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Old 8th December 2015, 14:54   #31
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Lovely Travelogue //M,

First of all, kudos to your parents! Enduring a long trip like this one takes some good amount of courage.
You've covered some tough terrains without hitting the underbelly! Tough to believe because the general perception is that the Honda sedans are "down-to-earth".
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Old 8th December 2015, 14:56   #32
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Sad that you couldn't push on to Gurez. It is supposed to be a hidden jewel and is right up there on my list of places to visit.


Did you have any listed places to see and stay in that region?

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The not so pleasant bit was I had an argument with a taxi driver who parked his Sumo just before my car and demanded how I had occupied his parking place. A cop who was directing traffic there asked me to park the car there, but when these taxi drivers started arguing, the cop bluntly started supporting them. I was taken by surprise, when he mentioned to the taxi drivers that I had parked the car without asking anybody. I realized that there is no point in arguing with them so we left Chandanwari and started our journey towards Aru.

It is sad to see the most beautiful of places being held at ransom by local ruffians and thugs posing as agents, touts and taxi drivers. Kashmir, Manali, Ladakh... it's the same story everywhere.

Its these little things which leave a very bad taste in the mouth.

I remember being chased around by gang of pony-walas at Sanasar lake. It was a most enchanting place but these people kept on haggling us for no reason and made sure we are not given any privacy whatsoever. After bearing with then for half an hour or so, we packed ourselves back into our cars and returned to the much less prettier Patnitop.

The chaps at Gulmarg are supposed to be particularly notorious.

We were thinking about going to Gulmarg this Jan but the plan was dropped just for this reason. I am particularly allergic to these kind of shenanigans and am not going to a place where people will try their best to sabotage the peace and quiet.
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Old 8th December 2015, 15:03   #33
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

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Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Sad that you couldn't push on to Gurez. It is supposed to be a hidden jewel and is right up there on my list of places to visit.

Did you have any listed places to see and stay in that region?
Yes sir we had booked hotels in Katra for one night, in Srinagar for three nights, in Yusmarg for 1 night, in Aru for 1 night and in Daksum for 1 night. So more or less these places were in consideration. The idea of Gurez happened much later. If we were on a high GC vehicle, might have considered to venture out to Gurez and Purana Tilel instead of staying at Srinagar.

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Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
It is sad to see the most beautiful of places being held at ransom by local ruffians and thugs posing as agents, touts and taxi drivers. Kashmir, Manali, Ladakh... it's the same story everywhere.

Its these little things which leave a very bad taste in the mouth.

I remember being chased around by gang of pony-walas at Sanasar lake. It was a most enchanting place but these people kept on haggling us for no reason and made sure we are not given any privacy whatsoever. After bearing with then for half an hour or so, we packed ourselves back into our cars and returned to the much less prettier Patnitop.

The chaps at Gulmarg are supposed to be particularly notorious.

We were thinking about going to Gulmarg this Jan but the plan was dropped just for this reason. I am particularly allergic to these kind of shenanigans and am not going to a place where people will try their best to sabotage the peace and quiet.
Totally agree with you, I visited Sanasar when I was in high school almost 9-10 years back. The entire meadow was beautiful with herds of sheep grazing around and an odd pony racing through the grassland. The 10 years would have done more bad than good to the place I'm sure and as per your description it seems Sanasar has already become an extension of Patnitop sadly.
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Old 8th December 2015, 15:22   #34
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

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Originally Posted by satrikon_454 View Post
Lovely Travelogue //M,

First of all, kudos to your parents! Enduring a long trip like this one takes some good amount of courage.
You've covered some tough terrains without hitting the underbelly! Tough to believe because the general perception is that the Honda sedans are "down-to-earth".
Thank You sir.

My parents are avid travellers and love exploring hidden places so it was not too difficult to convince them. However, with these parts of Kashmir always in the news, we were a little apprehensive to travel to the offbeat places.

We did a similar long roadtrip last year around the same time and covered the coastal roads and temple towns of south India in our Honda City. Here's the link of that travelogue: Link (Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip)


We were mighty impressed with the overall ability of the Honda, the best part about the car remains the rear sofa. There is tremendous amount of space to stretch out in case you are fatigued, the extra space really helps a lot during long journeys.

We drove very slowly and cautiously, at times barely driving and hovering around 5-10 kmph. The reason why we turned back before Razdaan pass was that the roads ahead were so bad that we feared torturing the car. So we thought of saving the car first, the roadtrip to Gurez can happen sometime later. With a lot of contemplation, why finally turned the car back towards Srinagar and we do not regret the decision.

Later, after I was back to Pune, I checked with fellow bhpian rkbharat who travelled to Gurez Valley around the same time as me, he confirmed that the roads ahead were terrible.

Glad that nothing happened to the car even though the conditions were a little unfavourable at many places but we kept our cool and negotiated every inch on the road with utmost caution. That helped !

Last edited by //M : 8th December 2015 at 15:47.
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Old 8th December 2015, 17:22   #35
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Dear //M,

That was one SOLID trip!
I have rated the review 5* - it deserved it - I had no choice!

