Team-BHP > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th October 2018, 20:09   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,524
Thanked: 1,232 Times
Default Mana: The final frontier

Mana, a name which has hung around like a proverbial Shangrila for quite some time. Some of the people have made it in reality, while some have claimed to have done it, but the claims need to be taken with a pinch of Salt. The route from the Mana Village up to the pass is treacherous to say the least. From starting at the Mana village, the first pitstop is the Ghastauli check post. This is the point most people make it to and from here onwards the details become sketchy and the pictures even sketchier as you are made to surrender your cameras and phones with the ITBP guys here at Ghastauli.

Further, before I evoke the reactions on posting of some of the pictures beyond Ghastauli, here on the forum, please note that the pictures shall be posted without any cross referencing geo points to make them unidentifiable to anyone who has not done that track. Further, this particular border is the most peaceful and sleepy of the lot and but still the pictures and narration shall have no reference to our fellow brethren in Green posted there.

Now comes the moot question. Did I finally make it to the Pass? No, I could not because despite the best laid plans and the preparations, the nature had other plans. The road was snowed out and due to a broken down bulldozer, thereby causing one full day delay in clearing, we could only make it up to about 5 kms from the Pass. The elevation is crazy, the scenery spell binding. Now as to the logistics of it all:
1. For making it up the pass there is a holy trinity of permissions.
A. You apply to the DM office for the permissions. They recommend and forward it to the ITBP. Who in turn forward the same to the Army. Anyone of them on any given day can play spoilsport and your entire planning is doomed.
B. Ordinarily no permissions are given as the entire stretch passes through the Nanda Devi Bio Reserve, however, permissions till Ghastauli are more readily given, as from there goes the High Altitude Treks towards Kedarnath and Gomukh.
C. Even with all the permissions in hand, the movement beyond Ghastauli is controlled with the weather conditions prevalent beyond towards the Pass and 7 times out of 10 they are not conducive. Many a tales abound where after a lot of pleading and cajoling, many a bikers have been taken along in the back of the GREF truck as the bikes could not cross the Pagal Nallah.

Now, with the above perspective in mind, I shall take you through the entire journey in a sequential manner. For the first post here are some of the customary teaser pictures:

Mana: The final frontier-ghastauli.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-beyond-ghastauli.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-naagtaal.jpg

Ever since I read Laluk's trip log to Mana pass, the pass had etched itself into the sub conscious. Then an opportunity presented itself to attempt the Mana Pass. The details were to reach Dehradun in the evening from Chandigarh and then next day with my younger brother and his family joining us, we would proceed to Badrinath. Aim one was to take the Parents to Badrinath and get them started on the 4 dham pilgrimage. They have already been to Puri, so it was strike two and this December plan is to take them to Dwarka.

Anyway, with the various threads tied up the journey was started from Chandigarh and went as follows:

Day 1:

Chandigarh 83834; 1730 hrs.
Naraingarh 83899;1825 hrs.
KalaAmb 83909; 1840 hrs.
Paonta Sahib 83964; 2055 hrs.
Dehradun 84018; 2200 hrs.

The road conditions are good with some bad and broken patches in between.

Day 2:
The real journey started from Dehradun with Mana as the target. Plan was to reach Joshimath for the night and next day start for Mana village. Have darshan at Badrinath temple during the evening and next day attempt the Mana pass. The roads beyond Rishikesh are in a mess with widening works going on. There are few stoppages due to landslides and road clearing works. The detailed log is as follows:

Dehradun 84018; 0750 hrs.
Doiwala 84042; 0840 hrs. About 20 mins were wasted crossing the Mohkampur Railway crossing. However, now the overbridge is functional and its no longer a bottleneck.
Rishikesh 84064; 0920 hrs. The broken roads and dusty driving conditions started and made driving a pain.
Shivpuri 84080; 0955. Stopped for Tea at a sleepy and useless place called Dalchini. Started back at 1030 and reached Kaudiala 84103 at 1125 hrs.
Devprayag 84133 at 1300 hrs. Included was 2 stoppages for about an hour for road clearing works.
Stopped for Lunch at Srinagar 84166 at 1440 hrs.Road conditions were acceptable from here on.
Rudraprayag 84201 at 1535 hrs.
Chamoli 84263 at 1810 hrs. Tanked up here as I was driving on the reserve for the last 20 odd kms.
Joshimath 84314 at 2000 hrs was going to be our pitstop for the day.

Day 3:

Joshimath 84314 at 0900 hrs to reach the Mana Village 84361 at 1115 hrs.
With the sad news coming in that the area is presently restricted to only a certain class of people and therefore, it wont be possible to take the families upto Mana, alternate arrangements were made and the rest of the day was spent visiting the Mana village and Badrinath temple.

