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Old 7th October 2015, 20:42   #91
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Default Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan-Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata Updated

Julley !! This post is all about - " The wind in my hair and Ladakh Through my Eyes"

My dream drive as mentioned in my first post on Team BHP in the “Introduce Yourself” section was a drive to Ladakh. Thanks to BHPian Samba who sighted this and checked on me whether I was seriously interested for this Trip which already in the planning stage by then. I was definitely in !!

However, as we started nearing the date of departure for our Ladakh Trip, life started to take new turns. My wife became pregnant and we had to drop the idea of her travelling. I had to leave back home my 3 months Pregnant Wife with our 4 year old daughter; at least my wife's company was something I never wanted to compromise on for this Dream Drive. This was a tricky one for me and a decision had to be taken. Thanks to the support of my wife who encouraged me to go for it against all odds and go ahead to undertake my Dream Drive; all solo. A Jagjit Singh Ghazal started to play “Zindagi yun hui basar tanha, kaafila saath par safar tanha”.

So it was me, all by myself for this Grand Ladakh Road Trip accompanied by my Ford Figo ZXi Diesel.

BHPian Samba has already provided a detailed Travelogue and I would like to just add a few bits and pieces which I feel was special and worth a mention. I believe that the entire essence of the journey is what makes the final destination even more cherished.

DAY 1 : Kolkata to Kanpur
Four nomadic Souls formed the part of Team A - (Avrendu's) Thar, (Indra's) Scorpio, (Samba's) Etios & (my) Figo. Instead giving excessive write ups, I would let the pictures to the talking.

A pic of our first stop at Chirkunda :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d1.1.jpg

Driving past Topchachi :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d1.2.jpg

BHPian JKDS was supposed to leave Kolkata with us. But unfortunately, he had an early morning battery issue and his departure was delayed by an hour or so. However, we did not hold up for him and decided to rather cruise at a decent pace and let BHPian JKDS catch up with us. Amazed to see how well his Bolero compliments him. He made up for the lost time and caught up with us at The Ashoka Hotel, Bagodar, Jharkhand doing proud to BHPian BlackPearl. A momentary picture :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d1.3.jpg

Nearing our destination for the day and the Sun all set to Set :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d1.4.jpg

Completing a 1000 Kms in a day was a big achievement in itself for the the 4 of us; BHPian Avrendu having done that before, was just repeating history for himself :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d1.5.jpg

Toll Paid for the day : Rs.950/=
Night Stay at Kanpur : Hotel Samridhi Palace
(Link Provided on Page 2)


DAY 2 : Kanpur to Tivoli Resort on G.T. Karnal Road

Team B consisting of Rana (Punto) and BHPian SouraC (Swift) accompanied by Arghya & Nasim were keeping up well in pace and had plans to reach Noida by the night today. For us in Team A it was a relaxed drive today. Though at that time we never knew that driving on the YEW would be so extremely boring and monotonous since we were all solo in our respective cars.

My Figo posing with Samba's Etios somewhere near Etawah and waiting for the Mahindra Trio to arrive in order to hit the Yamuna Expressway Together :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d2.1.jpg

A mix of weather in YEW :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d2.2.jpg

A sudden shower on YEW :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d2.3.jpg

Some sunshine again on YEW :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d2.4.jpg

Breezing past the Buddh International F1 Circuit :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d2.5.jpg

BHPian JKDS parted ways with us as he had to head towards Dwarka. Unfortunately after entering New Delhi @ 6:00pm, all 4 of us got scattered in the New Delhi Traffic on the Outer Ring Road. Traffic we were not accustomed with staying the the eastern part of India. None the less, sooner or later we all finally did reach our destination with the help of the GPS Navigation available with us.

Toll Paid for the Day : Rs.700/=
Night Stay at New Delhi : Tivoli Grand Resort, G.T. Karnal Road
(Link provided on Page 2)


DAY 3 : Destination Jammu
The day when Team A met Team B and collectively the Kolkata-Ladakh Group set sail together. In the meanwhile Samba's buddy (now our buddy too) Samya with his wifey Debleena joined us at the Resort to collectively move ahead.

