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Old 25th September 2012, 00:31   #91
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

^ Even i drove after dark for a few hours till Jispa, not a suitable stretch at all for night driving. We managed to find good quality tent accommodation at Jispa so we decided to stay for the night.
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:10   #92
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

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^ Even i drove after dark for a few hours till Jispa, not a suitable stretch at all for night driving. We managed to find good quality tent accommodation at Jispa so we decided to stay for the night.

Absolutely. I drove from 7 pm to 5 15 am on that route and I encountered just 3 vehicles throughout the journey, that too just after pang itself. By far the worst part was just after Sarchu where a bridge was broken and had to travel on the river bed (or whatever it was) with foot ball sized boulders. That must have been difficult for you as well.
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:53   #93
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

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Originally Posted by rohittunga View Post
Absolutely. I drove from 7 pm to 5 15 am on that route and I encountered just 3 vehicles throughout the journey, that too just after pang itself. By far the worst part was just after Sarchu where a bridge was broken and had to travel on the river bed (or whatever it was) with foot ball sized boulders. That must have been difficult for you as well.
night drive crossing two passes on a sedan.

Wondering you didn't check for accommodation in Sarchu or was it too late?
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Old 25th September 2012, 11:51   #94
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
night drive crossing two passes on a sedan.

Wondering you didn't check for accommodation in Sarchu or was it too late?
We actually found decent tented accommodation in Sarchu at around 10 pm but we got a little paranoid about the weather forecast that we heard in Pang. They had predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in Manali in the next 48 hrs. Thinking that it might get even worse, we decided to get out of that region as soon as possible. I must admit that I did miss out on some amazing scenary, especially the Gata Loops, Suraj Tal and others but it was worth the risk as later I found out in Manali.
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Old 25th September 2012, 11:58   #95
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

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By far the worst part was just after Sarchu where a bridge was broken and had to travel on the river bed (or whatever it was) with foot ball sized boulders. That must have been difficult for you as well.
You mean this one:

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8970.jpg

With careful driving, i managed to cross without scraping, obviously had to use services of my friend as a spotter.

How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-dsc_8975.jpg
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Old 25th September 2012, 13:13   #96
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
You mean this one:

With careful driving, i managed to cross without scraping, obviously had to use services of my friend as a spotter.
Yup I think this was the place that I was referring to. Driving on this part of the so called "road" in the dark was down right dangerous. Glad that you crossed this stretch of the road in daylight and the spotter only helps
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Old 29th September 2012, 10:22   #97
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Hats off to you buddy, am truly inspired to do a trip of this sort in my Rapid sometime in 2013, will contact you for details!!

Looking forward to the last bit of your experience, took some guts to overcome 2 passes in the night, what can I say!!

Awesome travelogue, pictures are very well captured and you have documented your experience very well! Kudos my friend!

5 Stars!
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Old 29th September 2012, 11:39   #98
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Excellent write up Rohit.

WOW, Travelling in a Linea and that too with three Sr.Citizens.. Kudos to them for taking up that challenge.

The images are fantastic.. Rated 5 stars.
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Old 29th September 2012, 13:16   #99
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Fantastic thread. Lovely pictures. Rated the thread a well deserved 5 stars

Eager to hear the Rohtang pass story. Keep em coming.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 30th September 2012, 08:09   #100
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

After reading travelogue of .anshuman i was thinking about trip to ladakh from chennai, but thought it will be too far away for me. After reading this Travelogue i got some inspiration. am planning to travel to ladakh next year. i have to make necessary preperation for it from now wish some one from forum will join me
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Old 30th September 2012, 12:24   #101
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Contd from previous post...

As I said earlier, due to the bad facilities at Pang and listening to the weather forecast at Pang, we decided to drive all through the night and get out of the mountains as soon as possible. At Pang there were lots of lorry drivers who had just come from the Manali side. So I started a conversation with one of the lorry drivers about the road conditions. These guys must have been driving on these roads for years together and so according to them the road conditions to Keylong are the best yet So when I explained him about my ambitious plans, he too was taken aback and told to proceed but with utmost caution.

