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Old 16th February 2016, 11:09   #31
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Awesome travelogue. Great pics. Congrats on completion of a great adventure. Deciding to take on the Himalayas in a front wheel drive sedan is gutsy enough, but in a petrol sedan!? The lack of torque and 4WD is a difficult combo to overcome. How did you guys weigh this decision?
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Old 16th February 2016, 13:53   #32
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

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Awesome travelogue. Great pics. Congrats on completion of a great adventure. Deciding to take on the Himalayas in a front wheel drive sedan is gutsy enough, but in a petrol sedan!? The lack of torque and 4WD is a difficult combo to overcome. How did you guys weigh this decision?
Thanks for your kind words of appreciation. You are absolutely right that the decision to plan a trip in a sedan in areas where roads exist only in name is a difficult decision to make and we were skeptical about the outcome. Moreover a front wheel drive petrol engine vehicle has its own limitations in the mountainous terrain, prime amongst them is lack of traction and torque. But nonetheless we had full faith in DZire as we had already tested it on a similarly tough drive over a two high mountain passes during a trip immediately prior to this one. Its decent ground clearance of 170mm has always been a confidence booster which enables it to take on unmetalled tracks with aplomb albeit with careful driving and along with that Dzire's engine is excellent which churns out required power at the right time. Nonetheless despite the successful completion of the trip, I would recommend that such drives should be attempted in a Jeep or Gypsy and if one has a 4WD vehicle, there is nothing like that.

Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 16th February 2016 at 13:55.
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Old 16th February 2016, 19:19   #33
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Superb travelogue! And hats off to you for making it on Dzire.

I did few places of Garhwal, like rudraprayag, auli, uttarkashi etc. on Dzire during beginning of March last year and was very satisfied with the performance. I have my plans to cover Spiti too, but confused about choice of car. Your travelogue will help me to take several decisions.

Thanks again for sharing so much details of your journey.
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Old 16th February 2016, 23:18   #34
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

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Superb travelogue! And hats off to you for making it on Dzire.

I did few places of Garhwal, like rudraprayag, auli, uttarkashi etc. on Dzire during beginning of March last year and was very satisfied with the performance. I have my plans to cover Spiti too, but confused about choice of car. Your travelogue will help me to take several decisions.

Thanks again for sharing so much details of your journey.
Thanks alot for the appreciation. It's always nice to hear from someone who owns and admires Dzire. Good to know about your drives in the Garhwal region and also of your plans for trip to Spiti valley. If you too wish to do this trip in a sedan then Dzire is a good choice and I would strongly recommend you to go after the monsoons preferably in the first week of October. As by that time the weather is clear and the road conditions too are satisfactory as they have been repaired and cleared of debris. Also you should have a back up plan in case you get stuck midway due to landslides. To be on the safer side it's always better to confirm the latest status of the route ahead from the locals before proceeding further.
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Old 11th March 2016, 20:05   #35
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Nice Travelogue! Another great feat for the Dzire after the Sach Pass journey. These trips are a test of both man (patience, control and driving skills) and machine.

Hope the couple you met made it back safe. It's not usually not advisable to leave the car at desolate stretches in the hills. As though visibly deserted these routes are frequented (even in the night) by truck and cab drivers who have the tools to vandalize cars. We had a talk with locals during our Leh trip and we were advised the same. We even saw a Nissan X Trail close to Sarchu which was vandalized in the similar manner. It would have been better if the car could have been towed to a safe point. Again hope that the couple found the car safe.

We also met a similar hoenymooning couple on Baralacha (coming from Leh side) from Mumbai in Ford Ecosport during our trip. The wife looked terribly sick and the husband was very worried. We gave them couple of Diamox tablets and asked them to keep driving till Keylong and see the Doc. Couldn't believe people venture out this far without proper research. Honeymooning in high hills (unless both are adventurers), probably not a good idea.
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Old 11th March 2016, 20:54   #36
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Nice travelogue, a crisp one. And hats off to you to do it in Dezire. All the good old memories are rejuvenated, now this travelogue makes me do atleast Kunzum Pass this year. Lets see how it goes.
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Old 12th March 2016, 14:34   #37
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Fantastic Travelogue with wonderful photographs. Kudos to you for taking Swift Dzire on those dreadful road.

I have few questions as follows.
1. Why did you miss on Kaza - Langza - Kommic - Kaza drive circuit.
2. Why did you miss Chandrataal Lake.
3. Any information on access to Shipkila Pass Outpost and Kaurik Outpost.

I had been on the same route in October 2015 and by looking at your pictures, I feel I have missed out many things. The Losar to Kaza route was covered after Sunset, the route from Sumdo to Narkanda was covered after sunset.
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Old 12th March 2016, 23:07   #38
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

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Originally Posted by kaushal21fb View Post
Nice Travelogue! Another great feat for the Dzire after the Sach Pass journey. These trips are a test of both man (patience, control and driving skills) and machine.

Hope the couple you met made it back safe. It's not usually not advisable to leave the car at desolate stretches in the hills. As though visibly deserted these routes are frequented (even in the night) by truck and cab drivers who have the tools to vandalize cars. We had a talk with locals during our Leh trip and we were advised the same. We even saw a Nissan X Trail close to Sarchu which was vandalized in the similar manner. It would have been better if the car could have been towed to a safe point. Again hope that the couple found the car safe.

We also met a similar hoenymooning couple on Baralacha (coming from Leh side) from Mumbai in Ford Ecosport during our trip. The wife looked terribly sick and the husband was very worried. We gave them couple of Diamox tablets and asked them to keep driving till Keylong and see the Doc. Couldn't believe people venture out this far without proper research. Honeymooning in high hills (unless both are adventurers), probably not a good idea.
Thanks for appreciation. Oh yes the high altitude mountain stretches are always risky to travel on due to sheer desolation and treacherous road conditions. We were lucky to complete the Kaza-Manali stretch without any serious trouble despite the fact that we attempted it just before onset of winter season, which entails heavy snowfall leading to complete closure of this route for a good six months. I fully endorse your point of view that these stretches should only be attempted after full research and to add to that with at least two drivers who are well acquainted with mountain driving. The couple whom we met were quite adventurous and had the experience of driving on Manali-Leh route, yet the mistake they made was that they underestimated the route. Definitely these desolate mountain stretches are not meant for honeymooners.

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Originally Posted by Shivanshu View Post
Nice travelogue, a crisp one. And hats off to you to do it in Dezire. All the good old memories are rejuvenated, now this travelogue makes me do atleast Kunzum Pass this year. Lets see how it goes.
Thanks for your kind words of appreciation and wish you all the best for your planned drive to Kunzum Pass. Do share your experience. GODSPEED

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Originally Posted by nndp87 View Post
Fantastic Travelogue with wonderful photographs. Kudos to you for taking Swift Dzire on those dreadful road.

I have few questions as follows.
1. Why did you miss on Kaza - Langza - Kommic - Kaza drive circuit.
2. Why did you miss Chandrataal Lake.
3. Any information on access to Shipkila Pass Outpost and Kaurik Outpost.

I had been on the same route in October 2015 and by looking at your pictures, I feel I have missed out many things. The Losar to Kaza route was covered after Sunset, the route from Sumdo to Narkanda was covered after sunset.
Thanks for the kind words of appreciation. Good to know about your travel experience on this route. Following is the reply to your queries:
1. We gave the Kaza-Kommic-Kaza a miss as we preferred visiting Kye Monastery and Kibber Village.
2. The visit to Chandratal Lake was not on the itinerary. Moreover as it was the fag end of the season so we didn't find it wise to take the risk of deviating from the planned route.
3. Regarding information on access to Shipkila Pass outpost and Kaurik outpost I am not exactly sure but have heard that one has to take special permissions from the concerned defence authorities (ITBP in this case) but still getting a go ahead is always doubtful due to the security concerns.
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Old 13th March 2016, 09:55   #39
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Great travelogue! I really appreciate the time you have taken to compile, compose, upload and post the thread. It must have been more exhausting than the trip itself! Thanks for sharing and helping someone like me, who lives way down south, experience the beauty of the Himalayas.
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Old 13th March 2016, 11:29   #40
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

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Great travelogue! I really appreciate the time you have taken to compile, compose, upload and post the thread. It must have been more exhausting than the trip itself! Thanks for sharing and helping someone like me, who lives way down south, experience the beauty of the Himalayas.
Thanks for the kind words of appreciation. You are absolutely correct as compiling and posting a long travelogue is always a mammoth task but at the same time it feels nice to share the experience with like minded travel enthusiasts like you.
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Old 24th June 2016, 23:41   #41
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Some more random photographs from the trip.

