Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 23rd September 2009, 16:51   #241
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bapu View Post
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!!
Yes it is, coming up!
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 16:57   #242
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default Nyoma

After the bridge where you show permits, comes the turn, and then comes the sight which will blow you away.
Too bad its raining, but I braved the rain, to get the pics
Name:  655226746_otRGBL.jpg
Views: 1601
Size:  119.1 KB

Name:  655227674_LdkSEL.jpg
Views: 1574
Size:  177.5 KB

Name:  655228236_UXxEcL.jpg
Views: 1578
Size:  93.5 KB

There are all colors in one frame. Green Red. Brown, blue, white.. Never in our whole trip we have seen colors like this.
And never ever in our whole trip we have seen rain like this too!

Its raining cats dogs and wild asses in the uber dry changthang desert.

Little before 2pm we reach Nyoma.
Sorry, so few pics of the wonderful road.
I overtook a couple of Army convoys, more stopping would mean redoing the work, and the rain also prevented photography.

Thankfully, the road to Nyoma was good.
At Nyoma we checked out PWD rest house which was full due to some visiting officials.
He told us that there is PWD at Hanle also. We had permission to stay at Hanle Guest house, provided room was available.

So this was just backup.
Nyoma was also the place to have some good decent food.
There was a fuel station also, but it was closed, and ditto for the BSNL tower, it was in sms only or hello hello can you hear me mode, as usual.

Hanle was 90kms away, and time was over 2pm.

Thankfully, still, the road was good, very good

TO BE CONT.......
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 17:19   #243
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default Hanle.. finally!

Its raining. Raining quite heavily. Its not supposed to rain heavily this time of the year. I do not want rain. I want sunshine. Because when clouds come, starts do not.
Well, night is still far away.
Its early afternoon, and on the black arrow straight tarmac, we race towards Hanle
Name:  655228873_yAr7HL.jpg
Views: 1591
Size:  100.2 KB

Dark clouds all over
Name:  655229613_SZ48ML.jpg
Views: 2115
Size:  98.2 KB

Bleak desert looking bleaker in the rain. this desert does not bloom when it rains, it blooms only when it wants to
Name:  655231155_R2DHiL.jpg
Views: 1558
Size:  104.0 KB

As far as the eye can see, its dark omnious clouds.
Name:  655232007_FrLFCL.jpg
Views: 1533
Size:  89.8 KB

Very soon, after around 20 minutes more, the landscape starts changing. The Hanle river, like all rivers around is a life giver.
Colors start to emerge. The bleak light does not help though, but we can only imagine what a sight it would be when the sun comes out
Name:  655235266_4StknL.jpg
Views: 1552
Size:  128.3 KB

Name:  655235882_6SKXeL.jpg
Views: 1528
Size:  95.9 KB
After round 45 minutes on the Hanle road, we see the first residents of the South Changthang desert.
The Wild A.s.s or the Kiang. This is the Tibetian Wild A.s.s technically
Name:  655236515_m987qL.jpg
Views: 1523
Size:  134.2 KB
the light is not condusive to taking out the zoom lens, and we want to reach hanle, so for today its 55mm max.
anyways, here is their domain. The green fields. Lots of food, and lots of rain
Name:  655237330_9XvYJL.jpg
Views: 1523
Size:  137.2 KB

We do around 70kms quickly and soon there is a signboard which says "Hanle 20kms".
The signboard is very very significant, because here the road ends, and instead of the high speed runway, now its a road made up of sharp rocks, which somebody forgot to run the roadroller on.

Not much change in scenery. Sun seemed to be struggling to come out
Name:  655238097_rohdyL.jpg
Views: 1507
Size:  84.9 KB
But no success
Name:  655239127_WNTujL.jpg
Views: 1496
Size:  160.7 KB
The white elephant. Instead of the "so called road" we take one of the myriad dirt trails, memories of more plains come.
Rain has let up a bit, thankfully
Name:  655239645_2t23BL.jpg
Views: 1508
Size:  81.6 KB

The rocky trail, its raining and wipers are working overnight
Name:  655240249_2AgkJL.jpg
Views: 1496
Size:  80.1 KB
The same bleak scenery everywhere.
Name:  655241178_qUzx4L.jpg
Views: 1483
Size:  93.0 KB

