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Old 16th November 2015, 11:51   #76
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Nice, so whats the story of no camera policy? Someone clicked border pictures or something. Its sad, not to be able to take pictures at the highest motorable road.
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Old 16th November 2015, 15:03   #77
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Nice, so whats the story of no camera policy? Someone clicked border pictures or something. Its sad, not to be able to take pictures at the highest motorable road.
Seems something like that. They are annoyed with some pictures shared previously on the social networks. That's what was been told to us at almost all the check posts. Probably pictures of some military installations in that region.
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Old 16th November 2015, 20:10   #78
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Day 4 : 23rd September 2015
Ghastoli - Mana Pass

The howling winds and dripping water never let me sleep. Somehow when I heard the first voices around me jumped out of the tent. In some time we made tea and Oh! boy the hot tea was such a saviour. Thankfully my headache had subsided and I felt better.

By 06:00AM all the members have woke up and was chit chatting in anticipation of the day. XUV 500 team decided to park the vehicle at Ghastoli and hitch a ride in Fortuner and Gurkha.

Our plan was to come back to Ghastoli for the night and hence left all our tents and other heavy items at the camp.

Thankfully it stopped raining. But we were warned of fresh snowfall ahead, which would make the terrain difficult to tackle.

By 07:00 AM we started our journey to Mana Pass, "highest motorable road in the world". We have to reach Mana pass before 12:00 hours, since we are allowed to be there at the border before noon only. After 12:00 it is the turn of our neighbour.


The board gain
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Rattakona is the next check post after 18Kms. The current altitude at Ghastoli is 13000 feet.

In five kilometers we encountered our first steep section, and in the next two kilometers we got snow on the road. The entire region was white. painfully white. I was finding it difficult without goggles. The snow fall was so fresh, and I would say some 6 inches or more.


Another two kilometers ahead we saw an ITBP Jawan watching us. We stopped there, and had a chat with him. He was happy to meet us. He offered us tea, which we politely refused. We w anted to reach the top before 12:00 and we promised to have tea with him on return.

By now the support vehicle was having some difficulty in climbing the steep section as the snow cover hid the boulders below. Huffing puffing the camper somehow managed ahead and we moved on.

Another 5Kms ahead we stopped for regrouping. The snow was making it difficult for the bikers. Fortuner was managing it nice till now.

After the regroup and some rest we inched on and reached the next Check post Rattakona. It was 09:00AM by now. We showed our permissions at the check post, got warned against any photography and we moved on.

18Kms in 90 minutes. I would say comparing Bangalore traffic , this is great timing in that unforgiving terrain.

Some pictures from the web
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Mana Pass :  A dream come true-dsc02296.jpg


continued...
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Old 17th November 2015, 13:28   #79
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Top Notch TL Lalu. Excellent pics & personally I loved the mountain ones. It was pretty hilarious yet fantastic to see the scooter part of the journey . Also correct me if wrong, isn't Chitkul the last Indian village or is it Mana as mentioned in the TL. You know from all the different threads, I only have theoretical knowledge of all these places & zero practical .
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:49   #80
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
A video of the drive a little after Joshimath to Mana. Its unabridged video of over 1 hour. This will give you a feel of the route conditions till Mana village with altitudes marked in the video itself. Enjoy

Drive to Mana Village, the last village on the Indian Border
How did you overlay the info of the GPS Lat/Long and the speed on the Video? Is this a part of the GoPro recording option?
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Old 17th November 2015, 15:49   #81
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

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Originally Posted by RedDevil_KP View Post
Top Notch TL Lalu. Excellent pics & personally I loved the mountain ones. It was pretty hilarious yet fantastic to see the scooter part of the journey . Also correct me if wrong, isn't Chitkul the last Indian village or is it Mana as mentioned in the TL. You know from all the different threads, I only have theoretical knowledge of all these places & zero practical .

Thanks RedDevil.
Regarding Chitkul and Mana, both of these villages fall near the border. Hence both may be considered last villages at those regions. Beyond Mana there is a road all the way till Mana pass (ie the border itself), where as in Chitkul it ends in the village and you can trek with permissions to the border. In both places we need permissions from ITBP to go till the border.

