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Old 9th August 2012, 08:55   #16
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Completely speechless after witnessing this feat. I saw the video posted on the FB and was completely amazed. Will be hooked on to this one.
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Old 9th August 2012, 10:29   #17
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
Wonderful start Lalu. Eagerly waiting for the story & pics to unfold.

I had seen ADC's thread and this road is on my must do list even though I have a fear of heights

So my 5 stars added. And waiting with a lot of hunger and a big clean plate, bring it on without any delay please
Will upload the next set by today evening.
Seriously - at certain places the road is just wide enough for the vehicle and you look out of the window down to the sheer drop
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Old 9th August 2012, 12:10   #18
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Arrow Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Lalu & HVK : Thanks for starting this thread, been looking forward to the full story for some time and the logs. Lovely pictures to start with, awaiting the Cliffhanger tales. Way to go!

@ Rohit: Thanks for some of those videos you uploaded some place else.. are awesome.

--Ramky
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Old 9th August 2012, 12:16   #19
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

@laluks: Envious
@HVK: Next time call me too!

Enchanting pics from Sach pass. This must have been one hell of a drive!
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Old 9th August 2012, 12:46   #20
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Lalu,

I have to take HVK to task now.

When i called him up the other day he said he was driving somewhere is Kashmir and the place was just awesome. He never told me that you were there as well lest i would have pestered you long ago for the TL.

Great stuff indeed. Looking forward to the rest. Is there seven stars for rating

Keep it up guys. After that amazing Ladakh trip you guys had last year, this one is to cherish now.
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Old 9th August 2012, 13:18   #21
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Hello Laluks,

After amazing & detailed Ladakh travellogue, you treated us with great colors of Rajasthan & now once again you are bringing us hidden Kashmir & Himachal...

May I ask you what else do you do other than travelling & capturing great pictures? Travelogues like yours & others here on T-BHP are deeply motivating us to break out from routine & undertake journey to unexplored places.

Thank you once again for treating us with virtual tours of beautiful places like these.

Regards,
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Old 9th August 2012, 13:22   #22
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Awesome is an understatement!

Lalu and HVK, some really good raw scenery. Look forward for more.

Cheers
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Old 9th August 2012, 14:42   #23
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Dear Laluks,

You are truly blessed. Many dream, fantasize even, but very few get to live life on their terms - you are one of the blessed few. What would i give to have been part of the "Gang" on this trip!

The first two pics are mind boggling. Please provide more details on the route, road conditions, accommodation, food etc. I am completely hooked to this thread
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Old 9th August 2012, 15:30   #24
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Why this trip?

I had some personal work in NCR, which came up at short notice, and since it is cheaper for the family to go by road, I decided to plan a road trip.

Since I was driving 1500 kms to NCR, driving 1000 kms more to Kashmir was not a bad idea. After all, I always believed that if you can go to London, one can go on to Peking also!

But why Kashmir & Himachal?

Well, I have been to many places in these 2 lovely HImalayan States several times, but last year when I visited Sach Pass, I saw the Khillar-Kishtwar road, I made enquiries about it, and said, I must do this one too. Doda-Kishtwar region has been tormented by terrorist violence all these years & it is only the last 1-2 years that peace is settling down, so I also thought this is now or never to visit this region sandwiched between the Chenab & Chandrabhaga Rivers. Then there was the Mughal Road - made famous by the Mughal Rally - which had been a 4WD rally road, but I heard that it was possible for our humbler cars to drive on. Thus, a drive circuit was devised around these parts of hidden Kashmir & HP.

How was the planning done?

I had little knowledge of this region, but of late, lots of info has started popping up all over. JK Govt itself started encouraging tourism in least-travelled places like Bhaderwah. Friends like ADC & Tarun Goel had driven the Khillar-Kishtwar sector before. Ajay gave me constant updates about road & weather conditions using his formidable network, and also opened my eyes to the Chamba-Doda road. When asked, Ajay scoffed and said that even a Chevy Beat had just done the Mughal Road, so what if you are driving a 2WD Scorpio!

How did the team come together?

Agent Vinod & I had been planning this drive for some time now. So when I decided to go for this one, it was but natural that he also decided to come along, but driving solo from Pune to meet up with me in Jammu.

Lalu has just recited how he came into the trip. I think we make a great pair, me driving & he photographing. I rave & rant, he looks outside the window & clicks some more.

3 hours before I was to start off from Bombay, Romin came online, he works with Upasana Resort in Samse near Chickmagalur; after exchanging pleasantries, he discovered that I was off to Kashmir. A long pause, he asks me when is the latest I will leave Delhi. Sunday 2 pm, I said. 10 minutes, later, he had booked his air tickets to Delhi for himself & his wife. Quickest decision. Even as I left Bombay, Romin & Megha took a Volvo bus from Samse to Bangalore to catch their flight on Sunday morning to Delhi.....

Our drive........will write about it shortly

Last edited by hvkumar : 9th August 2012 at 15:36.
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Old 9th August 2012, 15:51   #25
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HVK & Lalu awesome start.

