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Old 30th May 2014, 01:00   #1
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Default Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Three first time experiences like spotting a tiger inside Corbett, seeing the exotic Tajmahal during sunset and encountering a hail storm at Yamuna expressway definitely makes a trip memorable.

Due to some work and personal reasons had to visit Delhi for 10 days. 10 days included two week ends and i thought to utilize the week ends to its full extent.

I had visited Corbett back in 2009 and from then am in love with the flora and fauna of this tiger reserve and was itching to get hold of another opportunity to visit this place again. I have never been to Agra, so to see the Taj and give an express like 'wah Taj' was a long pending due.

I stay at Kolkata and my wife do her job at Delhi. So planned with her like 17th May to 19th May we will be visiting Corbett and on the next week end on Saturday we along with my two college friends who work at Delhi will visit Agra.

Now the big challenge was was to get an accommodation at Dhikala for Corbett. I have hard that, we have to get the bookings for Dhikala done online. To my surprise i found out many third party websites exist using the name Corbett. Plus if you put an inquiry they will quote you some ridiculous pricing as a whole package. They are not the real government websites. The original government website is http://www.corbettnationalpark.in/ I tried booking online on this one too but in vein. Every time they showed me full. Then i dug out the phone number of my agent who did the booking for me back in 2009. He gave me a fair quotation and assured me of getting the booking done at Dhikala. I was a bit hesitant at first but later i took a chance as getting the booking online was nearly impossible. So i sent him the money. In next three days he called me and informed my booking was done and he sent me the copy of the booking via email and gave me the permit number too! I was jumping in joy just like a kid! My flight ticket for Delhi was already booked so had to arrange a cab from Delhi to Ramnagar and back. My college friend at Delhi arranged an Innova cab for the trip. I was more than happy with the way things were proceeding. Sadly my college friend and his wife couldn't manage leaves on Monday so they missed the Corbett trip with us but on the next week end we did the Agra trip together in an Etios Cab. And as per schedule i reached Delhi on 16th May afternoon the day election results were out.

In between the two weekends i had a chance to meet our distinguished Bhpian SS-Traveller and senior Bhpian predatorwheelz at Bikers cafe vasant kunj.

Let me share a teaser picture before getting into the travelogue. The only caption i can think for this pic is 'Man vs Wild' !

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To view the pics with better quality please visit my website and check the albums in 'My works'. There are other pictures apart from this trip too. Most of the pictures from this trip are in the album 'Landscape', 'Marine, wildlife & birds' and 'Architecture'.

http://www.sambasenguptaphotography.com/

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Old 30th May 2014, 15:09   #2
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Default re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Day 1

As per schedule we were on board in the Innova by 5am. It was a well maintained cab with captain seats at rear. We adjusted the seats to our comfort and got buckled up. Instructed the driver to drive safe, we are going for a trip so no hurry. He kept our word and drove the whole trip in a smooth and sedate way. While going our first stop was at Gaziabad to refuel the muv then at Macdonalds before Moradabad for breakfast, next after Kashipur to pay the Uttrakhand road tax and then to Ramnagar. The 280kms journey took 7 hours. We reached Corbett Motel in Ramnagar by 12pm. Road till Moradabad is excellent, Moradabad to Kashipur is bad and Kashipur to Ramnagar is okay. Had our lunch at Corbett motel and we were on board on the open hood gypsy which was assigned to us for the whole jungle trip. Reached the Corbett entry gate in 30 minutes which is 20kms from Ramnagar. From the gate Dhikala FRH is another 25kms inside the jungle. So from Ramnagar to Corbett its around 45kms and takes around 2 hours. We reached the Corbett entry gate for Dhikala by 2pm.

At the entry of Corbett.

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On the way to Dhikala FRH we witnessed few wild life's and some awesome landscape. So from now it's better to share more pictures and less writing..!

A Barking deer.

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Saw this turtle, it was really a big one.

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A Panoramic view inside Corbett.

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A crocodile

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Spotted deers.

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After witnessing these we saw this lone tusker walking along Ramsing road before Dhikala.

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I told my driver to follow him with our gypsy but he told as it was a lone tusker it may charge. So i insisted him to follow the tusker in reverse gear and he agreed. But soon we lost sight of it in a turning. There was a big bush i feared it hiding behind that as all the other places were visible and it was not there. I asked my driver to slow down and take the turning from the extreme left so we can get the view if its hiding. He did so and we saw this !

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Need a power wash for your car? His address is Ramsing road, 5 kms before Dhikala, Corbett, Uttrakhand!

