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Old 25th March 2013, 20:46   #166
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

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Originally Posted by bhavtol View Post
b.) Can i take my car there ? (cuz i am dying to )
Remember that the Ladakh route is amongst the most over-hyped circuits today, more so, after it was immortalized in 3 idiots. You car can easily go to Ladakh and come back as long as it is reliable. I would not recommend doing it on LPG though since getting LPG there is tough.

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I recommend you to drive your car to Ladakh, but make sure your car is in top shape. Double check everything before the trip, do the homework well and enjoy the trip!
Well said Anshuman.
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Old 26th March 2013, 14:46   #167
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Thanks Sathya. XUV will be more comfortable on this route, ......
Thanks a lot Anshuman. Really helps. Have changed the itinerary based on inputs from you and HVK. Hope this one becomes a memorable trip in my life

Had this as a longstanding dream.. and happy to know I will be ticking that box in my wishlist!
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Old 26th March 2013, 22:33   #168
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Remember that the Ladakh route is amongst the most over-hyped circuits today, more so, after it was immortalized in 3 idiots.
The Ladakh circuit has been considered the Holy Grail of Indian motorists for a long time. I think it has been so due to a heady combination of wilderness, loftiness, picturesqueness and treacherousness. The treacherousness has probably reduced somewhat over the years as more and more stretches of the roads got paved / widened and also automotive technology took giant strides making cars and bikes more reliable and rugged. But I think this circuit is still challenging enough and exciting enough for all Indian auto enthusiasts to attempt at least once.

I haven't done this circuit yet but seriously intend doing it this summer. I want to figure for myself whether it is over-hyped!


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Hi Satya, you may want to have a relook at your itinerary. Late August means that all the snow would've melted away and the land is barren. Also, there is always a scare of flash floods during August as it happened in 2010. IMHO, you should advance your trip by a month to make it more enjoyable.
Anshuman and other Ladakh veterans -- I'm planning to do this circuit (Jamshedpur-Delhi-Srinagar- Kargil-Leh-Manali-Delhi-Jamshedpur) in May or June this year in my XUV-W6 (FWD). I recently learnt that this year the roads are opening in end-March itself, i.e., one month earlier than usual. I would think that one should wait for at least one month after the roads open so that there is time for BRO to get their act together and the initial rush of Army convoys gets over. I'm thinking about either May or June. What would you recommend?
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Old 27th March 2013, 07:37   #169
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I would think that one should wait for at least one month after the roads open so that there is time for BRO to get their act together and the initial rush of Army convoys gets over. I'm thinking about either May or June. What would you recommend?
That's not true, although, I've always believed that june and july were the best months to be there to enjoy that part of himalayas.
Wish you all the very best and may you have an enjoyable trip as I'm sure it will indeed be a memorable one.
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Old 27th March 2013, 09:03   #170
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

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I would think that one should wait for at least one month after the roads open so that there is time for BRO to get their act together and the initial rush of Army convoys gets over. I'm thinking about either May or June. What would you recommend?
Army convoys are always there as long as these roads are open. May/June should be OK with faint chance of occasional rain. Roads are better if there are no landslides.
Few areas are perpetually bad like Rohtang pass, for instance.
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Old 27th March 2013, 09:18   #171
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I would think that one should wait for at least one month after the roads open so that there is time for BRO to get their act together and the initial rush of Army convoys gets over. I'm thinking about either May or June. What would you recommend?
Wile it is true that the BRO fixes up most roads by July end or early August, I'd say the fun is in traveling on the broken roads. As for the Army convoys, you cannot miss them. There are convoys almost every day, so you cannot avoid them. Only way to avoid them is to be ahead of them which would mean early starts everyday. I've done this circuit twice on my motorcycle, and trust me there is no other road in India that can give the same rush to a rider.
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Old 27th March 2013, 14:56   #172
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

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Originally Posted by debuda View Post
I haven't done this circuit yet but seriously intend doing it this summer. I want to figure for myself whether it is over-hyped!
Debuda, All the best for your plans! Even i wanted to attempt the route this time as soon as it was to open, but then they are planning to open the passes real early, and i do have lots of work pending.