Sorting some important work in my Mobile Office :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d3.1.jpg

Catching up with the Punto :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d3.2.jpg

Tailgating the Swift of BHPian SouraC :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d3.3.jpg

A tricky junction where a few us us did not take the right turn and headed straight. Cross the town of Jalandhar and do not miss this right turn to Pathankot which goes via Dasayu towards Jammu :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d3.4.jpg

Pulled over for a late late late Lunch :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d3.5.jpg

Once the tanks and the tummy's were full, there was no looking back and with the help of the Hellas in the rains, the evening drive to Jammu was a quick dash, rather a zooming sprint. It was tough for all the 6 cars to keep up with each other's pace, but no one was a stranger to such short sprints :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d3.6.jpg

Toll Paid for the Day : Rs.540/=
Stay At Jammu : Hotel Vivek
(Link shared on Page 2)


DAY 4 : Jammu to Srinagar

We all were set for an early morning departure from Jammu and hit the tarmac. The excitement of having a view of the Kashmir Valley was irresistible within us. So we tanked up with Fuel to burn and let the wheels roll.

Amazed to see so many WB Registered Vehicle go past by, exiting the town of Jammu :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.1.jpg

Gazing at the Jammu Srinagar 4 Lane Highway :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.2.jpg

Crossed a number of these tunnels including the Jawahar Tunnel in order to enter into the Kashmir Valley :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.3.jpg
Note : You are NOT ALLOWED or rather NOT SUPPOSED to take pictures in the Jawahar Tunnel !!

The 3 Hot Hatches parked at the Titanic View Point :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.4.jpg

The first view of the Kashmir Valley from the Titanic View Point :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.5.jpg
Had been waiting for this from the time we set sail from Jammu. An amazing view !! Do not miss out on the Amazing Coffee that the small eatery beside the Titanic View Point serves. I had my quota of 2 Glasses !!

Nearing the village of Ramban :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.6.jpg

Approaching the city of Srinagar :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.7.jpg

Managed to reach Srinagar just at the right time. Just before the sunset, we set sailing on a Shikara on the Dal Lake. Let some snaps do the talking for the rest it :

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.8.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.9.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.10.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.11.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.12.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.13.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d4.14.jpg

Toll Paid for the Day : Rs.205/=
Stay At Srinagar : Hotel Malick Palace
(Link shared on Page 2)

An amazing day and moreover a well spent tranquil evening on the Dal Lake. But what happened after that to me is the Unexpected Bit ..... follows in the next post

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Old 7th October 2015, 20:44   #92
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The Unexpected Bit :

It was all so nice and calm and I was excited to catch up with my chuddy buddy Vinay and his wife Ekta who had flown from Kolkata to Srinagar to accompany me for the rest of the Ladakh Trip.

At Dal Lake, the group decided to move on to Mughal Darbaar (a famous restaurant in Srinagar for Kebabs) for savoring the some Wazwaan. We decided to take the Local 3 Wheeler Auto Rickshaw to the venue as it would be convenient. As the 1st Rickshaw stopped beside us, in my quest of stepping into the Rickshaw, I badly twisted my ankle and was about to fall when BHPian Avrendu held me. There was an angular gradient between the footpath and the road on the Dal Lake, which I did not realize at the time of stepping down from the walkway and thus twisted my ankle.

Well this is how it looked after a few days :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.1.jpg

Everyone was stunned as to what happened. The entire team was worried and concerned. I took a while before I gathered my courage to walk across the road and make it to my hotel room. But, the fact was I could not stand on mt feet and I wanted to walk. I requested the entire team to move on and not spoil their evening for me. It was great on the part of BHPian Samba (also my roommate for the trip) to stay back with me at the Hotel and sacrificing his Golden opportunity to feast on the Wazwaan at the Mughal Darbaar.

He helped me in applying some ice on my injury and we impromptu decided to show a doctor then and there. Realizing that the next day we had to drive to Sonmarg there was no point taking any chances and it would be stupid to keep things in abatement. With the help of some local suggestions, we headed straight to the Khyber Hospital in Srinagar to consult a Doctor in emergency. In consultation with the doctor, I got an X-Ray done with thankfully no positive result. I had all the required medicines with me and showed the doctor the same and headed straight to the hotel with Samba and my friend Vinay who directly came over to the Hospital to see me.

