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Old 9th August 2013, 14:22   #16
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Hello Satan,

Fantastic pictures & crisp narration. It would have been a great fun travelling with people from different walks of life.

What was the maximum number of passengers allowed in a car? I mean were you allowed to bring in your family with you?

By the way, can you please share some details about dates of the trip. Also what is the registration process & when it is scheduled to open each year. Also was the entire trip from Delhi to Shrinagar was sponsured by Mahindra or participants were supposed to contribute some part of it?

Thanks,
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Old 9th August 2013, 14:36   #17
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Fantastic read! How does one come to know of these trips and how does one sign up? I'd love to have gone.
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Old 9th August 2013, 14:48   #18
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

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Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
Awesome coverage. Looks like a very hectic trip for the uninitiated. Where were the last set of snaps shot?
Thanks Utopian the last set was shot between Leh and Kargil.
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Old 9th August 2013, 15:19   #19
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

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Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
wonderful details and pics Satan.

BTW no XUV in the group, why?
Thanks rk. There was one XUV which suffered a tie rod damage on the first day outside Mandi and post that was being nursed by the service team.

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Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Hello Satan,

Fantastic pictures & crisp narration. It would have been a great fun travelling with people from different walks of life.

What was the maximum number of passengers allowed in a car? I mean were you allowed to bring in your family with you?
Thanks Jignesh. Yes you are allowed to bring your family with you. The price is INR 50K per participant above 12 years of age. For that you get a vehicle to drive, accommodation and food is taken care of and passes/permits for different places are included. What's not included is fuel, toll tax and any incidentals and accidentals. . Children below 12 years of age are free. I think there is a cap on 4 adults per car if you are travelling with family. On this expedition there were 4 families with kids, One family with their parents and one participant couple that were senior citizens. That gentleman who was 65+years of age accompanied by his cheerful wife was the solo driver and drove admirably throughout the expedition. Most cars had just 2 adults in them. Pl refer the below Mahindra website for more details

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By the way, can you please share some details about dates of the trip. Also what is the registration process & when it is scheduled to open each year.
You can click here http://www.mahindraadventure.com/event_calendar.aspx and check out the list of events they have planned this year. you should get all the setails regarding bookings and scheules there. I think the Monastery Escape has been completed for 2013 however the Tri Nation Escape covering India Nepal and Bhutan happening in October should be awesome.

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Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Also was the entire trip from Delhi to Shrinagar was sponsured by Mahindra or participants were supposed to contribute some part of it?
I've answered that question above


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Originally Posted by TheTeacher View Post
Fantastic read! How does one come to know of these trips and how does one sign up? I'd love to have gone.
Thanks. Pl log onto www.mahindraadventure.com for all details
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Old 9th August 2013, 17:33   #20
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Day 9: Srinagar
We woke up late and were treated to breakfast in the dining room of the houseboat. Hot tea with omelets accompanied with bread and butter. Post breakfast we just hung out at the porch of the houseboat facing the lake and we had various vendors hawking their wares in Shikaras come visit us trying to make a sale. It then slowly sank in the expedition was now officially over so no more briefings, no more convoys, no tanking up required the previous nights, etc. This was actually a really open day. So we decided to play it real slow. Our group got together, pulled out our cameras and chilled out by the lakefront. A couple of friends carried back packed lunch for us from Ahdoos. Finally at 7:30 pm and several monks later it was time to get dressed and reconvene with the rest of the participants at the clubhouse. Met up with Manish and Vinod who had flown down that afternoon from Mumbai. They would lead the next leg of the convoy from Srinagar back to Delhi via Leh. Participants exchanged contacts and emails and we bid each other farewell before calling it a night.
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Last edited by Eddy : 9th August 2013 at 22:23. Reason: Rule # 11
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Old 9th August 2013, 17:36   #21
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Awesome Neville. I saw the opening post by you and was wondering, 'how the hell did he take his gypsy into a M&M Event' . Nice pics and Narration. I never knew that non M&M vehicle owners could take part. I was always under the impression that all these M&M events needed you to take your M&M vehicle along. Quite an eye opener.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 9th August 2013, 17:49   #22
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Day 10: Srinagar – Mumbai
Day of reckoning - trip’s over and Mumbai awaits but, not before one last trip to the floating vegetable market. We booked a shikara the previous evening to take us for a pre-dawn ride along the Negin lake to see the floating vegetable market. Sure enough the Shikara guy was banging down the door of the houseboat by 4:15am in fear of us sleeping in and calling off the ride . The early morning boat ride thru the calm waters of the lake with the continuous gentle squishing of the rowers paddle was a near divine experience. We were overtaken by several flower sellers in Shikaras enroute to the flower market at Dal. The market which almost appeared staged was buzzing with activity with vendors hawking Tomatoes, Brinjals, Bitter Gourd and Cucumber. Saw a couple of foreign tourists that appeared awed by the commotion around them. On the way back the Shikara owner prepared Kava (traditional black Kashmiri tea with spices) on the shikara itself and served that with circular naan bread.

