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Old 22nd September 2009, 23:09   #226
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Default Getting Leh'd

Today was the day we will get Leh'd i.e. leh citied.
Speaking with friends(Anup, Suman Hitanshu... etc.,) we had come to know that actually Leh does not offer much.
Our own experience had reinforced that.
So we decided on select places.

Today first we will go to "Shanti Stupa".
Everybody had told us its beautiful.

So after a lazy start, around 11am we were at the stupa.
Stupa sits high up, so naturally, you see the leh city
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The stupa
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Another view
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Closer views
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From another angle
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We loitered there will around 11:40ish, and I also took couple of IR photographs.
*sigh* I need a wide angle non hot spotting lens!

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Finally, it was time to leave the stupa, next stop : Leh Palace

TO BE CONT......

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 23rd September 2009 at 10:27.
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Old 22nd September 2009, 23:28   #227
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Your photo's are truly mesmerising.

I hardly find time to go through the travelogue, your photos speak more than words can explain.

Thanks for great travelogue tanveer.

BTW hows the famous White Elephant behaving
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Old 23rd September 2009, 00:32   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post
Your photo's are truly mesmerising.

I hardly find time to go through the travelogue, your photos speak more than words can explain.

Thanks for great travelogue tanveer.

BTW hows the famous White Elephant behaving
Except for one slight overheating, its behaving good till now. More updates after Tuesday next week, when she goes for the major 30K service
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Old 23rd September 2009, 10:25   #229
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Default Getting Leh'd - II

Next stop was the Leh palace. From far away it looks half decent, but once you are inside, its smelly, and well.. If you have seen any palace in Rajasthan you will pity the poor king.
The palace also has a monastory, and there are levels which are like a maze with wooden construction ladders to take you up the levels

First the monastery inside, no flash allowed, so pardon the picture quality
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Outside the monastery are some lovely flowers
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And last but not the least, the top.
Views from there are nice. The palace sits high up
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Higher than the palace sits Castle Tsemo. You can walk up the mountainside, or go down by road, take road to K.Top and reach castle entrance by road
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The courtyard of the Palace
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Next to finish was Castle Tsemo.
We drove up the winding road. Glad we did it. People who were walking up the mountainside would just stop at the entrance, and go back, since the castle also involves a very steep climb

Some pics from the Castle Tsemo
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I know with a name like Castle Tsemo, you expect better...But I guess up here things are different. If you want to enjoy castles, forts and places in Leh, make sure you never go to any Mughal architechture place, not even Hamayuns Tomb!
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Castle Tsemo done, it was time for lunch. Again, expensive stuff at Leh view. We had not discovered a good budget eating place.
another problem was water. I should have filled up 7-8 liters at Nubra instead of 3-4. So we will buy 2 Aquafina bottles, and fill up the rest of the lot on the Leg 2 of our trip.

Lunch done, and evening rested, we had 2 destinations remaining
1. Magnetic Hill
2. The 600 stairs(or maybe more) to the top of the Nishan Sahib at Pathar Sahib Gurudwara.

TO BE CONT........
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:14   #230
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Default Getting Leh'd - III

It was evening when we reached Magnetic hill. At first we had planned to climb the stairs first, but sun was strong, so we decided to visit magnetic hill first.
There is a box marked with white paint, and we tried the thing It works. However I did not have a rubber ball to test whether its magnetic pull or optical illusion. Well according to others who did rubber ball test, its indeed magnetic.

But the highlight of the part was not that, but a hill towards the side.
It rose slowly at first and then steeply.
Tire marks signified the highest vehicle up there.
The plan was to go slowly up, gently in Low ratio and climb till all 4 wheels are spinning.
Of course gung ho method would take you highest, but there is the risk of sideways skid and fall.

Those who have been here will know its steeper than it looks!

First I went in head first, and reached the part where other vehicles tire marks ended. I would have gone higher, but it was too steep, and I did not want to reverse here. So I decided to turn back and attempt in reverse gear
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Now for the reverse attempt
It starts
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Climb higher
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Finally the wheels start spinning.
Look at the dust cloud. I am 4L (Low ratio) reverse gear, throttle gently pressed, and suddenly the wheels start spinning and car shaking
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Time to stop and come down. Meanwhile there are onlookers wondering if I am going on my own without engine power
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Back on track
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Next pics are from box, look at the downward slope where you should roll down, but you roll "up"
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The hill signboard
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Old 23rd September 2009, 11:34   #231
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Default Getting Leh'd - IV Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and the 500+ stairs!

After magnetic hill we went to the Gurudwara, spend few minutes there, and decided to climb to the Nishan sahib at the top.
A few army men also were climbing up, but not by stairs, they went up by the mountainside!!
Actually they go there every day. The hill is high, and is direct line of sight to BSNL tower. So they can go up there and make phone calls to family!
The Entrance to the hill
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Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
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Time to start climbing, view from less than half way up
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More up
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Not many pics of the climb, the lungs are bursting you see
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Finally at the top!
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Lungs are really bursting. I have never ever felt so breathless. Holding the camera is also difficult, and the heart sounds like a freight train on steroids!

The BSNL tower
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The other side towards Nimmu
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And thats me
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Climb done, mission accomplished!

I did not take many pics up there. Frankly speaking, we were totally breathless. At this altitude even a walk seems like a full fledged workout, and climbing up so high is well... !

Last pic of the day, of the white elephant
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Its time to head back to Leh. Time for another TBHP meet.
Kaushik is back from Pangong. He had quite an adventure there.
Tomorrow he will start his long journey back to Srinagar, and we both have a cup of tea and exchange travel stories.

He could not make to to M.La because there are were 3 vehicles stuck up there and rescue operation is going on. So its either wait for 2 hours and go, or no go.

Soon I come back to the hotel, and prepare to sleep.

Tomorrow the Leg 2 of our trip starts. Its the longest drive in the Ladakh region till now. We are raring to go, and so are the rain gods, and as we sleep they dump rain on Leh and snow on the Las

TO BE CONT............

Last edited by tsk1979 : 23rd September 2009 at 11:35.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 12:05   #232
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Default Leg 2 - Hanle, Tso Moriri

Monday mornings,. The time to get to work.
Same for us.
8:25am start, and we are on the way we go to Hanle!

4500mts above the sea level sits the Chandra telescope, the second highest in the world. Located in south Changthang, Hanle is also the home of the Wild As.s or the Kiang, besides Yaks, some exotic birds, and ChangPa nomads.

Coming up..
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TO BE Continued.........
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Old 23rd September 2009, 12:57   #233
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Did you actually make notes during the trip? Every thing is explained in so much detail.


Also, did you really want to reach the top of that hill in reverse?

Last edited by bigmoose85 : 23rd September 2009 at 13:11. Reason: Error.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 13:06   #234
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Did you actually make notes during the trip? Every thing is explained in so much detail.
Well I just noted kms, and time of arrival and departure at keypoints. Apart from that, its all in the memory. Whenever we filled fuel, I took note of liters filled etc.,
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Old 23rd September 2009, 13:25   #235
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Tanveer, thanks for the superb writing and splendid photos, i am really touched by your experience and i have no words to describe my feelings, I have taken almost the whole of today morning to complete reading all the days that i was not there, Continue doing the post and i promise not to miss anyone. I saw in one of the pictures that the footboard of the white elephant has taken a beating. Continue with the good work
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Old 23rd September 2009, 13:32   #236
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thanks Majic. Yes the Footboard has taken a beating, but its not this trip which is the cause. Its the collective effect of various trips as well as OTR excursions which have been the cause.
In this trip only once I hit the footboard, though flying rocks etc. and light hits were common

@bigmoose, I knew it was not possible to reach the top. It was very steep. So I kept going till the wheels started spinning.
I went up in reverse because coming down is always more dangerous, and I did not want to "reverse" back.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 13:56   #237
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

Not many pics of the climb, the lungs are bursting you see

Lungs are really bursting. I have never ever felt so breathless. Holding the camera is also difficult, and the heart sounds like a freight train on steroids!