I was in Srinagar to drive to Ladakh and not to be a mere passenger. Though we had a couple of back up drivers with us (including my Friend Vinay & his wife Ekta who flew down to Srinagar for the trip), but I guess you must be understanding how I was feeling then ..... devastated !! I took good care of the injury by applying medicine to it throughout the night and the pain killers did ease out the pain marginally; but the swelling was immense.

Ice Packs and a lot of Ointment application with the controlled intake of Pain Killers did good.

To Drive or not to Drive was the Question ??


DAY 5 : Srinagar to Sonmarg

Everyone suggested that I take rest for the day as today was merely a 90 Kms drive and that my friend Vinay could have driven me to Sonmarg. I understood and appreciated their concern on one hand whereas on the other hand I somewhere within myself knew that if I can pull this 90 Km drive in the given pain today, I shall be able to pull off the rest of the drive through the Ladakh Circuit. However, if I could not pull through these 90 Kms today, I knew that I was in a mess and taking Ladakh on with an injured left foot would be a serious gamble considering the immense clutch work that would be needed throughout the circuit.

Against all odds and challenged my own self, unrolled a crepe bandage and rolled it over on my injured leg, got rid of the shoes and wore my sandals and walked down to the car when everyone was still packing up in their rooms post lunch. Took the driving seat and clutched with an element of discomfort. However, started the engine and took a stroll within the Hotel compound.

Yeah !! I felt I could do this. that I recollected the fact that a wounded tiger is more dangerous than a non wounded one. Let's move on with life friends as if nothing had happened !! Keeping the spirits high we checked out of the hotel and let the wheels do some rolling.

Posing at the Dal Lake, Srinagar :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.2.jpg

Enroute Sonmarg - Photo Courtesy - Rana Adhikary (Punto) :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.3.jpg

Jhelum :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.4.jpg

Stunning Colour :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.5.jpg

A shephard's life :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.6.jpg

Happy to be in Sonmarg with my Chuddy Buddy :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-img_4792.jpg

The valley of Sonmarg from our Room :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.7.jpg

We reached Sonmarg and everyone decided to go for a stroll to the main bazaar. However, I did not even keep that option open to myself, as walking would aggravate my pain further. On doing some local research, got to know that there is a Glacier Point 8Kms upwards from Sonmarg and I decided to drive up to the place with my friend Vinay and his wife Ekta. The drive was very scenic through a narrow road. Clicked some pictures and thought of sharing them here :

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.8.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.9.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.10.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.11.jpg

While I was capturing the beauty around us, Vinay Captured this pic of mine :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-img_4955-2.jpg

Posing with a bandaged leg enroute to Glacier Point :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.12.jpg

Ended the day's Drive with some piping hot Noodles and Kawa (Kashmiri Tea) at the Glacier Point :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d5.13.jpg

Toll paid for the Day : Rs.100/=
Night Stay At Sonmarg : Hotel Sonmarg Palace
(Link shared on Page 2)
Note : There are numerous Corporation Guys who will be standing on the road asking for a Rs.50/= Toll from you. Pay the first one and you will be sorted for the rest to come. Just show that slip and move on and you will do just fine !


DAY 6 : Sonmarg to Leh : Part I : Crossing the Mighty Zozila Pass

Regular clutching and perpetual gear shifts were a point of concern with an injured leg. However, the passion within kept me going. We planned an early departure from Sonmarg and the hotel guys just rushed us to leave the hotel as there were chances of rains. We rushed to hit the roads on ASAP basis, but the rains played spoilt sport and we were all set to take on the first stretch of bad roads of our trip; knowing that this was just the beginning. Sharing some snaps :

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.1.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.2.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.3.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.4.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.5.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.6.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.7.jpg

Oh Zozila Done !! What a relief :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.8.jpg

Pulled over at the Cafe Gumri, a Army Run Cafeteria for some Momos, Samosas and Piping Hot Tea :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.9.jpg

Some part of the stretch was yet to be completed :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.10.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.11.jpg

The mountain goat arising out of nowehere :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.12.jpg

Head on with the herd :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.13.jpg

This pretty sheep also walked up from nowehere :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.14.jpg

Parked at a Check Post to update them with my (and the Car Details) and took a break; Drass was 25 Kms ahead :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.15.jpg

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Old 7th October 2015, 20:46   #93
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DAY 6 : Sonmarg to Leh : Part II : Enroute Leh via Drass & Kargil

We headed to Drass which apparently is the World's Highest Battlefield. In 1995 , a minimum temperature of -60 degrees Celsius was recorded here. Sharing some pictures of the very touched experience at the Drass War Memorial. Hats off to our Jawans for the sacrifices that they had made during the 1999 Kargil War. Proud to be an INDIAN !! JAI HIND !!

