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Old 25th August 2016, 15:09   #1
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Default XUV500: Bangalore to Ladakh!

Dedicated to every Soldier of the Indian Armed Forces.

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware!
Ladakh, is among those places on this planet where the journey is the destination in itself.


A 1974 model Premier Padmini served us pretty well. It took us across the length and breadth of South India.
Current ODO : 1,50,000 Kms & Counting.

In 1997, It was later accompanied by an Ultra-Reliable workhorse. Maruti Esteem VX.
Current ODO : 2,10,000 Kms & Counting.

18 Years later, We felt the need for a 7 seater SUV. Mahindra XUV 500 won the battle for its lovely engine, Torque, Sheer Road presence and the advantage of an additional 6th gear which is a boon on highways! After reading through 500+ pages of the Team-BHP thread on XUV with some brilliant ownership reviews from fellow-BHPians like Anshuman, SDP and J Ravi sir, I was theoretically very well versed with the car.

16th July 2015 : The Cheetah Arrives!

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I was pretty young, when I was bitten by the “Travel-Bug”. Trekking along the tracks of Konkan Railways to Jumping off the snow-capped Himalayas, with a parachute off-course. I had done it all. With the drastic improvement in road infrastructure across the country, road trips are on the rise. The one destination that strikes the mind of every road-tripper in the country - LADAKH!

“Planning” is undoubtedly one of the best phases of a trip. Sleepless nights, tons of queries and infinite possibilities. In a Road Trip of 9000+ Kms across 18 Days, Planning has to be as meticulous as possible.
Most of the hotels were pre-booked as I couldn’t afford to spend much time looking out for them on arrival.

Special Thanks to Tanveer(tsk1979) for the Ultimate guide to Leh-Ladakh. Without you, this trip would never have been possible. Thanks to every BHPian whose travelogues of Ladakh inspired me in planning this great escape!


Camping tent – Coleman (sleeps 4) = Rs. 6,700/-
Sleeping bags – Quechua = Rs. 1,150/-
Portable Oxygen Cylinder *2 = Rs. 820/-
Portable Kerosene Stove = Rs. 300/-
Water can = 20L*1
Diesel can = 20L*1
Koido electric pump = Rs. 1,200/-
Emergency kit (Jump-start cable, Torch, Tow rope)
Puncture repair kit
Cooking Utensils
Ready-to-eat food items
Diamox (Tablet)


With just 6800 Kms on the ODO, It was a relatively easy affair to prepare the cheetah.
Engine oil was changed at 5000 Kms (First service).

I wanted to carry engine oil and some other important fluids along with me but M&M insisted that I call their 24*7 helpline and they would arrange for a flat-bed towing service to the nearest service center in case of a breakdown. The other advantage being, I could save some valuable boot space.


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This day was different from any other day of my life. I was more anxious and nervous than the days of my engineering exams. “All is well”, Got the XUV thoroughly washed, Nitrogen top-up on all the 5 Wheels, Under-body checked to be away from last minute surprises and the last row seats were removed completely to utilize the boot space efficiently.

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Started loading the luggage at 6 PM and it was done in about half an hour. At 6:30 PM, I left my home at Richmond Town and started to chase my D-R-E-A-M of 7 Years. For the first time, there was absolutely pin drop silence in the car. Yet, I could feel the adrenaline rush in me. Met my friend Vaibhav who was supposed to accompany us but couldn’t make it in the last minute due to personal reasons. He was sorely missed. Then,I picked up my other friends, Hardik and Vibhu from their home and took the ORR and proceeded towards Tumkur road. Certainly, it didn’t feel like any other road trip of ours.

Our first break was at Deol Punjabi Dhaba near Davangere. We had a really interesting conversation with the hotel’s owner Sonu for about 30 Minutes. A true Punjabi by heart, he was curious to know about our road trip to the Himalayas. He gave us some valuable inputs and was really helpful and kind towards us. “Punjab di mitti, mitti di khushboo”


Driving continued over-night and we reached Belgaum early morning and the visibility was hardly 50 meters due to dense fog. Had a tea-break and continued the drive-a-thon. Roads were patchy for about 70 Kms when we entered Maharashtra as the maintenance of the roads was in full swing.

