Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10th August 2012, 23:11   #61
BHPian
 
Omkar0044's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: bangalore
Posts: 27
Thanked: Once
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Away from the pictures that are saying more and the picturesque narration let me ask a question about the Scorpio.
Is the engine on the OE pistons and bearings? Would like to read on the maintenance log of the Scorpio if it exists in the forum.
Kudos to HVK Scorpio too.
HVK Sir!!!
My queries exactly!
3 lakh kms!! My Scorpio at 1 lakh kms is a fresh recruit in comparison to this veteran. It stills runs nice. Question is, for how much longer. My vehicle is the 2.6 CRDe. The block is the same I guess. Only fuel delivery is different. So it should last as long as yours I hope.
Omkar0044 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2012, 08:44   #62
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,345 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
That's the only expression sir! In only 7˝ years that too!! That's some incredible driving around in India. I missed meeting you in the Mumbai Pune mega meet, but next time I will surely like to meet you in person.
Yes, I was also there at the mega meet couple of months ago at Sunny Dhaba.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Away from the pictures that are saying more and the picturesque narration let me ask a question about the Scorpio.
Is the engine on the OE pistons and bearings? Would like to read on the maintenance log of the Scorpio if it exists in the forum.
Kudos to HVK Scorpio too.
Original. Not touched engine. Do not forget that this is a DI engine which M&M itself says can comfortably last 3.5 lakh kms without overhaul with good maintenance, of course. I do have a detailed maintenance log book, but it is being re-written, so please bear with me till it is published.

Engine runs as well as it did on Day 1 - same FE, same power, no foul smoke, clear PUC, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar0044 View Post
HVK Sir!!!
My queries exactly!
3 lakh kms!! My Scorpio at 1 lakh kms is a fresh recruit in comparison to this veteran. It stills runs nice. Question is, for how much longer. My vehicle is the 2.6 CRDe. The block is the same I guess. Only fuel delivery is different. So it should last as long as yours I hope.
The DI engine is supposed to out-last the crde and m-hawk engines. But everything depends on the care you take - especially oil change intervals & quality.
hvkumar is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2012, 11:54   #63
Senior - BHPian
 
harjeev's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 1,896
Thanked: 256 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Simply fantastic. What a wonderful travelogue, superb pictures and add to that the explanations of HVK sir and Lalu make this a wonderful read.
I'm sure once this TL is over and HVK has released his Log Books and GPS Tracklogs, many of us would be wanting to travel to this untouched part of our beautiful country. Thanks for taking the lead.
This travelogue absolutely deserves 5 start.
Cheers and waiting for more...

Last edited by harjeev : 11th August 2012 at 11:56.
harjeev is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2012, 15:09   #64
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,345 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

What was the day’s drive plan?

After freshening up in Agent Vinod’s hotel room (sorry, we cannot disclose the hotel room #, that is classified info!), we were to drive on to Kishtwar, the first of the places we were scheduled to halt that night. I had been on this highway to Srinagar several times, bit after turning off at Batote, the world beyond was a total unknown.

The classic Q: why did you not take the short-cut to Udhampur avoiding Jammu?

Having driven all night, we had to seek the hospitality of Agent Vinod at JKTDC Jammu anyway. That was our rendezvous point.
Now that the Lakhanpur-Jammu road is fully 4-laned, the drive from Pathankot is fantastic now, very fast, although after Jammu the road widening may delay you somewhat.
The short cut from Dyala Chak or Samba direct Udhampur, on the other hand, is a narrow road which is also not in good condition.
This year, cops stationed at the turn off points have been turning away out-of-state vehicles from going on the short cut road for reasons best known to them.

What is this Sanasar place?

Green meadows – our movie makers love them, we find them enchanting, reminds you of Switzerland! Sanasar is one of them – a total Khajjiar (near Dalhousie) look-alike, rivals the more well-known Gulmarg & Sonmarg. Our decision to go there was unplanned, we were having breakfast at the JKTDC Patnitop, the surly restaurant server merely grunted when we queried about the place which I had read about somewhere before but never paid any attention to. We were making good time, I knew we could definitely reach Kishtwar before night, the weather was lovely in Patnitop, so we said, let us go!

Why not go to Srinagar – what is the big idea in going all over the place? Are you road surveyors or what?

Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam or Sonmarg were not our destinations. I had devised a lovely drive circuit on some parts of not-so-well-known Kashmir and wanted to complete the round that I had started last year during my Ladakh drive. I wanted to do the Kishtwar-Khillar-Chamba-Bhaderwah-Kishtwar circuit. Obviously, we were not interested in going to Srinagar or Ladakh since this trip was to do with exploring the unknown and least-travelled parts of Kashmir, completing the Padder/Pangi Valley circuit & driving along the route of the Mughal Rally, including the Mughal Road itself.

Road surveyors? You won’t find any of the roads we went in on any of the maps. Don't try looking for them. As usual. Our friend told us that a Chevy Beat had driven the Jammu-Rajouri-Shopian sector and I had studied closely all the photos from the recent Mughal Rally, did not find anything impossible for my 2WD Scorpio or the 2WD Safari to do.

You bought socks? Had lunch also?

Well, I discovered I had only 1 pair of socks, so we went into Batote market & found shops there selling socks, woollens, shoes, etc. On the highway, as you pass small towns, you hardly see any shops, but if you take the road inside town, there are lots of facilities including ATMs there.

Lunch at Ramgarh on the Batote-Dada road. Lovely village restaurant, one of those Vaishno Dhaaba types serving only veg food. We had our first meal of rajma chaawal, which is the standard fare in this region. Great food. The Team was shocked – since we also had breakfast at Patnitop, snacks at Sanasar & now lunch at Ramgarh!

Are there petrol pumps & hotels in these parts?

You bet. No problems with petrol pumps, many all over. But make sure you never come down below half-tank at any point of time, petrol pumps can run out of fuel in Himalayan region in general, although we faced no problems, As a matter of precaution, because of the Kishtwar-Khillar-Kishtwar circut, I carried 15 litres of extra diesel at all times from the time I reached Kishtwar.

Hotels? Not many, am afraid. So plan your itinerary with care, ensure that at the end of the day, you have a warm bed & a hit water bath waiting for you on arrival.

Ramzan month is on – any problems?

We were in Kashmir during the Ramzan month. I suppose some restaurants are closed, but we faced no problems, all activity looks normal. You may find some missing during Namaaz timings, but shops and other establishments remain open most of the day.

Doda-Kishtawar region is infested with terrorists, isn’t it?

Till last year, the region had lots of insurgency and I hear that many massacres took place. It was definitely not safe for tourists to go. But now the region is far more peaceful and there are no restrictions on tourists. Hotels & other facilities are springing up all over. However, I am also told that in some remote places like Sarthal, you have to be cautious even today about staying overnight. Overall, you feel very safe and you do not even see any army or police presence, economic activity goes on as usual everywhere.
hvkumar is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2012, 19:54   #65
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,345 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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

Name:  d3.jpg
Views: 5249
Size:  35.2 KB

edit: Last line is Kishtwar


From Jammu, the Scorpio is joined by the Safari from Pune. We are a team of 5, 4 in my Scorpio & 1 + "1" in the Safari (Agent Vinod in Madam Safari)

Post-Jammu, road widening is going on towards Udhampur. Expect muddy roads & some slow down.
Having left early, we encountered very little traffic. Late revellers may note that Jammu-Srinagar NH1A sees bumper-to-bumper traffic during day time, and an early start from Jammu will help blunt some of the congestion on this busy strategic highway which links the Kashmir Valley to the rest of India.
At Patnitop, we decided to take a breakfast halt at the beautiful JKTDC resort.
The surliness of the caretaker/server not withstanding, we enjoyed the misty place which did not have a single soul around.
We decided to take a detour to Sanasar, which is quite a hideaway some 20 kms away from Patnitop.
Lovely road. There is a tourism bungalow there & a couple of tea shops, place looks to be popular with those undertaking minor treks in the region.
Back to the highway at Patnitop & Batote is a short drive away. Batote also has a petrol pump where we refuelled.
The Batote-Doda-Kishtwar is simply brilliant, wide too, as it winds along the course of the River Chenab which is dammed by the Bagligar Dam.
Ramgarh has some nice dhabas where we had lunch.
Pul-Doda is an important junction where the road turns off to Bhaderwah - the road we are to come back 2 days from now. One road goes up to Doda some 5 kms up the hill.
But our intention was to go on to Kishtwar. Now the density of population increases and we have more villages and towns en route.