And finally, for a moment, sun comes out, bathing us in its warmth, and we spot the red road roller
There is no driver in it, no wonder road is like this.
Imagine, not a soul for miles around, just a red road roller
Name:  655242490_RHJaoL.jpg
Views: 1487
Size:  181.1 KB

As we get closer, a cloud blocks the sun, and the lovely yellow light starts turning bright white
Name:  655243756_Q2ZXnL.jpg
Views: 1493
Size:  160.1 KB

All along the way we we see sun and clouds fighting, the clouds are winning
Name:  655246236_zfTXuL.jpg
Views: 1496
Size:  216.5 KB

Name:  655246863_RkyoML.jpg
Views: 1494
Size:  113.0 KB

And then quarter to 4, we get the first glimpse, miles away of the Hanle Gompa
Name:  655248206_7GySJL.jpg
Views: 1478
Size:  92.0 KB

Finally we have arrived... Almost

TO BE CONT........

Last edited by tsk1979 : 23rd September 2009 at 17:20.
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 17:26   #244
Distinguished - BHPian
 
sudev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,510
Thanked: 2,385 Times
Default

Quote:
it was time for lunch. Again, expensive stuff at Leh view. We had not discovered a good budget eating place.
At head of Leh market near the Masjid is Gianni's dhaba serving sumptuous Bhatura Chnna and awesome Samosa's and burfi's. My fav eating joint though crowded and more like chai ki dukan.

What are these strips for?

Last edited by sudev : 23rd September 2009 at 17:30. Reason: Fixed quote
sudev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 17:29   #245
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post

At head of Leh market near the Masjid is Gianni's dhaba serving sumptuous Bhatura Chnna and awesome Samosa's and burfi's. My fav eating joint though crowded and more like chai ki dukan.
Well we ate there once, but for normal food, we later discovered Dogra Dhaba in the centeral market. Cheap nice good food. Most Armymen, and many locals as well as taxi drivers eat here. Decent food, simple, and at good price

these strips are for the under construction fence. Army does lot of hanky panky here

Last edited by tsk1979 : 23rd September 2009 at 17:41.
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 17:40   #246
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default where is Chandra...?

Thats the question which we ask to nobody in particular as we reach a bridge.
Its a question in the air.
there is a very very nice paved road going towards, the other direction from the telescope, and a horrendous one going towards the telescope.
We take the latter, and its indeed quite horrendous.
First its a mix of rocks and sand, and secondly there is slush too. Some other time it may have been fun, but right now its Hanle in the mind.
After 2kms which take us 20 minutes, we reach ITBP checkpost which tells us this is not the right road.
Probably its the road going in other direction.

We go back to the same bridge, and I again look at the lovely road.
Its certainly not this one, as I can see it going towards.. well china!
there are a few laborers who have no idea either, finally one local comes, and he says, neither. the road to Hanle is under consideration. So you see these mounds of sand and construction material dumped. This is the road to hanle.
So just go around it on the "kuchha" path.

So finally, wasting almost 40 minutes, we are at the Hanle rest house around 4:30pm

The clouds are still strong, and the staff verifiy whether we can stay.
Answer is Affirmative!

We dump some luggage in our room, and its time for the drive up the hill to the Chandra telescope!

WE drive up, and before entering the telescope complex, I take a few quick shots

Name:  655251271_qdNLGL.jpg
Views: 1496
Size:  55.6 KB

Name:  655252021_AXT2eL.jpg
Views: 1484
Size:  109.3 KB

Inside the telescope, its bigger than it looks.
We are shown a short video on how the hanle site was chosen.
This telescope is Made in Arizona, cost many million dollars.

Since Hanle has one of the best skies, and it rarely rains here(rarely????) its the perfect site.
But the scientists inform me that its been raining here for past 3 days intermittantly, and heavily today. Normally it rains in August only when there is 50% chance of clear sky. this is freak weather.

Now this is what is called rotten luck.

Due to the rains, the dome will not be opened, but as can see the telescope, and soon we are headed upwards on a steel ladder.

The sight is one to behold.
It does not look like an astronomy site. It looks like the sets of terminator and any moment I expect Arnold to come out and say "Come with me if you want to live".

