Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 7th August 2017, 21:42   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Prologue:

I can bet - everyone who knows and have been on road trips at least once craved to be Leh'ed! You dream of this epic journey and sometimes the dreams come true! I am beginning to write this travel-log even before I actually start my journey! And you might ask, why?

Well, there is nothing more exciting than covering what you did on day-to-day basis without missing a moment! Every road trip is full of stories, memories - good and bad.

So before I start special mentions due -
- There are few people I will "owe" this trip to - My wife and kids, Tsk, HVK, Mr.D, SDP and my friends from TBhp and XUV Owners group.
- My Orange Cheetah who is primary source of inspiration and means to make this happen in true sense
- And indirect contribution from everyone that is making the trip happen. Includes friends, colleagues and my ownership thread readers!

The order of posts in this log will be -
  • Inception of the idea
  • Making the plan
  • Preparing for the trip (Car, Individual)
  • Last minute rush
  • Actual trip - day wise posts as trip happens
  • Concluding remarks

And before you deep down into the read, here is what sums up our trip - the amazing bunch of people, great cars and best terrain in country.

We met the veteran on this trip - Mr.D's XUV
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-dxuv.jpg

The legendary destinations that tourists crave for -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-dallake.jpg

Survived mild stone-pelting from nature for spoiling its serene atmosphere with some CO2 -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-brokensunroof.jpg

Posed at Indus and Zanskar river confluence with pride -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-confluence.jpg

Ate trucker's food in the plains at their favourite place - dhaba!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-dhaba.jpg

When time permitted, relaxed in chair looking at vastness of himalayan mountain ranges -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-diskitrelax.jpg

Paid our homage and visit to brave-hearts who gave their today for our tomorrow -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-drassmemorial.jpg

Climbed the lesser altitude passes and posed too -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-fotula.jpg

Appreciated the curves and kept holding our nerves too - (Gata Loops)
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-gataloops.jpg

We hail from Bangalore, control this thing from Bangalore but nothing like seeing it in reality with your very own two eyes... (I have four actually.)
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-hanle.jpg

In the colder terrain, we saw hot springs too -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-hotwatersprings.jpg

We lined up for a vast background to click the rides -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-hundercars.jpg

The most touted pass - posed with pride and gratitude -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-ktop.jpg

The less altitude but more torturing passes conqurred with ease -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-lachungla.jpg

Someone clicked the milkyway during early morning around 3am!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-milkyway.jpg

Optical illusion or whatever, we did this -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-magnetichill.jpg

Himalayan roads (no roads actually) are rough but they do have these runways too - More Plains
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-moreplains.jpg

Seeing the glacier peaks closely -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-nunkunpeak.jpg

Three idiots were here. But we were there too.
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-pangongtso.jpg

Roads or No roads - will drive.
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-rohatangdescenttomanali.jpg

Valleys and hills - less mortals choose valley
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-suruvalley.jpg

Feels like meditating at these heights - reflecting back upon journey is good -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-tsagala.jpg

How can you forget the hero of the movie?
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-thankyoucheetah.jpg

The trademark conclusion - we got Leh'd!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-lehd.jpg

*The pictures above are not in particular order of trip but just a summary!

Last edited by Aditya : 10th September 2017 at 15:20. Reason: Correcting image orientation
abirnale is offline   (35) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2017, 22:02   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Inception of the Idea:

December 2016. Its been 1 year and 6 months I have spent with my Orange Cheetah. The car that is dearest of all in stable so far. I have never done so much driving in my life with any car. 45K or so kilometre in less than 20 months - that surely is an achievement. I had countless night drives when I was relatively younger. I had more stamina than I knew I had then. Now I am reaching forties. Before I bought the XUV I was not sure if I could do long drives ever. But XUV proved that speculation wrong. ANd then I met bunch of great souls on my XUV tribe. Courtesy - XUV niggles apprehension. The curiosity was so much that I made friends with M&M as well as fellow owners. On Team-BHP, there are many travel logs but nothing gives as much "high" as reading someone's Leh-ladhak trip log. The inspiration of friends, these travel-logs and an amazing ownership experience of XUV - that is sum total of all the reasons to dream for Ladhak!

One fine day, during the whatsapp chat with XUV owners, the idea of Ladhak as group trip came up. I instantly bit the bullet without worrying about anything. The lead time is around 6 months.

