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Old 28th May 2024, 19:14   #1
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Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Pune-Leh-Pune: Unforgettable Roads & Terrains - BMW X3 Expedition



Why Leh?
In 2022 after a soft offroading in Lonavala, I was glancing through team bhp and came across Leh Travelogue. The travelogue by Worldcrawler is world-class, exceptionally well illustrated with pictures. Inspired by this, I was motivated to make the trip happen in 2023, but got postponed to 2024.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...in-passes.html (Fairy tale of a Bimmer - Bangalore to the land of high mountain passes)

Brief Intro
I’m a passionate driver who has owned five cars in the past 15 years, and I currently own a BMW X3 and a VW GT TSI 1.2. I have completed several long trips, including Pune-Bandipur-Pune (Karnataka), Pune-Bangalore-Pune, Pune-Rajasthan-Pune, Pune-Goa-Pune, Delhi-Mussoorie-Delhi, Delhi-Corbett-Kausani-Nainital-Delhi, as well as many shorter trips.
While planning my next adventure, I consulted a few friends and found another enthusiastic motorist who once went out for a cup of tea in Pune and ended up driving to Hyderabad. He's done such spontaneous trips many times. We both teamed up well and did 50-50 driving.
We also had a third driving partner who unfortunately had to drop out for valid reasons and that's where our families joined us in Leh (Pune-Delhi-Leh flight)

Summary
We embarked on a 17-day journey from Pune to Leh and back, from May 3rd to May 19th, 2024. During this trip, we covered 6,415 kilometres (3,986 miles) of driving - Pune-Indore-Delhi-Jammu-Sonmarg-Leh and back via the same route.
Our altitude ranged from 570 metres to 5,384 metres, reaching heights 20 metres above the Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
The minimum temperature during our trip was -2 degrees Celsius one night, and we travelled extensively in temperatures around 2.5 degrees Celsius. It was a great, fun-filled adventure.

Expedition Highlights
  • By Road or Flight, high altitude sickness can always happen and differs from person to person - acclimatise properly.
  • Should not drive in desert dust so that the car's Air Filter is not clogged with dust.
  • UPI is accepted everywhere (95% of times we used GPay), carrying cash is good to have.
  • If cold, do not turn the heat to maximum, because the room heater uses Oxygen and it consumes more oxygen from the enclosed room - causing breathing difficulty
  • Keep sipping warm water.
  • Use sunscreen as the skin burns in 1 day.
  • Have the doctor’s recommended dose of Diamox if needed.
  • People and culture of Leh are amazing, helpful and down to earth people.
  • Giving lifts and taking lifts is very normal in Leh.

Preparation
We did not book enroute hotel, we only booked hotels in Leh. We kept one extra buffer day before Leh, in case roads are closed.
All 4 tires were changed before the trip at Darshan tires, Baner, Pune. These are upgraded tires for X3 from 245/50/R19 to 255/50/R19
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_6957.jpg

Pictures

This is from Sonmarg
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00030.jpg

Grazing horses in Sonmarg
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00048.jpg
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7174.jpg

Open Door Policy in Baltal
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00126.png

This is after Zoji La Pass is crossed.
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7409.jpg

This is after Zoji La Pass
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7424.jpg

Internet speed in Leh, yes one can do work from hotel/resort
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7479-copy.png

Leh, View from Hotel's terrace
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7478.jpg

Hall of Fame in Leh
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7565.jpg

Sun's Halo
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7582.jpg

Khadungla Top, Blu's achievement to reach there.
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7598.jpg

Directions on Khardungla Top
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7616.jpg

Cold Desert
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_7854.jpg

Sand in Nubra Valley
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00331-copy.jpg

This is in Nubra Valley
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-hunder.jpg

Double hump Bactrian camels in Nubra Valley
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-986ee586d0b3427d8f3eb0522442e98b-copy.jpg

Horses in Pangong Tso
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00446-copy.jpg

