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Old 13th December 2014, 17:46   #31
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Default Re: The Northern Expedition - Mumbai to Ladakh

# DAY XII : Spangmik-Hanle

The visuals continue ...

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INDOMITABLE AT TSAGA LA


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HE WONDERS


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ON THE TSAGA LA ROUTE


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STARING INTENTLY


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MANI STONES


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INDOMITABLE TOWARDS CHUSHUL


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MORNINGS AT PANGONG


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PATH DOWN FROM TSAGA LA


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TOWARDS THE PASS


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REFLECTIONS


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TO LOMA


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STROLLING BY THE LAKE


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THE CHUSHUL MEMORIAL


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AMONG WILDERNESS


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Old 15th December 2014, 07:07   #32
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# DAY XIII : To the twin lakes

#109. Today was goin to be another special day amongst all the specials till date on this trip  . Today I was going to visit the twin lakes of Ryul Tso situated down south of Hanle on the route to Thit Zarbo La.The twin lakes Ryul So and Chilling Tso are shrouded in obscurity and not much is written about them . These are definitely for the traveler and not for the hordes of tourists who throng Ladakh .

#110. The route was a cracker and the INDMOITABLE was definitely out of its league , here I was going to depend on the work horse of this place a.k.a The Tata Mobile 407. The GH owner Mr Sonam agreed to accompany me and soon on a cold morning with a packed lunch we were on our way to see the twin lakes.

#111. The route involved was not on the map and was a track made by vehicles which play, a thorough knowledge of the terrain is a must out here especially the initial Kms were pretty torturous. The Tata Mobile was up to the task and very slowly in gear I & II we proceeded ahead up and down as the track led us.

#112. The twin lakes Ryul Tso and Chilling Tso are around 40 Kms from Hanle and further along the route one can reach Thit Zarbo La. This is total Changspa Country and one has to keep in mind that the guard dogs are not very welcoming to strangers and once they get their jaws in, it is only the master that they will listen to.

#113. Soon I reached the twin lakes and after spending some time in splendid isolation I decided to also travel till Salsal La which lay on the route to Chumur , this is a diversion from the path that we were on and soon we took the diversion and proceeded ahead.

#114. We reached Salsal La by around noon and had a great lunch out there followed by some hot tea. One of the very best moments in my life. The road ahead proceeded to yet another pass known as Shongdong La and thereafter to Chumur. But that was left for some other day , we turned back from here and proceeded back as I wanted to visit the Hanle Observatory too.

#115. Overall a great day and I loved every bit of it . I think the visuals will speak for themselves with regard to the beauty, the isolation and the magnificence of what I experienced.

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AN AFTERNOOON AT HANLE


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HANLE


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NUNNERY @HANLE


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ETERNAL BLISS


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THE CHANGSPA WAY OF LIFE


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Old 15th December 2014, 07:16   #33
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# DAY XIII : To the twin lakes


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THIT ZARBO LA AHEAD


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INDOMITABLE STANDS PROUD


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MAGICAL


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MASSIVE CLOUD FORMATIONS


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PRAYER FLAGS AT SALSAL LA


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SALSAL LA


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THE ROAD AHEAD


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Old 20th December 2014, 21:46   #34
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Default Re: The Northern Expedition - Mumbai to Ladakh

Simply amazing travelogue! The pictures that you have captured are absolutely stunning! Ladakh road trip is often considered as a pinnacle of Indian road adventures and your travelogue is definitely one such example.