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.16.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.17.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.18.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.19.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.20.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.21.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.22.jpg

A snap before the Drass War Memorial :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.23.jpg

A lovely message while exiting the Drass War Memorial :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.24.jpg

Next was Kargil and the roads from Drass to Kargil was indeed the best stretch of mountain roads of the region that we got :

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.27.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.28.jpg

A panoramic view of the Town of Kargil :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.29.jpg

Driving from Kargil to Leh through Mulbek, Fotula Pass, Namikla Pass and the town of Lamayaru was very picturesque. Suddenly the terrain completely changes. There is no mark of any greenery what so ever from this point onwards. All one can see is just barren land and barren mountains. Some shades of colours that one has never seen before on any mountain. Sharing some select pictures of the drive from Kargil to Leh :

Do we call this purple ?
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.30.jpg

Sun and shade, all on the same road :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.31.jpg

Is this Ladakh or is this Cappadocia ?
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.32.jpg

Out of the Blue ..... Out of Nowhere :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.33.jpg

Moonscape :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.34.jpg

The mountains too big to capture in one frame, capturing the highway :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.35.jpg

Some posing around :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.36.jpg

The Figo also enjoying the view :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.37.jpg

Finally a dash of colour amongst the barren :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.38.jpg

The town of Lamayaru :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d6.39.jpg

We stopped in Lamayuru for a cup of coffee and decided that we needed to put an end to our 'stopping for photographs' business as it was already getting very late and we wanted to enter Leh within daylight which was very far from being possible. There was no stopping and no looking back now. Destination Leh it was and we just did not stop any further apart from a short stop at the Magnetic Hill, the photographs of which BHPian Samba has already shared.

Toll paid for the Day : Rs.50/=
Night Stay At Leh : Hotel Jorchung
(Link shared on Page 2)

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Old 7th October 2015, 20:47   #94
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DAY 7 : A relaxing day in the city of Leh

Finally the Figo gets some well deserved rest at Leh :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.1.jpg

Some Time Passing in Leh :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.2.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.3.jpg

While the rest of the Team decided to pay a visit to the Sangam - the meet point of River Indus and River Zanskar, I decided to head to the top of the town; the Leh Palace. Now under the Archaeological Survey of India as what remains is in shambles and is undergoing a restoration process at the moment.

The entrance to the Leh Palace :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.4.jpg

WHat remains is in ruins and the walls do most of the talking, but this by itself has a charm of it's own :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.5.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.6.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.7.jpg

In search of peace and tranquility, enjoying the view from the Leh Palace :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.8.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.9.jpg

Greeting you :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.10.jpg

There are Tibetian Handicraft Markets all over the town of Leh and there is a varied variety of stuff available here. However, the Prayer Bowls seemed something really special to me and caught my eye :

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.11.jpg

It was time to visit the Shanti Stupa at Leh which was a short distance from the Leh Palace. The drive itself stunningly beautiful :

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.12.jpg

A lone walker :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.13.jpg

A view of the Leh Gompa from Shanti Stupa :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.14.jpg

The sun was still up and so is the moon beside the Shanti Stupa :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.15.jpg

All Gold and Golden :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.16.jpg

The view of the setting sun from the Shanti Stupa :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.17.jpg

Lord Buddha in the meditating room :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.18.jpg

The Shanti Stupa after Sunset :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.19.jpg

Whereas the entire team was too fatigued and wanted to go to the hotel and preferred having their dinner there, I was all pumped up to head straight to the Gesmo Restaurant aka The German Bakery over dinner to feast on their very renowned Yak Cheese Pizzas.

Had heard and tasted Goat's Cheese !! But Yak Cheese ??
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d7.20.jpg

Oh it was not yuck, it was yummy in the tummy !! After a relaxing yet an eventful day it was now time to retire to bed considering our next day's drive was to Nubra Valley via Khardungla Top was alarming us.

