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Old 1st November 2015, 14:51   #1
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Default Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

With 4 days in hand, how much is too much? 200kms, 400kms, 500kms? Simple answer - whatever the lady of the house agrees to!

In my case, it was to be strictly less than 500kms (door-to-door). Well, I ended up with 1200kms. And yes, my marriage still survives.

Dussera offered us a rare opportunity of getting a nice 4-day break with just 1 leave. With the single leave sorted, I set out to check out the places in reach, within the 500kms limit. Nothing appealed and we eventually decided to pay Himachal another visit.

On my last visit to Tirthan valley (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...l-pradesh.html (A Weekend @ Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh)), I wanted to explore the Jalori Pass, but could not do it due to lack of time. Jalori it was going to be this time!

And boy! Himachal never disappoints. The hospitality is simply out-of-this-world!
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Old 1st November 2015, 15:13   #2
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Day 1: Delhi - Shimla - Narkanda - Jalori Pass - Jibhi

A mid night start ensured we were out of Delhi in no time. Even the highway looked comparatively empty at this time. We made good progress and stopped at Zhilmil, Karnal for tea. Day break happened somewhere around Shimla. We were able to cross Shimla fairly quickly given the time of day. (~7.30am).

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Sun about to break out

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Morning rays on the hills

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Just after Shimla

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Somewhere near Theog


After that, it was a non-stop run to Narkanda, where we had our breakfast at The Hatu. The hotel seemed like a mess this time, very different from the memories we had of this place from 2014. Expansion is in progress and I guess, it will soon be ready to host a lot more guests than it can now.

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Breakfast Stop at The Hatu, Narkanda


By 9:00 am, we were ready to hit the road. For a moment, I thought about visiting the Hatu peak as well. Sanity prevailed however, and the passengers vetoed my decision. Anyway, we marched ahead towards Jalori on a whim and a prayer!

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Approaching Luhri

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Bridge at Luhri

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Better part of road


The roads were good-bad in patches, but nothing really troublesome. The road is being built in many places and we faced one such road block which costed us 30-40 mins. Everything changed however, once the countdown (the last 10 kms) for Jalori started.

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Man and its creations dwarfed by Nature (look at the cars/buses in the distance)


When we were around 5 km away from Jalori Top, roads actually ceased to exist. Little did we know, we will not come across any tarmac for the next 15-20 kms.

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Roads disappear

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Water flowing down

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Just a dirt track with generous helping of rocks

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Better part of the terrible roads to Jalori


At places, I had to downshift to 1st, stop completely and start again. Most of the time, I was in 2nd. I was worried about the boulders, sharp rocks causing damage to the tyre sidewalls more than anything else. But the Wanderers managed just fine. There was almost a picnic scene at the top! With a lot of cars/pick-ups/Boleros occupying both sides of the road.

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Views from Jalori - 1

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Views from Jalori - 2

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Views from Jalori - 3

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Resting after the arduous climb! At 3135 meters.

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During descent

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MyTrack stats from near Luhri to Jibhi. Cleary the steepest section is when you approach Jalori from Jibhi


After a gruelling 16 hour drive, we reached our destination - Jibhi. This was to be our home for the next 3 days.

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Yup, that's the parking!

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We walk down the steep incline, while the boys rush down with our luggage


Latoda Huts is now operated by the owner directly and is not under JD anymore. It was full and we got accommodation in JD's Pinewood cottage. Not as picturesque as the Latoda Hut, but nature all around was just the same. We weren't complaining, and after spending time here, I can safely say, whatever this place lacks in looks or finesse, the hosts more than make up for it with their hospitality.

contd..
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Old 1st November 2015, 15:30   #3
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Day 2: In and around Jibhi

After a rather tiring day, we decided to laze around the property itself and not venture too far. A late breakfast later, we decided to walk to a waterfall nearby with packed lunch.

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Ho shuru har din aise!! (composition shamelessly copied from @rkbharat )​

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New road being cut out

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Liked the bright yellow amongst all the brown and green

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Sharpened!

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Little did we know, a few more steps and it would get so secluded! It felt as if we were deep in a tropical forest somewhere with no signs of human presence anywhere.

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Can you spot a path?​


Soon we reached our destination. It was a smallish fall, with some stones arranged around it to create an artificial pool. In a clearing near it, were 5 tree stumps neatly arranged in a circle. To double up as a seating place for a picnic! Even though, now it looked more of a setup, we did not mind. Such was the peace and tranquility at the place. The water was freezing of course, made my legs numb in under 5 mins.

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Missed my wide angle lens & SLR very badly here

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Pristine water

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Our Picnic spot!

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Packed sandwiches and noodles (missed maggi!)

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Some kind of religious formations, near the fall

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After spending our entire afternoon at the spot, we walked back to the cottage. Spent the remaining daylight by the side of the stream.

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Interesting formations at the banks - reminded me of passes and even Pangong


In the evening, we had a nice bon-fire and enjoyed home cooked snacks! The boys at Pinewood, though excellent at making one feel at home and taking care of all the needs, weren't too good as cooks. We had to add our own twist and get the dinner cooked under supervision. No complaints though, we enjoyed the cooking session as well.