Fast forward Feb 2017: The discussions on Ladhak group drive picked up momentum. And I decided to plan this trip with Family blessings, work arrangements. No one actually took me seriously considering there are still 4-5 months to go. Tentatively leaves sanctioned, wife and kids giving their nod, I was little short of achieving state of Nirvana

On the day of planning, we counted 16 XUVs! That seemed like we could beat a world record easily with that enthusiasm. But then some seasoned roadies said - wait till the day comes. I mean, they are jealous of such large group drive, eh

But wait... parents raise the first question - It's in Kashmir. Am I really serious? I mean what is the need for this trip? And taking off from work for 3+ weeks. Am I looking at getting fired? But hey, your heat has already started beating for this trip. Brain is bound to come up with arguments and excuses to make it work. And by the way being an IT joe for many years, i Know the art of convincing QAs of bug to be a feature.

The good thing is - I am an extrovert. Outspoken. The trip advertisement is on prime time. That actually helped - once you commit and says this repeatedly, after a period, everyone buys into that argument. The questions and apprehensions die slow death.

I must mention - in the entire phase of getting this idea to execution, its my better half who not even once raised doubt over the trip. Even happily let me go solo while she will take complete charge of household. I am forever indebted to her. Thank you dear for supporting my yet another crazy drive.
abirnale is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2017, 22:14   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Making The Plan:

Its well known fact - Your plans may fail, but you mustn't fail to plan. How would I not follow what I have preached my entire work life?

First things first - Car. When you have XUV in your stable, there is no question of any other car. Period. As an alternative I should have a plan B as well, right? It was signing up for IQD with Audi or Mahindra Adventure. But that was more like saving grace. I was sure, it wont be needed.

The XUV Owners WhatsApp group kept buzzing with ideas, suggestions for route and everything else in the world for this trip. And then one fine day, veteran XUV owners form team-BHP also committed to the trip! That in itself was good inspiration to make this trip.

When planning such road trip the most valuable source is HVK and TSK. Reading through the travel logs and experiences, our plan shaped up!

THE PLAN:

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-theplan.png

Mr.D wanted to do Ladhak including cliffhanger! As part of preparation, i did two monsoon drives with HVK - met him in person, understood him as human being and his passion to help people with road trip. I was more convinced with his support and motivation to make this trip happen. TSK's guide is like a bible that I have read word by word!

While the plan was being made, all the tentative folks from the list had called off their names! Expected. The next big surprise is actually yet to come :(
abirnale is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2017, 22:23   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Preparing for the trip (Car, Individual):

As we work tirelessly for the planning, things take twists and turns. The actual preparation began sometime in June, took full speed in July and got final shape in August. So you can imagine we worked on the plan more - as a group we always believed that more we sweat in peace, lesser we will bleed in actual trip!

By the time we were in July, these things have become a common things - Leaves sanction are not sure, work is changing. The budget is too high, not sure if I can make it. My car is old, I am not sure if I can spend on new tyres and few other things before i take on the trip. The arguments, ground realities kept us hitting and we kept battling through for the hope of making one epic journey together in our XUVs!

A sad turn of the events owing to health, work scenarios pushed few of the members out of this trip. Two weeks prior to the actual trip, we only have 7 confirmed cars on the trip. The group did not budge and kept moving forward. With guidance of many, the cars underwent preparation for this approximate 10K kms trip!

Personally My orange cheetah had completed 60K kms service just before heading to Ladhak. As part of service, I had ensured below checks -
1. Brakes, Suspension, Clutch
2. Routine checks including belts, hoses, lights and everything else
3. Changed Brake Pads

During service the auto-tensioner found to be nearing its end of life due to wear and tear - got it replaced through warranty. Refurbished the authorised fluids as stock to carry along - Engine Oil 3 cans of a litre each, Brake Fluid, Two cans, Coolant 2 cans, Bunch of fuses, Cabin Air Filters, different spanners and essentials. This was much easier to do by following HVK checklist and TSKs guidance.

While working on the prep, we also got a brand new and a used set of CB Radio - make President Harry III. Since no one wanted to permanently play a marshal or sweeper, it was recommended to have all cars (bachelor pax cars) make arrangement for Antenna connection and battery connection. The intent is to move the unit from any car to any other car if we end up carrying only two units. If we get one for each car, nothing like it!

