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Old 6th July 2010, 13:09   #151
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Sudev Ji,

Great Write-up and great Pictures.
Thanks for the Map. I was really searching for a Map for this route.
Are there any other detailed maps of this route. Or a GPS Log ?

Styler

Last edited by Styler : 6th July 2010 at 13:16.
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Old 6th July 2010, 13:58   #152
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Default Some more pictures

Pristine meadows with grazing pack horses. I would like to camp here for s few days. Pine forest all around and nice nip in the air. Just imagine sipping your morning cup of tea with sun shining on your face:
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Alternate two:
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Now this is the "road" the Mughal Road and this picture shows at its better state. Not the best but there were much worse stretches. And slushy too. However the government is hard at work here and soon this would be a lovely road.
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Snake climbing the mountain: (was this day 1 or 2?)
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And finally after coming down and crossing Shopian were stopped by an army check post next to an orchard. Lovely little stream gurgling away and meandering through it all:
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You can see may more pictures at the FaceBook Group and many people have posted their individual pictures at other places on the net Conquerors of the Mughal Road | Facebook
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Old 6th July 2010, 16:41   #153
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We took flag at 07:16:00 on June 26, 2010 for the second leg of the rally and we were actually to cross the Mughal Road today. The average speed target was 42.89kmph. The early morning city traffic added to the flurry and chaos of navigating. All this while Alka was re-learning the use of new calculator and so if there was going to be a TC here we would have incurred huge early or late penalties.

In the instance we kept on going 20, 30 50, 80, 120, 150 kms and no TC. By this time my navigator had started getting used to new calculator. But had we missed a TC? Only consolation was that we occasionally got a glimpse of some of the other competitors. Not that we were wrong on navigation but some times TC's are missed just because at that crucial juncture you were overtaking a bus or something....

Average like this meant we could take a small nature stop and then again zoom for four or five of minutes and again get back to our designated time. Then came town of Rajori. Crowded with people and taxis and buses and scooters and children walking to schools. It slowed us down mightily. This meant that on the small road which was becoming more and more twisty by the kilometre we were driving like mad to "catch" up on average speed distance calculations.
At 193 odd kms came the TC. We were just a few seconds early at this but it was TC#2 So we did not miss anything. Manned by husband and wife team from Rajasthan. Onward to TC#3.

Now it was downhill to Bufliaz and we were heading towards the Mughal Road being opened just for us today.
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Old 6th July 2010, 17:04   #154
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Default Google Earth KMZ file

Lots of you have asked for the GPS log file. I have this in Google Earth KMZ and Garmin Map Source GDB formats. So for your pleasure and use the files are attached.

MughalRoad.kmz

MughalRoad.gdb
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Old 6th July 2010, 17:24   #155
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Default Time for a virtual feast

The two three screen shots from google earth of the Peer-Ki-Gali pass. The first shot shows what I stated earlier. This is not a saddle pass but a long corridor. You can see why the road is kept higher - the gulley - full of snow melt and gushing waters. The satellite picture is from November 2005 but in early summer the snow is much more and just started to melt. Also in 2005 the road was barely jeepable AFAIK.
At the start of the pass you can also see the pony bridle path that come up to the pass much more steeply. Blue is the GPS log file.
My Mughal Road Rally-screenshot2.png

View from the valley side. Water courses are more clearly defined here. At both ends of the pass the elevation falls very dramatically and the roads at either end have to negotiate the mountain face with switch backs.
My Mughal Road Rally-screenshot3.png

In this view you can see in the centre the snow melt stream that was to be treated with utmost respect. Some did not and floundered. Peer-Ki-Gali pass is to the left side of the screen shot just after climbing a virtual straight face of the mountain.
My Mughal Road Rally-screenshot4.png
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Old 7th July 2010, 09:19   #156
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After coming down in to the Kashmir valley from Peer-Ki-Gali there was a TC. We were told at this TC that due to some reason we have to take a detour around Shopian town from instruction #ABC and we will rejoin at instruction #XYZ. Cool.

This was TC #8 so there was one more TC likely between now and end TC at Srinagar. Where? All TC from #2 to #8 were bunched up within 50 odd kilometres. So would TC#9 also be near by before the detour? We kept a careful watch and timed our selves perfectly but no TC came.

We took the detour and rejoined the main route again, the road from Shopian to Awantipur. Now the problem was which timing to follow? Timing as per calculation of original road book? Due to slow detour and extra distance it added we were horribly late and it would be very very difficult to cover up. Timing calculation as per detour? We did not know precise distances but this could be achievable.

