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Old 5th May 2016, 15:34   #31
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

A great travelogue Black Pearl with some great pictures to go with it. Very inspirational, I would say.
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Old 5th May 2016, 18:46   #32
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

As always. A wonderful TL Blackpearl. Stunning pictures & scenery & excellent narration. Sherpa would be happy as Tusker has had a lot more fun in its lifetime.

Keep writing & mesmerizing us.

5-stars

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 5th May 2016, 22:28   #33
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_MNC_SK View Post
Yes, you are right , Omni is a rear wheel drive, one of the favoured taxi vehicles in hills. My formatting was wrong, i was talking about the Duster which made it to Sandakpu. Duster is a fwd vehicle if I am not mistaken.
Aah, I get it. The Duster in this travelogue is an AWD version. No FWD vehicle can ever conquer Sandakpu. The inclines in the Video posted by BlackPearl confirms this.

Superb write up BlackPearl, your writings about travel and the Thar are both immensely inspiring. The duster is mighty impressive, I plan to keep the video to show around the Duster's potential. The road to Sandakphu indeed seems to be a test of both the man and the machine. One can see the duster revving hard at times (Not sure if it is needed since Shinsha said it was his first time on the route, I am sincerely curious no offence intended on the driving ability) but I could not hear the Thar revving hard (struggling) even once, is it true? Was it 4H or 4L that you had to drive in? Might be noob question but I live in the plains and have no experience with a 4WD vehicle.

Keep up the nice writing!
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Old 8th May 2016, 14:29   #34
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

BlackPearl. Fantastic. Rated 5 stars. Hoping to get there this year! Will PM you once ready!
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Old 8th May 2016, 20:42   #35
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

Congratulations on your yet another drive to Sandakphu! Looking at the pictures of the "road" (if you call it) to Sandakphu, somehow getting me curious to ask: is this road maintained regularly? Or nothing major has happened after it was made?

Cheers,
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Old 8th May 2016, 22:45   #36
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinhsha View Post
My friend (the owner of the duster) thought that opening the bonnet would help the clutch to cool faster (I am not sure that it works that way but as no harm thus didn't object) and that might have given an impression of overheating.
Thanks sinsha for clarifying here as well as over the phone that it was not the engine that had overheated. This will re-assure the Duster guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
Dear Blackpearl,
Congratulations for such an adventurous,tenting holiday and also for becoming a D-BHPian! It serves quite an inspiration for us. Heres wishing you many more adventurous miles!
Thanks a lot Sayak!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
OT: This was the first time that I stayed in Sherpa Chalet. The behavior of the owner was absolutely disgusting and we found a lot of fellow travelers complaining on the same. Did you have any poor experience while staying there? I must admit though, their food was absolutely lip smacking.

Warm Regards,
Sayak
That is a surprise as every time we have stayed there we have received great hospitality. This time we did not stay at Sherpa Chelet, in fact there was no room. Next time if you go there, talk to Mr. Dandu and tell that you are friend of the guy with the white Bolero

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghubhaskar View Post
Awesome trip and some gutsy driving.

Just out of sheer curiosity, what was your fuel comsumption no this trip? Thar vs. Duster AWD.
Thanks raghubhaskar. The fuel consumption of the Thar was around 12 kmpl on the highways and around 9 kmpl in the hills. Sinsha has to reply regarding the fuel consumption of the Duster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by somitra1981 View Post
Hello Blackpearl,

Kudos.

Your travelogues are an inspiration for me to take the plunge and get my self a Thar

Alas it doesnt really suit my requirement of space for long hauls and off course two dogs.

I had a query about the camping bit, is it some thing that you've explored before and is it generally safe, with females aboard ?
Thanks somitra1981! In India we have camped only twice before in Ladakh.
We have not faced any security related issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Panda View Post
Awesome. Just loved it. The more I read about your trips in your Thar, the more I fall in love with that car. Its a conqueror I would say. Going to places where driving skills and car power goes hand in hand. All the best for your future trips with The Sherpa.

And BTW... Congratulations for now you a Distinguished BHPian.

Cheers.
Thanks a lot Red Panda!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneRidder View Post
Hello BlackPearl, It is always nice to see your travelogue and your Thar or Bolero. Your travelogues always inspires to take ‘that’ long journey.

Your photographs are awesome. In the videos I see the Duster doing high speed climbs, hope they were not risky!
Thanks LoneRidder! The Duster was in good hands as I have mentioned before, so the risk was minimal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
Wonderful travelogue with beautiful pictures. Any self respecting Bhpian from Kolkata must drive Sandakphu at least once in their lifetime These serve as an inspiration to novice drivers like me and i hope to repeat the feat some day in future if i can afford a 4WD and if health permits. And congrats for a very well deserved and long due title of Distinguished Bhpian Rated ***** Stars.
Thanks a lot Samfromindia. You are not a novice driver and I am sure you will get your 4WD real soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mi2n View Post
This is a pleasantly different take on Sandakphu! In most logs I have come across, the stress is overtly on the arduous climbs and steep descends, some snow, lots of rocks, few old Land Rovers and the front facade of Sherpa Chalet! Kudos to Blackpearl for showing us what lies beyond! Must have been an out of the world experience camping and bird watching in absolute undisturbed nature. Rhododendrons, snow peaks, exotic birds and animals, truly unbelievable! And all this while I have been letting this pass thinking it was just a place for extreme 4wd adventures. Thank you once again.
Thanks a lot mi2nfor the lovely feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUXX View Post
Am i missing something about the Duster scaling this or its been such a long time that this was done by @himadriomondal that he himself forgot?! Kidding !

