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Old 12th October 2009, 17:14   #16
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Wow beautiful pics

Just a quick Q, how did you managed the Thule Box, where did you bought it from?
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Old 12th October 2009, 18:00   #17
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Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Wow beautiful pics

Just a quick Q, how did you managed the Thule Box, where did you bought it from?
Thule box was bought from Raj Kapoor at Performance Auto in NOIDA
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:34   #18
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Excellent photographs. I have not seen many taking this route and I am sure is quite an experience. Bringing back some of the good memories of HP when I visited Kullu Manali about 7 years back. Wish to do another trip there in the coming years.

Keep sharing.
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Old 13th October 2009, 14:30   #19
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Originally Posted by Indian Ranger View Post
Excellent photographs. I have not seen many taking this route and I am sure is quite an experience. Bringing back some of the good memories of HP when I visited Kullu Manali about 7 years back. Wish to do another trip there in the coming years.

Keep sharing.
Thanks. Well, be in touch - I have started driving holidays and we plan to do many trips in all the four corners of India. You can PM me for more details.

Last edited by 4wdrifter : 13th October 2009 at 14:33.
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Old 16th October 2009, 11:52   #20
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Thank you - one of the best threads on a trip that I've seen!

Please keep us posted on your other trips so that the rest of us can learn-plan-go. If you plan a trip to Rajasthan, please post your experiences, including the route.

I am curious about one thing though - I know for a fact that the Forester would have coped very well in this expedition ( Hormazd Sorabjee rated the Forester the highest amongst all cars in India for handling and ride, when it was introduced in India some six-seven years ago)- how did the Skoda cope, in terms of ride, handling and ground clearance?

P.S. : I have seen a black Forester, similar to yours, parked in a building opposite to Barista in Shivaji park, across Veer Savarkar Marg. Very few Foresters in Mumbai, it being such a lovely vehicle.

Regards
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Old 16th October 2009, 12:06   #21
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man you got me all nostalgic...you are taking exactly the same route as i had taken.

all the best and ride safe

cheers,
ac
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Old 16th October 2009, 13:06   #22
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This is what a holiday is all about. You should have carried onto chanshal, the view is mesmerizing plus the road has been opened fully only last year to connect the two remote Dodra & Kawar panchayats across the Chanshal Pass. A better place to stay would ahve been the guest house at Sandhasu (the name is escaping me at the moment) but its right by the side of the river from where you start your climb to Chanshal.
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Old 17th October 2009, 08:47   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
Thank you - one of the best threads on a trip that I've seen!

Please keep us posted on your other trips so that the rest of us can learn-plan-go. If you plan a trip to Rajasthan, please post your experiences, including the route.

I am curious about one thing though - I know for a fact that the Forester would have coped very well in this expedition ( Hormazd Sorabjee rated the Forester the highest amongst all cars in India for handling and ride, when it was introduced in India some six-seven years ago)- how did the Skoda cope, in terms of ride, handling and ground clearance?

P.S. : I have seen a black Forester, similar to yours, parked in a building opposite to Barista in Shivaji park, across Veer Savarkar Marg. Very few Foresters in Mumbai, it being such a lovely vehicle.

Regards
Thank you Issigonis. Rajasthan trip is planned end of the year, part of our driving holidays project. The Forester coped very well - it was a lot of fun driving the Forester as you don't have to slow down for bad or uneven surfaces and can get off the road whenever you want without breaking a sweat. I have enjoyed every moment of the almost four years that I have owned it.

The Skoda had a few problems, mainly related to ground clearance. Besides the constant scraping, she also broke the lower condenser mount and leaked refrigerant. Besides that there were no problems at all.

Yes, there are a few Foresters in Bombay, almost all owned by people who love to drive. I remember the praise Hormazd had heaped on it when they tested it way back - I think everyone who knows the Forester loves it!

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Originally Posted by ac 427 View Post
man you got me all nostalgic...you are taking exactly the same route as i had taken.

all the best and ride safe

cheers,
ac
Thanks AC. Route was great, more so because of almost no traffic. I am planning to come up there again, hopefully soon - will ask you for your inputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
This is what a holiday is all about. You should have carried onto chanshal, the view is mesmerizing plus the road has been opened fully only last year to connect the two remote Dodra & Kawar panchayats across the Chanshal Pass. A better place to stay would ahve been the guest house at Sandhasu (the name is escaping me at the moment) but its right by the side of the river from where you start your climb to Chanshal.
Wanderernomad, I so desperately wanted to carry on to Chanshal, especially not knowing when I would return to this place, however, since I have started organising driving holidays, I know I will have to return!
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Old 20th October 2009, 09:15   #24
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Great travelogue and pics! Looking forward to your future trips :-)
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:25   #25
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Supremely wonderful trip and what a way to enjoy it. "Driving holidays", a concept that I too am truly enjoying. Would certainly love to team up as and when possible. And your travelogue has this very homely flavor to it that Im really enjoying.
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Old 21st October 2009, 12:08   #26
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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Supremely wonderful trip and what a way to enjoy it. "Driving holidays", a concept that I too am truly enjoying. Would certainly love to team up as and when possible. And your travelogue has this very homely flavor to it that Im really enjoying.
Sure, will keep you posted when we do trips in South India. Get in touch if and when you come down to Bombay, we have interesting plans!
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Old 21st October 2009, 14:41   #27
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Default Sangla Valley!