Blu posing itself in Pangong Tso
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00442-copy.jpg

Beautiful Blue colours in Pangong Tso
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00552-copy.jpg

Frozen lake (Yaya Tso) on the way to Hanle Observatory
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_8287.jpg

Check out the zig zag track on the way to Hanle Observatory
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-screenshot-20240528-6.15.458239pm.png

Red fox clicked on the way to Hanle
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-red-fox.jpg

This is Blu with the Observatory behind.
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-hanle.jpg

This is Gamma Ray Telescope in Hanle
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-dsc00639.jpg

On the pay to Pangong Tso, we stopped and crossed stream of rivers to click Yak's closeup picture.
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-yak.jpg

Yak's horn with Blu
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-img_8281.jpg

One of the petrol pumps
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-petrol.jpg








Detailed Journey
As they say, Ladakh has been inhabited since Stone Age times and it is of historic value. It’s a beautiful cold desert with rocks, snows and sand as it’s unmatched beauty. Every mountain tells a different story. The colours of mountain varies in different shades of Maroon, Brown, Black, etc


DAY 1: 3rd May, Pune to Indore (569 Kms, 11 hours)
We started at 7 am from Baner, Pune and reached Indore at 6 pm.
Lot of it was a bumpy ride because of narrow roads and potholes via villages because the google maps took us via Lasalgaon.
The route was: Pune-Chakan-Sangamner-Lasalgaon-Malegaon-Dhule-Indore
Via Nashik is a better road which skips Lasalgaon and takes us via Nashik, which we realised while coming back. Nashik has flyovers and there was hardly any traffic jam.
The roads in MP were very good and unbelievable, smooth and not at all bumpy. Their cement roads were better too as compared to many states.

DAY 2: 4th May, Indore to Delhi (830 kms, 11 hours)
Left Indore at 7 am and reached Delhi at 6 pm.
Indore-Ujjain-Agar-Jhalrapatan-Kota-Delhi
Again the MP and Rajasthan roads were a lot better.
This route was via NE4 and Western/Eastern Peripheral Expy. NE4 experience was great, very less traffic and only food courts nearer to Delhi were open which was a challenge.
Instead of somewhere in Gurugram we went to my uncle's house in Gurjinder Vihar in Greater Noida. My uncle had served in the Indian Army and was posted in Leh for 2.5 years, hearing out a few Ladakhi stories was mesmerising.


DAY 3: 5th May, Delhi to Jammu (660 kms, 11 hours 30 mins)
We left Delhi at 6:30 am and reached Jammu by 6 pm.
On the way we had to cross via Punjab’s village because the farmer protest was still on with complete roadblock on the highway. It was a real rural experience with no roads and farmlands.
Weather in Jammu was like Pune, hot and steady. The highway work was still going on so a long 1 way stretch was used for both ways of traffic around Jammu.


DAY 4: 6th May, Jammu to Sonmarg (326 kms, 9 hours)
This was an exciting journey as it crossed via Udhampur, Ramban, Banihal and Awantipora, Srinagar and then Sonmarg.
We crossed through beautiful tunnels, one of them was approx 9 kms long and very well lit.
It is called Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel in Jammu which is the longest highway tunnel in India which connects Udhampur to Ramban in Jammu.
We left around 6:30 and reached Sonmarg around 3:30 am. So, we decided to venture further to Kargil.
But, After Sonmarg - the pass through the Snowy mountains is called Zojila Pass which is kind of a one way through many stretches. Zojila Pass route is open on alternate days, one day to go up (Sonmarg to Kargil) and another day to come down (Kargil to Sonmarg).

We crossed Sonmarg Check Post#1 (numbering is done by me and it’s not a check post number) and reached the Check Post#2 near Baltal (30 mins drive from Sonmarg). They said it’s not open and mostly will open tomorrow. But locals told us they allow many times, so we waited in Baltal area for 3 hours, which is close to Sind river.
We came back to Sonmarg and checked-in into the first available hotel, did not do a lot of research.