Day 4:

Me and brother left early for a dash to Mana Pass, but had to return back 5 kms short of the pass as the road was still snowed out and the dozer was yet to clear the stretch. It took us a better part of the day to return back to Mana and in the afternoon, we left for Rudraprayag at 1425 hrs.
Joshimath 84414 at 1605 hrs.
Helam 84427 at 1640 hrs.
Pipalkoti 84448 at 1800 hrs
Chamoli 84460 at 1830 hrs.
Nandprayag 84475 at 1900 hrs.
Karanprayag 84494 at 1930 hrs.
Gauchar 84504 at 2000 hrs.
Finally, Rudraprayag 84527 at 2035 hrs.

Day 5:

The plan was to reach Chandigarh today and we left at around 0840 hrs after a heavy breakfast.
Srinagar 84560 at 0940 hrs.
Devprayag 84597 at 1055 hrs.
Shivpuri 84654 at 1300 hrs. Tanked up here as there is no fuel bunk between Devprayag and Shivpuri. I had not anticipated it and the GV had the reserve light on since Devprayag. Low FE coupled with slow moving and stop go traffic gave us some very anxious moments.
We reached Rishikesh 84664 at 1315 hrs and missed the byepass to get stuck in the horrific traffic inside.
Reached Dehradun 84708 at 1430 and then the twist in the tale happened. My brothers scorpio had suffered a puncture at Rishikesh Byepass and I was getting some horrific grinding noise from my front left tyre since Devprayag.
While the parents were having tea, me and brother decided to investigate the noise and took the tyre off. To our horror we realised that one of the brake shoe was completely devoid of the pad and the metal was grinding against the rotor. Decided to replace the pads and went looking into the town but it being a Sunday, we failed to find the desired part.
Called up my source at Chandigarh who fortunately had them in stock. Got my father's driver to procure the part and bring it over. He reached around 0800 hrs the next morning and it took me and my brother about 2 hours to replace the pads, with the majority of the time spent in trying to figure out on how to push back the brake pistons without the brake tool. Finally, decided to de pressurise the brake lines and then push back the pistons. Bled the front two brake lines and mounted the pads. Checked that everything was working perfectly, started back for Chandigarh at around 1100 hrs and reached home by 1400 hrs.

Now some interesting facts about all those who want to do Mana pass.

1. Not doable easily as it involves a complex system of permissions.
a) It being a reserve area, first of all you need to show that it is some kind of an expedition and then apply to the SDM Joshimath for the permission. Individual permissions are not granted normally.
b) Once SDM permits then the same is forwarded to the Army through the ITBP, which then allows the movement of vehicles beyond Mana Village.

2. The road till Ghastoli (13652 ft) from Mana village about 20 kms is doable by most vehicles with a high GC but at some places may need to engage 4X4.
3. Beyond Ghastoli till Rattakona (15744 ft), about 15 kms, is an OP track meant solely for Military Grade Vehicles. It is tough, harsh and unforgiving terrain. The High Altitude coupled with Pagal Nullah makes it the most demanding stretch of the route. Pagal Nullah makes it impossible at times for any vehicle except a 2.5 tonner to cross. Most of the bikers cross this stretch by paying money to GREF guys to ferry the bikes across.
4. At TriJunction (17300 ft) the road to the Pass moves right onwards in the valley from where the Pass is then about 8 kms. This last stretch is once again not doable by a normal vehicle.
5. Preferred mode of travel is a bike as it is easy to manoeuvre in that terrain of huge rocks and loose soil however, if the glacial melt streams are raging, there is no way a bike will see you across.

The area being sensitive, I am not posting any major details but will be happy to answer any specific queries that you may have on the route details.

Ghastoli is the place where the trek towards Harsil on the Gangotri Axis separates from the Mana Pass trek/route.

Last edited by GTO : 8th November 2019 at 10:06. Reason: As requested
wanderernomad is offline   (15) Thanks
Old 23rd October 2019, 17:24   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,524
Thanked: 1,232 Times
Default Re: Mana Pass- A pilgrimage to Badrinath and Beyond.

Some of the videos just to show the route conditions.

wanderernomad is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 4th June 2021, 15:30   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,524
Thanked: 1,232 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Ill let the pictures do the talking now.

1. This is over the River Alaknanda. The old bridge for pedestrian crossing got washed out and now there is anew higher bridge for you to cross over.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0345.jpg

2. Man's trusted friend could also be found keeping us company here.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0374.jpg

3. The towering peaks in the background at Mana Village

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0405.jpg

4. That is the original road leading upto the Village but it got damaged in landslides and work was underway to clear it up along with the new alignment for the road to Ghastoli enroute the Mana Pass.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0411.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0412.jpg

5. The different vistas along the road to Mana Pass.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0414.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0415.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0416.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0418.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0419.jpg

6. This small trickle of snow melt becomes a raging torrent just a few kms downstream.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0432.jpg

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0507.jpg


7. The yellow beaked Himalayan Crow or ravens are the only birds that we could see at these heights.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0441.jpg

8. This is Pagal Nullah. Its glacial melt and has resisted all attempts by BRO to tame it. After many years of studying the flow patterns the BRO made a causeway and a culvert to ease passage. That very year it changed its patch and emerged 500 meters further up stream and continues to play havoc due to flash floods. The culvert also got destroyed by the massive boulders.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0470.jpg

