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Old 7th August 2012, 22:42   #1
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Default Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

06 - July - 2012
Bangalore

The Power of our thoughts are amazing. Sometime the intensity with which you think can make things really happen. And that was exactly what happened to me that day.

I was in the middle of a corporate meeting where the discussions were heating up. Diplomatic, political, technical stands were being taken and positions thrashed and trashed. The rat race, the blood bath, whatever that was happening in that closed room made me recollect some of Chetan Bhagat's writing. For a moment I was even worried whether it would end up as what S K Pottekkatt wrote in his famous book Oru Deshathinte Katha (The story of a Locale). My mind was wandering with a lot of thoughts. The wild thoughts made me laugh, much to the amusement of the other members in the room and received some weird looks.

I tried to gather what was being discussed, it was where it was right from the beginning. Nothing much have progressed, and an hour have elapsed. My mind wandered off again, and this time I was thinking about travel. Its been long since I travelled. Infact, I never did in 2012. I was trying to fathom as to why so. I was so convoluted in my thoughts, when my phone made that loud noise. An SMS have come in. More weird looks were aimed towards me! The noise broke the flow of the speaker, much to his annoyance.

I looked into the SMS, its from HV Kumar. I was intrigued. I opened the message and before I could finish reading it I had uttered that loud exclamation. It was too late, I know I was going to be nailed for disturbing the discussions for the third time, I slammed my laptop shut. I stood up and declared to the members in the room - "Its urgent, It's Personal, I got to go now!" With an air of urgency I walked out of the room. Was I smiling? No, probably I was laughing my way out of the meeting !

The SMS from HVK was to check my interest to do a drive to the Himalayas in two weeks time and to call him back urgently. Hurriedly I reach my desk, facebooked HVK and got a gist of the plan and his ideas. Amazing was the only word, here I was thinking intensely on my travels in 2012, and HVK immediately and unexpectedly presenting me with a drive plan. HVK will be in Delhi for some personal work and I need to reach Delhi by 22 July 2012, Sunday afternoon and join him on the drive, and he would leave me back in Delhi the 29 July 2012 Sunday for my return, while he catches up with his friends in Delhi. That was a perfect deal. The same evening my flight tickets to Delhi were booked.

The plan was to see some unseen Kashmir, explore the scary route from Kishtwar to Khillar, do Sach Pass again, search for Mughal ghosts in Mughal Road - all virgin territory.

Unexplored, Unseen, Unpredictable, Scary, Spine Chiller, Adventurous.....


We had very less discussion after this exchange of ideas. We were both busy with our normal chores!


Here's the log for you.
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Old 7th August 2012, 22:44   #2
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

The Plan

Day 0 - 22.07.2012 Sunday - Bangalore - Delhi - Jammu
Day 1 - 23.07.2012 Monday - Jammu - Patnitop - Sanasar - Kishtwar
Day 2 - 24.07.2012 Tuesday - Kishtwar - Khillar - Sach Pass - Bairagad
Day 3 - 25.07.2012 Wednesday - Bairagad - Langera - Badhri - Sarthal
Day 4 - 26.07.2012 Thursday - Sarthal - Chatargala Pass - Badarwah - Kishtwar
Day 5 - 27.07.2012 Friday - Kishtwar -Sinthan Pass - Srinagar
Day 6 - 28.07.2012 Saturday - Srinagar - Shopian - Mugal Road - Bafliaz - Rajouri - Jammu - Sonipet
Day 7 - 29.07.2012 Sunday - Sonipet - Delhi - Bangalore

The Team
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!!
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Old 7th August 2012, 23:03   #3
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

The Teasers

Here are some teasers for you while me and HVK unfold the lovely small and impulsive drive that we had.



To Be or Not To Be. That is the Question
!
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Spine Chiller Drives!
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Walls of Snow!

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Sach Pass has become a routine now!
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Lovely Sunset at Satrundi
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S for Sexy roads!
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Old habits die hard..Hitting end of the road is just one of them!

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Watching Dal Lake - No we don't want to ride one!
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Taking off in search of Mughal Ghosts
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Two lovely legends
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We had proper meals everyday at the right time for a change
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Old 8th August 2012, 19:07   #4
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Mods note: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 8th August 2012, 19:14   #5
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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?

Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 8th August 2012 at 19:28.
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Old 8th August 2012, 19:31   #6
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Wow, this is wonderful. Exotic drive by the most legendary travellers of our very own TBHP. Can't wait for long even though know it very well that it will come in neat chunks one at a time in the coming days.

Please start rolling and regurgitate your travels every day in time, road by road, pictures to quench our visual thirst. Let the ghosts be unravelled!
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Old 8th August 2012, 19:32   #7
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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?
Will post quickly sir.
You should have seriously joined us, it was loads of fun

Yes , Madam Safari was EX 4x2
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Old 8th August 2012, 19:56   #8
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

A M A Z I N G!!!
So much of Kashmir & Himachal hidden from the rest of India.
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Old 8th August 2012, 20:03   #9
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Amazing start sir!!!.

That picture of the Scorpio near the edge of the cliff is simply mind blowing. The one after that is the Safari right? But it seems to be dwarfed into a Alto.

Waiting for more.

