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Old 9th August 2012, 17:30   #31
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HVK & LALUKS, you are increasing the BP of the fellow BHPians. We can't wait anymore. Please do shift into a higher gear
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Old 9th August 2012, 17:33   #32
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

This is absolutely fascinating. Its amazing how you plan these drives. Just love it sirji. Eagerly waiting for the rest of the story to unfold.

Just a question : How is the road connecting to Margan Top/Inshan? Did you go here?
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Old 9th August 2012, 17:39   #33
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

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.


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! .
HVK Sir. 3,17, 000 Kms That is mind boggling. And this is in how many years?? Has Mahindra ever approached you to become their brand ambassador.

And the comment in bold had me
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Old 9th August 2012, 18:57   #34
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABerry View Post
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.
Those videos are really priceless! What a drive. We'll be posting them at the relevant points during the log

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
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!
Thanks Ramky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
@laluks: Envious
@HVK: Next time call me too!

Enchanting pics from Sach pass. This must have been one hell of a drive!
, It was one hell of a drive through those glaciers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
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.
Thanks Fauji.
I was listening to that conversation where he boasted about Kashmir and its awesomeness. I never knew you were at the other end!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
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,
Thanks Jignesh.
Like most of you I too do work for a living. I wish I could stop working for money, but that is still a far fetched dream for me. Traveling, Photography and Writing are some of the anchoring points that I cherish in my life. I prefer it that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Awesome is an understatement!

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

Cheers
Thanks AB. Its long time. Should plan a trip together with your capable vehicle some day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverikMahesh View Post
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
Thank you Mahesh. Its just that I risk it for having my dreams compared to many. It certainly has its ups and downs.
All details are coming up very soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by v&v View Post
@Lalu Really beautiful pics. Pic 2 is awesome.
I am hooked. Don't make us wait !!
v&v - we will finish this log fast. This would be like a short story considering our IPHE Epic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudheermenon View Post
Adventurous Ride(HVK) + Amazing photos(LALUKS) = Great Travelogue.

Eagerly waiting for the rest of the TL!
Thank you. My next update is coming very soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
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
Will post a lot by today and tomorrow for your weekend.
Wish somebody calls me for such jobs. I will do that with a lot of passion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
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.
Addy - this was decided at the spurt of the moment. No plans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
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.
Thanks for the nice words. Accepted your 7 stars Ketan

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudheermenon View Post
HVK & LALUKS, you are increasing the BP of the fellow BHPians. We can't wait anymore. Please do shift into a higher gear
Will do that. Wait for the upcoming posts soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
This is absolutely fascinating. Its amazing how you plan these drives. Just love it sirji. Eagerly waiting for the rest of the story to unfold.

Just a question : How is the road connecting to Margan Top/Inshan? Did you go here?
Road details will be given by HVK. I do not think we had been to those places (or probably I never noticed).
Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
HVK Sir. 3,17, 000 Kms That is mind boggling. And this is in how many years?? Has Mahindra ever approached you to become their brand ambassador.

And the comment in bold had me
Megha really did bring rains all along, the moment we were exiting Delhi - Delhi got some nice showers. Also we had rains almost every day in some of the sectors.
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Old 9th August 2012, 21:13   #35
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

What was the detailed route from Bombay to Delhi & timings in each sector?

Bombay-Delhi

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Gurgaon
Delhi Alaknada

Any other useful info from the drive?