DAY 5: 7th May, Sonmarg
We got ready and left by 6:30 am and got stopped at Check Post#1 in Sonmarg. We waited there for 3 hours and somehow managed to cross Check Post#1 and reached Check Post #2 where they denied and asked us to stay at Baltal.
We waited for 11 hours that day, kept on checking at Check Post#2.
These 11 hours were beautiful, we had Maggi and Bread-Omelette at a Tapri.
By evening the office in charge pushed us back to Sonmarg.

DAY 6: 8th May, Sonmarg to Leh (338 kms, 7 hours)
We left by 6:30 and the queue was very long.
The cars which were coming from Kargil, I asked 4-5 local (Kashmiri and Ladakhi) drivers how the road was. They assured me that our cars could go easily and asked us to drive slowly and safely since the road is very bad.
After 3 hours (9:30 am) the check post opened the traffic. We passed through the Zojila Pass which we are calling Godzilla Pass, it was outstanding as 15 feet of snow walls on both sides and the road was cut through the middle by BRO (Border Road Organizations). Excellent work done by BRO.
The condition of those roads were like the roads in Pune and Mumbai during the rainy season and also otherwise. So, they were not very bad for us. Huge difference in road quality and expectations people have. They are getting used to BRO quality roads, they will get the shock of their lives if they look at Pune/Mumbai roads.
Near magnetic hill, few folks were enjoying their bikes in the mud. We too took our Blu for a spin which was a great experience, the car looked like leaving contrails behind like a Jet.

After Zoji La Pass


Bikers enjoying the Spin


Blu with contrails


DAY 7: 9th May, Leh
Today our family flew from Pune to Leh with a connecting flight from Delhi joined us and our number grew to 5. This day was spent as a rest day for everyone to adapt to the altitude.

DAY 8: 10th May, Leh
We visited the Leh market. I bought a leather jacket from a shop called Leather House. In the evening we went to Magnetic Hill .It is said that an optical illusion makes you see that you are travelling downhill instead of uphill. It is very famous, but it was the same as a normal road. My son did an ATV ride of a few kms which was INR1200.
While turning back, we again thought of going off road, but the ‘Engine check’ light started to shine. We were stressed about it the whole trip. More on that in the Extra notes and precautions at the end.
We met a mechanic named Thinley around 9:45 pm where he helped us connect the OBD port and reading the error in the laptop, he formidably charged us INR500 only. The warning was “Air Mass System, Plausibility: Measured Air Mass Too Low Compared With Calculated Air Mass (With Inactive Exhaust-Gas Recirculation)”. Very helpful and kind person.

ATV Ride, they claim it to be World's highest one, next to Magnetic Hill



DAY 9: 11th May, Leh to Nubra Valley (126 kms, 8 hours)
We left around 8 am and before Khardungla the roads were not great. There was a landslide and hence we had to wait 45 mins in a queue. We saw Halo as a ring on the sun, when the light refracts off ice crystals present in a thin veil of cirrus clouds. We connected with BMW service centre and they mentioned “As per technical team, the air supply intake is not proper, might be the air filter clogged, air tube pinched, or the level of Oxygen/air is low”
The top of Khardungla was cold and breezy. It was crowded so we couldn’t get a great picture. The roads going down from Khardungla Pass were okay but further ahead it was average. We stopped on the way to the World’s highest Go Karting.
After that, the road to Nubra was blocked for widening, so we had to travel through a dry river bed called Shyok. It was totally full of pebbles, so we nicknamed it Pebble Road. We drove for an hour on this kind of road and Blu took it easy.
Nubra Valley was beautiful with Snow Capped Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Muddy Mountains, Fine Grained Sand, River and Greenery - all in one place. There were sand dunes and patches of a grass-cactus type of plant surrounded by tall rocky mountains. We tried Ladakhi breakfast and tea.

