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Old 2nd September 2017, 15:47   #16
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Yet another amazing TL from you, BP. The pictures are just amazing. One can imagine how much fun you guys had, barring the challenges due to the road blocks. I liked the conversation you had with Sahil and the 'challenge accepted' attitude.

Thanks for the summaries for each day and the final gist. Will help if we can ever do this sometime in the future.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 17:14   #17
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Any adjective of appreciation will not suffice to acclaim this travelogue. So exquisitely detailed narration coupled with beautiful photography are bound to mesmerise anyone who has old tryst of love with hills and nature's beauty. This TL along with two others you mentioned at end kindles the crave to visit these heavenly places sooner. Hats off to you duo, BP da and Teesta di, for your unperturbed energy quotient to deal with any kind of terrain and trouble; indeed, a great impetus to our enthusiasm of road trip to hills.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 17:26   #18
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Wonderful trip report! Wonder how you guys manage almost 20 day leaves from work!

About the tyre debate - good that he eventually came around! On the way back you could have mentioned the puncture earlier in the trip and I guess he would have redeemed his comment. Lol!

Visiting Spiti before the road from Manali opens is a good thing. Once the Manali road opens, tour operators with huge groups descend on almost all the places - Kaza/Mudh/Tabo/Dhankar - and often block most of the stay options. So walk in reservations become very difficult! Getting to Manali is overnight affair and on the second day, you are at Chandertal, 3rd onwards, you are ready to "do" Spiti - so its preferred by lot of folks over the Shimla route, which invariably takes 3-4 days to reach Kaza.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 17:48   #19
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Wahay!! You did finish it up!!
Brilliant it is, and you have covered more of the territory. I was wondering where these places were, but then I realised you had 17 days compared to my 7.
5 Star!
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Old 2nd September 2017, 17:54   #20
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

What a TL !! Just made a trip to Spiti & returned back in half an hour. Now no planning for 2018. Everything is available here. It's a full guide on how to do Spiti the best way.

Superb pictures of you two & the landscapes. One has to enjoy the place like you guys did.

We have to do this together now !!

Rated 6 stars.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 19:05   #21
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Lovely travelogue. There's nothing new to write about your travelogues, like always loved the pics and the detailed narration.

Loved the conversation between you & Sahil.

Its good to see people doing this terrein in cars like Figo, Zest and Honda city! This gives me some comfort if i plan a Spiti trip in future.

Rated a well deserved 5*.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 22:13   #22
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

One of the best advertisements which Mahindra can have on the Thar!

Another question which I wanted to ask:

- How is it driving the Thar on long distances? You already do Delhi-Kolkatta long hours.
- How do the Fatigue levels hold?
- I can see its a soft-top. How do you manage on your luggage safety ?

See these are mundane question which fade away amidst the great goal that you have already achieved! Some of those lone shots of the Thar are perhaps the best.

Last edited by ampere : 2nd September 2017 at 22:32.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 12:53   #23
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Once again excellent travelogue sir!!! Rated 5 stars. Felt nostalgic while reading as it reminded me of our Spiti trip which we undertook in Maruti Dzire (Petrol) in October 2015. We went from Chandigarh to Kalpa then to Kaza and finally returned via Manali by crossing over the Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass. We were able to do the Kaza-Manali route as the road was open.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ure-sedan.html

Your's was quite a long trip indeed but nonetheless when one needs to explore the Himalayas, time shouldn't be the limit. Was quite amazed to know about your Day 1 drive from Kolkata to Delhi and the Day 17 drive from Mashobra to Kolkata. How it was like driving for long hours at a stretch? What was the fatigue level? Did you only drive or ma'am also?
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Old 3rd September 2017, 16:35   #24
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Hey man,

Extraordinary travelogue! Everytime I see a travelogue with your Thar, I want to go out and buy one. A Jeep that can also do highway trips remains a dream for me (my Jeep is good for offroading & city only). And once I buy my imaginary Thar, I want to drive to all the places you take yours. A good Jeep, an empty highway, deep music & fun company is a dream come true. How many km up on your Thar's odo?

Thanks for sharing. Thread will be going to the homepage tomorrow .