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It was a good show by him.

Soon we left the place as we had to reach our guest house and move for the afternoon Safari. Few pics on the way.

A group of elephants crossing the road.

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Gypsy on its home ground.

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By 4pm we reached our guest house. We were so excited for our afternoon safari that we just dumped our baggage and were again out for the safari on our gypsy.

From the evening safari we saw a herd of elephants, a lone elephant, spotted deers and a peacock. I was amazed by the way all these animals live together. The jungle defines the term survival for the fittest the best but when these animals are not hungry even deers and elephants live together, it looks like mutual co-existence! So let the pictures do the talking.

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Old 30th May 2014, 15:28   #3
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Default re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Continuation of Day 1.

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The beautiful landscape of Corbett (Dhikala) during sunset.

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The beauty of watching the night sky from a place disconnected from city. Tried to get a glimpse of the milky way but god wanted to show me on some other day.

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Day 2

Our morning safari was assigned at morning 5-30am. Got up by 5am and we were ready by 5-40am. Getting 10 minutes late came out as blessings in disguise !

The beautiful sunrise at Corbett.

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With a cool early morning and fresh mind we were sincerely hoping to spot a tiger. With in 5 minutes from the jungle safari my wife asked our driver to reverse the gypsy as she spotted a tiger inside the bushes! I was all excited and our driver promptly reversed the car and voila the king was there! The joy of spotting a tiger first time in life is price less! It was hardly there for 10-15 seconds and went inside the bushes. In that span i some how managed to click few pictures of this male tiger. We think we are out to spot the tigers instead the tigers spot us from the bushes!

The king says the jungle.

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Just for information let me share. Most of the tiger spottings are reported near Dhikala region. Thandi Sarak and Mota Sal are the most famous spots for tiger spottings. We spotted it at Thandi Sarak.

Soon after spotting the tiger we moved on to Mota Sala. But luck was not on our side a female tigress just passed by before we reached there leaving her pug marks.

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The beautiful Thandi sarak at Corbett in early morning.

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We continued with the safari till 9-30 am and spotted few animals and birds.

A wild boar.

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Few birds we spotted.

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A crocodile camouflaged in river Ramganga at Dhikala.

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A mongoose

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Few spotted deers.

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After the morning safari we were more than happy to see the tiger and the other habitats of Corbett. Our evening safari was scheduled from 3-30pm. That time rather than spotting the animals i was more interested to explore the national park. So asked my driver to take to few less used routes. He agreed and told me roads are bad. I asked him does your 4x4 work properly and the answer from our 19 years old driver was a prompt yes! Well we decided to see the roads less traveled.

Sharing a couple of video's from these roads. Please excuse the quality of the video's as these were taken by my cell phone camera.





A picture of the beautiful road.

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A couple of spottings from the afternoon safari.

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Reached our guest house by 7pm. Had a quick dinner and retired for the day as next day was going to be a hectic one. We had our morning safari from 5-30am then come back and get ready then check out from Dhikala to reach Ramnagar and then off to Delhi.

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Old 31st May 2014, 12:47   #4
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Default re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Day 3

Today we were ready by sharp 5-30am and were out for the safari. That may be the reason we missed the tiger by a glimpse today!

Starting with a great sunrise.

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Nilgai inside the forest.

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We tried to get closer to this family but they didn't like it, they came running towards us. Promptly we had to reverse back and save ourselves from being into the news headlines!

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A group of spotted deers.

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Sharing a still image and a video of the beautiful landscape of Dhikala Corbett.

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A watch tower.

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Near the watch tower we could hear the call of a tiger by the barking deers. But we were unlucky enough to miss the tiger. The Gypsy which came next to us spotted the tiger.

Tried to capture the sound of the barking deer by taking a video. Though the sound is not very clear but by increasing the volume you may hear it.



As we had to check out by 11am we reached our guest house by 10am and had our break fast and checked out by 11am. On the way we spotted few birds and few fishes in a near by stream.

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With a happy note we reached the Corbett entry gate by 1pm and reached Ramnagar by 1-30pm.

The place where we stayed at Corbett.

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The gypsy in which we traveled.

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The way our 19 years old driver Arif used to charge his mobile in his Gypsy. And we crave for 12v sockets. LOL !!!

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The return back journey from Ramnagar to Delhi was a smooth ride except the maddening Delhi traffic and a punctured rear tyre. It took us 7 hours with one break at KfC near Moradabad. We were back home by 10pm.

The Corbett trip ended but its memories will invite me to visit this place again and again.

