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Old 12th June 2012, 23:40   #1
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Default Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

There was first a dream that lingered in our minds and imagination over the years about this great road trip to the northern extremities of our country.The first seeds were sown by a rare photograph here and a snippet there in the mainline press, stories of a friends friend who had been there and was smitten for life by this holiday he/she had been on. With the coming of age of the more specialised subject oriented print media and more so here at Team BHP and another similar forum these images became more and more vivid in our minds fed to us through the members of this forum intrepid and devoted travellers all. So thank you one and all!!

It was therefore time to see these heavenly places for ourselves. The newly laid four / six lane national highways enclosed within toll - gates, the heat dust and the crowded cities along the way, the magic of getting on to NH 22, the lower green slopes of Himachal leading to the barren upper reaches of the Himalayas. The roaring water-falls, the blue - grey rivers that flow through this land that is arid and cold with life breaking its surface for a few months that the snows melt and the sun shines to give birth to a sparse but beautiful patina of green swathes on mountain slopes and near river banks!! It was time to see it for real.

The time was at 6 am on the 12th of August 2011 and the start off at Bangalore. There was me with my son and brother with hubby and another friend set to join us in Delhi, there were two childhood friends of my brothers.We set off in a Toyota Fortuner and a Mahindra Bolero and had decided to indulge ourselves by driving all the way from home and back.

A tiny glimpse of our long journey..

The weather that kept us company in the plains.
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Our Ride
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Hatu Temple
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The serene and ethereal Nako Lake.
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The glittering Chorten of the Tabo Monastery
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Dhankar Monastery standing tall.
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Kee Monastery.
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Kaza Monastery
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Stuck for the night at Chotta Dhara.
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Sarchu the land of tents.
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Thiksey Monastery
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Shanti Stupa.
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Chang la.
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Diskit Monastery
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Glimpse of the Pangong Tso
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The magnificent Tso Moriri.
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Stuck in the mud. Back to civilisation Rotang La.
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Old 13th June 2012, 00:08   #2
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

On to our daily update of our most unforgettable trip till date.

The holiday began with extensive planning and excitement. Not to mention that we could barely sleep the night before. As I was travelling with my 5 year old son ,I was concentrating more of his needs for the trip, we had to keep him calm and interested during the long all day drives. In retrospect I think we succeeded and he was well prepared for the trip by all of us telling him how we were to travel everyday and have the opportunity to stay in new hotels every night, so he was the most enthusiastic traveller till our return back home.

12th August 2011. Time 6 am. From Bangalore to Pune.

Started well on time and left Bangalore at 6 am and met our friends who were travelling in their Bolero at Ring Road Junction on Tumkur Road. After that the first stop was for breakfast at Kamat just after Dobbespet. Good breakfast of Hot Idlis and Vadas with nice Kharabath and hot filter coffee. Thereafter we drove non-stop on the beautifully four-laned NH 4 and only stopped for lunch just after Maharashtra Border. The rains had caught up with us just near Belgaum, though it had been cloudy all the way from Bangalore itself. The rains from that day on were our constant companion up to the lower slopes of the Himalayas. On the way back they were with us from Delhi all the way to Bangalore.We stopped for the night at Hotel Sayyaji on the Pune Bye-pass. It was a expensive stay but luxurious with a huge breakfast thrown in in the morning. we reached the Hotel at about 8 pm. the drive just outside Pune with the heavy rain and the slush thrown up by trucks and buses was made hellish. slept well and were off in the morning after a heavy breakfast.

The pictures of our 1st day of travel.Most of the pictures have been taken from inside the car as it rained most of the time.

The beautiful roads.
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Long roads and long ropes..
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Fresh vegetables provide for a healthy cushion.
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System Cleaning.
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Co-riders.
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Stopped for a late lunch.
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Old 13th June 2012, 06:43   #3
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Thanks for the log. I am sure this will bring more memories and beautiful pictures to us. And I must say those pictures are extremely beautiful.

