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Old 10th July 2012, 16:54   #136
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Default Re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

I shall continue with the tour of Thikse Monastery
View from the outside. Please note the construction of the reinforcement, I think that with a layer of hardened Clay and cementing on the top formed the floor of the upper area.
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The distant fields and the Chorten in the foreground. Due to the nature of the area the green does not extend any distance far from the Riverbed.
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The structure on the right houses a Restaurant and a Souvenir Shop.
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Chorten, Close-up.
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Fields stretch on either side of the River seen from this height as a silvery line.
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Decorative Door to a Lama's Rooms.
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The History of the Monastery
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The Serene Golden God himself.....
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Old 10th July 2012, 17:48   #137
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What can one say about this Idol. Any words used to describe it will simply do injustice. The Golden Face, the calm blue eyes slightly closed in rapture of having seen the truth of this existence, the arched eye-brows seem to depict wonderment still at the 'Grand Design', the curving full lips smiling softly at the devotee, its just beyond words. The serenity, the calm, the fulfillment, the kindness, these emotions and more all come through and assault your senses. You are simply left gasping for breath at the sheer beauty of the Maitreya Buddha here at Thikse.
If you need one reason to come to Leh, this should be enough.
We tried to get all the angles and catch all the emotions and felt inadequate.

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The adornments on the Idol and the Prayer Hall were worth looking at all by them self.
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We were finally bullied out of our enrapture by the horde of tourists all bullying to get the best line for the best snap to be posted at some unheard of t-log on the vast desert of cyber-land.
The rule was more expensive the Camera and more fancier the lens the more authoritatively could you use your elbows to push and shove other people out of your way. Point and shoot .....Thaschaaa..
A special Golden Chorten within the Monastery itself.
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As we look back walking out.
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Old 10th July 2012, 18:22   #138
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These are the last few snaps as we left Thikse, promising ourselves to be back again soon.
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A more traditional snap from a distance.
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As we had some time on our hands, we decided to go to Sri Pather Sahib Gurudwara, additionally we had been commanded to do so by our parents before we left Bangalore.
The Gurudwara is outside Leh on the Road to Kargil. Its a Historic Gurudwara and maintained almost entirely by the various Army and Defense contingents station in and around the Area.
Trying to save the local villages from a tyrant, Guru Nanak Dev Ji was attached by this oppressor who tried to kill him as he was meditating by hurling a huge rock at the Guru. The legend is that Guru Ji was not harmed and the rock bears the indentation of his earthly body as it smashed into him. The tyrant was reformed after this event. The Gurudwara was built around this Rock and to commemorate this event.
The Guru Grant Sahib which is the central part of Sikh Worship
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The indentation in the Rock.
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The Prasad, Boondi, Rusk and Tea.
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After paying our respects and a short 'Ardas' later we were on our way back to Leh to pick up our refreshed ride. Sadly we missed going to Sindhu Darshan.
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The Beautiful Road back
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This is the local BSNL Station.
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The Toyota ACS. We had no complaints in the end.
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This was the final result.
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Old 10th July 2012, 18:56   #139
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This was a Sunday, 28th of August 2011.
We spent the whole of the day just eating and lazing in the Hotel Room. This left us feeling feverish and with all sorts of pains, we were just not used to sitting in one place. .
We had the previous day and this morning made arrangements with Mr. Tundup Dorjee, Director of M/s. Overland Escape, a Travel agency to get all our Travel Permits and Hotel Bookings. The idea was to leave the Hotel in the evening and visit first Shanti Stupa and then The Leh palace and Tsemo Gompa. We were then to visit the offices of Overland Escape on Fort Road to make our payments to Mr Dorjee as well as collect all the Documents. It was also decided to pick up some 'Heat n Eat' Noodles that we had run out off along with some bottled water.

On the way to Shanti Stupa, on Fort Road.
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First view of Shanti Stupa, from far away.
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Looking the other way
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And back again
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The Leh Palace, seen against their stark background.
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The Clouds did their magic once again, this time they transformed the earth instead of the Skies.
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The Magic of this land that attract people from all over the globe.
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What can I say, the Tourist at it again, this time he broke through a barbed fence just to get to this, even though there was a armed guard posted just on the other side of the road.
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Chortens along the Road leading to Shanti Stupa.
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Shot from just after the parking.
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Inside the small Monastery below the Stupa.
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Religious Artifacts
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Old 10th July 2012, 19:24   #140
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We moved on upwards along the spiral pathway towards the Stupa. the location as usual was full of Tourists and locals come to enjoy the setting sun from this vantage point. We could see the City spread out below and the Airfield far away with Aircraft landing and taking off.
These are photographs of a more modern Prayer Hall just above the older smaller Monastery photographed earlier. The Sun light falling through the high domed roof was playing magically across the Golden Statue of the Buddha with Dark Blue hair.
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This Monk was conducting the Prayers as we entered.
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The view of the distant Leh Palace
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Leh Town at the foot of the hill where Shanti Stupa is located.
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The following set was taken as we went around the Stupa taking it all in.
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Finally my apologies I have made a couple of spelling mistakes in my post before last.

