Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 9th December 2015, 12:59   #46
BHPian
 
budgam.boonyi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Srinagar
Posts: 38
Thanked: 64 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

What a brilliantly detailed view of J&K! So many places i got to experience from my own state that I have never managed to see. Hopefully in the next year i can take some time to discover where i come from.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologias for the taxi mafia that made your stay somewhat unwelcome. They are an extreme nuisance not only for travelers but also for locals. Efforts to regulate them more have been blunted by their political connections and some violence by them against rival politicians. Not arguing with them seems to be the only path an average person can take.

After the floods tourist numbers dwindled causing intense competition between the 'agencies' that recruit these young men to sell stuff. Causing them to be very hawkish. Although this trend was on the rise pre-floods, it was still "manageable". This in no way excuses their behavior towards you. Hopefully tourist numbers will grow, giving these people some earnings. But to change their ways, the local society needs to play a greater role in tourism education & job creation at the very least.

I am very happy that others were more welcoming and i hope you will visit us soon again. If you do decide to come again i would be delighted to take to you to some areas in Srinagar not may tourists go to. A lot of history, art and architecture can be found there.

Also a shout out to the Honda service station. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Cheers B.B
budgam.boonyi is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2015, 14:04   #47
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 4,186
Thanked: 8,565 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by budgam.boonyi View Post
What a brilliantly detailed view of J&K! So many places i got to experience from my own state that I have never managed to see. Hopefully in the next year i can take some time to discover where i come from.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologias for the taxi mafia that made your stay somewhat unwelcome. They are an extreme nuisance not only for travelers but also for locals. Efforts to regulate them more have been blunted by their political connections and some violence by them against rival politicians. Not arguing with them seems to be the only path an average person can take.

After the floods tourist numbers dwindled causing intense competition between the 'agencies' that recruit these young men to sell stuff. Causing them to be very hawkish. Although this trend was on the rise pre-floods, it was still "manageable". This in no way excuses their behavior towards you. Hopefully tourist numbers will grow, giving these people some earnings. But to change their ways, the local society needs to play a greater role in tourism education & job creation at the very least.

I am very happy that others were more welcoming and i hope you will visit us soon again. If you do decide to come again i would be delighted to take to you to some areas in Srinagar not may tourists go to. A lot of history, art and architecture can be found there.

Also a shout out to the Honda service station. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Cheers B.B
Many thanks to you my friend, I will surely come to Kashmir and would love to explore the unexplored part of Srinagar. I am sure there are a lot more to see in terms of history, art and architecture.

The warm and hospitable people of Kashmir outweighed the taxi driver nuisance by a huge margin, so please don't apologise for their behaviour. We had many many good moments in Kashmir and a few bad ones won't make a dent to the otherwise amazing experience.

I did not mention about the delicious cuisine anywhere, but since you are from J&K, I must make a confession. The Yakhni Pulao, Tabak Maaz, Aab Gosht, Goshtaba, Rishta, Phirni, baked Sheermal and Girda we used to have all day were absolutely blissful. I can re-visit Kashmir again and again only for the finger-licking good food. For a foodie, nothing beats the delicious Wazwaan cuisine !
//M is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2015, 14:31   #48
BHPian
 
Mission_PGPX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Ahmedabad
Posts: 196
Thanked: 253 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
[b][u]
Fast Forward to June 6th:

I was heading to Ranchi from Pune, still unsure about the routes. My parents had made the plan: Ranchi – Delhi – Jammu – Katra - Srinagar – Gulmarg – Pahalgam – back via Jammu. The usual tourist circuit.

I was still not sure how will I convince them to take the Mughal Road, the unexplored valleys and sections via the Poonch district and to the far north, beyond Srinagar !
Wow, thats some driving. You just refreshed my memories of best ever road trip 2 years ago. Co-incidently, I took a pic on exactly same icewalls on the mughal road. I guess they never melt...
Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!-dsc_0523.jpg

On the way to sonamarg
Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!-dsc_0124.jpg

green valley in dodhpathri...
Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!-dsc_0311.jpg
Mission_PGPX is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2015, 17:35   #49
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 4,186
Thanked: 8,565 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mission_PGPX View Post
Wow, thats some driving. You just refreshed my memories of best ever road trip 2 years ago. Co-incidently, I took a pic on exactly same icewalls on the mughal road. I guess they never melt...
Wow some lovely drool-worthy pictures.

The Jetta looks amazing too, I am sure the Mughal Road has left a lasting impression on you as it did to me.
//M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2015, 17:36   #50
BHPian
 
GameOfCars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Chd / Swansea
Posts: 66
Thanked: 98 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
The car performed flawlessly, save for a puncture and the minor issue we encountered with the rubber beading of the trunk, which was fixed by the Honda service personnel at Ambala. The i-DTEC might not be great for outright performance but has very good driveability with minimum turbo lag so even with four passengers and a month long luggage on board, the City did not hesitate to go up the inclines. Occasionally it required downshifts, but in most cases the performance was adequate for the terrain.
Good to know that Honda folks at Ambala were forth-coming and warm. Turbo-lag surely is well controlled in the i-Dtech engine but impressed to read that it did those climbs without much huffs and puffs with 4 on board and a full trunk.