After having an early dinner at Pang, we embarked on the most dangerous drive thus far. It was already twilight when we left Pang and within a few minutes, it was completely dark and I was fully depending upon my car's headlights to navigate. There was no reflectors or guard rails or any safety measures (as expected). Soon there were a couple of diversions as they were constructing a bridge. Diversions means trouble as I had to get out of the car and should find out the alternate route using the torch. In the evenings it gets pretty cold and the temperature was already in single digits.

To my relief, the diversions stopped after the last one and the roads were sort of good for the first 20~30 kms after Pang. Then we had to climb another pass (Lachulang La) and now the roads started to deteriorate

This was the view from the car while climbing Lachulang La
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With each passing minute the surroundings were becoming eery and desolate. Even the trucks had stopped by the side of the road and did not risk driving in the dark.Soon after Pang, we encountered 3 trucks coming from the other side and that was it. We saw no other vehicle plying on the road till sunrise.
Anyways, next up were all these funny locations like Twing Twing bar, Whiskey, Brandy bridge and others.

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Stopped here to record the outside temperature
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It was just me, the car and the road. We couldn't even peep out to have a look at the scenery as it was so dark outside. Drove like this for anther hour crossing the famous Gata Loops and climbing another pass (it might have been Nakeela). By now Sarchu was in our sights. If we wanted, we could have decided to stop here for the night, but we were just to energetic and did not feel the need to stop. So at Sarchu, I stopped for a little break and gulped a bottle of Red Bull. Just after exiting Sarchu a bridge had broken down or something which meant that we had to travel on the stony roads below the bridge. That 200 mts was very very very scary indeed. First of all it was totally dark and there were fast flowing waters that I had to cross and those stones that laid on the surface were of XXL size (You can refer to the pictures that Anshuman had uploaded in the previous posts) and to top it all was the fact that we had to climb over that damn thing. Somehow by fluke I made it across relatively unscathed.

Next pass was Baralacha La and this signaled one of the many water crossings that we had to cross. The first few crossings were relatively simple as the quantity of water flowing was not that much. The only thing that I had to be careful was not to get stuck on those rocks. But later on the water crossings became more and more challenging. The outside temperature was 4 degrees and I had to get out of the car before each crossing and figure out a path to traverse. Upon successfully crossing one such water crossing, I got out of the car and took this video to illustrate the conditions that I traveled.

Apologies for the quality of the video. But just listen to the roar of the water and try to imagine how risky the drive was


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Just after this water crossing was completed, we were at Baralacha La top. There used to be a board on the top indicating that we reached the top but my guess is the board might have fallen off owing to the strong winds at the top. At the top, the weather is always unpredictable and that is precisely what happened to us. In a minute the whole region was engulfed with a thick layer of fog and driving under these conditions was suicidal. So at Baralacha La top we stopped the car (of course with the engine running) and waited for the weather to clear. Here are some pictures from the top

Baralacha La at 12.30 am. I guess I'm the first person to do that
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Took this photo to show the fog in the air. This picture might not be all that convincing but believe me, it was tuff
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After an agonizing 30 minutes the fog cleared and started to drive again at 1.20 am. Somewhere around here I did see a board saying Suraj Tal but didn't bother stopping as it was not worth it in the dark.

Visibility improved after half an hour
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The drive from here to Keylong was more of the same so decided not to post any pictures. At 5.15 am almost 10 hrs after leaving Pang, we arrive at Keylong and began hunting for a lodge to take some rest. I had zeroed in on Neelkanth Guest House and luckily it was on the main road and even more luckily we found a large enough room for Rs 700 and just crashed.

Day 14 (26th Aug 2012)

Having had just 6hrs of sleep we were all set to tackle Rothang pass head on. In our guest house, there were a group of bikers from Pune, Bangalore and Kerala and they were surprised on seeing our car. So I had to ask the inevitable question about Rothang pass and their answer was pretty much in sync with what others had been saying about it. Its pretty darn tough.
At 11.00 am after completing all check out formalities with our guest house we drove towards Tandi and then towards Rothang pass. Surprisingly the roads were superb all the way till the climb towards Rothang which made us confused with what others had been saying.