We reach Kishtwar at 530 pm to find a bustling town with 3 petrol pumps & a lonely JKTDC resort where we were the only residents - and no cook. Rooms were good, caretaker friendly & enough car parking. Kishtwar itself looked like a place of no consequence, now peaceful after several years of insurgency.
We found a new hotel called Hotel Kishtwar to dine in, and retired for the night early...

...because the next day was going to be the most exciting & challenging of drives, a very long day ahead....

Last edited by hvkumar : 11th August 2012 at 19:59.
hvkumar is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2012, 20:36   #66
BHPian
 
lloydofcochin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 436
Thanked: 180 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

HVK,

Thanks for filling in all the details of the drive. Now reading this I feel like starting off right now to Kashmir

So where has your partner in crime Lalu gone? Is he off to another drive?

Eagerly waiting for the rest of the episodes
lloydofcochin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2012, 20:39   #67
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,345 Times
Default

Can you show me the map of the places you are talking about - Jammu, Patnitop, Sanasar, Batote, Doda & Kishtwar?

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
So where has your partner in crime Lalu gone? Is he off to another drive?

Eagerly waiting for the rest of the episodes
You may be right! It is a nice long weekend

Last edited by moralfibre : 14th August 2012 at 07:44. Reason: Back to back posts.
hvkumar is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th August 2012, 23:28   #68
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,734
Thanked: 6,745 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You may be right! It is a nice long weekend
Yes I was . Just back from a 1500km dash to Dudh Sagar Waterfalls. Left by 01:00AM Saturday and back by 21:30 hours today. What a place .


Will update the log from tomorrow evening.
laluks is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2012, 09:25   #69
Distinguished - BHPian
 
sudev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,423
Thanked: 1,898 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Some Dam should be nearby!
Attachment 967506
[b]
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The Batote-Doda-Kishtwar is simply brilliant, wide too, as it winds along the course of the River Chenab which is dammed by the Bagligar Dam.
Question and answer is self evident.

The Rajmah Chawal dish served at dhabhas around Kud/Batote is something else. A plateful of rice is topped with rajmah and dollops of ghee!! Served with "anardana" chutni!! Yummmm. And surprisingly served round the clock. Had the stuff for breakfast on a trip in recent past.
sudev is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2012, 12:40   #70
BHPian
 
kesri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 82
Thanked: 43 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I wanted to do the Kishtwar-Khillar-Chamba-Bhaderwah-Kishtwar circuit. Obviously, we were not interested in going to Srinagar or Ladakh since this trip was to do with exploring the unknown and least-travelled parts of Kashmir, completing the Padder/Pangi Valley circuit & driving along the route of the Mughal Rally, including the Mughal Road itself.
Lalu KS & HVK: Nice pics and great travelogue! Congrats on doing this remote circuit!!

Looking forward to the HVK's detailed Log (XLS) and the actual GPS (KML) of the route (esp the Chamba to Baderwah part).
.
kesri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2012, 13:57   #71
BHPian
 
vasanthn21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 742
Thanked: 300 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Your first post made me so so jealous! Why don't I have a friend who could call me on a trip to the himalaya's with every thing planned out! And all I have to do is pack and leave!!!!

On a serious note, an awesome thread! Rated a well deserved 5 star!

The pictures are truely breathtaking and out of this world! You've got some amazing photography skills.

Equally (if not more) impressive is HVK's level of planning! (Actually I am still not out of the shock of knowing about the scorpio with 3.17 lakh kms on the Odo in 7.5 yrs! - I am just doing the math and it translates to an average of roughly 120 kms per day!!!!)

In all, my jaw dropped on reading this thread, and I am still not able to close it! Absolutely fantastic thread for many reasons!
vasanthn21 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2012, 21:56   #72
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,734
Thanked: 6,745 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 2
24 - July - 2012

Today is the big day. The adventurous drive was awaiting us. We left Kishtwar at the first light. It was nearly 05:30AM.