Shyok River Crossing




DAY 10: 12th May, Nubra valley to Pangong Lake (180 kms, 8 hours)
The road was very poor, approx 60 kms was no road and we drove slowly. While we were close to Pangong Lake, the roads were extremely good.
We experienced light snowfall near the lake. Road was as good as ever. There were high winds and a lot of dust. It was very cold at night and sometimes it felt like the wind will blow the tent we lived in. Still living in a tent in the cold desert is an unforgettable experience. Pangong Lake was beautiful and felt untouched. We spent hours in the evening.
Pangong was very windy and cold in the night.

Drive to Pangong Tso


DAY 11: 13th May, Pangong lake to Han-le (154 kms, 7 hours)
We stopped by the lake again for scooter and bike pictures from 3 idiots. Left around 10 am from there for Hanle. We saw Yaks near snow, so we ran towards them to click pictures and crossed 2 small river streams where our shoes got wet. We had lunch in an Army Canteen in Nyoma. We reached Hanle around 6 pm. Han le was very cold. It is known for its observatory, but visitors are not allowed to talk to the staff or disturb them. The hotel we stayed in had no heaters and there was no electricity from 11pm to 6pm. Fortunately, the whole trip there did bear some fruit. We had an indirect connection with one of the scientists. He explained how the telescope works, but we couldn’t see real time images because we had to visit during the day since it was too cold at night. They declare 30 kms as Dark Sky Sanctuary in the night, so power was cut off from the grid. Only BSNL works in Hanle without the internet.

DAY 12: 14th May- Han-le to Leh (256 kms, 6 hours)
We were going to go to Tsomoriri after Han-le, but because of our experience in Han- le, we wanted to go somewhere warmer. So we went back to Leh since it was as far from Han-le as Tsomoriri was. In Leh, we went back to the market because it had been too much time away from any shop. Sadly we couldn’t shop as the shops closed early in Leh. We had dinner in a newly opened restaurant called ‘Zilla’s restaurant’. For all book lovers, there was an admirable collection of books.

DAY 13: 15th May, Leh
In the afternoon, we met Thinley again and he cleaned the air filter which was easy to take out and checked the warnings again on the OBD port and Phew, the warning was gone. Basically the Air filter had gathered dust, and air filter is the lungs for the engine where it was having problem breathing in (i.e. engine not getting enough Oxygen). We had lunch at Chef’s Kitchen in Leh market itself. Everyone loved the food. I recommend you give the place a visit. We found out that the Manali route is still blocked due to snow around Darcha, so the only way back was via Srinagar.

DAY 14: 16th May, Leh to Pune and Leh to Sonmarg
Our family left for Pune in the morning by flight and we drove to Kargil. Visited Kargil war memorial and then thought of taking a chance via Zojila pass. We reached the check post at 4:30 pm. This was not the dedicated day of Zojila Pass to come down (Kargil to Sonmarg). Around 7:00 pm they allowed us to pass through and we drove through white snow capped mountain in the night which was glowing like anything. The temperature was 2.5 degree and by then we had acclimatised to the cold weather. We crossed Zojila, there were both side traffics and someone managed the one way routes very well, so we had to stop by in a queue. We reached Sonmarg by 9 pm and checked into the same hotel.

DAY 15: 17th May, Sonmarg to Delhi (944 kms, 21 hours)
This was a 21 hour long stretched drive. Jammu’s hilly area was so badly blocked that it took 2 hours for which was supposed to be 30 mins. We reached Delhi around 3 am.

DAY 16: 18th May, Delhi to Indore (787 kms, 12 hours)
We got up a little late and reached Indore in time. The start was via NE4 (Delhi Mumbai Expy and then it rerouted outside Kota. The roads were pretty good while returning.

DAY 17: 19th May, Indore to Pune (605 kms, 12 hours)
We went via Nashik and skipped Lasalgaon, these roads were very good.

