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Old 5th March 2019, 00:10   #1
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Default Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome

‘Aall iz well’
This is much more than a punch line from a popular movie. When the best-laid plans go bust, say ‘aall iz well’ to oneself and something better unfolds.

or when you are pushed to the verge of a fathomless cliff on Zoji La by rogue taxi drivers.....
when AMS strikes you at the middle of nowhere on top of a La.....
while stuck for hours together at the last fuel station.....
being bullied head-on by heavy weight trucker on Rohthang....
or when sandwiched by maverick truckers with hairline margin on a hairpin bend in Swarghat......

chant ‘aaall izzz welll’ to keep that heart in its place.

… and we got Leh’d

Since my January 2018 winter sojourn to Frozen Leh (Photologue: Frozen Leh & Ladakh), I had been planning for yet another trip with Photowalk Connect led by the Master of Portraits - Subodh Shetty to Ladakh in June-July. But some developments during end April at workplace derailed my whole plans to join them.

A casual talk with my cousin in early May laid seeds for a road trip utilising a window in end May - mid June. When my brother too agreed to go for it, hasty preparations were done.

Better late than never……

….and the D day

Day 1
Kollam - Bangalore
Kms covered – 715kms

At 4.30am we embarked on our epic journey. It was drizzling but managed a steady progress. Breakfast was from Alwaye and crossed over into Tamil Nadu by noon.

Once out of Kerala, clear open highways welcomes you.
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I was getting the hang of hybrid driving. Right hand drive - left hand overtaking. And that helped throughout the journey.
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Next stop was at AMB restaurant near Salem for a hearty lunch. Reached Bangalore straight into evening chaos. Our cousin had already booked us in Treebo. Hence could not adhere to HVK Sir’s suggestion to drive till Davangere.

Masala dosa to wind up the day.
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Little did we know that this would be one of the last South Indian snacks for a long time.

Day 2
Bangalore - Pune
Kms covered – 883 kms
Start – 4.30am

Brother takes the wheel as he was more used to Bangalore roads. Hit a traffic block just after the toll booth with truckers driving in the wrong direction and there we lost considerable time.

Once out of city, a magnificent highway took us all the way to Maharashtra border.

Somewhere near Hubli
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We were Lucky to find a PUC agent in Hubli. Got the PUC done and was relieved of that tension.
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Lunch happened somewhere near Kolhapur and took a break after Satara.

By sunset we reached Katraj and hit the sticky traffic all the way to Hinjewadi.
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CHD had arranged for our stay at Hinjewadi. Had we taken HVK Sir’s plan to stay in Davengere, we could have gone past Pune and stayed in Mumbai.

Day 3
Pune - Mandsaur
Kms covered 882 kms
Start 4.30 am

Mumbai – Pune express highway was busy with morning mad rush. Reached Mumbai in the early hours, crossing Thane, and stopped for breakfast.

Sight and sounds of Mumbai
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Delicious Pohe after many years.
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Sometimes loo signs are more meaningful than anything else.
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Kasara ghats
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It was harvest time for onions and could be seen neatly stocked on both sides of the road from Nashik – Malegaon. Lunch was from Kamat restaurant in Dhule, which was a mediocre affair.

Heat was unbearable as we crossed into Madhya Pradesh in the afternoon and suddenly car A/C started blowing hot air. We switched off the compressor and let the fan blow air for few minutes and then switched it on. That worked and continued doing that often. It seemed like evaporator was freezing up.

Sunset near Ratlam.
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As Chittorgarh seemed be too late, CHD arranged for our stay in Mandsaur MPTDC hotel. It had a nostalgic feel and served delicious tawa roti. Perhaps the best tawa roti I had in past couple of decades.

Day 4
Mandsaur – Karnal
Kms covered
Start – 7.00am

We were late to wakeup as we were tired due to long drive and the heat. That means we were forced to skip Chittogarh fort, which we had planned to visit very early morning.

Breakfast at a small but decent restaurant suggested by Route-o after Bhilwara.

You know where you are when you see architecture....
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and people.
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Crossed the border into Rajasthan. Traffic was thick and it was impossible to maintain decent speeds, which we could do in previous days.

No matter how many multi axle trucks and buses we have, firewood for home is woman's head ache.
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We skipped our lunch and devoured some homemade snacks and drove on. Kishangarh was connected to Jaipur with a superb highway.