It was a non-stop drive with one break at the BPCL Ghar Dhaba after Chittorgarh for toilets (for 30 minutes).
Traffic was light throughout, especially in South GJ.
Traffic intensifies at Manor, between Bombay & Vapi.
Mostly truck traffic.
We had heavy rains till 30 kms north of Bombay, nothing thereafter
Private car traffic is very sparse, limited to mostly Tempo Traveller type traffic only
There are several 24 hour petrol pumps
I took my first refuelling break at Talasari (before MH-GJ border), where diesel is cheaper than Bombay & diesel cheaper in MH than GJ
As usual, the 6-laners are hellish with trucks travelling in every lane, so we have to weave in and out of lanes to keep going ahead.
The Baroda-Ahmedabad expressway was almost empty of traffic.
I did not go on Udaipur bypass since it is nowadays quite bad & sees traffic jams. The road through Udaipur city was clean and did not take more time than what it takes to go on the bypass.
It is nice to see Udaipur at day break, having covered over 800 kms in a little over 9 hours.
It felt better when I fulfilled my target of getting to Jaipur at 10 am, so that I could take NH8 at the least traffic time towards Delhi.
Jaipur bypass is now pretty good after the widening
Post-Jaipur, roads are still being widened, traffic is slow, flyovers are partly complete...expect slow progress.

There is a log book. Car cam videos. GPS tracks.

Any encounters?

Of course. How can a drive be complete without running into cops?
For the GJ cops, I had my yellow sticker, so no one stopped me. In any case, GJ cops sleep well at night even at the CPs.

But RJ cops were not sleeping.
At one of the towns - Kotputli, I think - a RJ cop stopped me after seeing my MH registration number.
"Documents dikhaao", he says
"Kyon?", that is me
"Documents?"
"I am with my family, driving from Bombay to Delhi"
"Why do you want to see my documents?"
"What for should I show you my documents? I have all documents"
"But I cannot simply show you documents"

And I drove on, he was speechless of course.

Last edited by hvkumar : 9th August 2012 at 21:23.
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Old 9th August 2012, 21:49   #36
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

One wonderful travelog. Impatiently waiting for the rest of the story.

Saji
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Old 9th August 2012, 21:57   #37
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

After reaching Delhi from Bombay, what happened next?

On Jul 21, 2012 evening, we were enjoying the hospitality of one of our friends in South Delhi.
This was one good night's sleep after the previous all-night drive.
....and also to prepare for the next night's all-night drive too!
But then I was in Delhi for some personal work, which was to take me to a place near Sonipat on Jul 22, 2012.
So that day saw me driving off from Delhi to Sonipat, while our friends Lalu, Romin & Megha flew into Delhi. I returned to Delhi, picked up our friends in New Delhi Railway Station. Miserably hot. The trip was to continue....

Oops! Did the Scorpio get repaired?

When I arrived from Bombay on Jul 21, 2012, I found the engine oil dip stick in my Scorpio was found to be broken and oil spilling out through the opening. Worrisome, I had no way f finding out how much oil was spilt.
We left New Delhi Railway Station at 430 pm, and were in Rai (near Sonipat) at 530 pm.
The small-time mechanic had the oil dip stick repaired, and we were done by 615 pm.

Why the night drive from Delhi to Jammu?

NH1 between Delhi & Jalandhar is being widened from Panipat onwards. Lots of flyovers under construction. Many diversions. Several places where the road narrows down to 1 -lane. Quite a mess during day time. All those who have used NH1 in recent times have lost lots of time travelling on it. The mess lasts some 300 kms till Jalandhar.

However, road condition is good. To avoid the traffic congestion, I decided to drive the Delhi-Jammu sector by night. I am familiar with this highway and I have fond memories of another all-night drive when I reached Amritsar from Delhi in 5.5 hours or so some 12 years ago.

How did the drive go?

Superb. Perfect strategy to tackle the mess in NH1 is to drive by night.
Light truck traffic. No car or miscellaneous traffic. Lots of facilities like dhabas & petrol pumps. Great roads except in town areas where flyovers are under construction.

There were cops checking cars. In PB & JK. But very polite, just checking our credentials. No demands for documents, just a civil enquiry about our credentials and our destination.

High spirits in the car. I was meeting Romin & his wife for the first time although we had known each other online for several years. For those who wish to know more about him, you can do nothing better than read his blog here:
tatkal ticket

We stopped over at a dhaba after Rajpura fro dinner. Genuine truck driver dhaaba, good food, borewell water, open outdoor toilets. Just the way we like our dhaabas to be.

The bypasses at Ludhiana & Jalandhar are inconspicuous by the absence of sign boards - all plucked away due to flyover construction and road widening - but we found our way.