August 2011, Hey that's the same time when we were also driving sround there

And 5 stars for the log
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Old 13th June 2012, 11:41   #4
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Awesome photographs. Absolutely picture postcard material. You surely have hell of a hand at photography. This kind of Tlogs will just make me work even harder to earn that 4X4 soon and do these trips myself. Rated 5*. Now I should get back to my work .
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Old 13th June 2012, 11:58   #5
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Awesome start to the thread with those teaser pics, were you using cpl filter or is it post process? Loved the composition of the Pangong Tso lake amidst the mountains. 5* for the log and I must say after a rain drive the Soldier of Fortune sure looks clean
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Old 13th June 2012, 13:17   #6
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Thanks for the log. I am sure this will bring more memories and beautiful pictures to us. And I must say those pictures are extremely beautiful.

August 2011, Hey that's the same time when we were also driving sround there

And 5 stars for the log
Yes we were there around the same time,I think you were about a week ahead of us. I have been following your log and you too have had a wonderful memorable trip.Lots more coming .
Thank you for the 5*
Regards

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Awesome photographs. Absolutely picture postcard material. You surely have hell of a hand at photography. This kind of Tlogs will just make me work even harder to earn that 4X4 soon and do these trips myself. Rated 5*. Now I should get back to my work .
Thank you so much for liking the pictures and the rating too Keep reading.
Regards

Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Awesome start to the thread with those teaser pics, were you using cpl filter or is it post process? Loved the composition of the Pangong Tso lake amidst the mountains. 5* for the log and I must say after a rain drive the Soldier of Fortune sure looks clean
The colors in that region are magical,they change by every minute. Everyone who has visited these places will fully agree that no picture can do justice. I have not used any filter here. Its certain amount of PP.
Thanks for the 5*.
Lots more coming and soon you shall see what the fortuner looked like for the rest of the journey.
Regards
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Old 13th June 2012, 13:53   #7
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

13th August 2011. Time 8.30 am. From Pune to Vadodra.
Woke up to a lovely morning and had a grand buffet breakfast. Packed and got back to our cars that were more of a home to my son as he had set up the back seats with his toys,cushions etc making a warm corner for himself.
We left the Hotel and got to the Pune-Bombay Express-way in no time at all. The drive was very beautifull as the Ghats were green and spouting water falls at every turn. We made to the outskirts of Bombay in no time and were elated, just when the City gobbled us up to spit us out on NH 8 after about 4 hours of going around in circles. We missed the Godhbunder bye-pass as well as the well documented route past Hotel Fountain, however did make it to NH 8 by about 2.30 and had lunch at Hotel Kamat at about 3.30, it was a veg-maharashtrian-thali served as a buffet. Then it was time to get delayed in a traffic jam on a bridge across River Narmada (I think), got out of it and hit Vadodara at about 10pm. The plan was to get to Ahmedabad, but had to be shelved as we are against driving in the night and additionally the driving conditions were miserable due to unending heavy rains that had been with us for the entire day. So decided to crash out in Vadodra and checked into another Hotel Sayyaji, which was but a poor cousin of its namesake in Pune. Was just adequate to spend the night in.
Talegoan Toll Gate
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Mist covered green mountains make the ride picture perfect
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The tunnels begin giving my son a whole new experience
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Old 13th June 2012, 15:05   #8
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

14th September. Time 8.00 Am. From Vadodra to Jaipur.

We left early as was to be our practice through out this journey and were on the roads by 8 am. We missed out on breakfast as it was yet to be served this early. The Journey from Vadodra to Ahmedabad was quick across the express-way, however we did miss the bye-pass and entered into the town. This led to some delay in exiting but did get a quick drive-by tour of the city and its unique bus-dedicated lanes in the Road Centre. We quickly drove past Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Ajmer and hit the outskirts of Jaipur by late evening. On the way the sign-board anouncing the Tropic of Cancer flashed by in a rush of traffic and we were past it before we could stop.

Once again in Jaipur we sought the help of and were directed by a auto-rickshaw guy to another hotel that looked good on the outside but was just an adequate sleep-over in reality. Finally had a good Rajasthani meal and tasted the famous 'lal-maas' . The portion we were served was good and we all liked it.

Ahemadabad City. The enclosed track on the right is dedicated for city buses only.
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Transporting metro rail coach.
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Monsoon Magic.
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Team BHP
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Modified 747 ,two decks and a similar carrying capacity.
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Co-riders victimised by the monsoon magic too.
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Probably just a modified 737
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Photo finish at Jaipur.
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Old 13th June 2012, 15:16   #9
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

What a prologue!! Awesome pictures!! Even if there's some post processing you have done a laudable job with the pictures, unless you are an expert
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Old 13th June 2012, 15:50   #10
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15th August. Time 8.00 am. From Jaipur to Panchkula via Behror.

On advice of the Pioneers on this forum we had decided to by-pass Delhi via Behror and go on to NH 1 at Panipat. The drive from Jaipur was tinged with regret of having to just drive out off this beautiful city, In fact we had this rushed feeling all the way up to Panchkula where after we drove at a more leisurely pace taking in the surroundings and visiting most of the places of interest. We did have a bit of a mix-up passing through Behror and also realised that in this part of the country most people cannot make out the difference between left and right. We met up with an old friend for lunch in Rohtak, who had driven down from Delhi just to meet us. We hit the NH 1 junction near Panipat in the early evening and made it to Panchkula by 7 ish pm. We found a nice clean and new hotel on the highway called 'Palmdale' and after a lovely dinner had a good nights sleep.
We were all looking forward to finally driving in the hills after the long and rain drenched drive across the southern sub-continent.

A beautiful temple
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Regular picture of the towns in the north.
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Stay FIT.
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Our constant companions on this road stretch
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Finally getting closer to the hills.
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Last edited by Coooolcat21 : 13th June 2012 at 16:17.
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Old 13th June 2012, 16:02   #11
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Hello Coolcat,

Simply amazing. The photographs are great, just like Wall Papers. What is the Camera & Lenses that you use? Just cannot wait to your see the Kashmir / Ladakh photographs.

Also you are narrating the story in very short & crisp manner but without missing an important information.

Thank you & have given 5 star rating.

Regards,
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Old 13th June 2012, 16:15   #12
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Great pics coooolcat21. Specially liked the Tso Moriri picture with golden sunlit Mountain tops.

Rating - 5*

PS. - Is it a typo of did you guys do this trip for over a month? Your last posts say Sept. 15th?
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Old 13th June 2012, 16:15   #13
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

16th August. Time: 8.30 am. From Panchkula to Narkanda.

This was the part of the journey that had driven us across the country. A lovely morning, the rains had stopped, it was green and cloudy, a soft morning.
The drive out off Panchkula was beautiful and we were soon in the lowest regions of our climb across the Himalayas. As is customary with us we stopped for a quick tea and pie at Timber Trails, no one can explain why we do this, the place is still beautiful but over crowded and exorbitantly priced. We had stopped earlier at Parwanoo and filled up on diesel and to check the viability of the 5 Lt water cans to hold Diesel. Since the smell of Diesel inside the vehicle was nauseating we tied the bottles on to the Luggage rack of the Bolero where they drew curious looks all across our travels.
After a slow leisurely drive up to Simla we stopped over for lunch. We had a slow leisurely walk after parking our cars below the Mall Road and taking the twin lifts up a walk down the lower Mall Road Market, looping around the Court Complex and along the Upper Mall Road. We also finished our booking for the HPTDC Cottages at Narkanda, Rekong Peo/Kalpa, Kaza and Keylong up to the end of our circuit of the Spiti Valley at the HPTDC Offices there at Mall Road.
After a good meal at Sher-e-punjab on Mall road we continued our drive over some of the most beautiful vistas towards Narkanda. This was also our first rest halt of the trip and we would be parked here for two nights leaving only on the 18th towards Kalpa and Kinner Kailash.

Timber Trails the Resort just after Parwanoo
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The Green Rain Soaked Countryside
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Simla City, for some reason everytime I see this image the word 'Dominoes' jumps into my mind
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Upper Mall Road. Love the green moss infested embankment, the Benches along this wall make a pretty picture
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Lower Mall Road and the 'Back Seat Driver' in Red Jacket
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Market Scenes
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The Cages may not be Gilded, but the view must certainly be Golden
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Another Market Scenes from the Lower Mall Road
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Make your Mouth Water and if the wind direction is right your eyes too..
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Colors
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Just another day in Paradise
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Chilly days and Hot Jalebi + Milk !!!
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Upper Mall Road
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Old 13th June 2012, 16:22   #14
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Default re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

wow excellent travellogue - glued on. HOw did your TFORT handle the rains? Did the tyres provide sufficient grip on the roads during rains?
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Old 13th June 2012, 16:45   #15
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Default Re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Hey coolcat

All I can say is you need to blessed to make such a trip possible. The pictures are awesome and the ones especially showing the road is mind blowing. Keep it going mate.

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