9. The topography changes and the valley narrows as we approach the pass.

Looking down towards Ghastoli.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0451.jpg

The road leading upto the final approach.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0452.jpg

Towards the Pass.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0462.jpg

10. The Iconic Chopper at Ghastoli. It is said that the crash happened on Karwa Chauth Day (when women keep fast for the long life of their husbands) and despite severe loss of equipment, not a single life was lost. Had it gone just another 10 mtrs to the right all would have been lost but the chopper fell on a narrow strip of high ground between two deep ditches.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0475.jpg

11. Naga Tal on the trek route towards Gangotri from Ghastoli.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0497.jpg

12. The road coming up from Mana and crossing the river at the point it disappears under the rocks. It is said that Army lost a 3 ton here with 5 men and despite best efforts and with Navy Divers nothing could be located.

Mana: The final frontier-dsc_0502.jpg

Last edited by wanderernomad : 4th June 2021 at 15:39.
wanderernomad is offline   (20) Thanks
Old 5th June 2021, 07:13   #4
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 61,291
Thanked: 205,657 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 5th June 2021, 07:55   #5
BHPian
 
Rangy62's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Dubai/Bangalore
Posts: 38
Thanked: 46 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

The yellow billed crow you mentioned is called Alpine chough or yellow billed chough. Yes it does belong to the crow family and found only in high altitudes.
Rangy62 is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 5th June 2021, 11:52   #6
BHPian
 
tilt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Canada / B'lore
Posts: 487
Thanked: 1,204 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
Does this thread hold the record for the longest time spent between writing and publishing?

Cheers
tilt is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 5th June 2021, 22:42   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,524
Thanked: 1,232 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
Does this thread hold the record for the longest time spent between writing and publishing?

Cheers
Haha, I hope not mate. Actually editing to keep the sensitive information apart became tedious and then COVID came and got stuck up. Still processing some more Pics and Vids and hopefully a couple of other Tlogs will also see the light of the day now. Cheers.
wanderernomad is offline  
Old 6th June 2021, 15:07   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 6,535
Thanked: 15,832 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

One picture for you from 2019, when my Kungfu Panda Sr. went all the way up
Mana: The final frontier-fb_img_1622972082982.jpg

Never wrote about this adventure so far
laluks is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 6th June 2021, 19:56   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,524
Thanked: 1,232 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
One picture for you from 2019, when my Kungfu Panda Sr. went all the way up

Never wrote about this adventure so far
Nice shot mate. I had to turn back about a km short as it was all snowed in and the Road Clearing machinery had broken down.
wanderernomad is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 6th June 2021, 23:54   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,524
Thanked: 1,232 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Another video of the road conditions and crossing the Pagal Nullah.

wanderernomad is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 7th June 2021, 07:57   #11
BHPian
 
Shivanshu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ghaziabad
Posts: 216
Thanked: 320 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Well very interesting, I was one of the lucky person to have driven out their along with @laluks. it was a well deserved breathtaking memorable trip.

Thanks for reviving the good old memories.
@laluks I think we need to plan something more interesting.
Shivanshu is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 7th June 2021, 11:55   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 6,535
Thanked: 15,832 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shivanshu View Post
Well very interesting, I was one of the lucky person to have driven out their along with @laluks. it was a well deserved breathtaking memorable trip.

Thanks for reviving the good old memories.
@laluks I think we need to plan something more interesting.
Yes Shivanshu, waiting for this exisiting scenarios to subside, and what other stuff than meeting friends at the mountains can passify us down
laluks is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th June 2021, 13:29   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Gurugram
Posts: 6
Thanked: 39 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

This travelogue is epic, I have always had a fascination with travelling to the unknown frontiers too, and that dream is finally coming true as this month we are planning to travel to Kullu and Leh(My family of four). So as our Triber has not proven to have an affinity of long distance travel,just asking if the Hector plus is good for long distance travel(reliable too).
twin-turbo is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th June 2021, 14:14   #14
BHPian
 
ruzbehxyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Bombay
Posts: 929
Thanked: 2,846 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Mana, a name which has hung around like a proverbial Shangrila for quite some time. Some of the people have made it in reality, while some have claimed to have done it, but the claims need to be taken with a pinch of Salt.
Just for the record, in Sep./ Oct. 2014, a Mahindra Thar and Suzuki V storm 1000 did the trip to Mana pass. The bike refused to start at 16000 feet and the Thar went upto Deo taal.

The report was published in Evo magazine in Oct. 2014 issue.

Full story here: https://www.pressreader.com/india/ev...86126429335071

Last edited by ruzbehxyz : 7th June 2021 at 14:16.
ruzbehxyz is offline  
Old 7th June 2021, 14:18   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
wanderernomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chandigarh
Posts: 2,524
Thanked: 1,232 Times
Default Re: Mana: The final frontier

Yes, this is what got me interested. On the whole bikers have had more luck in driving this road than the 4wheeler guys. The BRO guys have stories where they have loaded the bikes and riders to get them across certain notorious parts.
wanderernomad is offline   (2) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks