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Old 6th September 2012, 18:09   #16
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Hats off! to you buddy... what amazing snaps of Leh and the adventurous trip. Looking forward to the Aug 15th celebrations at Wagah border and the journey ahead.
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Old 6th September 2012, 18:41   #17
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Old 6th September 2012, 21:12   #18
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Kudos to your spirit! What you did (taking a Linea, and your mom and aunts) is extremely special. I have been contemplating doing the same trail on my T-jet and this TL has given a firm push to my plans. One thing that I ignored till now is how my parents (especially mom) would feel after visiting such nice places. Next thing on my plan is to check with our family doc on what preparations I need to make to ensure they have a comfortable trip.

Thank you for sharing this and the inspiration!

Hooked to your TL

Biraj
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Old 6th September 2012, 21:56   #19
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Loved your narration style, right information with right set of pictures to walk through the story.

It feels one is travelling with you and experiencing each and every word you say.

Keep it coming, some of the photos are just brilliant.
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Old 7th September 2012, 08:07   #20
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Great pics and a nice & precise write-up. It has set my heart racing. Hope that you post the remaining part soon

I've been planning a Leh/Laddhak trip for quite some time now. Hope it happens some time soon!!

Just an after thought- The sumptuous thali that you relished at Natraj, Udaipur is Gujarati (No offence intended)
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Old 7th September 2012, 11:12   #21
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Awesome trip, and very good style of narration. Most interesting were your co-passengers. Very sporting of them to come on such a long road trip. Awaiting more pics!
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Old 7th September 2012, 11:23   #22
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Hello Rohit,

Sincerely appreciate. I cannot find any other words right now.

Driving all the way from Banglore to Leh single handedly is nothing less than a glorious achievement. Add to the fact that you were accompanied by three ladies - your mother & two anuts all of whom are 60+. Hope all the ladies kept in good health during the trip.

I believe you will be only second after J Ravi to cover Leh / Ladakh in Linea. Eagerly waiting for your travelogue & story to unfold.

Also that picture of Golden Temple at night looks absolutely amazing.

Thanks,
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Old 7th September 2012, 12:57   #23
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

good start rohit, enjoyed it so far and awaiting further posts.

I was always wondering will Ravi be the only one who did it in a Fiat. I was contemplating to risk it with my Shine, but HVK sir's advise on if it gets stuck for any issue we will be in trouble.

looking forward to rest of your trip and details so that atleast next year i can join the party
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Old 7th September 2012, 17:24   #24
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Takes Guts to do it. Bangalore - Leh in a saloon. always believed with some caution and self belief, you can take them anywhere; almost. But i think more than a saloon bigger issue would be if it breaks down, how near is the help for a FIAT.
Awesome achievement. waiting for more posts and photos. carry on mate.
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Old 7th September 2012, 18:54   #25
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Awesome trip buddy. Nice to see a Linea doing the Ladakh Tri and that too all the way from Namma Bengaluru. The fact that you had two elderly people readily agreeing for this trip is unique in its own way. The pics are amazing especially the first one. Looking forward to the next update. Bring it on.
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Old 7th September 2012, 20:59   #26
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

OMG I never knew the response would be this great. I'm seriously overwhelmed by your response. Thanks a lot Guys. I really appreciate it. And regarding my co passengers, this really shows who is more adventurous.

Now moving on to Day 3

DAY 3 (15th Aug 2012)

I should mark this particular day in my life. Never even imagined that I would be celebrating Independence Day in Wagah border and Amritsar. Usually its a day off from work which I normally use to either wax the car or just kill time. But here I was in Amritsar celebrating our, OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY !!!

Before moving on, let me just recap on the car stats till Amritsar

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Unfortunately this is the last time that I took photographs of KMs traveled each day. Tried to emulate what Mr J Ravi did on his Leh travelogue, but I got distracted with so many things that I didn't bother to take any pics.
Anyways the day started of with us waking up in our ugly rooms at 7.00 am and getting ready for the day. I had the book "Highway on my plate" which suggested Krishna Sweets as the best place in Amritsar to have breakfast. So we were out of our hotel rooms by 8.30 and took cycle rickshaws (taking the car on streets of Amritsar was nigh on impossible and also because of no parking facility available in our hotel, the car was parked on the multi level car park near Jallianwala Bagh). We were in the hotel and guess what, there was just one item for breakfast which was poori.I think down south we are spoilt for choices with hotel offering 108 varieties of dosas etc. This was so simple and the food was simply yummy. No two ways about it. Along with poori took the (now compulsory) Lassi to keep us cold in the 40 degree plus heat outside.