A map for you
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-map.png


I will add more confusion to you. Consider Turtuk, that is yet another "last village" . This time the border is with another neighbour.
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Old 17th November 2015, 21:11   #82
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Day 4 : 23rd September 2015
Ghastoli - Mana Pass

By 09:00AM we moved on from Rattakona Check post. Rattakona is at an altitude of 4817m (15803 feet).

About 5Kms from Rattakona Check Post, the section became very difficult. It was a treacherous climb with big boulders hidden under the snow, coupled with tight curves. Alok was finding it difficult to place the wheels correctly for the climb.

Earlier trained from such escapades, I got out of the vehicle and stood on the foot board clinging on to the roof rails and watched the positioning of the tyres. We engaged 4x4 from this section on wards.

I was clinging on to the roof rails and at times it was really scary as the other side was deep valley for me, and if I had vertigo I would have been history by now . We slowly crawled placing the wheels right and inched forward. It was real teamwork, Alok trusted me with my judgement and we made it ahead.

We saw a n army outpost round the corner and we inched towards the post and thought of waiting for the others there. On taking the corner we got a real shock of our lives with a mad stream rushing on the road with at-least a feet of water above the boulders. Alok asked me to get inside as it would have been too dangerous for me hanging outside with all the body roll we expected from crossing the stream.

With me inside, he increased the momentum and jumped over the boulders under water and we crossed the stream. Thankfully we never had any nasty under body hits.

We pushed ourselves to the ITBP outpost and parked on level ground waiting for other to join in. ITBP guys welcomed us and we had some friendly chat waiting for the others.

By this time we could see Fortuner sailing through the stream with some nasty under body hits. A little later Gurkha joined in, and we were amazed to see our team mates on the roof of Gurkha.

On their arrival we came to know that the support vehicle was finding it difficult to negotiate the steep snowy and curvy section and they had parked it there itself. The bikes and the scooter was also parked ta that section. These members were accommodated in Gurkha and Fortuner and they moved ahead to reach where were parked. I would say it was the most wise decision given the circumstances.

The check post was Jagraon Check post. It was at a height of 5019m (16467 feet).

Here ITBP checked our permits and also the army outpost there checked it too. We were strongly warned one last time about any cameras, and we had told we had all of them kept at Mana village itself. They indeed did check on the wireless about our claims, and on receiving in the affirmative they let us go.

But we were to be accompanied by two armed ITBP guys. I thought it was a formality that we had to follow. But later it turned out to be much more than that.

We reallocated the team to all the three vehicles now. Thar, Gurkha and Fortuner were the three final vehicles that moved forward from Jagraon.

another few kilometers ahead, the snowy roads ended and roads became wider. Almost 5Kms later the road became very treacherous and we inched ahead steadily.

Some 7Kms from the check post we started seeing huge glaciers to our right. I saw a lake on the left and right, later to be confirmed to me as Rajas Tal (left) and Nag Tal (right).

Another one kilometer and we all screamed in joy at the first sight of the magnificent and huge Deo Tal. Deo Tal is the origin of sacred river Saraswati. Deo Tal comes to your right and we could also see Mukund Parwat.

We were at a height of 5477m(17970 feet)

I really really missed my camera. It was such a wonderful sight to behold. We stopped there waiting for Fortuner and Gurkha to join in.

Some pics from the web when the lake was frozen
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-77108641.jpg

Mana Pass :  A dream come true-7782768994_28c9db015e_b.jpg

When we were there the lake was pristine blue and absolutely still.


When the other two vehicles arrived ITBP jawans who were escorting us asked to drive forward. I asked Alok to note how much we moved ahead from there. We drove on ahead another 2Kms before we were asked to park our vehicles. From there we could see Deo Tal far below surrounded by Glaciers.


We have come ahead 2 kilometers from Deo Tal board. I thought this was it. That we have done the pass. Wow!!