The trip is indeed over but the memories are everlasting. A dream journey which came true !
Attached Thumbnails
Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain-2.jpg  

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Old 29th May 2024, 09:57   #2
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Congratulations on completing the circuit, and thanks for detail travelogue.

I am planning to do a similar trip for last few years, and havent been lucky with it yet.

One interesting observation, I have seen many people taking via Manali route to Delhi, was there something interesting that made you choose return via sonmarg.

Also, if I remember it correctly circuit last year wasnt open in early May and hence we coudnt do it as Jun is almost time for schools to open after summer vacation. Is it always the case that we can to rely on May for doing this circuit.

Last edited by efgritesh : 29th May 2024 at 10:20.
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Old 29th May 2024, 10:24   #3
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Quote:
The trip is indeed over but the memories are everlasting. A dream journey which came true !
Beautiful pictures and well written travelogue! I always feel envious after seeing Leh pictures, a trip I have never managed to make myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GAPune View Post
Yak's closeup picture.
Attachment 2610274
This is outrageous though. (The inflicted political affiliation on poor animal).
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Old 29th May 2024, 10:30   #4
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Thanks efgritesh.

Good question - I missed that in my travelogue.

We wanted to go back to Pune via Manali to save hours. Atal Tunnel was open and the roads were accessible till Darcha. But due to heavy snowfall, for many days (I remember 5-6 days) that route was closed. (Keylong and Darcha were the blocking roads)
We enquired via hotel folks, because they have taxis coming via Manali. We have a friend near Manali, his friends were on this route so again we had 1st hand information. We also confirmed with another person who tried taking that route.

Putting a forwarded whatsapp post of mid-May 2024 below for info:-

DISTRICT POLICE KARGIL (LADAKH)

Traffic Plan/Advisory for 15th May 2024 (Wednesday):-

1) Kargil- Srinagar (SSG) Road :-
Subject to fair weather and road clearance, only one way traffic for All LMVs followed by HMVs shall be allowed from Minamarg towards Sonamarg within 0700hrs to 1100hrs
After cut off timing,No vehicles shall be allowed towards Zojila axis from Minamarg TCP.

2) Kargil-Zanskar (Penzila) Road:-
Subject to fair weather and road clearance, All types of vehicles shall be allowed from both side in between 0600hrs to 1700hrs only from TCP Abran and Panikhar, thereafter strictly No vehicles shall be allowed towards Penzila axis from both the TCPs.

3) Padum Darcha (Shinkula) Road:-
Subject to fair weather and road clearance, One way traffic for all LMVs shall be allowed from TCP Darcha (Hp) towards kargyak(Zkr) in between 0800hrs to 1200hrs only from TCP Darcha(Hp)thereafter No vehicles shall be allowed towards Shinkula axis from Darcha(Hp)

For any updates, details and help, please dial:-

ERSS --112
PCR Kargil:- -9541902330 -9541902331
PCR Gandarbal
9906668731
For Zojila Axis ��
Traffic Control Room Rural Kashmir.(0194- 2450022, 2485396, 18001807091, 103).
SO Traffic. 8494099118
SHO PS Drass 9541902336
ICPP Minamarg
9622264699
ICPP Shilikchey 9541902358.
For Penzila Axis ��
SHO PS Zanskar 8082695889
SHO PS Panikhar 9541902354
ICPP Rangdum 6006865686
For Shinkula Axis ��
Distt. PCR Keylong (HP).
8988092298
SHO PS Zanskar
8082695889
SHO PS Keylong
70181039193.
IC SCP Darcha
9459850555
IC PCP Kargyak
9469191976

Follow for more updates ��
⬇️⬇️
https://whatsapp.com/channel/0029Va9zsJSICVfuGVlzpc1c
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Old 29th May 2024, 12:04   #5
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Thanks for a travelogue. I am also planning the same trip since long, but no luck yet. Let's hope it'll get through this year.

