Madurai-Goa-Mumbai-Jaipur-Delhi-Manali-?-Madurai in 20 days.
After this, http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ys-photos.html
its now time for a drive along the western coast all the way to j&k.
The current plan and expectations:
Day 1- Drive to goa ( 1 day )
2- Drive to mumbai
3- Rest mumbai
4- Mumbai - Udaipur ( through surat-vadodara)
5- Rest Udaipur
6- Drive to jaipur
7- Rest jaipur
8- Drive to agra early ( see taj mahal )- drive to delhi
9- Rest delhi
10- Drive to manali
11- Rohtang is now reopened ( don't know for how long, if its open, is it wise to go? )
12- Manali and around ( would like to go to srinagar, is it safe? )
Day 13 to day 20 - Drive back to madurai through another route. ( help required ); is driving through MP safe?
I would like to see bikaner, jaisalmer, jodhpur on the way back, is this possible, really required?
I have no clue about the possible sights I should check along the way. I have no interest in religious places and would prefer not to go out of the way for sightseeing. I have heard about the scenic locale of ganpati pule along the route, any other suggestions would be appreciated.
I need to know which routes to take through the trip and if there are any places not worth going or a pleasure to drive through.
Vehicle will be the same - Tata safari EX 4x4
Big thanks to Team-bhp once again, you have made all of these dreams possible.
That is one massive travel plan you have. I guess you are going to have real fun planning this one. Covering half the country :D
Remember Mumbai - Udaipur & Delhi - Manali are quite a bit of a distance and you'd be driving for almost 14 - 16 hours minimum.
You also need to speciify if there is more than 1 driver.
I can help you with hotel recommendations, sightseeing ideas in the following places - Agra, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi & Manali.
It is a great plan. Wish you a very safe trouble free drive and tour. Please try to have a friend who can drive when you are tired. I had a four day trip with myself a lonely drive. In one stage I was feeling sleepy and found a safe motel near Villupuram and slept for an hour and told my guests to have breakfast and go around the shops in the motel Please stop when ever you are tired ans take rest and proceed. That is safe and also refresh you.
Yes, I will be driving solo. I might take a friend along ( although the driving will only be done by me ), but I'd prefer to do it alone.
I would love to know the places to see and visit vkochar. I'd prefer any hotel to stay although 3-4 star hotels are best. Also, if there are any "ghar dhabas", I'm fine with sleeping in the vehicle.
Driving 14-16 hours is resonable considering my age and the vehicle, although if you have better ideas for breaks/rest periods, I'd be happy to change my schedule.
The schedule will be completely dictated by Team-bhp, since I have neither a clue nor any specific ambitions.
Will I have to make some special arrangements for diesel anti freeze and snow chains for the tires? Will 4x4 suffice? ( I expect some snow- manali and further up, if the roads permit it )
I would suggest the following return schedule:
D13 - Manali
D14 - Dharamsala
D15 - Amritsar
D16 - Bikaner
D17 - Jaisalmer
D18 - Ahmedabad
D19 - Belgaum
D20 - Madurai
Alternatively, you can go on NH17 from Bombay onwards, in which case, you can halt at Ganapatipule on D19, and proceed to Hubli/Davangere via Kolhapur on D20, arriving at Madurai on D21.
There is enough time for sightseeing in each of the places, at least half a day.
Going to Srinagar will be out of the way. Safety not an issue
Crossing Rohtang Pass will not be permitted for non-locals and you are advised not to try. In any case, this is a temporary situation, pass will close down again with fresh snowfall. I do not think you will need snow chains anywhere, your normal 4WD should take you on snowed roads climbing up to Solang Valley and Rohtang (to the extent possible)
Some log books may be useful for you to plan the trip:
KASHMIR to KANYAKUMARI 2002 - hvkumar | Google Groups
GOLDEN QUADRILATERAL 2008 - hvkumar | Google Groups
HIMACHAL 2007 - hvkumar | Google Groups
HIMACHAL 2000 - hvkumar | Google Groups
RAJASTHAN 2000 - hvkumar | Google Groups
All the best dude.