A Temple
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Jaipur greeted us with dust storm followed by rain.
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Jaipur to Delhi was again tedious with heavy truck traffic. We circumvented Delhi altogether by taking Rewari – Rohtak – karnal route and by late evening reached Karnal.

Sugar cane juice vendor
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Crowded
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Thick traffic and fatigue made us call for the day and CHD promptly booked us in a nice hotel with a royal charm but a little expensive in Karnal.

Day 5
Karnal – Chandigarh
Distance covered
Start 11am

Woke up late in the morning to see ICAR’s gate from the window of our room. We had totally forgot about possibilities of alternate arrangements in Karnal while arranging booking. However, it was a pleasant stay at the hotel.

It was a lazy start, as our destination was only Chandigarh. By 1.30pm, we checked into Treebo Residencey in Zirakpur.

We wanted to replace engine oil and HVK recommended Surjith and the recommendation didn’t go wrong. Washed the car and returned to hotel after some last minute shopping at Decathlon. I would recommend Surjit in Chandigarh for any of your vehicle service needs if you’re you are driving through Chandigarh.

Dinner was at La Punjab a Dhaba near Treebo. A small joint serving delicious thandoori and rotis.

Taste of Punjab? Lipsmackingly….yes!
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Last edited by Dhar's : 5th March 2019 at 00:57.
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Old 5th March 2019, 00:43   #2
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Day 6
Chandigarh – Jammu
Distance covered 420 kms
Start – 11am

Our cousins arrived a bit late from airport in the morning. I used that time to seek blessings from Mansa Devi and hired Uber for local needs. Later we finished our breakfast and some banking jobs and commenced our journey by 11am.

Pillion on a pillow
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Broke out for lunch at Ludhiana in Haveli. It came in as a surprise and truly enjoyed the food and the ambience.
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Punjabi Thali
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The ambience
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Traditional Haveli recreated
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A motorhead cannot miss this!
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Alleys of Haveli
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As we commenced our journey and we were reaching the border, we hit another dust storm and rain. Near the Jammu border Punjab Police stopped us for routine checking.

Silence crept in as the mobiles went dead and all of us anxious in J&K.
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Drove slow and cautious although roads were fantastic. By late evening, we reached our hotel in Jammu. Checked in, made some copies of ID and vehicle registration, had dinner and called it a day.

Day 7
Jammu – Srinagar.
Distance covered: 296 kms

As advised by HVK and the hotel staff, we left early and took the Chenani-Nashi tunnel bypassing Patnitop.
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Breakfast was at JKTDC in Banihal. We were lucky to cover the mountains without much traffic blocks, traversing through paddy and saffron fields. Four lane works were undergoing with diversions in many places. We were also stopped for routine checking by J&K Police.

First views of the valley
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Once again silence crept in. We tried to keep up with other cars to drive in a convoy. As it was Ramadan, we didn’t bother to find a restaurant for lunch and delved into our reserves for snacks instead. We reached Dal Lake in Srinagar by afternoon. CHD had arranged accommodation in a houseboat in Nijeen Lake and by 4pm, we checked in to the mansion of a houseboat.

Houseboat amazed us with its beautifully crafted palace like interiors and reminded us of some classic movies of the time.
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We were told that those houseboats aged least 50 years old and some of them had starred in movies like Kashmir Ki Kali - appropriate deductions being done for tall claims – thankfully, it stayed afloat but never set sails. Instead, a much smaller Shikara took us to Dal Lake.
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Nijeen Lake
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Young lads fishing
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One of the Schools
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Toiling in the floating farm
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Beauty of Kashmir and Dal Lake need not be restricted to my poor lexical resources. Its charm makes anyone as frivolous as it can get. We were instantly bowled over by its beauty.

‘Yes. This is the Jannat on Earth’”
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Little bit of shopping, dinner in Shikhara, and we were done for the day.

Among the most drool kababs I've ever had
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Returned to our houseboat and spent the rest of the night peacefully.
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Old 5th March 2019, 23:46   #3
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Day 8
Srinagar – Kargil
Distance covered – 213 Kms

Hari Parbhat from the House Boat in Nijeen Lake
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The big day has come. We would be taking on the mighty Zoji La. And all of us were a bit apprehensive for what is in store. As soon as we left Srinagar, HVK broke the news of previous day’s incidents in Srinagar town about stone pelting and its repercussions. Thankfully, we were unaware of these incidents and were also safe.

