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Old 16th July 2012, 19:21   #16
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Default Re: 7000 kms- Trip of a Life Time

Some pics going downhill Zojilla.

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Mighty Himalayas.. makes you feel insignificant. Slowly the landscape was changing. Before Drass at the military checkpost I had one of the most sad conversation with the Army guys manning it. He asked me to please visit the Kargil Memorial... I was like hello surely this is one no self respecting Indian is going to miss. But the response was no sir many people just stop at the gate and take some pictures and move on. Some even do not bother to do that.

I am going to dedicate as many pictures as I can to show the memorial and here goes..

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Leaving the place you feel so humbled that so many young people gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to remain safe. Guess we do not value that enough have always taken this for granted.
Enroute to Kargil


Reached Kargil around 1700 hrs Overnite Kargil @ D'Zozilla Hotel a better pit stop hotel than Sonamarg.
Z-Top-Drass-Kargil the roads surface is not so good and can be back breaking at times. This is one place I wished our vehicle was a Car and not an SUV.

Regarding performance of the vehicle... actually I have nothing great to write, the whole journey it was "Fill it forget it". No start-up problems, no puncture, not even reduction in air pressure. The temperature needle did not move a mm. As mentioned other than the black smoke that I could see in my rear view mirror and the noticable loss in power (by the way expected due to incomplete combustion at high altitude) nothing much. Milelage wise it gave me 10kmpl through out and with a 90 ltr tank we were not concerned of running out of fuel on any of the sectors. Guess must be pretty boring for lot of enthusiasts.

Whatever one says.. dated, boring, no features I will gladly hop into one anyday and be assured that it will deliver. Go Pajero.
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Old 17th July 2012, 09:37   #17
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Default Re: 7000 kms- Trip of a Life Time

17-6-12, Left Kargil.. target Ulleytokpo with stops at Mulbekh and Lamayaru and two passes Namikala and Fotula.

Enroute Mulbekh

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Mulbekh Buddha

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Enroute Namikala.. Bad roads very dusty.

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Downhill Namikala

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Climbing Fotula.. Again very dusty in places but 75% excellent tarmac

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Lamayaru Ahead

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This monastery is in a very pretty location.

Arrived Ulleytokpo 1600 hrs. Camps here would be our pit stop for tonite.
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Old 17th July 2012, 10:55   #18
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Enroute Leh

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Counted the convoy they were 72 at a stretch
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Deceptive Straight road

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Confluence of Indus and Zanskar, amazing how the blue meets the brown

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Magnetic Hill... did try all combinations.

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Leh finally

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Reached 1400 hrs checked-in. After some rest decided to do the local leh tour and here goes

room with this view
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Trekking up Leh Palace
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View from Leh Palace
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Looking up towards Tsemo
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View from Tsemo Gompa
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Inside Tsemo
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Shanti Stupa next
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In a few days you will be attempted.
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Overnite Leh. Tommorrow Changla.. Pangong Tso

Last edited by Rehaan : 17th July 2012 at 11:15. Reason: Please see Team-BHP Rule #11
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Old 17th July 2012, 13:58   #19
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19-6-12 0530 hrs Early start to Changla and Pangong Tso. Idea was to cross Changla before people staying overnite at Pangong returned. Absolutely no traffic right upto Tangtse. Had Zingral and C-Top all to ourselves.

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As expected 3-4 kms either side of C-Top the roads were in really bad. Fortunately the streams were not in full flow so crossing them was not a big problem.

Cut to Pangong TSO. Reached @1030 hrs.
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Next few pics I am going to dedicate to the famous Seagulls of Pangong
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Started back to Leh @ 1300 hrs... try this. We met oncoming traffic enroute but hardly any traffic going up or down Changla.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 18th July 2012, 10:15   #20
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Driving back from Pangong noticed a dirt track going downhill @ 2-3 kms after C-Top, it was going straight down into the village. Was voted down 2-3 on taking this route. Later on discovered that you can take that route and it goes through Sakti to the T-junction where right you return to Changla and left takes you to Karu. It cuts out the whole drive through the Hills, can save some time for somebody in a hurry.

1800 hrs were back in Leh, 20-6-12 was promised as rest cum shopping day to the ladies and we really had a good time going around the various Tibetan refugee shops.

21-6-12, Highest Motorable pass today. Strategy to start early paid off again, absolutely no traffic going uphill. Again nearly empty K-Top. Some pics enroute

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Khardungla is steep.. thats it but Changla has character slow sweeping climb with changing vista's. Changla still remained the favourite yet..

