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Old 17th June 2009, 10:30   #31
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It is always fascinating to read about the ultimate road trip in India.
Eagerly watching the space for the rest of the story.
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Old 17th June 2009, 12:18   #32
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Wow Pramod, that sounds like one real adventurous trip. Way to go!

Originally Posted by anainar View Post
Wow!! Fantastic trip Pramods. Will be following the updates for sure.Should have been a pretty exciting trip. Is it that only SUVs/MUVs can tame that terrain? Can sedans also do that trip?

@Nainar: Sedans do do this trip, and in good numbers. But yeah, one has to be a lot more cautious over bad roads & water crossings, than one would be in a SUV. Sedan's won't take beatings very well.
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Old 17th June 2009, 12:59   #33
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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
@Nainar: Sedans do do this trip, and in good numbers. But yeah, one has to be a lot more cautious over bad roads & water crossings, than one would be in a SUV. Sedan's won't take beatings very well.
Thanks Lord.

I have been wanting to do a road trip to Himalyalas( as well as cover Rajasthan/Delhi/Agra ) from Bangalore and am contemplating the time. Right now I drive 2005 Corolla and was skeptical whether it could be drive in such conditions. I was thinking to wait till I sell my car and get one of the SUVs. But if sedans can do this stretch, then I can take that car sale out of the equation and work only on time lines.

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Old 17th June 2009, 13:06   #34
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people have done this stretch in cars like the Maruti 800 as well. You need to be more cautious, and it helps if you have additional protection for the sump and the fuel tank.
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Old 17th June 2009, 13:31   #35
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Great ride!!! Pramod when did you buy Scorpio? I thought you are going to Leh on your bike with team iipl
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Old 17th June 2009, 13:49   #36
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Beautiful pics and what an experience you had.

Originally Posted by suman View Post
Himalayan Saga is the name.....
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Suman Sir, where are your pics and log ?????
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Old 17th June 2009, 14:28   #37
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Few Images from the previous day







Day 5[ 3rd June Wednesday]:
After the late start from Sarchu, and thanking God for able to pass the night, the night at Sarchu was the toughest[headache and breathlessness] but by morning and after sun break we were feeling comfortable, the onward journey was peaceful, we were able to maintain good pace while in downhill and later greeted with 21 loop of Gata, it was fun doing all this there are lots and lots of local road that lur you to drive on them and reach the top faster, I ignored all of them and went simply by the BRO road ;-). The biggest problem I faced was at Tanglang La, after crossing that Scorpio "mal function" light got ON and refused to go off, I tried stopping for 15 minutes, and then restaring, nothing helped, read the manual from start to end in between to find, if the vehicle go to limp mode, that meand if the mal function light blink then the vehicle will not go beyound 1200RPM, but I thanked god that its not limp mode and the vehicle still was able to do all the RPM, without wasting anymore time I moved forward and was able to negotiate all the uphill and downhill, once i reached Karu I called Mahindra and as mentioned in earlier post went to Leh Ling Nawang auto service for diagnostic and fix.
Started by 6.30AM from Sarchu was able to reach Leh around 3.30PM, checked in hotel Lazermo and enquired about permit and all. I had whole day tomorrow as it take 1 day for permit.
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Day 6[ 4th June Thursday]: Plan was to roam around Leh and have local sight seeing, start late morning from Leh and went to Fall of Fame, to see Army achievment and specifically "Kargil war captures", here I called HVKumar to let him know I reached Leh safely and as planned. The "Kargil war captures" are kept in a seperate section and its always locked, you have to go and ask then an army man will come with you and will the open the room and possibly will explain lot of thing related to Kargil war and the captured arms. From here I went to Pathar Sahib spent some time there and then moved to Sangam, here they even have river rafting once back from Sangam continued to see Magnetic Hill and then went to see Alchi Monastery and while returning back the Engine malfunction light come on again at Magnetic hill, went straight to Mahindra ASC and talked to Mahindra Service manager and then to Engineer, what this ASC people checked everything as instructed by Mahindra Engineer and later changed the Air filter. Checking of air intake and changing of Air filter did the trick and the stauts of the error was healed. Went back to Hotel checked the Permit and dicided to go to Pangong lake tomorrow.

Day 7[ 5th June Friday]: Started early from Leh for Pangong lake, the road condition is good except for the Pagal Nullah, at this location there is NO ROAD, I bridge is being made the road is just filled with stone, I realized later that there is another way to cross that nullah, that went through a downhill and it was in better condition, anyway I was able to make to the lake quite easily we enjoyed the view of the lake, as the day went by people started reaching the lake. Enjoy few snap of the might lake and surronding.



I will upload the lake images later as they as > 1MB I need to make them smaller
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Old 17th June 2009, 14:32   #38
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Originally Posted by pramods View Post
As soon as I got the mobile signal, I believe some 30KM before Leh, I called Mahindra help line and told them about the problem, within 15 minute, the area incharge called and told me about the service center in Leh would be contacting me, they did called and gave the exact location how to visit them. Once I started from that point the "malfunction" went automatically switch off. I was relieved but still went there and they checked the error code, that I already mentioned but the status of the error was healed, next while I was roaming around exactily when I was playing on Magnetic hill, the light again came on and went straight to them and called Mahindra, they assured me of all the help, an Mahindra engineer was on phone with the mech[there was only 1 mech and he too seem to be not that versed with mHack or CRDe] and instructed them to check all the air intake and vaccum system for any leak, they checked every thing as instructed and then they replaced the air filter, the worst nightmare for Mahindra, there came another mHawk from Haryana via Srinagar with malfunction light switched on [Mahindra engineer admitted that this first time this error code has been reported and they don't have any history or know solution apart from what they are trying], while check they figured same error code and all the process done on my vehicle was repeated and airfilter of that vehicle was also changed. change of Airfilter made this error code go away, I did't faced any more problem after that, I believe the mHawk is more prone to this type of problem, because 2 mHawk with similar enviroment had the same problem, so basically it was not a leakage problem but more of a airfilter problem that might have got chocked because of the excess "dust".