Best,
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Old 20th December 2014, 22:08   #35
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Default Re: The Northern Expedition - Mumbai to Ladakh

Beautiful coverage!
However I feel pictures are really not in order with your storyline.
But that doesn't really matter here. Very nice clean crisp light you got there. Waiting for more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swsumit View Post
LADAKH AT ZING ZING BAR
Small correction. Ladakh (as J&K) starts somewhere after Sarchu and in between Gata loops. Zingzing bar is in Himachal Pradesh.
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Old 23rd December 2014, 08:27   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Simply amazing travelogue! The pictures that you have captured are absolutely stunning! Ladakh road trip is often considered as a pinnacle of Indian road adventures and your travelogue is definitely one such example.

thank you for the encouragement
Best,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Beautiful coverage!
However I feel pictures are really not in order with your storyline.
But that doesn't really matter here. Very nice clean crisp light you got there. Waiting for more.
Small correction. Ladakh (as J&K) starts somewhere after Sarchu and in between Gata loops. Zingzing bar is in Himachal Pradesh.
yes i realize that at places i use wrong terminology , guess i get carried away by Ladakh thank you for the kind words
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Old 23rd December 2014, 10:53   #37
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# DAY XIV : Hanle to Leh

#116. In this trip I left out three major sectors and these are Tso Moriri , Zanskar , the lakes around Eastern Ladakh and two main passes which are Marsimek La and Photi La. These could not be covered owing to a variety of reasons which included the strain that was being felt by my co navigator  and the lure of the Durga Puja which was fast approaching and also one major factor about which I will speak in a while.

#117. Today we were scheduled to visit Tso Moriri and spend the night at Karzok. Accordingly we bid good bye to Sonam and his family and set out on the route to Tso Moriri which was an easy track. Out on this day I got stuck in a bad manner. There was this road repair happening on the road which is from Hanle to Rongo and accordingly I was leaving the road to go on to the dirt/sand track and then rejoin back.

#118. At one such section owing to a combination of factors I digressed from the tar road and the speed slowed down considerably and I stalled. Well no problem I thought will revv the accelerator and move out. I did the same and no movement at all, the wheels went in a bit more. Got down to check and saw that the front right wheel was having no grip at all, I decided to reverse and move back .Accordingly I did that but to no avail , I went a bit back and got stuck again. This was getting serious, so opened the boot and took out the shovel to take the sand out and lay down stones in order for the wheels to get a grip. This technique did work and I was able to move a bit but somehow was not getting sufficient momentum to make it out.

#119. So I resigned myself to a long excavation process and work on this in a methodical manner rather than the quick solution that I was looking at, accordingly started removing the sand from the entire path around the wheel and the path that the wheels would travel , around 30 min passed and I was going on it with determination when I saw two gypsies coming, I immediately flagged then down and they turned out to be senior army officials on a inspection visit. Seeing my dilemma, they offered to pull me out and using the shackles and rope that I had, it was a matter of minutes and the IDOMITABLE was out effortlessly.

#120. I thanked them profusely and in return they offered me hot ginger tea on a lonely Ladakhi Highway, now that’s what is called as Army Hospitality at its best no matter what ever is the situation or the place. Lesson learnt is that one has to be ever watchful in Ladakh , had I been careful and paid attention to speed and terrain I would not have been stuck in such a manner.

#121. Soon after this delay we moved ahead and by noon we were at the turn off to Tso Moriri at Mahe, out here somehow after a brief discussion the trip to Tso Moriri was called off and we proceeded to Leh. The road to Leh through the Changthang region is under repair and the going was slow as we were stuck thereafter in a massive army convoy on the narrow road. Eventually after a grueling trip we trudged into Leh at 1700 hrs. The INDOMITABLE was emanating a hissing sound on some occasions and this was playing in my mind as I was unable to diagnose what was causing this.

#122. ODO for the day stood at 76196.

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COLOUR MOUNTAINS


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AMAZING PLACE


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Old 25th December 2014, 08:00   #38
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# DAY XV : @ Leh

#122. Today we had decided to visit the gompas near the city of Leh. Accordingly got up late as we had no fixed agenda. Breakfast was once again at Gesmo Resturant , simply loved the breakfast out there. After a lazy huge breakfast mandatory shopping was undertaken which is unavoidable .After that I went to Mentokling Showroom by M&M in order to get the electrical point for the GPS/mobile repaired. The issue finally boiled down to a fuse and the same was checked by removing all the fuses. I also got the chassis torquing checked up.

#123. By around eleven we were on our way to Hemis Gompa. The gompa situated around 42 km from Leh can be reached from Karu. Established in the 16TH century, the Gompa is dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava. The recently renovated museum houses rare artifacts, thangkas as well as scriptures from the age of Buddhism and is worth visiting. There is a nice book shop too that is a treasure trove for books related to Buddhism.

#124. After this we visted Shey Gompa , around nine kms from Leh .The monastery sits atop a hill and houses the 12 Metre Sakhya Muni Buddha statue which has altar lamps burning which burn all year round .The Tara temple also is worth visiting within the premises.

#125. It was evening by when we were done with our visits and had a leisurely walk in Leh town .Tomorrow we began our run to Kargil, for now it was just strolling in the streets of Leh.

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AT SHEY GOMPA


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AT HEMIS GOMPA


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COURTYARD @ HEMIS


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PRAYER HALL


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LORD PADMASAMBHAVA


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SAKHYA MUNI BUDDHA @ SHEY
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Last edited by swsumit : 25th December 2014 at 08:04.
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Old 25th December 2014, 08:11   #39
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# DAY XV : @ Leh

The visuals continue ..

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TARA TEMPLE @ SHEY
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Old 27th December 2014, 18:25   #40
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# DAY XVI : Leh to Srinagar

#126. As mentioned earlier we had decided to not venture into the zanskar region this time even though I had studied a great deal on it. It is important to be mentally positive when attempting a drive into regions like the Zanskar and it has to be mutually agreeable by all those who are doing it .

#127. So we left Leh early and were on the brilliant NH 1D as we sped away on towards Kargil . There was mixed feelings as I kept moving away from Leh , like a part of me was being left behind and the strands of thread were one by one getting parted but then I knew that I would be back again in the future to pick up the threads where I had left them .

#128. Our first stop was the spiritual Gurudwara Panther Sahib , constructed 25 km away from Leh built in memory of Guru Nanak Saheb , at a altitude of over 12000 feet. The history of the gurudwara is very special and speaks about the aura of Guru Nanak and has the famous story of his visit to the Ladakhi region entwined. The famous boulder on which the impression of his back and shoulder is embossed is a sight to see. We had the famous langar at this most holy of all places and the simple meal was for me the most important of all till date.

#129. Thereafter we moved on towards the confluence of the green Indus and the grey Zanskar which is again one of the most iconic of all sights to witness on this brilliant highway. Soon we were passing Khaltsi and Lamaruyu and we gunned the INDOMITABLE towards Srinagar, our target for the day. The final passes of our Expedition Fotu La , Namika La were soon passed and by evening we were crossing Zoji La , the final Pass of the trip. After this we were in Sonmarg.

#130. Sonmarg to Srinagar was covered in total darkness and I had no idea whatsoever of the road conditions that I travelled on. Srinagar was a city torn by the weather and rains with all signs of normalcy wiped out. We had plans to stay a day in the city but looking at the condition we decided to move the next day itself towards Jammu.

ODO for the day stood at 76761.

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GURUDWARA PATHER SAHIB


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SPIRITUALISM


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DRASS AS THE NAME SAYS



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LOVELY DRASS


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NAMIK LA : THE PILLAR IN THE SKY


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FOTU LA


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LAMARUYU GOMPA


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MOON SCAPES AT LAMARUYU


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SONMARG APPROACHES AS THE SUN GOES DOWN



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SCENIC


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PROUD AND DEFIANT


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THE ROAD AND INDOMITABLE
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Old 29th December 2014, 12:40   #41
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A nice write-up and amazing pictures swsumit.

You guys literally took the off-beat tracks in a sedan and came out with flying colours.

