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Old 14th January 2015, 23:17   #1
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Arrow The White Album - Gulmarg, Kashmir

As per my last post The White Album - Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh I and my family was back from a wonderful trip on 16th Dec. After that I decided to continue for the search of White.

So I teamed up with one of my office colleagues and we started finalising a destination, we targeted 25th Dec as the journey date and return on 28th Dec and join office on Monday. Initially we thought of Chitkul but I knew that we cannot do that as a week back I was in Sarahan and it was full of snow so Chitkul was not at all possible. So we also thought of Khajjiar, but then we thought that it should be adventurous. So the final destination, which was always there at the back of our mind was Gulmarg. But we also knew that the election results are out on 23rd of Dec. So we were bit worried to visit at this point of time. But we left everything on God and decided that we should take a chance.
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Old 15th January 2015, 21:24   #2
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Default Re: The White Album - Gulmarg, Kashmir

Day 1 (24th Dec)

I reached office at 8 am and finished off by 5 pm. I reached Dhaula kuan and picked up my colleague at around 6 pm. As per the plan we were suppose to reach Gulmarg at 3 pm on 25th Dec, but we encountered the first obstacle once we touched NH1. Dense fog welcomed us and we were bound to follow other vehicles. This reduced our speed to 50 to 60 Km/hour. We reached my favourite dhaba at around 8 pm. We thought initially that we should munch on some stuff and have dinner later on, but later realised that we should have dinner now as due to fog we might not see anything on the road side. After some delicious makki ki roti and sarso ka saag we went ahead. Trust me the visibility was zero, luckily we found a Volvo in front of us and our speed increased to 80 to 100 km per/hour. But this was for very short time as the Volvo flew off in sometime, so we were back with the trucks once again. We crossed Ambala and turned towards Amritsar and I could not even see the road that went towards Chandigarh. We saw so many cars and trucks which were victims of the fog but we went on.

All the pictures are from Day 3. We could not take any great pictures on Day 1 and Day 2.


Ice rod from water Pipe

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Frozen Water Bottle

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Frozen lake

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Icy Road on which my vehicle skidded at night when we were in search of Hotel.

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Last edited by Soumik Ghosh : 15th January 2015 at 21:37.
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Old 16th January 2015, 20:47   #3
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Default Re: The White Album - Gulmarg, Kashmir

Day 2 (25th Dec)

At around 7 am we reached Lakhanpur border and continued till we took the bypass for Srinagar. We stopped at a Dhaba for some tea and decided that we will have breakfast after covering some kilometres. Once we were heading towards Udhampur we were stopped by some local police for checking. After the checking we went ahead and crossed the point which I feared most. As, in 2013 I could not cross this point as agitations had broken out due to some communal issue. At that time I was going to Zanskar but reached Chandratal. But yes, this time I cross the point and reached Udhampur. We completed our breakfast while on the way to Udhampur.

We reached a place called Pira had decided to have our lunch. We had some Rajma and Rice and enjoyed the sun shine. At this point of time I told my family that I am going to Gulmarg, till this time they knew that I was going to Khajjiar. I did this as I do not want them to be tensed. After an hours drive we met our second obstacle of the journey, here a local taxi was hit by an army truck and it was a never ending traffic jam. By this time, we realised that our target time to reach Gulmarg has been messed up with.

We reached around 7: 30 pm and we were bit shocked as there was nobody on the road and it looked like mid night. We found some people near the market and asked for the tourism guest house but they told that we might not get any accommodation at this time. So we started searching for a place to stay. While the search was on I could realise that I was driving on ice sheet -the crystal or the black ice and it happened so fast that my vehicle skidded and turned vertically. After this we checked few hotels and decided to stay near the market. We got into a Hotel which had heated bed and the rooms were also heated. We had our dinner and went off to sleep as the more than 24 hours continuous drive had taken a toll on my body.




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The sequence of falling down

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Old 17th January 2015, 22:33   #4
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Default Re: The White Album - Gulmarg, Kashmir

Day 3 (26th Dec)

We woke up at 8 am and had a word with the hotel manager as we wanted to go for the local site seeing and the rope way ride or the Gondola ride. We decided to do the day trip by horse riding. Two locals came to meet us and started explaining about the site seeing point and the rope way ride. We decided that we will do the site seeing and go till Phase1 of the rope ride by horse riding. So the negotiation started as they asked for Rs.3000 each for this ride, but eventually finalised at Rs.1200. Our decision of going up till phase 1 by horse turned to be a great decision as the rope way ride will not give you the same feeling as we had while riding the horse.

At around 2 pm we reached phase 1 (10,000 feet) and decided to go to Phase 2 first. Once we are back we can have our lunch. We took the rope way and reached Phase 2 (14,000 feet), I thought that I am at Mount Everest Summit. It was so windy and the temperature was below 5 deg. We took a small walk towards the LOC and soon realised that my Camera is not working normally due to the intense cold. After sometime we heard a shout from the rope way station. They instructed us that due to bad weather they will be shutting down Phase 2. So we decided to come back, soon we reached Phase 1 and had our Lunch. Some Kashmiri Pulao which was pretty heavy for us. Then stayed over there for sometime and started our return journey. We reached our hotel, decided to stay in as the outside temperature was falling. We chatted with the hotel fellows to understand their life and their hardship during extreme weather. We had our dinner and slept early as the next day is our return journey.
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Old 18th January 2015, 11:05   #5
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Default Re: The White Album - Gulmarg, Kashmir

Day 4 (27th Dec)

Once we woke up, we started to pack our stuff and loaded them in the vehicle. We decided to have our breakfast after taking some last photographs. So I started my vehicle, I knew there will be hiccups as last night the temperature was around -9 deg and the diesel will be frozen. After taking the photographs we started our return journey and reached Lakhanpur border at around 10 pm, once we crossed the border we had our dinner and soon we touched NH1 and we were greeted with dense Fog. We reached near Ludhiana and the Fog got denser so we pulled over at a petrol pump. We slept in the vehicle till morning 7 am and then started once again. Finally, we reached home in the evening.
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Old 19th January 2015, 15:06   #6
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Default Re: The White Album - Gulmarg, Kashmir

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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