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Old 30th August 2012, 22:19   #316
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 4
26 - July - 2012

The Legendary HVK Scorpio
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HVK cleans the wind shield before the drive

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Old 30th August 2012, 22:25   #317
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 4
26 - July - 2012

Madam Safari
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Agent Vinod shows the Souvenir he got
(A running cow in front of his car when we were driving from Sach pass to Bairagad, had gifted him with that)
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Old 30th August 2012, 22:34   #318
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 4
26 - July - 2012

It started raining heavily.
I sat inside HVK Scorpio
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Rainy Video



Mr. and Mrs. Romin returned after a tea break!

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HVK runs to the Scorpio

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The sheep were out grazing and how I wish the rains clean them

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We started our onward journey from Sarthal by 08:45AM.


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Old 30th August 2012, 23:03   #319
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Saar, Did agent vinod also wanted to try the Goat under my car trick done by HVK? But instead of goat, he wanted to show his might with a cow haan??

that greenery is fantastic! Wish to remain there for ever. so whats the source of livelihood for the villagers? especially in winter?
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Old 30th August 2012, 23:31   #320
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
Saar, Did agent vinod also wanted to try the Goat under my car trick done by HVK? But instead of goat, he wanted to show his might with a cow haan??
There is an interesting tale behind that black spot in the Madam Safari headlight. The previous night, when we were driving down from Sach Pass to Bairavgad, a grazing cow panicked on seeing my Scorpio and I overtook it with great difficulty, but the mantle passed on to Agent Vinod, and he had a tough time - the scared cow galloped in front of him for over a km or so, before it found a shoulder where it got off the road, and this thing got deposited in the headlight!


Quote:
that greenery is fantastic! Wish to remain there for ever. so whats the source of livelihood for the villagers? especially in winter?
Sarthal closes down totally during winter. The entire place you see in the photos gets covered completely with snow some 20-30 feet deep, and everyone migrates to either Bani, Lowang or Bhaderwah (almost all those we talked to are from the villages in the lower altitude). The road itself closes down between Lowang & Bhaderwah. Sarthal reopens in the summer and the green meadows are great pasture grounds for shepherds to graze their goats, sheep & cows.

P.S. The place was so fascinating that our team was quite keen on staying back that day, trekking around to explore the neighbouring hills. But the no-water situation in the toilets & the sudden downpour watered down the plans, and that is how early departure was signalled & we left Sarthal by 845 am

Last edited by hvkumar : 30th August 2012 at 23:46.
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Old 31st August 2012, 12:43   #321
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Inspirational! That best describes this travelogue in one word. I'm hoping someday I will follow your tyre tracks!

Just had a couple of questions;

1) Does altitude sickness play a part in areas like these?
2) How much prep time goes into planning such a trip, to remote places on roads less travelled? What are the do's and dont's while travelling to 'sensitive' parts of the country?

Eagerly awaiting the rest of the travelogue! Cheers
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Old 31st August 2012, 12:47   #322
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Dear HVK,

I am looking for shoes for my Innova. I have been asking around for the brand and make of the tyres fro my Innova - who better than the father of Highways Which tyres are on your scorpio? I am confused between Bridgestone (stock) B390 and Yokohama C drive. What are your views?
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Old 31st August 2012, 13:23   #323
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by MaverikMahesh View Post
Dear HVK,

I am looking for shoes for my Innova. I have been asking around for the brand and make of the tyres fro my Innova - who better than the father of Highways Which tyres are on your scorpio? I am confused between Bridgestone (stock) B390 and Yokohama C drive. What are your views?
I have used both BS & Yokos & for my driving circumstances, Yokos is best.

Yokos AT:
+ braking
+ wet roads
+ rough terrain
+ superb handling at high speeds, ghats
- soft, cuts in sidewalls
- less life
- more expensive

BS AT:
+ long life
+ harder, less damage
- poorer handling in high speed, wet roads & ghat roads

Let me remind you that my Yokos have been fantastic on the roads of Ladakh, but I have also suffered severe damage - especially Sidewall cuts - in the Yokos.
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Old 31st August 2012, 13:40   #324
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Sathal also seems to be an amazing place. You guys are showing us so many amazing and unexplored places. Hats off guys.. Eagerly waiting for the next installments. BTW, you guys did Mughal Road too, right? When is that section coming?
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Old 31st August 2012, 13:47   #325
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I have used both BS & Yokos & for my driving circumstances, Yokos is best.