Climb done, mission accomplished!

I did not take many pics up there. Frankly speaking, we were totally breathless. At this altitude even a walk seems like a full fledged workout, and climbing up so high is well... !
I can Imagine how it must have felt at those heights, its like someone keeps a rock on ur chest and tells you to breathe.

But on my trip to Kailash I found a very effective way to minimize breathlessness, and that is by smelling Camphor/ kapoor.

Did you try that, did you have some Camphor with you?

If not I think it should be added to "must things to take" while going to Leh.

OT:- Just a suggestion, after you finished with this epic, why dont you start a sticky thread about "must things to have for leh" . I think you would be right person to do it since you have traveled extensively around. Suman Da, sha, abk, Lordofgondor, Gd sir etc etc who have travelled recently can give their inputs.

This is because Leh and around is becoming a hot destination for us members and it will serve as a complete one stop guide for us who plan to visit those places in the near future. thanks
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Old 23rd September 2009, 14:14   #238
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Well Deky, we did not have any idea about camphor etc.,
I had read about Diamox, but since we both did not know whether we are allergic to Sulpha, we did not take any medication. Thankfully, the worst symptoms we suffered were mild headache and slight nausea and that too for short time.

I guess travelling to Leh on the Manali Leh highway and initially spending 2 nights at 3100m aclimatizes you good

As for travel guide, sure something like that can be put up!
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Old 23rd September 2009, 14:26   #239
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Default The Journey begins.. Time to go to Hanle!

We started at 8:25am. The rain gods had dumped a fair amount of rain, and it was cloudy. Something I was worried about

I told Sunny(our host) that we will be back day after tomorrow, so he reserved our favorite room for us.
We also took fruits etc., from the garden, and it was time to get on the road.

First stop? Karu for fuel. The plan was to get the tank full, and also carry 35 liters in the jerrycans. A round trip to Hanle can be done on one tank, but we had no idea what all we will attempt. So its better to preper in advance.
Jerrycans were filled, the baloon stoppers applied.
The tank took in just 16.86 liters of fuel, as we had topped up while returning from Pangong.
FE for local Leh travel and offroading was 9.79. Not bad!

At 9:10 am we were on the road again, destination 1 - Chumathang
It was raining on the way, so fewer pics.
The landscape after the turn from Upshi was different.
The hills had a reddish tinge to them
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Near Chumathang it became even drier and barren. But ironically, the rain did not let up
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Constant light drizzle, sometimes heavy sometimes light.
Thankfully the road held up. It was narrow, and we crossed a lot of army trucks. It was same routine, find turnout and stop. Soon I started stopping at turnouts before the trucks arrived in my vision. Its faster this way. No need to back up and circus.
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Finally at 11:45am we were at Chumathang. After Panamik, I expected a damp squib, but surprisingly the chumathang hot springs were much much bigger.
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The water was hot, really hot and you could see it boiling
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We took the off road trail right to the springs
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Look at that dog lounging. Springs are spread over a large area, and steam can be seen coming out at lots of places. The ground was also warm to touch. Thankfully the sulfur smell was lighter than Panamik.
There is probably a really huge Geothermal power reservoir under these rocks.
The spring water gushes out boiling, and then merges with the indus river. I pity the fishes which come close to where the spring mixes with cold water!

Shortly after Chumathang comes the bridge to Tso Moriri. Unlike regular tourist traffic, we took the road to Nyoma. Tso Moriri will have to wait.
We showed our permits there, and then the landscape changed... Drastically

TO BE CONT.......
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Old 23rd September 2009, 16:44   #240
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Shortly after Chumathang comes the bridge to Tso Moriri. Unlike regular tourist traffic, we took the road to Nyoma. Tso Moriri will have to wait.
We showed our permits there, and then the landscape changed... Drastically

TO BE CONT.......
and you're getting to MY FAVOURITE part

The scenery is Amazing isnt it. Just after you cross the bridge and after the first turn!!
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