After having a heavy breakfast we went to Jallianwala Bagh. Much has already been said and written about this place. Hence I won't be elaborating much on it.

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Thats me !
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Last edited by rohittunga : 7th September 2012 at 21:29.
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Old 7th September 2012, 22:04   #27
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

oops.... I might have made an error in posting the pics in the previous thread. Some of the pics from Vaishno Devi have come up here. Sorry for the inconvenience.

contd...
Until now I had only read about Jallianwala Bagh in history textbooks, but seeing the place in person is something else. We were done with Jallianwala Bagh and after gulping another glass of Lassi, we went in search of an early lunch and our trusty cycle guy took us to a nice air conditioned dhaba where we had more Lassi and curd. Since we are not used to such harsh environments, our dad who is a doctor recommended us to have as much curd/lassi/buttermilk as possible. Soon after lunch went to our rooms for an afternoon nap and slept till about 3:00 pm. Then it was time to go for Wagah Border. We were expecting huge crowds to be there as it was Independence day and I hoping to be proved wrong, but nope I was right. There was a huge crowd already gathered by 4 pm. To add to the torture the sun was beating on us crazily and at that moment I said to myself that this ain't going to be easy.

Fortunately for ladies there was a separate entrance and they didn't suffer half as much and they also had umbrellas with them. But as soon as the evening unfolded all these mad rush and heat just vanished and I witnessed one of the finest performances that I've ever seen. Singers, dancers and other artists were brought in from various parts of north India, even from north east India as well. They all performed really well while I watched high in the stands getting tanned After the performances from the professionals, it was time for kids to dance sing err.. do anything they wanted. The sense of patriotism was overflowing from within when the announcer requested us to chant Vande Mataram and Bharath Mata ki jai.

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These artists had come all the way from Manipur
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And then the kids took over
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As they say, the best is always reserved for the last and how true it was. The beating retreat is one event that an individual has to watch, at least once . The way the soldiers do their march past and the respect that they show towards our national flag is truly spectacular. One has to see it to believe it.

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It was almost dark when the ceremony ended and it was time to head back to Amritsar. En route we say this board
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A very very fruitful day just got over. The drive back to Amritsar was uneventful and we retired to our rooms just after 9.30 pm and call it a day !

Tomorrow our plan is to drive to Katra to visit Maa Vaishno Devi shine

Last edited by rohittunga : 7th September 2012 at 22:07.
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Old 7th September 2012, 22:34   #28
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Wow man, You had a journey of lifetime, no ?

Awesome stuff, glued. Rated 5 stars. Keep 'em coming

Cheers,
Sameer
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Old 7th September 2012, 23:42   #29
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Day 4 (16th Aug 2012)

We were all up and ready to leave our hotel by 4.00 am and our drive today wasn't lengthy at all, it was just 260 km from Amritsar to Katra. The roads were good throughout and dawn broke when we crossed the river Ravi somewhere south of Pathankot.

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Soon afterwards we could see a lot of J&K regd cars coming and thought to ourselves that Jammu & Kashmir isn't far and just before we could finish saying this, we get this tool booth

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I was pleasantly surprised to find good quality 4 lane roads all the way till Jammu bypass. As we were trotting along it was almost 9.00 am and we had packed breakfast and were searching for a place to eat. Then I saw a board which said Mansar Lake - 20km. Without thinking twice we deviated from the main road towards Mansar Lake. Before we could get our bearings, we started to climb and climb. One moment we were doing 90kmph on 4 lane roads and the very next moment we are on top of a hill.

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This was the route to Mansar Lake
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The drive to Mansar Lake was serene with school kids waiting for their buses and staring at our car. The road was decent with a few rough patches here and there. After almost 45 min drive we started to speculate whether it was really necessary to come this far and how would the lake be. We found answers to all these questions when we first saw the lake. It was absolutely serene devoid of any pollution with only birds chirping on the trees. To add to that the lake also had proper seating facilities and dust bins. Quickly we opened our breakfast and had it there gazing at the still waters of the lake.

