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Old 22nd May 2009, 14:06   #166
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oh god! How on earth did I miss this thread? Thanks for taking all the pains in writing and putting up pictures on this travelogue.
I have been to Chandertaal on fellow team-bhpian and friend trance_nut's (nitin) Safari 3.0 4x4 and this just brough back all the memories.
I drove on the stretch from gramphoo to choota darra to chhatru to bataal finally in rain with grey clouds all around and must mention that it is one of the most challenging drives I ever had. It was a gamut of all the emotions - happiness, sandess, frustration, worries, fright.... it took so much from me that when I got down at the bridge to change places with Nitin, i almost wanted to shout and cry.
Thanks again for the Brilliant travelogue!
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Old 22nd May 2009, 14:10   #167
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Thanks for the inputs.
So when you come from Keylong-Gramphoo side, does Losar come before the diversion to Chandertal or after. And do you go to Chandertal after crossing Kunzum, or before kunzum?
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Old 22nd May 2009, 15:17   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
oh god! How on earth did I miss this thread?
Thanks again for the Brilliant travelogue!
Glad you liked it ET.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Thanks for the inputs.
So when you come from Keylong-Gramphoo side, does Losar come before the diversion to Chandertal or after. And do you go to Chandertal after crossing Kunzum, or before kunzum?
I think if you are coming from Gramphoo then its > Gramphoo - Chattru- Chhota darra- Batal(from here also the map shows a left side direct road to Chandertal)-Kumzum Pass- turn left to Chandertal. If you go straight from Kumzum pass you will reach Lossar. Lossar comes after the diversion from Kunzum.

Has anybody taken the route from Batal to chandertal direct ? or has it been via Kunzum pass ? Which is better ?

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 22nd May 2009 at 15:19.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 15:33   #169
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Hi jaysmokesleaves! fantastic reading.. few questions!
Is May the right season to do this leg or ladhak? If not then which?
How many hours of driving before you change-over drivers?
I know it was you and your father, but didnt you feel the need of a third driver just so that it could have been more relaxing?
Did you ever use the diesel can in your journey?or was it just a precaution?
Thanks
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Old 22nd May 2009, 16:09   #170
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I think you might experience snow on this leg(not sure about Ladakh) but i think it should be doable. The experts may provide inputs here.

Driver switch depended on moods, need for photography and sometimes we switched just for the heck of it. In the hills the switch would happen sometimes every 3-4 hours or earlier. On the highways, morning to afternoon was dad and i did the second shift, since he is not too comfortable with headlights in the later half of the day.

Dont need a third driver. Both me and dad are individually capable and experienced of doing extreme time trial long haul drives alone. This in comparison was a very laid back and relaxed trip.

Yes we did use the diesel can. The diesel bunk at Kaza was out of fuel since Malling was closed for days. That is the last fuel stop till Manali on this side. We were low on fuel. So just before we were to stop for the night at Lossar, I emptied the 20 liter can in the tank. Could have done it the next morning but I was worried of water condensing in the fuel tank.

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 22nd May 2009 at 16:10.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 16:17   #171
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The map I have posted below shows a route from Kunzum Pass to Bara Lacha La(NH21). I have highlighted this route in red.
Batal or Kunzum pass > Chandertal > Topko Gongma > Topko Yogma > Bara Lacha La.

Has anyone done this route ?
Does anyone have information about this route ?
What is the road condition ?
Is it do able in a Safari ?

Im sure it cuts down massive time and distance to Sarchu, instead of going all the way to Keylong.

The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-scan.jpg
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Old 22nd May 2009, 23:11   #172
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Ah, great map. Whats the red line from Bara Lacha La? I do not need to go to keylong then from Leh, I can go directly to Losar if that red marked line is motorable!
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Old 22nd May 2009, 23:33   #173
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Ah, great map. Whats the red line from Bara Lacha La? I do not need to go to keylong then from Leh, I can go directly to Losar if that red marked line is motorable!
Just a small question from my side.

Is this trip Doable on a alto?
I've heard that the local transportation there is a alto so i'm just assuming that i can try my hand at it.

