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Old 6th June 2018, 12:32   #46
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Default Re: Four Idiots & One XUV : Ladakh May-2018

We reached Rohtang Pass(Top) at 1120. Rohtang Pass, a gateway to Lahaul and Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh, remains one of the most spectacular destinations in the entire Kullu region. This picturesque pass is located around 51km away from Manali, at a height of 3980 meters, on Manali Keylong highway. The name Rohtang means 'ground of corpses' due to the number of people who lost their lives while crossing this difficult mountain range.

At Rohtang Pass(TOP).



Rohtang Top was full of tourist in rented snowsuits. More and more vehicles were arriving at Rohtang top every second. It was an indication of what we were going to face on Rohtang Manali Highway.

Rohtang Top.
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Rohtang Top.
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Rohtang Top.
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However, We were at Rohtang top, It was time to play with some snow and get some photographs.

Walk in the ice.
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Keep walking.
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oops...
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And fell.
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Three Idiots.
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We moved ahead from that spot. We drove some more and stopped at that yellow board for a mandatory photo.

The road to Marhi.
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Rohtang Top.
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That yellow board and surrounding areas were overflowing with tourists. We left that place and moved ahead. The road to Marhi was full of tourists and their vehicles. It was chaos. We kept moving ahead.

Tourists.
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And their Vehicles.
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and some more tourist.
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and some more vehicles.
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We stopped at an empty stretch of road. At that point, my cell phone latched on the network after 7 days. I am using a Vodafone postpaid but it didn't work even in Leh town.

My phone was over-flooded with messages and emails. I called up Kapil Thakur ( Owner of The clifftop Cottage, Palchan) and asked him to keep some tea and food ready for us.

He told me ..."abhi toh aap Marhi ho, Palchan aane mai time lagega"(You are in Marhi, it"ll take time to reach Palchan.)

An empty patch.
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The Road to Manali.
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Latching on Network.
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Called up Kapil.
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Three Idiots.
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We reached Marhi. After Marhi village no one was ready to drive. Everyone wanted to check their cell-phone. We stopped for a while at Marhi village to reply some important calls and emails. It was time to implement our driving rules once again.

Marhi Village.
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We started from Marhi. Our plan was to drive till Palachan village. Have a quick stop for tea and bio breaks at The clifftop Cottage and proceed to Manali. Vicky wanted to stay for a night at Manali. It was not part of the plan. However, I asked Vicky to have a look at the condition of Manali and then decide.

Start from Marhi.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-648.jpg

To Plachan.
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We kept moving ahead. We were following a long queue of taxis and private vehicles. Fortunately, that convoy was moving slowly.

A long queue of Vehicles.
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A close-up
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After a while, one army guy came out from nowhere.
He stopped that entire convoy just three vehicles ahead of us and parked a dumper in front of our convoy.

Why? We didn't have any clue...

We were stopped.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-650.jpg

All of us and other drivers came out to check whats going on. BRO was repairing a long patch of road. There was all kind of road construction machines. They started repairing the road just in front of us.

Seriously?
I mean, I respect BRO and the amazing job they are doing in some of the remotest areas but who stops a live/on-going traffic (that too at a top tourist place) to repair a road. That was strange.

Road Construction.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-651.jpg

We waited three hours at that spot. Yes! three long hours.
In fact, I & Vicky watched an entire movie ( The 33). BRO gave us a go-ahead at 1515. All of us started rushing to Manali. Local taxi guys were not able to tolerate a Gujarat vehicle driving ahead of them. They kept honking and I kept giving them space to overtake us.

We moved ahead and stuck in one more slow-moving jam. That jam was due to Gulaba check post. We got out of that and followed a slow-moving queue of Taxis. Kapil called me, I told him that we couldn't stop at Cottage. He came to meet us on the road and gave us some food.

At Kothi.
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Traffic after Palchan.
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A slow-moving queue of vehicles.
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The good part of a slow-moving jam was that it was "moving". However, in that case, all the passengers should remain in the car. We crossed Palchan. We crossed Solang. Our progress was very slow. We took one hour to reach Palchan to Solang (3km).

