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Old 14th September 2012, 22:37   #496
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

Jammu is another 32KM
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I don't even remember crossing the bridge :(

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We passed Akhnoor

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Unity in Diversity - yeah clicking a Safari from inside a Scorpio
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The bus is not bothered about the chief behind him

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We reached Jammu outskirts by 12:45 PM
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Walmart? Jammu?
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Jammu is just another kilometre
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Old 14th September 2012, 22:44   #497
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

Mr. Ajay, HVK's friend was waiting for us in Jammu. In fact he even sourced the light switch of Scorpio so that we can optimise our time at the workshop.

He leads us to the workshop
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College of commerce
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Chief post Master General office, Jammu
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We reached near Fortune Hotel, the workshop is just opposite the hotel
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Old 14th September 2012, 22:53   #498
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

The workshop guys immediately started the work on the Scorpio.

Steering and Headlamp Switch assembly removed
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HVK making best use of the occasion in cleaning the area

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Scorpio steering wheel - simple stuff
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The new light switch sourced by Mr.Ajay was not compatible with HVK Scorpio. The old switch had a lose contact which was soldered back in place.

The Switch Assembly is fitted back
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Scorpio is ready to go

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Mr. Ajay and HVK. Infact they both were meeting for the first time. Me too
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Old 14th September 2012, 22:56   #499
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
seems like you guys were under constant surveillance/security ring. Nice!
The jawans were posted at this point, they were bristling with arms. We were alarmed, thought there must be many militants here Then we saw the CO or General come by, looked like his convoy was being given some protection...




This is the River Tawi, which is a tributory to the River Chenab
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Old 14th September 2012, 23:05   #500
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

Mr. Ajay then took us for a really nice Kashmiri Wazwaan.

The revolving restaurant at Jammu
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We parked the Scorpio here. An attendant cam to charge HVK for the parking toll. Seeing Mr. Ajay he says "no toll, it's ok".
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We reached the restaurant by 14:00 hours.

Spices were kept for display under the table
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HVK and Mr. Ajay catching up
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By 15:15 hours we finished our Lunch and was ready to go

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Mr. Ajay shows us the way out of the city
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Rear Spoiler , Look at the sun film too

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I liked the picture in the ad

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Old 14th September 2012, 23:13   #501
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

We thanked Mr. Ajay of the timely help and for the great lunch and we moved on.

We traversed through Jammu city roads before we hit the highway back.

Bridge - I am yet again confused of the river :(

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We are back on the highway
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We are on our way back ....
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The trip is nearing the end...
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Old 15th September 2012, 12:29   #502
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Question Time:

1. What about that "The land of kings and emperors" question - what is the correct answer sir?

2. Why was no toll collected when Ajay sir was there?

3. what about the Chief behind the bus? You mean our HVK, The Chief?
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Old 15th September 2012, 13:25   #503
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
[b]Day 6
28 - July - 2012


The bus is not bothered about the chief behind him

Attachment 985822


[/ATTACH]

continued...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
Question Time:

1. What about that "The land of kings and emperors" question - what is the correct answer sir?

2. Why was no toll collected when Ajay sir was there?

3. what about the Chief behind the bus? You mean our HVK, The Chief?
You can see the Verna hugging the bus in the above picture. Right from Akhnoor to Jammu, this guy was driving like a nut case in what was a terribly congested road, trying to overtake everyone & generally driving very rashly. We obviously let him go, but what Lalu perhaps means is that the buses in PB & JK are speed maniacs themselves, this Verna was tailing them too desperately trying to overtake......till I saw the photos now, I never realised that he was one of those "lal-bhatti" (or red beacon) cars.

Why was no parking charges (not road toll) collected? That is because of Ajay's personality & his being a local, perhaps he knew the toll attendant or contractor, he simply told him no parking charges for my car & the guy simply simpered & went away

Raja Rani? I really don't know, must research & revert why Rajouri is called the Land of the Kings. We just saw this signboard, Rajouri was not one of our stops or must-see places, it was just a wayside town. I know Rajouri only because it used to constantly be in the news for its proximity to the Pak border & the frequent exchanges of fire between the armed forces & militants.

Last edited by hvkumar : 15th September 2012 at 13:27.
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Old 15th September 2012, 14:17   #504
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
till I saw the photos now, I never realised that he was one of those "lal-bhatti" (or red beacon) cars.
It looks like a biker with just helmet showing up. Even i thought it to be a official car, but that shape doesnt look like a revolving light!
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Old 15th September 2012, 17:16   #505
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
It looks like a biker with just helmet showing up. Even i thought it to be a official car, but that shape doesnt look like a revolving light!
Great observation. indeed it does appear to be a helmet laden rider!
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Old 16th September 2012, 09:18   #506
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

BAFLIAZ TO JAMMU



Why does no one go on this route to travel from Srinagar to Jammu – is it longer?

You must remember that this Mughal Road has been built recently on what was earlier some dirt road/ trek path. It has absolutely no facilities. The road is not all-weather. There are several places where the road gets closed due to landslides. However, it is just around 30 or so kms longer distance from Srinagar to Jammu compared with the conventional NH1A and in today’s high-traffic circumstances much more faster. We took a little over 7 hours (excluding the DKG breakfast break) on this Mughal Road route, speeds which you cannot do nowadays on NH1A.

For those planning to take this route, please be cautioned that there is hardly any traffic & no facilities between Shopian & Rajouri, and info on the current status of the road has to be researched & hard to come by.


Are there hotels in Rajouri & Akhnoor?