Pics of the Multi Million Dollar Chandra
Name:  655273880_WbS28L.jpg
Views: 1484
Size:  71.4 KB

Name:  655275056_Xf2ovL.jpg
Views: 1470
Size:  91.0 KB

Though its raining now, it may clear at night. So the telescope has to be serviced. This involves cooling its CCD. Now how do you cool the CCD of a telescope that takes exposures longer than 3000 seconds?

You put liquid nitrogen into it.

If you thought putting Nitrogen in your car tires was cool.. wait till you see this

TO BE CONT........
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 17:55   #247
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default Chandra...

All of us have dreams. Some have dreams of climbing mount everest, some dream of Leh etc., etc.,
But never ever in my wildest dreams I had thought, that we would be standing barely a km away from a 400 year old monastery, and watch liquid nitrogen being poured into the CCD of a multimillion dollar made in the USA telescope, 4200m+ above the sea level.

It was real.
Liquid nitrogen is made locally by the site
In Cryogenic canisters it is brought to the telescope, after which they pour it into a stainless steel jug
Name:  655275994_8nehSL.jpg
Views: 1442
Size:  124.1 KB

With a steel funnel, its poured into the CCD
Name:  655277852_qZEiRL.jpg
Views: 1456
Size:  103.4 KB

Excess flows out and falls on the floor
Name:  655279923_besD7L.jpg
Views: 1479
Size:  108.6 KB

More pics


The Cryogenic container and the jug
Name:  655282054_zAKLvL.jpg
Views: 1456
Size:  71.2 KB

That thing falling down is excess
Name:  655283252_bAV24L.jpg
Views: 1464
Size:  97.3 KB

The main CCD is rotated while maintenance, so that its circulated completely
Name:  655284596_xLpphL.jpg
Views: 1436
Size:  170.3 KB
The same process of putting nitrogen is repeated multiple times through various openings in the CCD casing.
Name:  655285572_uVCjrL.jpg
Views: 1450
Size:  143.8 KB
Hanle site is self sufficient. Though no phones connection is there, there is a VSAT terminal(256kbps) for internet surfing. a 30KW solar electric plant, and a diesel genset.
Till 11PM they operate the genset. Solar plant charges the UPS which kicks in at 11pm in the night.

Telescope seen, it was time for us to head out, and one of the technicians came with us to show us around..

Needless to say.. The views were mind blowing!

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

Last edited by tsk1979 : 23rd September 2009 at 18:01.
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 18:04   #248
Distinguished - BHPian
 
phamilyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,601
Thanked: 3,451 Times
Default

Awesomes. Tussi the mahaan hos! Lovely pics in there - simply amazing. Your 4x4 purchase has paid itself out in this trip!
phamilyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 19:18   #249
BHPian
 
mayurpalav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 131
Thanked: 56 Times
Default Awesome travelogue.................

This travelogue is not only awesome, it is out of this world....
mayurpalav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 19:29   #250
BHPian
 
lordofgondor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UP 16
Posts: 936
Thanked: 155 Times
Default

Wonderful! Great going man. Am totally engrossed with what's happening in here.
lordofgondor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2009, 21:48   #251
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Awesomes. Tussi the mahaan hos! Lovely pics in there - simply amazing. Your 4x4 purchase has paid itself out in this trip!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayurpalav View Post
This travelogue is not only awesome, it is out of this world....
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Wonderful! Great going man. Am totally engrossed with what's happening in here.
Thanks for your comments guys. Am glad you are liking the travelogue
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 11:10   #252
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,646 Times
Default Hanle, the Village

Hanle village lies in South Changthang Plateau. Actually if you were in Ladakh, and could see only one region, I would say Changthang.
North Changthang has Pangong, and south changthang has Hanle, among other things.

After venturing out, its time to go to the top of a hill. I has, among other things a weather radar, webcam and multiple other things which I can't really make sense off.
Just think of it as a hill with lots of gadgets.
The tech was a local, not formally educated in this field, and taught by scientists. Locals are expert in maintenance!