He was one of the first in the forum to take the Duster 2WD upto Sandakphu !!
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ter-110-a.html (Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110))

The Duster is so much more capable in experienced and fearless hands.
The 2WD Duster went up till the Singalilia National Park after Tumling if I am not wrong. Sandakphu is another 20 Kms from that place (see the map below). I think the same was mentioned in himadrimondal's travelogue. No doubt the Duster can climb great heights even in 2WD avatar as we have seen in that thread, but it cannot go till Sandakphu considering the current road condition. It can be said with confidence that sinsha and Rajib's Duster is the first to have made it till Sandakphu.

Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar-sandakphu_map.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Yet another Sandakphu stunner. The camping idea is like an icing on the cake. Wonderful, BlackPearl.
Also, I sometimes wonder how you people cover Darjeeling-Kolkata like distances in 12-13 hours!

Amazing travelogue!
Thanks a lot gearhead_mait! Waiting for your Kashmir travelogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post
I am always mesmerized each and every time you put up a travelogue. How can one be so short and crisp, yet complete!

Pictures are awesome. Duster scaling Sandakfu is not something 99.5% people would expect. But great job by team duster.

Btw, what did you all cook up there while tenting?
Thanks a lot A.G.The Rambler. It is a bit of a story on what we cooked at the campsite. We had thought to pack frozen chicken with us from Darjeeling but next morning we realised that it had gone completely out of our mind. When we stopped at Lamey Dhura and asked for chicken, the lady at the shop told us that it would not be a problem. Few minutes later we saw her struggling to push a big live chicken into the Thar Though it sounds so funny now, but all of us were literally shocked at the idea. After that it took us 20 minutes to convince and coax her that we needed the chicken in a form we could handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Congratulations on becoming a D-BHPian, Sumitro. Next time we meet, remind me to bow

So, Sandakphu yet again? Is it 5 times or more now?
Thanks a lot mr.sinha. It is the fourth time. We are still waiting for your travelogue on Sandakphu!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vdm295 View Post
What a lovely travelogue accompanied with those lovely photographs. The place seems to be really beautiful.
This place seems to have lots of Land Rovers, but your thar did really well in those terrains & of course it would not have been possible without your driving skills.
Congratulations for becoming D bhpian.
Thanks a lot vdm295.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_MNC_SK View Post
Hello Blackpearl,

Its a wonderful travelogue that you have put. This is your 4th trip if I am not mistaken. The duster making it to the top is a great news for people with no 4WD vehicle at their disposal- perhaps not so good news for the landrover business there. Though i would appreciate its the man more than the machine that made that Duster see the Sandakpu top.

By the way last time we went there in Mid December in two Thar Crdes, the local people said that some Maruti Omnis did also make it to the top without any other vehicles help (they were pushed by human force at many places). WHen I went in the Thar last time, i was of my opinion that a 2WD vehicle especially a front wheel drive would be impossible to take, but its wrong.

Looking forward to putting up my own travel experiences to Sandakpu and elsewhere.
Thanks Dr_MNC_SK. The Duster that went there with us was an AWD. So you are right that it will be impossible for a 2WD Duster to go till Sandakphu in present road conditions. However the Maruti Omnis can now go till Tumling which was not possible before.
Please do post your travel experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
You keep going back to Sandakphu so many times that there is this rumour in the air these days - "The LR association of Maneybhanjan is considering BlackPearl as their brand ambassador"! Jokes apart, awesome narration, superb picture and the best video coverage of the trail from you so far, congrats! I hope this video gives some realistic impression of the trail to the viewers and help people refrain from going there in hatchbacks
Thanks a lot psurelia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
BTW, how would you compare the performance of the Thar pitted against the Bolero on this trail?
It is a difficult question to answer as both the vehicles have performed flawlessly. However as I have driven the Bolero a lot more than the Thar, I am inherently more comfortable with the Bolero in tough situations e.g. the kickback from the Thar steering in 4WD mode seemed to be bit more harsh than that of the Bolero. It took me quite some time to get used to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uprasenjit View Post
This was the 5th or 6th time ? Congrats on that, wish someday I can accompany you in a proper vehicle
Thanks Uprasenjit. This was the fourth time. Surely we will go there one day in your 4WD!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashphil View Post
Lovely travelogue Blackpearl! Rated 5 stars! Would be interested to know how does the Bolero fare on the Sandakpu route.
Regards,
Ashok
Thanks a lot ashphil. The Bolero performs flawlessly on the Sandakphu route. It has been there three times. Here are the travelogues -

