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Old 28th August 2013, 22:43   #1
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Default A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

To elaborate the title in a short sentence "7298 kms driven through 8 states to catch a glimpse of the paradise"

How it all began

Ever since I got the Linea home and Rohit's Leh Trip "http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...akh-linea.html (How hard can it be? Bangalore to Ladakh in a Linea)" came up which made my urge stronger by the day to drive to LEH. I started planning for the trip by taking loads of inputs from Rohit. There was a bit of resistance from everyone at home. However, after showing Rohit's thread to parents they finally relented and the Green Signal was given. The next hurdle was getting the leaves sanctioned from office. Since I had already discussed my intentions with my manager to drive down to LEH for a vacation, the leave approval though took time was approved well before I started making bookings for the drive.

With all the hurdles cleared, the preparation for the drive started. The car was shod with new tyres and the basic checks were done. The below items were stocked and packed.

1. Engine oil - 1 litre
2. Coolant - 1 litre
3. Araldite
4. Air Filters - 2
5. AC Pollen Filter - 1
6. Hydraulic Jack (borrowed from Sidhu)
7. Tow Rope (borrowed from Rohit)
8. Funnel (borrowed from Rohit)
9. Jerry Can 20L

Note: I lost one memory card which had photos from the second camera. Posting photos left over from the mobile and the first camera.

The car went through a routine wash and wax session a day before the journey.

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-car-ready-trip.jpg

With all the required stuff for us and the car packed, we were ready to hit the highway on the 26th July 2013.

The boot fully packed

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-boot-luggage.jpg

Odo at the start of the Journey

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-odo-start.jpg

Journey Leg 1

Started off from my house at 5.40 am and headed to RR Nagar to pick up the remaining team. Ended up starting at 7.10 am from RR Nagar and exited the city through the NICE road. Stopped at Kamat (a few kms after Dabaspet) for breakfast. With a nice sumptuous breakfast drove on towards Belgaum for our Lunch Stop.

Beautiful NH 4

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4-1.jpg

The clouds threatened

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4-clouds.jpg

The rain started giving company

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4-rain-view.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4-rain.jpg

A quick photo break

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4-quick-stop-over.jpg

The 20000 mark achieved on the way

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-20000-mark.jpg

Had decent lunch and tanked up fuel at Belgaum outskirts and continued driving towards Pune. The progress was quite quick till we reached Kolhapur. The roads sort of deteriorated with various deviations and the road conditions were getting poor. Stopped over at Satara for a quick tea break. Continued the drive but the progress was slow due to traffic, poor roads and to make matters worse the drizzle kept company. Stopped at Katraj for Dinner at one for the Vaishno Dhabas. The roads until the Mumbai Pune Express way was quite bad.

Beautiful roads in Karnataka (NH4)

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4-nippani.jpg

Pathetic roads around Satara

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh-4-satara.jpg

The progress was good on the express way. Took a coffee break at the coffee day and the cappuccino recharged me and we made good progress to exit the expressway and entered Navi Mumbai. Here the nightmare started. A huge pile of trucks we were stranded for about two and a half hours. Later the traffic started moving at a snail's pace. One helpful soul who was in an autorickshaw helped us by guiding us through the narrow lanes to exit the mess and finally enter the Gorbander Road.

From here on the roads were quite good, but the heavy rains kept us a bit slow. Then a VRL volvo overtook us. Simply followed the VRL multi axle Volvo who did the job of clearing the path by weaving between the trucks. This continued until we reached the outskirts of Valsad. We stopped at one of the hotels for freshening up and breakfast.

Effect of driving in Rains

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-gujurat-effect.jpg

With light breakfast to ensure I dont feel sleep continued driving to Ahmedabad. Stopped for lunch on one of the hotel for an early lunch around 11 am on the Sardar Patel Ring road. The AC restaurant and the tasty food kept us happy. The drive continued and had a small stop over at Himmatnagar to refuel at one of the COCO HPCL bunks.

Vadoara - Ahmedabad Expressway

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-ahmedabad-expressway.jpg

After the refuel it was a non stop drive to Udaipur. Reached hotel Mewar in around 3.40 pm. With the other passengers deciding to rest, I headed to one of the Car Spas to get the car cleaned.

Returned to the hotel and off we went to dinner at Hotel Nataraj.

Hotel Nataraj

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-hotel-nataraj1.jpg

Tasty Rajasthani Thali

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-hotel-nataraj.jpg

The sumptuous dinner ensured only one thing a good sleep. The cosy bed at the hotel just gave this opportunity.