Last edited by Samba : 31st May 2014 at 16:44.
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Old 31st May 2014, 12:57   #5
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Default re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Between the two week ends had a chance to meet SS-Traveller and predatorwheelz at bikers cafe vasat kunj. I would really like to thank both of you for taking out the time from your busy schedule to meet me. It was really a nice meet we had. That week end i had plans for Agra and the tips came from them were of great help to me. Plus before going for the Corbett trip i PM'd SS-Traveller for the best route and how safe will it be to go just after the day election results were out. He assured me about the safety issue and told me the best route too.

Agra

I was more excited to be on the famed Yamuna express way than on Agra. I always wanted to be on this road driving my own petrol Etios but this time it was not possible so to console myself i hired a Etios cab.

We started from Delhi by 7-30am.

A legend cruising along the Yamuna expressway.

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Reached Agra by 11am. Our first target was to visit Agra fort then Dayal Bagh have our lunch and visit the Taj during sunset.

So as per plan we reached Agra fort at first. Sharing the pictures from Agra fort.

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A couple of pics of the Taj from Agra fort.

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Agra fort pics continue.

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Old 31st May 2014, 13:49   #6
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Our next destination was Dayalbagh. It was 43 C out side. The Etios Ac did its job well and kept us cool. We followed google maps to reach Dayal Bagh but it misguided us to some dead end. Another couple in a Audi A4 did the same and landed at the same place we did. All of us had a good laugh and asked the locals for the direction's and we reached DayalBagh. Work is in progress in this temple from the last 40 years. But i must admit its coming out really well.

Let me share few pics from Dayalbagh.

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By the time we came out of Dayalbagh it was already 3pm. It was time for lunch. Had our lunch at hotel Gateway Agra and by 4pm we headed towards Tajmahal.

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Old 31st May 2014, 14:10   #7
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Default re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Its time to Visit the TajMahal.

Nothing to write about this 7th wonder so let me directly share the pictures.

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I was really spellbound seeing the 'Taj' and my long pending expression of 'wah Taj' at last came true.

But on a bitter note this monument needs some attention too.

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We were done seeing this beauty by 7pm. So it was time to head back to Delhi. As we entered Yamuna expressway it started to drizzle.

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The drizzle was followed by a hailstorm.

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A small video of the hailstorm. Our cab owner was lucky enough to come out of it without any dent or cracked windshield.



Soon the weather became pleasant and we cruised along at a steady 90-100km/hr speed and reached our home by 11-30pm. On the way we had our dinner at Nazeer in Noida.

One day after this trip i was supposed to return back to Kolkata. These two trips from the 10 days visit to Delhi really gave me some memories to cherish.

Last edited by Samba : 1st June 2014 at 00:04.
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Old 31st May 2014, 14:22   #8
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Default re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Few small bits from the trip.

Corbett.

1) If you plan a trip for Corbett , stay at Dhikala. Booking starts 60 days prior to your trip. I have mentioned the procedure to get the bookins for Dhikala in my first post. If any one needs my agent he can PM me for details.

2) Thandi sarak and Mota sala are the most happening spots near Dhikala for tiger spottings.

3)Getting down from the gypsy is strictly prohibited inside Corbett.

4)You cant take your own car inside.

5) In search of spotting animals do not miss the beauty of the landscape of Corbett. It offers you much more. Plus try to visit in week days avoiding national holiday's. That keeps the place more serene with less number of tourists.

6) For the photographers its better to carry two bodies , one for landscape & one for wild life. You wont get much time to change the lens if you carry one body. Sadly i had to manage with one body and 70-300 fitted to it all the time. That's a reason i missed out on many more landscape shots.

7)Throwing plastic bottles or trying to feed animals is strictly prohibited and is a punishable offense.

8)Always carry the original identity card which you used for making the bookings of Corbett.

Agra.


1) If you are driving from Delhi to Agra by Yamuna expressway do not cross 100km/hr. There are speed guns and they impose a fine of rs2,000 on violation.

2) Beware to tyre bursts on Yamuna expressway as the road temperature is higher than tar roads. So do maintain the correct tyre pressure. Tyres with less pressure are more prone to tyre bursts.

3) Hire a guide at Agra fort and Taj mahal to know the extra details.

4) Try to visit the Tajmahal during sunrise or sunset.

5)For the photographers a wide angle lens will be a great relief to capture the Taj or the Agra fort.

6)In week ends or other holidays this place is crowed by tourists which plays a spoil sport. So plan accordingly.

7) Try out the panchi petha of Agra its really tasteful but do not forget to bargain with the shopkeeper when you buy it.


Hope you enjoyed reading the travelogue. Feel free to ask any sort of queries.

Regards Samba.

Last edited by Samba : 31st May 2014 at 17:04.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 16:43   #9
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Default Re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd June 2014, 16:59   #10
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Default Re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Amazing pictures you got there. May I ask you which Camera are you using? The results are superb!!
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Old 2nd June 2014, 17:05   #11
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Default Re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Congratulations and a great travelogue once again. You always rock bro with great travelogues and awesome pictures. The pictures are amazing and the resultant effects are mesmerising. Keep up the good work and treat us with more of these amazing travelogues. Will be looking forward to some more.

Subhra
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Old 2nd June 2014, 17:36   #12
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Default Re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

Excellent pictures and nicely written travelogue!
A drive in your Etios would have been a an icing on the cake. Nevertheless, it was an awesome experience for sure and keep posting such travelogues.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 20:20   #13
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Default Re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

excellent write up and a great photo biography as usual Sambha ...keep them coming
I am glued to this thread
I would like some more pictures of your expedition
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Old 2nd June 2014, 21:00   #14
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Default Re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

That sure is a nice and sweet travelogue with lots of good pics, Samba. Would have liked to see a lot more close-ups of the Dayalbagh carvings. And it was also a pleasure to meet you in Delhi.

A few corrections if you allow me...
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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
4)You cant take your own car inside.
Corbett is the only sanctuary where you can take your own car inside as well as stay in the centre of the sanctuary at night (Dhikala and Gairal are the 2 places I know of) - the only regulations being that the vehicle must be owned by the person booking the accommodation, must be Euro-III or above, and most importantly, must be a 4wd vehicle.

Also, you can only use the central road to access Gairal and Dhikala, but cannot go on other safari routes without being accompanied by a guide. Such guides are available for a fee, and must be in your car during all times.

And you cannot drive inside on any road inside the forest after sunset and before sunrise.

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
1) If you are driving from Delhi to Agra by Yamuna expressway do not cross 100km/hr. There are speed guns and they impose a fine of rs2,000 on violation.
They don't fine anyone - or have the power to fine anyone - yet! They just warn you if your average speed between tolls exceeds 100 km/h. That shows up as a **Speed Violation** sign at the next toll. However, it is a bit of a psychological scare tactic, as we discovered this time. Will write about it in detail later on.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 21:21   #15
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Default Re: Corbett Tiger Reserve & Agra: Two consecutive weekends from Delhi!

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Originally Posted by JASMEET MATTOO View Post
Amazing pictures you got there. May I ask you which Camera are you using? The results are superb!!
Thanks a lot. I just saw your Corbett trip now. That's a nice sweet travelogue. We were in the same place more or less in the same time!

For Corbett i used Canon-70-300 Is usm.
For Agra i used Tokina 11-16 F2.8

Body used Canon Eos 50D.

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Originally Posted by tacho9000 View Post
Congratulations and a great travelogue once again. You always rock bro with great travelogues and awesome pictures. The pictures are amazing and the resultant effects are mesmerising. Keep up the good work and treat us with more of these amazing travelogues. Will be looking forward to some more.

Subhra
Thanks a lot brother. Hope to do a trip together soon.

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Excellent pictures and nicely written travelogue!
A drive in your Etios would have been a an icing on the cake. Nevertheless, it was an awesome experience for sure and keep posting such travelogues.
Thanks a lot.

I missed my Etios too. But lets see, planning & hoping to take my Etios to Ladakh next year !

Quote:
Originally Posted by aritraray View Post
excellent write up and a great photo biography as usual Sambha ...keep them coming
I am glued to this thread
I would like some more pictures of your expedition
Thanks.

Sure if i can find out any more new pics without being repetitive will definitely share them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
That sure is a nice and sweet travelogue with lots of good pics, Samba. Would have liked to see a lot more close-ups of the Dayalbagh carvings. And it was also a pleasure to meet you in Delhi.

A few corrections if you allow me...
Thanks a lot.

At Dayalbagh the cravings were really awesome. Thanks for insisting me to visit Dayalbagh during our small meet at Bikers cafe. When i visited the light inside was really very less. So that's one of the reason for less pics inside Dayalbagh. If i would have carried my own flash gun could have got some nice pics of the cravings inside.

Surely i will allow you to correct me. Its my pleasure you added few valid points to my travelogue. Thanks a lot for sharing the details.

Last edited by Samba : 2nd June 2014 at 21:29.
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