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As the night progressed, the temperature dropped drastically and we eventually retired to the warmth of our rooms.

contd..

Last edited by Dry Ice : 1st November 2015 at 18:02.
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Old 1st November 2015, 17:42   #4
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Day 3: Jibhi - Bahu - Baloo

This was the day I was looking forward to the most, after Jalori. Reading about the place for the first time, I was instantly hooked. Quoting the post -

Quote:
This is the Baloo Sar temple. Picture this - Dense forest, low light, piles and piles of iron waste offered as prasad, not even a single soul around. The place had lot of character. It was unlike any of the place that Ive seen till date. It inspired awe and fear. This is a very powerful God, Prakash said, if anyone removes any of the item from here, he is haunted till he comes back and returns it. I agreed or else there would have been no reason as to why the things continue to remain there. The junk must be worth a lot of rupee for the thieves.
As we were to find out, it was everything as described above and probably more.

Day started out rather slowly, after a relaxed breakfast and morning tea, we were on the road towards Bahu. Jeet (JD's cousin) was accompanying us. The drive to Bahu was very scenic. Roads were good/bad, on and off but not really a patch on Jalori . Snow peaks were visible at a distance again, after Jalori. Parked the car near Bahu village and soon we were on foot. Some dashcam snaps first up -

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Roads disappeared soon, but not too many stones (thankfully!)

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Beauty at every turn

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At Bahu, had Maggi at the one of the stalls on return leg​

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Beautiful snow peaks at a distance - from Bahu

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The climb begins


The road 'looked' motorable for a while, but there were some sections with very sharp, lose rocks (signs of road works?). Remember reading about a Thar that travelled all the way to Sheshnag temple. 4x4s should be able to manage fine I guess - sans the lose sharp rocks.

The trek was through dense woods, with occasional villages appearing on the slopes below or on opposite hills. A steep climb at places, easy walk at others and even downhill in some. We enjoyed the fresh air and sweet smell of the Deodars. It was a truly refreshing experience. Unspoilt nature at its best

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Woods are lovely, dark and deep!

Soon we came upon a 'unnamed' lake. The setting looked very beautiful. Even though the lake was covered with some kind of muddy substance, it did not really look 'dirty'. There is small temple to the right of the lake a few steps up.

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The muddy lake

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Wonderful views

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A lone Pine cone fighting on!

Soon we reached a meadow. Tall deodars surrounded the whole meadow and it looked surreal. Sheshnag Temple is situated right in the middle, with a few settlements around it. There was a smallish pond as well near by. The temple was closed as we were told the "Dev" have gone to Kullu for Dussera and won't be back until next month, some pictures of the place -

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Shehnag Temple

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Hawan area (?)

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Some old idols placed the back of the temple

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Is that urdu?

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A small pond nearby

contd..
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Old 1st November 2015, 17:58   #5
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Day 3: Jibhi - Bahu - Baloo contd..

A little ahead of the Sheshnag Temple, was the Baloo Temple.

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First View

The place was eerily calm. There were signs of a recent worship that had taken place maybe a few days/hours back. Random trees had these red cloths tied around them. Some stones had these stains that looked quite like blood (not sure though).

True to my expectations, this is one place that evokes mixed reactions. While I was enjoying the nature, my co-travellers felt uneasy. Often minding their steps about where they were stepping. Anyway, after spending a few minutes we started the walk back.

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A structure near the temple, looked like it's used for cooking

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Another view. The platform around it is a recent development - wasn't there in earlier pics of the place

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Deities?

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The main trident

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Filled with Iron

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Another smallish temple, some distance away

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Walking back, notice the height of the trees. They were h-u-g-e!

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Colourful flora

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Interesting formations

The walk back was rather eventless and faster than our onward journey. Near the parking place, we had Maggi + soup. It was unlike any Maggi we had had before - spicy, soupy - absolutely no taste of Maggie

We returned back to the cottage and spent the rest of the day by the stream yet again.

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The weather was quite chilly, and we decided against spending another day outside by the fire. So had our dinner indoors.

Day 4: Jibhi - Delhi

After a sound sleep, we left for Delhi by 9 am the next morning. This time took the regular Manali route through Bilaspur, Swarghat. Just 1 pic to share taken near Aut on the return journey.

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Waterfall coming down from somewhere, Beas in beautiful colors​

Reached back home around 11 pm - inclusive of 2 breaks, one at Bilaspur for lunch and second at Murthal for evening tea. At Karnal, to our horror, we had to negotiate bumper to bumper traffic. And then similar scene at almost every toll. Guess it was due to the Dussera Weekend.

The End​

Last edited by Dry Ice : 1st November 2015 at 18:03.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 10:43   #6
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd November 2015, 10:47   #7
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Thanks for sharing. Love such travelogues which are full of pictures! Good write up as well. The Shehnag Temple reminds me of a similar temple I had been to while on a trek in Himachal.

On another note, since you have mentioned; Is Maggi fit for consumption now?