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2017 at 16:36.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 23:24   #25
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Great One Black Pearl. Really envy is the word that comes to mind. While doing this you could have gone to Namgya as well, which is the last village on the way to Shipki La. The road leaves about 2 kms before Khab and the start of the Kazigs. Did you visit the Nako Monastry? Its supposedly even older than the Tabo one. By Pagal nallah after Nako, I presume you are referring to Malling, correct?
But once again tremendous drive and excellent pictures. You are really a buccaneer, man, Cheers and bravo.
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Old 4th September 2017, 11:29   #26
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Boy oh Boy ! Wonderful narration /pictures/attention to detail.
I have met you once and you truly are an inspiration. This is a supremely detailed blog and anyone can use it for reference.
You Sir have mastered the art of narration. The conversation with Sahil and what followed next was highly engaging.
At the very beginning you mentioned something very close to my heart and the purpose of a visit should highly involve connecting with the locals. It does matter a lot in the long run.
Last but not the least, I am saving the meditation point picture. Just seeing Chrome save it to my system is so pleasing.

Thanks for sharing such a detailed blog Sumitroda.

Last edited by ARAY : 4th September 2017 at 11:34.
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Old 4th September 2017, 11:55   #27
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post

There is only one word which comes to mind.

No its not Awesome..

But Envy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
One of the best advertisements which Mahindra can have on the Thar!

Another question which I wanted to ask:

- How is it driving the Thar on long distances? You already do Delhi-Kolkatta long hours.
- How do the Fatigue levels hold?
- I can see its a soft-top. How do you manage on your luggage safety ?

See these are mundane question which fade away amidst the great goal that you have already achieved! Some of those lone shots of the Thar are perhaps the best.
Thanks a lot ampere! I have tried to answer your queries below -

- How is it driving the Thar on long distances? You already do Delhi-Kolkatta long hours.

Thar on long distances has been quite good if the road condition is good. On rough patches where the top layer of the tarmac is damaged, it is a pain to drive. So for the Thar, either it has to be extremely good or extremely bad road, anything in between and it gets difficult.

- How do the Fatigue levels hold?

Since I have been used to driving the Bolero before I bought the Thar, I am used to the bad ride quality, heavy steering etc. The Thar is more comfortable than the Bolero on good roads. It is faster, overtaking does not need planning and steering is lighter. Also with high GC cars in India, what I feel is that the physical fatigue might be more but mental fatigue is much less than driving slow slung sedans/hatchbacks. I used to travel a lot in my Baleno and though it was physically very comfortable, I used to get drained mentally trying to negotiate bad roads without damaging the car.

- I can see its a soft-top. How do you manage on your luggage safety ?

It is difficult to manage the luggage, but what we usually do is to halt less in the plains because chances of theft are more in the plains than in the hills. Otherwise we have to carry all the luggage to the hotel except the jerry cans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
Yet another amazing TL from you, BP. The pictures are just amazing. One can imagine how much fun you guys had, barring the challenges due to the road blocks. I liked the conversation you had with Sahil and the 'challenge accepted' attitude.

Thanks for the summaries for each day and the final gist. Will help if we can ever do this sometime in the future.
Thanks a lot navsjab!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming Flower View Post
Any adjective of appreciation will not suffice to acclaim this travelogue. So exquisitely detailed narration coupled with beautiful photography are bound to mesmerise anyone who has old tryst of love with hills and nature's beauty. This TL along with two others you mentioned at end kindles the crave to visit these heavenly places sooner. Hats off to you duo, BP da and Teesta di, for your unperturbed energy quotient to deal with any kind of terrain and trouble; indeed, a great impetus to our enthusiasm of road trip to hills.
That is some English! Next time I will outsource my travelogue to you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
About the tyre debate - good that he eventually came around! On the way back you could have mentioned the puncture earlier in the trip and I guess he would have redeemed his comment. Lol!
Mentioning about the flat tyre to Sahil would have meant handing over the victory to him without a chance to fight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Visiting Spiti before the road from Manali opens is a good thing. Once the Manali road opens, tour operators with huge groups descend on almost all the places - Kaza/Mudh/Tabo/Dhankar - and often block most of the stay options. So walk in reservations become very difficult! Getting to Manali is overnight affair and on the second day, you are at Chandertal, 3rd onwards, you are ready to "do" Spiti - so its preferred by lot of folks over the Shimla route, which invariably takes 3-4 days to reach Kaza.
Yes, spot on analysis!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
Wahay!! You did finish it up!!
Brilliant it is, and you have covered more of the territory. I was wondering where these places were, but then I realised you had 17 days compared to my 7.
5 Star!
Thanks a lot mayankk. Yes, finally completed the travelogue. Since the place is so far from Kolkata, we tried to cover as much as possible in one go. People from Northern India can afford to visit these places more frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
What a TL !! Just made a trip to Spiti & returned back in half an hour. Now no planning for 2018. Everything is available here. It's a full guide on how to do Spiti the best way.