By 11:00 am bags were packed and final goodbyes said, we headed out to the airport. We were on an Indigo 3.30pm direct to Mumbai which was on time. It’s been a week since I am back but the mind and heart are still in Leh. Got to plan the next trip very soon 

“There are 3 types of people that visit Leh
1. Those that fly to Leh
2. Those that drive to Leh
3. Those that are driven to Leh”
- Bijoy – Head Mahindra Adventure
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Old 9th August 2013, 18:23   #23
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

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Originally Posted by Desmosedici View Post
Awesome Neville. I saw the opening post by you and was wondering, 'how the hell did he take his gypsy into a M&M Event' . Nice pics and Narration. I never knew that non M&M vehicle owners could take part. I was always under the impression that all these M&M events needed you to take your M&M vehicle along. Quite an eye opener.

Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Raj. You are partially correct. There are certain pure 4x4 events (Great Escapes) that are one or two day events, organized by Mahindra where you need to bring your own Mahindra 4x4 and participate. Then there are these expedition type events where anyone can pay up and drive a Mahindra vehicle in an organized convoy. Top of mind, besides the Monastery Escape you have the Royal Escape to Rajasthan and the Tri Nation Escape.
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Old 10th August 2013, 13:21   #24
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Excellent narration and superb photos. Thanks for all the information that you shared and the links to M&M adventure. Worth a serious look.
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Old 12th August 2013, 12:15   #25
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Amazing pics and crisp write up there Neville. Had I known about this event earlier even I would have signed up for it and made it three trips to Leh in year, twice on the Bullet and once in the Scorpio.
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Old 12th August 2013, 12:22   #26
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

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Originally Posted by satan View Post
Thanks Raj. You are partially correct. There are certain pure 4x4 events (Great Escapes) that are one or two day events, organized by Mahindra where you need to bring your own Mahindra 4x4 and participate. Then there are these expedition type events where anyone can pay up and drive a Mahindra vehicle in an organized convoy. Top of mind, besides the Monastery Escape you have the Royal Escape to Rajasthan and the Tri Nation Escape.
Excellent write-up with photos. Regarding the drive option, do we not get to drive if a single person goes, or is the car shared among others. How does it work?
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Old 12th August 2013, 12:43   #27
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Default re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

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Excellent write-up with photos. Regarding the drive option, do we not get to drive if a single person goes, or is the car shared among others. How does it work?
Thanks Gaurav. I don't think Mahindra allows single person bookings ie atleast 2 people need to pay to sign up for the event. You may want to check details with Mahindra as I cannot comment on their behalf.
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Old 16th August 2013, 13:47   #28
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Default Re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

Excellent write up and even better pictures! I never knew something like this took place, so thanks for enlightening me!

I think this kind of a journey-in-a-convoy is an excellent "dress rehearsal" for planning such trips on your own.
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Old 18th August 2013, 07:12   #29
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Default Re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

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Originally Posted by satan View Post

My impressions/ opinions/ takeaways and these are just my views which may obviously not appeal to all

What to expect
• Expect the unexpected
• Be ready for long hours behind the wheel, sometimes back to back for days, especially if you are the only driver in your car - Driving passion is a must have
• Organized convoy driving with well planned and executed logistics – Just show up prepared with a lot of enthusiasm and energy
• Strict adherence to schedules and times – If you are not an early bird this trip will change that; if you cannot change your habits that then you will be heading the other way back home very soon 
• Interact with lots of interesting people with different back grounds and mental makeup
• Be ready to soak in the local culture, food, mannerisms, etc.
• Finally while the vehicle may not be yours, be ready to handle and treat it like your own. This includes but isn’t limited to careful driving, performing the daily morning checks, tanking up each day before hitting the sack or even replacing a flat tyre should you be unlucky to get one – I was


The Flagoff
For the first time Ladakh tourers :

1. A tailor made ideal tour.
2. At Rs 50,000/- per adult, a vehicle and accommodation included is a winner for me.
3. I will strongly recommend this tour to friends

Regards

Commander Nandu Chitnis (Retd)
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Old 20th August 2013, 09:33   #30
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Default Re: The Mahindra Monastery Escape 2013: Delhi - Leh - Srinagar

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Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
For the first time Ladakh tourers :

1. A tailor made ideal tour.
2. At Rs 50,000/- per adult, a vehicle and accommodation included is a winner for me.
3. I will strongly recommend this tour to friends

Regards

Commander Nandu Chitnis (Retd)
One addition to point 2. The 50k per head includes lodging and boarding for the duration of the trip.
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