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Old 8th August 2008, 10:48   #16
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i am really humbled by the vast natural beauty our country possesses. i really envy you guys!!
most of the pictures are really quality wallpaper material.
awaiting more pictures and inputs from your side.
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Old 8th August 2008, 17:20   #17
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Hats Off To You!! I don't know when I will be able to do it myself!! Came pretty close last month though but, couldn't do it due to circumstances.
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Old 13th September 2008, 00:06   #18
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please repost from notepad, not MS word.
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Old 15th September 2008, 11:01   #19
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Memoirs of Ladakh ride on Bullets –June 2008

A Saga of 16 days of ride in the heart of Himalayas began on 15th June 2008from Delhi and returned to Delhi on 1st July 2008. Three Bullets from Bangalore got shipped to New Delhi and onward journey, the roadies Venkata Vishwanath Polepalli, Shashwat Chauhan and Dwarakanath V P, members of Royal Knights Motorcycle Club, Bangalore took off.

Listed are some of the items we carried;

• Complete Tool Kit
• Puncture Kit
• Foot Air Pump
• Extra 2 tubes
• First Aid Kit
• A petrol Stove
• Utensils for cooking and serving food
• Electral Salt packet
• Essential Medicines for cold, fever, headache, stomach upsets, pain killer tablets. Not to forget Diamox Tablets
• Rain gear
• Crash helmets
• Tarpaulin sheets
• Warm Clothes, Regular clothe for 15 days packed in Cramster Saddle Bags, Tank Turtle Bags, Ruck Sacks
• Dry Fruits of nearly 6 kgs, maggi noodles, soup packets, biscuits, chocolates, etc.
• 4 ltrs of drinking water each in saddle bags. Keep topping up.

14th June 2008:

An anxiety of starting the Himalayan Ride began to see the light with bikes shipped from Bangalore to Delhi a week back and riders’ flight to Delhi on 14th June. Collected the bikes from Railway Godown and rode back to Hotel in Karol Bagh by Afternoon. Checked the bikes thoroughly for damages and any last minute problems. The transporter had packed the bikes perfectly to our satisfaction and were in mint condition.

Though we had prepared ourselves for essentials, we had kept some pending to be completed in New Delhi. Evening of 14th June had been hectic with shopping for survival ration and medicines in Karol Bagh, New Delhi. We shopped retail in whole
sale market.

15th June 2008

5.30 a.m. started binding our entire luggage on bikes. At about 6.00 a.m., we wished each other Safe journey and started riding towards GT Road to reach our first day’s travel Destination- Kingal in Himachal Pradesh. The circuiterous road and confusing guidance by Delhiates, we reached GT Road at 7 a.m. and began our sojourn. On the outskirts of Delhi, we met Alin, a fellow bulleteer of Royal Knights Motorcycle Club, Bangalore. He was riding alone to Himachal Pradesh.

Weather was cloudy and we were expecting rain any time during our journey. It happened within 25 kms, light rain and increasing traffic. We had to take deviations at Ramps being constructed over GT Road towards Chandigarh. Then we came across heavy traffic blocks near Ambala, Chandigarh, even at HP border, which took a toll of nearly 4 hours of journey time. First Aloo Parantha with mouth Watering pickles at a Dabha after Ambala Cantt. Leisured ride till shimla by 6.30 p.m. Though our target was Kingal, another 70 kms away, we retired for the day’s ride at Shimla. Found a big hotel with dingy room, stinking non-ventilated room of size 8’ X 8’, costing Rs.1,600/-.

Total distance covered – 387 kms

16th June 2008

Started at 6.30 a.m. Morning fresh ride towards Recong Peo. Nice serenity, river by one side, challenging roads along the tunnel digging sites. Tented a dabha near spello.

Distance rode – 246 kms

17th June 2008

6.30 a.m., Rode towards Sumdo. Scenic beauty all the way through, tunnel digging sites, Nalla near Spello and beyond. First Nalla crossing was on this road, road carved into rocks, baileys bridges. Ride was eventful till 20 kms short of Sumdo near Mulling which is entry into ever beautiful Spiti Valley, when we came across land slide. BRO guards never allowed us to cross over the landslide area posing danger. Possibly roads are closed for at least one month. However we came to know Alin crossed the land slide site two days after. How unlucky us?