Roads after Jalandhar are still not fully widened till Pathankot, and NH1A is also 2-laned till the JK border town of Lakhanpur. But once you enter JK, it is spectacular 4-laned roads all the way to Jammu. You will enjoy this drive. WE did not want to take the short cut to Udhampur (avoiding Jammu) from Dyala Chak/Samba because the roads via Jammu are that good.

Did we take a break at Jammu?

No.
Agent Vinod.
Agent Vinod & Madam Safari.
They had already left Pune 2 days ago and were already in Jammu, having come there via first the mountains of Saputara, then the exciting desert route of Jaislamer, Bikaner & Sriganganagar before travelling through the green fields of Punjab.
Agent Vinod had taken up residence at JKTDC Jammu, where we arrived at 4 am, early morning. He was up and ready, waiting for us.
The SCorpio team usurped his room, used his toilets & his shower. And they were all charged up and ready to go at 6 am, just 2 hours later.....

Thus the journey continued.....
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Old 9th August 2012, 22:00   #38
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HVK Sir that is some amazing speed. How can you not take a break till you're very much in RJ? Simply amazing. Haha I really would like to know if the cop said anything. Your stories with cops are becoming a legend.

Amazing is the word for the logue so far. Waiting for more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
But RJ cops were not sleeping.
At one of the towns - Kotputli, I think - a RJ cop stopped me after seeing my MH registration number.
"Documents dikhaao", he says
"Kyon?", that is me
"Documents?"
"I am with my family, driving from Bombay to Delhi"
"Why do you want to see my documents?"
"What for should I show you my documents? I have all documents"
"But I cannot simply show you documents"

And I drove on, he was speechless of course.
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Old 9th August 2012, 22:06   #39
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

What was the detailed route from Delhi to Jammu & timings in each sector?

Delhi-Jammu


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We also took a 40-minute dinner break after Rajpura
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Old 9th August 2012, 22:32   #40
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 1
23 - July - 2012

By 06:00AM we were ready to roll.

The JKTDC Hotel where Agent Vinod was staying
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We saw a marvelous bridge
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That's the Tikri Police Station

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Introducing Madam Safari - Sorry about the Butt view
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Most road pictures are clicked through the wind screen of the Scorpio. A colour imbalance is highly noticeable. Tried my best to correct, please bear with me.

Leh is just 675KM -Now that every other guy is driving to Leh, we were not much interested to go back. Le us see may be next year!
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That bus is KA05 registered - I guess we have influenced a lot of people that they even hire a bus to Leh!
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Muddy waterfall by the road
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This Tavera is bar coded with owners mobile number

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continued...
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Old 9th August 2012, 22:38   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
HVK informed me a few days before the travel that we will be joined by Mr. and Mrs. Romin in HVK's Scorpio and "Agent Vinod" and his beloved "Madam Safari" from Pune. Boy! Madam Safari was hot!!
Lalu, never knew you were fascinated by old women - Madam Safari is touching almost 1.5 lakh kms in just under 4 years!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
Fantastic pictures Lalu, please post quickly, I have no patience Am really kicking myself for not taking up on this offer for the drive, by the way, is the Safari a 4x2?
Well, I guess you did not believe it when Lalu said HVK is going on a 6000 km drive. You must have said,
"Are you kidding me, Lalu? HVK going on ONLY 6K drive? You said right - it is not 12k?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
Lovely write up! Waiting for the rest of the travelogue. Is the Kistwar route the same that we saw in a write-up a few days back? Someone from Kol, forgetting the name!
Yes, that was our Adventurous Desi Chum (ADC). Here is his TL,
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...er-2011-a.html (Self-Drive Exploratory Expedition->Zanskar+Unknown Kashmir-> "off-season October 2011)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
@laluks: Envious
@HVK: Next time call me too!