Last edited by SJM1214 : 6th June 2018 at 18:25.
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Old 6th June 2018, 14:24   #47
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Default Re: Four Idiots & One XUV : Ladakh May-2018

At 1700, We crossed the turn for Solang valley. We were out of that mess. It was 1700. We were 6km far from Manali. Our plan to drive to Bilaspur was ruined. We kept moving. I knew Bilaspur was out of the equation for us.

To Manali.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-656.jpg

To Solang Valley.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-657.jpg

We got some empty road and we rushed to Manali. We were 3km far from Manali. The third instalment of traffic jam was waiting for us. It was not at all moving. That jam was due to a narrow bridge at Manali town.

One more Jam.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-658.jpg

At Manali.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-659.jpg

We reached Mall road of Manali at 1915. I stopped and asked Vicky to have a glimpse of mall road. He was shocked to see that much of rush at Mall road.

I asked once again to him...
" do you want to spend the night at Manali?"
He said...
" Na Bhai na, bahar nikalo muje Manali se" (Not at all, just get me out of Manali.)

We all laughed at his reply and rushed out of Manali. We stopped for fuel top-up and after that got stuck in one more jam at Manali Private bus stand.

Manali Private bus stand.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-670.jpg

We were out of Manali at 2000. Others suggested staying somewhere at outskirts of Manali. I denied that proposal and kept driving. I wanted to reach Kullu or Bhuntar.

We reached Kullu at 2200. None of us was ready to drive 10km more to Bhuntar. We checked in a hotel and called it a day.

Last edited by SJM1214 : 6th June 2018 at 18:27.
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Old 6th June 2018, 15:09   #48
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Default Re: Four Idiots & One XUV : Ladakh May-2018

Day 10 & 11(21 & 22/05/2018): Kullu to Jaipur to Ahmedabad

All of us were tired after a long day in the slow-moving car. Everyone wanted to have a late start from Kullu. However, I knew that Kullu to down journey was not that easy. I was scared of crazy Volvo bus drivers on Kullu to Bilaspur road.

We started at 0700 from Kullu. Once again our strict driving rules were implemented. I and Dilesh promised to remain in front seats till Panipat (Kullu-Panipat 420km).

We reached Mandi-SundarNagar at 0930. I proposed to have a detour of Parashar lake. Prashar Lake was 45km from Mandi town. All of them rejected my offer. We finished our breakfast at SundarNagar. I had a flying visit to Sundarnagar Lake.

Sundarpur Lake.
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After Mandi, we kept driving at a steady speed. Mandi to Panipat drive was eventless. We reached Panipat at 1630. I decided to drive some more and kept moving. At 1930, we stopped at a dhaba in Rewari.

Dhaba at Rewari.
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Stop for Dinner.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-673.jpg

After that stop, Vicky and Joy came to the front seat. The Plan was to have a night stay at Jaipur. However, Joy and Vicky were fresh after entire day's rest. We crossed Jaipur late night. Vicky and Joy stopped for tea. I and Dilesh were sleeping in the car.

We reached Ajmer at 0400. We stopped at dhaba and spent three hours sleeping in their "Khatiya". At 0800, Other guys had a quick visit of Ajmer Dargah. Ajmer to Ahmedabad was a home run for all of us. Dilesh got on the wheel. We reached Ahmedabad at 1830 on 22/05/2018.

One of my friends was waiting for us at Ahmedabad - Vadodara expressway with my MS Brezza. We transferred our luggage in Brezza and rushed to Anand. We reached Anand(home) at 2000.

Thank You.

Last edited by SJM1214 : 6th June 2018 at 18:30.
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Old 6th June 2018, 18:44   #49
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Default re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

Mod note: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 7th June 2018, 11:49   #50
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

Wow! I appreciate your patience and the time spent in putting together this 4 page long travelogue with so many photos. Many thanks for that. Looks like you all had a great time. A trip like this requires great company and kudos to all of you.