We decided to back out and enter Spiti Valley from Gramphoo. With heavy heart, we rode back to Puh and refuelled our bikes with black petrol of 10 ltrs each. We stayed in a new hotel for the night. We met three bikers from Gujarat – Atul, Prem and
Haider on modern bikes.

Incline towards Nako was supposedly the first casualty of Clutch Plate of Shashwat’s bike. Dwarak’s bike laden heavily with tools, cargo and big fuel tank started falling aside often and he needed support to get onto bike at every stop.

Distance Covered – 146 kms.

18th June 2008

6.15 a. m. riding back to Manali via Rampur, Synge through Jalori Pass. Uneventful till we reached Jalori Pass. Dwarak’s bike had a flat tyre in rear. Neck cut off. We had to change the tube and pump air, fixed the tyre and started riding on. Suddenly the weather became very foggy and visibility became zero to reach Jalori Pass top. Fortunately, Shashwat spotted a Govt. Guesthouse at Kaneva and checked in. Thanks to Mukund Rao, the petrol stove we carried came first use for boiling soup to fight hunger and cold.

Distance Covered – 237 kms

19th June 2008

7.45 a.m. we departed Kaneva and drove to top of Jalori Pass. Very scenic, bear infested forest. Decent towards AUT was equally tasky and treacherous slope. Only engines could break our slide and skids. We reached Banjar and entered the tunnel of 2 kms length to reach AUT, National Highway towards Manali. Reached Manali by 1.30 p.m. Did some shopping for Rain Gear, Gum Boots and drinking water, etc. Started off with target of reaching Gramphoo. About 12 kms from Manali towards Rohtang , landslide had occurred two days before and the traffic was haphazard. Heavy traffic, road block, stream crossing, slushy road and no road.

One spot was worse, slush everywhere, traffic from opposite side took casualties – Venkat’s clutch plate gave away. Shashwat’s clutch cable and plate gave away. Fixed the clutch cable and adjusted the settings. Time was already late afternoon and impossible to move further. H V Kumar , friend in Mumbai came to rescue with Mechanic’s contact number in Manali for repairs. Started riding down hill carefully towards Manali. But we found one mechanic near entrance to town – Vijay Singh. Got fixed the bikes of Venkat and Shashwat by midnight. Took lodging at Nehru Kund and retired for bed.

Vijay Singh, Vijay Auto Works -Bullet Mechanic is situated on Rohtang Road, Manali. Contact Numbers are - 0 98166 17759 / 0 93507 58929. The mechanic is ok but charges are comparatively higher.

Distance Covered – 181 kms

20th June 2008

10.30 a.m. packed up for day’s ride towards Rohtang Pass. Traffic blocks, rush of tourists, bad roads, finally reached Rohtang Top at 2.30 p.m. Took some nice photos and broke for tea for an hour. Started to descend towards Gramphoo. Surprise, all the rush on Rohtang Pass road vanished. For an hour we three were the only vehicles on road. We reached Gramphoo by 5 p.m. and entered the Spiti Valley. Rode for about 7 kms, then we came across a treacherous Nalla around corner. Loose pebbles and boulders made our crossing impossible. Dwarak’s bike got struck. Shashwat reached nearly half of the nalla and stopped, citing it difficult to pass through. Venkat at the back wondering what to do. Taking toll of the situation, unanimously decided to back out and cancelled our second attempt to enter spiti valley. Pulled out the bikes from Nalla and rode back to Gramphoo for tenting in PWD compound. Night was very chill and choppy wind. We cooked maggi noodles and soup and retired to our sleeping bags. Our wish to visit Spiti Valley was shattered.