Last edited by amitwlele : 8th August 2012 at 20:05.
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Old 8th August 2012, 21:18   #10
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Superstart Laluks.

I was eagerly awaiting this travelogue. The pictures are breathtakingly awesome and your style of writing keeps one hooked. The F5 button is going to take some beating now.

Cliffhanger is the most appropriate title that one could come up with for this travelogue.

cheers

F5 F5 F5 F5 F5! Phew.
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Old 8th August 2012, 21:38   #11
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

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!
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Old 8th August 2012, 21:56   #12
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Will post quickly sir.
You should have seriously joined us, it was loads of fun

Yes , Madam Safari was EX 4x2
Fantastic pictures and waiting for more on "Kashmir Deshathinte Katha". Is there any way in the forum we can get information about this kind of trip where we can also join?.
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Old 8th August 2012, 22:11   #13
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Wow, this is wonderful. Exotic drive by the most legendary travellers of our very own TBHP. Can't wait for long even though know it very well that it will come in neat chunks one at a time in the coming days.

Please start rolling and regurgitate your travels every day in time, road by road, pictures to quench our visual thirst. Let the ghosts be unravelled!
Will try to do that, and assure you I will be as fast as I can in publishing this log

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Amazing start sir!!!.

That picture of the Scorpio near the edge of the cliff is simply mind blowing. The one after that is the Safari right? But it seems to be dwarfed into a Alto.

Waiting for more.
. The snow walls made everything look so tiny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboholic View Post
Superstart Laluks.

I was eagerly awaiting this travelogue. The pictures are breathtakingly awesome and your style of writing keeps one hooked. The F5 button is going to take some beating now.

Cliffhanger is the most appropriate title that one could come up with for this travelogue.

cheers

F5 F5 F5 F5 F5! Phew.
Thanks Turboholic.
Cliffhanger was suggested by HV Kumar

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 I feel is the same route. HVK can confirm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by g_prajeesh View Post
Fantastic pictures and waiting for more on "Kashmir Deshathinte Katha". Is there any way in the forum we can get information about this kind of trip where we can also join?.
This one was just planned at the spur of the moment. So no one really knew about this except for some close friends.

Kashmir Desathinte Katha (The Story of Kashmir) - That will be more aptly described in the coming days by HVK.


Thanks everyone. Let me now get into story telling.
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Old 8th August 2012, 22:53   #14
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Default Re: Cliffhanger Himachal, Hidden Kashmir and a search for Mughal Ghosts

Day 0
22 - July - 2012
Bangalore

It was a lovely Sunday. Lovely it was, since it was my first trip after a long wait of 6 months, since I was getting back to the Himalayas, since I am going to be away from work for a full week, since I was thrilled like a child, since....


All I knew in the morning was nothing was packed. Quickly checked internet and concluded that the weather is all gone awry throughout India. No rains, Jammu and Srinagar over 30 degrees, Delhi hot like an oven. Just dumped in a few T shirts and some shorts and a sweater for any casualities. The bag was so light that I was surprised. It was like taking a kit bag to the gym next doors!

By 08:00AM I was ready, had a nice oatmeal for breakfast and got dropped by wifey at the nearest Bus Station. By 09:00AM I got a Volvo to the airport. Sunday morning is a good time to take a bus ride. Streets were empty, Bangalore looked very calm, and after a long while I had some reasons to love Bangalore again. It was peaceful.

By 10:30AM I reached the airport, checked in and went to the boarding gate. I had 30 minutes more for boarding, so I roamed around the terminal collecting information as I saw them. The most interesting one was the Dosa counter with Dosas ranging from Rs 150/- and above

Flight was on time and I landed in Delhi by 14:15 hours. I called up HVK and got the instructions to wait for him near New Delhi Railway Station. I quickly got a sandwich form the airport shop and chatted with the shop keeper as to how I can get a ISBT bus to New Delhi Railway Station. He was telling me taxi stand is behind his shop. I told him I want Bus, and finally he pointed me to a small turn, where a few people were standing.

I too joined the crowd. A bus came by 14:45 hours, I took it and enjoyed the ride. Rs 50/- ticket to the Railway Station. Delhi was also equally calm due to Sunday, and afternoon temperatures. Reached the Station by 15:30 hours. The only grouse was it was burning hot.

I got into a cool drink store and got myself a chilled coke. I got a call from Romin and he too was already at the station. By 16:15 hours HVK too reached the meeting point. After the customary hugs and exchange of pleasantries we started the drive by 16:30 hours from New Delhi Railway Station.

The plan was to drive through the night and reach Jammu by morning.


And the drive begins.


Some where on the road to Jammu, we saw the first sunset of the trip
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We were having nice intellectual discussions through out the night and we reached Jammu very fresh by 04:00 AM. We crash landed into the JKTDC room occupied by Agent Vinod and caught up with some sleep.

By 06:00AM we were already on the road for the start of the beautiful drive to the unexplored terrains of Himachal and Kashmir.


We were all very thrilled.
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Old 8th August 2012, 23:08   #15
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Wonderful start Lalu. Eagerly waiting for the story & pics to unfold.

I had seen ADC's thread and this road is on my must do list even though I have a fear of heights

So my 5 stars added. And waiting with a lot of hunger and a big clean plate, bring it on without any delay please
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