Some snaps after Khardung town. Makes you feel what is the need to visit Grand Canyon, we have our own.

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Fast but slightly risky drive takes you down to Nubra Valley. Here we first visited the Deksit Monastery, Hunder and then turned back to head towards Sumur where our camp was located.

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The day ended with a late evening drive to Panamik hot springs.

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Old 18th July 2012, 10:32   #21
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Default Re: 7000 kms- Trip of a Life Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnbohra View Post
12-6-2012 early start of 0400 hrs. Route would be Jaipur-Chomu-Sikar-Ratangad-Hanumangarh-Abohar-Kotkapura-Moga-Jalandhar-Pathankot (850 kms).
Few questions, as I too am going to Leh next month from Pune, and was contemplating a route via interior Rajasthan

1. Is it due to the traffic factor at Delhi that you chose the route via interior Rajasthan?

2. Why didnt you opt for Jaipur-Sikar route directly? Are the roads bad?

3. How are the facilities/amenities/repair shops/restaurants in this route?


And yes, rated 5 stars, its an epic travelogue sir.

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Old 18th July 2012, 11:23   #22
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Thanks Rahul for you interest in my log. Responding to your queries

1. Yes, dreaded the Jaipur-Delhi-Pathankot traffic hence the route via interior rajasthan. Believe me you will not regret. I had to go Jaipur as my co-passengers were from Jaipur, but you need not you can take the Kishangarh-Hanumangarh highway while coming from Bhilwara.

2. Jaipur-Sikar goes through Chomu. Roads bad a little bit upto Chomu then it is just pedal to the floor upto Abohar.

3. Puncture repair yes.. saw some M&M and TATA *** enroute but nothing much. Food will never be a problem Rajasthan/Punjab so be assured.
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Old 18th July 2012, 12:03   #23
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Wow this is going to be a beautiful thread, I can see it already.

I'm on the verge of planning a Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi trip - would it be possible for you to put up a list of destinations you stopped at, and how much time each segment of the trip took you etc?
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Old 18th July 2012, 12:13   #24
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22-6-12, Left Sumur with target to be in Leh by Lunch time.. alas K-Top and downhill was Jam packed.. people just park and go about the customary photo shoots. When we will learn?

Evening was spent re-organising luggage, it was decided only fresh clothes would remain in the vehicle all other stuff would go on the carrier.

23-6-12, Said our final goodbyes to Leh with promise that next visit would be a flight-in during winter. Present target was TsoMoriri. Heavy traffic till Karu then light and after Upshi totally desolate (would learn later why?)

Drive after Upshi is through valleys and changing hue of mountains at each bend.

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Cricket on the Helipad
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Engine of some sort
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Now we know why we had no oncomming traffic... they were building a new bridge to carry heavy duty tanks to the border with China. Spent 2 hrs waiting till the Boss decided that the civies had enough and made arrangements for us to pass. Group building the bridge were from Madras Sappers.

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Lake before Tso Moriri. The last 10 kms to Tso Moriri has no roads and it is "Make your own way".

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Finally... the most beautiful lake I had ever seen. Dark blue waters surrounded by beautiful mountains.

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Do you see the Paj in the above photo... well it was actually stuck. In an attempt to put the vehicle in a sweet spot for some snaps ended up with the rear wheels halfway through the gravel. Bit of 4H did not help so 4L it was came out in a jiffy. Had to take a promise (enforced by my better half) no stunts anymore. Well she would be surprised in comming days.

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Setting sun over the lake

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Old 18th July 2012, 12:49   #25
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Thanks Torquing points. The trip really is mind blowing.. I have collected nearly 350 GB data. What I am posting is just some of the snaps. I even have the whole drive of 21 days recorded on my car cam. Watching the movie "Climbing Zojilla" on large screen TV can have you going for days on end.

Now to your Point

Jaipur-Jammu @ 17-20 hrs
Srinagar-Gulmarg @ 2 hrs
Gulmarg-Sonamarg @ 5-6 hrs
Sonamarg-Kargil @ 6-7 hrs
Kargil-Ulleytokpo @ 5-6 hrs
Ulleytokpo-Leh @ 3-4 hrs
Leh-Pangong @ 5 hrs
Leh-Nubra @ 6-7 hrs
Leh-Tso Moriri @ 6-7 hrs
Tso Moriri-Jispa @ 12 hrs
Jispa - Manali @ 6-7 hrs

The end destinations was the places we stayed overnite. This was our program, but in leh things can be done differently also. These times are based on reasonable breaks for food/photo ops. Excludes being stuck due to closure of Passes/breakdowns.
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Old 18th July 2012, 13:37   #26
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Back to the camp.. we were greeted by roar of some 40 royal enfl's rolling in. Later came to know their tour was arranged by an NGO "Global Enduro" which helps orphans through out India. Met Mr. Dave who was the project lead. Had a bunch of local kids also joining in... smiles even in hardship

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This would be our first night sleeping at above 15K feet...
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Old 18th July 2012, 17:22   #27
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24-6-12, Night did not go so well.. we had thought after being in the Hills for so many days we would have sufficiently acclamitised.. guess not. Felt like "Two pahalwans" were sleeping on my chest, throbbing headache. Except for my daughter everybody else felt the same way. So finally we knew what was AMS.

