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Old 28th August 2012, 16:43   #286
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HOW DOES SARTHAL LOOK LIKE IN GOOGLE EARTH - Ground-level View?

This is How!
See the blue tracks where we drove into the Sarthal settlement to stay for the night


Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts-sarthalstreetview.jpg

We entered from the left most corner (South side), then made a U-turn into the village.
The snowy mountain to the background (North side) is towards Chatergala which we drove to the next day

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Old 28th August 2012, 16:49   #287
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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You can see the wrong route we took from Kothi to Langera & the ITBP check post (from where we had to return because of the incomplete road), and then the correct road via Kyari & Bani to Sarthal. As the ITBP personnel told us, Sarthal was just the other side of the hill!
We should have trekked with Romin, while you come across the other side driving! 50KMs should have taken 10 to 12 hours to trek, and if survived from the militants would have reached Sarthal by midnight
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Old 28th August 2012, 16:56   #288
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

This is how the ITBP Camp near Langera - road's end - looks on Google Earth ground-level view


Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts-itbpcamp.jpg

See the ITBP camp down in the valley to the left, while the "road" which is being built to Paddari/Bhaderwah



And here is the real-life photo of almost the same spot, a little before the ITBP camp:
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Old 28th August 2012, 17:05   #289
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

How is it to drive on the banks of the River Ravi towards the Chimera Dam from the Kothi bridge towards Kyari?
See how the Google Earth ground-level view looks like:
(with the blue tracks of the car)



Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts-kothi.jpg

...and here is Lalu's photo of the drive along the river side:
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Old 28th August 2012, 20:23   #290
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Now for some views from the Kishtwar-Gulabgarh-Khillar road,
see how the road hangs on the cliffs as it follows the course of the River Chandra Bhaga south towards Khillar. Check out how high the mountains are:
(the blue line is the GPS track of our Scorpio)


Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts-kishtwarbulabgarh.jpg


Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts-kishtwargulabgarh2.jpg

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Old 28th August 2012, 20:46   #291
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

The Tyari "Cliff hanger sections, in the Kishtwar-Khillar road:


Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts-tyari.jpg
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Old 28th August 2012, 20:56   #292
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

OMG, an overdose of technology.
I am amazed at the GPS and mapping technologies that we have today.

Interesting
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Old 29th August 2012, 01:17   #293
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HVK and Laluks,

I am not sure if I am correct with my question, but still would ask.

Your GPS logs and photos shows a very strategically important road. Hills on either side, vantage points, check posts. I guess you can understand where I am heading to. Well, just a thought. There are many ways to get to know the situation there but why should we contribute? I hope its taken in the right sense. Atleast not the checkposts/bunkers/airfields if not discussed about is better. Isnt it?
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Old 29th August 2012, 07:53   #294
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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HVK and Laluks,

I am not sure if I am correct with my question, but still would ask.

Your GPS logs and photos shows a very strategically important road. Hills on either side, vantage points, check posts. I guess you can understand where I am heading to. Well, just a thought. There are many ways to get to know the situation there but why should we contribute? I hope its taken in the right sense. Atleast not the checkposts/bunkers/airfields if not discussed about is better. Isnt it?
Not really. These roads are public roads. There are no restrictions on travel in it. They are nowhere near the border. I am also definitely more patriotic than the militants who live in that area and can relay info about these roads & this region 24x7. Further, this info in G Maps is available to one and all. If these roads do not appear in any maps, that is not by design - just the incompetence of our map-makers. By sharing info about these roads & routes, I am sure we as motorists can gain immensely & plan our motoring in these least-travelled regions with more confidence & predictbility.

Some specifics: The ITBP check post shown is on the road, meant to restrict motorists & trekkers from going further on a road that is incomplete. There are sign boards there which identify their location and there is nothing classified about their presence there. There is not even an sign board - typical Official Secrets Act one - which requests no photography.

In today's hi tech technology age, the amateurish work that we did is done several x times better by anyone with mala fide interests.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:32   #295
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HVK sirji, I am too tempted to take my Innova there and our other too, not right now, but definitely in very near future. But I would want you to ratify taking such a vehicle there.

What -ves I think are:
1. Lower GC than Scorp (but only 4mm)
2. Longer wheelbase than Scorp
Owing to both above, approach/departure angle will play major role in getting in/out of ditchy areas and also longer wheelbase could mean a little difficult maneuvering around tight corners.
3. Suspension
4. Biggest culprit, low 200Nm torque

Do you think it is advisable to take Innova on such a road? Frankly, I felt, yes it can be done.
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:51   #296
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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HVK sirji, I am too tempted to take my Innova there and our other too, not right now, but definitely in very near future. But I would want you to ratify taking such a vehicle there.