An early morning start from Kaza for a long and gruelling drive to Manali
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_065031.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_070338.jpg

Came across narrow gorges on the way between Rangrik and Hanse
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_073727.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_073800.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_073807.jpg

Beauty all around before Hanse Village
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_074335.jpg

Snowed out at Kunzum Pass
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_102101.jpg
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_102104.jpg

Finally on the top @ Kunzum Pass (Elv 4590 meters)
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_103256.jpg

Descending from Kunzum towards Batal
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_112345.jpg

The lone bridge at Batal over Chandra River links the Spiti and Lahaul valleys
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_112348.jpg

Batal, the first seasonal halt of Lahaul valley after Kunzum Pass on the Kaza-Manali highway. The going gets really tough from here onwards.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_112406.jpg

Batal has some seasonal make shift 'dhabas', which cater to the travellers during the tourist season from June to September
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_113616.jpg

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!!! The road disappears after Batal.
Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan-20151023_115127.jpg
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Old 7th September 2016, 20:35   #42
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

Lovely pics Sir. Hat Tip.

We were planning a trip to Himachal this October in my Civic. I was also exploring the possibility of attempting the Spiti circuit, your travelogue has certainly given me a lot of courage. Although the route you describe beyond Batal terrifies me, considering the extremely low GC and long wheelbase of the Civic.

I was thinking if I go up to Kaza from the Kinnaur side and return from there using the same route, that might be doable. Should I go for it or am I being impractical? Any advice would be very helpful.
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Old 8th September 2016, 13:21   #43
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

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Originally Posted by Vivek VS View Post
Lovely pics Sir. Hat Tip.

We were planning a trip to Himachal this October in my Civic. I was also exploring the possibility of attempting the Spiti circuit, your travelogue has certainly given me a lot of courage. Although the route you describe beyond Batal terrifies me, considering the extremely low GC and long wheelbase of the Civic.

I was thinking if I go up to Kaza from the Kinnaur side and return from there using the same route, that might be doable. Should I go for it or am I being impractical? Any advice would be very helpful.
The Civic will have a LOT of difficulties reaching Kaza even from Kinnaur. Roads beyond Narkanda (esp if you are forced to take the Urni route) to Kalpa are really bad and will take a toll on a low GC vehicle.
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Old 21st September 2016, 11:39   #44
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

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Originally Posted by Vivek VS View Post
Lovely pics Sir. Hat Tip.

We were planning a trip to Himachal this October in my Civic. I was also exploring the possibility of attempting the Spiti circuit, your travelogue has certainly given me a lot of courage. Although the route you describe beyond Batal terrifies me, considering the extremely low GC and long wheelbase of the Civic.

I was thinking if I go up to Kaza from the Kinnaur side and return from there using the same route, that might be doable. Should I go for it or am I being impractical? Any advice would be very helpful.
Thanks mate. Would have loved to respond to your query at the earliest but couldn't do so as I was off to a road trip to Leh since last two weeks. Now coming to your query, the road conditions are far from satisfactory once one enters Kinnaur District. The stretch between Wangtu and Powari is unmetalled and bumpy at many points due to recurring landslides especially near Tapri. The Nako-Sumdo stretch also remains broken at many places due to landslips especially near Chango. Also from Sumdo onwards till Kaza the road is unmetalled at many points. IMHO given the road conditions in Kinnaur it won't be wise to drive in a sedan like Honda Civic as its long wheelbase may lead to serious under body hits. Although the Civic's ground clearance of 170 mm is fine but its long wheelbase of 2700 mm nullifies the advantage. In case of Swift Dzire the things worked out primarily because of the advantage of shorter wheelbase of 2430 mm with ground clearance being the same i.e 170 mm as of Honda Civic.
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Old 21st September 2016, 14:33   #45
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Default Re: Julley! Himalayan Spiti Adventure in a sedan

In the third week of September 2015, ie a month before your trip, I and my wife had driven from Ahmedabad to Spiti and back in a Dzire of the older kind. We drove through Chandigarh to Chail, Narkanda, Rampur, Chitkul, Kalpa, Kaza, Losar, Chandratal and on to Manali. We did not have any underbody hits, but after Chatru, on the last water crossing before Gramphoo, all four engine mounting bolts sheared off and we could barely limp on to the Manali Leh highway. The car was stranded on the Leh side of Rohtang pass, but a passing Team Bhpian in a Thar towed us all the way to Manli, which took 8 hours. Such is the bonding of the Team BhP fraternity. In Manali, a roadside mechanic repaired the car in a day and a half, taking the trouble to get a timing gear from Delhi by the overnight bus. It is a treacherous route, but one that never leaves your mind about the beauty of the place. Since then, I have sold off the Dzire and bought a AWD Duster and look forward to a repeat of this wonderful car drive. Next time you should visit Chandratal lake which is amazingly beautiful and worth all the trouble of this journey. You are fortunate to be in Chandigarh and can undertake this journey at short notice.
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