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ll-phalut.html (Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-3rd-time.html (Bolero 4WD takes us to Sandakphu. For the 3rd time!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
Absolutely wonderful travelogue and beautiful crisp pictures.
Brilliantly composed and very well documented as well.
The camping details was enough to give momentum to the plan later this year.
Thanks ARAY. Please keep us posted about your camping plans.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksingh544 View Post
Hi Black Pearl,

as always a lovely , crisp narration. I have only been upto Darjeeling once and this area beyond looks amazing.
Thanks a lot Ksingh544!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksingh544 View Post
Is there a route into Nepal from there also ? Which can be accessed by road?
Yes, there are two roads to Sandakphu, one through Nepal and one Through India. They keep on meeting at certain places. You can refer to the maps on Sandakphu for more details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksingh544 View Post
Also the final 3km climb which is seen in the video what gears were you using 4H or 4L ?
4 low second gear mostly, sometimes first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pduttaghy View Post
A great travelogue Black Pearl with some great pictures to go with it. Very inspirational, I would say.
Thanks a lot pduttaghy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
As always. A wonderful TL Blackpearl. Stunning pictures & scenery & excellent narration. Sherpa would be happy as Tusker has had a lot more fun in its lifetime.

Keep writing & mesmerizing us.

5-stars

Regards,

Pawan
Thanks a lot Pawan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay3sh View Post
Superb write up BlackPearl, your writings about travel and the Thar are both immensely inspiring. The duster is mighty impressive, I plan to keep the video to show around the Duster's potential. The road to Sandakphu indeed seems to be a test of both the man and the machine. One can see the duster revving hard at times (Not sure if it is needed since Shinsha said it was his first time on the route, I am sincerely curious no offence intended on the driving ability) but I could not hear the Thar revving hard (struggling) even once, is it true? Was it 4H or 4L that you had to drive in? Might be noob question but I live in the plains and have no experience with a 4WD vehicle.
Thanks jay3sh! The Thar was in 4Low in the last 3 kms stretch. The Thar did not have to rev hard like the Duster because of 4L and nothing else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unavowed_X9 View Post
BlackPearl. Fantastic. Rated 5 stars. Hoping to get there this year! Will PM you once ready!
Thanks a lot Unavowed_X9! Please feel free to shoot your queries and we will be more than happy to answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Congratulations on your yet another drive to Sandakphu! Looking at the pictures of the "road" (if you call it) to Sandakphu, somehow getting me curious to ask: is this road maintained regularly? Or nothing major has happened after it was made?

Cheers,
Thanks gmhossain! The road to Sandakphu was a trekking route and till a few years back only the Land Rovers used to go there. Though the road is not maintained that regularly, it has become a lot better in a lot of places in the recent times.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 8th May 2016 at 22:47.
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Old 9th May 2016, 07:52   #37
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

Excellent travelogue! Those are some pretty hardcore inclines. No wonder the Duster was having difficulty climbing. Were you in 4wd Low or high for the climb?
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Old 10th May 2016, 21:39   #38
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

The stretch from Sandakphu to Phalut was far more beautiful and treacherous than that from Maneybhanjan to Sandakphu, though the inclines were not as steep.
Here is a small video that will give an idea -




Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Excellent travelogue! Those are some pretty hardcore inclines. No wonder the Duster was having difficulty climbing. Were you in 4wd Low or high for the climb?
Thanks extreme_torque. The climbs in the video were done in 4Low second or first gear.
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Old 10th May 2016, 21:44   #39
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

I believe 4H won't be of any help.

To descend those steep places, one would need a 4L again. Else, one will fry their brakes.
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Old 10th May 2016, 22:29   #40
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Please opine if a Pajero can do it.
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Old 10th May 2016, 22:48   #41
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

Quote:
Here is a small video that will give an idea
Thanks for sharing , these are really straight climbs / descents - very chilling . Can you upload more videos if possible ? Also, share which camera & mount you have used , these videos are very stable despite so harsh terrain.
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Old 13th May 2016, 19:44   #42
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Originally Posted by Unavowed_X9 View Post
Please opine if a Pajero can do it.
Yes Unavowed_X9 a Pajero will definitely go. I think you are already on your way to Sandakphu as I am typing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Thanks for sharing , these are really straight climbs / descents - very chilling . Can you upload more videos if possible ? Also, share which camera & mount you have used , these videos are very stable despite so harsh terrain.
I have an sjcam4000 and using a go pro mount. I will upload more videos as well.
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Old 13th May 2016, 19:54   #43
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Yes...we are in Sher e Punjab ..
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Old 13th May 2016, 20:16   #44
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BlackPearl, can we expect you to join us?
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Old 14th May 2016, 06:42   #45
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Default Re: Sandakphu and beyond in a Mahindra Thar

Those look like hair raising places, given that videos and photos tend to make things look easier than they really are.

I notice a reverse to make a hairpin at one point - having used a Gypsy extensively and cursed its turning circle often, I think both driver and car would struggle on this road. It appears that Thar has a smaller turning circle.
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