Since I was driving 1500 kms to NCR, driving 1000 kms more to Kashmir was not a bad idea : Truly HVK

@Lalu Really beautiful pics. Pic 2 is awesome.
I am hooked. Don't make us wait !!
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Old 9th August 2012, 16:02   #26
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Adventurous Ride(HVK) + Amazing photos(LALUKS) = Great Travelogue.

Eagerly waiting for the rest of the TL!

Last edited by sudheermenon : 9th August 2012 at 16:04.
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Old 9th August 2012, 16:08   #27
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HVK and Lalu,

I am totally speechless after seeing the teasers. You guys are amazing. Its high time you thought about an alternate career in "adventure roadism".

Pls pls post the rest of the tlog soon, if possible before 00.00 hrs Saturday it would be great to spend time reading and drooling over the weekend.

Did the lady folks in the army leave HVK alone this time?

Thanks a ton for sharing

Vindy
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Old 9th August 2012, 16:50   #28
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post

We had very less discussion after this exchange of ideas. We were both busy with our normal chores!
And what would these normal chores be?? Planning the next big trip after coming back??

Seriously Laluji, I am amazed at how you manage all your leaves in one go. In my case, nothing ever goes as planned, so I've decided to give up planning and start 'on-the-fly' trips from now on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

Since I was driving 1500 kms to NCR, driving 1000 kms more to Kashmir was not a bad idea. After all, I always believed that if you can go to London, one can go on to Peking also!
Super quote HVK!!! This is a quote that I have only dreamed of, but never have been even close to doing it.
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Old 9th August 2012, 17:07   #29
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

How was the car prepared for the trip?

My Scorpio, despite its 3,17,000 kms, is always ready to go, like a jet fighter scrambling at the smallest of alerts on the Indo-Pak border. Yet, everyone needs to prepare for a long trip & since I always have a long list of things-to-do, I replaced the worn-out central bearing in the propeller shaft, agonised over the excessive coolant consumption (excessive in the city, none in the highway!) & had my rear shock absorbers changed.

I found that the towing rope lent out to someone who drove to Ladakh had not yet been returned, but a round of expletives saw to its hasty return!

Was there a drive plan?

Of course, all my trips are made to a drive plan which I make like a flight plan, down to the last detail, and the first part of it was the Bombay-Delhi sector. I had already tied myself down to the dates for July 22-29, 2012, the dates that Lalu landed & departed from Delhi respectively, and these were inviolable. The rest of teh drive had to be planned around the 7 days I had at my disposal.

Worries - what worries?

Rains. That was what worried me most. Rains had not yet hit North India, it was already 3 weeks into July, and I was apprehensive that I would face heavy rains in the Himalayan region , turning roads into mud baths & mountain sides crumbling down in land slides. My frown deepened when I realised that Romin's wife's name was Megha and carrying Megha along would mean also the rain-clouds along with us! Ajay also went silent when I queried him on the state of the Hidden Kashmir/Cliffhanger Roads. NO one can really say. NO insurance company will ever cover the risk!

Did I drive solo from Bombay to Delhi?

Of course not. This was a personal trip from Bombay to Delhi, my wife and son were to accompany me. They are the uncomplaining sort, used to me, my tantrums, mannerisms, etc, and they go to sleep the moment I turn on the ignition & wait till the car comes to a total halt at the final destination before opening their eyes. Could not have asked for more delightful company - the melodies of Richard Clayderman & Zamfir!!

How the drive planned?

I have been regularly driving BOmbay-Delhi, and I had got to understand the traffic situation on this long 1,500 kms highway that cuts across south Gujarat & traverses one full length of Rajasthan. Time planning is the key here. If you travel through some sectors at the wrong time, you can mess up your arrival time by as much as 4-6 hours.

I always drive this sector non-stop. So reducing the number of hours on the road was critical. South Gujarat's heavy industrial traffic & the mess due to road widening & flyover construction in Jaipur-Delhi were the 2 key bottlenecks to be overcome.

I am known as the 3 am man, because I like to leave at 3 am on long drives. But NH8 north of Bombay is a nightmare at that time, with trucks clogging the highways after having cleared the octroi check posts of the Bombay region as they rush bumper-to-bumper to the GJ border.

Last year, I had experimented with an evening departure and that paid rich dividends. Slack traffic in south GJ & an arrival at Jaipur before midday would optimise times in this route. Summer time is good. All trucks are off the road during the hot midday hours and strong-AC cars can touch their maximum speeds after Jaipur without abusing truck drivers. I had to ensure that I also arrived in NCR before 10 pm whichever way I could to avoid the long Qs in the Gurgaon expressway and entry points into Delhi.

I normally take 18-20 hours fro Bombay-Delhi and a 7 pm departure would mean I could be in Delhi for late lunch the next day.

How did the drive go? Keep reading, that is the next post....
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Old 9th August 2012, 17:29   #30
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Wow! This is going to be another great triplog by the 'gang'. This would be even more interesting since we are going to talk about hidden routes and the driving experience through it. Great teasers, laluks. Thanks for sharing. Like someone said, this may need 7stars, rated and hooked.
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