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Old 23rd March 2011, 16:14   #16
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

ladakh Continued: Sonmarg Some Pics I Shot There
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Old 23rd March 2011, 16:21   #17
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

Sir,
You both are an inspiration to us. All i can say is
Totally glued.
Regards
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Old 23rd March 2011, 16:32   #18
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

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Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
Sir,
You both are an inspiration to us. All i can say is
Totally glued.
Regards
+ 1 to that.
Amazing time you would have had.
Waiting for the log.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 16:47   #19
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SONMARG TO DRASS

The easy part of the riding was now over. My first true test of hard mobike off roading started at the Jhozilla pass, a few kms from Sonmarg.

It was just as good that I was riding alone at this stretch as Medini had taken ill and she was fortunate to get a ride to Drass in a SUV.

A good Samaritan, Brig Anand, Retd, ex-Armoured Corps, arrived that evening with his family. Over drinks and dinner, he offered to take Medini to Drass the next morning in their hired Mahindra Scorpio, which was good for me.

Zojilla: Treachery, thy name is ZOJILLA. Some 24 kms long but dangerously slippery narrow and bad roads. Tar roads do not exist and the entire stretch hard rocky and tough on bikers.

I met another Bikenomad member, Mitra from Banglore, mid way on the Zojilla. He was on his way to Srinagar.

I told him Zojilla is a crazy mad mad place. He assured me Zojilla was nothing compared to what lies ahead for us. That scared me stiff.

He had a terrific modded Pulsar 150. He looked at my bike, skeptically. I knew he was not impressed with all the luggage loaded. We took a few pics and he gave me some riding tips for the roads ahead, specially the Kargil-Leh and Leh-Manali leg. I wish he accompanied me but he moved towards Srinagar.

Zojilla done, I was relieved. Thereafter I had a beautiful road skirting along the river right upto Drass.

Drass: On arrival Drass, we visited the KARGIL WAR MEMORIAL. The Army Liaison Officer took us straight to the famous War Memorial. I linked up with Medini and Brig Anand out there. The War briefing was a stunner, as we could see all the hill features where the famous Battles took place. Tiger Hill, Toololong, Point 5430.

Captain Batra, PVC, and Captain Vinod Pande, PVC were the outstanding heroes of the War.

Next we visited the shrine where the pictorial War Memorial was located. This was the most emotionally supercharged experience of the War in Kargil for me. So many got martyred, more casualties suffered here by the Indian Army than the 1971 war. So many heroes. The first Grenadiers to launch a counter attack on Tiger Hill were slaughtered, cut to pieces and lost half their men. The graphic war pictures were hard to take for both of us

This War Memorial is open to the general public.

Kargil: Next morning the 60 odd kms ride to Kargil along the river Indus was a breeze. Medini was back in action with me. Beautiful roads, nice spots to take pics. We were received liked kings at the Kargil Army Brigade Headquarters. An entire luxury cottage was booked for us by the Corps HQ from Srinagar!! Medini crashed out and purred like a cat in the luxurious villa.

Some pics

1. The Valley down Zozilla
2. Mr Mitra anothe bikeNomad I met on the Z Pass.
3. Meadows of Drass.
4. The Kargil War Memorial.
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Last edited by Stratos : 24th March 2011 at 10:09.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 17:00   #20
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

Captain my salue to you and maam. Unbelievable. I did Ladakh journey last year in a car. I was not even driving and found the roads tough.
Really admire your guts.

The war memorial is very inspiring especially the audio video presentation.



I would PM you the details of Lakshya Foundation (www.lakshyafoundation.co.in) which is related to Armed forces. I think you might be interested.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 17:19   #21
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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Captain my salue to you and maam. Unbelievable. I did Ladakh journey last year in a car. I was not even driving and found the roads tough.
Really admire your guts.

The war memorial is very inspiring especially the audio video presentation.



I would PM you the details of Lakshya Foundation (www.lakshyafoundation.co.in) which is related to Armed forces. I think you might be interested.
Hi Amit !!

Hey thanks. Agree with the auido video presentation. It was emotionally draining ....shed buckets of tears walking through the photographs of the Kargil War at the heights. The write ups there brings the theater of battles alive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
Sir,
You both are an inspiration to us. All i can say is
Totally glued.
Regards
I am fatally glued to your Tiger Tales !!

Rgds

Nandu Chitnis

Last edited by Stratos : 24th March 2011 at 10:10.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 17:39   #22
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

Some pics on the road to Kargil

1. The Ladakh Scouts
2. The Indus River Road
3. She rests after the ride at Kargil Brigade Mess.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 17:44   #23
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

And so they say:

!! Four wheels move the body two wheels move the SOUL !!

And that is what riding mobikes in Ladakh is all about.

Next chapter: The ride through the Kharrakhoram Ranges of Ladakh

Last edited by nanduchitnis : 23rd March 2011 at 17:46.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 18:24   #24
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

Nandu, Great going!!! We were in Ladakh last year before the floods hit the area. We travelled from Manali side. Hope you had a chance to see one of the best " Armed forces mueaum" in the country in Leh - even Delhi doesnot have one. We ad teras in our eyes as we left this place.

Only when you drive on these terrain we will be able to appreciate the hardship army guys undergo. The terrain is so difficult to trek forget waging war. I did not serve in Ladakh but was zapped at the heroics of our guys in Kargil to fight in these terrain.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 18:25   #25
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

Hats off to you sir.
I shudder to think sitting on the bike for so many hours, and doing the circuit. Heck, even in the Safari I feel drained after doing such roads, and you guys go ahead on a bike. Please share your fitness regime... honestly, we need to know!
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Old 23rd March 2011, 18:26   #26
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

This is an amazing travelog in the making and some lovely photographs. Waiting with bated breath for the next installments. Ladakh trip on a bike is on top of my list for quite some time. I went there on 2008 and by car only and me and my friends were kept repenting about not taking bikes instead.
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Old 23rd March 2011, 18:30   #27
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

Thought of sharing the pics of Kargil heroes as dsiplayed in the Leh Museaum.

Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09-leh.jpg
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Old 23rd March 2011, 18:40   #28
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

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Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Nandu, Great going!!! We were in Ladakh last year before the floods hit the area. We travelled from Manali side. Hope you had a chance to see one of the best " Armed forces mueaum" in the country in Leh - even Delhi doesnot have one. We ad teras in our eyes as we left this place.

Only when you drive on these terrain we will be able to appreciate the hardship army guys undergo. The terrain is so difficult to trek forget waging war. I did not serve in Ladakh but was zapped at the heroics of our guys in Kargil to fight in these terrain.
@Fauji> I did not even know that an Armed Forces Museum exists in Leh though I stayed at the Army Cottages and dined in the Mess and met many young officers !!

Ladakh is such a difficult terrain to live in. I heard some amazing stories about Siachin first hand from returning Officers. I applied for permission to visit Siachin at the Div HQ at Leh but was denied on the grounds thta only AHQ can authorise such visits!

Waiting for your Kanha photographs .
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Old 23rd March 2011, 18:43   #29
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

War memorials are all over the region. After all it has seen all the wars post Independence India has fought.
On your next trip, do not forget to visit the Rezang La memorials. Its a bit far away, but totally worth the ride, most of which goes by the side of Pangong Tso!

Even the Chushul war memorial, though smaller, is a testimony to the bravery of soldiers.
Each and everyone, done to the last man manning those posts died. There were no survivors, and to the last man they fought!
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Old 23rd March 2011, 19:01   #30
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Default re: Through The Wild Desert Mountains and Spiritual Awakening. Ladakh, 2007/09

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Hats off to you sir.
I shudder to think sitting on the bike for so many hours, and doing the circuit. Heck, even in the Safari I feel drained after doing such roads, and you guys go ahead on a bike. Please share your fitness regime... honestly, we need to know!
@TSK> Riding to Ladakh takes months of preparatory work which includes physical fitness, specially exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles, legs and shoulders. We did all this at home for a few weeks. Besides we golf regularly and that strengthens 205 muscles during the golf swing!

We rode long distances on bad mountain roads around Pune with the Members of BikeNomads.

While practising offroading we had a major accident which caused our helmets to crack and suffered some abrasions to our legs. Lucky that the bike was in running condition after the fall. We drove some 40 kms bleeding good red blood, to the nearest Naval hospital at Lonavala at INS Shivaji.

Although it was a Sunday all the specialist Docs were lined up to treat our wounds. I was seriously injured, with some furniture disturbed around my nose. But my wife Medini was attended to like a VIP while I waited my turn for x rays and treatment like an OPD patient. She suffered superficial abrasions only but got the best looksie.

To regain our confidence, we rode the same route again two weeks later with bandages, new helmets and good riding clothing with protection. This was important else Ladakh ride would have been aborted.

Suffice to say during our Ladakh ride we never had a fall thanks to this episode, although roads were hell, so to say.

Such is life!!
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