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Old 28th August 2014, 23:43   #1
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Default Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Being an avid traveller and photography enthusiast, I always wanted to visit Ladakh, which I believe is the epitome of natural splendor with its picture-postcard lakes and ethereal mountain vistas. When I signed up for Overdrive IQD 2014, there were quite a few doubts in my mind. The thought of actually getting to drive Audi SUVís in Ladakh seemed a bit far-fetched at first glance. I was also worried whether it was worth spending 1 lac on it.

But having completed the trip, I can definitely say that the OD team led by Bert exceeded all my expectations. As a car aficionado, driving the Audiís across the varied terrain and breathtaking landscape was a surreal experience. I was living the dream by trying out a different Audi SUV everyday, over roads that offered one of the best views in the world around every corner. Even the off-road experience across water crossings, dirt road, slush etc. in these SUVís is something that I am going to cherish for a really long time. The following cars were available to us:

Q3 2TDi
Q3 2TFSi
Q5 2TDi
Q5 2TFSi
Q7 4.2TDi

There were eight participants and the OD team comprised of 8 members of which only 4 drove the cars. So basically it was 12 guys driving the cars over the course of 9 days. There was enough time for each one of us to drive every car, infact one of the days I just chilled out in the back seat to enjoy the landscape. We also had a modded Thar and a Bolero Camper as support vehicles for the trip. It was really nice learning driving tips from seasoned drivers like Bertrand DíSouza and road test editor Halley. As for photography, the editor of Better Photography was a part of the OD team and he shared his valuable inputs.
We all were enjoying the cars and the views so much so that photography actually took a back seat.

As for the cars, call me stupid but I liked the Q3 TFSi the best. Maybe I am biased towards turbo petrols.


The highlight of the trip was that all the participants really gelled with each other from the very first day and made the long arduous journey a memorable one. I made many good friends from different walks of life and I am grateful to OD for the same. The TV show is scheduled to be aired this Saturday and a trip report will be present in the September issue of the magazine. Enough with the rant, lets get started with the pictures.





Day 1

Chandigarh to Manali

We started from Park Plaza, Zirakpur around 7am stopped at Mandi for lunch and rolled into Manali by evening.

After a early morning round of introductions, all the participants received a goodie bag from the sponsors which had Oakley shades, GANT tees and jacket.

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Loading up the cars

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Ready to leave

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The monster with over 750Nm torque swallowed a major chunk of the luggage.

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The Q3 twins at the lunch stop near Mandi

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Photo stop near Manali

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-img_5481.jpg

The beautiful pathway to our cottages in Manali

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0165.jpg

Paramedic Rodney did a demonstration about altitude sickness and other precautions before dinner. We carried the Pressurised Air Chamber in the support vehicle but it was never used.

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0152.jpg

Bert from OD, briefing all the participants over dinner

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Day 2


Manali to Jispa


Heading out of Manali at around 7am and we were lucky there was not a major traffic jam leading upto Rohtang as expected.

Landslide causing a minor traffic jam enroute to Rohtang. Thankfully it was cleared within 15-20mins.

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Some pictures while we waited for the traffic to clear.

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First glimpse of the Bullet/Harley groups

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Pictures from Rohtang

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The very first water crossing

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Near Keylong

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-5dsm0228.jpg

The mandatory Tandi fuel station pic

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We checked into our hotel in Jispa and headed out for some offroading and a photo shoot.

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Old 28th August 2014, 23:55   #2
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Day 3

Jispa to Leh

This was a long and tiring drive over quite a few high altitude passes and lot of video/photo shoots along the way. We started around 5 am from Jispa and reached Leh by 7pm in the evening.

Gata Loops

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0262.jpg

More Plains

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Photo stop near Upshi

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0278.jpg

Moon rise

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0250.jpg

Monastery (Leh outskirts)

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0283.jpg

Some random images enroute

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0261.jpg

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0255.jpg


Day 4

Leh (rest day)

Just roamed around Leh, had some good food and slept a lot.