Quote:
No underbelly hits anywhere in the entire trip. We often found boulders and huge stones lying across the road so one of us just used to get out from the car and move it from the road. With utmost caution and extreme patience, we were able to negotiate the car over very bad patches without kissing the underbelly even once.
That's mighty impressive driving. I've got two low GC cars and more or less I try my best too to avoid any under-belly hits but sometimes inevitable things do happen. My Ford Fiesta Classic took an under-belly hit from a boulder close to Patni-top as it was all foggy and misty and visibility was close to zero and the boulder was no-where to be seen till the huge thud noise was heard. Resultant, gear-oil sump had taken the hit and all the fluid leaked out in no time. Here is a pic attached -

Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!-phpkumxjaam.jpg

Kudos you managed to get your City back from the trip without any under-belly scrapings. At the end of the day I believe, these things depend more or less on the driver than the car itself.
GameOfCars is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2015, 18:00   #51
BHPian
 
petrolhead_neel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Burdwan
Posts: 626
Thanked: 1,035 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Hi Arunabh Da, great travelogue there and wonderful pictures! Rating it a well deserved 5*.

Kashmir is a beautiful place. I have to go to Kashmir, someday. Driving to Kashmir must've been an exhilarating experience. Good to know that the Honda held up well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GameOfCars View Post

That's mighty impressive driving. I've got two low GC cars and more or less I try my best too to avoid any under-belly hits but sometimes inevitable things do happen. My Ford Fiesta Classic took an under-belly hit from a boulder close to Patni-top as it was all foggy and misty and visibility was close to zero and the boulder was no-where to be seen till the huge thud noise was heard. Resultant, gear-oil sump had taken the hit and all the fluid leaked out in no time. Here is a pic attached -
Even our car has suffered from a few underbelly hits. The Classic is quite prone to these. Each time I hear that thud, my heart skips a beat. This is where SUVs outshine. In most terrains, you can just drive over everything.

Regards,
Neel
petrolhead_neel is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th December 2015, 18:40   #52
BHPian
 
avisidhu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 618
Thanked: 456 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

What an amazing travelogue Arunabh! Never knew Kashmir had all these beautiful places to visit. I'm sure I'll be visiting this thread some day when the plans are finally made

The run ins with the locals do leave a bad taste in the mouth though. We encountered the same during our trip 3 years back, even the local truck drivers are downright menacing on the road. We found the interaction and general behavior cold and distant in most places we visited which sadly still rankles, and the same was reiterated by others who have been there after us. (Its actually understandable given the politics etc.)

I think the planning for Kashmir should be done at a more minute level (specific spots, hotels and restaurants to visit) so such frictions can be avoided as much as possible. And your travelogue is good enough reason why the trip should be made despite all misgivings!
avisidhu is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th December 2015, 10:22   #53
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 4,186
Thanked: 8,565 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GameOfCars View Post
That's mighty impressive driving. I've got two low GC cars and more or less I try my best too to avoid any under-belly hits but sometimes inevitable things do happen. My Ford Fiesta Classic took an under-belly hit from a boulder close to Patni-top as it was all foggy and misty and visibility was close to zero and the boulder was no-where to be seen till the huge thud noise was heard. Resultant, gear-oil sump had taken the hit and all the fluid leaked out in no time.

Kudos you managed to get your City back from the trip without any under-belly scrapings. At the end of the day I believe, these things depend more or less on the driver than the car itself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Even our car has suffered from a few underbelly hits. The Classic is quite prone to these. Each time I hear that thud, my heart skips a beat. This is where SUVs outshine. In most terrains, you can just drive over everything.
Sedans and SUVs have their pro's and con's and there will be situations when the need for each of them will be felt to enjoy your drive. However, most sedans can manage some rough terrains with careful driving as many of our fellow members have taken their sedans to Ladakh, Spiti and parts of North East, but yes extra GC is an added advantage.

I believe we could have just parked our car at the hotel, hired a Sumo and could have explored the Gurez Valley. That ways we could have had the best of all worlds. But then there is always a next time !


Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Hi Arunabh Da, great travelogue there and wonderful pictures! Rating it a well deserved 5*.

Kashmir is a beautiful place. I have to go to Kashmir, someday. Driving to Kashmir must've been an exhilarating experience. Good to know that the Honda held up well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
What an amazing travelogue Arunabh! Never knew Kashmir had all these beautiful places to visit. I'm sure I'll be visiting this thread some day when the plans are finally made
Thanks a lot.

Hope this travelogue helps both of you to plan your trips to this region.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
The run ins with the locals do leave a bad taste in the mouth though. We encountered the same during our trip 3 years back, even the local truck drivers are downright menacing on the road. We found the interaction and general behavior cold and distant in most places we visited which sadly still rankles, and the same was reiterated by others who have been there after us. (Its actually understandable given the politics etc.)

