey, reaching Murthal at noon due to an mind stupefying traffic jam on the Durgapur expressway at the middle of the night. It took 10 hours to travel 250 km and all the advantage of leaving at night was gone.

Murthal - Khajjiar [overnight journey across Punjab and entering HP off Pathankot]

Khajjiar - Sach Pass - Killar

Killar [HP] - Tyari - Golabgarh - Kisthwar [JK]

Kisthwar - Margan Top - Warwan Valley - Inshan

Inshan - Daksum - Anantnag - Srinagar

Srinagar - Zoji la - Sankoo [Zanskar]

Sankoo - Tangole

Tangole - Kun base camp trek - Tangole

Tangole - Rangdum - Pensi la -Padum

Padum and around

Padum - Srinagar [ 30 hours of driving day and night and day in the mountains as we got stuck due to Himlayan Car Rally and more due to a almost kaput clutch spring, the clutch pedal was not coming up - anytime it would given way]

Srinagar - Bandipora - Rajdhani Pass - Gurez

Around Gurez and Bagtore

Gurez - Kupwarwa - Bangus
A trek to Bangus and a drive in Lolab Valley

Bangus - Sopore - Srinagar

Srinagar - Doodpathri - Srinagar

Srinagar - Dal Lake - Palwal [ a night and day journey, reaching Palwal about 50 km away from Delhi on NH2.

Palwal - Mughalsarai - Kolkata

[end of journey]
And whats a post with no images. Here's a couple of highlight pictures to complement this post.
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The one and only Safari VTT-TMT is the first picture as it journeys proudly and without a fuss at Gurez, interior Bandipora, Kashmir. More text and hightlight pictures coming up next.

Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00030.jpg


And a journey from Killar to Kishtwar along the most uncommon route towards Kashmir. It is no error part of the track!



These two words [chap and ja ta] are quite frequently used in our remote travels - 1. Chap rasta - stands for tracks that gives palpitation, where looking down out of the Safari window you look directly into the gorge. and the other word 2. Ja ta - stands for something fantastic, e.g. ja ta. chobi will be for fantastic photograph or ja ta jaiga - stupendous place and so on!! Deba, a good friend of mine, started using these words during the Spiti loop travel and has ever since been used liberally!


Anyway more highlight texts and pictures coming up next and then we go into the details of this stupendous journey.


contd..

Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 13:39.
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Old 20th December 2011, 17:20   #2
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

oh wow,another thread from THE WANDERERS !! Keep them coming.Glued on to the thread
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Old 6th March 2012, 10:13   #3
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

The number of people who we met and the great support and openess that we saw in each and every place and State that we went through, whether be the wonderful mechanics of Mughalsarai and Auraiya of Uttar Pradesh, who gave all the reassurances and the support at most unlikely hours and to each and every person that we met or talked about a direction or took lift with us, whether be at Himachal or Kashmir or in Zanskar.

And the interactions were a whole lot, from teachers in remote locations to truck drivers to dhaba and hotel owners to herdsman to trek guides, etc. etc.!

I will be writing in much more detail about all these wonderful yet varied experieneces as we progress into this trip report on a day-by-day basis. First let us go through the highlight pictures, absolutely in random order. For the location schedule please see the first post.

Do remember the month of travel is October and as such we did not encounter any tourists or travellers in all the days that we were in all the locations. Kashmir as we all know as just as Gulmarg and Pahalgam were not even visited, Dal lake was just seen as an afterthought before we left Srinagar for a drive towards Kolkata - but then there other "names" - images of places not seen before on the interent or even travelled to by tourists, and of course Zanskar in October where temperatures will make you shiver constantly but then the remoteness and landscape and the people give all the warmth that make a journey to remember for a traveller.


Let the random highlight pictures roll now for the next 3-4 posts before we go into the detail.

Kun peak, early morning, mid Oct 2011
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The HPTDC premium cottage at Khajjiar
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Dal Lake, late Oct 2011
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At Lolab Valley, Kashmir, late Oct
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Bagtore meadows, Gurez, Bandipora, Kashmir
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Zanskar mid Oct 2011
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Doodpathri, Kashmir
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Khajjiar, Himachal

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Near Indo-Pak LOC, Bangus, Kupwara, Kashmir

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Near Padum, Zanskar
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Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 10:25.
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Old 6th March 2012, 10:32   #4
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Highlight pictures continue...