The funky donkey covered the sign post

Name:  DSC_7458.jpg
Views: 4545
Size:  329.0 KB

We took the road from Kishtwar towards Gulabgarh
Name:  DSC_7459.jpg
Views: 4953
Size:  343.5 KB

Some views of Kishtwar
Name:  DSC_7460.jpg
Views: 4503
Size:  376.9 KB

Name:  DSC_7461.jpg
Views: 4522
Size:  486.8 KB

Name:  DSC_7462Edit.jpg
Views: 4411
Size:  295.0 KB

Name:  DSC_7474.jpg
Views: 4420
Size:  441.9 KB

Name:  DSC_7475.jpg
Views: 4260
Size:  422.6 KB

That is the Sankam of Chandra Bhaga with Chenab
Name:  DSC_7476.jpg
Views: 5127
Size:  361.6 KB

Name:  DSC_7477Edit.jpg
Views: 4173
Size:  229.9 KB

The road continued on...
Name:  DSC_7484.jpg
Views: 4149
Size:  430.9 KB

Name:  DSC_7486.jpg
Views: 4138
Size:  494.7 KB

Name:  DSC_7488.jpg
Views: 4092
Size:  429.8 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2012, 22:05   #73
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,734
Thanked: 6,745 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 2
24 - July - 2012

We found a dam
Name:  DSC_7489.jpg
Views: 4135
Size:  383.6 KB

Name:  DSC_7490.jpg
Views: 4050
Size:  405.4 KB

Name:  DSC_7492.jpg
Views: 4111
Size:  339.9 KB

Name:  DSC_7493.jpg
Views: 4008
Size:  411.9 KB

Water Sports Centre coming soon
Name:  DSC_7495.jpg
Views: 4014
Size:  386.8 KB

Madam Safari leading the way
Name:  DSC_7494.jpg
Views: 3953
Size:  350.1 KB

Name:  DSC_7497.jpg
Views: 3978
Size:  530.1 KB

Name:  DSC_7498.jpg
Views: 3939
Size:  397.1 KB

We reached a checkpost where we had to enter the details.

We feasted on fresh Pears
Name:  DSC_7500.jpg
Views: 3925
Size:  399.8 KB

Agent Vinod had fans wherever we went!
Name:  DSC_7501.jpg
Views: 3908
Size:  569.4 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2012, 22:15   #74
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,734
Thanked: 6,745 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 2
24 - July - 2012

A Caravan
Name:  DSC_7505.jpg
Views: 4182
Size:  466.0 KB

The road continued on...
Name:  DSC_7507.jpg
Views: 3921
Size:  420.5 KB

Madam Safari
Name:  DSC_7509.jpg
Views: 3904
Size:  595.3 KB

Name:  DSC_7510.jpg
Views: 4028
Size:  745.1 KB

A waterfall near the road

Name:  DSC_7514.jpg
Views: 4021
Size:  429.2 KB

Name:  DSC_7517.jpg
Views: 3859
Size:  503.4 KB

Roads ahead

Name:  DSC_7520.jpg
Views: 3907
Size:  499.0 KB

Name:  DSC_7523.jpg
Views: 3846
Size:  471.9 KB

S for Sexy roads!
Name:  DSC_7522.jpg
Views: 5043
Size:  473.5 KB

We stopped for enjoying the beauty of the place
Name:  DSC_7527.jpg
Views: 3821
Size:  505.2 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2012, 22:23   #75
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,734
Thanked: 6,745 Times
Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 2
24 - July - 2012

The river cutting across the mountains
Name:  DSC_7524.jpg
Views: 4035
Size:  395.8 KB

See HVK with camera for a change
Name:  DSC_7538.jpg
Views: 3796
Size:  490.6 KB

We had miles to go

Name:  DSC_7540.jpg
Views: 3860
Size:  520.5 KB

Another Caravan

Name:  DSC_7542.jpg
Views: 3832
Size:  686.4 KB




You must respect your commander
Name:  DSC_7541.jpg
Views: 3844
Size:  569.4 KB





The road continued on

Name:  DSC_7546.jpg
Views: 3883
Size:  689.8 KB

Name:  DSC_7548.jpg
Views: 3752
Size:  578.0 KB

Name:  DSC_7549.jpg
Views: 3725
Size:  518.3 KB

continued...
laluks is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yusmarg - The Hidden Wonder of Kashmir Fauji Travelogues 10 26th December 2013 07:45
Hill Climb Challenge @ The Mughal Rally (Kashmir). June 2013 GTO Indian Motorsport 2 18th June 2013 18:22
OHC OE Fog Lamps: Hidden treasure or Hidden trash? ankitahuja Modifications & Accessories 38 7th November 2012 00:04
Rally of the Mughal Road. (Kashmir) Passiontodrive Indian Motorsport 9 27th June 2011 13:46


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 14:24.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks