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Old 19th July 2013, 09:36   #16
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Wink Re: Escape to Pangong Tso

Originally Posted by Indian Ranger View Post
Lovely pictures Rahul, especially of Sonmarg and of glaciers. Captured Kashmir beautifully. Looks like another wonderful Leh travelogue in the making. Keep posting and Thanks for sharing.

~ Manjunath
Thank You
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
Congratulations for achieving your dream.
Thanks a lot for the fantastic pictures and nice travelogue.
Will be glued to this thread.
Thank You
Originally Posted by padikpanther View Post
Superb pics and narration Rahul. Glued to the thread
Thank You
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post

Envy you! Congrats on doing the journey.

Hooked to the TL.
Thank You and no need to envy. Just do it
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Old 19th July 2013, 16:35   #17
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Default Re: Escape to Pangong Tso

Fantastic. Looks like you've had one hell of a drive!
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Old 19th July 2013, 21:06   #18
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Arrow Hanuthang - Leh Contd...

And so we continued towards Leh.

Khaltse comes up soon and towards right side you can see the other fork of NH1D joining for Leh. The road is freshly tarred and is a treat to drive. But the afternoon sun and visuals are more beautiful to ogle at.

We break for tea at Nimmu and then continue towards Leh.

At magnetic hill I have no issues going up on either side but there is lots of dust and loose sand for which i back out slowly and easily. Thanks to AT tires. A similar stunt was tried by another Scorpio with highway tires but then it didn't even do 70% of what I could reach. Perhaps the driver or some other factor

Enjoy the visuals.

The panorama are taken with google nexus camera.

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Escape to Pangong Tso-pano_20130622_165602.jpg

Escape to Pangong Tso-pano_20130621_190227.jpg

After a satisfying drive to Leh, we call it a day and then spend couple of days acclimatizing before heading out to Khardungla -> Hunder and then finally to Pangong Tso via Changla Baba
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Old 20th July 2013, 21:20   #19
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Arrow Leh - Panamik - Leh

The next 2 days were spent resting properly and collecting our Permits to the places of interest.

By the way, we found "The Tibetian Hotel" too good a quality for lunch during one of the days spent there. The momo's we one of best in long time I had a chance to gobble down

After having a good breakfast we decided that we would go and explore Panamik side of the route and skip THOISE and likes as we have been already close or almost parallel to Turtuk in last few days. The cut of time to return to base was set to 2PM. We started leisurely at 8AM after a tankful at the Leh petrol pump. Its supposed to be very good pump and we waited almost 15 mins for our turn.

The challenge for today was Khardungla and then beyond. Being Monday there was less rush nevertheless . The ride was tough no doubt. We encountered a couple of cyclists on the way, before 1st TCP.

Some fantastic visuals FZ35 could capture. The weather was clean sunny and it was warm.
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We also saw below along the telephone lines the 4x4 tracks where Army ALES make a way. Seems too much inviting for a capable 4x4 to explore along the mountains There were many short cuts between switch backs which we didnt attempt for obvious reasons.

During the trip we found enourmous contrasted colored mountains and stunning visuals which we plan to do again some other time.

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 20th July 2013 at 21:27.
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Old 20th July 2013, 21:47   #20
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Default Leh - Panamik - Leh Contd..


So in the end we continued until the end of Panamik village and then turned around to head back to Leh. We also saw the hot springs but in excitment, we forgot to click the images =p

Panamik, Its amazing in a sense that you are basically navigating an ancient now dry remnants of seabed.
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A final picture while return at Khardungla. The ride.
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Tomorrow we undertake a ride of the lifetime. We ride along Pangong Tso all the way to the destination of the day, with a doubt of which track to choose in the sand.

A glimpse

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Old 21st July 2013, 03:40   #21
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Arrow Leh - Pangong Tso - Chushul

Time Check 8am
Route: Leh - Chumthang Part 1

Pangong Tso, Tibetan for "long, narrow, enchanted lake", also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
The lake is in the process of being identified under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. This will be the first trans-boundary wetland in South Asia under the convention.
& so we packed up from the guest room to move towards the the enchanting Pangong Tso Lake. The destination set for today is Chushul with ETA of 5pm.

With a leisure start of 8 AM it was well within reach. By 7am we reached the petrol bunk and topped up. We carried 30 cans to hold extra diesel as well.

The ride to Chumthang was battering the suspensions so we went little slow towards the final ascent towards the pass and boy its similar to the other two tough passes namely Khardungla and Zozilla.

Some visuals

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Its 3PM we reach Pangong Tso.
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Old 21st July 2013, 04:06   #22
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Route: Leh - Chumthang - Pangong Tso contd.

This post is dedicated to the various colors of Pangong Tso. How many shades of Pangong Tso you have? Sigh.. amazing
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What would you remember from this trip. My signature shot
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Its almost 1600hr now. We have to move. We have the permits to Chushul via Man Merak, but the roads are non existant, which route which track to take..

Of course we dont want to surprise the chinese or we go back to Tangste and head back to chushul from there. Its almost 100+ kms from that route.

But this is only 35 kms...2 hrs atmost duh what do we do !@ Shall we make our own roads ?
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A drive by pangong tso lake video

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 21st July 2013 at 04:31.
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Old 21st July 2013, 13:01   #23
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Arrow Leh - Pangong Tso - Chushul contd..

But this is only 35 kms...2 hrs atmost duh what do we do !@ Shall we make our own roads ?

We look at the road..
We look at the stunning view..
We look at each other

There is no turning back now. We will see what happens

Mind you any wrong paths can lead you to some other place you dont want to be at. Lucky for us we have a local taxi aka scorpio way ahead of us who is also going towards Chushul with kind words of advise

Cabbie: "Saabzee, keep left, you dont want to go right"

Us: "But isnt left is China ?"

Cabbie: Haan yes saar, and then he turns around towards the destination and says.. dont venture left, there are stone markings and keep to right with a smirk on his face & yes donot cross the IRON BRIDGE towards left.

Oh boy so much for left right orientation

So we follow fresh vehicle tracks carefully with heart beating out loud at 14k feet. You can imagine why so. We don't want to surprise thy neighbours

If the vehicle breaks down, god help you, there would be long wait for sure.

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This Kiang gives the black elephant a run for its money for good few minutes

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Soon around 6 we reach destination Chushul. Its a small village and there is a tarred road.

By 7 we are settled in our accommodation, having delicious food prepared by our hosts.

Mind you this area comes under Super High Altitude. We are resting at 14.5k feet. BP and NA is checked found to be normal.

We stay here for a few days.

Few night shots

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Many have asked me how is the road condition. I would say decent on a vehicle with 200mm GC would do it. 4x4 more than preferable. I even saw a carefully driven swift on this road

Here is the video from car camera.

For tomorrow we rest and get the the black elephant washed too to get rid of the sand dust accumulated.

We decide that we would go to Sarchu.

But how, we are a little low on diesel which means we need to head back towards leh from Tangste. We have 20 liters of reserve diesel and 70% in the fuel tank. If we need to hit sarchu, via polokong la - debring, we need a full tank and 30 liters reserve fuel soon else from Mahe via Chumthang we go back. Not a good idea

Will we be able to find diesel in Nyoma , Loma, Mahe ????Time to find out.

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 21st July 2013 at 13:05.
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Old 25th July 2013, 23:11   #24
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Arrow Chushul - Nyoma - Mahe -Polokongla-Sarchu

After lazying around Chushul, it was that time of the trip where we part away with the beautiful Pangong Tso Lake.

Having said that, today we were going to undertake the most breath taking and daring so to say drive ahead. We had to get fuel and then only we could reach our destination of the day.

After taking around, its kinda confirmed that we might get loose diesel around there.

And so after a hale and harty stay, we bid adieu to our hosts driving towards Rezangla and then onwards to Nyoma and beyond.

The off track is a even worse. A slip and you are done with your tyres. This track is to be done carefully.

We start at 8am
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The weather is turning windy and its time.
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On the way we say prayers for the brave souls at Chushul War Memorial
Rezang La was the site of the last stand of the 13 Kumaon, an all-Ahir company, during the Sino-Indian War in 1962.[1] The company led by Major Shaitan Singh, who won a posthumous Param Vir Chakra for his actions. From the Indian point of view, Rezang La had the drawback that an intervening feature blocked artillery operation, so that the Indian infantry had to do without artillery cover.
In this action On November 18, 1962, 114 Indian soldiers out of a total of 123 were killed. A memorial in Rewari, where most of the Ahir soldiers came from, states that 1700 Chinese soldiers were killed in the battle.[2] A memorial was constructed near Dharuhera Chowk in Rewari city by Rezangla Shaurya Samiti. Every year, memorial functions are held by the Samiti in collaboration with district administration and the Kumaon Regiment, and family members of those who died at Rezangla also take part.
The Indian side was led by Major Shaitan Singh (IC 7990), who was later awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award for conspicuous bravery or self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy.
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With prayers in our mind, we salute the war heroes of Rezangla
How can a Man die Better than facing Fearful Odds,
For the Ashes of His Fathers and the Temples of His Gods,
To the sacred memory of the Heroes of Rezang La,
114 Martyrs of 13 Kumaon who fought to the Last Man,
Last Round, Against Hordes of Chinese on 18 November 1962.
Built by All Ranks 13th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment.
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Some greenery in the cold desert is always welcome.
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We are actually very close to the Indo Chinese Border and here we spot Spanggur Tso. We think of going closer to have a look, but decide against it. It might spook someone.

Spanggur Tso is a beautiful lake located in the eastern part of Leh District, Jammu and Kashmir. This saltwater lake of Ladakh region stretches towards the Chinese territory. Spanggur Tso can be approached from Chushul through a gap in the mountains called the Spanggur Gap.