A tiny village long River Kishenganga, Gurez, Bandipora
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Khajjiar, Oct 2011
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Bagtore, Bandipora, Kashmir
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Towards Kabulgali, Kashmir

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At Lolab Valley, Kashmir

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A rower, early morning, Dal
Lake
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Interior Kupwara, late October 2011, Kashmir
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Asmita and Bamba, Interior Zanskar, beyond Padum

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Indo-Pak LOC, Bangus, Interior Kupwara, Kashmir
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Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 10:35.
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Old 6th March 2012, 10:44   #5
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Some more random highlight pictures


A remote village at Gurez valley and Kabulgali mountains seen at a distance
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River Kishenganga at its origin, just as a stream as it enters from POK at Gurez sector, Kashmir
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Drang Drung Glacier and the Lake, late evening mid October 2011
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Doodpathri, Kashmir
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Vistas just after Zojila Top, J&K

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Towards Bangus, Asmita and Bambi on horseback - Mansoor, the policeman from the local thana, and I trek towartds Bangus near Indo-Pak LOC
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Towards interior Gurez, Bandipora, Kashmir
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Early morning walk, Khajjiar, Himachal
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The no-error track -> just enough wide for the Safari on the Killar to Kisthwar route.
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Old 6th March 2012, 10:51   #6
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Still more highlight travel images


Mountain textures @Zanskar
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Bambi at Bangus, late Oct 2011
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Village bridge near Rangdum
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A village at Gurez Valley, by Kishenganga river
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Beyond Padum, Zanskar
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A lone photographer advertises at the remote Pangi Valley, beyond Killar, Himachal
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Doodpathri, Kashmir
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Khajjiar, Himachal
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From Gurez towards Rajdhani Pass, Bandipora, Kashmir
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Zanskar beyond Pensi la
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Old 6th March 2012, 11:22   #7
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

And the last batch of random introductory images, and then we go into the day by day travel account

Kishenganga as a stream as it enters from POK
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Sunrise at Dal Lake, late Oct 2011
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A village at the Gurez sector, Bandipora

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Beyond Padum towards Reru, Zanskar
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Afzal, our trek guide, pauses as we catch up to him as we trek to Kun base camp
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Beyond Sinthan Top, Kashmir
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Zanksar near Rangdum
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The remote and lonely cliff edge, from beyond Tiyari towards Kisthwar, J&K
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The lone tree, Gurez sector, Kashmir
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We travelled as the Himalayan car rally came and went.

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Towards Bagtore, Bandipora, Kashmir
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A determined Bambi heads towards Kun base camp in Zanskar with our guide Afzal. Seen also is Haider, the caretaker of Alpine Hut at Tangole, Zanskar
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Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 12:44.
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Old 6th March 2012, 12:09   #8
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

We went through routes and connected places in the late season of October, as diverse as the Chamba and Pangi valley to Warwan and Inshaan to places where we were the first travellers in a decade, to the complete Zanskar to even a trek to the base camp of Kun peak to the border areas of Gurez and Bangus [ a trek here too till the Indo-Pak LOC] to even the less known place of Doodhpathri yet just 50 km from Srinagar and in all these of course through passes who hear less of from Sach pass to Sinthan to Margan pass to even a named as Rajdhani pass, not to speak of the regular ones, Zoji la and Pensi la.

This drive and expedition of 8000 km was exploratory all through

Like in all other travel, we met some of the most simplest and open people in distant lands whether be at Paddar valley...
Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00004.jpg


Or at interior Gurez

Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00002.jpg


Met and got invited in some of the most friendly people in remote villages
Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00008.jpg

Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00007.jpg

Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00001.jpg


And travelled in some style in places where there have been no travellers for the last two decades

Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00010.jpg





Quote:
And here's who made up this travel

My good friend, Surja seen here with a localite from Padder, Kisthwar, accompanied me till the Zanskar part. An architecture buff he stayed in Srinagar as we headed ourselves to the most interior parts of Kashmir

Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011-image00009.jpg




We "four" continued after leaving my friend in Srinagar towards Kupwara and Bandipora and by "four" we are like:


Bambi or Bamba, our 6 year old son. He enjoys the travel as much as we do, never a step behind! - seen here on a pony as we trekked to Bangus LOC

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Asmita, wife.