Now coming back to the hill, its a favorite among visitors. Why not, after all its not everyday you see this

Name:  655288594_65Rn6L.jpg
Views: 1394
Size:  187.8 KB

The Chandra telescope, with you know who
Name:  655289987_t6LwHL.jpg
Views: 1392
Size:  118.8 KB

A wider shot
Name:  655290859_8LuPPL.jpg
Views: 1396
Size:  153.1 KB

To the North west you see this
Name:  655291694_PSzJ6L.jpg
Views: 1398
Size:  157.6 KB
To the south east lies china, somewhere behind those hills. Infact entire eastern range is the border with china. South of hanle, lies Chumur sector where a "lip" of china sorts of intrudes into Indian territory. This sector has been in the news recently due to incursions
Name:  655292463_SmmAaL.jpg
Views: 1373
Size:  136.9 KB

Apart from Liquid N, they also make Dry ice, or solidified Carbon dioxide, and no, its not for chilling pepsi

Name:  655293472_xWETfL.jpg
Views: 1365
Size:  116.4 KB

How often do you see a 400 year old monastery and a multi million dollar state of the telescope in the same frame?
Name:  655294259_6Dr3yL.jpg
Views: 2170
Size:  144.2 KB

And then we hear the haunting cry of a bird, unlike any other.
Its the black necked crane, somewhere down in those marshes, or the Hanle Basin as they are called.
This rare crane's cry can be heard miles away, but sightings are rare, even when its right in front of it, it hides in the foliage.
Name:  655295002_jefPHL.jpg
Views: 1351
Size:  146.0 KB

Name:  655295803_2p8zkL.jpg
Views: 1366
Size:  158.9 KB

As you can see its partially sunny now, and I am hoping that the clouds will go away. But no such luck. Dark clouds again start coming, today is not a good day!
Name:  655296576_RNQKwL.jpg
Views: 1367
Size:  122.3 KB

The light has completely changed
Name:  655298612_HhkzKL.jpg
Views: 1354
Size:  184.4 KB

However the Hanle monstory is still lit up, as if by a spotlight from the heavens
Name:  655300190_racWvL.jpg
Views: 1386
Size:  147.9 KB

But this won't last for long, as clouds get darker!
Name:  655300835_6jAcmL.jpg
Views: 1355
Size:  74.2 KB

This is sad. I was hoping for clear skies, but the desert has decided to get wet today.

With lot of evening still left, its time to do a little reconnaissance.
From Hanle, if you head towards the north west, you come to a quant little lake called Kyun Tso. Actually its not one lake, its twin lakes.

There are 2 ways of going there, one from
Hanle - Pungut - Kyun Tso, other from Nyoma - Nidar - Kyun Tso.

Today we will drive towards Pungut, and see how is the road. If its motorable, we will go to Tso Moriri via
Hanle - Pungut - Kyun Tso - Nidar - Nyoma- Mahe route, if its not, we will go on the highway to Nyoma, and then take diversion to Kyun Tso.,
Its closer from Nyoma side so its can be a 2 hour excursion.


With GPS ready, tracks drawn, and some local direction help, we set off on the road to Pungut

TO BE CONT..............
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 11:22   #253
BHPian
 
lordofgondor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UP 16
Posts: 936
Thanked: 155 Times
Default

Great, waiting for the dose of the lakes!

Last edited by lordofgondor : 24th September 2009 at 11:29.
lordofgondor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 11:31   #254
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kottayam
Posts: 588
Thanked: 2 Times
Angry You are making me angry (Just Kidding)

Quote:
TO BE CONT..............


This is really getting on my nerves, now my routine has changed earlier it was checking my mail now it is lookout for the new posting read it and then comes my mail and work. Splendid pictures, asbolutely fantastic, please keep the posting going, you have my undivided attention.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 24th September 2009 at 11:46. Reason: fixed quote
Majic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 11:36   #255
Senior - BHPian
 
suman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 4,589
Thanked: 257 Times
Default

Awesome stuff, keep 'em coming

The most frustrating bit about Ladakh (for me at least) was that you can be on arrow straight black tarmac & it lulls you into a sense of complacency & "Ahhh, good roads now" & then, all of a sudden....wham, bam & you're onto rocks, sand & what have you

And it keeps changing! So when you go back the next year, things will be different!
suman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing roof racks without factory roof railings hellmet Technical Stuff 13 8th March 2013 10:49
Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!! nix1976in Travelogues 42 13th October 2011 21:50
Hyundai-Kia passes Ford as world's 4th largest automaker aaggoswami The International Automotive Scene 8 22nd October 2009 18:48
A Wild Wild ride to the Mighty Chansal Ghati tsk1979 Travelogues 44 26th January 2009 18:21


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 14:04.

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