I checked with Alka who had signed the advisory sheet. (all instructions are given in writing and got counter signed from participants so that later their is no claim to contrary) However it was verbal and we were having almost a spat with each other on why we were not clear or why we did not ask or....you know how it goes with stress building up.

in the event the decision was taken out of our hand as we came upon....

Last edited by sudev : 7th July 2010 at 09:29.
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Old 7th July 2010, 12:50   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
After coming down in to the Kashmir valley from Peer-Ki-Gali there was a TC. We were told at this TC that due to some reason we have to take a detour around Shopian town from instruction #ABC and we will rejoin at instruction #XYZ. Cool.

This was TC #8 so there was one more TC likely between now and end TC at Srinagar. Where? All TC from #2 to #8 were bunched up within 50 odd kilometres. So would TC#9 also be near by before the detour? We kept a careful watch and timed our selves perfectly but no TC came.

We took the detour and rejoined the main route again, the road from Shopian to Awantipur. Now the problem was which timing to follow? Timing as per calculation of original road book? Due to slow detour and extra distance it added we were horribly late and it would be very very difficult to cover up. Timing calculation as per detour? We did not know precise distances but this could be achievable.

I checked with Alka who had signed the advisory sheet. (all instructions are given in writing and got counter signed from participants so that later their is no claim to contrary) However it was verbal and we were having almost a spat with each other on why we were not clear or why we did not ask or....you know how it goes with stress building up.

in the event the decision was taken out of our hand as we came upon....
Sir ji, you leave every post with a suspense, not good for heart patients. And I will have to keep checking my BP after reading your every open ended post

Three cheers
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Old 7th July 2010, 14:35   #158
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It's an experience, an experience of different kind, I am (we are) going through. Thanks Sudev for taking me there.

Some lovely vistas - really liked the orchard with the gargling stream.
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Old 7th July 2010, 17:20   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Sir ji, you leave every post with a suspense, not good for heart patients. And I will have to keep checking my BP after reading your every open ended post
Patience pays off!! Thanks for being glued in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
It's an experience, an experience of different kind, I am (we are) going through. Thanks Sudev for taking me there.
Some lovely vistas - really liked the orchard with the gargling stream.
Thanks for the compliments. Gargling or gurgling?

...As we drove throwing recriminations yet furiously thinking of strategies we saw a army check post and few men in uniform ordering us to halt. Whats more there were few more taxi's and competitors vehicles also lined up in a queue on the side.

Kya hua? (whats up?)
Age rast ruka hai. gaadi side mein kijiye (Road is blocked please park to side)
Kitni der lage gi/ (How long?)
ROP jaa rahi hai unke vapas aane par khole denge (Road Opening Party is going and once they return we will allow you to go)

I could see five six army guys getting in to armoured vehicle and going off ahead. I was thinking in my mind W.T.F.**!!! But then this could be best place surrounded by army guys and a officer.

Soon we had our snacks, fruits and water / soft drinks out and were having first bit of food since yesterday dinner. We also shared a large fruit cake with the jawans. And passed time sitting in shade of apple trees laden with not yet ready to eat apples.

Oh by the way reason for road block was innocuous. A small drain was being constructed across the road and half of the road was blocked. In the other half a truck had got its rear wheels struck.

After about twenty minutes we were asked to proceed. Which we did in a convoy towards Srinagar. By this time it was clear that this section will have to be cancelled or some suitable penalty adjustments will have to be applied. Quite a high speed drive ensued which did involve weaving in and out of traffic. Helped in no small measure by traffic and other police who waved other vehicles to the side.

We checked in at Srinager TC about 12 minutes late if one was to compute time as per original road book.

Almost all checked in together but for two cars who had managed to use a side road and bye pass the village where the road block had occurred. And they checked in without penalties.

So now the question arose should the section be cancelled or not?

@rkbharat : sorry but thereby hangs another suspense.

Last edited by sudev : 7th July 2010 at 17:21.
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Old 7th July 2010, 18:07   #160
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Sudev sir totally glued to the thread. Amazingly written and and RKbharat has said its not good for heart patients

Anxiously waiting for the updates sir. I've set the thread notification to "Instant Email" so that I am the first one to read any updates!!!
Cheers
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Old 7th July 2010, 22:00   #161
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Sudev has already described most of the day. From my perspective this was day of confounding calculations and confusions.