Ah Sangla! The place I was yearning to reach all throughout this drive. 3 days and 3 nights spent in the verdant beauty of the Valley. We stayed at Banjara Camps and the owner, Rajesh Ojha and his team are indeed very hospitable.
The plan was to RELAX, however, the driver in me could not keep his feet on the ground - I feel uncomfortable if I don't have pedals underneath my feet!

Relax we did, but also got out to see the village near which the camp is built and drove to Chhitkul, the last village on the road to Tibet.
Starting with Banjara Camps, it is built on the banks of the Baspa river. They have accommodation in tents as well as a building with rooms. Both have a unique charm of their own. We stayed in the tents for the first two days and then later moved to a room.
The tents:
The canvas tents are fully furnished with two beds, dressing and bedside tables. They also have an attached bathroom/toilet, tiled on the floor. Hot & cold running water, no showers, unfortunately. Hot water is provided through a gas fired heater. Very rustic and very charming.
The tents obviously don't have any doors, only canvas curtains to tie up. The one thing I must stress upon is complete security. We left all our cash, cameras and other valuables out in the open - no cupboards to lock, you see. The housekeeping staff would come in and clean up your tent and none of our things were touched! City slickers that we are, it felt a little incongruous to leave everything out in the open and in full view. I spoke about this to Rajesh and praised him on his training to staff - he told me that his employees are from the region itself, being mountain people, they are very proud and would not touch anything belonging to anyone else. He also informed me that local villagers sometimes come into the camp and enter the kitchen to chat up with the staff but there is absolutely no security issue and they would not even touch food, crockery or anything else over there!
The rooms:
On the third day, we moved into the rooms in the main building. The rooms HAVE keys and city slickers that we are and acting on instinct, we locked the rooms!
The faux security issue dawned very quickly on me and after breakfast, I just left the room unlocked. I spoke to Rajesh again on this and he told me just that - no one has issue with the tents being open but once in the room, everyone locks them! The big issue is cleaning the rooms as the keys are with the guest. That's when I noticed that there were three keys in the keychain - all the keys remain with the guest with a master key only with the owner! As the staff is used to simply entering the tents and cleaning up, they expect the rooms to be left that way too!
The rooms are very beautiful, pine wood is used extensively and the sweet smell of the wood lingers in the room. All rooms have large balconies and table-chairs are thoughtfully laid out.
The camp also has many activities for adults and children. There is a play area with a basketball hoop. All meals are in their very cosy dining area. The dining area has a central section which has books and games. They also have a couple of tables where the day's activities are detailed and you can also buy local merchandise.

The dining room in the camp
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The view from the camp - apple orchards and snow capped mountains
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One of the tents
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The Baspa River
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The parking lot
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House being constructed
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Interiors of the tent
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Interiors of the room
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Dining room in the main building
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We visited Batseri Village, adjoining the camp. The village has a very charming temple dedicated to Lord Badri Narayan. It is built of wood in the local style. The temple was gutted in a fire in 1998 and has been rebuilt from funds donated by devotees. Pictures below:

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The rear of the temple
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Frescoed Ceiling
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Shikhar
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Last edited by 4wdrifter : 21st October 2009 at 14:57.
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Old 21st October 2009, 15:26   #28
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Great cars, amazing place and very good pictures!
How does the fully loaded Tule box affect the handling of the Forrester? It does look top heavy at least to look at.
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Old 21st October 2009, 16:51   #29
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Wonderfully done travelogue. I like the spirit of adventure running through everyone in the entire group in the three cars—few with families would carry their own tents and pitch them, etc. Kudos to all of you—that experience must obviously have added to the charm of the whole holiday.

For some reason, though, I cannot see the pix in Page 2—my loss. The ones on Page 1 are scitillating and make me want to logout and start the car/bike and head out. Alas, work beckons tomorrow and for the next few days... But surely, the mountains are a-calling and it will be time to head out soon enough.

Thanks for a great travelogue. As someone wrote in one of the posts, a very different route to have taken—must try it out sometime soon.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 11:26   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Great cars, amazing place and very good pictures!
How does the fully loaded Tule box affect the handling of the Forrester? It does look top heavy at least to look at.
Thanks Guna. Yes, the box does make the car top heavy. However, the Forester does roll the way large SUVs do, so it is quite manageable and you get used to the slight roll that does occur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeevn View Post
Wonderfully done travelogue. I like the spirit of adventure running through everyone in the entire group in the three cars—few with families would carry their own tents and pitch them, etc. Kudos to all of you—that experience must obviously have added to the charm of the whole holiday.

For some reason, though, I cannot see the pix in Page 2—my loss. The ones on Page 1 are scitillating and make me want to logout and start the car/bike and head out. Alas, work beckons tomorrow and for the next few days... But surely, the mountains are a-calling and it will be time to head out soon enough.

Thanks for a great travelogue. As someone wrote in one of the posts, a very different route to have taken—must try it out sometime soon.
Thanks. For some reason, the pictures have come as links. You will be able to see them if you click on them. Work - yes, the big spoiler! That is why I have converted my passion to work - organising driving holidays!
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