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Old 29th March 2011, 23:06   #31
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

Amazing shots.In which camera did you take this nice pictures?
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Old 30th March 2011, 00:00   #32
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

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Originally Posted by Sha View Post
Adding first video of chandratal lake drive video.

My wife and me were dumbstruck by the scenic beauty as well as the terrain!!!Its like literally driving off the edge I must say. Wifey even closed her eyes in some places kudos

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Old 30th March 2011, 09:52   #33
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

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Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Thanks for sharing the experience and the amazing pics Vardhan. The beauty of the lake and surroundings is spell binding. Especially the morning picture with still lake as good as a mirror its even more magical. With this i continue to dream of visiting this place some time .
Thanks tinu for appreciating. I'm glad that you like it. And i would suggest plan the trip sometime this year. It's not too far away!

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Originally Posted by casreeni View Post
Amazing shots.In which camera did you take this nice pictures?
Thanks boss. This was Nikon D3000 with a stock lens 18-55mm and a telephone lens 70-300mm.

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Originally Posted by adg_andy View Post
My wife and me were dumbstruck by the scenic beauty as well as the terrain!!!Its like literally driving off the edge I must say. Wifey even closed her eyes in some places kudos

regards,
adg_andy
The terrain is actually quite jaw-dropping. But closing the eyes at certain places does not help ;-). It might get quite dangerous as well.
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Old 30th March 2011, 10:10   #34
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

Harsh, nice to read all your travelogues and I keep on reading all your explorer. You both are really enthusiastic couple. Keep it up.

I also bought Safari 6 months back and started exploring areas near Bangalore. Next year I would go for grand North tour in my Safari.

PS: Between your facebook friend list and my friend list one person is common. He is my nephew and your classmate (Shailabh).
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Old 30th March 2011, 10:33   #35
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

Hey Anuj,
Shailabh is a very dear friend since 1999. We joined college in the same batch, in the same hostel on the same floor and has been friends since the first day. Belonging to the same state (Jharkhand & Bihar) we connected immediately and a similar performance and priorities in studies led us even closer. Our love hate relationship has grown ever since and even continues even now .

Great to know that you too are a Safari owner. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy the experience and do let me know if you need any help planning any trip up north.
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Old 30th March 2011, 13:28   #36
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Default Day 3: Chandratal - Manali : 3.5 kms (hike) + 140 kms (drive) - 11 hours - Part 2

Allow me to continue to describe our trudge back to Manali, and then finally to Delhi.

The trudge back towards the parking lot, from the lake, began at approximately 11 am and the lack of a good night's rest was evident to both Aarti and me. The walk itself, which took us 1:45 hrs while going towards the lake, took 2:15 hrs while coming back. We took breaks every few minutes, and each step required a mammoth will, especially with the load we were carrying.


To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0498.jpg
Frequent breaks...

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0502.jpg
... but the walk itself was beautiful!

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0504.jpg
We did go downhill at times, but it was not the gradient but the load on our backs which was a bother.

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0508.jpg
Aarti too was quite exhausted since she too was carrying a lot of load.

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0509.jpg
The load itself is not visible here, but it was there I assure you

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0511.jpg
Finally the last descent came and we could see a Sumo parked in the distance.

Our valiant steed, Kiyang, awaited our arrival at the "parking lot". There were other tourists too who were waiting for other team members to come back from the lake so that they could commence their journey towards Manali. The group comprised of a driver, guide and about 6 odd people from Israel.

After a customary round of introductions and hellos, the rucksacks were dumped quickly and we were soon on our seats to begin our journey.

Crank!

Kiyang refused to start.

Another crank and it refused again.

My heart sank and mind went numb. The same thing had happened at Tso Moriri a couple of months back but somehow this time it felt worse. The car had been standing in the sun since morning and yet it had refused to start.

We tried of a lot of things, kept the bonnet open for about ten minutes, the Israelis tried to push it down an incline and the driver offered to tow and then kick-start the vehicle with momentum but nothing worked. My mind was completely blank, and a part of it was possibly due to the fact that everyone wanted to put their own theory to test including the "experienced" driver. While towing the front beauty steel tooth also came apart a bit and some plastic connection broke which was heart-breaking. Thankfully, it was repaired easily when we returned to Delhi.