I think the planning for Kashmir should be done at a more minute level (specific spots, hotels and restaurants to visit) so such frictions can be avoided as much as possible. And your travelogue is good enough reason why the trip should be made despite all misgivings!
The nuisance by the taxi drivers did left us aghast, but at the end of the day its all a part of the experience and learning. Next time whenever I plan a trip to that region, I will be extra cautious and maybe take guidance from a few local friends or take them along or work out some other tactic.

There could have been a worse situation, maybe a militant attack somewhere and a curfew, or a major landslide, or some health issue to any of us, but I am glad that by God's grace all went well. The nuisance created by the taxi drivers is a very small part of the equation, which could have turned ugly but I am glad it didn't.

You are absolutely right about the detailed planning part. Not only kashmir, but this holds good for all remote places in India.

Recently I was riding in Spiti when the spark plug of my Enfield went kaput. The incident happened at a campsite in Chandratal. I was carrying only one spare spark plug which very conveniently I had given to a stranded elderly German couple whom I met at Khab. Now I was stuck at the middle of nowhere with an Enfield. After hours of haggling, a local gentleman agreed to carry my bike on his Mahindra pick-up till Manali for a huge sum. It did cause a dent in my pocket, but I am sure these experiences will only make us plan better and be well prepared for the next trip.

Last edited by //M : 10th December 2015 at 10:24.
//M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th December 2015, 12:00   #54
BHPian
 
FuelInjector's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: TN38
Posts: 374
Thanked: 257 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

brilliant..just brilliant. Felt like i was travelling with you all along. Thanks for sharing this TL. How about fuel stations in the mughal road. are there enough of them?
FuelInjector is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th December 2015, 12:04   #55
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 4,186
Thanked: 8,565 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
brilliant..just brilliant. Felt like i was travelling with you all along. Thanks for sharing this TL. How about fuel stations in the mughal road. are there enough of them?
No fuel stations in the Mughal Road, but there is one fuel station at Sunderbani, one at Rajouri and one at Pulwama, fuel is available in bottles in Shopian.
//M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th December 2015, 20:18   #56
BHPian
 
behaln's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: DELHI
Posts: 176
Thanked: 125 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Lovely thread with great pics. There is a short cut after khanna town before ludhiana . It will take you straight to pathankot and you can avoid ludhiana and jallandhar towns. The road is not very wide but is a state highway. Even the toll rates are less. Total distance is 90 km short.
It was very unwanted of the taxi driver to be rude to you.
Usually kashmiri's are friendly people and they love tourists.
behaln is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th December 2015, 21:17   #57
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 297
Thanked: 229 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Excellent stuff mate! Hats off to you for attempting this in a sedan but then the roads also seem to have improved significantly!

Excellent photography and some of the pictures of Pahalgam, Srinagar, Betaab Valley etc. bought back memories of my trip Kashmir back in 2013. Unlike yours it was however a very touristy trip with flights till Srinagar and local taxis throughout with bookings done through Makemytrip. Your thread made me realise how much more there is to see and this is excluding Leh, Ladakh, etc.

It is not without reason that Kashmir is called heaven on earth and can give some of the best destinations in Europe a run for their money if it is developed and maintained well!
miharbe is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2015, 09:43   #58
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 4,186
Thanked: 8,565 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by behaln View Post
Lovely thread with great pics. There is a short cut after khanna town before ludhiana . It will take you straight to pathankot and you can avoid ludhiana and jallandhar towns. The road is not very wide but is a state highway. Even the toll rates are less. Total distance is 90 km short.
It was very unwanted of the taxi driver to be rude to you.
Usually kashmiri's are friendly people and they love tourists.
Thank You for the useful tip Sir. I wasn't aware of this shortcut from Khanna to Pathankot, but next time I would love to explore this route. Many thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miharbe View Post
It is not without reason that Kashmir is called heaven on earth and can give some of the best destinations in Europe a run for their money if it is developed and maintained well!
Absolutely true !!

Thanks for the compliments sir.
//M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2015, 12:36   #59
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 15
Thanked: 9 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Excellent travelogue woven with real-life pics !! I remained glued till the end of the story. Very helpful for enthusiast traveller, also gives lot of confidence to the sedan owners for such a long and unpredictable ride.
vashisth is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th December 2015, 11:53   #60
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Delhi
Posts: 34
Thanked: 21 Times
Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 5300 kms in 13 days! A family road-trip to the Vale of Kashmir!

Excellent trip report!

I had been to the valley a long time ago. This brings back a lot of memories.
shekatkar31 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Delhi - Goa - Delhi - New Year Vacation (Extended to Bangalore) - 5300 kms v&v Travelogues 36 23rd February 2017 18:28
The Perfect Family Sedan - Honda City i-DTEC VX MT rahulsharma2008 Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 20 31st August 2015 10:52
Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip //M Travelogues 81 23rd September 2014 13:25
We dreamt it, we did it - Our 20 days family road trip to South in Black Tigress LongDrive lover Travelogues 376 2nd October 2010 10:58
Goa Reclaimed....this time with my family and my friend's family-A 3 days trip. snaronikar Travelogues 37 16th February 2009 17:13


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 20:48.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks