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Old 24th September 2008, 17:58   #61
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This is by far the best road trip possible i have done this in 2003 in a hired sumo .Then i did a fly in and fly out trip in 2005 , then after lot of planning did it in 2007 in self driven innova and by the look s of it the road s had been better in our 2007 journey and now our fellow bhpian s making maruti proud by taking a SX 4 that too from mumbai without any reinforced sump guard or any skid plate s it say s it all that the manali leh road is quite doa ble now .I by no mean s say that it s EASY !! IT requires a huge amount of courage and physical endurance it s the ultimate test for man and maschine !! Crossing Rohtang LA is an achievement in itslef the rarefied air made me wonder wether our innova was choking !! THat too a new 8 month s 11k driven one !! The hotel IBEX at jispa as mentioned in the post which was full was almost empty because we had done the trip in sept end . We encounterd slush at Rohtang and easily managed to get our innova skidded at 2-3 places almost down but here we are typing the experience .At tanglang la which we happend to reach on 24th sept exactly a year a go we experinced fresh snow fall a rare thing for mumbaiite s !! The joy was shortlived With the lack of traction and skidding around we were almost S@#$ing in our pant s but for the local s who really helped us by putting two huge boulder s in our boot we managed to get some traction !! AS image s speak louder than word s posting a few !! One last thing i would like to add althogh the road trip is trecharous but doable and mostly everybody will tell their terror stories to boost the trip s difficulty level but to understand what it mean s to a road trip lover one has to do it !!
Hope the pics come
Regards
SaaJaN
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The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-cimg0892.jpg  

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-cimg0895.jpg  

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The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-cimg0969.jpg  

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-cimg1030.jpg  

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Old 24th September 2008, 18:58   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
@Kaushik & loco: Any info on the road to Padum frm Leh? Is it complete now or the route is still from Kargil?
AFAIK it's still via Kargil only, but they are making progress. hat'll save lotsa time for people who wants to go Zanskar region. This time Leh-KArgil road was blocked for 2 days somewhere after nimmu because of landslides when we were there. T
Also heard that they are trying for some alternate route somewhere from Keylong/Jispa towards Zanskar but that information was not very authentic. Our driver was telling that he accompanied some engineers for this road inspection or something but he was also not very sure.
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Old 24th September 2008, 22:44   #63
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The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7416.jpg

pic1 - The 6 commandments.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7436.jpg

Pic2 - road to Khardungla

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7470.jpg

pic3 - at last on top. closest to got you can get by car.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7474.jpg

Pic4 - customary pose.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7503.jpg

Pic5- prayer flags on top

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7547.jpg

Pic6 - SX4 on this way down

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7601.jpg

Pic7 - Ha ha this was funny. Named the Khardungla frog, it is a huge (bigger than my car) boulder which was painted to make it look like one. Someone really high on Ganja must have done it :-) That too it looks like a frog only from certain angles. what imagination!!

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7603.jpg

Pic8 - spectacular view of leh.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7629.jpg

Pic9 - The German bakery. we freaked out on the baked rainbow trout there. simply delicious.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7633.jpg

Pic10 - another incredible cottage industy. all these are hand enbroidered. you select a design from the thousands available and they would embroider it for you in an hour flat. the whole t shirt only for Rs. 400.
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Old 24th September 2008, 23:09   #64
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Day 10 onwards - the return journey.

All good things have to come to an end. but this time it did feel bad. wish we had another week. we could have explored so much more. but whatever we did see was much beyond out wildest dreams :-) and now that we are hooked we are certainly going back next year.

The return journey was not without some drama!! we decided to do the trip back to manali in 2 days instead of 3. So at the end of day 1 we resolved to reach Jispa by evening. But like all the daily plans in the entire trip this one also did not go too smoothly. Again Tanglangla proved to be the toughest section. It had rained the previous day and the roads were slush!! we got stuck twice. luckily some BRO men were there to help us out. But it was the advice of an experienced truck driver which finally bailed us out.

He told us to back up and drive ahead, not in a straight line but in a zig zag manner by continuously turning the wheel left and right. this way the wheels have the better chance of getting some traction. he also advised us to carry some speed into the slush pool next time we entered it. finally did get out and how did we thank him, by completely dousing him in mud flinged by a wheelspin!! God will punish us someday. These techniques worked very well for us through the rest of the journey particularly in Rohtang pass which was like a mud bath!!

Due due to this delay we could not make it to Jispa in daylightand had to drive at night. never seen such darkness. again we were down to a crawl and all 4 eyes on the road. Surely the most exciting and scary drive of my life. the good thing was that we recovered our missing car papers in the military camp at Patsio :-)
also we took plenty of photographs of the More plains.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7740.jpg

approaching Tanglangla

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7753.jpg

this was after the 2nd rescue. check out the wheels. It is unbearably tiring to do any physical activity at these altitutes. Pushing 1.2 tons of metal such in mud nearly killed me :-) I was gasping for about half an hour after that.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7756.jpg

Mud pack for the SX4. incread SX appeal

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7893.jpg

On the More plains

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7915.jpg

We had to go "offroad" in some sections as the road was under construction. in this case we veered off even further to avoid some wet patches. No way could we risk getting stuck here. Not a soul in sight for miles and for hours. but in doing do we got a bit lost!! we had to finally follow some dust trails to trace the road

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7926.jpg

Not as smooth as it seems.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7932.jpg

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_7958.jpg

More of More plains

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8024.jpg

Our friends in Pang

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8076.jpg

some locals
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Old 24th September 2008, 23:30   #65
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Well I paid 250-300 for the Tee's, talk about bargaining he he. But the work they do on the Tee's are awesome.
For food in Leh I would really recommend Summer Harvest, have you tried that place? Other places we liked was High Life Tibetan Restaurant and Leh View(but don't try the Kashimiri Pulao here, not good at all).
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Old 24th September 2008, 23:48   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
For food in Leh I would really recommend Summer Harvest, have you tried that place? Other places we liked was High Life Tibetan Restaurant and Leh View(but don't try the Kashimiri Pulao here, not good at all).
Summer Harvest is my favorite..
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Old 24th September 2008, 23:52   #67
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its quite good no doubt. we had gone there to eat Ghyatuk. unfortunately we did not know that it had to be ordered one day in advance and was prepared for a minimum 4 people!! so that also has to wait for another year
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Old 25th September 2008, 01:06   #68
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Hey guys,

Loco, did you encounter snow on your trip or just slush/mud .

Was just wondering during what part of the year can I encounter snow. Don't start answering Jan, Feb . Time frame is during the months when the route is open. Is it in the months of May-Jun when the route has been just opened or is it in the months of Sep-Oct when it is about to close.

Also, how much the road conditions differ during the months of May and the closing period i.e Sep/Oct. Shouldn't they be better when they have just been opened rather than in September which is just after monsoon time.

Naman
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Old 25th September 2008, 01:20   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naman View Post
Hey guys,


Was just wondering during what part of the year can I encounter snow. Don't start answering Jan, Feb . Time frame is during the months when the route is open. Is it in the months of May-Jun when the route has been just opened or is it in the months of Sep-Oct when it is about to close.

Also, how much the road conditions differ during the months of May and the closing period i.e Sep/Oct. Shouldn't they be better when they have just been opened rather than in September which is just after monsoon time.

Naman
hey Naman,
The best time to see the snow in Ladakh would be the months of April-may and early june and the road condition depends on the snowfall, so again there is not fixed time/season that the road is open, all depends on mother nature..
Iam from Leh, but would tell you, that the cold that you get to bear in those months would not be advised if you are not used to extreme cold..
better if you want to see snow, i would suggest Simla or Kufri in Himachal..
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Old 25th September 2008, 01:40   #70
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Excellent Stuff, Locomotive...
The sheer expanse and grandeur of Ladakh is totally unbelievable.
And it amazes me every single time I visit it.
I'll be there next week and your thread just brushed up all the
wonderful memories of the magical land.
Can't wait to get back there again!!!cheers:

Cheers
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Old 25th September 2008, 13:42   #71
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Exclamation Words are uncomparable..

Hi Loco,
just getting too jealous of the drive that you had..

MIND BLOWING Pictures..!! Hope you both had a similar or more than exciting experience..

Great Pictures!! Liked the pictures of the drive through snow covered area.. Majestic Mountains & Scenery..Wah WAh!!

Tempting to take a drive for something similar.. God Willing will do near future..
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Old 25th September 2008, 16:35   #72
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Nice pcis. Did you take the same route while returning?
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Old 25th September 2008, 17:33   #73
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unfortunately yes. there ws too much trouble going on in Kashmir for us to dare to drive the entire loop. We will do it next time though. There is enough in this reagion to keep us occupied for years to come :-)
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Old 25th September 2008, 21:16   #74
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The final set :-)

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8085.jpg

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8152.jpg

evening at sarchu

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8258.jpg

worlds highest traffic jam at Rohtang. This was a crazy driv. it was raining like mad, the traffic was carwling, there were mud pools to be gotiated everywhere

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8260.jpg

This fellow just would not reverse to allow the truck to pass, which in turn had blocked all the traffic ahead of us. I went to talk some sense into the driver. It turned out they (including the driver) were non english speaking European tourists who were terrified to taking the car anywhere close to the edge. After some time of being lost in translation the driver finally agreed and the traffic could inch forwards. A real taste of the good old Indian traffic for the tourists.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8298.jpg

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8301.jpg

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8317.jpg

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8365.jpg

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8366.jpg

only one technical problem in the entire journey. after Kullu we hit a depression in the road in the road at some speed due to which the clip pinning the silencer to the underbody came off. We found a maruti service station just about 50 meters behind where this was rectified in 10 mins at a cost of only Rs. 60 :-D Maruti service is truely unbeatable.

The Great Indian Roadtrip - Mumbai to Ladakh in a SX4-img_8389.jpg

This was last opened in Leh. compressed due to the pressure difference beween Leh (11483 ft) and Chandigarh (1053 ft). Even our Jerry cans were similarly compressed!!
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Old 26th September 2008, 09:49   #75
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The 7th snap is beautiful!
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