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Old 27th June 2016, 18:43   #31
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Brilliant travelogue. Rated a well deserved 5 star. Superbly written with some mesmerizing pictures. You had mentioned "We took some shortcuts after Lachung La & reached Baralacha La around 1 pm." of taking shortcuts, are these shortcuts clearly demarcated? .Keep driving and writing!

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Old 27th June 2016, 19:33   #32
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Brilliant write up, and great going managing to get to the Base Camp at Siachen. The quote in this pic almost made me tear up

Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD-wm-fornt.jpg

Wonderful read, and great pics. You plan your trips really well, and thanks for allowing the less adventurous of us, or those with less time/ability to travel vicariously through your travelogues.
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Old 27th June 2016, 23:32   #33
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Hi Nariman. Army permission is mandatory. I saw many people who had gone till Sasoma & then returned back. You cannot cross Sasoma checkpost without permission, SBC is still 47 kms away. SBC is highly restricted place, there is no way one can go without permission. I saw one more civilian vehicle there which was used by an army officer & his family as a taxi. So nt sure about the past, but now it is pretty strict. Permission is almost not given.
Excellent log!

We did SBC in 2012 and it was quite strict even then. We nearly missed the 2:30 PM cut-off to cross the Sasoma checkpost due to a misunderstanding with our army hosts and had a tough time convincing them to let us through.

We attempted looping back through Wari La (Shyok - Agham was off limits that year) and had to turn around at the top as it was completely snowed out in the last kilometer and had to come back to Leh. On the other hand, we managed Hanle - Chumur - Tso Moriri.
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Old 28th June 2016, 08:03   #34
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Excellent travelouge. I did the Mughal road route last year however the roads were quite bad around Raouri and we ended up taking a lot of time.
Did you have to burn the clutch on the Agham route?
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Old 28th June 2016, 09:03   #35
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Excellent travelogue Pawan, rated 5 stars. Ever since you got the Duster AWD, you have been going places. Keep it up and keep writing.
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Old 28th June 2016, 09:38   #36
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

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Originally Posted by basubhatta View Post
I am overwhelmed. Kudos!
I just want to know one thing, did you feel any difficulty or did your car behaved differently because of lower amount of oxygen?
Thank you basubhatta. Yes, low oxygen is a problem both for man & machine. For us, it is always better to acclimatize. We faced some headache in Leh & immediately had a Diamox (a medicine to avoid AMS). The rule is not to exert at all the first day & increase the physical activities gradually. By the end of the trip, we had sepnt 6 night above 10k ft & therefore acclimatized. We were not feeling any difference than we would in plains. For the machines, the engines become a little underpowered, the turbo kicks in a tad late. But finally you get the hang of it.

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Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
Great TL! I am amazed at the Kms you have managed to put on some days. And Leh to Manali is really commendable, the best most people attempt is to reach Keylong.

The Mughal road seems to be the favored route for most BHPians, is there some decent stay option on this route near Peer ki Gali?
Thanks avisidhu. My wife & I are in a habit of being in car sets for 18-20 hours, sometimes more. So our average kilometer coverage is usually high. We had targeted Keylong as well, but easily made it to Manali. Infact, the worst part of that days journey was the traffic jam at the entry of Manali.

Mughal road has some very beautiful vistas but we should not overlook the risk it possesses. We could not find any stay options near Peer ki Gali. This area is best avoided after sundown since we as travelers know very less about it & gunfires are not a stray incident here.

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Originally Posted by Aum View Post
Great travelogue Pawan, relived my trip back in 2014 though your photographs and narration. Beautifully written.
Thanks Aum !

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Originally Posted by Venku2015 View Post
Exhilarating travelogue to say the least! Beautiful pics combined with short and crisp narration crowns it one of the best T-logs on Team-BHP.

Your Hulk sure did a great job and add to that the convenience of AWD does help a lot in the LEH terrain. This one travelogue does inspire me a lot to do yet another Ladakh tour and hopefully with wifey this time
Thank you for the beautiful words Venku2015. AWD is peace of mind for sure. Please pen down a TL when you make a trip with your wife.

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Originally Posted by IndiaSierra View Post
Brilliant travelogue. Rated a well deserved 5 star. Superbly written with some mesmerizing pictures. You had mentioned "We took some shortcuts after Lachung La & reached Baralacha La around 1 pm." of taking shortcuts, are these shortcuts clearly demarcated? .Keep driving and writing!
Thank you IndiaSierra. Your handle is similarly arrived as mine. Regarding shortcuts, there is no demarcation. All you need is a good navigator sitting beside you, who can spot the same. But would only suggest high GC SUVs if not 4WD to take them.

For instance this is how a shortcut looked like when we took it. The picture does not show the actual gradient.

Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD-dsc04681.jpg

And this is how it looked from far way. Quite a short one eh.

Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD-dsc04686.jpg

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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Brilliant write up, and great going managing to get to the Base Camp at Siachen. The quote in this pic almost made me tear up

Wonderful read, and great pics. You plan your trips really well, and thanks for allowing the less adventurous of us, or those with less time/ability to travel vicariously through your travelogues.
Thank you VeluM. War memorials are emotional places for sure, more for people who have some association with the forces. I am glad you like my travelogue & the pics and that I was able to virtually transport you to Ladakh. As for planning, yes I do plan a lot, but once we are on the road, we enjoy as much as we can. Even in this trip, we deviated from the original plan but it was worth it.

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Originally Posted by codelust View Post
Excellent log!

We did SBC in 2012 and it was quite strict even then. We nearly missed the 2:30 PM cut-off to cross the Sasoma checkpost due to a misunderstanding with our army hosts and had a tough time convincing them to let us through.

We attempted looping back through Wari La (Shyok - Agham was off limits that year) and had to turn around at the top as it was completely snowed out in the last kilometer and had to come back to Leh. On the other hand, we managed Hanle - Chumur - Tso Moriri.
True Codelust. SBC is very strict. Unless you have army connections it is almost impossible to get thru Sasoma. Wari La, Hanle, Tso Moriri have made it to the itinerary next time.

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Originally Posted by tomraven99 View Post
Excellent travelouge. I did the Mughal road route last year however the roads were quite bad around Raouri and we ended up taking a lot of time.
Did you have to burn the clutch on the Agham route?
Thank you tomraven99. The roads as explained in the TL are quite bad from Rajaouri to Bafliaz. Didn't understand the clutch burn part. The inclines were not too steep in the Agham route. Plus duster has pretty good low end torque & gearing fit for crawl, so didn't have to burn the clutch anywhere.

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 28th June 2016, 15:08   #37
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Excellent travelogue, Papa.

You did Leh-Manali in 13 hours with 1.5 hours of traffic holdup, that means effectively in 11.5 hours? The road must have improved a LOT by now. Last time I had done that in Oct 2014, it took us 20 hours (Manali-Leh) with no stops (other than few for nature and photography), jams or holdups.
Hows the dust on the road now?

Also, it is amazing to see the Agham-Shyok route as partially paved. Appears no where near to the terrible road it looked like in tsk's travelogues. I had done the Wari La route instead of this one.
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Old 28th June 2016, 17:35   #38
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Well done Pavan, Congrats on completing an awesome trip. Great travelogue as well.

I didn't even know doing SBC was an option for a civilian. I dont remember reading any travelogue where SBC was covered. Politely Envying your luck.
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Old 28th June 2016, 19:53   #39
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Wow Hulk just looks built for that terrain ! Pawan, congratulations on yet another feather to your cap , and a great travelogue , rated a well deserved 5 stars. You seem to have turned NH2 into your daily commute these days

Did you try the AWD on the Gata Loop shortcuts ?
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Old 29th June 2016, 09:21   #40
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Excellent travelogue Pawan, rated 5 stars. Ever since you got the Duster AWD, you have been going places. Keep it up and keep writing.
Thanks Blackpearl. Yes, Hulk makes the travel easier for us. It munches miles & scales heights without much drama.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Excellent travelogue, Papa.

You did Leh-Manali in 13 hours with 1.5 hours of traffic holdup, that means effectively in 11.5 hours? The road must have improved a LOT by now. Last time I had done that in Oct 2014, it took us 20 hours (Manali-Leh) with no stops (other than few for nature and photography), jams or holdups.
Hows the dust on the road now?

Also, it is amazing to see the Agham-Shyok route as partially paved. Appears no where near to the terrible road it looked like in tsk's travelogues. I had done the Wari La route instead of this one.
Thanks mr.sinha. We did it in around 11.5 to 12 hours excluding holdups. I believe it can be done in 10 hours as well if the person doesn't stop for photography & food, but what's the fun in that. Leh-Manali has definitely improved. Luckily we found no major jam on Rohtang as well. The dust in some stretched is quite bad. Infact, I was feeling bad for the bike riders. They had to ingest so much dust in order to go to Ladakh.

Regarding Agham-Shyok, the partially part is quite small. Most of it is river bed. There were a lot of rock falls on this route, so today's road can turn into no road tomorrow. Having said that, I think the overall road condition has become a little more drivable than before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangespat View Post
Well done Pavan, Congrats on completing an awesome trip. Great travelogue as well.

I didn't even know doing SBC was an option for a civilian. I dont remember reading any travelogue where SBC was covered. Politely Envying your luck.
Thank you mangespat. I am glad you like it. SBC is off limits for almost everyone. Along with the help of our friend, the fact that my wife & I both are children of Army officers that helped.

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Wow Hulk just looks built for that terrain ! Pawan, congratulations on yet another feather to your cap , and a great travelogue , rated a well deserved 5 stars. You seem to have turned NH2 into your daily commute these days

Did you try the AWD on the Gata Loop shortcuts ?
Thank you Angshuman Da for the appreciation. Hulk definitely looked at home in this terrain. Yes, thinking of staying off NH2 for sometime now. We did try the Gata Loops shortcuts. but since we were coming down the shortcuts & not going up, AWD was not used all the times. There were some places where we had 4 Lock to avoid faster roll down & more traction. Also, some shortcuts are really steep. I would have taken these if we had some back up or were near home, but the risk is not worth it when you are 3000 kms away. A breakdown would spoil the whole trip.

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 29th June 2016, 12:57   #41
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

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Thank you tomraven99. The roads as explained in the TL are quite bad from Rajaouri to Bafliaz. Didn't understand the clutch burn part. The inclines were not too steep in the Agham route. Plus duster has pretty good low end torque & gearing fit for crawl, so didn't have to burn the clutch anywhere.

Regards,

Pawan

Yeah the AWD has low first gear ratio. I did the circuit in a 2wd 110PS. The turbo lag was quite irritating and had to slip the clutch quite a few times. Didnt do the Agham route but it has the reputation of being one of the toughest routes in the Ladakh circuit{Only high GC 4WD vehicles}. Perhaps it has become better now. Got an AWD now and looking forward to do the route.
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Old 29th June 2016, 14:44   #42
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

PawanDa ,an epic travel log I was hooked on to the awesomeness ... a)because I need to go there and the details provided would be of enormous help for future reference and b)see an Amazon Green Duster AWD perform in those terrains.
Of course the immense help I received while you were on your way in AWD buying decision. If I remember right I called you on Day 2 while you were driving at Pathankot . Because of all the help from you and Samba this happened .

Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD-img_6010.jpg

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Old 30th June 2016, 13:03   #43
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

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Originally Posted by tomraven99 View Post
Yeah the AWD has low first gear ratio. I did the circuit in a 2wd 110PS. The turbo lag was quite irritating and had to slip the clutch quite a few times. Didnt do the Agham route but it has the reputation of being one of the toughest routes in the Ladakh circuit{Only high GC 4WD vehicles}. Perhaps it has become better now. Got an AWD now and looking forward to do the route.
Yes. Turbo vehicles face this problem. The non-linear power is a pain. On high altitudes, the lag increases & it becomes more difficult. But I think all these can be partly handled by some or the other technique.

Agham-Shyok is bad no doubt. May be one of the toughest in that region. But HULK has seen tougher routes than this one. So we were not too worried about it. Plus the scenic beauty takes away most of the pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
PawanDa ,an epic travel log I was hooked on to the awesomeness ... a)because I need to go there and the details provided would be of enormous help for future reference and b)see an Amazon Green Duster AWD perform in those terrains.
Of course the immense help I received while you were on your way in AWD buying decision. If I remember right I called you on Day 2 while you were driving at Pathankot . Because of all the help from you and Samba this happened .
Thanks a lot Aritra. I am sure your AWD will look even better in this terrain. You are a lot better in photography I can see. Just let me know whenever you need any help regarding the trip. Wish you many happy miles on your AWD. Keep exploring !!

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 30th June 2016, 13:28   #44
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

A beautiful travelogue, PapaBravo !! The pics are also superb and it seems that Hulk was made for the trip.

Wishing you lots more wonderful trips ...and many more TLs for us to enjoy !!
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Old 30th June 2016, 14:25   #45
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Default Re: Kolkata to Ladakh & Siachen in a Duster AWD

Another excellent travelogue , and the doer has painstakingly shot photographs in sub zero temperatures to add substance to the blog . Nicely carried out and narrated . The traveler has also highlighted the problems, issue and challenges en-route the entire trip which would definitely be of guidance for readers here. Thank you and keep writting more such blogs. All the best !!!
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