It should read 'Attacked by the oppressor' and not 'attached'.

The correct spelling is Guru Granth Sahib and not 'Guru Grant Sahib' as auto corrected. Regret the oversight, could not correct the same as the time window to do the same had lapsed.
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Old 10th July 2012, 19:57   #141
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Continuing with the Prikrama of Shanti Stupa.
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Panoramic shots taken on my Sony Nex 5 of the surrounding Mountain sides with the Clouded Skies
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Old 10th July 2012, 21:17   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuuj View Post
Rajeevn just to clarify..Cooooolcat21 is Lady true to her word.

That said..Hats off to you indeed Cooooolcat21 it has indeed been a mesmerising TL. I really enjoyed seeing the pics of the Fortuner in these surroundings and especially the fact that car was allowed to remain bathed in mud with only the glass area and lights being cleaned.

I also admire those cyclists for their will power and sense of adventure. The lady you met who was teaching in the school in that vast wilderness must be a truly selfless woman.

Your adventure of spending a night in the open and your disappointment at missing the second successive night made for some very interesting reading.

The 15,000 kms Service is actually just a checkup and wash for the Fortuner. Fluid levels are checked and topped, Brakes etc are inspected and the car given a thorough cleaning. It typically costs around 700/- (incl tax) in Delhi. What were the charges in Leh?

Look forward to more from you soon.
Hey Manuuj,
thanks for your appreciation of the T-log and clarification offered.
Regarding the mud on the Fortuner, we met another traveller on the way who was also admiring the muck, he told us that packaged muck is available abroad that people buy to spray on their SUV's to get the roughed our feel, personally I thought he was just mucking around.
You are right, the Service did cost about that much, you also had the option of refusing the wash and the ACS would refund Rs. 200 to get your wash elsewhere due to the acute shortage in the Area. We specifically had the Air filter cleaned and the entire process took about 2 hours from start to finish.
Regards.
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Old 10th July 2012, 22:16   #143
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Default Re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

What a phenomenal travelogue Cooooolcat21. There are some absolutely mesmerising and very well composed photos combined with a great write up/narration. 5 stars!

Errr..I think my next car may be a SUV!
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Old 11th July 2012, 12:02   #144
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Default Re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
We had the previous day and this morning made arrangements with Mr. Tundup Dorjee, Director of M/s. Overland Escape, a Travel agency to get all our Travel Permits and Hotel Bookings. The idea was to leave the Hotel in the evening and visit first Shanti Stupa and then The Leh palace and Tsemo Gompa. We were then to visit the offices of Overland Escape on Fort Road to make our payments to Mr Dorjee as well as collect all the Documents. It was also decided to pick up some 'Heat n Eat' Noodles that we had run out off along with some bottled water.
Gosh you are really making it impossible now for me to resist the temptation of getting back there again . Only that I have promised myself is unless I get a proper 4X4 I am going to wait.

Also this is a lovely coincidence. Back in 2010 when we had traveled to Ladakh albeit not by road, we used the services of Overland Escape and Mr. Tundup Dorjee to the fullest. We found their services very good given they organized everything, travel to Hunder as well as stay at Pangong. Please continue posting such amazing pictures.
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Old 11th July 2012, 14:52   #145
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Dear CoooolCat21,

Lady, Hats off to you and your son (your brother too). Just looking at some of your pictures (Barren valleys, broken - deserted roads), reading some of the mishaps that occurred on the way, i can only imagine the grit, spunk and desire you have to undertake such a journey. I am sure your perspective on life would have changed!

Driving all the way from Bangalore to HP is in itself quite a task. I just cannot believe that your 5 year old son endured (or should i say enjoyed) the entire trip in a car. My grown up kids get tired and fidgety doing a Bangalore to Goa trip!

You also have a very good eye for photography, amazing pics. I am not a pro in photography, but i can tell that some of your pics are top notch.

Looking forward to next installments
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Old 11th July 2012, 15:34   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
What a phenomenal travelogue Cooooolcat21. There are some absolutely mesmerising and very well composed photos combined with a great write up/narration. 5 stars!