-Bhargav
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Old 2nd November 2015, 13:43   #8
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Thanks for sharing the travelogue. From the pictures you have posted, I can only imagine the peace and tranquility that you experienced amidst nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Attachment 1434057
Interesting formations at the banks - reminded me of passes and even Pangong[/i][/center]​
Nearly half a decade ago, I visited the Canadian Rockies and learnt something new about these structures. They're called Inukshuk.

Quote:
The mysterious stone figures known as inuksuit can be found throughout the circumpolar world. Inukshuk, the singular of inuksuit, means "in the likeness of a human" in the Inuit language. They are monuments made of unworked stones that are used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path.
Source

I'm not sure whether these are related in anyway as inukshuks were used by the people belonging to the Arctic region; but I did find some similarity with what I saw back then, hence posted here.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 14:47   #9
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Dear Dry Ice - hello to you. Thank you for the wonderful Jalori Pass travelogue, which brought back wonderful memories of the Himalayan Rally. Climbing the Jalori Pass was one of the high points of the rally. I remember that we had to drive for 8 kms out of the 40 odd kilometres from Luri to Banjar (on the way to Manali) in first gear. There was no road at all, with continuous steep climb. I was in a Jeep, but most of the cars were Padminis and Ambassadors! You can read all about it in the "Himalayan Rally - A Flashback" thread on this forum. Thanks once again.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 3rd November 2015, 09:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octane_Power View Post
On another note, since you have mentioned; Is Maggi fit for consumption now?
Well, Maggi is synonymous with instant noodles in our country. It wasn't Maggi exactly, but some other brand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Nearly half a decade ago, I visited the Canadian Rockies and learnt something new about these structures. They're called Inukshuk.

I'm not sure whether these are related in anyway as inukshuks were used by the people belonging to the Arctic region; but I did find some similarity with what I saw back then, hence posted here.
Thanks for sharing! Never knew about what these are called. Purpose could be same as these things are also seen on remote passes - to signal human presence or someone has been here before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Dry Ice - hello to you. Thank you for the wonderful Jalori Pass travelogue, which brought back wonderful memories of the Himalayan Rally. Climbing the Jalori Pass was one of the high points of the rally. I remember that we had to drive for 8 kms out of the 40 odd kilometres from Luri to Banjar (on the way to Manali) in first gear. There was no road at all, with continuous steep climb. I was in a Jeep, but most of the cars were Padminis and Ambassadors! You can read all about it in the "Himalayan Rally - A Flashback" thread on this forum. Thanks once again.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
So glad to hear from you sir! Thanks for the kind words.

I have been through that thread, and absolutely loved the pics shared by you and Hell Kull. The state of roads right now was so bad, can't imagine how much worse it would have been back in the day.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 14:34   #11
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Default Re: Tranquil Himachal, Arduous Jalori!

Nice travelogue .. good write up with a lot of pictures - even while you were on the go!!
The place looks very peaceful!!
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Old 4th November 2015, 00:40   #12
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Hi Dryice, I was in Jibhi as well during this period though I drive directly from Gurgaon via Chandigarh-Mandi-Aut-Banjar-Jibhi. We stayed there for 3 nights and do remember passing by your Scorpio parked beside Latoda hut while driving to the temple uphill.

Last edited by outdoorlover : 4th November 2015 at 00:43.
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Old 4th November 2015, 00:44   #13
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A very well written travelogue and brilliant pictures. Thank you for sharing. I also did Jalori Pass a few months back and approached it from Aut- Tirthan side. Found the incline really hard to negotiate at times in a 2W drive. Narrowness of the road and absence of proper tarmac was only adding to the woes. I wonder if it was just the rookie driver in me or is this really one of the difficult motorable climbs?
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Old 4th November 2015, 14:48   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepv View Post
Nice travelogue .. good write up with a lot of pictures - even while you were on the go!!
The place looks very peaceful!!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorlover View Post
Hi Dryice, I was in Jibhi as well during this period though I drive directly from Gurgaon via Chandigarh-Mandi-Aut-Banjar-Jibhi. We stayed there for 3 nights and do remember passing by your Scorpio parked beside Latoda hut while driving to the temple uphill.
Wow, It's a small world after all! Where did you guys stay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itinerant View Post
A very well written travelogue and brilliant pictures. Thank you for sharing. I also did Jalori Pass a few months back and approached it from Aut- Tirthan side. Found the incline really hard to negotiate at times in a 2W drive. Narrowness of the road and absence of proper tarmac was only adding to the woes. I wonder if it was just the rookie driver in me or is this really one of the difficult motorable climbs?
Thank you!

I felt the same while coming down - the climb from Jibhi side is much steeper. Even I am not really a pro but just made sure I was in the right gear at the right time.
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Old 5th November 2015, 07:29   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Wow, It's a small world after all! Where did you guys stay?





We were staying at Leena's cottage. I had driven down in our Honda City and hence going via Mandi-Aut-Banjar was the only option due to road conditions in the route via Shimla. But had a great time in the place.

I also noticed that you had made another trip in the vicinity to Tirthan valley. Which trip did you enjoy more- Jibhi or Tirthan?

Your posts made fascinating reading coupled with the beautiful visual imagery that you've added.
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