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Old 7th October 2015, 20:51   #95
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DAY 8 : Part I : Leh to Nubra Valley via Khardung La Top

The day had arrived when we had to escalate to a height of 18380Fts by driving through the highest motorable road in the world in order to proceed for Nubra Valley. A real test of skills and metal. Thankfully no rains. Took the shorter route from within Leh Town to reach South Pullu to submit the Self Declaration Forms and proceed further.

Though I do not have much to say about the road conditions; you can see it for yourself in the pictures which shall narrate the state of affairs.

Road from the Town of Leh to South Pullu :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.1.jpg

South Pullu to Khardung La Top :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.2.jpg

BHPian SouraC doing the required spotting for us from a distance :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.3.jpg

Negotiating the rocks and the boulders :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.3a.jpg
-> Picture Courtesy : Arghya Pan

Making it to the Khardung La Top :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.4.jpg

Heights of Friendship as BHPian Samba says ..... on top of the world feeling :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.5.jpg

Some posing around for the Figo on the Khardung La Top with snow behind :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.6.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.7.jpg

The last view of the snow while descending from Khardung La Top :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.8.jpg

The down road from Khardung La towards Nubra was no good either for the next 7-8 Kms :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.9.jpg

The roads thereafter just got better with time :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.10.jpg

Right after we crossed Khardung La Pass, my friend Vinay started feeling a little sick. Indra (in the Scorpio) suggested that Vinay may travel with him for a while. The change for him might be welcoming and soothing. Moreover, as seen in most cases, being away from the bitter half eradicates the sickness even further

So it was me with Ekta in my Car and proceeded ahead as the last car of the convoy. Driving and stopping for photographs in leisure made us lag behind the convoy to a great extent. We reached North Pullu and submitted the 2nd copy of the Self Declaration Form and moved ahead. We could not find the convoy anywhere in the picture. As there was no mobile connectivity in the region (even of BSNL) an ambiguity crept in our minds, whether we have crossed them or are they way ahead from us. Unknowingly, we kept pacing up and thought of heading straight to the destination instead of wasting any time in the quest of the convoy; not knowing that we had missed the convoy which was parked in North Pullu for a food break.

Some pics to share of the roads getting better in this region :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.11.jpg

Majestic Landscape and colours :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.12.jpg

Driving, driving, driving we reached a junction from where we did not know which road to take. The milestones were also misleading. It was so 'filmy' that I just parked on one side in expectation of seeing mankind. Waited for a while and started feeling 'Lost in the Desert' types. A pic for the moment :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.13.jpg

Finally saw an Innova approaching from a far distance and started waving to him standing rather jumping in the middle of the road to know which road to take. Thanks to the him we took the right road. However, a few kilometers in and there was a road blockage due to some rock falling. Luckily it was being cleared and it would take around 15-20 Mins for the debris to be removed and the block to open for free movement. Still no contact with the convoy.

A picture of the traffic snarling towards the road block :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.14.jpg

Nothing to do, so might just give a pose :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.15.jpg

The block got cleared and we moved ahead. The terrain started to become more and more dry as we progressed. It was extremely hot and dry :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.16.jpg

Finally we got mobile connectivity and stopped in order to check on the rest of the team. After a lot of attempts, I got through Samba's number and got to know that they are 9Kms away from Khalsar and got to know that we had breezed past them in North Pullu. Decided to wait for the rest of the team :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.17.jpg

Both me and Ekta were feeling extremely hungry by now inspite of the regular nick nacks that we had feasted on. I thought of beating the heat with some chilled juice which was kept in the Food Bag (carried from Kolkata) and we enjoyed it taking a selfie :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.18.jpg

The team caught up and we headed to our hotel in Diskit where we had already asked for lunch to be made ready for us. The valley of Nubra was so beautiful that we could not resist taking pictures and delaying our Lunch further.

Some reflection of natural beauty while entering the Nubra Valley :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.19.jpg

A view of the Nubra Valley :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.20.jpg

The rest of the story in Part II ..... continued

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Old 7th October 2015, 20:54   #96
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DAY 8 : Part II : Sight Seeing in Nubra Valley

We had a simple yet a sumptuous lunch at the hotel and everyone in the team decided to take a power nap before leaving for Hunder. There were some different ideas cooking in my mind. While driving down to our resort, we had crossed the entrance to the Diskit Monastery and that was playing in my mind. I thought to myself that in order to get the best view of the valley, this is a must visit place. I asked Vinay and Ekta to join me and set sail.