Distance Covered – 62 kms

21st June 2008

8.30 a.m. packed up for day’s ride to reach Sarchu. Filled gas full tank and carried 10 ltrs totally at Tandi , the last petrol bunk till Karu/Leh. On the way met a couple on bicycle from Belgium, who are cycling across Himalayas for 3 months East to North. Crossing several small nallas and bad roads, we reached Zing Zing Bar by 5.30 p.m. We were confronted by a big nalla around corner. Water was flowing at knee level and freezing cold water. Decided to take bikes , one by one pushing. First went Dwarak’s 500 cc, Venkat got down the bike , put it in 1st gear and revved and other two pulled out the bike out of water. Shaswat’s bike was last to be pulled out of nalla. All experienced the chillness of the water through their nerves, piercing paid and frost bite. Removed the wet shoes and put on dry set. Then we find Venkat’s rear tyre is flat. Freezing temperature, exhausted looks, eagerness to get to the nearest civilization. At last fixed the flat tyre by 8 p.m. Now the question was whether to move future to Sarchu in freezing temperature or cross the nalla and go to zing zing bar for stay in tent. Fortunately for us, the tent guys were on our way and they offered to ferry the bikes back from nalla to zing zing bar for a consideration of Rs. 1,000/- The bike gang weighed the options and decided to leave the bikes and tied cargos on the spot and walk to the tents only with venkat’s untied baggage. We walked to tent around corner, which was a km and a half in the freezing night with the hope of seeing the bikes and luggage intact at the nalla next morning. We dined at the tent and retired for sleep.

Distance covered not recorded.

22nd June 2008

Left the tents at 7 a.m. in the morning and were we very happy to see the bikes and luggage intact across the nalla. Put some more air into Venkat’s fixed tyre and started rolling on. Stopped over at Sarchu for Brunch. Gata loops were terrific ascent followed by More plains. Road almost gone, truckers have made 4 tracks on the plain which ends at same destination. We took one of the truckers’ tracks and within 200 mtrs covered, we were struggling to control the bikes. Came back to Govt. built road, no road. Some distance, you see rutted tarred roads, afterwhich the road disappears. 43 kms of horrible and monotonous drive through the More plains, we came across Dust Storm at the end. Only after we cross over the dust storm , we got to know the storm could have blown our bikes off track.

Then came Tanglang la ascent. Evening started becoming cold and we experienced total numbness in limbs. Temperature already passed sub-zero, weather worsened with snow fall, visibility becoming zero. We reached the Tangalang la top. Not even a single soul at top. We did not dare stop in the chillness for a photo session or log book entry.

We just rode on and reached Rumtse TCP by 6.30 p.m. and not having more spirit to move on to Upshi, our next stay, we decided to retire at nearest tented hotel. Chill night, we ate our dinner and went to sleepless night sleep.

Distance covered for 21st and 22nd June – 429 kms

23rd June 2008

Reached Leh by 11 a.m., checked into hotel, unloaded luggage into room. Weather was very warm than expected. Arranged for Permits to Khardung la and Pangong Tso. Visited Mohan Sharma , Ladakh Automobiles- Bullet Mechanic to check the bikes. Retired early to bed.

Have to mention here – Mohan Sharma is very dependable bullet in Leh. His charges are very nominal and does good job. Any bulleteer visiting Ladakh, can count on his support. Mohan Sharma’s Mobile number is 0 94192 42643

Distance Covered -101 kms

24th June 2008

Rode to Khardung la , supposedly the first highest motorable road on earth, a 41 kms destination from Leh City . Ride was far more comfortable than expected, except for last 9 kms ascent. Venkat commented, “ ab who Khardung la Khan Jo Bees Sal Pale tha” Means our ride to Khardung la was a cake walk and achievable by anybody now. Imagine riding in this altitude with no roads at all. Army personnel were very warm and we enjoyed every minute of our halt at Khardung la top.

We solute the guts and endurance of the army personnel staying guard at 18,300 ft MSL and brave the extreme weather conditions.

Returned to Leh by Lunch time.

We decided to hit road to visit Monasteries around Leh. Our ride became nightmarish with hardcore offroading on rubble tracks for over 5 kms and Hemes Monastry not in sight anywhere. Finally ended up on road connecting to Hemes and Karu. It was already 6.30 p.m., but day light was bright. We decided to cancel the monastry
visits and rode back to hotel in Leh.