Thus the silent four traversed through paddy fields and mountains.
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Lost in thoughts
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Worldy matters matter not
Soulful laughter wafter lot....
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What could have been going on her mind?
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Highway to heaven
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Soon we approached Sonamarg where we stopped for breakfast.
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Sonmarg is beautiful beyond any superlatives.
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A must visit place - save for the filmy tourists and hawkers.
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Excitement and anxiety built up after leaving Sonamarg. We were about to take on a La for the first time. Somewhere we reached a fork where taxi drivers and other cars were taking right turn whereas the map showed straight. Asked a taxi driver for direction and he pointed right and we followed him into a treacherous climb. Road was narrow, steep and bumpy. Till date we are not sure whether we took a one way in the wrong direction.

The wool and pashmina factory on the move
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As we couldn’t keep pace with the taxi drivers, we were either honked by vehicles behind us or pushed to the brim by oncoming vehicles.

Finally after a couple of hair raising encounters, we reached Zoji La.
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We were welcomed by hawkers grabbing on the roof rails to stop the car and to take their services for snow gliding. The very muddy snow itself was a deterrent. We stopped a little farther away from the crowd to stretch our legs and for some photographs.

The man, machine and the terrain
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A nomadic girl with her pet at Zoji La. She belonged to the goatherds who move with their herd between the plains and mountains based on the season. This girl would let tourists pet the lamb and take photos with it.
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After Zoji La, the roads were in very good condition and we were able to reach Drass by noon and tasted first Maggi of the season for lunch.
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Smiling even in hardships
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Near kargil
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We visited the Kargil War Memorial and paid homage to the martyrs.
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By evening we rolled into Kargil town where CHD had arranged for the night stay.
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Old 6th March 2019, 00:07   #4
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Day 9
Kargil – Leh
Distance covered 227 kms

Kargil to Leh was rather relaxed. Tarmac was exemplary. We had breakfast from a wayside restaurant near the Maithreya Buddha Statue in Mulbek.

One of the zillion black coffees we gorged in during the entire road trip to keep our heads going in our everyday morning starts.
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The Monk at Mulbek
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Nearing Namik La
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At Fotula
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The Cloud...
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....and the shadow
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Long winding roads
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Lunch was at Lamayuru in Hotel Moonland away from the tourist crowd - one of the several benefits when Route-O guides you - food was wonderful and so was the location.

Lamayuru Monastery
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The valley from Hotel Moonland
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Moon land indeed. National flag fluttering with pride
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Twisties...
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NH1
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....and the arrow shot...
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Sangam
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By evening, we slowly rolled in to Leh. A fulfilling moment of driving into Leh.

Our stay was arranged in Hotel Natures Land, which was not far from Shanti Stupa. The restaurant had buffet, which we were not in a mood to have. Since they denied preparing a simple ala-carte, we went out for dinner. Downhill stroll was easy, but return climb uphill after dinner had a test of our physique.
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Old 6th March 2019, 00:52   #5
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Day 10
Leh – Rest day
Acclimatization procedures were on - Diamox in – tucked under the blanket – all through the next morning. One of the members had accelerated bowel movements and our treasure cove of medicines was opened for the first time.

Day 11
Leh – Khalsar - Diskit
Distance covered 168 kms

Another big day for us as this is the day that we conquer the mighty Khardung La. Or rather simply drive through Khardung La.

At South Pullu
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Since road-widening works were already going on, there were hardly any hair-raising encounters except for those steep cliffs. Controversies laid to rest about the height of the La, customary photo session near several pillars and posts were done on the highest mountain pass. As we were returning to our car, we noticed a B-RV speeding past through the crowd dismissing all those boulders and potholes like a boss. Had I done the same in our Scorpio, my cousins would have kicked me out of driver seat.

Leh’d finally.
Our steed at Khardung La top (a little away from filmy tourist crowd).
From the golden sandy beaches of south to the white snow capped mountains of Himalayas,
From a southern town of India to the northern most post of India,
From 22ft to 18,000ft altitude,
It served us without skipping a beat, taken us through a journey of a lifetime, fulfilled a dream cherished for decades, experienced the priceless feeling of driving to one of the highest motorable passes.
It will always remain in our garage asking where next. And with the call of mountains irresistible, destination will soon be clear.
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We were warned earlier not to spend much time at the La. Hence wrapped up and resumed our journey. Further towards North Pullu, we spotted the B-RV crashed into drain gutter. Front axle was broken and there was no way to pull the car to the road. The occupants were safe and one of their members had already gone for help.