There are no petrol pumps between Shopian & Rajouri. Except the small cafe at DKG (or Gutha View Point), I did not see any other restaurant or hotel in the entire route, although I am told that Rajouri does have good facilities. If anything goes wrong with your car, do not expect any help or support.


You listened to FM Radio Sialkot?

The road passes very close to the Pak border. You see the Army’s presence everywhere. Sialkot is the closest town across the border & we enjoyed the talk shows & songs on Radio FM Sialkot. Having heard Pakistani radio during my trips to Kutch around Lakhpat & Koteshwar, they will put our best radio stations to shame with their liveliness & RJs.


You mentioned something about a Army convoy at DKG?

There were lots of army guys standing guard all along the road between Bafliaz & Rajouri, we thought it must be the usual army bandobast in militant-infested areas, but it was all to protect some senior army official whose motorcade went by. The Rajouri-Poonch sector has been a major hot spot in this battle against insurgency, and I am sure that the jawans are very edgy about any movements in this area. We received several curious glances but they did not accost us to ascertain our credentials.


These roads look better than any hill road I have seen in India – how come?

Amazing is not enough superlative a word. Well designed, wide, superb surface, good sign boards – one felt as though one is driving on some European highway & not in India. Subject to some road-rage drivers like the Verna who was desperately trying to conquer the road between Akhnoor & Jammu. The Bafliaz-DKG-Rajouri road is very narrow though, but its condition is very good. After Akhnoor, traffic increases exponentially & you start feeling you are in Punjab already. I think the roads are kept well this way to facilitate quick transport to the border.


Repairs to your Scorpio? Isn’t your car too old for such trips?

3.10 lakh kms when I started on this trip, 7K more when I finished.
Old?
This is a car which has gone to Ladakh twice AFTER crossing 2 lakh kms.
You call a small cut wire a problem?
The previous night, the light stalk started misbehaving, looked like a loose contact, the head lights were not coming on, but with some coaxing & cajoling, I managed to get it burning. One of the reasons why I decided to leave a little late (450 am) this day from Srinagar, I would perhaps have wanted to leave at least an hour earlier since we had a long way to go this day.
I was in haste to reach Jammu – and Ajay was waiting for us with the parts which he had procured in advance – and he quickly took us to his mechanic who found that the problem was minor. He joined the cut wire & the light switch was back to working normally. For Rs 150 or so.


Dining in style on Wazhwan food at Jammu?

Yes, during this trip, we got to do 5* dining twice – first in the Ahdoos Hotel in Srinagar, now in this Hotel Premier in Jammu. Ajay was an expert in local cuisine obviously – and a fine host – so we ended up having a sumptuous meal notwithstanding some dal (with sour curd, which ultimately affected RJ’s stomach). The meal rounded off what was an excellent trip to Kashmir. Thank you, Ajay, not only for the great meal, but also for being such a great host & a friend in need.


No sightseeing in Jammu?

Somehow, the darshan of Raghunathji, the presiding deity of Jammu, has been eluding me all these years, and this was again one of those misses. Ajay suggested a short trip to the Suchetgarh border post, but we decided to move on, we were in a hurry......


Now that you have crossed Jammu, this is looking like a real long day?

Exactly, as you will hear from us as we drive on.......
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Old 16th September 2012, 09:33   #507
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

BAFLIAZ TO JAMMU



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Bafliaz was a small cheerful pastoral town with lost of school kids. The wole place had a nice washed look.
The roads branch off here, one going to the Pak border at Poonch 40 kms away, but we took the road to Rajouri. I think there is another road which goes from here to Shiv Kori/Katra - which I had originally wanted to take, but for this hurry to get to the Jammu workshops - and we now were on excellent tarred roads.
Bus services & taxi services too.
Road is narrow, sides are thickly forested, I am sure it rains hard, you can expect lots of trees fallen across the road.
Then some panoramic valley views all the way to the border perhaps.
Brunch at the Gutha View Point at DKG, conversations with the amiable restaurant owner who assured us that despite the heavy snow fall, you can still come upto Tanna Bazar, although both DKG & Bafliaz are cut off.
Rajouri town was bypassed.
Lots of military vehicles now, since we are so close to the border.
The main road to Poonch goes off west from Rajouri.
It is still 150-odd kms to Jammu, we floor the pedal on these fab roads & we are reaching speeds which you can do on some of the best roads in India. Road goes through undulating terrain, traffic is light. Weather is at last sunny.
From Akhnoor onwards, road sees high traffic, but we are in Jammu as planned at 1 pm.
Quick repairs of the Scorpio's light switch, then a great lunch spread near the Rafhunathji Temple.
Meeting with Ajay, who I have known for some time online, we have been great friends in cyber space, but this is the first time we are meeting.
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Old 17th September 2012, 19:43   #508
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

Tank
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We reached Samba

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The Land of Warriors
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Highest percentage of Distinction in Samba

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We drove on
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17th Mile Hotel

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Delhi is far away
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But Pathankot was just 70Km

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Old 17th September 2012, 19:50   #509
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

Super Roads
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Another tank

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We were headed to Amritsar

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We reached Buddhi

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Vehicles from all over the country is plying on this route - RJ

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BR

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HR
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Old 17th September 2012, 19:55   #510
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 6
28 - July - 2012

DL - crazy driving, we let him pass and go to his glory
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ENIGMA
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CH
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HR
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More sign boards

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We were thanked for our visit, but toll they took

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I lost count of the people in this cart!
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