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The road ahead...
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The road behind. Full of stones and sand

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The ride and tires looking good
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And some horses & the black clouds giving us some company
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This Yak all of sudden gets into attack mode. I wonder why
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And we continue on the dry dusty tarmac. We hear soon after Chagala the road get better. (After ITBP check point)
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Finally Chaga La. Loma is still a distant 1-2 hrs away.
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The soil changes color to somewhat purple. Seasons of colors Wow. Look around.
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Horses grazing. Notice the neck hairs of the horses. They are thicker.
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Seeing the black elephant, all run helter skelter
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The majestic ride
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The tarmac ahead
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Nyo-lo- ma here we come
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Good Bye Chushul, we will be back some day.
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Old 26th July 2013, 10:37   #25
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Default Re: Escape to Pangong Tso

The pictures are improving with each post.
I agree with a 4x4, you would have brought us even better landscapes and views.

Please continue....
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Old 28th July 2013, 09:23   #26
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Arrow Chushul - Nyoma - Mahe -Polokongla-Sarchu contd.

The view becomes even more scenic and we are on tarmac road. A freshly laid one. They are the most dramatic we have ever seen

River Indus is giving us the company. We notice that in yester years, it would have been a big river; very big. Looking at the sand and the dry river basin, other artefacts confirm this. The water is real cold and weather is real windy.
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Soon a turn towards Hanle comes up and an entry to the checkpost is made and we continue towards Nyoma.

The roads are good and we make a good progress.

The adventerous route
Escape to Pangong Tso-nyomasarchu.jpg

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Now we need to concentrate on getting the diesel. Nyoma comes up and we stop just before a JK Bank ATM. After enquiring around, we get diesel albeit a good quality diesel from there. We fill up the Jerrycan and top up the fuel tank. We are good to go with 80L now.
And after some chatting with locals and few biscuits we move on

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We continue towards Mahe, where we take a left turn over the bridge.

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Soon a stoppage at the Checkpost is made and we make a entry of our details to it and carry on the brigde to Sumdo and Puga village

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The road is narrow and washed away at places, but not that hard to cross either.

This looks like a cave. Any cavemens there?

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We pass Puga. We can see children returning from the local school.

The view on the left leaves us speechless. Its rock salt. Its dried and white in color

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The not so good road continues towards until Sumdo. Just before, the left turn goes towards other lakes of interest.

Well we decide to skip Morriri lakes, some other time, but we have to take a short cuts of sorts (off tack) to Tso Kar lake.

But the road to TsoKar isnt easy one.Its raining and I am afraid that the track might get slushy and being 4x2 owner its making me uneasy. I cant gun the engine and run. For i have to maintain a fastest 10kmph speed all along this kind of road.

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In a distance a saddle feature appears what could be a Pass. We are there almost. Its treachorous, all along 1 hrs since Sumdo, we are on 1st gear. Nearing the pass i see three tracks, 1 up the one on which i am and one down. I decide to give the 1up a try but had to back out due to a steep incline and sandlike soil. We back down to track 3 a little lower and continue

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Soon Polokongla is captured. We rest for a while there. Behind us the weather is turning grim and we must hurry now

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Its started to rain/drizzle in EMI's so to say and while descending, we spot the Tso Kar.
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A clear view of Tso Kar. There are two lakes. Tso Kar (Salty) and Startsapuk Tso (Fresh water) I have no understanding of this, but thats what was told.

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The right view

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The left view

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The broken tarmac. We stop at one of the dhabha to have maggi. Its the most expensive maggi of the trip a cool 50 bucks for 1 plate. But we cherish whatever we can.

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After resting a while, we move on and spot the first vehicle enroute to Tso Kar a innova. Its a back shot.

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Towards Debring

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& finally we reach the famed Leh Manali highway

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Can you see the track on the left, thats where we came from.

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Old 28th July 2013, 11:01   #27
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Default Re: Escape to Pangong Tso

Good to see this TL. I think I should review each post carefully and make a list of things we missed .
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Old 28th July 2013, 12:00   #28
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Question Note

Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
Good to see this TL. I think I should review each post carefully and make a list of things we missed .
Thanks mate I am going to watch your thread closely too. Now post your updates soon

For the readers, the last 2 chapters are coming up which will be posted soon. After that I will post the trip log and some GPS thingy.

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 28th July 2013 at 12:01.
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Old 29th July 2013, 12:20   #29
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Default Re: Baltal - Zozilla - Kargil

Originally Posted by Rahulk76 View Post

Why it became an elephant, because of the lousy TML Tata Safari air intake design inside on the RHS wheel arch. It kept feeding fine dust from the wheels to the air filter and a as a result the it started to choke.

Therfore, When we started climbing Zozilla, i had to litterally whip the elephant with 2000RPM to boost it to climb the steep inclines.


Sovernieurs from Kargil War


Can you post the picture of this air intake? May be Tata should patent it so that nobody else can use this design.

For a moment, I thought you bought those souvenirs! When I was buying souvenirs, these were not available for purchase.
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Old 29th July 2013, 14:40   #30
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Default Re: Escape to Pangong Tso

Rahul, congrats on this achievement!! The photos are really superb!
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