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Old 29th August 2013, 21:34   #1
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Default 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

A DREAM WE NEVER GAVE UP, in-spite of many twists/turn of events.

Year end of 2012:

A seed was sown in my mind to travel to the northern most destination in India and get LEH'ed. Along with this thought many questions cropped up in my mind at the same time too.
  1. Wife was expecting in Jan, 2013, could I travel in mid year living her and my kid?
    2. Should I take my i20 car or bike?
    3. Who would be my companions? or would it be a Solo journey?
    4. Would I be granted with sufficient leaves from my company?

Many plans to realize this endeavor was hatched, plot set, date finalized, Leaves applied, my friend Tejesh confirmed he would be joining me too.

Plan was to drive from Bangalore to Leh, but not in car, but in MM540 4x4. He was crazy to think so, but that thought was an catalyst to sell my existing MM540 and thought of buying THAR CRDE developed.

Finally all paper work was completed on 29th December, 2012 and THAR arrived on 3rd January, 2013 and trust me all, I was bowled over by this monster.

HERE COMES NEW YEAR 2013:

Now one step closer to realizing my dream to drive down from south to northern most part of India.

Couple of months passed and here comes March, 2013, where I had to resign from the company I used to work for while sitting in Goa. Yes, that's my first long trip in THAR, Bangalore - Goa. This brought a jolt to my plans.

Major worry factor now was, if I start looking out for new job, would my new employer grant me leave in such a short time of my joining. At one point of time, I even thought of taking a break for 6 months, finish my trip and then look out for job. As usual such callous attitude, that too after your son is born wasn't advisable by many family members.

Finally in May, 2013 I get a new Job with a superb paycheck, but with a condition, NO VACATIONS TILL DECEMBER, cause that's when my assigned Project end date was.

Now, I considered my trip to have been cancelled and my dream shattered. Somehow, back of my mind I used to think, "Lets not GIVE UP like that, let me wait and watch how the project progresses"

Joined new job and ensured I get kickstarted into the project process within 2 days of my joining.

My actual plan for travel in the month of July was seeing ray of light as execution of job assigned was going on smooth without any single issues. Being a Project Manager, you get to take the credit of this small success. Taking this as an opportunity I applied for Leaves of 15 days, and VIOLA, it was granted after a meeting to analyze the impact on the project in my absence.

Now we were back on track, all purchases, checklists, and vehicle readiness was put into top gear.

Now comes the twist in the tale. My friend Tejesh slipped over the stairs and fractured his ankle.

Now back to circle, all plans and dreams shattered. I went ahead and cancelled my leaves. As anyone could have been, I too was disappointed, felt depressed of not achieving this dream. But, that's when my friend gave me enough confidence to endure on this journey, but couple of weeks later than actually planned.

We decided it would be August 9th. A week prior to travel his cast was removed and he started Physiotherapy. His driving was doubtful in this journey, so we discussed to have another driver other than me and add another companion. It was my cousin brother who answered our distress call to join us.

Finally we were back on track.

This is the first onward journey route we endured on.

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While return journey Included this route.

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Our DRIVE which had an APT saying on it "LIVE TO DRIVE"

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-jeep.jpg

Many folks might have experienced on what it feels like being on top. But, I am one among the few who SAW HOW IT LOOKS BEING ON TOP.
7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-ktop.jpg

We tasted SUCCESS TOO, it looked chocolaty yummy

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This is how inspired we were.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-never-give-up.jpg


Now, how our Journey started:

DAY1: Bangalore - Hyderabad - Adilabad - Nagpur - Seoni - Pench National Park (Bison Retreat Resort)

Total: 1290 kms

Day 1: We had all packed our baggage's onto THAR previous night (8th August) itself. We wanted to leave home by 4am on 9th August.

We just ensured we were bang on target. We left home at 4.15 am. We wanted to cross Kurnool and enter Telangana before 8am due to disturbance in Andhra region over new state formation. We were Lucky, due to Ramsan the tension around Andhra was nill. We reached Hyderabad by 9.30am.

