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Old 5th September 2017, 15:43   #31
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
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*.
Thanks gearhead_mait! I will tell you the same thing that I told to Samba, you and your Sher Dil can go anywhere you want.

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
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.
Attachment 1672512
Thanks a lot blackwasp! It is frustrating not to be able to reach where you have planned for, but then there is always a next time. The two Abarth Puntos side by side are looking stunning. I can't decide, which one looks better, the white or the black!

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Originally Posted by Teesta View Post
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..........
................
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

We need to do this during the winters. It will be superbly fun!
Thanks Teesta for the nice words and also for all the details that I had missed. It is always good to have different perspectives. I am sure that if you had written this travelogue it would be a lot different from what I have done. It would be a lot more emotional, lots of pics of food, animals and people and may be one photo of the Thar
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Old 5th September 2017, 16:46   #32
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Thanks Teesta for the nice words and also for all the details that I had missed. It is always good to have different perspectives. I am sure that if you had written this travelogue it would be a lot different from what I have done. It would be a lot more emotional, lots of pics of food, animals and people and may be one photo of the Thar
No matter how bonded you are, these differences are there to stay. Hence the saying, men are from mars, women are from venus.
Very well written, minutely detailed and vastly covered geographically as well has on paper. I always dream of such long travels but i know neither do i have patience nor can i drive solo continuous for so long n so many days, so contended with 2-3 days hill trips every 3-4 months. Congratulations once again, next time you plan somewhere similar in north let me know, cheers bud!

Last edited by Aditya : 6th September 2017 at 17:45. Reason: Fixing quote tag
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Old 6th September 2017, 12:34   #33
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Very detailed and well written Travelogue with great pictures

Thank you for sharing

On a lighter note can imagine Sahil's reaction if I ever make it to Losar in my current ride
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Old 6th September 2017, 14:48   #34
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Great travelogue and pictures.

You made a few small errors with some of the pic captions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Inside Roghi Village
Attachment 1660697
This is not Roghi but Kalpa.

That Jyoti Eating Corner cum Bengali Dhabha is owned by a bengali person who is married to a local lady. The owner is a interesting person.

There is also a Hotel Blue Lotus in Kalpa which is run by a team of bengalis. Although I did not see any bengali food on the menu there.

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
A monastery in Roghi village
Attachment 1660698
This is again in Kalpa and when I had asked the locals, it was called a quila/fort. This looks more like a hindu temple and is used for some religious uses, but it is no regular temple. Unlike the rest of the village, this was constructed recently and had


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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
We visited the Old Dhankar Monastery first. It was abandoned and desolate and one can see the new Dhankar Monastery at a distance.
I visited the Dhankar monastery in May 2017 and the old monastery was not desloate or abandoned then. I had visited Dhankar in a cab hired from Tabo and our driver knew the resident lama there. We were given a full tour of the monastery. They were collecting some funds to fix some issues with the structure of the old monastery.

There is also a fort and a old palace of the king in Dhankar. The palace looked abandoned and desloate and I dont know if I visited the fort or some other structure that someone told me was the fort.

-- no1lives4ever

Last edited by no1lives4ever : 6th September 2017 at 14:50.
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Old 6th September 2017, 16:47   #35
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Incredible, I have to say! Outstanding photography and crisp writing . I am slowly inclining towards the Thar after reading this thread. Being comfy for those long highway runs adds as an advantage. Btw, which part of the year you did the trip?
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Old 6th September 2017, 17:50   #36
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Wow..what a travelogue.. i could only dream of doing a trip like this... what i do notice is that you manage really long distances right at the start and end of your trips.. i get drowsy and tired after 6-7 hours and 450-550 kms is the maximum i manage spending in a car at a stretch!

I could really do with pointers so maybe instead of a fuel stop at Kanpur do drop by for a bit in one of your future escapades!!
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Old 6th September 2017, 18:50   #37
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

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Originally Posted by maheep007 View Post
No matter how bonded you are, these differences are there to stay. Hence the saying, men are from mars, women are from venus.
Very well written, minutely detailed and vastly covered geographically as well has on paper. I always dream of such long travels but i know neither do i have patience nor can i drive solo continuous for so long n so many days, so contended with 2-3 days hill trips every 3-4 months.
Thanks a lot maheep007!