End of Journey Leg 1

Journey Leg 1 - Map

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-journey-leg-1-map.jpg

To be contd...

Last edited by nkrishnap : 29th August 2013 at 09:25.
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Old 29th August 2013, 09:01   #2
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Default re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Journey Leg 2 - Udaipur to Amritsar

With a good night's sleep and a light breakfast (bread and Jam), it was time to hit the highway again to head towards Kishangarh from where we take the Mega highway to Hanumangarh. We started from Udaipur at 7.30 am and our journey till Kishangarh was with a few stoppages for taking pictures.

One of the many numerous lakes around Udaipur.

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-udaipur-lakes.jpg

The foggy NH8

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-foggy-nh8.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-foggy-nh8-2.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-foggy-nh8-3.jpg

Beautiful NH-8 Though it's a 2 lane national highway

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh8.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-nh8.jpg

Drove on to Kishangarh via Nathdwara and Beawar. Deviated from the NH8 to take the Mega highway. Had lunch at the outskirts of Kuchaman City and continued driving. Refueled a few kms after Kuchaman city and continued driving on the Mega highway. With little traffic, we made good progress. However, it was quite hot outside with the temperatures hovering around 39 degrees.

A few pics of the Mega Highway

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-mega-highway.jpg

The mega highway with desert on both sides

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-mega-highway-1.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-mega-highway-2.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-mega-highway-3.jpg

Blazing hot sun

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-mega-highway-4.jpg

Around 8 pm near Abohar

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-mega-highway-5.jpg

The route between Hanumangarh and Abohar had quite a few pot holes. It took nearly an hour and 10 mins to cross this stretch and it was dinner time at Fazilka. The nice rotis and the Lassi kept us happy and the drive towards Amritsar continued. The road from Fazilka all the way to Amritsar is quite good barring a few humps and potholes.

Reached Hotel Bluemoon around 1.30 am. The cozy beds ensured only one thing, that we sleep like logs till the next morning.

End of Journey Leg 2

Journey Leg 2 - Map

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Last edited by nkrishnap : 29th August 2013 at 09:26.
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Old 29th August 2013, 11:20   #3
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th August 2013, 00:44   #4
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
The car went through a routine wash and wax session a day before the journey.

Effect of driving in Rains
These two photographs tell a whole story by themselves. The car looks totally different!

Waiting for the main set of pics.
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Old 30th August 2013, 10:23   #5
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Amritsar - Wagah Border - Golden Temple

With sound sleep the previous night, woke around 9 am and stepped out to see how the weather was. Rain, and it was pouring. So we were confined to the indoors. The rain continued till 4 pm. The plan was to relax and thats what we just did till 4 pm. Got ourselves ready and headed out to Wagah border.

The atmosphere was electrifying with various patriotic songs played, people dancing on our side and total gloom on the other side of the border. A few pics from the flag retrieval ceremony

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border1.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border2.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border3.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border5.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border6.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border8.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border9.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border10.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border4.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-wagah-border7.jpg

With the retrieval ceremony done, we moved backed to the hotel, freshened ourselves and then it was time to head to the golden temple. The temple is quiet huge, best visited during nights to see the lights on and to keep the heat during the day time away.

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-golden-temple.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-golden-temple-1.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-golden-temple-2.jpg

We had langar at the temple and headed back to the hotel thoroughly satisfied with the day's activities.

To be contd..

Last edited by nkrishnap : 30th August 2013 at 10:32.
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Old 30th August 2013, 10:30   #6
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Thats quite a long journey and that too with not an inch left in boot! You have captured the Golden temple well in the night shot.

I got anxious with the car pic after rainy drive, how white aquires dirt .
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Old 30th August 2013, 13:33   #7
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Was eagerly waiting for this TL, and thanks for sharing your experiences.

After Rohit's TL last year, I was also interested to do this on my Linea, but was lacking in confidence. Now your TL would provide the much needed confidence for me.

Thanks once again and will park my queries till the end.
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Old 30th August 2013, 15:57   #8
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Thanks for sharing nkrishnap! You did Bangalore-Udaipur and Udaipur-Amritsar nonstop?? That's quite a drive in one go.

Waiting for more.
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Old 30th August 2013, 21:32   #9
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Journey Leg 3 - Amritsar to Katra

With only 260 odd kms to cover for the day, we started off leisurely. It was still raining as we woke up in the morning. However, after about an hour the rain receded and we started towards Katra via Gurudaspur. On the outskirts of Amritsar, we refueled the car and decided to have an early lunch instead of breakfast.

