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Old 5th October 2015, 09:50   #16
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Day 7 – 12th Sept | Kaza – Manali (continued…)

As we get back on the road to Batal, we see several of these glacier-fed water streams flowing down the slopes of the charcoal black mountains.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_rivulets.jpg

The road continues to be narrow and any oncoming traffic leads to one of the two backing off till a safe place for a pass is found. Again, one of the benefits of travelling in a Mahindra Convoy. The lead / advance team ensured that most of the oncoming traffic stops at a safe place as they are forewarned abut the 20+ vehicles in the convoy coming their way. Here I must say that almost 99.9% of people driving in the hills are very caring & compassionate about traffic and at first instance of oncoming traffic people stop accordingly. Many-a-times, we stopped our convoy to give way to oncoming traffic or folks who wanted to overtake us. Seems like road rage or bad traffic manners is one more thing we city slickers have a monopoly on:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_truck.jpg

We eventually reach Chandra dhaba at around 3.00 and what a relief was it to see food:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_dhaba.jpg

The dhaba is a very famous halting place for travelers and the owners are one of the best people you can meet on your journey. They even have certificates of bravery awards adoring the dhaba walls. One can't help but notice how our dependence on online forums has impacted even remote places with signs of ratings of trip-advisor prominently displayed:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_chandradhaba.png

We dig into the food and again, simple hot noodles (not maggi) and a plate of rice / rajma / potato / daal, along with the VERY RED HOT chutney, never tasted better:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_food.png

After a well-deserved lunch break we move ahead and the roads vanish. We are continuously travelling on the river bed and it gets worse. Advance team tells us about stuck Innovas / Santros ahead. They rescue them and we slowly move along confused whether it's the river we driving on or the road:
Yeah, that's the road track -- not a river that we traveling in. (pic courtesy, my fellow adventurer)
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_riverroad.jpg

Again, this the THE road. And come to think of it, some of the stretches from Kaza to Gramphoo are part of the Raid-de-Himalaya extreme stages:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_riverroad1.jpg

We pass some amazing glaciers on the way. One of them was a VERY big one – called the Bara-Shigri glacier. It is supposedly the second largest glacier in India, after the Gangotri glacier. With the sun going down the mountains, we reach the village of Chatru and stop for a tea break:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_chatru.jpg

As we move towards gramphu we encounter a small JCB that has got stuck while laying the cables and it takes some time to recover it and clear the road. We also notice a Scorpio Getaway with a couple and the torsion bar of the Getaway has broken. The ever reliable service team of Gulshan get to work on it and the couple get in one of the adventurer Scorpios till Manali. They must be thinking that our convoy was God-sent convoy of angels for them:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_jamgetaway.jpg

Eventually, we reach Rohtang by around 7.00 and it being dark all around we couldn’t see anything. The roads had suddenly become butter smooth and we all realized that we had to drive more cautiously now. The fog was all around us and many of us mistook it be the dirt we had encountered all these days. Such is how the mind conditions you and things seem to appear what they aren’t.

Finally we reach Johnson Lodge in Manali and boy, what a party that was happening there on Saturday night! We needed no second invitation to join in the fun:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day7_manali_party.jpg

It really had been a long drive - from 5.30 in the morning from Kaza to nearly 10.00 in the night till Manali.

Last edited by GTO : 5th October 2015 at 09:57.
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Old 5th October 2015, 09:50   #17
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Day 8 – 13th Sept | Manali

We get up in a relaxed manner as we had nowhere to drive to today and this was supposed to be a take-it-easy day. The Johnson lodge was a perfect place for this and many a folks wanted to try out their trouts but unfortunately couldn’t.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_john.png

Till post 11.00 in the morning folks were having a lazy breakfast and catching up on emails and mobiles– something that we had forgotten over the past 2-3 days of nil cellular coverage.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_latebf.jpg

Breakfast done and dusted it was time to go to Martins for lunch. This place is supposed to be open only on Sundays and is famous for their roast chicken. People pooled in the cars and drove to this place nestled amongst an apple orchard
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_matrins.jpg

The seating is under the trees and the cool breeze makes it a perfect place for a Sunday lunch
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_reachmartin.jpg

This is what the fuss was all about – the chicken roast
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_martinfood.png

While some people gorge on an endless supply of desserts, some get to burning calories by playing football.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_play.jpg