More alert than before, we resumed our journey past the checkpost and towards Diskit. Lunch was from ‘Punchok Wangdus’ hotel. Amused by the influence of a movie, we had some mediocre noodles for lunch and resumed our journey to Diskit.

Sandy dunes of Hunder
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Bactrian camel
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The hotel in Diskit where were booked in could not accommodate us for some reason and they arranged another alternative place at Hotel Oltang. Only downer was that we were allotted on the third floor and had to climb the stairs. But it was a boon in disguise as I could shoot Milky Way without going out of the hotel premises. Since power supply was available only for 3 hours a day from 7pm to 10pm, the entire area was lit only by the constellation after that.

Stairway to milkyway
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Day 12
Diskit – Turtuk – Thang – Hunder – Diskit.
Distance covered – 215kms

Road to Turtuk was desolate except for several Military Camps.
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The only village we crossed was Bogdang and that 100 kms seemed like taking forever. We chose Turtuk Holiday Resort for lunch break as advised by HVK.

At Turtuk
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Once there, we realized our mistake for choosing the hotel in Diskit to stay. The resort was beautifully done.

Baltic cuisine for lunch.
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At the military checkpost at Thang manned by the Maratha regiment, we were required to deposit our IDs and then covered the final 5 kms ‘under enemy observation’ till the last military post.
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At the post, we were briefed about the enemy posts and locations. We were also shown the Line of Control. A quick look at our current position in google maps and we realized ‘how far we were’ from that meticulously drawn border in Social Studies examination back in the school.
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Parting shot
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We then called it a day and returned to Diskit.

Nearing Hunder
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Fuelled up from the one and only fuel station.
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Sunset at Diskit
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Strange enough, the town didn’t have a public telephone booth to make an ISD call!

Day 13
Diskit – Tangste - Pangong Tso – Tangste
Distance covered – 220 Kms

As advised by HVK, we left early so as to avoid any high water crossings. Breakfast was hence, the snacks we carried all the way from home. A brief stop at Agam for coffee and we were good to go.
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Roads were challenging with arrow shot stretches, steep climbs, hairpin bends, no roads and water crossings all in one leg. We hit traffic block at first water crossing as an Innova was stuck. It was soon cleared and vehicles started moving. Since it was our first crossing we were a very nervous and thus no videos. However, thankfully, the car sailed through it without any drama.

Our permits were checked at Tangste and we checked in at our stay in Pangong residency at Tangste and then proceeded to Pangong Tso.

Changpa goat-herder combing a goat to collect wool. Unlike other wool, Pashmina goats are combed to obtain wool fiber.
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First view of the Harrier....
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and first view of the Pangong tso
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Pangong was brimming with tourists and we managed to find a place for lunch. We drove farther towards Spangmik and found a quiet place to take a break.

Pangong Tso
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Some birding too

Brown headed gull of Pangong Tso. A migratory bird which return to cold high altitude places for breeding and migrate to coastal areas during winter.
(Some similarities there between us?)
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Brahminy duck or Ruddy shelduck at Pangong Tso
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Our steed looking at the Tso
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Panorama of the Tso
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Later we returned to the happening place of Pangong Tso for customary photo session amidst filmy tourist shenanigans and we bid farewell to the amazing blue lake we’ve ever seen.

Somewhere near Chilam
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At Chilam
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It was by evening that we returned to the hotel in Tangste. Power was available only for three hours in Tangste also. Dinner was decent vegetarian buffet and with nothing much to do, we retired early.

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Old 7th March 2019, 00:27   #6
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Day 14
Tangste – Leh
Distance covered

Morning was spent leisurely.

A part of Tangste village from the hotel (ignore the time stamp).
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After a nice breakfast, we returned to Leh.

Approaching Chang la
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Near Chemery Gompa
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View of Stakna Monastery
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Lunch was at Hotel Chamba and we visited the Thiksey Monastery.

Maithreya Buddha at Thiksey Monastery
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Views from Thiksey Monastery
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Later we checked in to the same hotel in Leh where we had stayed earlier. Did some shopping at Leh market, had dinner at Rice Bowl Restaurant and retired for the day.

Parting shot of Leh Market
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We had revised our plan slightly to cut down one day, which was kept for rest and planned to leave early.