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And "adc" on way to Kun base camp

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And of course as said Safari VTT-TMT is a part of the family and completes it. Always and continues to bring us back home safely from the remotest of lands
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Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 12:51.
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Old 6th March 2012, 12:54   #9
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Other than the Sach Pass and Zanskar travel, this travel was done so that the areas of Interior Kashmir are brought to limelight.

All stereotyped ideas about places and people will go out the window, and may be we are the only avellers out here in this country, who still have not seen the usual touristy places like Gulmarg and Pahalgam but have gone to lolab, bangus, gurez, doodthpathri and similar places.We may be the only travellers till now who have seen places like Lolab, Bangus, Doodthpathri, Bagtore, Kabulgali, Gurez and till now not seen places like the usual Gulmarg and Pahalgam - we skipped those two!! Dal Lake was seen more as an afterthought, visiting it the day we left Srinagar for Kolkata.

Zanskar though less known is not unknown. However stunning new places of Kashmir are absolutely unknown to the larger travel community. Lets get a very brief idea of the different places.

The following description is from the Travel Agents Society of Kashmir.

New Destination

1. Wadwan/Warwan Valley

2. Gurez

3. Bangus Valley

4. Dodhpathri


1. Wadwan Valley of Kishtwar:
From Daksum to Wadwan valley is another 45 kms. This valley runs parallel to the Lidder Valley beyond a high mountain range. From Simthan Pass the road is not through to Kishtwar yet. There are three lakes near the Margan top. Best area for Adventure loving trekkers, to Suru Valley Kargil, to Tral valley, to Padam.

2. Gurez:
8,000 ft. Summer Resort Season Mid June to September,need woolen clothes 140 kms from Srinagar via Bandipur over Razdan Pass 11,726 ft.. 6 hours drive.One can stay in log huts or in tented accommodation. The most beautiful valley located at an altitude of 8,300 ft, surrounded by the mountains ,lush green meadows pine forests, the highest peak Habba Khatoon along river krishanganga. Historically Gurez has played a very important role in the Kashmir;s history. The last sovereign king of Kashmir, Yousuf Shah Chak came from this area The Gateway to central Asia from Kashmir and formed the old slik route, connected to Gilgit and to Kashgar. In the 2 century AD first Buddhist council held in Gurez valley and spread Buddhism across the borders in the 6th century. Also the ancient Capital of the Dards, Dawar .Best place for trout fishing and camping .
For Adventure lovers, with immense possibilities of Adventure could promote trekking through this valley connected with Pahalgam / Ern/ Sonamarg / Drass .

3. Bangus Valley:
128 kms from Srinagar via Kupwara, west of Srinagar. This area called Lolab valley One of the most pretty valley in the whole state, huge meadow is 6 kms wide and 19 kms long surrounded on all sides by pine forests with a stream flowing through . It was one of the popular valley for British Tourist upto 1947. This valley is also famous for caves of Kala Roos and one can see stone age wall paintings. There is legend that some of the caves go right up to Russia. Bears are a great attraction for big game hunters.There are forest rest houses or one can stay in tents.

4. Dodhpathri:
New Destination: 50 kms from Srinagar, one of the most beautiful hill resort with lush green meadows. Best picnin spot on the bank of the stream surrounded by thick forest, it is quite and charming and refreshing spot. One can do trekking 5 days from here to Yousmarg

Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 13:29.
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Old 6th March 2012, 13:05   #10
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Lets go through the schedule again:


Quote:
[start of travel]

1. Kolkata - Murthal [beyond Delhi] - An overnight journey, reaching Murthal at noon due to an mind stupefying traffic jam on the Durgapur expressway at the middle of the night. It took 10 hours to travel 250 km and all the advantage of leaving at night was gone.

2. Murthal - Khajjiar [overnight journey across Punjab and entering HP off Pathankot]

3. Khajjiar - Sach Pass - Killar

4. Killar [HP] - Tyari - Golabgarh - Kisthwar [JK]

5. Kisthwar - Margan Top - Warwan Valley - Inshan

6. Inshan - Daksum - Anantnag - Srinagar

7. Srinagar - Zoji la - Sankoo [Zanskar]

8. Sankoo - Tangole

9. Tangole - Kun base camp trek - Tangole

10. Tangole - Rangdum - Pensi la -Padum
Padum and around

11. Padum - Srinagar [ 30 hours of driving day and night and day in the mountains as we got stuck due to Himlayan Car Rally and more due to a almost kaput clutch spring, the clutch pedal was not coming up - anytime it would given way]

12. Srinagar - Bandipora - Rajdhani Pass - Gurez
Around Gurez and Bagtore

13. Gurez - Kupwarwa - Bangus
A trek to Bangus and a drive in Lolab Valley

14. Bangus - Sopore - Srinagar

15. Srinagar - Doodpathri - Srinagar

16. Srinagar - Dal Lake - Palwal [ a night and day journey, reaching Palwal about 50 km away from Delhi on NH2.

17. Palwal - Mughalsarai - Kolkata

[end of journey]





Did not have a GPS or a data logger so to give a perspective of the places, using maps from wikimapia and from various source on the net.
Lets get into the maps give a perspective of the places travelled to


1. Kolkata - Murthal [overnight journey and stopping 50 km beyond Delhi, around 1700 km of driving]
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2. Murthal - Khajjiar [overnight journey across Punjab and entering Himachal off Pathankot]
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3. Khajjiar - Sach Pass - Killar [Pangi Valley, Himachal]

Location of Khajjiar and Killar in Himachal
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Khajjiar to Sach Pass route
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Showing the elevation and route from Satrundi, just before Sach Pass, to Killar
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Wikimapia showing Sach Pass to Killar track

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4. Killar [HP] - Tyari - Gulabgarh - Kishtwar [JK]


Now this route is where the travel becomes much less known. We are entering the Kashmir valley, not through the usual routes like that of Jammu Srinagar highway via Jawahar Tunnel or by crossing Zoji la from Leh towards Srinagar - but we are taking the route that connects Padder Valley in J&K with Pangi Valley in Himachal.

This is not only a desolate but require extreme attention as we drive along jagged cliff edges. The self-drive video on the 1st post is from this part of the journey.


A brief idea about the location of Killar, Himachal and Kishtwar, JK. Now the map routes will show a very round about road through Chamba to Doda to go to Kishtwar. However, as said, we are taking the most remote route via Gulabgarh and Tyari to enter Jammu and Kashmir.
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Killar towards Kishtwar, JK via Tyari
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Tyari to Gulabgarh
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Gulabgarh to Kishtwar
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Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 13:12.
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Old 6th March 2012, 13:16   #11
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

5. Kishtwar - Daksum - Margan Top - Inshan [Warwan Valley]


This next part of trip was again very interesting, a journey that came up just due to that we asked a local Sumo driver near Kishtwar of Warwan valley and Inshan, the main village of the Valley. A journey that will take us across very less known pass, Margan Top, which remains closed over 6 months - desolate again but then just saying beautiful would be a gross understatement!!


Location of Inshan in Kashmir Valley. You can spot Kishtwar at the extreme bottom right and Srinagar at the extreme upper left.
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Warwan valley is absolutely unknown, even locals from Kishtwar or Anantnag or leaving even Srinagar, dont know much about this place. Its remote since it is cut of for 6 months due to snow and all coldness, the roads are tracks, no macadamized.

A turn on the Kishtwar to Srinagar road [NH 1B] is done either at Vailoo or Daksum for Inshan.

Margan Pass [Top] to Inshan Village, Warwan valley.
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6. Inshan - Daksum - Anantnag - Srinagar

We connect back to the Kishtwar - [NH 1B] - Anantnag - [NH 1A] Srinagar road at Vailoo. With another lesser known pass called as Sinthan Top crossed, we reach Srinagar. Again, do remember, Sinthan Top is closed for 6 months of a year and thus residents of Kishtwar has to go the roundabout way to Doda and then to Srinagar in the winter months.

NH1B and then NH1A connect Kisthwar to Srinagar. We connect to the NH1B road at Daksum/Vailoo.
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7. Srinagar - Zoji la - Kargil - Sankoo [Zanskar] -> approx 300 km
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8. Sankoo - Tangole
[ A trek was also done here to Kun base camp ]
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10. Tangole - Rangdum - Pensi la -Padum


Padum and around
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11. Padum - Srinagar

[ 30 hours of driving day and night and day in the mountains as we got stuck due to Himlayan Car Rally and more due to a almost kaput clutch spring, the clutch pedal was not coming up - anytime it would given way]
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12. Srinagar - Bandipora - Gurez
Around Gurez and Bagtore
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13. Gurez - Kupwarwa
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14. Kupwara to Lolab and Bangus
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15. Kupwara - Baramula - Srinagar
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Quote:
Doodh Pathri
Doodh-e-pathri is yet another bowl shaped valley about 50 kms form Srinagar. It is a recent discovery in the valley covered with the green carpeted meadows. A flowing river resounds with soft wind passing through the pine trees of the enclosures of the valley. It is also called as a "VALLEY OF MILK" because it produces rich milk in a large quantity.

It is said that the cattle grazing in the meadows of Doode e Pather, produces rich milk in large quantity , this reason it is called the "valley of milk" Doodh e Pather. The shepherds from different areas travel to this place along with their cattle's and stay there for days together. This area also connected to Gurez valley on its north.

A cup of tea with snack at tea stalls run by local people during the season at the main meadows could become your most pleasurable drink. A full day tour to Doodh e Pather with some packed lunch will definitely be a bonus of your visit to Kashmir.
DOODPATHER

In between the magnificent hills, milk stream, dense forest cover a large meadow about which a famous Kashmiri Saint Nund-Reshi who was in search of water to offer prayers has pricked the ground by his stick to search water, the milk came out and hence the meadow got its name DOODHPATHR.

The prominent sites of Doodpather are Tangnar, Mujpather, Dophkhal, Sochilpather, Palmaidan and Parihas
Srinagar to Doodthpathri can be reached through Khan Sahib or Bansantwudar. We took the Khan Sahib Road via the bypass road.
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his was a day trip and we returned back to our wonderful hotel host at Badami Bagh, Srinagar.




Srinagar - Dal Lake - Palwal [ a night and day journey of over 1000 km in 20 hours, reaching Palwal about 50 km away from Delhi on NH2.Name:  Srinagar to Palwal 1000 km.jpg
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Palwal - Mughalsarai - Kolkata


[ a 1500 km journey done in 2 days due to couple of Safari problems that happened purely as had ignored crucial maintanence before the trip - had stop at Auraiya and Mughalsarai in Uttar Pradesh, where even at the fag end of this stupendous travel, we still meet some of the most friendly people, mechanics helping us out at the most odd hours and situations! ]
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So thats the map part, hopefully I have been able to clear somewhat about the locations and their surroundings, though again a GPS logger would have been most beneficial to give a overall picture.

Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 13:25.
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Old 6th March 2012, 17:06   #12
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Thanks a lot for the transfer.

Readers, the first page is super image heavy. So please do give it some time to load!

Last edited by adc : 6th March 2012 at 17:22.
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Old 7th March 2012, 10:05   #13
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Oh man, how did I miss this travelogue during the last 2 months? You started your travelogue in Dec 2011. Came across it today. Gobbled it up as usual. Loved the intro. Now I will be nailed to this thread until the end.

Anirban, would like to meet up with you and other members of TBHP CCU chapter. I have moved to Kolkata recently. Let me know if any TBHP meet is coming up soon.
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Old 7th March 2012, 15:51   #14
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

As is almost all our travels, after the Friday's work of September 30, 2011, we head off at night towards the exploratory travel of unknown lands, people and surroundings. Of course, the initial miles are through the most familiar part, the Kolkata to Delhi NH2 highway. This was around like 14th time we were on this overnight 1500 km NH2 highway journey.