An important part of trip prep is to ensure all car passengers meet and greet - know each other so that spending 21 days together is not difficult. They say - Ladhak trip is not easy. You either become best buddies with your fellow co-passengers in trip or become worst of enemies. The terrain has this mysterious effect on one's mental state to either make or break!

An important part of the trip is also preparing one for the most torturing terrain as well as best natural remedy called as heaven on earth! Almost six month prior to this trip, I had started making small but significant changes in my lifestyle. A 93KG couch potato that I am, is now 85KG almost athletic persona. What I mean by that is - I can climb 4-5 stories of a build steps easily. I can brisk walk for two hours without break. I can drink 2-3 litres of water everyday easily. I can no w sleep at 11.30pm and yet manage to get up by 5.15am without having a headache or drowsiness. I can change the tyre of the XUV in under 20 minutes all by myself.

On the road I am cool like cucumber. You can overtake me at toll booth by breaking the lane and I wont honk at you. But for sure I will have a hearty laugh when we both reach at destination together! Without taking eyes off road or hands off steering, I can order Android Auto to do maximum things in car to keep me engaged. I can now drive using my hiking shoes without getting freaked out of why I cant feel the pedals the same way as I feel when wearing the thin soul shoes. Oh by the way, out of my three co-passengers, two have dropped out by now :( And I am making sure the only left over co-passenger follows the prep closely and stays interested in the trip! We have been to Decathlon to buy some expensive jackets, camping accessories. So when he has spent so much already, its less likely he will drop out. Fingers crossed!

These and many other small but significant things are part of what I call sweating in peace! Only time shall tell if I will still bleed in the trip or have it like cake walk!

An important part of planning and prep is to choose the right route. Since Bangalore had largest number of participants, the plan that is made for Bangalore boys stays in general for everyone. On such a trip, its not feasible to stick to dates, exact same route and same stops for everyone. So keeping general outline fixed, every participant is allowed to make their own choice of stays/ places and moves. The minimum condition is to stay at least two cars together and let everyone know of what your plans are.

Along the route all stays will be taken care by HVK through his CHD initiative. At Leh, CHD hotelier will take care of our permits based on the plan.

And it is end of first week of August, everything seems like set! what next?

Last edited by abirnale : 7th August 2017 at 23:51.
abirnale is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th August 2017, 17:33   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default Uncertainty rules...

Uncertainty Rules!

In the month of June, monsoon sets in. Many more drives over weekend and socialising on cards. Every gathering, meeting and casual talk has this topic - I am going to Leh-Ladhak! Eyes filled with shock, surprise, happiness, care and curiosity roll on me. But that has been the scenario so far! The curiosity brings me to number of threads on Ladhak travel, do's and don'ts. Every read I do over weekend, takes me in tot he virtual trip up on the mountains. This is larger version of - "I can't sleep on the eve of long trip!" The only thing that is on my mind is - "I'm shall be Leh'ed!"

But then, there are more things than Leh in life.

Its probably the Monday blues! Not in my "best", work has all elements to surprise. There is a new program at work that will kick off next week. I have to steer the program. This also means I will be super busy for next six months. In my 16+ years of professional life, there hasn't been a challenge that I have rejected for any reason. But this... :( And then begins the non-ending negotiations. I will do the project but will still be leh'ed! When you have to negotiate with your boss who is also your mentor, things are tough and sometimes they are very easy too. I am not sure what was it this time. I was told - my leaves are already approved and no issues, "subject to"....... I mean, seriously?

Days and weeks pass-by. Its July. Like a pendulum things keep swinging in either direction and uncertainty rules. When something like this happens in the life, I know I must take a stand. And I do this mental prep -
- I will go on LOP leaves (loss of pay).
- I am prepared to let go my appraisal for this year.
- I should be ok for not getting a salary hike this year.
- I will not get the new opportunities on priority going forward
- May be I will be fired....? Scary with new IT developments in the industry. Who probably wants to hire the white elephant?

This is when things strike - well that's the worst that can happen. When a human being understands the consequences and prepares for the worst, only best can happen. Now there is no turning back. I am not negotiating. I have "decided", I shall be leh'ed!

That's it! Eventually everything works out. I secure my leaves, get the project kicked off too. Put my best team on it and take the chance of letting that derail for 2-3 weeks while I am away. After-all they are my A team - will definitely give me 2-3 weeks breather! And the pendulum again swings to my favour!

But wait... Out of 14 cars who had shown inclination to join, 5 have dropped
The WhatsApp goes silent. Just then the ones who said - "come what may" we are going, started 1-to-1 messages. That is energising for sure.

Keeping the faith, preparations continue! I re-iterate to myself - "The plan may fail, but I will not fail to plan!"

The news about unrest in valley, bad roads, altitude issues - keep coming to us. Every time I have this doubt, I reach out to our veterans. They sometimes get irritated but still send me back confident. We can do this! We shall do this! We build a plan B for eventuality to save days and take Manali route for entry as well as exit. Get the plan validated by HVK. Coincidentally the opportunity to meet HVK came via Monsoon Drives. What a gem of person he is - we are being taken by him just like he is with us all the time, through the thick and thin.

Finally when it comes to the last leg of confirmed participant list - we are left with 8 cars as -

Bangalore Boys -
4 XUVs on Ladhak Plan
1 XUV on Spiti Plan

The commander
Mr.D in his XUV from Vizag!

Chandigarh Tribe
2 XUVs from Chandigarh!

The plan shapes up. Our friends from XUV group help us with tips, tricks, lending things, guidance with car prep. Things look bright for the trip, except that work is getting more crazy!

I re-iterate to myself - I shall be Leh'ed this year, come what may!

Last edited by abirnale : 10th August 2017 at 18:47.
abirnale is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th August 2017, 07:11   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default

Saturday, August 12. A week to go!

Exactly a week before we start our epic journey. A good friend of ours flexes his muscles and puts his entire might to get us scheduled for a comprehensive car checkup.

Exactly at 9:30am, Bangalore cars are welcomed at Chrome Motors, Mysore road. The top gun at Chrome personally hosts us to ensure we are all set and done by 1:30pm. He also ensured we get OTC supplies of whatever we asked for and cars are in the best possible condition to do this journey.

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-1502588264691.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-1502588312593.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-1502588333254.jpg

Chrome motors is neither sponsoring nor has any specific interest but at the request of our friend, came forward to give us preferential slot to get cars checked on a busy weekend! For the entire trip actually, we are on our own just like any other travelling car that goes to Ladhak!

With complete confidence that cars are in good shape, we return after a good lunch together. Seems like now luggage packing has to begin!

Last edited by abirnale : 14th August 2017 at 18:22.
abirnale is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th August 2017, 13:07   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default Every driving enthusiasts dream - getting Leh'ed!

The packing day, plan changed!

HVK tells us updates on the plan as below -

Name:  Screen Shot 20170816 at 10.57.50 PM.png
Views: 11339
Size:  144.7 KB

Having known HVK support, we simply move on this plan. All set on this important part of the trip - plan is ready

All things that were readied for the trip are packed neatly. Here is what I am carrying - loaded and all set -
- A large trolley bag (check-in size) with cloths, warm cloths and more cloths!
- Small trolley bag (cabin size) with everything that I need on daily basis
- A carton full of food and similar things
- A carton full of car supplies and consumables
- Toolbox, First Aid kit
- And loads of small and important things including extra pairs of jackets, shoes etc. etc.

To accommodate the luggage for 21 days or so, I chose to take off the subwoofer and kept it at home. To keep all extra jackets, shoes that I don't need it every time but don't want them lying on the floor.

Here are the pictures of all packaging and the messy car boot

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-meds1.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-meds2.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-food1.jpg

Here is the pic of fully loaded boot!

Attachment 1667632
Attachment 1667633

And all this while wife and kids are super excited, worried as well as anxious but they don't let that spill over the excitement of the trip. Kids under able guidance of their mom come up with this brilliant good luck card -

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-good-luck.jpg

You see the Orange Cheetah comfortably cruising on those mountain roads and meadows?

Yep, Mountains are calling and I must go!

Last edited by Aditya : 11th September 2017 at 17:28. Reason: Typo
abirnale is offline   (21) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2017, 19:04   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

The Day Arrives: August 19, 2017!

After months of planning and preparations finally the day has arrived. After a properly rested night, morning 4.15am I start from home to reach Pune before sun goes down.

Route Notes:
A simple fast and boring route we took today. Started early around 5am from Bangalore and reached comfortably in Pune by 6.30pm. There is nothing much to speak about except the regular traffic on Nipani - Pune stretch!

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_4126.png

Pictures from the day -
Our friends had come to JAS toll booth to see us and say bye - Thats @fundagenie, @ajayclicks myself and some more friends! Five cars, 13 people from Bangalore. One car will deviate from Chandigarh towards Spiti and cliffhanger roads.
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-jas1.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-jas2.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-jas3.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-jas4.jpg

We took breakfast break at Apoorva Resorts before Davangere and continued further.
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-apoorva1.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-apoorva2.jpg

Dr. Manoj Danwade - fellow XUV owner from Nipani came to know about our trip and hosted in Hotel Amar veg for lunch!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-amar3.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-amar5.jpg

Day's Summary:
A mediocre distance coupled with multiple breaks and knowing each other in the group helped being the team together. We have just begun. Tomorrow is long day - approximately 900+ kms to reach Chittorgarh.

Last edited by abirnale : 9th September 2017 at 23:44.
abirnale is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2017, 12:18   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
nitinralli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Delhi
Posts: 1,249
Thanked: 606 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Best of Luck for the trip, from TORC and TeamBhp
nitinralli is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2017, 16:24   #10
BHPian
 
Dr.AD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Bangalore/Pune
Posts: 426
Thanked: 1,069 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Prologue:

I can bet - everyone who knows and have been on road trips at least once craved to be Leh'ed! You dream of this epic journey and sometimes the dreams come true!
Very well said, Avinash! This is truly a dream of all driving enthusiasts, and you are truly living that dream now! This is going to be an amazing experience.

Wish you all the best. Drive safe.

Looking forward to this travelogue as the journey unfolds. And hopefully we will get a chance to meet after you are back and looking forward to listening to your stories in person too.
Dr.AD is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2017, 22:59   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Day 2: August 20, 2017!

After a relaxed first day, our target for today was Chittorgarh. We decided to take Pune - Mumbai Expressway - Mulund - Nashik - Dhule - Ratlam - Chittorgarh. The morning greeted us with overnight rains and continuous pouring. Not getting bowed down by the rains, we were ready at 5am to depart. On the route, we were about to meet few more folks from Mumbai and then continue on our way. The roads as soon as we enter Mumbai area are really bad - slowed us down dramatically. The jams in rain from Mulund to all the way upto Shapur further dampened our spirits and speeds alike :( Kasara Ghat was no different. The only saving grace is, we had a very impromptu monsoon drive!

Further into the MP, roads were fantastic but plagued with speed breakers every now and then! For a change we saw less cattle on the road than speed breakers!

Pictures from the day -

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img20170820wa0002.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img20170820wa0006.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3648.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3651.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3654.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3656.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3660.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3661.jpg

The best for the day - dad teaching his girl a lesson in photography -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3655.jpg

And Mumbai gang catching up with us - do you see Duma in there?
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img20170820wa0003.jpg

We somehow did not make it in time to Chittorgarh. So HVK advised us to walk into the MPTDC Hotel at Mandsaur. And we did so. having two family cars with us, and everyone having long day with rains, this was best call. If we rest well, we will hit longer distance tomorrow. Chandigarh is the target!

Route:
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_4127.png

Last edited by abirnale : 8th September 2017 at 12:57.
abirnale is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2017, 13:06   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Day 3: August 21, 2017

To cover up the shortfall from earlier day's target, we decided to leave Mandsaur earlier than planned. Around 5am we left Mandsaur and via Chittorgarh - Bhilwara - Ajmer Bypass - Jaipur - Neemrana - Rohtak - Panipat - Karnal - Kurukhestra - Ambala - Zirakpur.

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_4128.png

The roads in RJ are filled with cattles and humans and are to be driven with extreme caution. Some truck traffic before reaching Jaipur tested our patience. But finally we made it up to Chandigarh as per our plan and were able to keep get back on track with the plan!

Some pictures from the day -

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_1674.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_20170821_181957770_hdr.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_20170821_183014844_hdr.jpg
abirnale is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2017, 13:35   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Day 4: August 22, 2017

As per plans, the Chandigarh XUVs were to join us today for the epic trip. The morning was planned to meet at Sukhna Lake and then start from there towards Jammu together. unfortunately out of two cars in the Chandigarh, only one made it to the trip. But without letting our spirits down, we met and continued to move onward.

The route we took to reach Jammu was -

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_4129.png

The road to Jammu was mostly OK with lot of traffic enroute. Regular checks at checkposts, no trouble whatsoever during the day. This is unlike any other news and instances we have heard so far about Jammu and Srinagar area! Sweetly surprised. The people are so welcoming and caring for tourists, it would not be exaggerating to say the hospitality in the valley and J&K majority is bets I have seen so far!

Here are some pictures from the day -

All cars parked at Sukhna lake parking bay - we meet MrD here and make a convoy for onwards journey!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-1.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-2.jpg

The group - little tired, little excited and still getting to know each other!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-3.jpg

Our breakfast stop at Heritage Haveli - best Parathas you can eat!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-4.jpg

The glimpse of what is in store ahead for us -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-5.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-6.jpg

And then this happens. A speeding tempo traveller throws a stone at my car's windshield -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-7.jpg

The halt for night was in the centre of Jammu city. We visited Jagannath temple, shopped in the market and ate some good food to conclude the day. Tomorrow awaits with even more dense traffic and delays...
abirnale is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2017, 13:48   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Day 5: August 23, 2017

Technically today is the day we can call as beginning of the trip! Surviving the military convoys overtaking, heavy truck traffic, narrow roads and good amount of sun we make it to Srinagar!

Route taken -

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_4130.png

The stay for the night is planned in a houseboat! An experience to cherish - if you haven't been to Kerala houseboats yet!

Some pictures from the day -

The houseboat parking area near Nigging lake -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-1.jpg
That feeling when you get to rest after a long day's drive -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-2.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-3.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-4.jpg

The welcome drink - Kahwa - full of energy and taste! My first time to sip it.
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-kahwa.jpg

Before we join the dinner table - the market came to us for shopping!
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-shopping.jpg

Dinner arrangements -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-7.jpg

That setting sun - feeling of what is happening to tourism industry in Srinagar -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-6.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-5.jpg

Tomorrow we plan to take a drive around Dal Lake and head to Kargil via Sonamarg. arguable the most scenic valley route!
abirnale is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2017, 14:11   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 1,207
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default re: Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!

Day 6: August 24, 2017

The route taken -
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_4131.png

The pictures from Dal lake drive, from various places enroute and yes, we crossed Zoji-la today! We did visit Kargil War Memorial near Drass. An amazing briefing by the soldier there - we had goosebumps listening to the narration! The act of bravery by our soldiers and befitting response to the deception by our old neighbour. Salute the brave hearts!

Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-1.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-2.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3670.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3680.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3688.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3695.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3703.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3712.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3719.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3722.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3724.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3728.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3733.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3737.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3753.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3756.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3760.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3762.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3765.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3772.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3786.jpg
Every driving enthusiast's dream - Group of XUV500s getting Leh'ed!-img_3787.jpg

At the end of the day, we were expected to reach Panikhar so that next day drive to Pensi-la and somewhere closer to glaciers view would be easy. Nevertheless the road from Kargil to Panikhar is good. The real challenge is ahead. The non-existent roads and not so guaranteed weather can be first test of our trip tomorrow.

By the way, climbing Zoji-la was an easiest task - may be the great work by BRO or the weather/ end of tourist season. Though the route is filled with dust and some serious bad roads in the pass, nothing was a deterrent today. The ample water intake ensured no one in the group had any trouble whatsoever with the altitudes. The temperatures in the areas were so high, we had to run AC. The car kept climbing pass without a single issue or symptom of anything being wrong!

Last edited by abirnale : 8th September 2017 at 14:14.
abirnale is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell TheDrivingBug Travelogues 14 8th December 2014 16:47
Mahindra recalls select XUV500s for a clutch replacement volkman10 Technical Stuff 4 18th January 2014 09:49
Maruti Suzuki | Making a Dream Come True Every 16 Seconds. tsk13 The Indian Car Scene 49 24th March 2010 23:58
Every car story book is special, because every child in us is..special! sidindica Shifting gears 1 8th March 2010 00:34


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 19:21.

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