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Then there was a checkpost just before climbing towards Rothang top. Here we entered the details of the car and passengers and began climbing the dreaded pass. Almost immediately I run into trouble as I drove the car over some huge sharp boulders and the engine guard which took so much beating, became severely bent and was making contact with the oil sump. I immediately stepped out of the car and had a look underneath but thank god it wasn't anything major. The guard was touching the oil sump and that made a rather loud noise as if the exhaust was leaking.
Now driving an injured car made be even more cautious and at the same time happy as the damage was restricted just to the engine guard and nothing major happened like a crack in the Oil sump.

Just a couple of kms before Rothang pass there was this narrow passage which meant that only one vehicle could cross at a time. Took this opportunity to record the sound that was generated because of the bent engine guard. Also this video is just a trailer of what was on the other side of Rothang

I start to move around the 1.40 min mark. Also listen to the noise because of the bent engine guard making contact with the oil sump


The last corner before Rothang pass
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At last we made it to the Rothang pass where the visibility just dropped and the road blocked as there was some blasting work going on below. So we stopped the car and went out for a break in the smelly stinky dirty Rothang pass. It wasn't all that cold at the top, yet people choose to wear those awful smelly rented overcoats. Of all the mountain passes, Rothang was the most commercialized and the worst. We had no option but to have lunch at the top as the road was still blocked. At precisely 3.45 pm the road block was cleared and we began to descent towards Hell on earth.

Since there was a huge backlog of cars due to road block, I had to pretty much follow the car in front and maintain his speed throughout. The car in front was a Tata Sum taxi and would have done this trip thousands of times. However, being familiar with the roads meant that he knew the best possible way to drive.

Here are a couple of videos showing the descent from Rothang. Note that this part of the road was no where near as bad as some of the other parts of the road







FINALLLY we entered Manali and what a huge relief it was. The air was denser, there was greenery all around and huge burden off my shoulders knowing the fact that there will be no more deadly mountain pass, no more scary water crossing and no more maggie!!!!. It was getting dark by the time we entered Manali and so decided to settle in for the night in Manali itself and began searching for a decent place to stay.

This time around in Manali was off season which is why we could get 50% off without even bargaining. So an excellent cottage near to Vashisht temple was chosen for Rs 750 per room. As soon as the room was finalized, I drove in search of a local mechanic to fix my engine guard. I didn't have to do far as there was a local garage repairing Tempo Travellers just round the corner. I explained him about the problem and immediately he got to work by removing the engine guard. That plate was bent at so many places and it wasn't even lying flat on its back when he removed it. He began flattening the guard with a heavy duty hammer and did an excellent job in bringing to its original condition (well almost)

It was Apple season and there were plenty of them...... Within my reach !
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Lovely sunset from our room
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A local mechanic working on the damaged engine guard
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With all things ending on a positive note I went back to the room breathing a huge sigh of relief. !!!!!


To be contd in the next post...
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Old 30th September 2012, 13:07   #102
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Contd from the previous post...

Day 15 (27th Aug 2012)

From what I've seen in other travelogues, the moment they enter Manali after crossing Rothang, their trip is over and head back. But not us, we still had to visit lots of places before going back to Bangalore. Today morning was different, the room was very comfortable with running hot water, the place had electricity or in other words, we reached civilization. The whole day would be spent on visiting local sight seeing places in Manali, starting of with Vashisth temple which was just 10 minutes walk from our hotel.