What -ves I think are:
1. Lower GC than Scorp (but only 4mm)
2. Longer wheelbase than Scorp
Owing to both above, approach/departure angle will play major role in getting in/out of ditchy areas and also longer wheelbase could mean a little difficult maneuvering around tight corners.
3. Suspension
4. Biggest culprit, low 200Nm torque

Do you think it is advisable to take Innova on such a road? Frankly, I felt, yes it can be done.
If you go in Aug-Sep, your Innova can definitely do it with that little extra care. GC is not an issue, longer wheel base may be, but that too I don't think is a serious issue. You must have good wet road off-terrain tyres - both my SCorpio & Madam Safari run on Yoko Geolanders AT tyres, which are fantastic on wet roads, slush & bad roads, although they take lots of damage - so that you can have an easy ride over the rough sections.
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Old 29th August 2012, 13:48   #297
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

This is surely one of the most amazing and fascinating TLs posted ever and I m glued to it every minute. Now after going through multiple times and replaying the Killar Kishtwar videos first of the pioneering effort by adc and now this travel by HVK gang

The intersting thing about these two travels are that the direction of the journey seems to be in opposite direction and thus there are some questions ringing in the head about this leg of the journey-

It would be great if both HVK and adc give their point of view based on their experience on this road-

1. Which direction in your opinion is the harder and more trecherous one -
Killar Kistwar - seems that one is on the valley side of the road most of the time
Kistwar Killar - the side of the cliff (though the valley is just cms away)

2. Do you rate this as THE MOST DANGEROUS road in the world if not one THE MOST DANGEROUS road that you have driven in

3. Saw some pics of dam townships / hydel project townships, don't you get some kind of accomodation (guest house etc) to stay in these places?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Fantastic videos. Chaap rasta at its best!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc
It is no error part of the track! A mistake and you would fall down a gorge deep enough to make a call back home, of course if mobile signal would have been available in those parts. A host of "kaichis" or switchbacks and a 6-mt turning radius takes the Safari to end of the track.

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


http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2616788 (Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011)



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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Does this video also scare you?


Last edited by girishglg : 29th August 2012 at 13:52.
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Old 29th August 2012, 14:06   #298
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by girishglg View Post

The intersting thing about these two travels are that the direction of the journey seems to be in opposite direction and thus there are some questions ringing in the head about this leg of the journey-


1. Which direction in your opinion is the harder and more trecherous one -
Killar Kistwar - seems that one is on the valley side of the road most of the time
Kistwar Killar - the side of the cliff (though the valley is just cms away)
It is a steeper climb from Kishtwar to Khillar, but it is even more steeper climb from Bairavgad to Sach Pass! So whichever direction you drive in, you will face steep climbs both ways in the Chamba-Sach Pass-Khillar-Gulabgarh-Kishtwar circuit. However, it is definitely more difficult to climb up the slushy roads in thick fog from Bairavgad onwards than to slide down slush in the last few kms approaching Gulabgarh.

From Kishtwar to GUlabgarh, the river is on the left side, but after that, the cliff-hanger sectors are always on the driver's side. However, that is not a problem for experienced drivers.

Both times I have been on this route, I have done it East-West, whereas ADC did it the other way, as also Avicorp and kshil last week (we will await their versions)


Quote:
2. Do you rate this as THE MOST DANGEROUS road in the world if not one THE MOST DANGEROUS road that you have driven in
Not really. I did not feel it to be dangerous, although one has to be careful negotiating some of the steeper climbs. Road itself was not bad, and except for some rocky climbs in the Khillar-Bairavgad sector & slush, nothing that could have caused a scare. There are sections which see rock falls/ land slides from time to time, but I guess there is the risk of stones falling nto your car in any mountain road in India.

The only anxiety is that:
(a) car can break down, and you have no support
(b) you get stuck due to land slides, etc and you may get delayed or have to return the same way you came
(c) you get stuck because your car could not negotiate a bad section


Quote:
3. Saw some pics of dam townships / hydel project townships, don't you get some kind of accomodation (guest house etc) to stay in these places?
Unlikely. Dam colonies do not take kindly to outsiders or guests, even though they may have their company guest houses inside the colonies.

However, in the HImalayan country side, in the worst case scenario, you can always find a friendly house to stay in, however small the village or hamlet is.
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Old 29th August 2012, 17:01   #299
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Dear HVK and Team,

Have been following the thread for last few days, Hats off to u guys for taking on such an expedition. Stupendous TL and photos can't wait for more. Always thought there were just two routes(Pathankot- jammu and Manali- leh) to enter J&K. Opened my eyes to a whole new world out there. High on my list of things to-do. if could get the right co-pax to take on this challenge.
I have a Q5 2.0TDI, How do you think an automatic would fare on this route?

waiting for more. Pls. bring it on.
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Old 29th August 2012, 17:20   #300
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by lazyrider View Post
Do you think this route is doable on a bike?
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
there may be other points too to consider.
Best part would be not having to worry about getting around vehicles coming from the other side

Kumar Sir/Lalu Ji - As always, excellent writeup and pics! One kicka$$ trip and an equally enthralling travelogue!!
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