Here desire to have Hyd Biryani was high among us and decided to visit Paradise. Upon reaching paradise, we got to know we still have 1 hr for the restaurant to open. So we decided to wait and refill diesel tanks and check tyre pressure. During this, we noticed a nail in the rear tyre and immediately got it removed and all those tubeless tyre puncture kit we were carrying came to use for the very first time (It was never used again though).

While we were done, all my cousins in Hyderabad knew I was in town and everyone wanted me to visit them. I informed everyone to come to one of my cousin's place on Adilabad highway. Now due to this we lost precious 4 hours of our time.

We started our journey by leaving Hyderabad around 2pm in the noon.

We reached Bison retreat resort at around 12.30am in the night. This is due to 4 hours we had lost in Hyderabad.

The Journey till Seoni was smooth, but the last 80kms to reach our destination, the road conditions were bad and on top of that, our trusted GPS played too many pranks on us on re-routes. We followed our LOCAL GPS (Transport/Lorry Drivers/Local police) to reach the destination without much hassles.

Finally we reached our destination Bison retreat resort. Lot's been said about this resort in some threads here in this forum. For reference, here is one link.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...strict-mp.html (DRIVOBLOG®|NH7 Jungle Road through Pench and Bison Retreat @ Seoni District, MP)

Now lets add some colors to these text. I meant Pics

Day 1: PIC

This is how the Bangalore - Hyd - Adilabad Highway looks like

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3627.jpg

The vehicle though exceeded even this barrier, and trust me THAR was as stable as any other vehicle. Braking too was good. I am not marketing this vehicle nor endorsing it.

One pit stop at outskirts of Hyderabad.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3629.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3642.jpg

Tyre pressure and Puncture removed from the tyre while we were waiting for Paradise to open its restaurant.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3632.jpg

I did mention that the last 80-90 kms stretch of road to Rookhad was pathetic, and this is how the muck had got my Jeep transformed to.

The Canopy
7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3651.jpg

The Body

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3652.jpg

For all those, who wanted to know how was the seating for the third person arranged, this is how I got it done.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3687.jpg


Now, it's DAY2: Rookhad - Sagar - Jhansi - Gwalior

Total distance covered: 678kms


We got up late around 8am. Cause? We slept late in the night. We finished our breakfast and commenced our Journey to Gwalior between 10-11am.

Now the real drive starts from here. Rookhad to Sagar, the roads were pretty good and we had covered distance within the planned time. We reached Jhansi, and this is how we were welcomed to UP on highway.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_5694.jpg

Now the tricky part starts, the distance between Jhansi - Gwalior is around 100kms and this is the worst part of the stretch with literally NO ROAD.

If any Offroading event needs to be organized, then all that organizers have to do is to announce to all the participants to just drive to and forth from Jhansi - Gwalior, a round trip. This stretch is best suited for OTR.

Such is the condition of this route, which is NH3.

For all those who had enquired about this route, my only advise is to avoid this route.

Even though we knew about this road condition, we still wanted to travel for 2 reasons,
1. We wanted to cover in 2 different routes
2. Another since we had Thar, it didn't bother if the roads were bad.

In such excited trips, there is always possibility where one's mindset doesn't want to be on Practicality mode.

I realized, it's not the vehicle which gets tired under such road conditions but its the driver.

My cousin, was in deep sleep and there was no point in waking him up for driving, another had fractured his leg and it's not good for him to drive, where maximum number of times one has to keep using the clutch and brakes.

I was getting tired badly. A pit stop with RED BULL and few situps we started again. We might have covered this 100kms stretch in 4-5 hours, yes that's long.

Finally after the most tiresome journey, we reached Tansen Residency, MPTDC, which we had booked over phone while we were half way to Gwalior. The hotel accommodation was very good. We had restaurant staff waiting for us at 12am mid-night and served us dinner at that time.

The rooms were very well maintained and on par with any 3 star hotels. We crashed immediately after dinner our our rooms.

I would recommend this hotel for a stay to anyone who wants to visit Gwalior as tourist.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_5717.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_5723.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_5716.jpg

DAY3: Gwalior - Agra - Yamuna Expressway - Delhi - Chandigarh

Total: 600kms + 230 kms (This is additional kms we had to drive. Reason? You shall find out why)


We had a pretty good and SOUND sleep the previous night. Next morning we had to start early to reach our destination early. (Atleast this time we wanted to reach early, sleep early and rise early)

But, as usual we got up late and by the time we started from Hotel in Gwalior, it was 10am. We started towards Agra, which was 120kms.

Our luck ran out within 30-40mins after driving around 45 kms. There was a huge traffic pile up of trucks. We were told by few trucks drivers, "Aage gaadi nahi jaathi, aap log vapas mudo", which meant, no way further turn back and go.

We were taken back, now taking reverse wasn't an option or rather was impossible. I crossed my vehicle over the median and drove on the opp side of the traffic. The pile up was not just for some distance, but it ran into nearly 5-6 kms. I am not exaggerating, but that the fact. I saw in distant the cops were making the motorists to return back, the same was told to us.

We stopped at the curb and checked with them the issue. Due to heavy rains the Chambel River was overflowing over the bridge and no sign of relief on when shall the water reside and when the traffic will be allowed. We were told to wait for 3-4 hrs, which was not an option to me.

I checked with locals and with their help started looking out for alternative routes to Agra.

The route was finally chalked out, Morena - Ambah - Porsa - Bhind - Etawah - Agra. This route after Etawah was GQ.

What was the distance of 120kms to Agra had now become 360kms to agra through this route. This explains why was 230kms mentioned as additional.

Just to give you all the glimpse of the river I mentioned about.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_5703.jpg

Now we were on GQ cruising to reach Agra. We had a deviation towards Yamuna Expressway as we were nearing Agra. The expressway was bliss to drive throughout till Delhi.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_5724.jpg


TO BE CONTD

Last edited by GTO : 2nd September 2013 at 12:19. Reason: Sorry, we cannot permit content / pictures of overspeeding. Thanks
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Old 29th August 2013, 21:44   #2
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Default re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Awesome stuff bud! Keep them coming..

Where is the "Never Give Up" sign?
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Old 29th August 2013, 22:09   #3
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Default re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Great start! looking forward to the rest. Also I just have a question, there are 3 of you travelling,

1) so how was the space in the back for the passengers and your luggage? Was it a bit tight?

2) Also did u install front facing seats in the back?

3) If you have installed front facing rear seats how is the access from the folding front seats? Easy or difficult?

Thanx
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Old 30th August 2013, 12:12   #4
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Default re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Nice start to the trip log.

Please do share the road conditions from Hyderabad onwards. 2 years back had done this route from Rewa-Katni (MP)-Jabalpur-Nagpur-Adilabad-Hyderabad-Bangalore. The road conditions were pathetic back then. Planning Leh(2014) and need to decide on the route starting from Bangalore.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 12:21   #5
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd September 2013, 13:07   #6
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post

1) so how was the space in the back for the passengers and your luggage? Was it a bit tight?

2) Also did u install front facing seats in the back?

3) If you have installed front facing rear seats how is the access from the folding front seats? Easy or difficult?

Thanx
I have posted a pic which answers all these questions. The access was easy from front. All 3 of us used to sit at some or the other point of time during this journey. I am 6ft tall, another is 5 10' another 5 5'. I would say none found it cumbersome to head back from front.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 16:25   #7
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

This is one thread I would be glued to.
Leh always ignites passion and interest but Thar to Leh is like icing on the cake.
"SAW HOW IT LOOKS BEING ON TOP" frame is just fantastic.
Waiting for more to come.
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Old 7th September 2013, 00:08   #8
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

What a wonderful start! Buying a thar to get Leh'd!! Am sure you guys have had a trip of a lifetime. I too plan to do this trip from Bangalore to leh next year in my MM540 and glued to this thread. Lovely pics and please continue the Log.
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Old 7th September 2013, 11:30   #9
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by kicksperliter View Post
Trust me THAR was as stable as any other vehicle. Braking too was good. I am not marketing this vehicle nor endorsing it.
Dear kicksperliter - thank you for the travelogue and your above comment on the vehicle, which makes me very happy indeed. Please do mention the performance parameters / your detailed comments on the vehicle as it behaved in your use. This will help immensely.