Can you share about fuel stops in Ladakh. I heard the Nyoma fuel station is up and activated. Can you confirm? And is it reliable enough?
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Old 29th May 2024, 12:38   #6
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Awesome Congratulations on your terrific trip.
Like I mentioned in another travelogue to Leh by road yesterday, we can never have enough of Ladakh anyways.
I did the solo trip last year from Pune, entered from Srinagar Kargil side and exited from Manali. Did the same route twice from Mumbai too in 2013 and 14. Planning to do it again most probably next year in my brand new Thar. Counting on Mahindra to launch the new 4 door Thar with all the bells and whistles and hoping the same should be available on 2 door Thar too.
I can dare not imagine how you must have done on the road to Pangong and Nubra Valley, last year it was almost non existent and I had driven my Auto Brezza almost on second gear throughout without respite.
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Old 29th May 2024, 12:44   #7
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ_punekar View Post
Thanks for a travelogue. I am also planning the same trip since long, but no luck yet. Let's hope it'll get through this year.

Can you share about fuel stops in Ladakh. I heard the Nyoma fuel station is up and activated. Can you confirm? And is it reliable enough?
@AJ_punekar Do not worry about fuel stations in Ladakh and surrounding regions. The only concern is lack of them between Leh and Manali, a good distance of 400 KMS there is none. But you will get the same at premium prices in local eateries and restaurants. Quality is of course compromised but you will never get stranded. A lot of help is available with fellow riders / drivers too who will lend them to you in hour of need again at a slight premium.
Mine was a diesel car but my friend did it in his Bajaj Dominor which won't return anything more than 300 KMs to the tank, we got help from above sources to make him reach the outskirts of Manali to refill. At times the nearest petrol pump on other side runs out of fuel too. But the second nearest is some 15 odd kms inside the town.
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Old 29th May 2024, 13:36   #8
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Heartening to see another X3 in the same backdrop! Lot of memories around that part of India, thanks for making me relive those moments.

Wonderful write up and surreal photographs, wishing you many more kms in Blu. Happy driving!
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Old 29th May 2024, 13:46   #9
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Beautiful travelogue! Really liked the pictures, especially the one of the X3 against the backdrop of snow all around.
Just a small correction; the animal which you have said is a Red Fox , it looks a lot like a Himalayan Wolf. That animal is quite rare around these parts, much rarer than the red fox.
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Old 29th May 2024, 13:49   #10
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Wow, thanks for the detailed write-up. Just the inspiration I need for my planned trip to Leh in June in my Jimny from Hyderabad.
Do we have a section for upcoming rides/events where interested forum members can join, or is this beyond the scope of our forum? Apologies, as I haven't explored all the sections yet.
I could accommodate a couple of folks in my Jimny and was wondering what would be the best place to ask.
Thanks
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Old 29th May 2024, 15:22   #11
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Fantastic wallpaper quality photos and captivating narration. No trip to Ladakh will ever lose its lustre given the marvelous topography, terrain and the weather. X3 is no a mean machine in achieving the spectacular feat.

Thoroughly enjoyed your write-up and the generous sprinkle of photos !
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Old 29th May 2024, 15:38   #12
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Superb drive and lovely videos of driving thru zozila pass.
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Old 29th May 2024, 17:06   #13
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

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Originally Posted by AJ_punekar View Post
Thanks for a travelogue. I am also planning the same trip since long, but no luck yet. Let's hope it'll get through this year.