Awaiting your kargil updates. Keep it up.
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Old 29th December 2014, 16:21   #42
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Default Re: The Northern Expedition - Mumbai to Ladakh

This is awesome. The story-telling, the visuals, expressions and the overall packaging. Have read numerous travelogues about Leh & the region, each one with a different perspective and some stand out.

Yours is definitely an exception. It stands out as if i'm living through your words, traversing the region in your INDOMITABLE.

Regards
Saurav
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Old 29th December 2014, 19:27   #43
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Originally Posted by laferrari View Post
A nice write-up and amazing pictures swsumit.

You guys literally took the off-beat tracks in a sedan and came out with flying colours.

Awaiting your kargil updates. Keep it up.
yea , the Logan swelled my heart with pride . Thx for the encouragement


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumping Soul View Post
This is awesome. The story-telling, the visuals, expressions and the overall packaging. Have read numerous travelogues about Leh & the region, each one with a different perspective and some stand out.

Yours is definitely an exception. It stands out as if i'm living through your words, traversing the region in your INDOMITABLE.

Regards
Saurav

Hii ,

thx for the warm words and the encouragement. Appreciate

regards
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Old 30th December 2014, 07:19   #44
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# DAY XVII : Srinagar to Jammu

#131. Srinagar , the city of beauty was ravaged by the wrath of nature and as the day dawned it revelaed the devastation that the city had undergone. There was disarray everywhere and it was the administration and the Army that were trying to hold everything together.

#132. The Army was everywhere, every chowk , every intersection the one common aspect was the Army , whatever may be the opinion of many a individual there is no denying the fact that it is the Army that holds the situation finally when things start falling. This situation is so very common in places like Srinagar.

#133. A distance of 300kms which normally would take six hours looked formidable indeed with conflicting reports as to the status of the Srinagar –Jammu Highway. I reached Pantha chowk and mingled with the local taxis asking for ground reports and almost all suggested to avoid the highway rather travel by the Mughal Road. Now as I was unaware of this route, I decided to tag behind a particular tax that was heading out that way. The route involved pulwama , shopian, bafliaz and then ahead on the Mughal Road.

#134. I followed the taxi till Shopian which was reached by 1100 hours and I am thankful for this for the route indeed was through narrow roads and villages in between with no signboard of any kind. From shopian a bit ahead one reaches a intersection and one has to take the right road which will lead to the start of the Mughal Road which is one of the most spectacular roads ever built anywhere in India as it races through the mighty Pir Pangal Ranges. The condition of the road was mix of good and bad and it was incline or descent all the way.

#135. By 1400 hours I reached Thana Mandi and heaved a sigh of relief as I thought that the Mughal Road had come to an end, how was I to know that what lay ahead was torturous indeed, the road narrowed down by half immediately and the climb started once again up ahead and I was back in the jungles on a route which was completely broken at almost all the places and snaked its way through the undergrowth of the forests. The ordeal was immense as I was definitely not aware of the terrain or the condition , there was no option but to keep pushing ahead .

#135. By 1530 we were at Rajouri after a back breaking constant braking and gear shifting ordeal of close to 80 kms. The road improved considerably after that and we had something decent to eat eventually. Soon we were on our way for I wanted to reach Jammu before sundown as I was totally on unprepared paths. The Chenab bridge was crossed at 1830 hrs and I rolled into Jammu at 2000 hours covering a distance of 345 km which had taken me close to 12 hours and was one of the most difficult and grueling days of the whole trip . It is commendable of the performance of the Logan that it took everything in its stride through the entire trip and I was so glad that I could rely on performance when I most needed it .

ODO stood at 77106.

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BEAUTY


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BRIDGES


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DISTANCE


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INDOMITABLE


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ON THE CHENAB


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RANGES


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INDOMITABLE ON MUGHAL ROAD
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Old 30th December 2014, 16:52   #45
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Wow

Truly inspirational trip. Mesmerizing photos. These white peaks are always inviting. What a journey I must say.

May be I lost somewhere in between but can you please let me know during which month you did your journey.

Regards
SE
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