When we started from Jammu I just handed him the road book and told him to figure his way out as the instructions were too near to each other. And i was trying to remember all the calculations. So I did quick calculations for 5 10 15 20 kms at our given speed target. And he drove with road book in one hand.

The idea was to give a call out for hm to keep a check on speed at these intervals. However at one stage I kept on telling him we are fast while he kept on insisting impossible. Having got out of the city and on to main road to Akhnoor Rajouri he stopped the car and made me do proper instruction by instruction calculations to the next instruction.

To our combined horror we discovered we were running late. This was followed by a helter skelter drive for almost ten minutes by which time I reckoned we wre on our time and distance schedule. Whew!

Any way by this time tedium of keeping to speed average of ~43kmph started setting in. Imagine you are on a lovely road where even scooter and motorcycles are overtaking you. And you are going at seemingly crawl speeds.

The other item which confounded me was that while we were on pucca road the speedometer would show about 1.2% less reading than actual. I would keep noting this, Sudev referred this as slip factor, and keep adjusting time calculations accordingly. Then came the steep uphill to Peer-Ki-Gali. The slippage fator reversed itself and actually started running ahead. This caused lots of confusion but luckily for me we were running slower than needed so there was hardly any need for me to tell him to go slow. Faster he could not without abusing the car. And that he did not want to.

Later Sudev explained to me that the reason of speedometer showing more reading than actual was due to lot of wheel spin while he tried to power up his way.

At end of Peer-Ki-Gali, at TC#8 while we checked in a TV camera crew came up to my side and asked me a lot of questions. One that I still remember "How did you like the area? What was best thing you saw?" My simple reply was "I would like to come back and really see the area. i could barely do a heads up even when we were crossing Noor-e-chamb" (the fabled water falls that Noor Jahan is rumored to have used for bathing)

So much for seeing the sights while rallying.
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Old 8th July 2010, 01:30   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Gargling or gurgling?
Gurgling - thanks for correcting.
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Old 8th July 2010, 07:35   #163
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The tale which was unfolding had three elements:
1. Deviation at Shopian was given without any distance inputs. Which rendered target time calculations from that point onwards open to interpretation.
2. Stoppage at check post was forced upon few competitors and the resulting lateness was not their fault.
3. Deviation from given itinerary by few competitors, in taking a short cut or a bye-pass, should call for sanctions as prescribed.

If the section was not cancelled the over night first and third spot holders (and also leaders up to TC#8 by rough reckoning) would be placed some where at the bottom. Even below us as they had waited at the check post much longer than us.

And also the two top finishers at the end should be disqualified for not following laid down route and taking an unauthorised deviation. And this would have probably put us in a better position on the leader board. May be a first?

The question was not of position only but of fairness and common sense. The final decision took a few hours to be given as all officials were still to reach the end. In the meanwhile all our vehicles were parked in PF at the Golf Course and we walked back to our rooms at the Centaur. Animated discussions on what, why, where, when and how were taking place.

We were contended to have finished the Mughal Rally without a single mechanical stoppage or even opening the bonnet to have a peek under the hood. The car was in great shape without squeaks or rattles. And whats more Alka had navigated us through with respectable chances on leader board even though it was her first rally as a competitor!!

And we were tired.

We expected post dinner to see the provisional results being put up.

Tomorrow post event scrutiny would take place - usually this is most heavy on pocket due to fines that are levied for non-working items. This would be followed by a ceremonial flag in. And declaration of final results. The finale would be glittering prize distribution ceremony and rally dinner.

Came down to the lobby after shower and freshening up. To find the Extreme results posted and we were very happy to see Randeep Miglani standing second. He had travelled in parallel to us from Delhi and a first podium was dream come true for him. Topping the leader board was Sunny Sidhu, a veteran at many podiums. Suresh Rana and Gaurav Chiripal had gone off during the day due to mechanical troubles. Gaurav's troubles are story of Mughal Road video (link already posted in the thread).

Where were our results?

Last edited by sudev : 8th July 2010 at 07:38.
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Old 8th July 2010, 09:58   #164
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Hate this uncanny knack of stopping at the wrong places - no, no, not the car, but the travelogue.
It is like finding the TC at least expected location, and need to come to a screeching halt
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Old 8th July 2010, 12:12   #165
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almost 5 hours since the last post! lunch break mein likhte kya bhai?
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