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Filled the fuel tank to the brim just before Pune and the calculated mileage(Full tank method) was 13.4 Km/l. The road en-route Pune was very Scenic with green dominating all over the plains. We decided to have our breakfast at Pune. Vibhu was excited to meet his good old friend. Me? For the much awaited Pune – Mumbai Expressway!

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After a 2 hour break, We left Pune a 11 AM and Boy-oh-Boy! What a road. A driver’s delight. The beautiful mountains and the marvelous tunnels left me speechless. This is when I couldn’t stop praising our beloved M&M for building such a great car with a gem of an engine. I was cruising in 6th gear all along at triple digit speeds and not a moment of nervousness.

Entered Mumbai at 1 PM and headed to the pre-booked hotel, which was at a location that would be convenient to proceed towards Udaipur,the next day. It was a Saturday and Mumbai was at its best. Travelling in the Mumbai Local train was a memorable one(for the good). Had a mouth-watering Vada-Pav at Dadar Station and took a stroll along the world-famous Marine drive.

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Hopped on to the last local and reached the hotel with the help of a local Taxi.

Stay : GCC Hotel and Club
Overall experience : 4.5/5

DAY 3 : MUMBAI - UDAIPUR = 750 Kms

Woke up by 9 AM, had the complimentary Breakfast and left the hotel to hit the “Beautiful Roads” of Gujarat. It was difficult to bid adieu to Mumbai this early. Nevertheless, Monsoon is calling! Gujarat had the best roads of all the states in the trip. Couldn’t spot a single pot-hole in the entire stretch.
Had the authentic Gujarati food at Surat and it left our taste buds happy.

There was a slight confusion over the route to Udaipur. What do I do? Switch on the Navigation system of the car. The worst had to happen, Navigation goes Kaput! Had to solely rely on the locals for the direction to proceed to Vadodara-Ahmedabad Expressway. The worst had happened? Not yet. The locals guided us to a place called “Chota Udaipur” which is apparently in Madhya Pradesh. Luckily, I sensed something fishy as the road was a single-lane with almost zero traffic. With 20 Kms covered, I decided to stop at a small hut and confirm the route. I realized the mistake, took a quick de-tour and joined the Expressway in about 30 Minutes.

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The Vadodara-Ahmedabad expressway was the best road I have ever been on. Butter-Smooth! Covered a distance of about 120 Kms in 45 Min. Meanwhile, filled-up the tank to its brim at Reliance filling station on the expressway. Calculated mileage was 13.1 Km/l.

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Got a call from my friend Vinay around 7 PM that he has reached Udaipur and would be checking-in to Club Mahindra, Udaipur. We reached Udaipur by 10 PM. Sadly, he ended up waiting 3 hours for us. The stay was free(Advantage of having a friend who has a Club Mahindra Membership) and it was a delightful experience.

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Myself, Vibhu, Vinay and Hardik

Stay : Club Mahindra, Udaipur
Overall experience: 5/5

DAY 4 : UDAIPUR - AMRITSAR = 1000 Kms -20 Hour drive

Plan: Leave Udaipur early in the morning and reach Amritsar by late night. (This was achieved by a couple of BHPians)
Reality: The feeling of seeing a milestone at 6 PM that reads Amritsar 578 Kms, Priceless!

We Left Udaipur by 11 AM. The weather was humid throughout the day. The travel time was much longer than expected, blame it on few patchy stretches of Rajasthan or the disappointment of Kishangarh-Hanumangarh “Mega Highway”. Filled the tank to the brim, Calculated mileage = 12.7 Kms. The good part was the amazing Rajasthani thali at a small town near Chittorgarh. The driving continued after a short tea break and it was pitch-dark outside with sparse traffic on the road. Around 10 PM the TPMS(Tyre pressure Monitoring System) decided to have some fun-on-the-go! Beep-Beep : Low tire Pressure.