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There was also a small temple in the vicinity of the lake. Very pretty !
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Mansar Lake was another pleasant surprise, something that I've never planned or even heard about it. Breakfast over now it was time to head down the same road till we join the 4 lane highway to Jammu. From there to Katra was just 90km. After rejoining the highway we could see advertisements about a hotel called "17 Miles". They had put up a hoarding after every km from as far as 52 km away. Thought of visiting that place for a bio break. When we reached the place, it was awesome. I think it was newly constructed and the place was very clean, almost like a 5 star hotel. Since the heat was starting to pick up, we decided to enter their hotel for a Lassi. This time we ordered namkeen Lassi as we only had sweet Lassi in Amritsar. 2 min later he returns and we get a shock. The size of the Lassi is more than enough for 2 punjabi lorry drivers, it was that huge. Here is a pic

The quantity would've easily topped 1.25l
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Luckily enough we didn't order 4 Lassis, we ordered just 2 and shared. Even after 2/4 service, the quantity was no less. It tasted awesome and the charge was just 40 bucks per lassi which is very reasonable considering the size of the glass. Rejuvenated, we hit the road and drive non stop to Katra. Katra, as any other pilgrimage town was very dusty with a lot of chaos and confusions going on. Even here I had booked our hotel online using MakeMyTrip. After reaching Katra bus stand, I search for a board which says "Hotel Krishna Palace" but there wasn't one. Then when I call the hotel, they say that the hotel is situated in a gully with no parking facilities available. Me and my mom went to investigate and found the hotel to be in a gully, very similar to shops in Chickpet / Balepet areas of Bangalore. I was adamant that this hotel is not the right one for us and that we should look for another room. After a heated conversation, mom agreed to my point and we were all ready to lose out Rs 2800 that we paid for the gully hotel.

How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-picture-405.jpg

Lots of touts were available near the bus stand area and I caught hold of one of them and said my priorities to him which was just a secured car park. I should be able to see the car parked safely within the hotel compound from our room window. He referred us to a hotel called Hari Resort which was a little far away from the bus stand, BUT it had a safe car parking area. Along with it the rooms were very spacious with AC. Quickly selected the family room and transferred our luggage to our rooms. Took rest till the heat of the day was gone (it was 38 degrees at noon). In the evening we went shopping for some walnuts and some shawls.

How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-picture-428.jpg

A quick word on our hotel: 1. Hotel Krishna Palace
NOT GOOD. The location is OK as its walking distance from bus stand, but we didn't come in a bus. We needed a car park which this hotel didn't offer. Also the rooms were a little cramped when compared with our other room. To this "matchbox" of a room, we paid Rs 2800 beforehand (booking was done using MakeMyTrip)


A quick word on our hotel: 2. Hotel Hari Resort
EXCELLENT. Approximately 2 kms from bus stand, its away from all the chaos of Katra town and its located on the road going towards Ban Ganga. The family room that we chose was very spacious and comfortable for 4 people with AC. The cost being Rs 1800 per day. We stayed there for 2 days


Route Taken : Amritsar - Pathankot - Jammu (bypass) - Katra

Day 5 (17th Aug 2012)

Today was the day when we planned to visit the shrine. Since we were on such a long trip, I had booked helicopter service for both ways so that we could have the darshan with the least amount of strain on us.

But, there is a saying, Man proposes God disposes. We were all really excited about our helicopter ride and went to the Helipad where they say that all flights for that day cancelled. Dejected we come to the bus stand to a Bhawan called Niharika to submit our helicopter confirmation letter to avail full refund. We never expected that such things could also happen.

This was shot at 9 in the morning. Our auto driver gave a hint that the services might be cancelled today
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-picture-432.jpg
This was shot near the Helipad. As you can see the mountains are covered with a layer of fog. The helicopter guys would never risk flying in such a situation
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-picture-435.jpg
Again decision making time. Can we really walk the 12 kms to Bhawan or should we make alternate arrangements. Bravely me and mom agreed to walk the whole distance while my aunts would take a pony. To make things worse, it starts to rain heavily and we scuttle for cover. Waited a bit for the rain to stop but it didn't. Thinking that we might lose more time, we just bought a cheap 20 buck plastic cover raincoat and started our climb at 3:40 pm saying Jai mata di.

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The climb took almost 8 hrs while the pony did it in half the time. Had a wonderful darshan of the 3 pindis and came back to our rooms the following morning. The total walking distance was almost 25~26 kms in 12 hrs and by the time we came back to our room, I was literally dead. Popped in a couple of pain killers and slept at 7.00 am having walked all through the night. According to our plan we should leave Katra by 7.00 am (of course I had planned it thinking that we'll be going in a helicopter).
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Old 7th September 2012, 23:53   #30
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Amazing Rohit. What a story my friend, keep it coming. every time I read one of these really long drive Tlogs to Leh I wonder to myself if it can get any more extreme that this. And I guess you just tipped the scales a bit more travelling in a Linea and with sr citizen aunts as well and in addition to that seeing amazing places like Amritsar, Wagah and Vaishno devi on the way. Do mention a bit about your profession and how you have managed to take such a long break? Also i am assuming you are not married
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