What is your experience on this piece?
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Old 22nd May 2009, 23:50   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Ah, great map. Whats the red line from Bara Lacha La? I do not need to go to keylong then from Leh, I can go directly to Losar if that red marked line is motorable!
JSL thats a very good clean and yet detailed map, any similar digital map of Ladakh area and surroundings?

The red line is the well known 3-day trekking route - baralacha pass to chandra tal . The only motorable road to Chandratal is the Batal route.

Last edited by adc : 23rd May 2009 at 00:02.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 23:59   #175
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The motorable route to Chandratal is the Batal route. When I went 2 Septembers ago (tail end of Sept), the road was closed for the season and even local cabs would not go, forget my innova.

It is quite a tough drive from what I hear especially if you meet another suv coming the other way.
Chandertal has one dhaba in season where you can shack up, he is gone by mid sept.

The road from Kunzum to Chandertal is a trekking route as well as the baralacha route.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 12:55   #176
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The road from Kunzum to Chandertal is a trekking route as well as the baralacha route.
That is sad indeed. I was hoping that I could drive from Batal to Chandertal and on to Baralacha La. What a short short cut.

@tsk > the red line on the map has been highlighted by me, since it was a very thin line. I was assuming it is a road.

@adc >> the map is a scanned portion from my HP eicher road map. Sad to know that that is not a motorable road and just a trekking path.

@harish nayak > kudos to your spirit to consider doing the trip in an Alto. Now, before hvk & anupmathur jump up and tell you that they did the section in their Matiz & uno respectively, i have a word of caution.
You can do it in an Alto, but it will be a bone jarring trip. The road has deteriorated much since the time the Matiz & Uno went up there. Make sure you fix a engine guard plate beneath the Alto. They do drive a lot of Altos up in the hills, but I doubt anyone does Lossar to Gramphoo in a small car.

But do give it a shot, Id love to be proved wrong and get to see some lovely pics as a result. If I didnt have a Safari and had an Alto, I wouldnt even ask this question. I wudve hit the road. What counts is your will.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 13:21   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post

@harish nayak > kudos to your spirit to consider doing the trip in an Alto. Now, before hvk & anupmathur jump up and tell you that they did the section in their Matiz & uno respectively, i have a word of caution.
You can do it in an Alto, but it will be a bone jarring trip. The road has deteriorated much since the time the Matiz & Uno went up there. Make sure you fix a engine guard plate beneath the Alto. They do drive a lot of Altos up in the hills, but I doubt anyone does Lossar to Gramphoo in a small car.

.
The roads have improved tremendously since I drove my Matiz on these roads in 2003 and 2004. Alto is one of the most popular cars in the Lahaul Valley, but be prepared for lots of underbody repairs after the trip! It was a quite a struggle for my Matiz with 4 people in it and luggage, up the steep road from Chandertal to Batal, but the rest of the roads (Gramphoo-Batal-Kunzum la-Kaza) was no problem at all. Ideally, do not have more than 2-3 people in the car.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 15:27   #178
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One more thing i forgot. If you are planning to take your SUV to Chandertal, you need atleast one more person. A friend of mine did it in his Scorpio and there are some switchbacks where you have to reverse to make a full turn and someone needs to be there to shove rocks under the tyres. A 4x4 may be a different experience but I for one would need someone just to look at how far the tyre tracks are jutting out over the sides!
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Old 24th May 2009, 16:26   #179
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The dog in the photographs (with lion like mane) is called "Himalayan Mastiff" .
According to some it is a precursor for the Tibetan Mastiff dog which is highly appreciated, all over the world,though its native habitat still is Tibet.

But the Himalayan Mastiff may be only a smaller version of Tibetan Mastiff which is excellant house protection dog in colder climates. It is a very huge dog similar in most of the ways like the dog you have shown in the pictures,except the huge size and standard markings.
If I were you,I could have bought one Himalayan Mastiff dog with me from all the way there,but as you have shown in pictures ,you already have two dogs.
Tibetan Mastiff and Himalayan Mastiff come under rare breed vareities.
Govt.of India issued a postal stamp on the this dog.
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Old 25th May 2009, 00:51   #180
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Awesome Jay, just awesome! I'm really missing driving in Himachal now, it's been quite sometime since I visited there.
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