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Originally Posted by maheep007 View Post
Congratulations once again, next time you plan somewhere similar in north let me know, cheers bud!
Will surely let you know the next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
Very detailed and well written Travelogue with great pictures

Thank you for sharing

On a lighter note can imagine Sahil's reaction if I ever make it to Losar in my current ride
Thanks a lot Rajesh Rawal. Yes, it will be good to video Sahil's reaction seeing your ride in Losar

Quote:
Originally Posted by no1lives4ever View Post
Great travelogue and pictures.

You made a few small errors with some of the pic captions:


This is not Roghi but Kalpa.
Thanks no1lives4ever. My information about Roghi village was from Mukesh, the co-owner of The Monk resort. He said that this place was Roghi village. Thanks for pointing out, but I am a bit confused and checked on Google. This temple comes up in the images if I search for Roghi village, Himachal. If you have any source for this information, please share it and it will be helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no1lives4ever View Post
I visited the Dhankar monastery in May 2017 and the old monastery was not desloate or abandoned then. I had visited Dhankar in a cab hired from Tabo and our driver knew the resident lama there. We were given a full tour of the monastery. They were collecting some funds to fix some issues with the structure of the old monastery.

There is also a fort and a old palace of the king in Dhankar. The palace looked abandoned and desloate and I dont know if I visited the fort or some other structure that someone told me was the fort.

-- no1lives4ever
We saw the board about the old Dhankar monastery and I confirmed it with google images as well. We went to the old Dhankar monastery and not the fort.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vjkamal View Post
Incredible, I have to say! Outstanding photography and crisp writing . I am slowly inclining towards the Thar after reading this thread. Being comfy for those long highway runs adds as an advantage. Btw, which part of the year you did the trip?
Thanks a ton vjkamal! Please don't get me wrong, the Thar is not what can be called comfortable. One has to get used to the discomfort to do long distance trips. It is absolutely at home on the bad stretches and will put a smile on your face. We did this trip in May/June.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rugsrags View Post
Wow..what a travelogue.. i could only dream of doing a trip like this... what i do notice is that you manage really long distances right at the start and end of your trips.. i get drowsy and tired after 6-7 hours and 450-550 kms is the maximum i manage spending in a car at a stretch!

I could really do with pointers so maybe instead of a fuel stop at Kanpur do drop by for a bit in one of your future escapades!!
Thanks a lot rugsrags! Regarding long distance driving, I can continue to drive if it is engaging. For example I have not been able to drive on the Yamuna Expressway till date. Every time, no matter what my fatigue levels are, I start feeling drowsy on the expressway and have to hand over the vehicle to the co-driver. On the other hand, I can drive continuously for super long distances in the mountains, single lane highways or extreme bad roads!
Will surely let you know next time we pass through Kanpur, it will be nice to meet you.
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Old 6th September 2017, 19:43   #38
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

I don't need a bucket list, thanks to you Black Pearl!

Just will follow in your tyre tracks. I have no issue with Michelin. I use humble Ceats.

Please help me understand this below -

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
His response was this - "we people, who live in the mountains, do not think that taking our cars into ditches on weekends like the urban people is off-roading. The routes where we need to engage 4WD is off-roading for us". End of discussion.
Engaging 4WD only when you need it, is a bit like popping on a helmet just as you fall off the bike, isn't it?

It all seems a bit of misplaced machismo to me, this pre occupation with avoiding 4WD to show one's ability. My take would be to engage 4H or 4L AS one enters the appropriate terrain. Why wait to get into a situation and then engage? Surely foresight trumps bravado.

Or am I missing something? I'm just a few months into offloading, please be gentle
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Old 6th September 2017, 22:58   #39
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

@Teesta & @BlackPearl : You two just inflicted an unkind cut to my (forcibly) meditating hermit-like soul with this travelogue, and I'm once again inexorably drawn towards those mountains which are just a day's easy drive away for me. To add salt to the wound, right outside my front door sits another, yet unnamed, sibling of the Sherpa (more about that in another thread soon); yet, unfortunately, I don't have the time, (the SWMBO's) inclination or 4G network ( ) to permit me to travel to the mountains (and hopefully, lots of snow) before the end of December.