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Anshuman and other Ladakh veterans -- I'm planning to do this circuit (Jamshedpur-Delhi-Srinagar- Kargil-Leh-Manali-Delhi-Jamshedpur) in May or June this year in my XUV-W6 (FWD). I recently learnt that this year the roads are opening in end-March itself, i.e., one month earlier than usual. I would think that one should wait for at least one month after the roads open so that there is time for BRO to get their act together and the initial rush of Army convoys gets over. I'm thinking about either May or June. What would you recommend?
I am no Ladakh Veteran, just been there twice. I guess it will be a lot more beautiful in the early month, with lots of snow at places, since you will be driving a crossover you need not worry as much about the roads as Sedan owners. Last time around i did not have access to a SUV, so i had to plan for a time when the roads were at better condition and streams had dried up. Luckily enough, for this season i have a XUV 500 AWD and a Rexton MT 4x4 ready.

As already said by Rudra, Army convoys keep moving all throughout whenever the roads are open.

Last edited by .anshuman : 27th March 2013 at 14:58.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 14:45   #173
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Rated a well deserved 5* Anshuman . Fantastic travelogue this .

Even I am planning to do this circuit this year in my 2009 Fabia. 2009 model does not have a rough road package, but has a sump guard (not of metal though). Will this suffice or do I need to get a metal sump guard fixed?

I will be travelling from Chennai and my wife will accompany me. There is a convoy doing this circut and I am part of it. Will be joining the convoy on 24th Aug in Banglore.
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Old 16th May 2013, 23:12   #174
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Last set of pictures-

This second last day of the trip was most tiring, roads compared to Srinagar-Leh were bad but not difficult except one section after Sarchu which required all the passengers to get off to gain some GC.

Our original target was to take a halt for the night at Sarchu, but we were at Sarchu by 4 pm. We took a lunch break, in around half an hour we were done, but it was just 4 30pm and we had lots of energy left, so we decided to continue the Journey and take a halt only after sun sets.

Even after sun had set and it was dark, we kept travelling, at every possible stay option one or the other passenger suggested to try out next stay option. But after dark, our progress became very slow, this road is unmarked, it disappears frequently. It was only because of DSG i was able to drive this long in lower gears without getting tired. Finally at around 9 we found our place for the night, Padma Guest house at Jispa, this trip turning out to very cheap, we got a dirt cheap 1000 rupee accomodation which was worthy of a higher price.

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8960.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8961.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8962.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8963.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8966.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8967.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8968.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8969.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8975.jpg
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Old 16th May 2013, 23:36   #175
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The last day, we got back on the road by 6am, with a target to cross Rohtang as early as possible and to head back to Delhi with minimum breaks. We knew the good part of our trip was over, but Rohtang turned out to be a lot more uglier than we expected.

Rohtang was full of slush, upto a feet or maybe deeper at places, mixed with sharp rocks, this certainly was not a Sedan territory. I managed to climb up quite comfortably, as there was not much oncoming traffic, but once past the climb it got dirty. The oncoming cab guys with their HLs turned on were refusing to leave space for us, finally even i had to resort to their language, and only then we started making decent progress.

It was quite strange to see a Laura lead a convoy of UVs, none of which were daring to overtake and lead us, everyone was scared of slush, slush was sparing no one, anything 2wd was easy to get stuck. Rohtang was very tiring, i drank more than 2 liters of water during this stretch, it was so stressful. Front tires were constantly shooting pebbles and stones at the underbody, which was making very loud noise, but Laura did not get any hard hits. And finally it managed to cross the Rohtang on its own power, without any need of passengers getting down or requiring human power to push.

After the bad section, i parked the car on a clean stretch to inspect the underbody, it dripping of slush everywhere but all seemed fine, kept glasses down for while to check out any weird noises. A late breakfast break after Manali and we were back on the highways, once tarred roads arrived Laura was back to doing what she does brilliantly, munching miles effortless. We reach Delhi late in the night, atleast i was not tired, everyone else seemed to be.

Next day, i got Laura washed thoroughly and inspected underbody. The washing station guys were surprised at the amount of slush and debries they managed to get out of the wheel well and underbody. Once cleaned up, i checked the underbody, there was nothing that required attention, except some harmless scratches on the sump guard and other places, but i do not want to get rid of them either, for me they are scars from a battle which my Laura won for me.