Vashisth temple which also had a hot water spring. Notice that all structures are wooden
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Had apple juice on the way which was so energetic partly because he apples were so fresh and partly because we were starving. There was also a hot water spring within the premises. From Vashisth temple we headed to Hadimba temple using the GPS which guided us correctly. Those rabbits were so fluffy and cute that it felt like holding two warm pillows

Thats my mother holding those cute rabbits
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At Hadimba temple we had our breakfast and I was aimlessly roaming around the mall road (which is the most famous street in Manali for shopping) while the others indulged in shopping till noon. By then I get a call from our hotel owner that the guys have come back from picking apples from his orchard. This got me interested and soon after having lunch we headed back to our hotel so see all those apples. It was fresh and so juicy that we purchased one whole crate for just Rs 700. It would easily cost 2 or 3 times this amount in Bangalore.

Fresh apples that were just plucked and sorted. This batch was heading to Delhi
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We purchased this whole crate of apples for Rs 700
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Funny
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After apples were purchased we spent the whole evening shopping even more in Manali and returned to our rooms by 8.30 pm for a tasty dinner prepared by our friendly hotel staff. Next day our plan was to reach Haridwar (the trip ain't over yet )

To be contd in next post...
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Old 30th September 2012, 15:29   #103
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Day 16 (28th Aug 2012)

Our memorable time in Manali was over and today our destination was Haridwar. The distance from Manali to Haridwar was approximately 500 kms which meant we had to start early. So yet again by 4.00 am we hit the road and drove on the beautiful roads connecting Manali to Kullu and then into Bilaspur.

Lots of sheep around these areas
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At Bilaspur there were countless cement trucks which slowed our progress and to add salt to the wound, the roads were in pretty bad shape as well. Slowly we made it across those mountain roads wasting lots of time on the way. The route to Haridwar made us cross Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand all in one day !! We crossed 5 states in a little over 12 hrs. The roads were a mix of excellent roads in some parts and pretty bad roads in some other parts. The roads in Uttar Pradesh in particular was extremely bad.

Once we entered Uttar Pradesh, I was stopped by the cops and asked to pay Rs 100 for some circular reflective stickers that he stuck on my car . I must admit that the boards there were very confusing and so I completely relied on my trusty GPS to take me to Haridwar. So after navigating 5 states in a single day we entered Haridwar and were greeted by the sight of seeing river Ganga flowing in all her glory. I had already made reservation for our stay in Haridwar using MakeMyTrip. The hotel was rated as a 3 star hotel and as expected it was superb. We entered our rooms by 6.45 pm after being on the road for a little over 12 hrs. Since I was too tired, we decided just to rest for the day and had dinner at the restaurant itself.

The hotel where we stayed in Haridwar. The rooms was very good
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-minipicture-019.jpg

Since I had given just 1 day for Haridwar and Rishikesh, tomorrow was going to be a very busy day. So the first half of the day would be spent in Rishikesh and the other half at Haridwar.

Day 17 (29th Aug 2012)

Before leaving to Rishikesh, we decided to have a dip in the holy waters of Ganga. So at dawn we left our hotel and entered Haridwar and found a ghat which was surprisingly clean. The fast flowing waters of Ganga were mesmerizing. We also emptied all our water containers to fill water from river Ganga.

How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-minipicture-245.jpg

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After having a dip in Ganga, we came back to our rooms and got ourselves ready for a very hectic day ahead. The drive to Rishikesh from Haridwar was just 30kms, but it was a very beautiful drive. Reached Rishikesh at 8.00 am sharp and parked the car at one of their multi story car park as the city is best explored on foot. We quickly arranged for an over enthusiastic guide and asked him for a good place to have breakfast. He directed us to the famous Chotiwala restaurant by crossing the famous Ram Jhula.

The drive from Haridwar to Rishikesh
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Ram Jhula
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Aah...One picture with all 4 of us on Ram Jhula
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All of us following our friendly guide
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Lots of Chotiwalas have sprung up, but this is the original one (according to our guide)
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This was Gita Bhavan and the specialty of this place is that donations are not accepted. Even still we could see people throwing coins at the deity.
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This branch of a peepul tree is looks like an elephant's face
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Apart from these places, we also visited a couple of other temples but couldn't capture it as camera wasn't allowed. Seeing all the important places on one side of Rishikesh, we were directed by our guide to visit Shivanand Ashram. Spent a good 1 hr there and the people in ashram were kind enough to offer us lunch at their premises.