Hari and his support team. These are the folks that work tirelessly to ensure that all adventurers have a memorable trip.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_hariteam.jpg

Lunch over, me and few others decide to walk back to the hotel, instead of driving, and also see old manali on the way. It was a looooong walk back and we chit-chatted on thousand different topics and admiring the views on the way. Dozens of rent-a-bike shops and you had bikes gathering dust all over
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_dirtymc.jpg

We see an old wooden house and it looked like the last man standing amongst the hotels & guest houses that were mushrooming all over
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_oldhouse.jpg

Old manali street had a nice feel to it with vibrant colors and it seemed that it caters mainly to the Israeli tourists as most shops had boards and signs in Hebrew also.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_old_manali.jpg

We reached back almost at sunset and we see people playing badminton
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_play1.jpg

And few chit-chatting. These chit-chat sessions were awesome and nice bonds got formed over such sessions that carry beyond the journey.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_chitchat.jpg

So, again it’s time to move on to the dinner venue – Belivista caf’e, a place famous for its vegetarian menu. The place had low set seating and provided a nice relaxed ambiance for the last evening we all would be spending together on this trip. The all-veg menu of delicious wood fired pizza's, bruschettas, pita bread with hummus and molten chocolate cake desserts was enough to make even the hard-core non-veg folks relish the food.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_belvista.png

Over the dinner we had a vote of thanks and the closing ceremony but not before the daily ritual of some adventurer penning down their thoughts on a standee about the journey so far. Needless to say everyone had nothing but great things to say; and rightly so.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_standee.jpg

Hari and Mahindra officials hand over the certificates to all the adventurers and we say few words of thanks to the organizers for putting up a great show and their attention to detail during the whole trip.
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day8_closing.jpg

Next day, back to Chandigarh.

Last edited by GTO : 5th October 2015 at 09:54.
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Old 5th October 2015, 09:50   #18
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Day 9 – 14th Sept | Manali - Chandigarh

One batch of adventurers leave very early morning to Chandigarh as they had an early evening flight to catch. The rest of us leave by 9.00 from Manali.

Scorpio covered with all the dust, something that was our constant companion in the past 8-9 days:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day9_dust.jpg

The floating Thar looking like it has been to places it was designed to go to:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day9_thar.jpg

The drive to Chandigarh was a normal road drive with radio chatter all the way and stops for tea, lunch (at Mandi) and evening snacks by the Nagal dam.

We reach Chandigarh almost after sunset and the trip meter of our Scorpio showed 1446 kms traveled over the past 9 days:
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-mahindra_spiti_escape_day9_final_odo.jpg

We all say our byes, which take forever, and most of the adventurers had already started looking forward to the next long Special Escape.

Some are already beginning to miss driving in a convoy on those non-existent-dusty-roads with breath-taking views at each turn of the road with Hari, the lead vehicle, asking the float vehicle to keep the "convoy tight":
Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)-last_pic.jpg

Disclaimer: Mahindra invited Team-BHP for the Himalayan Spiti Escape. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 5th October 2015 at 11:22.
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Old 5th October 2015, 11:28   #19
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

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

Thoroughly enjoyable report, Khan_Sultan! Loved the read. Rating thread a well-deserved 5 stars.
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Old 5th October 2015, 12:36   #20
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

Adventurous Report sir Went through the report in one go and rated a well deserved 5 stars. Would love to be part of this adventure at least once in a life time

Couple of questions from my end,

1. As Mahindra owners, do we get a chance to participate in these events?
2. What was the cost involved for this from your end? How different is this from doing it on our own(cost wise)?
3. Do they allow self owned cars for this adventure?
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Old 5th October 2015, 12:58   #21
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

Wow a very detailed report and lovely pics !

I was on my way to Spiti around the same time on my motorcycle, and saw the entire group overtake us near Timber Trail, Parwanoo. I have to agree Langza, Hikkim and Komic are very beautiful villages, breathtakingly stunning.

Also the switchbacks to Chandratal, they were a little challenging on motorbikes as they had soft sand at many bends but the lake itself is surreal. You have beautifully captured the entire journey. Great read.

Rated 5 stars !
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Old 5th October 2015, 13:20   #22
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

Very impressive writeup.
I have plans to procure a Scorpio or XUV - automatic transmission preferably.
When I asked for a test drive, I got a call saying saying that I can get a chance to go on Mahindra Adventures or something like that. I did not know what was implied. I saw this travelogue and now I hope that this is what is meant!