Enchanting pics from Sach pass. This must have been one hell of a drive!
Sir ji, you are the pioneer of Mughal Road drives. I still remember your drive (along with your wife) in the Mughal Rally! What do we know that you don't??? But yes, we enjoyed this drive immensely. No convoys to lead, relaxed time scheduling, open drive plan, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Lalu,


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.
.
Yes, your call came when we were basking in the cool weather of Sanasar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by v&v View Post
Since I was driving 1500 kms to NCR, driving 1000 kms more to Kashmir was not a bad idea : Truly HVK
For guys like us, we have to drive so long from Bangalore and Bombay to reach the Himalayan "base camps" of Delhi! So we make the best of every opportunity when we come anywhere near the national capital. That was my reasoning when I planned this trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Did the lady folks in the army leave HVK alone this time?
Alas! NO pretty lady army captains this time. I hear that our antagonist from last time is now posted in Bikaner! Looks like Agent Vinod did not have an encounter with her since he drove via Bikaner on his way to Jammu from Pune - or else he is not telling

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudheermenon View Post
HVK & LALUKS, you are increasing the BP of the fellow BHPians. We can't wait anymore. Please do shift into a higher gear
Pure, fresh Himalayan air. With so much of oxygen coming, your BP will be cured soon!


Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Just a question : How is the road connecting to Margan Top/Inshan? Did you go here?
No, we did not go there. I do not even know where these places are.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
HVK Sir. 3,17, 000 Kms That is mind boggling. And this is in how many years?? Has Mahindra ever approached you to become their brand ambassador.
My Scorpio is 2005 model, has completed 7.5 years now. Runs as well as it did on Day 1, if not better. Good old DI engine. M&M surely knows me, I have created so much rukuses over shoddy maintenance & quality problems. They solved that problem by telling their ASCs NOT to stock spares of old Scorpios like mine - so now I don't get a chance to go shout at their mechanics & service managers any more, I have to rely on the grey market & FNGs to service my Scorpio. So much for brand-ambassador-ism for M&M. They tried their best to kill my Scorpio, I tell you!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhishekB86 View Post
HVK Sir that is some amazing speed. How can you not take a break till you're very much in RJ? Simply amazing. Haha I really would like to know if the cop said anything. Your stories with cops are becoming a legend.
No, these speeds are quite normal in this GQ road, one of the best in India. Consistency & not high speeds is what you need to dos such long distances - and I have lots of that, and patience too, to drive on and on without any breaks. Till Chittorgarh, I stopped to refuel once at Talasari and again at Prantij after Ahmedabad.

Last edited by hvkumar : 9th August 2012 at 22:43.
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Old 9th August 2012, 22:46   #42
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 1
23 - July - 2012

We reached Patnitop by 09:00AM
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Some information - No public meeting and loud speakers
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HVK waiting for Agent Vinod
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The leaves of the pine trees dotting that area

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Surprise!! Surprise!! Breakfast!!





We drove to JKTDC Patnitop for breakfast

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The Legendary HVK Scorpio

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Attractions around Patnitop
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After spending an hour having breakfast of Omlettes, toasts etc.. we were ready to roll again

Flags at the resort
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continued...
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Old 9th August 2012, 22:51   #43
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Lalu, never knew you were fascinated by old women - Madam Safari is touching almost 1.5 lakh kms in just under 4 years!
Boy! Well maintained!
Remember the Santoor Soap ad... Which college do you go to? "Mummy".....
Madam Safari looks hot even at this age. Is she using Santoor Soap?
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Old 9th August 2012, 23:03   #44
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 1
23 - July - 2012

Sanasar or Bhaderwah?
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Surprise!! Surprise!! It is Sanasar!
HVK is full of surprises this trip. He drives to Sanasar!

Winding roads to Sanasar

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We reached Sanasar by 10:30AM
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Its Rs 1500 to stay here
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Sanasar - Beautiful

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continued...
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Old 9th August 2012, 23:13   #45
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

So the travel bug bit you again? to head to the Himalayan landscape again. Kodos to the HVK/lalu team. Nice thread to start waiting for posts after posts.
HVK ji did you replace the Scorp's rear spring plates?

Last edited by rajeev k : 9th August 2012 at 23:21.
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