In the faint hope that you'd join us for a trip in the same direction in December (and I'd happily let you folks do the route planning and hotel reservations), I proffer another 5-star rating and many thanks for all the effort you took to pen down the travelogue! You can decide not to join us, but those stars and thanks will remain!

Edit: The space before the colon on the first line became a necessity, otherwise I would have been addressing @BlackPea

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 6th September 2017 at 23:00.
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Old 6th September 2017, 23:08   #40
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Thanks no1lives4ever. My information about Roghi village was from Mukesh, the co-owner of The Monk resort. He said that this place was Roghi village. Thanks for pointing out, but I am a bit confused and checked on Google. This temple comes up in the images if I search for Roghi village, Himachal. If you have any source for this information, please share it and it will be helpful.
Ok.. the first photo that you shared of the lane near the dhabha. That is definitely in Kalpa.

The fort from the second photo is also from kalpa, as I can see the surrounding buildings in your photo.

If you had climbed stairs and walked through a school compound to take a round about route to reach the "monastery"/fort, then it was in Kalpa.

Here is a photo of Kalpa that I took when I was there in May 2017. You can clearly see the fort or whatever it is in the middle of the photo.

Name:  tOmqLPU.png
Views: 743
Size:  658.4 KB

Roghi village is beyond suicide point if you go from the monk tents and hotel.

The temples and forts in that area follow this style of construction and there are many structures that look similar, so you may get to see photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
We saw the board about the old Dhankar monastery and I confirmed it with google images as well. We went to the old Dhankar monastery and not the fort.
Aha.. When we went in May, the monastery was still occupied. Although there was only 1 lama looking after the gompa and my group was the only set of people other than the lama in the gompa. It is possible that the lama might have gone away for a break and locked up the gompa. Or have they abandoned the gompa sometime between may and when you went?

The views from inside the old gompa are awesome. You can get to see quite a bit of the spiti valley and the entrance to the pin valley from some windows in the old gompa. The views from the palace were not so good.

-- no1lives4ever
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Old 7th September 2017, 12:35   #41
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@Teesta & @BlackPearl : You two just inflicted an unkind cut to my (forcibly) meditating hermit-like soul with this travelogue, and I'm once again inexorably drawn towards those mountains which are just a day's easy drive away for me. To add salt to the wound, right outside my front door sits another, yet unnamed, sibling of the Sherpa (more about that in another thread soon); yet, unfortunately, I don't have the time, (the SWMBO's) inclination or 4G network ( ) to permit me to travel to the mountains (and hopefully, lots of snow) before the end of December.

Congratulations @SS-Traveller da! You will love to hate her every other day for sure. Despite that, if we somehow do manage to take this trip, the shots will come out spectacular :-).No other SUV other than Landy looks this good, at-least to me. So I guess it makes some sense at the end. I really envy you when you say that it's just a day's drive away :-( We need to start shifting our base, inch by inch closer to HP.

Even if you don't have time, please make some time for Spiti. You will not regret it. Please enjoy the experience before it turns into another Ladakh :-(. Always hated 3 Idiots for that.

I am not adding "thank you for your sweet words" because you already know how we felt :-)
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Old 7th September 2017, 12:40   #42
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Thank you for yet another amazing travelogue BlackPearl. Kudos to you brother. Another benchmark and road-map set for Spiti valley.

How did Sherpa behave all the way? Was any kind of maintenance /issue involved during this exhilarating journey of yours? Or say some little things that bothered you during the travel. We would love to hear these little details.
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Old 7th September 2017, 12:57   #43
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Beautifully written travelogue with wonderful photographs. I and wife had driven through Spiti in September 2015 and stayed in Nomadic Cottage in Losar. Fortunately, Sahil was not around, otherwise I would have had to explain driving a Dzire with Goodyear tyres on this route. The road upto Manali through Kunzum pass and Chandratal was open then and we faced minimal problems till the engine bolts sheared off while climbing Rohtang pass. Team-Bhp help was on hand and we got repairs done in Manali.

I had forgotten all my tools, tow hook, car jack, wheel spanner in the excitement of the journey, and I realised this only when the car broke down. So, did you get to use all the spare stuff you carried with you?

Plan a return to Spiti and spend some leisure time in my Duster AWD which is more suited to this terrain.
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Old 7th September 2017, 13:32   #44
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Congratulations @SS-Traveller da!
Thank you!
Quote:
You will love to hate her every other day for sure.
No love or hate, I would now be assessing its capabilities and hopefully travelling in a more compact 4wd than the one I already have. For starters, it has a better turning circle!
Quote:
Despite that, if we somehow do manage to take this trip, the shots will come out spectacular :-).
Yes, red and white would be nice against the white mountains and blue skies!
Quote:
I really envy you when you say that it's just a day's drive away :-( We need to start shifting our base, inch by inch closer to HP.
Will look forward to that.
Quote:
Even if you don't have time, please make some time for Spiti. You will not regret it. Please enjoy the experience before it turns into another Ladakh :-(. Always hated 3 Idiots for that.
Been there (only up to Kaza) in 1996 in an Armada Grand 4wd, but have no travelogues or photos to show for it. Those memories are gradually fading and might just be erased on a fresh trip, but I'm willing to risk it.
Quote:
I am not adding "thank you for your sweet words" because you already know how we felt :-)
Thank you for your sweet words though!
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Old 12th September 2017, 12:50   #45
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Default Re: An experience called Spiti in a Mahindra Thar

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
@Teesta & @BlackPearl : You two just inflicted an unkind cut to my (forcibly) meditating hermit-like soul with this travelogue, and I'm once again inexorably drawn towards those mountains which are just a day's easy drive away for me. To add salt to the wound, right outside my front door sits another, yet unnamed, sibling of the Sherpa (more about that in another thread soon); yet, unfortunately, I don't have the time, (the SWMBO's) inclination or 4G network ( ) to permit me to travel to the mountains (and hopefully, lots of snow) before the end of December.
Thanks a lot SS Da and congratulations on your red Thar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
In the faint hope that you'd join us for a trip in the same direction in December (and I'd happily let you folks do the route planning and hotel reservations), I proffer another 5-star rating and many thanks for all the effort you took to pen down the travelogue! You can decide not to join us, but those stars and thanks will remain!
December is dicey but would love to go to Spiti during that time. The pictures I have seen on the net about winter Spiti are stunning and enticing. Will surely let you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Edit: The space before the colon on the first line became a necessity, otherwise I would have been addressing @BlackPea


Quote:
Originally Posted by skyocean View Post
Thank you for yet another amazing travelogue BlackPearl. Kudos to you brother. Another benchmark and road-map set for Spiti valley.

How did Sherpa behave all the way? Was any kind of maintenance /issue involved during this exhilarating journey of yours? Or say some little things that bothered you during the travel. We would love to hear these little details.
Thanks a lot skyocean! Sherpa behaved superbly during the entire trip. The horrible roads looked unnerving and at one point I had thought that we should have taken the Bolero, but the Thar never skipped a beat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SajiNSalin View Post
Beautifully written travelogue with wonderful photographs. I and wife had driven through Spiti in September 2015 and stayed in Nomadic Cottage in Losar. Fortunately, Sahil was not around, otherwise I would have had to explain driving a Dzire with Goodyear tyres on this route. The road upto Manali through Kunzum pass and Chandratal was open then and we faced minimal problems till the engine bolts sheared off while climbing Rohtang pass. Team-Bhp help was on hand and we got repairs done in Manali.
Thanks a lot SajiNSalin. Engine bolts shearing off is bad news, but thankfully you got help when it mattered the most!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SajiNSalin View Post
I had forgotten all my tools, tow hook, car jack, wheel spanner in the excitement of the journey, and I realised this only when the car broke down. So, did you get to use all the spare stuff you carried with you?
I did not have to use any of the spare stuff that we carried except for the nuts that we fitted on the bull bar of the Fortuner.
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