The peaceful meditation hall of Swami Shivanand
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Next up was Laksham Jhula...
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We climbed the temple that you can see on your left
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The view from the top of the temple
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By 2.00 pm we finished visiting all the very important places to see in Rishikesh. However if time permits, we all would have loved to spend extra time in Rishikesh. Now we drive back to Haridwar to witness the most awaited Ganga aarthi. So we just stopped by our rooms to freshen up and immediately drove towards Har Ki Pauri. Fortunately there was safe car parking available at the place but the problem was that it was located a little far away from the main place where aarthi takes place. Unfortunately it also started to rain which made things a little difficult. However after a bit of struggling, we got the best seats in the house to witness the aarthi.

How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-minipicture-021.jpg

All vantage points were being filled with people
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Aarthi was just about to begin
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Immediately after the sun has set, the aarthi begins
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Mesmerizing!!!!
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To be contd in the next post...
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Old 30th September 2012, 16:53   #104
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Contd from my previous post...

How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-miniminipicture-055.jpg

My favorite picture of the evening aarthi
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It was well after 7.30 pm when the aarthi got over. Tried visiting a couple of temples but they all close at 8.00 pm. Instead we walk leisurely back to the car park sulking and gathering our thoughts together as this was the last place to be visited in our epic journey because from tomorrow its a drive back home. We came back to our rooms by 9.00 pm and discussed this mother of all journeys, the highs and some very highs as well as some lows during this trip. With a heavy heart we packed some of the luggage the previous night itself and went to bed.

Day 18 (30th Aug 2011)

Today was yet another early start and our destination for the day was not fixed. Our plan was to drive as much as possible and only when it gets too difficult to drive, then hunt for a lodge. So we left Haridwar at sharp 5.00 am and drove towards Delhi. The roads in the beginning wasn't all that good but just before Meerut we were on a 4 lane highway all the way till Delhi. So Delhi came up in no time and thanks to GPS, we were out of Delhi in no time as well. The drive from Delhi to Jaipur was a tiresome one as they are widening the existing 4-lane highway into a 6- lane highway. This meant frequent diversions and small traffic jams as a result of it. Reached Jaipur bypass at 5.00 pm (exactly 12 hrs from Haridwar) and used the horrible Jaipur bypass to get out of Jaipur.

On the Gurgaon Delhi Expressway
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Never know that there is Metro coming up in Jaipur as well But soon after Jaipur, the roads were 6-laned throughout till Kishangarh. It was one of the best roads to drive and I maintained an average speed of over 100kmph throughout. I again come up with a decision to drive all through the night so that we can make some good progress. This was opposed by mom and aunts and their argument was that I was too tired after driving non stop from Haridwar. Some how I convinced them and drove on through the night, bypassing Bhilwara, Chittorgarh and Udaipur. After Udaipur, I was feeling really sleepy and hence stopped the car just after a Toll Booth and took a nap for about 1 hr after which I was able to drive comfortably again. While nearing Himmatnagar, I decided to stop for a bit of sleep and inquired Hotel Landmark for a room. He said a room for 4 people would cost Rs 2000/- for just 6 hrs which I thought unnecessary. Instead found another lodge just after Hotel Landmark ( forgot the name) and found excellent family room for just Rs 750. We chose that room itself and took rest there till 11.00 am

Himmatnagar was literally boiling and it was very humid as well. Tried my best to park the car in the shade.
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-minipicture-102.jpg

Day 19 (31st Aug 2012)

The total distance covered from Haridwar to Himmatnagar was 1075 kms !!!!!. In the process I also beat my previous record of crossing the maximum number of states in a single day. The tally now stands at 6 (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat). At 11.00 am we left our hotel in Himmatnagar and drove to our cousin's place in Mumbai. The drive was good as truck traffic stayed low.