Errr..I think my next car may be a SUV!
Thank you Sir and for the rating. Hope you get your SUV and do your dream routes, but a word of caution they are a burden to drive in the Cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Gosh you are really making it impossible now for me to resist the temptation of getting back there again . Only that I have promised myself is unless I get a proper 4X4 I am going to wait.

Also this is a lovely coincidence. Back in 2010 when we had traveled to Ladakh albeit not by road, we used the services of Overland Escape and Mr. Tundup Dorjee to the fullest. We found their services very good given they organized everything, travel to Hunder as well as stay at Pangong. Please continue posting such amazing pictures.
Thank You. We too had an excellent experience with Overland Escape. They really do things the right way. Regards.
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Old 11th July 2012, 18:37   #147
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Been waiting for your thread, ever since I read your post in the IPHE thread, you were there too around the same time

Just went through the complete thread at one go and have to say, Ladakh looks a lot different through your lens. Class narration and some mesmerizing pictures to go with it. I wouldn't be surprised if you have already gone there this year, going by the hints in various posts. Kudos to everyone who drove and thanks for showcasing such a colourful travelogue. Eagerly waiting for more.
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Old 12th July 2012, 13:36   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverikMahesh View Post
Dear CoooolCat21,

Lady, Hats off to you and your son (your brother too). Just looking at some of your pictures (Barren valleys, broken - deserted roads), reading some of the mishaps that occurred on the way, i can only imagine the grit, spunk and desire you have to undertake such a journey. I am sure your perspective on life would have changed!

Driving all the way from Bangalore to HP is in itself quite a task. I just cannot believe that your 5 year old son endured (or should i say enjoyed) the entire trip in a car. My grown up kids get tired and fidgety doing a Bangalore to Goa trip!

You also have a very good eye for photography, amazing pics. I am not a pro in photography, but i can tell that some of your pics are top notch.

Looking forward to next installments
Hey Mahesh,

Actually we just had to make up our mind and leave home for this journey, that was the toughest part, the rest just happened. We had prepped my son months before the trip telling him about a Holiday where we would travel each day to a new hotel so he was sort of prepared for such a Holiday, additionally he had the whole of the Fortuner back seat for himself and quiet enjoyed himself.
Thanks for the appreciation. Finally there is no real change in my perception of life after this trip, I felt before and still feel that our roads are full of Idiot drivers. Regards.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Been waiting for your thread, ever since I read your post in the IPHE thread, you were there too around the same time

Just went through the complete thread at one go and have to say, Ladakh looks a lot different through your lens. Class narration and some mesmerizing pictures to go with it. I wouldn't be surprised if you have already gone there this year, going by the hints in various posts. Kudos to everyone who drove and thanks for showcasing such a colourful travelogue. Eagerly waiting for more.
Thank you Aviorp, Happy that you enjoyed what I have put up. I am not so lucky this year, though my brother is off this October with his friends to Leh. Regards.
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Old 12th July 2012, 14:06   #149
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Continuing with the Photos from Shanti Stupa as the evening progressed. We decided to skip going to Leh Fort and the Stupa there. So took some long distance shots of the same.
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Wider Perspective.
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Leh Palace,I thought it looked more like a Fort from this angle.
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The Golden Crowning Glory of the Shanti Stupa.
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The path leading up.
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Another closer perspective
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A differently shaped Chorten near Leh Town as seen from Shanti Stupa.
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As the evening progressed we took more photographs of the surroundings and the Stupa enjoying the slight Chill in the wind and resting.
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A Monochrome experiment.
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Old 12th July 2012, 14:52   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
Hey Mahesh,

Actually we just had to make up our mind and leave home for this journey, that was the toughest part, the rest just happened. We had prepped my son months before the trip telling him about a Holiday where we would travel each day to a new hotel so he was sort of prepared for such a Holiday, additionally he had the whole of the Fortuner back seat for himself and quiet enjoyed himself.
Thanks for the appreciation. Finally there is no real change in my perception of life after this trip, I felt before and still feel that our roads are full of Idiot drivers. Regards.
Hi Coooolcat21,

I know what you mean about some crazy drivers in India, most of the times, they beat all logic - not to mention their mean demeanor once they are corrected. I have stopped getting agitated or even react to some of the antics these idiots display on highway. I have had some very bad experiences of road rage many years back and that has taught me to work around obstacles rather than bang my head on them.

BTW, what was the FE you got from Fortuner? I assume that most of the drive was on 2WD and 4WD was sparingly used.
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