But what followed was amazing and beyond words.....

continued...
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Old 17th November 2015, 21:39   #83
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Day 4 : 23rd September 2015
Ghastoli - Mana Pass


Every one who is dreaming on doing Mana pass must read this wonderful report of a an amazing trek from Nelang to Mana and further

Trek route
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-nelangmap.png



I will post some pictures from this log for our story telling. Copyright belongs to the author of the blog, and I am using them here only to aid the story. I unconditionally thank the author and the photographer for these wonderful pictures and report.


Rattakona
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-01.jpg

The roads that go towards Rattakona Check post and further to Badrinath

Mana Pass :  A dream come true-02.jpg

Road from Deo Tal to Jagraon Check Post
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-03.jpg

Saraswati Valley and Badrinath far down
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-04.jpg

Deo Tal from a height. From the picture it looks almost clicked a little ahead from Deo Tal and much before the place we parked our vehicles
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-05.jpg

This picture shows the road continuing on wards from Deo Tal. We went ahead two kilometers in this road from the Deo Tal board before we parked.
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-06.jpg

A panorama of Saraswati valley
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-07.jpg

Having been there in person, the marking in this picture seems to be an approximation
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-08.jpg

continued...
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Old 17th November 2015, 22:10   #84
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Day 4 : 23rd September 2015
Ghastoli - Mana Pass

Ghastoli to Deo Tal map
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-ghastoli-deo-tal.jpg

Deo Tal
Mana Pass :  A dream come true-deotal-manapass.jpg


From the marked point on the map, we drove on ahead another 2Kms before we were asked to park our vehicles. From there we could see Deo Tal far below surrounded by Glaciers.


We have come ahead 2 kilometers from Deo Tal board. I thought this was it. That we have done the pass. Wow!!


But what followed was amazing and beyond words.....


continued...
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Old 18th November 2015, 12:07   #85
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Beautiful travelogue and photos! Waiting for more .

Out of curiosity, how did the scooter fare on the snowy/wet terrain?
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:15   #86
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Beautiful travelogue and photos! Waiting for more .

Out of curiosity, how did the scooter fare on the snowy/wet terrain?
Scooter as far as it went, it did very nice. Don't forget the enormous torque that little thing has . Due to snow and unable to identify the boulders below it, it was parked a little before Jagraon check post.
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Old 18th November 2015, 21:56   #87
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One of the last places Pandavas stopped on their way to heaven. It is believed that the water from this falls never fell on sinners. A silver colored fall tumbling from a great height of about 500 feet.
Vasudhara Falls & sorrounding valleys! It really looks like the route to heaven!

Icy mountains! foggy valleys! The pass you cross! They look like a dream land in a fairy tale! Blessed to see the Deo Tal, origin of the sacred river Saraswati.

Have seen choppers flying through these kind of valleys in hollywood movies. Now i see you gutsy men walking across those mighty mountains!
With every picture you post, respect to our army jawans increase boundlessly. They dare these climate and valleys day in day out! Salute.
Thanks for the breathtaking pictures. Deserve more than 5 starts.
Glued.
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Old 19th November 2015, 10:39   #88
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Vasudhara Falls & sorrounding valleys! It really looks like the route to heaven!

Icy mountains! foggy valleys! The pass you cross! They look like a dream land in a fairy tale! Blessed to see the Deo Tal, origin of the sacred river Saraswati.

Have seen choppers flying through these kind of valleys in hollywood movies. Now i see you gutsy men walking across those mighty mountains!
With every picture you post, respect to our army jawans increase boundlessly. They dare these climate and valleys day in day out! Salute.
Thanks for the breathtaking pictures. Deserve more than 5 starts.
Glued.
Thanks Raaj.
UK in winters would blow your mind away. Plan some trips

And yes, respects to the Army
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Old 25th November 2015, 00:46   #89
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Where art thou Laluks? Getting a little impatient waiting for the next installment. If I am not wrong the best is yet to come.

Last edited by vinayrathore : 25th November 2015 at 00:47.
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Old 25th November 2015, 18:35   #90
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Default Re: Mana Pass : A dream come true

Great going laluks! Enjoying your very good travelogue, but also missing the pictures that usually accompany your travelogues.

A friend of mine is going till auli / joshimath next week.
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