The entrance to the Diskit Monastery :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.21.jpg

The rocks forming the wall of the driveway with the holiness encrypted :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.22.jpg

The Trio of Stupas :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.23.jpg

The Diskit Monastery :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.24.jpg

The series of prayer wheels :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.25.jpg

Rock on Rocks, on the rocks :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.26.jpg

Welcome to the peace of Nubra Valley :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.27.jpg

Crossroads viewed from atop of the Monastery :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.28.jpg

Picturesque :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.29.jpg

A view of the Nubra Valley from the Monastery :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.30.jpg

The Team Members were done with their respective power naps and they buzzed us up to reach Hunder directly to witness the double humped camels in their natural habitat. The scenic desert of Hunder awaited us and we did not let it wait much for our arrival.

But who knew that we will have to drive through a Sand Storm to reach Hunder :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.31.jpg

The sand storm covering the gigantic mountains as well :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.32.jpg

Posing after some sand bashing in Hunder :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.33.jpg

The radiator grill effect given by the mountains :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.34.jpg

A bored and yawning double humped camel :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.35.jpg

The caravan of the double humped camels :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.36.jpg

The sand was inviting us to relax and enjoy the surroundings :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.37.jpg

Vinay recording some time lapse :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.38.jpg

All in one place - Snow Peaks, Rocky Mountains, The Desert and Some Scattered Greenery :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.39.jpg

Myself enjoying the sands of time :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.40.jpg

An ode to my Fordy and Team BHP :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d8.41.jpg

What a well spent day at the Nubra Valley. Memories that would indeed be cherished for a lifetime. However, the evening was even better with some music (courtesy Arghya our teammate) over dinner. Really made the evening special, memorable and lots of fun.

Toll paid for the day : Nothing at All
Stay At Diskit : Sand Dunes Guest House
(Link shared on Page 2)
Note : You will be required to fill in 2 Copies of the Self Declaration Forms. One will be submitted at North Pullu and the other at South Pullu. No Tolls on this Route !


DAY 9 : Return from Nubra Valley to Leh

Everyone was relaxed and soaked in the beauty of the surroundings. However, all good things need to come to an end. So, we packed up and started our return journey to Leh form Nubra.

Figo's parting shot with Nubra :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d9.1.jpg

Stopped at North Pullu for a Coffee Break at the Army Run Cafeteria :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d9.2.jpg

Looking straight into the eyes of each other :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d9.3.jpg

Yaks having a bath in the stream flowing beside North Pullu :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d9.4.jpg

The drive back to Leh through the Khardung La Pass would be as smooth flowing as this stream water, now knowing the conditions and the terrain :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d9.5.jpg

No hitches what so ever and sailed back to Leh through Khardung La Pass. Strangely, the stretch of road post Khardung La towards South Pullu which was in tatters the day before, was now a free flowing dirt road. Meaning to say that the journey back to Leh was a speedy though a dusty one.

Toll paid for the Day : Nothing at All
Night Stay at Leh : Hotel Jorchung
(Link provided in previous posts)

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Old 7th October 2015, 20:56   #97
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DAY 10 : Part I : The Journey from Leh to Pangong via Changlang La Pass and Tangste

Finally the day when 6 Idiots from Kolkata with another 6 Idiots pay a visit to the "3 Idiots" Place !! Pangong Tso it is !!

The roads from Leh to Karuk on the Leh-Manali Highway was a fresh layer of rolled in Tarmac all throughout. A comfortable and an enjoyably scenic drive.