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Before I could think of what to do next, I found a petrol-pump(closed), with a light which Indeed was a blessing in disguise for us. If not, we would be stranded in complete darkness in an unknown territory. Parked the car and 12V Electric pump comes to the rescue. Checked the Tire pressure of the rear left tire and it was 23.1 PSI while the other tyres had ~33 PSI. Filled the air upto 32 PSI and waited for 5 min and the reading dropped down to 25 PSI. Hence, Puncture was confirmed. Quickly swapped the punctured wheel with the spare wheel.
Was heart-broken to see a Non-alloy.

Continued driving and roads finally became better after crossing the Punjab Border. It was 3 AM and Amritsar was Faaaar away. The best thing to do was to stop by a road-side dhaba and order some yummy food : Dal Makhni, Rotis and a Lassi(came with a spoon to “eat”).

Continued the journey after a much-needed break and the road was surrounded by DDLJ Inspired Sarson ke kheth on either sides with one of the most beautiful sunrise of my life. After an hour of driving, when I saw the milestone that read “Amritsar 2Kms”, I felt like I had conquered the Everest. Finally, We made it to Amritsar by 7 AM.

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Checked-in to Hotel Puri Palace, No! I wasn’t fortunate enough to sleep. While Vibhu and Vinay decided to have a nap, I and Hardik went out looking for a puncture repair shop. We found one in the vicinity and the punctured tire was quickly repaired. Next? Get the car washed as it was as dirty as it could get. Met a really nice Sardar ji who was getting his truck bathed and was co-incidentally driving to Bangalore in his truck. We ended up having a good conversation for almost an hour on all the possible things in the world.

Went back to the hotel, stayed for an hour and check-out! Meanwhile, We realized that we need kerosene as it would be handy to prepare something in case of an emergency and that turned out to be a blunder! There were 4 small bottles which were tightly sealed and kept inside the 20L Diesel Jerry can which was further sealed. Yet, there was the odour of kerosene inside the car. It was nearly impossible to figure out the source of the leakage. Sherlock & Watson, Help ?

Visited the beautiful Golden Temple and loved it from the bottom of my heart.

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Langar is served to over 1 Lakh people daily and the sheer amount of dedication is truly appreciable.
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Left Amritsar and reached Pathankot in couple of hours and proceeded towards the border of Jammu & Kashmir. As we reached Lakhanpur toll plaza I couldn’t resist but click a pic. Finally entered the state of Jammu & Kashmir, a dream turned into a reality.

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The roads became better and better once we crossed Jammu and proceeded towards Katra. We were stopped at the Army check post and the documents of the car checked. The initial plan was to reach Srinagar, but the ghat section and the truck traffic took a toll on the time consumed and we decided to stop at Patnitop for the night.

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Last edited by Zahoor23 : 4th September 2016 at 18:12.
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Old 25th August 2016, 17:14   #2
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The day began at 9 AM as we proceeded towards the Kashmir valley. It was a very enthralling experience to drive through the twists & turns of the valley. Reached Srinagar at 2 PM and had one of the best lunch of the trip at Ahdoos Restaurant, which serves lip-smacking Wazwani food.

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Titanic View Point - First view of Kashmir valley

Visited Dal lake in the evening

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Myself and Vibhu

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We left for Gulmarg at 7 PM and reached there by 9 PM (Didn’t mind doing this stretch at night, as i had to come back to Srinagar the next morning) . Checked in to the hotel, which was just few yards from the Gondola ride. A highly recommended place to stay.

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Stay : Gulmarg Meadows
Overall experience : 4/5

DAY 7 : GULMARG – KARGIL = 250 Kms

The day started at 8 AM, with a view to die for! Surrounded by majestic alpine trees, and the view of the Gondola cable car which was at a distance of 300 Mts from our hotel. We had to walk over stones and water stream to reach the ticket counter, which was supposed to open at 9:AM. Grabbed a cup of tea which was sold as “kawa”.

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The Gondola ride was great, if not excellent; as it is at its best when there is snow all over. I bet, it would give you a clear picturesque of Switzerland. There are 2 Levels of Gondola :Level 1 and Level 2. At 14,000 feet, it is officially the highest cable car ride in the world.
It was 11 AM and we proceeded with our check-out.