Blasting our way towards Mumbai. Reached the top speed of the car here. Speedo showed 185 kmph while GPS showed 167 kmph
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-minipicture-104.jpg

Blasted our way through NE-1 and towns like Surat, Bharuch, Vapi were passed. Entered Mumbai city at 7.00 pm and encountered heavy traffic, but fortunately my cousin's place (Jogeshwari) was quite near from the side we entered. We were in our cousin's place by 8.00 pm and enjoyed home cooked food for the first time since 20 days !!!


Day 20 (1st Sept 2012)

Today our destination was HOME. Felt really happy to be heading back home after such a long vacation. The route was very simple again. It was Mumbai - Pune - Kolhapur - Belgaum - Davangere - Bangalore. I have already driven on this roads many times before and so we were literally just going through the motions. By 12 pm we entered Karnataka and the remaining 600 odd kms from here went like a flash (perhaps we were too used to travel in excess of 600 kms daily). 9.00 pm and we were on the Nelamangala toll road. Home is just 15 kms from here
And finally the moment arrives............ Reached home on 1st Sept 2012 at 9.45 pm. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED !!!!

Day 21 (2nd Sept 2012)

For once I didn't have to bother about the route, road conditions and places to stay. So woke up feeling great and connected the camera to the comp to see all those pictures (4633 pictures to be precise). And regarding the car, I was in no mood to wash the car, instead gave the car to 3M car care for a wash and wax as well as full interior cleaning. I was told to collect the car in the evening and when I went to their place, my car was still looking as beautiful as ever. Have a look

How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-miniimg_2515.jpg

The casualty of this trip is that scratch on the left side of the front bumper
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-miniimg_2516.jpg

Just a good wash makes the car look as good as new
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-miniimg_2517.jpg

Here is the Odometer reading before the trip
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-picture-017.jpg

3 weeks later and the Odo stands at
How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea-miniimg_2518.jpg
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Old 30th September 2012, 17:18   #105
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Default Re: How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea

Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricanes View Post
Excellent write up Rohit.

WOW, Travelling in a Linea and that too with three Sr.Citizens.. Kudos to them for taking up that challenge.

The images are fantastic.. Rated 5 stars.
Thanks a lot hurricanes for giving me that rating. I really appreciate
Regarding my co passengers, its only my 2 aunts who are aged above sixty. As they say Age is just a number. They may be old but they are younger than me by heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raamki View Post
Hats off to you buddy, am truly inspired to do a trip of this sort in my Rapid sometime in 2013, will contact you for details!!

Looking forward to the last bit of your experience, took some guts to overcome 2 passes in the night, what can I say!!

Awesome travelogue, pictures are very well captured and you have documented your experience very well! Kudos my friend!

5 Stars!
Thank you so much raamki for the compliments. Your Rapid can easily do the journey without much difficulties. Just make sure that you go to Ladakh at the right season and you'll love it. As I type this, another Linea from Kerala has successfully completed his Leh journey. See its not that difficult anymore !!

My decision to drive through the night at Pang was a spontaneous one. Not finding a single soul for 10 hrs is indeed frightening but somehow by god's grace I was able to successfully cross all those passes and deadly water crossings.

Please feel free to ask me anything about the trip. I'll be more than happy to share what little knowledge and experience I got from that region. Good luck with your trip and looking forward to your travelogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Fantastic thread. Lovely pictures. Rated the thread a well deserved 5 stars

Eager to hear the Rohtang pass story. Keep em coming.

Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Krishna. And congratulations on buying a new Fiat Linea. The car in that color looks absolutely stunning and this proves that there are people who are not the typical herd mentality kind. If you know what I mean !!! You can now read the full story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asw View Post
After reading travelogue of .anshuman i was thinking about trip to ladakh from chennai, but thought it will be too far away for me. After reading this Travelogue i got some inspiration. am planning to travel to ladakh next year. i have to make necessary preperation for it from now wish some one from forum will join me
If there are people who can do it from Kerala and Bangalore, then it is not difficult at all to do it from Chennai. In fact if I can recollect correctly Mr J Ravi in his Linea started off from Chennai itself, although the route taken was different.
Regarding people who'll join for another Leh expedition, well I'm ready
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