Entering the Leh-Manali Highway from Leh Town :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.1.jpg

Beautiful isolated road :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.2.jpg

A Photo Break :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.3.jpg

A few pictures of the road towards Changlang La Pass :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.4.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.5.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.6.jpg

Posing at the Changlang La Pass :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.7.jpg

Now At 17,586 Fts :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.8.jpg

Changla Baba Mandir :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.9.jpg

Closing into the Snow Capped peaks :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.10.jpg

The road upto Changlang La was considerably decent, however the grass was not greener on the other side though. The uneven road down from Changlang La was is utter tatters with numerous boulders scattered everywhere. Negotiating the hairpin bends with the oncoming traffic where the right of way had to be given to the latter was getting frustrating considering the condition of the roads. Thankfully there was no rain; meaning no slush on the road and no water crossings. What was playing in the mind of everyone at that time was what would happen on the the following day when we would have had to drive up Changlang La Pass .... again, back on our way to Leh

However, once we were through the downhill of Changlang La, the roads were excellent and extremely scenic. Could not resist sharing the snaps enroute :

On the Move : (Picture Courtesy - Arghya Pan)
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.11.jpg

Some snaps Enroute Tangste :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.12.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.13.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.14.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.15.jpg

Parked to take a break and was extremely lucky to find a cluster of the Himalayan Marmots right next to us :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.16.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.17.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.18.jpg

We pulled over to our Hotel in Tangste to unload the luggage from our Cars and loaded our tummies with a sumptuous Lunch. Rested for a short while before setting sail for Pangong Tso. The roads remained to be good and scenic.

Photo stops here and photo stops there !! Spot BHPian Samba and his Etios in the extreme end of the road clicking snaps too :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.19.jpg

Beautiful Road :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.20.jpg

Driving to Pangong Tso through narrow mountain roads :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.21.jpg

The first glimpse of the mighty Pangong Tso :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.22.jpg

Sunshine on the Lake made it look even more prettier. The song "Give me some sunshine" from the movie 3 Idiots started playing in my ears as we reached the so called "3 Idiots Lake". The destination was beautiful !! But, what was more beautiful was the journey. My next post shall unfold the beauty of Pangong Tso that we witnessed.

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Old 7th October 2015, 21:02   #98
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DAY 10 : Part II : Pangong Tso in it's Full Glory

Colours everywhere !! Abundance of Blue and a dash of Gold and Brown here and there. Some yellow of the flowers and some scattered green shrubs. The dusty sand and the multi coloured rocks, all made the surrounding so surreal !!

Setting the Focus right :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.23.jpg

The mesmerizing colours at Pangong Tso :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.24.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.25.jpg

The TEAM Lined up at Pangong Tso, captured from a different angle (perspective) :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.26.jpg

Such are the waves at the Pangong Tso :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.27.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.28.jpg

All at one place - The Water, The Mountains & the Snow Capped Peaks :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.29.jpg

Some Pictures of the Figo posing at the Pangong Tso :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.30.jpg

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.31.jpg

Reflection :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.32.jpg

Loved these Tent accommodations on the Pangong Tso and would have loved to stay in one of them. But, since we were travelling in a big group, fearing the effect of AMS on any one of the travelers, we stuck to the decision of staying in Tangste. Tents ..... next time for sure :

Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.33.jpg

The sun was setting and it was about to get dark. We thought it was better if we made a move back to Tangste from Pangong Tso. In fact, the moon was also out with the sun still left to set.

A picture :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.34.jpg

Closing the outing at Pangong with a Glass full of Hot Tea at the 3 Idiots CAFE to beat the chilling cold :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d10.35.jpg

Toll paid for the Day : Nothing At All
Stay At Tangste : Hotel Pangong Residency
, (Link shared on Page 2)
Note : You will be required to fill in 2 Copies of the Self Declaration Forms. One shall be submitted at the Check Post before the Changlang La Pass and the other one after crossing the Pass. Again No Tolls on this Route. Only a Rs.10/= per Car Fee while Entering the road to Pangong Lake


DAY 11 : Pangong Tso (rather Tangste) to Leh

Now that we were aware of the terrain of Changlang La, we were all set to go and take it on. Seriously, there was really no issue with the uphill drive to Changlang La. Just that we had to be a little careful of the boulders on the hairpins with of low ground clearance vehicles. So, correctly negotiating those was the key.