Day 15
Leh – Keylong
Distance covered

We had an early morning start by 4.30am. One of my cousins had planned to fly back from Leh and stayed back. The decision to cut down a day’s rest came in heavily on me. I was at wheel and soon after the check post at Leh border, I felt dizzy. Promptly handed over the wheel to my brother. later somewhere on the passes, I passed out and we took medical help at a military aid post.

I was given oxygen and they helped to set up the oxygen cylinder and mask, which we were carrying. We commenced our journey and Gata Loops and More Plains just fainted away. Others were very much worried that should my condition worsen they they wouldn't be able to do anything. Earliest was to reach Keylong for any decent medical help. We ate some home made snacks and fruit jam for lunch as all the hotels in Sarchu was closed for some sort of strike.

As we crossed in to Himachal Pradesh, I showed some signs of improvement.

Approaching Zing Zing Bar
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d15-1.jpg

Got into a huge pile up of traffic at Zing Zing Bar as a couple of vehicles were stuck in the water crossing. Scorpio, however made through it without any drama.

At Bara Lacha La we had snow
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d15-3.jpg

And rains and landslide at Dracha. BRO was clearing landslide and vehicles were stuck in slush. We managed through it with only a hit on the side step.

Approaching Keylong
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d15-2.jpg

Mobile network was down in all the villages due to a power outage. By evening we made it to Hotel Hill View at Keylong. The old man running the hotel was very courteous and helpful. Food was served in the room and I called it a day with curd and rice.

Day 16
Keylong Manali
Distance covered 108 kms

We started leisurely, partly due to my health condition and still expected to make it to Manali by afternoon. But we were in for a surprise at the fuel station in Thandi. The generator there had a breakdown and was awaiting parts. Although we had some 20lts of fuel in can and more than a quarter of diesel in tank, we were apprehensive of reaching Manali should there be any roadblock enroute. Hence, decided to stay put for fuel. More than 3 hours later and from a few vehicles to a huge crowd, the generator started working. Amidst the resulting chaos, managed to fuel up and weaved out of the traffic mayhem. We hit another roadblock due to landslide during the ascent to Rohtang and BRO was clearing it.

Lunch at Rohthang was simple fare with Mom’s snacks coming in handy. By evening we managed to roll into Manali and to those two precious letters on mobile screen – ‘3G’. Without much difficulty, we reached our stay for the night at Ride Inn.

Ride Inn
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Stay at Ride Inn was very comfortable and food was excellent. We wanted to stay a day more only for the ambience and the hospitality of Mr. Godwin. Highly recommended place if you are in Manali.

Day 17
Manali Chandigarh
Distance covered 346 kms

Morning start was once again leisurely, as we wanted to stay longer.

Enjoyed this Pohe
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d17-1.jpg

Result - we experienced the infamous Manali traffic block. Once past Mandi, we always thought things would get better from next town. But the ghat section, road works, winding roads at Swarghat section - all were tiresome. In Punjab we did pick up some speed but only to be stopped by cops at Karar. By 10pm we reached Treebo SM Residency at Zirakpur and crashed for the day.

Day 18
Chandigarh – Agra
Distance covered

It was again a late start after breakfast from SM Residency. My cousin had preponed his flight out of Chandigarh for that day. Thus leaving it to two brothers for rest of the journey. We had an early lunch at Haveli somewhere near Delhi. Traffic was maddening and after a bit of deviation, we finally made it to Yamuna Express Way. Had they provided an access from Eastern Peripheral Highway it would have been much easier. We reached Agra by evening and checked into our hotel booked by CHD.

Day 19
Agra – Narasinghpur
Distance covered

We would be the only two fellows on earth who missed Taj Mahal even while staying next to it. We woke up late and then had to regretfully skip the planned 6am visit to Taj Mahal.

Agra – Gwalior – Jhansi roads are nothing special and progress was slow. Agra – Gwalior was busy, and Gawlior – Jhansi roads in not so good condition.

Somewhere in Gawlior
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d19-1.jpg

Once past Jhansi, we could pick up speed and aimed for Chindwara. But by 3pm we realized Chindwara would be a far cry and as advised by HVK, we docked at Narsinghpur. Took an evening stroll in the town and returned to the hotel and crashed for the day.
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Old 7th March 2019, 00:49   #7
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Day 20
Narsinghpur - Kurnool
Distance covered – 1023 kms

We had an early start and soon we crossed Chindwara and through the buffer areas of famous Pench Tiger reserve.

