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Old 2nd March 2010, 12:15   #1
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Default The Valley of Spring

If somebody were to ask me, whats the favorite spring time destination... I would be tirthan without batting an eyelid.
The tirthan valley is nestled near the Great Himalayan national park. Throughout the year, the place is nice, quiet and relaxed, but during spring it erupts, with the apple trees blooming all over.
Though concrete jungleization is going on, its still pretty green, and large parts of the valley are covered with protected forests.
Leopards and Bears rule here, esp during winter when the snow on the high mountains sends them down for food.
This holi weekend, tirthan was our destination.
Just 11 hours drive away and you are in a new world.

We started our journey past 730am, and it was dark when we finally reached our destination.

What better way to start clicking, than long exposures?

First the moon and reflection
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Unfortunately, the skies were not too clear, hence the starts played hide and seek

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With uninteresting skies, and icy winds, its time for some fire
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Fully warmed up, its back to the river
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Long exposure on the turbulent tirthan means some interesting effects
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After that its time for dinner and sleep, for tomorrow we head to the Jalori pass, and also soak in the valley of spring

TO BE CONT.......
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Old 2nd March 2010, 12:29   #2
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Tanveer,

Another wonderful travelogue from you. Was not expecting it so soon and really good teasers. Eagerly waiting for more posts.

thanks.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 12:48   #3
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Ah, Tanveer is back. Bhai, you always post when my tests/ exams are a few days away. I always have you to blame for my below par performance
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Old 2nd March 2010, 13:23   #4
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Had Tirthankar basu been a maharashtrian, he'd in all probability be from this place Tirthan.
Ok, PJs aside, where in Himalayas is this Tirthan exactly?
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Old 2nd March 2010, 13:47   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
What better way to start clicking, than long exposures?
Cool, the tale has begun! The night shots are fantastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
where in Himalayas is this Tirthan exactly?
Tirthan valley is in the Kullu district of Himachal. You reach Tirthan by going straight on the road at Pundoh tunnel (the real long one) which falls en route Kullu. If you take left and enter the tunnel you'd reach Kullu.
EDIT: Alternatively, you could come from Shimla side, crossing Narkanda and scaling Jalori Pass to reach Tirthan.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 2nd March 2010 at 13:49.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 15:15   #6
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@Gondor bhai - where are your pics - you were supposed to be in the vicinity as well
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Old 2nd March 2010, 15:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
@Gondor bhai - where are your pics - you were supposed to be in the vicinity as well
Kya yaar, my office people have blocked the USB ports in our machines, so can't copy pics. EDIT: Waiting to get back home now to carry on the good work.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 2nd March 2010 at 15:44.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 16:01   #8
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Default Up and around - Birds of paradise

The plan of the day was simple. Few pics around the resort, then ride to Jalori pass, catch some snow, and then come back in the evening for some valley stuff

First the landscapes from the resort. It was nice quiet. The owners dogs Lalu and seema also joined us for breakfast, and made dove eyes at the food.
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Soon I realized, that I need a 300mm lens to catch the birds. This bird I have seen many times, but never shot with a 300mm. I don't know its name
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Soon its partner joins
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I get two in flight shots too!
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Actually 300mm is too short. I guess a 800mm lens would do greater justice.

Since its getting close to noon, we decide to head upwards to the pass...

TO BE CONT.......
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Old 2nd March 2010, 16:22   #9
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Wonderful Tanveer

I was thinking only that we had 3 days holiday - so where has tanveer planned his holiday & there you are with a wonderful traveloque.

We are waiting for your continued part...

Thanks
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Old 3rd March 2010, 12:15   #10
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Default To Jalori

The resort is not motorable. There are two ways to go there. One is to sit on a trolly and cross the river, and the other is a 10 minutes walk through a narrow forest trail. At the end of the trail is the parking lot, where we had parked the safari.
This can be called as one of the most scenic parking lots ever!
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On the way to Banjar, we found a nice spot to click. Back in 2007, I took a pic at the same spot, and it looks the same. Check out my old travelogue!


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From there it was time to drive on towards the Jalori pass.
Jalori pass from a height perspective is pretty pretty mediocre. At 3120meters above sea level, it does not hold a candle against the mighty kunzum or even the pedestrian rohtang.
But the mediocrity ends there. As passes go, this is probably the steepest. Imagine, climbing from a mere 1000 meters above sea level to a 3120 in less than 25kms.
The last section of the climb sees 500 meters climb in 5kms
To add to the fun, a lot of the 25km section is broken road, and the last 5kms are slush.
Till shoja, things are fine, and after that it started getting really interesting and frustrating.
In front of me were two loaded tempo trax. At every slushy hairpin the passengers got down and pushed the wheel spinning taxi up the hairpin. Even when there was no hairpin, they were going at a speed so low that the rpm in the safari dropped to 1000m and I did not have enough power to follow them.
So I shifted to low ratio, the wheels were spinning anyways, and gradually followed them till there was an opportunity to overtake.

After a short but gruelling drive on the narrow road, we were at the Jalori Jot!

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From here there is a 5kms stretch to the Serovolsar lake. It freezes in january, but this time of the year there would be water. Locals told us that snow gets waist deep after a couple of kms and there is danger of leopard and bear attack too since animals are hungry, there is less food in snow.
But first a view from the "marked"
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The snowy path and surroundings
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We could walk till the 1.5kms mark. In summers, till this mark boleros etc., come to a meadow like place. Even then the road is a little too narrow for the safari, and with 3-4 feet of snow on ground, you need a snowmobile.
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After this point the footsteps vanished, and there was only powdery snow for us to sink into.
No point going forward. So we headed back
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A couple of landscape shots. The light was harsh, and metering the scene was tough. Snow is one of the worst subjects to photograph in harsh sunlight!
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After that, we head back downhill. We will stop for lunch at Shringi Vatika. Thankfully, downhill was much much easier than uphill!

TO BE CONT.......
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Old 3rd March 2010, 13:44   #11
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Excellent pictures. Did you do any post processing?

I was also waiting for a travelogue from you after the holi weekend.
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Old 3rd March 2010, 15:16   #12
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Thanks!
Just rudimentary contrast adjustment, and exposure adjustment. Nothing else done.
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Old 3rd March 2010, 15:25   #13
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Wow those birds are very different from what one sees normally.

Nice place
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Old 3rd March 2010, 15:26   #14
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great start to another great travelogue..waiting to catch more of it.

really cool pics

just one question. in the pic titled" the snowy path" what happens if there is a vehicle coming fro the other side? the place seems to narrow for a safari and a truck to cross each other or am I estimating it wrongly
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Old 3rd March 2010, 15:32   #15
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On such paths if a vehicle comes from other side all you can do is reverse. But on such roads there are rarely any vehicles!
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