The "Z" Road from Changlang La to Leh :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d11.1.jpg

The isolated roads from Karuk to Leh :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d11.2.jpg

Spent the evening with some shopping around in the Main Market of Leh :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d11.3.jpg

Cannot miss the Apricots in Leh :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d11.4.jpg

Do not search for Apricot related stuff in the shops. They are usually sold by the locals on the pavement of the street in and around the Main Bazaar of Leh. For the Jam you will need to buy it from a store in the market itself. Check for yourself for the origin. I had High Court orders from Home for procuring the following :
  • Fresh Apricots - Cost Rs.90-100 a Kg
  • Apricot Jam manufactured locally in Leh (the non branded ones) - Cost Rs.120 a Bottle
  • Dried Apricots of the finest quality - Cost Rs.400/Kg

It was a Full Moon Night in Leh. The buddhists consider it to be very Holy and thus none of the restaurants would serve Non-Vegetarian Food on a Full Moon Night. Serving Liquor is also out of the question on this day. After a lot of research and knocking on various eatery doors, we freezed on The Dreamland Restaurant for the Team Dinner that Night. It is a multi cuisine restaurant, the North Indian Food I presume to be the Best we had in Leh.

A Picture of the Open Air Dining at The Dreamland Restaurant with entire Team :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-d11.5.jpg

My friend Vinay and his wife Ekta were supposed to part away from us post dinner for the rest of the trip as they had planned and booked up for Rafting and Trekking for the next 5 Days in and around Leh. Vinay had accompanied me on a few of my road trips and his company was always cherished. The Team members remembered him as a man who never felt cold ..... below the belt !!

This snap is dedicated to our times together during this trip :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-img_4742-2.jpg

Toll paid for the Day : Nothing At All
Stay At Leh : Hotel Jorchung
(Link provided in previous posts)

Now again it would be a Solo Drive for me from Leh - Hanle - Tso Moriri - Keylong - Manali - Delhi - Kolkata. Sometimes solitude is also blissful !! I shall share the update on the concluding part of the Solo Drive in my next post for which you will not have to wait for long. Watch out as the beauty of Ladakh unfolds itself in Hanle and Tso Moriri.

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Old 9th October 2015, 13:50   #99
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Default Re: Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata

Beautiful pictures with equally good narration. It's a privilege to travel with your chuddy-buddy especially for such road trips. Brings back the memories of such a road trip (Delhi to Bangalore) I did with my childhood friend.

Keep sharing the pictures and thanks for this wonderful travelogue.
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Old 9th October 2015, 15:13   #100
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Default Re: Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata

Great travelogue, equally brilliant set of photographs. Thanks for sharing nicely narrated Leh-Ladakh road trip experience.

Good to see Figo sailing through high passes, rough terrains of Ladakh.
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Old 9th October 2015, 15:31   #101
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Default Re: Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata

Fantastic travelogue. I spent most of my afternoon glued to this. The pictures and the writing are absolutely superb. One of the best I've read in T-BHP. Thanks. You guys must have had the time of your lives.
I always wonder whether a hatch can do a Leh/Ladakh, but your Figo(and others) have proved the case.
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Old 9th October 2015, 18:02   #102
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Arav, These are some of the best Ladakh pictures I have seen so far! I did not know that you are such a brilliant photographer too!!!
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Old 10th October 2015, 01:49   #103
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Brilliant narration and pictures Arav. This could well have been a separate travelogue. As I have said before, I will say it again, your Figo looks special with those subtle mods. Also, seeing the pic of your foot/ankle. Kudos to you for having the courage and tenacity to drive on
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Old 10th October 2015, 03:43   #104
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Default Re: Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata

First of all congrats to you and your better half for sharing the great news with us on the second paragraph of your post. (Post no 91)

Coming to the travelogue, its excellent narration with some mind-blowing photographs!

Kudos to you for completing the whole drive single-handedly with your hurt leg. As i shared the room with you, i knew how much pain you had to tolerate.

The below picture from your Figo perfectly matches your attitude.
Pic courtesy- Arghya Pan.
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-12039397_10203754658905491_2634383966719480616_n.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 10th October 2015 at 03:44.
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Old 10th October 2015, 11:08   #105
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Default Re: Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata

Thanks for the lovely comments and the warm responses. Glad that you guys loved every bit of it.

It was now time to sail along the winding roads from Leh to Hanle. A majestic drive !!

Sharing a teaser Pic enroute Hanle :
Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata-page-7-post-105.jpg

The Story shall continue on Page 8 of this thread. Keeping yourself glued guys !!
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