Kashmir and Apple’s go hand-in-hand. Visited a beautiful Apple Orchid and packed along 10 Kgs of Apples(including green apple) as we would, majorly rely on them in our journey to No Man’s Land in the coming days. Left Gulmarg and took the Srinagar By-pass to proceed towards Kargil.

En-route to Kargil lies this super-magnificent Natural/Man-made/BRO-made road, the mighty ZOJI-LA PASS! On a serious note: This stretch needs to be strictly covered during the day as it is extremely dangerous to drive and grabs a spot in one of the World’s most dangerous roads. Stay focused, and maintain a good distance with the vehicles, especially trucks ahead of you. This was the most challenging road that I have ever driven,in my life.

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Welcome to Ladakh!

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The mighty Zoji La!

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Maggi tastes amazing at 12,000 ft. More so, when it is banned

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Reached Sonmarg, Boy-oh-Boy! It was postcard-perfect. Mountains, Alpine trees, Bridges, River all at once. We were lucky enough to have the “Banned-Maggi” at such a beautiful place. After a while, few Army Jawans joined us and we had a good conversation. They told us “ Stay fearless and go ahead with your plan, there is Army everywhere. Be it Roads, Mountains, Forests, Bridges and Rivers” A big Salute to our Army Jawans!

Reached Drass by 7 PM and the road from Drass to kargil was a runway like tarmac which was fully illuminated. Kudos to BRO. I wouldn’t have been surprised, if I had spotted a Sukhoi-30-Mki in my rear-view mirror.

Kargil! Had only heard and dreamt about visiting it until this day when I was really privileged to step on the soil of one of the most remarkable places of INDIA. Being from an Army School, this place certainly holds a special place in my heart.

Stay : The Highlands-Kargil
Overall experience: 4.5/5

DAY 8: KARGIL – LEH = 210 Kms

Had to go back to Drass to visit the War Memorial and pay tribute to the HEROES of our nation,who laid down their lives for us. Departed from Kargil around 1 PM and drove across mountains & plains to reach Leh at 10 PM With couple of breaks.The road from Kargil to Leh is indeed one of the most fascinating drives as it is a series of high passes and fragile mountain sides. Every mountain was charismatic in its own way, easily one of the best driving experiences of my life.

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The only “rest day” of the trip. Woke up around 11AM and had breakfast in the lovely garden area of the Hotel Kidar.

*First things first, Inner Line Permits : It was a breeze to obtain them. Simple and hastle-free paper work which was done in half an hour. The officials were very co-operative.

*Headed towards Leh-Ling motors(Authorised Mahindra dealer) for my 2nd free service of the car. It was an out-of-the-world experience to get the Cheetah serviced at 11,564 Ft . The 2nd free service comprises of changing the AC Pollen filter and the normal check-up. But, unfortunately, the Service Adviser told that due to the cold weather conditions of Leh, they do not have stocks of AC pollen filter and hence, only the check-up was carried out with a thorough wash which left the car sparkling.

It was right time to get the GPS rectified as it would be needed the most in the coming days. Kudos to the gentleman who took every effort to get it rectified. He made a few frantic calls to Delhi and rectified the problem because it was never carried out before at this Service center as hardly any XUV’s come here for servicing.

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*Proceeded to Leh market for shopping in a local taxi(Omni), spent good 3 hours in purchasing the souvenirs and Kawa(A unique blend of Kashmiri tea).

*Visited the Leh war memorial. With the gigantic Himalayas in the backdrop, this was by far the best runway I have ever seen. It was pretty cloudy and we heard from the locals that there are reports of fresh snowfall at Khardung La and this was enough to send shivers down my spine but equally exciting.

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Sare Jahan se acha, Hindustan hamara!

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Inside the Siachen tent

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Because, flying is is too mainstream

*Shanti Stupa at night offered lovely view of Leh with beautiful stars in the sky. Hit the bed pretty early as we had to brace ourselves to the mighty Khardung La the next day.

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Shanti stupa

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Beautiful Leh, at night

Stay : Hotel Kidar
Overall Experience : 4.5/5

Last edited by Zahoor23 : 4th September 2016 at 15:41.
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Old 28th August 2016, 14:11   #3
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DAY 10 : LEH - TURTUK = 205 Kms

If I could relive one day of my life, it would be this day!!! Had a much-needed sound sleep the previous night as we were aware that our capabilities would be tested to the maximum today. Left Leh, at 9 AM and the altitude kept increasing every minute. Soon the concrete buildings of Leh, disappeared from the rear view mirror and we were welcomed by the barren and equally majestic mountains.

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Landing site for an UFO? Probably..

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Meereen? GoT fans?

I knew that if I could do Zoji La, then Khardung La was an equally seamless affair but was bound by 2 constrains: Altitude & Snow! I, wasn’t wrong. Most of the time during the ascent, I did not have the advantage of shoulder while the ones who were descending, had it. There were times when it was really challenging, to let the Army convoys pass with just a few cms of clearance on either sides, which meant that even a smallest error could prove fatal. To make things even more challenging, it started to snow! Kudos to Apollo Apterra’s for performing seamlessly at such harsh conditions. The traction was less but they performed at their best, probably an AWD would have made things much easier. Took a one-minute break and continued the expedition to reach the “Highest motorable road in the world – Khardung La pass” at 18,630 ft.

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It started to snow!

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Convoy of Army trucks

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The legendary Gypsy in snow capped mountains

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BHPian for life!

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Live To Drive!

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Thank You!

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The Cheetah is definitely a poser!

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Old 28th August 2016, 23:07   #4
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We were told by the Army not to stop for more than 20 minutes, as the weather was getting harsher accompanied by strong cross-winds. Continued our journey through mountains, rivers, plains and plateaus to reach the destination of the day, Turtuk. Took two breaks of half an hour each, to rejuvenate with the nature, apart from the multiple photo-stops.

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Crossed Hunder, en-route and what a lovely place it is. I was asked to show the permits at the check post at Hunder and then again near Turtuk. It was already 9 PM and we were still driving on this lonely stretch of road. A tract of this road was completely broken as there was fresh landslide. The road was shattered to such an extent, that others had to get down and clear the obstacles which clearly indicated that the rocks had fallen-off, after the last vehicle had passed on this road.

We reached Turtuk Holiday Camp and it was one of the best places, I have ever stayed at. We were warmly welcomed by the host Mr. Rashid .He infact,contacted the Army check post to know if we have made it and after getting a positive response from them he made the necessary arrangements for our stay. He served us lip-smacking dinner at 10 PM. The best part of the food here is that all the veggies are grown organically at their garden.

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Vinay spends some time amidst the nature

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Stay : Turtuk Holiday Camp
Overall Experience : 5/5

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Old 29th August 2016, 02:19   #5
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The day started pleasantly with a sip of coffee and finger-licking breakfast. We could go for another 2 Kms which would be the last point for civilians on this side of the border. We reached the check post which was heavily guarded. We requested for the permission to proceed further, but were politely refused as it would be too risky.

Headed towards Pangong Tso and no words can describe the beauty of this magnificent lake. There was a point where I had to decide between 2 routes: Agham-Shyok OR Wari-La. According to the tentative plan I had planned through Wari-La as I knew that Agham-Shyok would be extremely difficult for a 2WD vehicle. But upon enquiry with the local taxi drivers we were told to proceed through Agham-Shyok as fresh snowfall was reported in Wari-La and Wari-La would take a lot more time than the Agham-Shyok. Taking the Agham-Shyok route meant that I had to be prepared for a couple of under body hits(with a GC of 200 mm).

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A 4x4 got stuck and had to be rescued by a crane

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Double-humped camels

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Mountains, plains, trees and river

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A few words on Agham-Shyok route:
The toughest stretch of the entire 9000 Kms trip. Basically No-road for 4 hours. By telling No-road, I am not referring to muddy road. It refers to an extremely tough terrain with mud, stones, sand and gravel which doubles-up as a river bed in some places in the months of June and July. There was a particular inclination of 45 degrees approx which had loose-mud and stones which required 3 trials to pass through as the tires lost all the traction. There were couple of such “obstacles” in the stretch which resulted in a broken Sump-guard at the end of the day. From Shyok till Pangong the roads were relatively much better which looked like a highway after the previous horrendous stretch.

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Beautiful Runway

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Stunning landscape

Reached Pangong at 7 PM and it was extremely cold as the temperature was 2 degrees. We pitched our camp at the premises of hotel Pangong-Inn and rented a room for the night, Just-In-Case ! We had our dinner at Pangong-Inn and it was decent enough to fill our stomach after an exhaustive day. The temperature dropped to sub-zero around 11 PM and I along with Vibhu moved into the cottage in middle of the night.

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Camping by the stars!

Last edited by Zahoor23 : 4th September 2016 at 16:38.
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Old 29th August 2016, 14:36   #6
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Initially the plan was to proceed to Tso-Moriri but we were told by the locals and the Army that the Road ahead is in a very bad condition as the recent Landslides have destroyed most of the road but it wouldn’t be as worse as Agham-Shyok. I had multiple discussions with the locals and came to a conclusion that it would be really difficult to drive down to Tso-Moriri. We decided to spend the day at Pangong and head back to Sarchu the next day. Explored the beauty of Pangong Tso and we were completely mesmerized by its landscape and changing colors. Decided to cook our own dinner and this turned out to be a very big mistake, which cost us dear.. Read on..

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Shades of blue..

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..and more blue

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After some leisure time, Its time to work! Let's cook? Okay!

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Advantage of having a friend who studied in boarding school, Darjeeling. He can turn into a cook anytime!

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Hard work pays!!

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The next morning, We bid adieu to Pangong Tso. Until next time..

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Old 29th August 2016, 17:16   #7
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DAY 13 : PANGONG TSO - KEYLONG (Yes!) = 225 Kms - 18 Hours of Adventurous Drive at 16000 ft.

As a kid, I always admired Le-Mans 24 hours race. Little did I know one day I would end up driving continuously for 18 hours in the mighty Himalayas at an altitude north of 10,000 Ft. Left Pangong Tso at 8 AM and crossed the Chang-La pass. The magic of Himalayas is such that you feel like stopping at every turn to capture the beauty in your lens and still you can barely come closer to the reality.

The self made food (at Pangong tso) started to take a toll on Vinay, and he was sleeping for most of the day. With regard to my health, the worst was yet to come...

We spotted a group of horses gazing around in the barren land. I kept driving and the road started to deteriorate as BRO was carrying out some repair. They were huge potholes and I was motivated after spotting a red Punto 90 HP, coming from the opposite side. Had a word with the group who were from Delhi and we exchanged a few tips on the condition of the road on either sides. It was relatively challenging to drive on that terrain which had drastic changes in the altitude.

We now came across one of the most beautiful roads to drive in the country. With mountains on either sides and the road was like a runway ! We met a cyclist from Indonesia who cycled down from Leh and was proceeding to Manali. It was nearing dusk and we reached Sarchu at 10 PM. Much later than the ETA.

As per the original plan, I had decided to halt at Sarchu for the night but the harsh weather in Sarchu made us think the other way. We met a really good group of bikers from Chandigarh, who had done the Leh circuit couple of times in their RE’s. They strongly recommended that we proceed to Keylong for the night as the accommodation in Sarchu was bare-minimum with just Tin-sheds . The temperature was already sub-zero, which meant we had to be prepared for the mercury level to dip further upto -10, during the course of the night. I was told to be extra careful, as we would be covering the Baralacha La(16000 Ft) at night which would be slippery as few patches of snow on the road are expected. We had a short tea break and with full determination, I made up my mind and I was pretty confident, that I can still drive down to Keylong. It was around 10:30 PM and we started with the 2nd part of the journey for the day which was quite challenging.

It was pitch-dark and High beam+Fog Lamps was a must. A better throw of light was expected and at this moment I, did feel the need to upgrade the stock headlamps. Stopping even for a minute wasn’t sensible as the roads were narrow and unsafe. Somewhere mid way through the journey we passed-by an on-coming santro.
Reached Keylong at 2 AM and hopped into a hotel.

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Gata loops

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Arrow-straight roads

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Cycling from Leh to Manali

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Newly laid tarmac

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DAY 14 : KEYLONG - MANALI = 115 Kms

This was one of the most scenic drives. We left Keylong around 8 AM. The drive passes though scenic vegetable farms between the mountains, Yellow trees, beautiful hair-pin bends as you approach Manali. Crossed the Rohtang La and it was very beautiful with few patches of snow here and there. The best part of the drive were the numerous hair-pin bends that made driving an amazing experience. Had lunch at a restaurant in Mall Road, Manali and later checked-in to Tree Hill cottage. Went to Mall road for some shopping and later visited old Manali and it turned to be such a happening place. This being our second time to Manali in less than 2 years, It was more of a stop-over.

Stay : Tree Hill Cottage
Overall Experience : 4.5/5

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Beautiful country-side

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As we approach Manali..

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Autumn at its best

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DAY 15 : MANALI - DELHI = 535 Kms

Left Manali by 10 AM and had breakfast on the outskirts of Manali. Continued the journey along NH 21 with some breathtaking views. One of the top most priorities was to change the sump guard. Called up the Service centre at Chandigarh, but it wasn’t available. So, I thought of replacing it after reaching Delhi. I was driving through towns of Himachal, when I crossed Mandi, which had several new car showrooms of key manufacturers including Renault. I came across Mahindra Service center and upon enquiring, I was told that the part is available. Got a quick fix in 30 min and it costed Rs.2,300/-. Proceeded to Delhi via Chandigarh with some heavy traffic in the ghats and got stuck in the massive traffic jam near Chandigarh. Finally, made it to Delhi by 1 AM and proceeded a little further to Noida for the stay.

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River Beas flows along NH 21

Stay : OYO Rooms Noida City center 208
Overall Experience : 4/5

DAY 16 : DELHI - NAGPUR = 1065 Kms

That moment when you realize that the half-cooked food that you ate 2 days ago has started to take a toll on you. Next thing to do? Visit a doctor.

Doc : It looks like a case of food poisoning, are you from Delhi?
Me : No sir, Bangalore.

Doc : Don’t worry, you would be fine before you leave for Bangalore. By the way, When do you plan to leave?
Me : Today

Doc : “stares”
Kitne baje ka flight hai?
Me : Flight Nahi sir

Doc : Oh, Karnataka express? (continues) Be careful with the food in the train. Avoid it if you can.
Me: Actually the thing is I would be driving down to Bangalore, Today, NOW!!

Doctor Lectures me for a while and does the best he could at that time
Say “Delhi to Agra” and Probably, Yamuna Expressway comes before Taj Mahal to the mind of a petrol-head. One of the best roads in the country to drive on where you can test the true potential of the machine to its maximum extent. Loved the drive every bit. Reached Agra in a “while” and passed by Taj Mahal to continue the journey through Towns of Madhya Pradesh and finally made it to Nagpur by 11 PM.

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A driver's delight..

DAY 17 : NAGPUR - BANGALORE = 1100 Kms

Woke up by 8 AM and I realized that it’s difficult to walk and I am completely de-energised. After enquiring about a nearby doc I am directed to this lovely hospital called “Jawahar Lal Nehru Chikitsalay”.
The doctor on duty made sure I get the “needling” work done with 2 bottles of glucose in addition. Was discharged from the hospital at 2 PM the same day. When I asked for the fee, I was told it’s free !!! With a complementary lunch by 3 PM I was back at the steering wheel as the road was too hard to resist and certainly, I was back to normal after the excellent medication. Butter smooth road upto Hyderabad. After a long day and hospital melodrama, it was time for some yummy Biryani at Hyderabad. Reached Paradise hotel at 11 PM and had Hyderabadi Biryani .

Left Hyderabad at 12:30 AM. Technically this comes under the next day but there was no stoppage for the night. Needless to say, this was a breeze. Minimum traffic along with superb roads all the way upto Bangalore. It was 6:30 AM when we crossed Bangalore International Airport. At 8 AM, our 17-Day Road Trip came to an end.