I have been to Kashmir - maybe 10~11 years back. I have pleasant and un-pleasant (but mainly pleasant) memories of the trip. I think I must have taken about 550 photos in one week! You brought back those memories. Thank you.

Looking forward to your next trip report....

Girish Mahajan
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Old 8th December 2015, 17:32   #36
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

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Dear //M,

That was one SOLID trip!
I have rated the review 5* - it deserved it - I had no choice!

I have been to Kashmir - maybe 10~11 years back. I have pleasant and un-pleasant (but mainly pleasant) memories of the trip. I think I must have taken about 550 photos in one week! You brought back those memories. Thank you.

Looking forward to your next trip report....

Girish Mahajan
Thank You sir. Glad that this travelogue bought back the fond memories you had in Kashmir.
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Old 8th December 2015, 19:07   #37
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Great write up //M sir, lovely pictures.

I've long been contemplating a similar trip in my Honda Civic, it's low GC and long wheelbase always deters me even though it's such a nice car to drive. Your travelogue gives me a lot of courage.

I remember there was a thread here exploring the possibility of taking a Civic to Leh, and the general consensus was that it's better not to. That did dent my confidence quite a bit. Even on slightly rough roads, there's always the fright that a loose rock or pebble could make a hole in the sump, leaving you stranded.

Last edited by Vivek VS : 8th December 2015 at 19:35.
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Old 8th December 2015, 21:44   #38
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Post Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Amazing! An excellent trip & a matching travelogue ! Thank you for posting it with an enjoyable narration.

Behaviour of drivers, even i experienced in my Malani trip with family during May this year. From Chandigarh, i took my friend's car. Unfortunately, taxi drivers went on strike on the day i reached Manali due to the new rule on limiting the number of cars to Rohtang pass by NGT. They didnt allow any yellow boards. Despite my car being a white board, they stopped as am not the owner! Showed no courtesy to visitors for their time & money spent but blocked the way to Rohtang pass. They infact threatened that drivers on the way to Rohtang may break the glasses as they are very violent! Also, they had sent a Whatsapp message to Bike rentals to not to rent the two wheelers to prevent visitors from visiting Rohtang pass completely. Even bus drivers were afraid. A trip half wasted as we could not enjoy the snow exclusively because of the taxi drivers! Oops!
Back to your trip, the places are mesmerising even in photos. Yousmarg, Dhodpathri & Daksum look like dream lands. Envy the people living there. Even looking at the Photos bring in peace. Wishing you a happy trip in Bike soon to Guruz, Warwaan & Lolab valleys!
Rated 5 stars *
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Old 9th December 2015, 01:17   #39
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Dear //M, there are so many things to be super impressed about in your travelogue. To begin with, your vivid description makes it for a very interesting read. And then the photographs are sensational. Reminds me of that famous quote "If there is a paradise on earth.....".

Thirdly i find it impressive that you explored lesser known places rather than going about the same tourist circuit routine. Finally, it is your ability to do long stretches of driving at one go, both in terms if distance and time. Ranchi- Delhi, and then Kashmir- Delhi are two shining examples of that. Were you the only driver? Or someone shared the task?
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Old 9th December 2015, 05:35   #40
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Brilliant writing.. Loved it. Gone through the whole Travelogue in one shot. I went to Kashmir in 1991 and there still are happy memories in my mind somewhere. It's beautiful.

I am also amazed that City can do such a trip involving Hills and bad roads. Gave me confidence to try it in mine someday.
Just curious. What was the combined FE for the 5300 km?
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Old 9th December 2015, 09:32   #41
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivek VS View Post
Great write up //M sir, lovely pictures.

I've long been contemplating a similar trip in my Honda Civic, it's low GC and long wheelbase always deters me even though it's such a nice car to drive. Your travelogue gives me a lot of courage.

I remember there was a thread here exploring the possibility of taking a Civic to Leh, and the general consensus was that it's better not to. That did dent my confidence quite a bit. Even on slightly rough roads, there's always the fright that a loose rock or pebble could make a hole in the sump, leaving you stranded.
Thank You sir !

Totally agree with you about the Civic. The low GC sedans are a misfit for such terrain, but there are people who have done it successfully. But still the general consensus is right, there could be some nasty hits that can dent your entire experience. But with careful driving, I am sure the Civic will go the distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaj* View Post
Amazing! An excellent trip & a matching travelogue ! Thank you for posting it with an enjoyable narration.

Behaviour of drivers, even i experienced in my Malani trip with family during May this year. From Chandigarh, i took my friend's car. Unfortunately, taxi drivers went on strike on the day i reached Manali due to the new rule on limiting the number of cars to Rohtang pass by NGT. They didnt allow any yellow boards. Despite my car being a white board, they stopped as am not the owner! Showed no courtesy to visitors for their time & money spent but blocked the way to Rohtang pass. They infact threatened that drivers on the way to Rohtang may break the glasses as they are very violent! Also, they had sent a Whatsapp message to Bike rentals to not to rent the two wheelers to prevent visitors from visiting Rohtang pass completely. Even bus drivers were afraid. A trip half wasted as we could not enjoy the snow exclusively because of the taxi drivers! Oops!
Back to your trip, the places are mesmerising even in photos. Yousmarg, Dhodpathri & Daksum look like dream lands. Envy the people living there. Even looking at the Photos bring in peace. Wishing you a happy trip in Bike soon to Guruz, Warwaan & Lolab valleys!
Rated 5 stars *
Thank You sir. Yes the elusive parts of Kashmir - Gurez, Lolab and Warwaan - are in my wishlist but so are many other places. Hope to tick them off the bucket list soon !