Early morning views
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d20-1.jpg

Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d20-2.jpg

Wait for the Water
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d20-3.jpg

Father son duo
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d20-4.jpg

A woman waiting to cross a busy highway. Reminds of a recent movie starring Akshay Kumar.
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Wrinkles reveal the struggle
Frail lives of slender life
Fare for sustenance
Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome-d20-6.jpg

It looked like it rained in the previous days, as weather was bearable. Bypassed Nagpur and by 4pm, we took the magnificent outer ring road of Hyderabad. Highways in Telengana was a delight. It was EiD but unfortunately instead of a sumptous Hyderabadi Biriyani, we had to satisfy our hunger at a Dhaba. By 9.30pm, we reached Kurnool and checked into the hotel booked by CHD.

Day 21
Kurnool – Kollam
Distance covered – 2524 kms

Left Kurnool by 7am. Roads were not bad but not in the league of Nagpur – Hyderabad stretch. We had our breakfast somewhere near Gooty, which happened to be the first South Indian food since we left Bangalore 20 days before.

We were astounded by the humungous factory being constructed by Kia Motors a little away from Ananthapur. It is definitely set to change the landscape of an otherwise sleepy town.

Traffic built up as we neared Bangalore and we circumvented the city as much as possible and had lunch from Hosur at a vegetation restaurant in Reliance fuel station.

Salem greeted us with Mangoes. Both sides of the highway were lined with makeshift shops selling Mangoes and it would be a crime not to buy some King of fruits.

By late evening we crossed over into Kerala and didn’t find it necessary to take a night halt hence decided to drive through. At Cochin, we literally waded through a thunderstorm and little did we knew then that it would later wreck havoc causing floods. At Cherthalai, the rains subsided and we took a break at CCD.

Since then we made steady progress, as the traffic was thin except for maverick trucks and Volvos. By 3.30am next morning, we finally reached back home safely.

Note of Thanks.
This journey wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our family, stupendous and unparalleled support from and CHD, encouragement from fellow tbhpian Allen, endless inspiring travelogues in tbhp of legendary travellers tsk, laluks, and other fellow tbhpians. And above all, thanking almighty for a trouble free journey and returning safely.

Special mention for the guiding star HVK Sir for his continuous and untiring support and guidance which made as feel comfortable throughout the journey even in unknown territories. Never for a moment we worried about getting an accommodation and CHD was prompt in finding nearest decent place. The initial plan was to go via Manali and we changed the plan at Chandigarh to take Srinagar route (that explains the planning).

Preparations.
The trip was almost an impromptu that preparations were completed in two weeks with tyres coming in just 2 days before the journey.
• Vehicle – 2012 Scorpio Automatic 4x4
Serviced, several runs to the service center to rectify one or the other thing (thanks to my
brother to do those runs)
• New tyres – Michelin LTX Force
• Medicines – a mini pharmacy store complete with oxygen cylinder
• Spare parts – belts, air filter, spare new battery, jack,
• Food - biscuits, chocolates, dry fruits, home made snacks,
• Water – 20 ltrs can + 5 ltr thermos
• Spare can for diesel (Jersey can ordered from Olive planet arrived when we were in Leh)
• Multi tool ordered from Olive Planet arrived while we were returning.
• Portable gas stove (Hans) ordered from Amazon arrived 2 days before we returned.
• Tyre inflator – a last minute ditch from someone who promised to spare a tyre inflator left us
at the mercy of fate. For the entire journey we did not have a puncture kit and tyre inflator!
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Old 7th March 2019, 01:12   #8
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Note from Support: Thread moved out from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 7th March 2019 at 01:13.
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Old 7th March 2019, 06:36   #9
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Congratulations for completing a circuit that's on any motorhead's mind. Inwas just browsing through and i thought "oh! Another Leh travelogue!" But then the last word of the title caught me. The Monochrome had me read the travelogue entirely. Many colours or just B&W, Kashmir looks just as beautiful. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story.

Isn't Kurnool to Kollam 1000 odd kms? where did you do the remaining 1500kms on the last day?

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 7th March 2019 at 11:54. Reason: typo
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Old 7th March 2019, 09:59   #10
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Another beautiful travelogue of Leh. Congratulations, well written, engaging, especially the introduction with "all iz well" is beautiful.