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A beautiful sunset

At 23, It was one of the best decisions of my life to explore Ladakh. It was an amazing experience, indeed. A road trip to Ladakh, should definitely be on every traveler's bucket list. It is very essential to get out of our comfort zones and explore the nature. We get to realize how fortunate we are to have access to the all the comfort creatures. After all, Travel is the only expense that makes you richer!

Throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover!!!

For the potential buyers of XUV, Go ahead and get the Cheetah home! Get the AWD version if you could stretch. It will bring a smile on your face every time you take it to places where a FWD can only dream of. It is a brilliant VFM car and I can proudly tell this after 33,333 Kms of usage in just a year, covering beautiful landscapes from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

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Diwali night? Yeah!

I had, and always will, salute the courage of our soldiers who have sacrificed their today for our tomorrow. Standing at the border, I realized firsthand, the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers who forsake the comforts of home and family life, for a life of hardship and danger, who even embrace death willingly for the sake of our country, so that we can sleep peacefully every night.

Zahoor Hassan

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Old 4th September 2016, 19:13   #8
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th September 2016, 22:32   #9
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Excellent write up complimented by the pictures. Do agree with your concluding note about our jawans. XUV looks awesome along with mountains.
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Old 5th September 2016, 11:26   #10
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Originally Posted by couswheels View Post
Excellent write up complimented by the pictures. Do agree with your concluding note about our jawans. XUV looks awesome along with mountains.
Thank you for those kind words. Yes, the sacrifices made by our Jawans are truly remarkable. The XUV is definitely a photogenic car
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Old 5th September 2016, 16:21   #11
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Lovely travelogue and excellent pictures. Kudos to our Jawans who keep our borders safe. Loved the picture of the army gypsy with the the snow in the background.Your cheetah looks amazing too!
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Old 5th September 2016, 20:07   #12
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Originally Posted by ashphil View Post
Lovely travelogue and excellent pictures. Kudos to our Jawans who keep our borders safe. Loved the picture of the army gypsy with the the snow in the background.Your cheetah looks amazing too!
Thank you Ashok. Surprisingly, we could spot Gypsy being used by the Army in most of the places in Nubra valley. It is preferred mainly due to its light weight(985 Kgs) which makes it easier to be air lifted and due to its excellent off-roading ability.
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Old 5th September 2016, 23:14   #13
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Default Re: XUV500: Bangalore to Ladakh!

Thanks for sharing such a beautifully written travelogue & those lovely pictures. Indeed XUV is VFM vehicle & it's a perfect vehicle to do this kind journey. Why did you change your sump? Did you have a underbody hit.
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Old 5th September 2016, 23:23   #14
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Default Re: XUV500: Bangalore to Ladakh!

Originally Posted by vdm295 View Post
Thanks for sharing such a beautifully written travelogue & those lovely pictures. Indeed XUV is VFM vehicle & it's a perfect vehicle to do this kind journey. Why did you change your sump? Did you have a underbody hit.
Thank you! Yes, I ended up with an underbody hit in the Agham-Shyok route. Its an extremely tough terrain for a 2WD vehicle. There was a steep ascent followed by immediate descent which took a toll on the sump guard. I took a rope and tied the sump guard to the front axle until Mandi (H.P) where I got it replaced.

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Old 6th September 2016, 01:28   #15
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Default Re: XUV500: Bangalore to Ladakh!

Hi Zahoor,
Firstly, Congratulations on completing Your dream trip.
Secondly, the write-up is excellent. The photographs just complement this.
It's quite surprising that You guys managed to cook that much. Very nice.
Just one question:
Do You think an AWD vehicle is required to travel around Leh-Ladakh-Khardung La ? I've seen many Innovas, Maruti 800, Maruti Vans, Tata Sumo, Indica, etc. in many pics. As i currently own a Vento TDi & live in Bangalore, i would like to know if it would be possible for such a trip without AWD. Kindly let me know.

Happy Motoring.

Thank You,

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