Leh palace

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0305.jpg

Barren view

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0289.jpg

Greenery

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0295.jpg

Long walk to the monastery

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0292.jpg
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Old 29th August 2014, 00:09   #3
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Day 5

Leh to Diskit

It was a relaxing drive across Khardung La and onto Nubra Valley

People posing at Khardung La

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The altitude by my watch in meters

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Some landscapes

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The beautiful camp site at Diskit

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0355.jpg


Day 6

Diskit to Pangong Tso via Wari La

This was another long drive across some beautiful high altitude passes

Views enroute

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First glimpse of Pangong

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0371.jpg

Pangong at 6pm

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0376.jpg

Driving by the lake

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0373.jpg

Pangong at 1am

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-img_5487.jpg

Camping under the stars

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0411.jpg
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Old 29th August 2014, 00:19   #4
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Day 7

Independence Day
Pangong to Leh


Emerald colors at noon

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0425.jpg

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Getting ready for the flag hoisting ceremony

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Yours truly

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-5dsm0444.jpg

Left Pangong at around 1pm and reached Leh by evening


Day 8

Leh to Lamayuru

Today was a short drive to Lamayuru, started from Leh after lunch and reached Lamaruyu just when the light was sublime over the lunar landscape

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Lamayuru Monastery

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0460.jpg
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Old 29th August 2014, 00:26   #5
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Day 9

Lamayuru to Srinagar

This was our final day. We stopped for lunch at Sonamarg, visited the war memorial at Drass and rolled into Srinagar after escaping the mad rush at Zoji La by 7pm. A gala dinner on houseboats over Nagin Lake went on till midnight and the wonderful trip finally came to an end.

War memorial at Drass

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-photo1.jpg

View just before Zoji La

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0471.jpg

Other tidbits

The modded Thar which accompanied us

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-photo2thar.jpg

Washing the cars in Jispa

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-photo1-copy.jpg

During one of the numerous Maggi and lemon tea breaks

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-photo4sarchu.jpg

The OD team

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An apt song for the place

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-_dsm0326.jpg

Sheltered from the extremes of weather in luxury

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-img_5464.jpg



*Most photos shot using a Canon 5DMarkIII with a 24-70f2.8 lens. Few with an iphone5S.
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Old 29th August 2014, 08:50   #6
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Mod note: Thread moved to Travelogues from Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing some lovely captures Robin.
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Old 29th August 2014, 09:04   #7
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Thanks a lot for sharing, Robin. My favorite photo is the one titled "camping under the stars" - beautiful capture of the Milky Way and a meteor!
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Old 29th August 2014, 10:57   #8
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Lovely photos Robi!

Small world. I was in Diksit at the same camp, the same night. Didn't know you were there. Talked to a couple of others from your group.

Sharing a photo from my trip
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Btw how did you sign up for that drive?
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Old 29th August 2014, 12:59   #9
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Great Pics! And yes - how do you sign up for this? One pic of the trip from my side as well

Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014-img_7080.jpg
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Old 29th August 2014, 13:16   #10
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Hmm, me too got selected for this, but unable to convince myself to pay a lakh rupee when Autocar able to take me free in 2013. Not sure what makes OD to charge for this.

Anyways it was always amazing to see the heaven again and again. I still remember my trip and we were 8 and other than official photographer, each and everyone had min 400-500 photos on their phones.
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Old 29th August 2014, 14:04   #11
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Great pictures!! Must've been an amazing expirience!
Question - Can a car like ecosport(AT)/duster handle the entire route that you guys took?
Which one will be better out of the two?
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Old 29th August 2014, 14:35   #12
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Excellent photologue. I never knew such registrations were open. 1L is steep but from the pics I think it was worth it.

Off topic:
What happens if you bang up one of the audis ? Who has to pay ?
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Old 29th August 2014, 20:35   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB16 View Post
Can a car like ecosport(AT)/duster handle the entire route that you guys took?
Which one will be better out of the two?
Both will be similar as both are FWD with almost same GC. I had taken my Duster last year on the same routes. Did not face any problems. Stick to the normal routes. Do not to take short cuts/try to off road.

Regarding Duster the 85 bhp one will fare better on uphill stretches due to less turbo lag.



Note from Support: Post edited for grammar. Please use a space after full-stop for better readability. Thanks!
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Old 29th August 2014, 22:37   #14
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^^ FWD & GC are not my main concerns. My main issue is will an AT be able to tackle such terrains?
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Old 1st September 2014, 13:35   #15
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Default re: Ladakh Photologue: Overdrive Independence Day Quattro Drive, 2014

Thanks for sharing this short and very sweet travelogue robimahanta

Some amazing pictures you have taken...I just loved the "Monastery (Leh outskirts)" photo.

Driving a differnet Audi everyday and at the same time enjoying the beauty of the Himalayas is a wonderful opportunity. Only a handful of lucky people get to do that. Congratulations

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st September 2014 at 13:38.
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