Exploratory expedition of days means Safari VTT is packed up to its brim! We start around 11 pm for the overnight journey from Kolkata to Delhi and beyond.
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Quote:
And what we had in there!

1. 2 Suitcases

2. 4 Bags.

3. 1 bundled wrap blankets [white misshaped cloth covered one at the top]

4. 1 Stove

5. 20 L Mineral Water jar

6. A 70 L diesel drum

7. A 20 L army diesel can

8. Battery jump start cables.

9. Another extra tyre, so total of 2 spare tyres.

10. A sack of few utensils, and rice and dal ration if emergency stuck situations/days.

11. Small items like hand bags, flask, etc.

The the power of a Safari's back. It gobbles everything up.

But on this big journey forgot to put in the most important thing, the towing rope and clamps. Luckily we did not need it once.



But this was what we got into soon. With super super truck jams all through Dankuni to Panagarh, It took us 9 hours to reach Asansol!
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That biggest night jam ever experienced, made the overnight journey pointless. We spent the complete night stuck in the jam. It was a mess and Panagarh area still like this till now until unless a bypass is done
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We covered around 250 km till Asansol in 9 hours, stopped over at cousin sister's house, refreshed and a short nap, and after a hearty lunch we left again towards Delhi at around 2 pm



Evening came around Jharkhand Bihar border. Most scenic part of NH2 comes at Jharkhand with the empty highway going through sparsely populated areas after Dhanbad.
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We reached Delhi at around 12 noon and continued beyond to get ahead as much as possible on NH1 now towards Ambala. We finally stopped at Murthal, 50 kms beyond Delhi, after a 26 km drive. After a brief rest till late evening, started again towards Khajjair near Chamba. We drove overnight through Punjab towards Panthakot, great drive in absolute empty roads other than the occasional night buses. Punjab highways [NH1 and state highways] do have a lot of traffic during day-time and as such enjoyed the empty roads in this night journey.

In Punjab, without a GPS, lost of our way towards Nawansahr. Followed a night tourist bus, reasoning that it must be going towards Pathankot. We went through the Garhshankar-Balachaur SH24 highway for Pathankot.



After an fantastic overnight drive, entered Chamba district of Himachal through the Chamba-Pathankot border at Tunnuhatti.
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As one enters Himachal the hills being and it is a steady rise towards Chamba and Khajjiar. And of course, we come across a customary caution for the hills
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But then the vistas were magical as we approach Khajjiar
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Quote:
Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by green meadows and dense forests. 23 kms from Dalhousie by road and 13 kms from Kalatop is the mini Switzerland of India i.e. Khajjiar, at a height of 6400 ft. Hutchison writes, "Khajjiar is a forest glade of great beauty, 6400 feet above sea level".

Khajjiar is often reffered to as "Gulmarg of Himachal Pradesh". The lush green meadows are surrounded by thick pine and cedar forests. Grazing herds of sheep, goats and other milch cattle present a prefect pastoral scenery. There is a small lake in the center of the saucer shaped meadow
which has in it a floating island. Much of the lake has degenerated into slush because of heavy silting during rains. Still the landscape of Khajjiar is picturesque and a photographer's delight
We reached Khajjiar around 10 am morning after the overnight drive of 600 km.
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And after all the 2200 km journey from Kolkata, the early morning mist and freshness of October made it magical
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Picturesque landscape at is best - Khajjiar, Himachal
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contd...
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Old 7th March 2012, 16:13   #15
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Default Re: Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind84 View Post
oh wow,another thread from THE WANDERERS !! Keep them coming.Glued on to the thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Oh man, how did I miss this travelogue during the last 2 months? You started your travelogue in Dec 2011. Came across it today. Gobbled it up as usual. Loved the intro. Now I will be nailed to this thread until the end.

Anirban, would like to meet up with you and other members of TBHP CCU chapter. I have moved to Kolkata recently. Let me know if any TBHP meet is coming up soon.

Thanks much.


Though started in Dec, the travel story writing lost its way for all these months, started again. Hopefully will be able to continue uniformly, writing and resizing is much much tougher than all the travels!


Definitely it will be a pleasure to meet up, most probably next weekend, would let you know by PM. Most probably no Kolkata meets are happening now.
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