Suggest you read HVK's log for Mumbai - Leh trip. Very detailed.
On the Rajasthan side of things, the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer is a good road and quite empty. But there are quite a few rail crossings so plan for an additional 1-2 hrs on that 4 hr leg.
Jaisalmer-Barmer-Tharad-Palanpur-Ahd is an alternative path which is about 600 odd kms. Palanpur has some decent budget hotels on the highway intersection itself. on my trip last month, we stayed at some place called Waymore or something. Very nice place n good food for about a 1000 bucks for the night halt.
Jaisalmer fort seeing will be a breeze. Nothing very much to see. After seeing forts at Chittorgarh,Kumbalgarh, Udaipur, Jodhpur, it really did not appear very interesting. Maybe fort sight-seeing fatigue and rajput history overdoze :D
Mumbai Udaipur is a good ride. If you leave by 5am you should make it by 8 pm, with 100kmph consistent. Mumbai Ahd is a truck traffic littered highway.
I see HVK just provided Mr. Logic with the entire itinery :D HVK doing what he is best at. I'd close my eyes, take a printout and head out !
I am more than happy to see you here. Just let me know a week in advance when you are coming.
Finalise the trip and I will help you with hotels wherever I can.
As far as Snow Chains go I do think you need them for Rohtang. Farther up I cannot comment. 4*4 should suffice Manali & around.
You doing it solo ?? Brave lad you are !
You could instead drive to the Intl Border with Pakistan @ Wagah and see the beating Retreat ceremony at the border.Ensure you leave early from Manali( & earlier in case you intend doing a detour to see the Monastery @ Dharamsala(Dalai Lama's palace etc..the detour would take an extra 2 hours).Route is via Pathankot.The beating retreat ceremony begins at 4pm during winters,so reach there early to get a good seat on the gallery.Stay the night at Amritsar and visit the Golden Temple.Have dinner at the Langar(just to see how systematic things can get in an otherwise chaotic city.The process would put any corporate process chain to shame).Dont forget to taste the Khada Prasad.Next day morning visit the Jallianwala Bagh and head off to Bikaner.
At Amritsar MK Hotel is a very good place.So is the Ista.the latter ofcourse is on the higher side(mkhotel.biz / istahotels.com)At Manali,Rivercountry is a very good place to stay(rivercountrymanali.co.in).Its bang on at the entry into Manali.Let me know in case you need help with contacts & numbers.Punjab police can be nosey,they come up with weird reasons like you are running a taxi service in a private vehicle etc.
Big thanks to hvkumar for the suggestions and the links to the logs ( I'm going through them now ).
longford, thank you for the tips with the road conditions in rajasthan; if you would avoid one of the "fort'sy" type places, which one would it be?
vkochar, thank you for your encouragement, it helps more than one might imagine.
ranjitp1, I've decided to break up the trip as per your recommendations, also, if I want to visit wagah, how do I find the location from pathankot?
I've attached a resonably detailed temporary schedule of what the trip might look like ( after taking the advice from you guys so far ). Suggestions for sights/foods I should try and places to stay are highly valuable and appreciated.
I will continue to update the thread with new schedules as I get more information from Team-bhp and elsewhere.
Trip should begin by the final week of this month, and hopefully will fit within 20 days.
Secondly there is absolutely no need to go via Chandigarh(unless ofcourse you want to see Chandigarh) to reach Shimla.Get off NH1 towards right after the bridge at Shahpur and take the state highway to Panchkula.I guess the VKochar & other Delhi Bhpians on the thread would be able to help you out with the precise co-ordinates.
Its pretty straightforward from Pathankot.In case in doubt,ask for the road to Gurdaspur and onwards to Amritsar.This is the NH15.As you reach Amritsar,dont enter the town,on the NH15 you would see Verka Circle,take a right there and go onto the border.You are now on NH1.Signages are poor(virtually non existent)at the circle,so ask for directions once you start seeing boards stating Amritsar.From the circle to the border would be around 30-45mins and once you are on the road,you would see milestones bearing the distance to Lahore.
Another way to break up your journey would be to leave Manali around 7-8am.You would reach Dharamsala by around 3-4pm.Visit the monastery and adjoining areas(would take you around an hour to two as traffic from Dharamsala to Upper Mcleodganj(the seat of the Dalai Lama) is extremely congested and narrow.Once you are done with the visits,you could come down and stay the night at either the Mahindra Club,Dharamsala(Book Resort Dharamshala | Holidays Dharamshala | Resorts in Dharamshala | Dharamshala Holiday Packages) or the Taragarh Palace at Palampur( Resort Vacation India, Heritage Hotel, Heritage Resort in India, Indian Resort Palace) the latter is the palace of the J&K Royal family and has now been handed over to the WelcomHeritage to run it as a hotel.Its quite a mindblowing experience to spend a night there.
This way you would make sure that you dont miss out on the Wagah experience due to late departure from Manali/traffic jams enroute/lose time at Dharamsala etc
Next day morning after breakfast a 8am departure would ensure that you reach Wagah for a late lunch by 3pm & the ceremony begins at 430pm(the thumb rule is that it starts half an hour before sunset)The Himachal-Punjab border section wouldnt be in the best of shapes as the bridge @ Chakki Bank was reported to have collapsed/under repair.I guess HVK or others on the forum would be able to give u a better update on this.Just a tip on the seating @ Wagah,try and sit as close to the gate as possible as it gives you the best view,the father and higher you sit from the border gate,the views become that much more difficult.
Rohtang pass is closed. It may not repoen now till next year may. But you can still go to Manali and around.
Ranjit, NH17 is not that bad now, I went on it last month and although there are a few bad patches year and there (happily, clustered), the road is in good form most of the way.
Please check out my log books - the exact turn offs for Amritsar from Pathankot are marke din it. I have no idea if the Chakki Bnak bridge is up and running again, but if it is, it is a pretty straightforward route - you keep coming past Pathankot Jn railway station past the cantonment till you come to a junction where you turn off for Amritsar and Jammu. In case you come on the alternative route (if Chakki Bank bridge is still down), you will enter Pathankot via the Jalandhar road, go past the messy flyover-under-construction area (after crossing the River Ravi) and come to the junction where NH15 starts off for Amristar.
It really depends upon your interest levels and the time that you'd like/want to spend.
Mehrangarh and Kumbalgarh(at night lit up) are awesome sights to behold. Dont miss them. while in Jodhpur, do have a dinner meal at the roof top in Pal Haveli in the sadar bazar area. They have a terrific view with splendid sights on all four sides. The clock tower is so colourful that you will just spend 20 odd mins just gaping at the color changes.
Kumbalgarh is also a barebones fort with a strong history. Strongly advise to visit only in the evening as the lighting of the fort and environs is fantastic.
Bikaner also has the Junagarh for which I understand is very good as well.
But yes, if you need the desert experience, then skip Jaisalmer and go straight to Khuri. There is a road that connects the Barmer highway. While there, stay at Badal Singh's modest guest house. You will enjoy the rustic true experience, like some army colonels, hundreds of firang tourists and I, have experienced.
For me, like someone had mentioned on this page, I too simply took a print of HVK log of the ladakh trip for my Mumbai-Udaipur journey. It was bang on target give or take a km/two.
If you are planning to stay at Club Mahindra in Dharamshala, I have stayed there and it is a decent place to stay. It is on the plains, so its good for driving to and fro. In that hotel, ask specifically for the hill side view suite. The view of teh montain is very nice. They have some road facing rooms too while they tried to push my way:eek:
In upper macleodganj, make sure you go to Rick's Cafe in the town square and have the apple cider for sure. Nice comfy joint, it is very popular with all tourists. Also, walk along the village market on the left of the cafe to the Dalai's ashram is a must-do.
cheers on your trip
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