Superb pictures of you two & the landscapes. One has to enjoy the place like you guys did.

We have to do this together now !!

Rated 6 stars.
Thanks a lot Pawan! Yes Duster and Thar need to do this together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Lovely travelogue. There's nothing new to write about your travelogues, like always loved the pics and the detailed narration.

Loved the conversation between you & Sahil.

Its good to see people doing this terrein in cars like Figo, Zest and Honda city! This gives me some comfort if i plan a Spiti trip in future.

Rated a well deserved 5*.
Thanks a lot Samba. You and your Etios can go anywhere, you don't not need any confirmation from others

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssambyal1980 View Post
Once again excellent travelogue sir!!! Rated 5 stars. Felt nostalgic while reading as it reminded me of our Spiti trip which we undertook in Maruti Dzire (Petrol) in October 2015. We went from Chandigarh to Kalpa then to Kaza and finally returned via Manali by crossing over the Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass. We were able to do the Kaza-Manali route as the road was open.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ure-sedan.html
Thanks ssambyal1980! I had posted the link of your travelogue in the reference section of my travelogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssambyal1980 View Post
Your's was quite a long trip indeed but nonetheless when one needs to explore the Himalayas, time shouldn't be the limit. Was quite amazed to know about your Day 1 drive from Kolkata to Delhi and the Day 17 drive from Mashobra to Kolkata. How it was like driving for long hours at a stretch? What was the fatigue level? Did you only drive or ma'am also?
Yes we try to cover the transport sections as fast as possible so that we can spend more time in the hills. My wife drives as well. Whenever I feel fatigued I hand over the steering to my wife. But that usually happens on the national highways. I hardly feel fatigued in the mountains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Hey man,

Extraordinary travelogue! Everytime I see a travelogue with your Thar, I want to go out and buy one. A Jeep that can also do highway trips remains a dream for me (my Jeep is good for offroading & city only). And once I buy my imaginary Thar, I want to drive to all the places you take yours. A good Jeep, an empty highway, deep music & fun company is a dream come true. How many km up on your Thar's odo?
Thanks a lot GTO! The Thar has really turned out to be a fantastic long distance companion. The ODO is at 47K kilometers now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thanks for sharing. Thread will be going to the homepage tomorrow .
Thanks once again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Great One Black Pearl. Really envy is the word that comes to mind. While doing this you could have gone to Namgya as well, which is the last village on the way to Shipki La. The road leaves about 2 kms before Khab and the start of the Kazigs. Did you visit the Nako Monastry? Its supposedly even older than the Tabo one. By Pagal nallah after Nako, I presume you are referring to Malling, correct?
But once again tremendous drive and excellent pictures. You are really a buccaneer, man, Cheers and bravo.
Thanks a ton wandernomad! We could have done Shipki La if we had not waited one more day in Losar. We did not visit Nako monastery and you are right, it will be Malling Nala. I have requested the mods to rectify it. Thanks for pointing out!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
Boy oh Boy ! Wonderful narration /pictures/attention to detail.
I have met you once and you truly are an inspiration. This is a supremely detailed blog and anyone can use it for reference.
You Sir have mastered the art of narration. The conversation with Sahil and what followed next was highly engaging.
At the very beginning you mentioned something very close to my heart and the purpose of a visit should highly involve connecting with the locals. It does matter a lot in the long run.
Last but not the least, I am saving the meditation point picture. Just seeing Chrome save it to my system is so pleasing.

Thanks for sharing such a detailed blog Sumitroda.
Thanks a lot ARAY!

Last edited by BlackPearl : 4th September 2017 at 11:56.
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Old 4th September 2017, 12:51   #28
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Nothing to write about the travelogue, it's an encyclopedia containing all the information. The photographs are amazing to say the least.

One question:
How feasible is this in a hatchback?

Rated a well deserved 5*.
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Old 4th September 2017, 14:35   #29
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Great report as usual. Rated 5 stars. I think your trips should be considered as a good way to understand the capabilities of the Thar and how liveable it is as a tourer.

A bunch of us attempted to do this circuit just recently on 11-21 August but had to be content with just a glance of the Valley. We faced multiple road closures due to landslides, and especially when Malling Nalla was closed . Had to turn back from not one, but two routes.

However, there is always a next time.