Can you share about fuel stops in Ladakh. I heard the Nyoma fuel station is up and activated. Can you confirm? And is it reliable enough?
Thanks AJ_punekar !
Yes it is open. Cars should not have a problem since they sustain more kms. And the trick is pour full tank when there is an opportunity. Mine is a diesel one and the Diesel rate in Ladakah was around 80 bucks and I bet the quality is better than other places (rational behind this comment is that Blu's mileage increased from 12 to 16+ with Ladakh fuel that too in hilly area).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohitthebest View Post
Awesome Congratulations on your terrific trip.
Like I mentioned in another travelogue to Leh by road yesterday, we can never have enough of Ladakh anyways.
I did the solo trip last year from Pune, entered from Srinagar Kargil side and exited from Manali. Did the same route twice from Mumbai too in 2013 and 14. Planning to do it again most probably next year in my brand new Thar. Counting on Mahindra to launch the new 4 door Thar with all the bells and whistles and hoping the same should be available on 2 door Thar too.
I can dare not imagine how you must have done on the road to Pangong and Nubra Valley, last year it was almost non existent and I had driven my Auto Brezza almost on second gear throughout without respite.
Thanks Rohitthebest ! Solo trip is commendable, I can't do that. You need a lot of focus and patience. All the best for 5 door Thar and repeated Leh trips. Yes road to Pangong and to/from Nubra was very bad, we were at 10 km/hr but we saw Santro, Maruti 800 and Innova at 30 km/hr + speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by worldcrawler View Post
Heartening to see another X3 in the same backdrop! Lot of memories around that part of India, thanks for making me relive those moments.

Wonderful write up and surreal photographs, wishing you many more kms in Blu. Happy driving!
worldcrawler you are and were the inspiration, thanks again ! Blu salutes you and thanks for taking my phone call from Leh when we were worried about the Engine Check Light and you recommended to get the Air Filter cleaned which worked. Many thanks to you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImperPara42 View Post
Beautiful travelogue! Really liked the pictures, especially the one of the X3 against the backdrop of snow all around.
Just a small correction; the animal which you have said is a Red Fox , it looks a lot like a Himalayan Wolf. That animal is quite rare around these parts, much rarer than the red fox.
Thanks ImperPara42, appreciate the details. Yes, we were confused at first about it being the wolf or fox. Wolf are always in packs unless something is wrong. It matched red fox's picture which we saw in Nyoma's Army canteen. Still a guess, could be wrong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MobileThunder View Post
Wow, thanks for the detailed write-up. Just the inspiration I need for my planned trip to Leh in June in my Jimny from Hyderabad.
Do we have a section for upcoming rides/events where interested forum members can join, or is this beyond the scope of our forum? Apologies, as I haven't explored all the sections yet.
I could accommodate a couple of folks in my Jimny and was wondering what would be the best place to ask.
Thanks
Thanks MobileThunder ! All the best, Jimny is a very capable vehicle and it can be done at ease.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivingDoyen View Post
Fantastic wallpaper quality photos and captivating narration. No trip to Ladakh will ever lose its lustre given the marvelous topography, terrain and the weather. X3 is no a mean machine in achieving the spectacular feat.

Thoroughly enjoyed your write-up and the generous sprinkle of photos !
Thanks DrivingDoyen, true it never looses it lustre and it keeps growing on you as a marvellous experience. Feels like repeating it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikran View Post
Superb drive and lovely videos of driving thru zozila pass.
Thanks Ikran ! Zoji La Pass is temporary. They are building Zoji La Tunnel and assuming it to get ready in a year or two. The work is in progress. It would cut down the whole waiting period of day(s) and reduce accidents - but passionate drivers would miss the view and driving through 20 feet snow at both sides (like Atal tunnel vs Rohtang pass)
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Old 30th May 2024, 03:18   #14
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

This is wonderful. I have planned a similar 10 Day Trip and will be leaving in a week. Pretty excited
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Old 30th May 2024, 10:37   #15
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Re: Pune-Leh-Pune | BMW X3 Expedition | Unforgettable Roads & Terrain

Thank you for the detailed travelogue! Breathtaking photos! The what’s app group indicating road conditions is extremely helpful. I too have planned a similar trip from Chandigarh in mid June. Would it be possible for you to share details of the hotels you stayed at? Also, considering you made bookings on the spot, how easy/difficult was it to find decent accommodation enroute? Travelling with the better half, hygiene and safety thus being the paramount concerns.
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