Yokos AT:
+ braking
+ wet roads
+ rough terrain
+ superb handling at high speeds, ghats
- soft, cuts in sidewalls
- less life
- more expensive

BS AT:
+ long life
+ harder, less damage
- poorer handling in high speed, wet roads & ghat roads

Let me remind you that my Yokos have been fantastic on the roads of Ladakh, but I have also suffered severe damage - especially Sidewall cuts - in the Yokos.
HVK, Thanks for the feedback. This is pretty much consistent with what i have read in the "Tyre & Alloy Wheel" section of Team BHP. I guess i will go for Yoko C drive. I was thinking of upsizing to 225/60/R15, but i guess i will stick to the stock size of 205/65/R15
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Old 31st August 2012, 14:04   #326
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by MorePower View Post
1) Does altitude sickness play a part in areas like these?
In the circuit we did, we did not cross 4500 mtrs height anywhere. Hence, no high altitude issues. IN any case, we drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, that helps high-altitude sickness too.


Quote:
2) How much prep time goes into planning such a trip, to remote places on roads less travelled? What are the do's and dont's while travelling to 'sensitive' parts of the country?
I do lots of research on routes before hand. MY entire trip plan - even when it involves going to least-travelled, unknown or difficult areas - is fully planned beforehand, right down to the T and I am sure where I will halt overnight & how much speed I will do in each sector. Also have a good record of adhering to trip plans.

Dos & Don'ts - nothing special, except that we are more careful, less conspicuous, keep tab on security situation before & during the drive, very patient...
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Old 31st August 2012, 15:32   #327
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Boy, what an inspirational drive. The Khillar-Tiyari route is a 'must' for bikers, not sure about four-wheels.
Did Madam Safari fall in love with HVK Scorpio? With no Captain Gowri in the frame, I guess she is doing the honors this time, eh?
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Old 31st August 2012, 16:03   #328
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Originally Posted by rahul_sinha View Post
Boy, what an inspirational drive. The Khillar-Tiyari route is a 'must' for bikers, not sure about four-wheels.
Did Madam Safari fall in love with HVK Scorpio? With no Captain Gowri in the frame, I guess she is doing the honors this time, eh?
Sir ji, Madam Safari is already married to Agent Vinod, HVK SCorpio does not practice adultery

Yes, I heard that Capt. Gowri is now posted in the deserts of Bikaner.....
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Old 31st August 2012, 17:33   #329
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Map of the full Bairavgad-Langera-Bani-Sarthal sector,
based on our GPS tracks
This is what we covered the full day on Jul 25, 2012
HVK, Have you got the GPS route file uploaded anywhere? Want to see it in Google Earth. Thanks.
.
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Old 31st August 2012, 19:35   #330
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
There is an interesting tale behind that black spot in the Madam Safari headlight. The previous night, when we were driving down from Sach Pass to Bairavgad, a grazing cow panicked on seeing my Scorpio and I overtook it with great difficulty, but the mantle passed on to Agent Vinod, and he had a tough time - the scared cow galloped in front of him for over a km or so, before it found a shoulder where it got off the road, and this thing got deposited in the headlight!
Sharing a similar experience, but with nastier consequences:
This was in the early 90's. On the way back from a drive in the Garhwal region, IIRC this was somewhere near Karnaprayag. A calf started running in front of us, scared by the car and the incessant honking of a minibus that was following us. The road was narrow, with no space for the animal to stop or for us to let the minibus pass. After a kilometer or more, we found a lay-by to pull into and let the minibus pass. The calf continued running as the minibus continued to honk and follow it. We followed behind the bus, thankful about not having our ears blown away by his air-horn.

About 2-3 km further down the road, the exhausted calf collapsed in a heap right in the middle of the road. The minibus stopped and the driver & conductor went to the animal, but it wouldn't respond - looked dead. They dragged the animal to the side of the road, and casually continued on their way.

Such incidents (of scared animals racing ahead of cars) are not very uncommon in the mountains still, but thankfully the roads are wider, so animals can let a vehicle pass - also, I suppose they tend to run less scared of engine and horn noises, being more used to them due to the increasing penetration of automobiles into hitherto non-tourist-attracting areas.

Madam Safari taught the cow a lesson she will not forget in a hurry!
In a similar situation today, I just stop for 2 minutes for the animal to settle down.
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