Please excuse me for asking the same questions that others have asked before me - what are the cost implications if one is not invited or sponsored?

Thanking you in advance for your reply.
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Old 5th October 2015, 13:53   #23
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

FANTASTIC !
Very well summarized and photographed !

Thank you for the detailed writeup.
I can imagine the kick you would have got post this drive !

Thanks again !

Shailesh..
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Old 5th October 2015, 14:01   #24
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

Quote:
Originally Posted by fusionbang View Post
Adventurous Report sir Went through the report in one go and rated a well deserved 5 stars. Would love to be part of this adventure at least once in a life time
Thanks. I enjoyed penning it down too.

Quote:
Couple of questions from my end,

1. As Mahindra owners, do we get a chance to participate in these events?
2. What was the cost involved for this from your end? How different is this from doing it on our own(cost wise)?
3. Do they allow self owned cars for this adventure?
#1: You don't need to be a Mahindra owner to be part of these events. ANYONE can join

#2: The cost varies from event to event. For the Spiti escape it is 1,25,000/- for 2 persons. This includes vehicle + first tank of fuel + lodging/food for these 9 days. You need to take care of reaching the start venue + subsequent fuel fills + tolls if any. You can find all the details -- including the costings here: Mahindra Adventure Website

One can do this own your own and may be the cost 'could' be lower but I think there is NO way I can replicate the experience that I would have through such events with no headache of planning, route, logistics etc. With this I can just focus on driving and enjoying.
Having said that, the fun of planning/doing it own your own (or with friends) is totally different and can't be compared with this. Both are different and have their own fun/pros-cons.

#3: NO. For special escapes you are provided with a vehicle. For Great Escapes(1 day events), you can get you own MAHINDRA vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Wow a very detailed report and lovely pics !
I was on my way to Spiti around the same time on my motorcycle, and saw the entire group overtake us near Timber Trail, Parwanoo. I have to agree Langza, Hikkim and Komic are very beautiful villages, breathtakingly stunning.
....
Thanks ///M Travelling on a motorcyle on that terrain is altogether different. Respect for people who do it on motorcycles. I am sure you must have enjoyed it a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKMahajan View Post
Very impressive writeup.
...
Please excuse me for asking the same questions that others have asked before me - what are the cost implications if one is not invited or sponsored?

Thanking you in advance for your reply.
Thanks. See the answer above. Just browse through Mahindra Adventure website and you will get all the details.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 5th October 2015 at 14:38.
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Old 5th October 2015, 14:32   #25
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Dear khan_sultan,

I am doubly impressed - First a great write-up and then such a prompt response to my post!

I have NO choice - I have given you full 5 stars.
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Old 5th October 2015, 15:14   #26
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

That is a great Travelogue. Went through the entire writeup in one go. Superb Pictures with amazing details.
I too got a mail regarding the same Spiti Escape from Mahindra in end August. I initially planned for it too but had to drop out as plans to hit Leh materialized.
Would love to be a part of such escapes sometime in the future.
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Old 5th October 2015, 16:39   #27
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Super. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thanks very much for sharing.
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Old 5th October 2015, 16:57   #28
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What a gem of a travelogue coupled with great narration and pictures. Some pictures were just majestic and larger than life. I have been left speechless by reading through this.

Must say that this is easily amongst one of the best travelogue I have read on team-bhp so far.

Rated a very well deserved 5 stars.

Cheers!
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Old 5th October 2015, 23:09   #29
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Default Re: Report & Pics: The 2015 Himalayan Spiti Escape (Mahindra Adventure)

Simply breathtaking. I had first found out about Spiti when a mutual friend had mentioned his adventures to Spiti on a hired Bullet. When it comes to road trips me and my friends often joke about not telling anyone about our plans or else the entire population of Delhi NCR would pack their bags and head for this 'new found discovery' Ironically the truly serene pictures posted on this travelogue beg simply to just that ! Also, events such as these really go a long way to show off the capabilities of Mahindra vehicles.
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Old 5th October 2015, 23:51   #30
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Wow amazing, good to see so many Mahindra's together having fun and at a place which is amazngly beautiful. Enjoyed the whole episode, it was crispy to the point and some amazing pictures.
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