Number of Squeaks and Rattles after the Drive = 0
Number of issues faced with the car during trip = 0
Number of times i thought i made a wrong decision by taking her to Ladakh = 0

I did 100% of driving during the trip, my friend never got a chance to drive, maybe without the DSG he might have got lucky!

Last edited by .anshuman : 16th May 2013 at 23:43.
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Old 20th May 2013, 02:38   #176
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The last day, we got back on the road by 6am, with a target to cross Rohtang as early as possible and to head back to Delhi with minimum breaks. We knew the good part of our trip was over, but Rohtang turned out to be a lot more uglier than we expected.

Rohtang was full of slush, upto a feet or maybe deeper at places, mixed with sharp rocks, this certainly was not a Sedan territory. I managed to climb up quite comfortably, as there was not much oncoming traffic, but once past the climb it got dirty. The oncoming cab guys with their HLs turned on were refusing to leave space for us, finally even i had to resort to their language, and only then we started making decent progress.

It was quite strange to see a Laura lead a convoy of UVs, none of which were daring to overtake and lead us, everyone was scared of slush, slush was sparing no one, anything 2wd was easy to get stuck. Rohtang was very tiring, i drank more than 2 liters of water during this stretch, it was so stressful. Front tires were constantly shooting pebbles and stones at the underbody, which was making very loud noise, but Laura did not get any hard hits. And finally it managed to cross the Rohtang on its own power, without any need of passengers getting down or requiring human power to push.
Nice write up anshuman. After going through your ownership thread of laura i bought the beast soon after. And now your travelogue to ladakh in laura has again tempted me to follow you. I am leaving to leh after 2 days in my laura. Can you please advise the route while coming back. With lots of slush, flowing streams and bad roads in the month of may at rohtang pass, do you advise to take this route in laura or shall we return back by srinagar only.
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Old 20th May 2013, 12:46   #177
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Nice write up anshuman. After going through your ownership thread of laura i bought the beast soon after. And now your travelogue to ladakh in laura has again tempted me to follow you.
Thanks.carMania, I am glad my ownership thread helped you decide on your car. Now you want to do the Ladakh circuit as well, great, go for it but do your homework well and you'll have an awesome trip.

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I am leaving to leh after 2 days in my laura. Can you please advise the route while coming back. With lots of slush, flowing streams and bad roads in the month of may at rohtang pass, do you advise to take this route in laura or shall we return back by srinagar only.
The Manali Leh highway is not officially open yet, though it might be open this week or next, just confirm the same before starting out from Leh. Leh-Manali is comparatively tougher than Srinagar route, the road conditions change every few days so i cannot give you the exact picture on what to expect, but due to snow melting, more water in streams and fresh snowfall expect it to be more difficult than the closing months which are preferable for sedans.

Returning back through Srinagar is a safer but very boring option, believe me it will become monotonous after a while.

Even i am leaving for Ladakh this time again in first week of June, this time chariot will be XUV 500 AWD, i plan to cover places i could not cover last year.


Cross posting what i had posted earlier, from Ladakh route thread-
My advice is to pack light and before you tackle any obstacle get down and plan the path keeping your car's underbody in mind. Also, get to know your car's underbody, you should know where are the fragile parts placed, and how to steer to avoid them. At times there might be places where a scrape will be inevitable, knowing your car well will help a lot in avoiding fragile parts.

Try not to use too much accelerator, if your car isnt moving, back up and chart a plan to steer and attempt will little more momentum.

Also, before the journey, get a complete check up of your car, for Laura DSG get the brake pads checked properly.

BTW, How many passengers will be travelling in the car? And how much Luggage?
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Old 20th May 2013, 13:15   #178
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Awesome pictures. I had seen the pics long back and here they are again. You have done wonders with your cam. No doubt its an awesome place. I guess each and every picture can be transformed into a poster for its scenic beauty.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers
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Old 31st May 2013, 12:55   #179
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I am going there again to cover the areas i could not visit last time, will take the tougher path this time in my XUV 500 AWD. If things go as planned, i'll leave by late next week or the week after that. Stay tuned!

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_0758.jpg
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Old 31st May 2013, 13:28   #180
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I am going there again to cover the areas i could not visit last time, will take the tougher path this time in my XUV 500 AWD. If things go as planned, i'll leave by late next week or the week after that. Stay tuned!
Lovely vehicle for the trip. However, wouldn't the monsoons bother the region?

Regards,
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