Usually when we meet and greet people, colleagues or friends, we ask "how are you". Instead, I have a habit of using the phrase "All is well ?" (not really inspired from 3 idiots but a literal Hindi translation of "Sab Teek Taak ?"). Since this is not another mundane greeting, it spices up a bit and people reply innovatively too. Some of the hilarious reply I get is like "All is hell", "All is in the well", "we are all in well". One such answer bowled me off, a friend replied, "All has to be well"

Anyway, driving up all the way up from Kerala to Nubra is big thing. Such long journeys testify level of perseverance.

The monochrome has taken a whole different dimension. It reminded me of Ansel Adams one of the pioneers of landscape photography who considered monochrome as more expressive than color photography. For example your Chilam photograph has resemblance to Ansel's famous snake river.

Ansel Adams: Snake River (1942)
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Wish you great travels.

Last edited by aah78 : 8th March 2019 at 22:51. Reason: Image(s) fixed.
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Old 7th March 2019, 11:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Congratulations for completing a circuit that's on any Motorhead's mind. Inwas just browsing through and i thought "oh! Another Leh travelogue!" But then the last word of the title caught me. The Monochrome had me read the travelogue entirely. Many colours or just B&W, Kashmir looks just as beautiful. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story.
Thank you Hemanth. I completely agree with you on the beauty of Kashmir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Isn't Kurnool to Kollam 1000 odd kms? where did you do the remaining 1500kms on the last day?
Thank you Hemant for pointing out the typo. Im not sure where that figure came from. It must be well under 1050kms. I will refer my log book once again and request the mods to do the correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
Another beautiful travelogue of Leh. Congratulations, well written, engaging, especially the introduction with "all iz well" is beautiful.

Usually when we meet and greet people, colleagues or friends, we ask "how are you". Instead, I have a habit of using the phrase "All is well ?" (not really inspired from 3 idiots but a literal Hindi translation of "Sab Teek Taak ?"). Since this is not another mundane greeting, it spices up a bit and people reply innovatively too. Some of the hilarious reply I get is like "All is hell", "All is in the well", "we are all in well". One such answer bowled me off, a friend replied, "All has to be well"

Anyway, driving up all the way up from Kerala to Nubra is big thing. Such long journeys testify level of perseverance.

The monochrome has taken a whole different dimension. It reminded me of Ansel Adams one of the pioneers of landscape photography who considered monochrome as more expressive than color photography. For example your Chilam photograph has resemblance to Ansel's famous snake river.

Ansel Adams snake river 1942
Attachment 185655
image source

Wish you great travels.
Thank you @Thermodynamics for the kind words.

One thing that worried me before the journey was whether I will be able to endure all the challenges in long distance driving. It was like testing one's own fears. Thankfully, 'all was well'. Speaking about that I had a habit of asking 'all well?' while greeting someone.

Sirji, I'm humbled by your reference to pioneers. Thanks for the encouragement.

Last edited by navin : 7th March 2019 at 11:52. Reason: typo in quote
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Old 7th March 2019, 14:24   #12
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Hey mate thoroughly enjoyed your journey of life. Once we start reading the post of the hills there is no stopping. Wishing you many more such journeys which keep pushing us towards the Himalayas.

Hope your health is all good, was it momentary loss of oxygen levels due to height.
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Old 7th March 2019, 16:47   #13
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A very interesting write up. The best thing about travelogues and a nice travelogue is to let the well interspersed pictures help in creating an imagery in the reader's mind and that is why one can't help stop reading it.
Had fun going through it.
Your Scorpio is serving you well
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Old 7th March 2019, 20:33   #14
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Congratulations on the trip, its awesome to see the mono pictures and I just re-lived our entire trip which we did in July last year.

I had momentary loss of oxygen during our drive towards Hanle from Pangong Tso, infact it lasted about 2 minutes as I got out of the car to take some pictures and Nat was listening to songs he didnt notice, from the time I dragged myself back to car and Nat trying to figure out whats the problem I felt I was almost done , thankfully the only 500ml Oxy cylinder helped me.

Hope you are fine now and enjoying the moments.
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Old 8th March 2019, 11:05   #15
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Default Re: Kollam to Khardung La - A journey in monochrome

I never miss any Travelogue on the Ladakh region. These monochromes are amazing. It was great to see Ladakh region from a different point of view.

Thanks for this travelogue with amazing photographs.
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