Howling winds all night with Dogs and Donkeys (no pun here) making their sounds. Bone chilling cold in the morning, nobody dared having a shower. Cuppa tea and we were on our way. Target Sarchu. Overnight after discussions with other groups they told us "Ahh will take you 8-10 hrs to reach Sarchu.

Reached Sumdo and took the left towards Tso Kar. No road just after Sumdo till you enter Tso Kar. It was cloudy so not many pics but here goes

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Bird nest right beside the road.. guess they have no natural enemies.

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Approaching Tso Kar

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Tso Kar

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We were all excited time for Moore plains... there are plains but guess what they have converted that into "Moore Expressway" petty they were not taking any toll yet. With this road the whole experience of some sand and gravel driving is gone. Hit Pang in no time.

Climbing Lachulungla... this one has some really bad roads through some scary over hanging rocks. Driving is tough through this one.

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Having missed the shortcut at Changla found one going down hill Lachulungla, took this one.. goes straight down the hill cross a stream which is quite wide and shallow and you are onto the the next mountain (time saved again). Reached Ghata Loops which gives ample opportunity to try your driving skills.. off course they are off road.

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All such cuts were taken.. this one though was a tough one due to the steepness where it joins the road back. (I am not promoting this kind of driving so please take care be safe).

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Famous view prior to Sarchu

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Having left Tso Moriri 0700 hrs we were at Sarchu 1330 hrs. Time for lunch. to be continued...
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Old 18th July 2012, 22:46   #28
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Thank you for walking us through this extra ordinary, jaw dropping journey of yours.

All these beautiful pics makes me realize that India has so much to offer, to feel good about - I am so proud to be born here.
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Old 19th July 2012, 09:45   #29
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We had booking for overnite stay at Sarchu but during lunch the subject shifted to the difficulties faced overnight in Tso Moriri and the group was not keen on spending another night at such an high altitude. Result of enquiring around "Saab 3-4 ganta lagega Jispa tak". Now that was doable as it was only 1400 hrs now and sun won't set till 1900 hrs. "Par ek problem hai saab" descending Baralachala there is bridge which has broken and BRO is still working on it. "Humto side ke paani se nikal ke aagaye". Now if a ECCO/Qualis wala can do it this would not be an issue for us.

Sarchu pitstop was dumped and off we went towards Jispa. With sparse traffic soon we were climbing Baralachala. Midway it started snowing and everybody was now excited.. "June ka mahina and snow" this was treat. The snow, the barren landscape, beautiful Suraj Taal soon made us change our mind and Changla was relegated to second place, Baralachala was the best...

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Descending Baralachala

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Traffic jam ahead.

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BRO was still working on the bridge..

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Ok no problem where is the side nalluh.. all good things of the day had to be balanced.

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I have lot of pictures of accidents which we saw during the whole trip but was not keen on putting out somebody elses misery hence have not posted. But this Innova and subsequently a Truck managed to stop us from doing our most serious water crossing of the whole trip. Maybe gods way of saying "son you had your good time.. let this one pass"

2 hrs later BRO completed their work and we were again on our way to Jispa. The roads downhill Baralachala were excellent. Very Narrow and steep approaching Darcha. Excellent again after crossing into HP.

1900 hrs we were in jispa. Having skipped our booking in Sarchu, found a very nice place in Jispa-Padma Heritage. This is a newly built property.

Tommorrow Rohtang...
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Old 19th July 2012, 11:21   #30
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Default Re: 7000 kms- Trip of a Life Time

Whoaa.....
what a travelog. What photos, especially the one titled "DSC_2525". Rated 5 *.

Am just wondering after reading all these Leh logs "Mera number kab aayega", have been trying unsuccessfully to convince the authorities for a drive up there. Hopefully soon; keeping fingures crossed.

Meanwhile, waiting for Rohtang and more.

Last edited by advaitlele : 19th July 2012 at 11:22.
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