Distance Covered – 165 kms

25th June 2008

As our team was fatigued by bad roads and nallas, we decided to visit Pangong Tso by Taxi – Toyota Qualis instead of bikes. The track was real dirt track, but doable on bikes. We got big satisfaction on seeing the panoramic Pangong Tso (Lake) . Clear Sky, Clear Water with salty stint, Highest lake in the world. Our Taxi Driver, an ex-serviceman was a good company with his humor.. Retired back to hotel by 6.30 p.m.
We have recorded videos and taken lot of snaps of the beautiful lake.

Distance covered – no riding .

26th June 2008

Packed off from Leh and started riding towards Kashmir valley at 6.30 a.m. Initial good roads became bad stretches because of ongoing 4 laning between Srinagar and Leh. We rode on mud roads, dusty stretches. With destination for the day as Dras, we reached Kargil by 6.30 p.m. and we retired for the day’s travel at Kargil Town. Rusty town with Ladakhi race of Muslim faith. Very sensitive post for militancy.
Costiliest Hotel, but unavoidable.

Distance Covered – 236 kms

27th June 2008

Drove towards Srinagar. Stopped at Dras Kargil Memorial. We had a touching narration by Army Jawan of 1999 Kargil War and victories of Indian Army and resultant great number of casualties. We felt, we are chicken in dens looking over the sacrifices of our Defence forces in guarding us civilians and our borders from enemies.

Continued ride to Kashmir valley through Zozi la (pass) . Very short stretches of good roads but all of rutted, slushy, dirt, rocky road. Treacherous turns and slips at descent, narrow passages. We saw great dangers at every corner. Brakes hardly keep you aground. We did not dare to enjoy the beauty of Zozi la , so khatharnak was the stretches. Shashwat termed Zozi la as Godzilla Pass.

We reached Sonamarg by 12 p.m. Army and Police personnel advised us not to enter Srinagar that day as the protests were taking place in Srinagar on the issue of land transfer to Amarnath Yatra Board. We took shelter at JKTDC’s cottage onlooking a beautiful glacier. We called it a deserved break. Rain started pounding in the evening and rained whole night. With hoped to cross Srinagar next day early morning, we had slept off soundly.

Distance Covered – 125 kms

28th June 2008

We started off at 4. a.m in slight drizzle to cross Srinagar and reach Jammu. At the Checkpost, we encounted gushing water on the road and huge stones swept away from hills on to road. Traffic was blocked for over 2 hours to clear the boulders off road and make way for vehicles to pass. Rain started pouring and we were all wet and were shivering from cold. With no orientation to move further, we re-traced our track back to hotel in Sonamarg. This day turned to be an undeserved holiday break.
We did nothing but sleeping and spending the time in anxiety.
No travel

29th June 2008

We started at 4 a.m. as usual. Not even a single sould to accompany us on our journey to Srinagar for nearly 10 minutes. We had discussed that we should take refugee behind big vehicles to avoid being targets of protests going on. We could see a Tempo ahead of us and we started riding behind then till Kangan. After reaching Kangan, we thanked Tempowalah for being our escort and rode on to Srinagar. Cautiously entered Srinagar and exited into Jammu road. At exit point , Venkat noticed some mischievous boys throwing stones at him and Shashwat. Venkat was hit by a small stone on helmet. No injury to persons, ride continued till Udampur after crossing Patnitop, Jawahar Tunnel. Overnight stay at Udampur. Ride was totally uneventful. Road was superb, with a small stretch of rutted road because of recent rains and truck traffic.

Distance Covered - 347 kms

30th June 2008

Left Udampur at 6 a.m. reached Jammu BP. Bypass is in horrible condition over the hills. Too many diversions and potholes. We could have saved time, if we went through the city of Jammu. By this day, the protests for Amarnath Land transfer took reverse with Govt. of J & K withdrawing transfer. Jammu was in tension and protests were on. We were line – from pan into fire. We confronted protest marches, road blocks, burning tyres in 3 junctions near Jammu. Each time peacefully allowed us pass on. We reached Ludhiana through a stretch of good roads by evening. Searching for Lodging took quite a long time. At Jalandhar, police stopped Venkat and Shashwat to check the documents. They noticed, both were riding without number plate in front. Number plates had been victims of Ladakhi ride, fallen off. Police officer ruthlessly demanded Rs. 1,500 per vehicle as fine. Lot of negotiations finally ended us paying Rs. 500 for both vehicles. I was aware of Police atrocities in Punjab and was only lucky to get squeezed of Rs. 500/-

Distance Covered – 368 kms

1st July 2008

Ludhiana se Dilli tak uneventful. Travel was made of lassi and paranthas. At Ambala Cantt., Venkat’s bike started wobbling in rear wheel and he was not able to move at even 40 kmph. Shashwat tried his bike and experienced same problem. As we have rode through rough patches, we thought that the rim is bent or tyre might have developed bulges. When Venkat showed his bike to a roadside mechanic after Ambala, they noticed, that the tyre had come out of rim in one position. After pushing the tyre into rim properly, we continued ride on till Delhi. We reached Delhi by 4 p.m. and entered into Karol Bagh area to retire into lodge.
Dwarak’s trip meter showed that we completed 3,280 kms of ride in 16 days on treacherous, eventful roads of states covering Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh , Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab.

Distance Covered – 323 kms

Videos by Dwarak and Stills from Shashwat (Canon SLR) and Dwarak (HTC P3300 Mobile Phone Camera 2.0 mp)
Photo links:

Picasa Web Albums - Shashwat - Leh
Picasa Web Albums - Dwarakanath - ladakh-ride

Special Thanks to :

• Familities who let us go on this ride
• Mukund Rao for lending his petrol Stove
• H V Kumar, Highway Guru for his expert guidance on routes and maps, whom the team owes lot for making a lifetime dream come true.
• Vijay Singh , Bullet Mechanic at Manali for putting Venkat’s and Shashwat’s bike in motion with clutch plate replacements
• Mohan Sharma, Ladakh Automobiles at Leh, checking up on all three bikes and readying us for Khardung la ride.
• Army Personnel for their warm welcome


Venkat’s constant remindings on things to do and guts
Shashwat’s patient and brave facing


Be prepared for worst, carry every necessity like tools, essential spares, tents, stove, emergency ration, nutrients. Diamox saved from High Altitude Sickness. Carry / drink lot of water for drinking and keep topping it up.
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Old 1st October 2008, 20:29   #20
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Hi All,

Though it is too late , I am posting the links to short videos taken on my mobile phone TC P3300

Khardungla Top

Khardungla Top Memorial

Little Doggy at Rumtse TCP

Sheep Crossing at ZingZingBar Nalla

Nalla at entrance to Spiti Valley from Gramphoo

Near Jalori JOT

Flat Tyre Fixing on Dwarak's Bullet at Jalori JOT

Video Ride

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Old 1st October 2008, 21:18   #21
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Guys, just one word AMAZING!!!!
Its just amazing to see the trip that you did. Infact the harsh conditions you guys faced doing the trip on a bike in extremely adverse weather and bad road conditions. Truly impressive to say the least. Some fabulous pics uve uploaded on Picassa.
Honestly, its not too late that you posted it now.
My personal 7 star rating to you guys. SUPERB!!
Thanks a ton for sharing.

I have one question?
I intend to go to Ladakh next year. Do you advise doing such a trip in a Safari is feasible at the time that you guys went in June. I ask this question from the perspective of roads being open/closed. please share your inputs.

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Old 2nd October 2008, 19:48   #22
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[quote=jaysmokesleaves;999386]Guys, just one word AMAZING!!!!
Its just amazing to see the trip that you did. Infact the harsh conditions you guys faced doing the trip on a bike in extremely adverse weather and bad road conditions. Truly impressive to say the least. Some fabulous pics uve uploaded on Picassa.
Honestly, its not too late that you posted it now.
My personal 7 star rating to you guys. SUPERB!!
Thanks a ton for sharing.

I have one question?
I intend to go to Ladakh next year. Do you advise doing such a trip in a Safari is feasible at the time that you guys went in June. I ask this question from the perspective of roads being open/closed. please share your inputs.

Thanks !

The roads to Ladakh will be open between March end to September end every year

Ideal time is between June add August. You can take safari with all conviction. Now a days the roads are much better and even M800 will do easily.

Combine your trip with Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri and zanskar.

Good luck

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