The fear of getting stranded there was mounting since the others had planned to leave soon now. The driver of their taxi was getting quite impatient. Then it was Aarti who came up with the brilliant yet simple idea of heating some water and pouring it over the engine block. She was quite convinced that the problem here, and at Tso Moriri, was exactly the same. It took a while to boil water in a pan, but once it was poured over the engine block, Kiyang immediately sprang back to life. After a 15 min idling of the engine, we thanked our stars and others profusely and we proceeded towards Batal for lunch. The drive till Batal was again on a very narrow track upon which we had came. It is indeed awesome to have a great travel partner, if one loses one's calm, the other one is there to think straight.


To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0512.jpg
The drive began on the dirt-track back

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-dsc_0513.jpg
It was still narrow!

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0001.jpg
But quite beautiful to drive upon

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0003.jpg
The river flowing below added to the charm

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0004.jpg
The narrowest point was a tad difficult to maneuver

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0005.jpg
But we did survive

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0007.jpg
Aah! The sight of a dhaba and possibility of food!

Lunch was super at the dhaba, consisted of plain rice, dal, some extremely spicy pahadi aloo and even spcier chutney. We wolfed down everything in a jiffy and before long were back on our track to Manali by 2:30.


To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0008.jpg
On the way back! Chandra was now on our left.

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0009.jpg
The drive is through quite a deserted patch

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0011.jpg
The average speed is always quite low - about 20 kmph or so.

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0012.jpg
But is beautiful nevertheless.

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0013.jpg
A storm was brewing up ahead and behind us as well

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0020.jpg
But thankfully we were not caught in it.

To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-esc_0022.jpg
And this was taken while climbing Rohtang again, a last view towards Spiti and Batal.

We crossed Rohtang while there was still some daylight and after a miserable drive till Marhi, smooth roads greeted us. We finally reached our destination for the night - Manali - by 8:30pm. Had a good dinner served by Roberta at Il Forno and relaxed away to glory at Johnson's lodge.

Last edited by vardhan.harsh : 30th March 2011 at 13:33.
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Old 30th March 2011, 13:39   #37
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

Amazing snaps continue. That was a brilliant idea from your wife to get the Kiyang started.

One question. On that narrow roads what do you do if a vehicle comes in from the opposite direction? I don't see any place to move. Or do you go in the reverse direction till the time you can find a place to move aside. That would be even tougher.
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Old 30th March 2011, 20:32   #38
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

Amazing photographs. Just loved those serene calm Lake shots. Whenever I read these travelogs I feel like shifting my base to Delhi BTW, do you have anymore night shots?
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Old 31st March 2011, 12:35   #39
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Default Re: Day 3: Chandratal - Manali : 3.5 kms (hike) + 140 kms (drive) - 11 hours - Part 2

Maybe the Kiyang was angry at you for leaving it lonely for so long!

On a serious note (and letting my paranoia speak) is the "parking" before the hike to the lake "safe" for leaving a vehicle overnight? Rather lemme rephrase, how safe is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vardhan.harsh View Post
... It is indeed awesome to have a great travel partner, if one loses one's calm, the other one is there to think straight...
Couldn't agree more with you mate.
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Old 31st March 2011, 13:01   #40
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Default Re: Day 3: Chandratal - Manali : 3.5 kms (hike) + 140 kms (drive) - 11 hours - Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Amazing snaps continue. That was a brilliant idea from your wife to get the Kiyang started.

One question. On that narrow roads what do you do if a vehicle comes in from the opposite direction? I don't see any place to move. Or do you go in the reverse direction till the time you can find a place to move aside. That would be even tougher.
Yes, and thankfully the idea worked. Morale of the story: I should listen to my wife more often ;-).

Well the road is narrow and yes if two vehicles come at loggerheads, it will be difficult to maneuver for sure. The silver lining is because it's so remote there is hardly any traffic on the track. So the probability of two vehicles crossing each other, in the opposite direction, in that patch of 12km is quite low. Secondly the field of view is quite large, one can see a vehicle coming in the opposite direction from a reasonable distance. We were following the strategy that should we see a vehicle coming towards us from a afar, then we could find a spot beforehand and let it past us. There were such spots every 1-2 km on the track where two safaris could cross each other. Although it would've been difficult nevertheless.

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Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Amazing photographs. Just loved those serene calm Lake shots. Whenever I read these travelogs I feel like shifting my base to Delhi BTW, do you have anymore night shots?
No more night-shots kaushik. Taking one was too much for us in that cold night ;-).

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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Maybe the Kiyang was angry at you for leaving it lonely for so long!

On a serious note (and letting my paranoia speak) is the "parking" before the hike to the lake "safe" for leaving a vehicle overnight? Rather lemme rephrase, how safe is it?
That was an issue that i too was scared about. Leaving the car in that "parking" lot for such a long time. Secondly, there were some security measures that had been taken, the default security, the gear lock and finally removing some fuses from the fuse box. At those places, securing a spare fuse, or making one from scratch might not have been too trivial. Plus, another safe-guard in a way was that whenever anyone asked us for our heading, we always let them know of Kaza instead of Chandertal.

But all said and done, it's still a risk and i would not have done it anywhere in the plains. In the hills, those guys are genuinely honest. Thus there is an extra sense of security.
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Old 31st March 2011, 14:02   #41
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Default Day 4: Manali - Delhi : 590kms - 12.5 hours

Well I can hardly remember now what happened during our drive back. Though I remember being guided by Tanveer (tsk1979) on a new route back from Manali to Delhi avoiding Chandigarh altogether. I do not remember the details of the route now though. That helped us shorten our drive back by at least an hour if not two. Thanks Tanveer for that.

I do remember reaching back home by 12:30 am. So by reverse calculation must've left Manali by 12:00pm, and I now remember, after having a hearty brunch at a riverside cafe in Old Manali. We had gone upto Il Forno for brunch but only to find that it opens for lunch at 1:00 pm or so, so we then headed in the direction of Old Manali.

The only pic that was clicked on the drive back is attached below.


To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal-0041024.jpg
Pandoh dam is always a treat to watch.

So with this folks, I complete writing another log! Phew! That's a load off my back.
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Old 31st March 2011, 14:24   #42
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

As I told you earlier you need to get your glow plugs checked.
That said whenever you face such a no starting situation, open the bonnet, and then pump the black bulb. I will pull fuel from the tank even if there is partial clogging.
Many times glow plugs can heat the engine block, but water in the sedimeter netting freezes, and fuel has to be pulled a few times manually.
Zanskar gets very cold at night and is around 4000mts, so it would be a good idea for glow plug check before your trip.
Its covered under warranty
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Old 31st March 2011, 14:44   #43
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Default Re: Day 4: Manali - Delhi : 590kms - 12.5 hours

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Originally Posted by vardhan.harsh View Post
... Secondly, there were some security measures that had been taken, the default security, the gear lock and finally removing some fuses from the fuse box. At those places, securing a spare fuse, or making one from scratch might not have been too trivial. Plus, another safe-guard in a way was that whenever anyone asked us for our heading, we always let them know of Kaza instead of Chandertal ...
Yeah it's the honesty of the folks that give you that sense of security. And removing fuses is a great idea, stored into the grey matter for when the time comes.

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Originally Posted by vardhan.harsh View Post
Though I remember being guided by Tanveer (tsk1979) on a new route back from Manali to Delhi avoiding Chandigarh altogether. I do not remember the details of the route now though. That helped us shorten our drive back by at least an hour if not two. Thanks Tanveer for that.
Yo Tanveer, can you please enlighten us with what Harsh has forgotten?
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Old 31st March 2011, 14:51   #44
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

Cross Ambala, go a few kms, and reach Punjab Border check post. 100 meters before the check post, there is a right turn.
Take that right turn, and keep going straight(crossing Rajpura-Zirakpur road on the way) till you reach Kharar. You bypass chd and merge with chd-Ropar highway at Kharar.

Google directions
http://maps.google.co.in/maps?f=d&so...=UTF8&t=h&z=11

you save extact 10kms over chd route, and also save lot of time as this route has minimal traffic till Kharar

Last edited by tsk1979 : 31st March 2011 at 14:53.
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Old 31st March 2011, 15:42   #45
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Default Re: To the moon (lake) & back : Chandratal

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Cross Ambala, go a few kms, and reach Punjab Border check post. 100 meters before the check post, there is a right turn.
Take that right turn, and keep going straight(crossing Rajpura-Zirakpur road on the way) till you reach Kharar. You bypass chd and merge with chd-Ropar highway at Kharar.
Please correct me if I am wrong, cause I guess you're mentioning the Banur-Kharar road (right turn just before Rajpura toll plaza)? I always stick to it while going towards Kiratpur and find it a boon.
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