I didn't see you mentioning whether the XUV was an AWD or a FWD. If I have missed it, do let me know. I've been dreaming about a trip like this with friends, but being in Bangalore, we need a lot more time too. Travelogues like this inspire me a lot. Hope you have many more trips like this one.
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Old 7th June 2018, 13:15   #51
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

Brilliant story-telling and brilliant pictures! The stretch from Merak to Chushul and Loma/Nyoma brought back memories of my adventure 3 years ago - we were pretty much lost there and really didn't know whether we had crossed the border.

Fantastic TL. Rated 5 stars!
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Old 7th June 2018, 18:39   #52
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Brilliant post, i took nearly an hour to get through the entire post and felt like the 5th guy in your trip. Fantastic coverage. Kudos for the images and details mentioned.
Now, i keep asking myself - when will i do such an adventure!
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Old 7th June 2018, 20:06   #53
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

Wow, what an extensive travelogue! Kudos to you for compiling this massive travelogue with such details. It really took me some time to read it. It rekindled my Ladak drive memories.

Any Ladakh travelogue is always special. I was smiling while reading your travelogue from the Rotang part. 10 days back we crossed Rotang while returning from Kaza and i can very well relate with the snow laden Rotang top & the infamous traffic jam before Manali!

Last edited by Samba : 7th June 2018 at 20:08.
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Old 7th June 2018, 21:32   #54
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

I have just few lines for this travelogue, mind blowing, the best Leh travelogue ever that i have been through. You took all of us for an amazing journey. Loved the minute details and your presence of mind. Finally if i ever do this road trip, this will be the travelogue which i will follow, it's like a proper guide with do's and dints and everything.
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Old 8th June 2018, 09:32   #55
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
I didn't see you mentioning whether the XUV was an AWD or an FWD.
It was a 3.4 years old XUV500 W6(FWD).

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsathyap View Post
Brilliant story-telling and brilliant pictures!
Thanks, vsathyap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirilu1318 View Post
Brilliant post
Thanks,sirilu1318.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Wow, what an extensive travelogue! Kudos to you for compiling this massive travelogue with such details.
Thanks, samba. Manali is chaos nowadays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_kej View Post
I have just few lines for this travelogue, mind blowing, the best Leh travelogue ever that i have been through.
Thanks, rahul_kej.
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Old 8th June 2018, 10:18   #56
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

There's never enough of Leh or Himalayas isn't it?

What an exhaustive travelogue and what lovely and lively pictures. What's more unique is the time of the year you went that has ensured a lot of snow all around and that is reflecting in your pictures.

In September 2014, when we drove from Bangalore, we hardly had any traces of snow except the mountains at Khardungla Top. Almost case where one would get frostbite and sunstroke at the same time due to severly strong sun rays and equally cold surrounding. The might Zozilla was only dark roads with darker soil instead of the frozen sections you passed.

Thanks for sharing a very well narrated travelogue and needless to say from the pictures that you had loads and loads of fun!!

Last edited by paragsachania : 8th June 2018 at 10:20.
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Old 9th June 2018, 22:11   #57
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

Awesome travelogue. One of the few where you feel you are also part of the journey! Have to admire you guys passion for the trip. Spending 24 hours or more in car is no joke, and only the most committed can grin and bear it! Awesome photos too. Thanks for sharing this with us!
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Old 14th June 2018, 11:36   #58
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Thanks for sharing this epic travelogue with lot of useful tips and details. Very useful this really is. Straight away goes to my collection of bookmarks.

You guys really had amazing journey. Hats off to the team!
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Old 22nd June 2018, 10:36   #59
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Default Re: Four Idiots & One XUV : Ladakh May-2018

Beatiful travelogue bro.
Reminded me of the days of my trip to Rohtang Pass.
I need to mention that slow moving traffic is very common at palchan and manali.
By the way, did you test the effect at magnetic hill?
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Old 7th July 2018, 08:23   #60
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Default Re: Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500

Wonderful TL!
On the list soon, and will be unleashing my Paj on the terrain at the earliest opportunity.
Thread noted for reference. And stay braced for queries when the plans get afoot.
Thanks for sharing.
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