The taxi union has been a major road block for tourists in these areas and especially in 2015, there have been so many incidents that has caused trouble to the travellers. There is and there always will be a certain section of people who, no matter what, will take their own vehicles for such roadtrips. I hope things get better during the next season, else I will happily head towards the North-East for my annual major roadtrip !

Quote:
Originally Posted by itinerant View Post
Dear //M, there are so many things to be super impressed about in your travelogue. To begin with, your vivid description makes it for a very interesting read. And then the photographs are sensational. Reminds me of that famous quote "If there is a paradise on earth.....".

Thirdly i find it impressive that you explored lesser known places rather than going about the same tourist circuit routine. Finally, it is your ability to do long stretches of driving at one go, both in terms if distance and time. Ranchi- Delhi, and then Kashmir- Delhi are two shining examples of that. Were you the only driver? Or someone shared the task?
Thank You sir, Kashmir is indeed a beautiful paradise. Thankfully major parts of Kashmir never got commercialized and hence are still pristine and picturesque. We wanted to cover the unseen parts of Kashmir.

However, the route which was there on my mind was Ranchi - Delhi - Katra - Rajouri - Bafliaz - Shopian - Yusmarg - Doodhpathri - Chandigam - Bandipora - Dawar - Purana Tilel - Srinagar - Gulmarg - Sonamarg - Srinagar - Pahalgam - Chandanwari - Aru - Daksum - Inshan - Daksum - Sinthan Top - Kishtwar - Udhampur - Delhi - Ranchi.

But to cover all these places, time was a constraint. But I am glad I could cover a lot many places from my desired route in the given time.

It was me who drove for most of the miles, but my father and brother also drove quite some distance, so the fatigue never crept in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry10 View Post
Brilliant writing.. Loved it. Gone through the whole Travelogue in one shot. I went to Kashmir in 1991 and there still are happy memories in my mind somewhere. It's beautiful.

I am also amazed that City can do such a trip involving Hills and bad roads. Gave me confidence to try it in mine someday.
Just curious. What was the combined FE for the 5300 km?
Thank You Sir !

The City was able to tackle all that we threw at it with aplomb, a comfortable workhorse, a reliable mile-muncher and a frugal engine, we were very impressed with the abilities of the Honda.

I guess the City will not outrightly impress most of us the way a Linea or a Vento may do, but with time we have been very happy customers of the Honda. Our two major highway roadtrips covering most of India only proves its reliability !

The combined FE that we got from the frugal i-DTEC was about 18 kpl (tank-to-tank method), the max FE we got was around 23 kpl (tank-to-tank method) and the minimum we got was around 13 kpl (from Bandipora to Tragbal as per MID).

Last edited by //M : 9th December 2015 at 09:34.
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Old 9th December 2015, 11:03   #42
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Wonderful trip! It has been my long wish to visit the heavenly Kashmir via a road trip. The pictures and depiction invigorated the passion once again. This travelogue would act as a guide for me when I plan for similar trip.

Thanks again!

Rated 5*
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Old 9th December 2015, 11:17   #43
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Dear //M,

A wonderful travelogue with great pics and narration, kudos to your family for being so travel oriented. Have rated the travelogue a very deserving 5*.

Regards,
Veera
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Old 9th December 2015, 12:02   #44
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

A great travelogue //M. Inspiring. Are you using the Honda in dash GPS ? Is it working alright even in remote places ?
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Old 9th December 2015, 12:42   #45
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Wonderful trip! It has been my long wish to visit the heavenly Kashmir via a road trip. The pictures and depiction invigorated the passion once again. This travelogue would act as a guide for me when I plan for similar trip.

Thanks again!

Rated 5*
Thank You sir. I would be glad if this travelogue helps you in planning your trip. If you need any more specific details, do let me know. I would be happy to help.

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Dear //M,

A wonderful travelogue with great pics and narration, kudos to your family for being so travel oriented. Have rated the travelogue a very deserving 5*.

Regards,
Veera
Thanks a lot. Time to take the mighty Tiger for an expedition to some extreme terrain sir ji.

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Originally Posted by M00M View Post
A great travelogue //M. Inspiring. Are you using the Honda in dash GPS ? Is it working alright even in remote places ?
Thanks a lot Sir. The GPS is an after-market MapMyIndia device, works well. It was unable to show us directions in some very remote places and once on the way to Yusmarg, but apart from that a lot of remote places were well covered by the GPS with exact details about speed limits, fuel stations, etc.

Last edited by //M : 9th December 2015 at 12:47.
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