The start of the day with rain

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-bluemoon.jpg

The roads were nothing to write home about with the roads in each of the cities being nothing short of craters on the moon, we made slow progress till the outskirts of Pathankot. The roads just got better from here. We cross river Ravi and reached the Jammu & Kashmir state border.

The heavenly road for the treacherous road till Pathankot

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra-pathakot.jpg

River Ravi

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra-river-ravi.jpg

At the Jammu & Kashmir Border

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra-jammu.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra-jammu-bypass.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra-jammu-bypass1.jpg

The roads up were very good up to Jammu and once you deviate towards Srinagar, there were loads of deviations with the road widening and the 4 lane work going on. The progress here was quite slow and with numerous deviation we finally were around 15 kms from Katra. Stopped over to click a few photos and continued towards the hotel.

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra1.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra2.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra3.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra4.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra5.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra11.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra-1.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra12.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-way-katra13.jpg

The hotel - Devi Mahal

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra-hotel.jpg

View from the Balcony of the Vaishno Devi Hill at night

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra.jpg

We had booked the helicopter for both to and fro for the darshan. We got ready by 8 am and reached the helipad. With the security checks and check in process, we boarded the helicopter for a four and half minute flying time to reach Sanjichatt Helipad. The bhavan is about 2.5 kms from here and walk for about 40 odd mins.

View from the Helipad

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra1.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra2.jpg

The darshan went on well and we reached back to the helipad only to find the services cancelled due to foggy conditions. We decided to wait for about half an hour to see if things cleared up, but it only got worse by raining from being just foggy. We got the tickets cancelled and started our walk back to the bottom of the hill.

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra4.jpg

How it was before the darshan

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-how-weather-changes-before.jpg

How it was after Darshan

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-how-weather-changes-after.jpg

The rain ensure the helicopter services were cancelled

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra6.jpg

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra7.jpg

The place where the climb starts

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-katra8.jpg

We reached at around 6 pm and the hotel guy had come to pick us up. Went to the hotel room, popped a pain killer and myself and my wife went to the bazaar for a bit of shopping. The dinner was ready at the hotel by the time we were back. A tasty dinner and with stomachs full, we crashed on to the bed for a sound sleep.

The Map

A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea-map3.jpg

To be contd.
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Old 30th August 2013, 22:52   #10
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

What an inspiring road trip.

I felt the day 1 leg was an immense achievement, did you drive all by yourself ? I remember thinking Mumbai to Udaipur is on the borderline of doable in a single day, but this is really something.

Hope you get all your photos together soon, its a really nice read.
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Old 30th August 2013, 23:11   #11
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamendangered View Post
What an inspiring road trip.

I felt the day 1 leg was an immense achievement, did you drive all by yourself ? I remember thinking Mumbai to Udaipur is on the borderline of doable in a single day, but this is really something.

Hope you get all your photos together soon, its a really nice read.
Thank you for the note of appreciation.

Yes, I did drive for the whole trip. If you are used to driving long distances you should be able to do it.
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Old 30th August 2013, 23:43   #12
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

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Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Thank you for the note of appreciation.

Yes, I did drive for the whole trip. If you are used to driving long distances you should be able to do it.
Yes, knowing that someone has done it does help, because everyone tries to convince me to not do it (drive for insanely long hours etc), because, to be fair, i dont really have to do it, but for a 'drivaholic' like me I really like doing it.

Im gonna use this as an inspiration and an excuse to break my personal best of 1310 kms in 26hrs.

Cheers.
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Old 31st August 2013, 00:09   #13
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

It took me two driving days (solo) to get from 30km ahead of Jaipur to 40km short of Bangalore (near Tumkur?) - just before the NICE road. You cleaned up most of it in a day - you must have been flying at 120-130 all through

That aside, lovely pics - bring them on faster! Yours is the high GC Linea, right?
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Old 31st August 2013, 00:32   #14
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Holy molly.. you got me hooked on here mate. I am thinking about doing a Bangalore Mumbai road trip and have not been able to muster the courage even though a lot of people have already done it, and here you are flying your way in the Linea through the country. Keep it up man, you are a true inspiration.
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Old 31st August 2013, 07:55   #15
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Default Re: A glimpse of Paradise (Leh): 7300 kms, 8 States in a Linea

Another Linea to Leh. Thanks for sharing nkrishnap.

You guys are rocking. Driving, driving and driving. Banglore to Udaipur in 33hours. One must need a lot of energy and concentration for such a long and continuous driving.

Threads like this are very inspirational for doing such a long trip. Very well written. There should be lot more in store for us. Complete it soon.
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