Here is a pic of our cars at Chitkul.
An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar-img_0664.jpg
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Old 4th September 2017, 16:37   #30
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Well it is quite difficult to praise as we strictly believe in praises can be harmful and can do crazy things to your brain, especially if the person is close or family. I couldn't help but say that this travelogue has come out very well. Now it maybe because I still have fresh memories of the place and the people but nevertheless you have been able to summarize it neatly. I know when one travels, the place makes a lot of difference to your mood but it is essential that you get your travel mate right, especially in long trips. In this case, I have hit the jackpot :-). BP is as cool as a cucumber and will never refuse to anything that you think of(I still remember that he seemed as excited as me when we did Kandaghat to Chitkul and back in a day). Coming to Spiti, if you haven't yet visited this place you simply have no clue what we are talking about. It was very difficult for BlackPearl to get me back home as I was trying to find out ways to stay back. Every day I used to talk to someone and I would get ideas which I thought were so real and fantastic that it can be materialized very easily. I told myself that I just need some determination and patience. So one day I thought I can teach in Sagnam, the next day I thought I can be an architect in Ghungri monastery, some other day I thought that I could do greenhouse farming as it did not seem difficult to me at all and so on and so forth. This is what Spiti can do to your mind. It can put a spell on you which defies reasoning. I believe it's mainly because of the people. They are still so happy and innocent! Sometimes you might feel that there is more to than what meets your eye, but every-time you will be proved wrong and for once you feel so happy that you are proved wrong.

Few people who are etched forever in my memory are
1. 'Lama Tendup' of Lalung monastery,his window glass was cracked and to fix it he had put 2 small J&J band-aids :-), he is more than 80 and believes that we will surely meet in future.
2. 'Rigzin' of Phukchong whose simplicity and niceness can blow one away. She wanted to give us everything that she had at home to make us feel comfortable, just the way our moms do when we meet them.
3. 'Meme' of Kaza, an octogenarian, bespectacled, always carrying a bead around his hand and one who can be spotted anywhere in the town of Kaza. One minute he will be standing in the queue waiting to offer prayers to High Lama and the very other minute he will be seen chasing Simba, the Saint Bernard. Every morning he used to greet me with a warm broad smile(with missing dentures) and broken bits of Hindi, which made my day.
4. 'Karan' of Chandigarh , I would rather call him Karan of Spiti, as he has become more of a Spitian now. He will strike you as a very impressive man the moment you meet him. He is well read, well traveled, has excellent inter personal skills and can make you feel at home instantly. Deyzor is 'Deyzor' because of him. He will come up with plans according to your stamina and style. Food that they serve is fantastic and you will not have to step out. Rooms smell fresh and have personalized touch to it, you feel that you are in good hands. If it is Kaza then it has to be Deyzor.
5. 'Raj' of Tabo, if you have watched 'Small Wonder' and remember Vicki, then Raj is our desi version of Vicki. He can cook like a master chef, he can run a chain of hotels, he can guide you to different off-beat places, he doesn't sleep, doesn't take breaks. Of-course he cannot be a human! Especially to a Bengali who loves to spend her day just by talking, this seemed robotic! The only difference with Vicki was that Raj always has a smile.
6. 'Sahil' of Losar, well I will be damned if I do not name him. He is not a Spitian and doesn't claim to be one. I think we spoke less and fought more. He is one person with whom you will never feel bored as you do not have to be overtly sweet. One can say what one feels like. He is carefree, stubborn, stuck-up but also very capable, learned and an excellent friend to have. We had unlimited cups of coffee and tea in Nomadic Cottage and he always made sure that we were warm and cozy. He gave us the best room of his Cottage, the 'greenhouse' and it was simply superb!

Phew, I spoke too much. This 'comment' might just get bigger than the travelogue itself . But I am not done yet.

I would thank 2 people who helped me immensely with the planning. The travelogues that they had written were self sufficient. ADC da and khan_sultan. I took the pointers of hotels from Khan_Sultan's TL and route planning from ADC das. He is of a different league, he did all this in 2008! Last I had heard of him was when he was doing N Korea.
I wish he starts writing again.

So to wrap it up, one should do Spiti in all the 4 seasons. It looks and feels different and will keep you gaping. Of-course one has to research well before traveling especially during winters and take necessary precautions, but it will be worth it. We did miss out on some places especially towards the border, so will be doing that in our next trip to Spiti with Meghna and PapaBravo

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
What a TL !! Just made a trip to Spiti & returned back in half an hour. Now no planning for 2018. Everything is available here. It's a full guide on how to do Spiti the best way.

Superb pictures of you two & the landscapes. One has to enjoy the place like you guys did.

We have to do this together now !!

Rated 6 stars.
We need to do this during the winters. It will be superbly fun!

Last edited by ampere : 4th September 2017 at 16:45. Reason: back to back posts merged
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