Dear all - I would humbly take the liberty to mention that as of now, there are two travelogue threads next to each other where people are using Thar to travel long distances equalling the length and breadth of our country. One more feather in the cap, guys! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 10th September 2013, 13:47   #10
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear kicksperliter - thank you for the travelogue and your above comment on the vehicle, which makes me very happy indeed. Please do mention the performance parameters / your detailed comments on the vehicle as it behaved in your use. This will help immensely.
Behram SIR/All,

I simply have no words to describe my beast . Yes there were indeed few hiccups here and there which I shall surely explain in detail. You all won't believe the total maintenance cost on Thar after covering a distance of 8000kms with unforgiving terrains, I had to just shell out INR.4000/-

It's been just little more than a week that I am back from the trip and quite busy sorting out many pics, compressing it for posting it on team-bhp/this thread.

Currently little busy with work, hence couldn't get sufficient time to post and continue with log. But, surely all will come up with quite a few amazing pics.

More details will be continued as we progress with the LOG. Thanks for your patience.
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Old 10th September 2013, 15:39   #11
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

I hope you are using a batch compression for the pics. I think Irfanview does that too
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Old 21st September 2013, 01:41   #12
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Hello Folks, I am back to continue the travelogue.

Please excuse me for the delay. I had been too busy with my work lately due to DC migrations going on. Sometimes, we were working during the weekends too, hence couldn't make myself free to continue the trip log.

DAY 3 - Contd towards Chandigarh

So we continued our onward Journey to Delhi on Yamuna expressway. It was a breeze drive throughout and within no time we reached Delhi.

My Thar taking a break on expressway

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Upon reaching near Delhi around 5pm-6pm, I had to make a call to my Uncle who is Col and been posted in Delhi for couple of years. We were supposed to be staying one day prior to our actual arrival at his residence.

Due to delay in our Day 2 schedule, we couldn't make it as planned. So we informed him, that we will continue our journey to Chandigarh for night stay. I had requested him to make some arrangements for our stay at Chandigarh, to which he said he's taken care of the arrangements. To my surprise he had anticipated our journey to continue and had called his Army officers in Chandigarh to ensure our stay would be comfortable.

It wasn't too time consuming for me to get out of Delhi and hit the highway to Chandigarh. This was due to my intense roaming in Delhi during my job postings in 2008. So we were within no time on Chandigarh highway.

We stopped for our dinner at KFC and spent good one hour. Throughout day 3, I had been driving and started to feel fatigue. My cousin Shashank took over the wheels.

I was busy snoring at the back seat when all of a sudden the vehicle was halted abruptly. When I woke up, I could see traffic cops checking for license plates and license of the driver. (it was 12.30am midnight)

Now here it gets nasty. The traffic cop says,
1. My number plate is not right.
2. My headlights were in high beam
3. I had my Aux lamps on too.

Now we were guilty for all the above .

The cops ask for his license. He hands over the color xeroxed one, but they ask for the original, which he hasn't got with him. Gosh, now I felt I am being harassed.

I informed cops that we shall pay the fine, but he insists, I have to pay it in the court the next day. This is when I lost my patience and cool and yelled at them when I am ready to pay the fine why is that I need to come to court.

Anyways, we sorted this out and requested them to pay on our behalf and paid them little more than the fine they had asked and left the scene seeking directions to our destined stay location.

I had in the meantime called the contact person provided by my uncle and we were provided accommodation at UT Residency next to Gov house.

In no time we all crashed at around 1.20 am.

As usual we woke up pretty late. (This getting up late has become a routine for us by now)

At around 8am, this is how we were.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2037.jpg

A little time spent for photoshoot to showcase for the families back home. And few for FACEBOOK PROFILE PICS

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Day 4: Chandigarh - Kiratpur - Mandi - Kulu - Manali

Total Distance Covered: It should have been 300kms as per the route plan, but actual distance covered 387 kms. (How? Will let you know soon)

We started from our hotel at around 11am with an aim to just reach Manali.

Now we switched on our Google Maps for directions to get out of town. Surprisingly after few KM's we encountered a dead end, but the GPS Maps still kept on informing us to proceed straight, whereas there was no straight.

In the meanwhile, I enquired a cop, who gave me directions in Punjabi and I could never understand even one bit of it. But I understood only one thing he was admiring my Thar. So back to square one, without proper directions we were stranded. Some other local gave us different directions and followed the same. To my surprise we were driving in NOMAD's land and deeper parts of Punjab.

We traveled 55kms into some remotest villages and drove our vehicle on dried up river beds and reached the highway to Kiratpur. To our surprise even GPS guided us on the same route, as it was obvious it calculates from current location.

Upon reaching highway, I could find a car wash service station and immediately veered my vehicle towards him for a car wash.

Getting cleaned inside out.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3693.jpg

Look at the contrast.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3661.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_5734.jpg

Now we started our journey towards Manali. Let the pics do the talking now

This is near Kiratpur Junction, where the Canal's water color was BLUE.

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_3697.jpg

This is how we were greeted by the roads towards Manali from Kiratpur

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2055.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2048.jpg

The scenic drive towards Manali was beautiful and amazing. Here are few shots we could capture through our mobile phones

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2072.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2073.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2078.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2079.jpg

While we were nearing Mandi, I called upon my friend a local who was my classmate in Manipal while we were pursuing MBA. It had been close to 7 years of not being met. This time didn't wanted to miss the opportunity.

Well he was very well aware that I would be traveling to Leh and through Mandi so he had made himself available to meet us.

We finally caught up and stopped for a tea break along with him over the banks of Beas river. Had some good time recollecting old memories.

Few more scenic beauty of Mandi/Beas river

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2141.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2142.jpg

7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4-img_2150.jpg

The road from Mandi - Kullu - Manali was in good shape and we reached Manali around 11pm without much hiccups/hassles on our way.

We reached Manali and headed straight to known friends Cottages situated at Vashisht. Since my friend knew them, we were provided accommodation at a very good price.

We crashed assuming to get up late, we weren't going anywhere next day. It was just a shopping and relaxing day at Manali. (Thinking we might get acclimatized)


Day 5 - Manali

Total distance covered: NIL


All that we did was shopping and sightseeing. Evening I was pestered by Cousin to watch Chennai Express. He's a big fan of Deepika, so had to budge for him and spent watching movie in Manali too.

Day 6 - Manali - Rohtang - Keylong - Juspa - Sarchu

TO BE CONTD.... Shortly
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Old 27th September 2013, 12:12   #13
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Loved your travelogue. Especially since it was done in the Thar.
Now waiting for the rest of the travelogue. Which make is the front bumper of the Thar?
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Old 11th October 2013, 16:31   #14
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Default Re: 7939 Kms, 2 Different Routes, 10 States and 1 Thar 4x4

Hey kicksperliter,

Eagerly waiting for the rest of your travelogue.

Btw what tires are you running your thar on? Also is there some story behind the change in location of the Hella's. The first picture you have posted the Hellas are below the headlamps on the bumper whereas on top of the bullbar in the rest of the pics.

VVB
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Old 13th October 2013, 23:30   #15
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Thumbs up I'm Lovin' It!

Absolutely loving this thread so far!
Been admiring the Thar since the time of its launch, and if there's one way of knowing its reliability credentials, it's a Bangalore-Leh-Bangalore Travelogue.

Really like the rims you've got. Going to search the forum for your ownership review - would love to read about all the mods in detail. If there's a thread you can point me to, it's be great.

Hope the drive was trouble free throughout.
Looking forward to more.
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