Anybody going to that region need to carry an extra "airfilter" and the first thing that need to be done is to replace that. I am of the opinion that day 5 early morning start might also be due to the same problem, because i didn't faced any starting trouble after that!

@Suman: Yes that the tent! thanks for the name

I had guessed it to be the airfilter !!! When i was driving the innova a 12k km new (sept 2007) one and when i lost power while negotiating the climb s i guessed it as much . On reaching leh next day before going to mighty Khardungla i dusted the filter and could feel noticeable power raise !!
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Old 17th June 2009, 14:58   #39
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Few more images of Pangong and surroundings will update rest later

Attached Thumbnails












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Old 17th June 2009, 15:01   #40
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I have no words to describe the pics. They are fantastic and amazing. I am spellbound. Man, I need to buy a SUV just to make a trip to this part of the world as I am not sure if I can do that in my Honda City or any other sedan.
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Old 17th June 2009, 16:04   #41
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Wow..Pangong lake pics are damn beautiful.
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Old 17th June 2009, 16:21   #42
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The lake pics are amazing, Left me wondering whether such beautiful places exist in india
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Old 17th June 2009, 17:37   #43
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Day 8[6th June Saturday]: day 6 ended by coming back from Pangong, the only thing left now was to see the Highest motor able road, started the journey by 7AM and reached there without much fuss, but the weather was getting worse and it was expect to snow some time later, we spent some time clicking and capturing the moment at Kardung La(K-Top), as we reached there, there came a group of biker pulsar, karizma and had a big banner was not able to read the Banner, but they were having fun of there life kardung La, my wife wanted to move fast to Leh and because of the weather. Few snaps of Kardung La

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The day end there doing some shoping in Leh and roaming around Leh market, next day we were to start our Journey back via Srinagar, the plan was to stop at Srinagar and spend 2 days in and around Srinagar, but new related to some unrest in Srinagar was threating to spoil this plan, anhow we decided to move via this route and may be stop at Kargil, based on the time it take!!
Day 9[7th June Sunday]: Started early in the morning for Kargil, as we reached magnetic hill and the wether started to detoriate and suddenly it started to snow, even though it was mild but its was a nice experiece as the road till now was good. I stopped one of the on coming vehicle to conforme the route and the driver suggested to take the inner route from laymaru rather than going from the outer one, he was right and the road condition till now was good. I was able to do keep good pace and was able to reach kargil by noon and the plan now changed to reach Srinagar rather than Kargil, we visited the kargil memorial and here are few of the snaps







the road condition on the Zoji La pass is worst, and then come the problem, got stuck in a jam, one of the oncoming truck axle was broken and there was no way anyone can go pass that, both way traffic started to gather fast, over and all its started snowing very heavily!!!
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Spent almost 5 hours in the Jam and dropped the plan to go Srinagar today evening, later realized it was a wise decision, as Srinagar was closed, stay at Sonamarg, decided to start early in the morning and cross Srinagar by 7 AM.

Day 10[8th June Monday]: Started early by 4.45AM from Sonemarg and reach Srinagar to find all road closed and gaurded by JK Polic/CRPF/ and what not.. after requesting too much and talking to SHO incharge there they let me in and suggested to go as fast as I can, I was able to almost cross 3 barries but got stuck at the Dal gate and force there was not ready to even listen, the only word was GO BACK ASAP. I started backward, now the same force that allowed me IN were not letting me out, I was stuck at Dal side, again after talking to SHO they left me and suggest I go back to Sonamarg, I did so was back to Sonamarg by 9 AM, spent whole day at Sonemarg to cross Srinagar tomorrow.

Day11[9th June Tuesday]: Crufew was not there today, so was able to cross Srinagar, now I wanted to cross the valley as fast and safer as possible after yesterday incident, I never have been into a curfew situation and that too in between 2 checkpost!!, again got stuck in traffic jam, one of the oncoming truck got turtle and on the other side there was a big military convey, they wanted to cross first so all the trafiic on that side was give first pass and then we were allowed to cross, almost waited for 3 hours to cross that point. Once cross the only point where I stopped was Punjab border!, and later reached Ambala by 10PM and stopped.

Day12[10th June Wednesday]: Started by 6.30 AM from Amabala and made by mind to stop only at Nagpur, I knew this would be tough so I need substaincial break, crossed Delhi, but traffice started to grow till Fridabad and then it was good. Lost valuable time in Agra because of going too far on NH2 and then have to return and take lots varied route, Google Map pushed me on a route that was only possible to be done only on Auto, now reversing the vehicle on that road had it own problem, somehow was able to reverse and come out, asked for direction at fuel station and was back on Gwalior road, reach Bhopal at 10 PM and now the decision was to made go ahead or stop, made the decision to continue, again wasted an hour in Bhopal, took the ring road and then got lost somewhere, now Google Map with GPS helped to come back on trak, have to revert back till the point from where I took the turn of ring road. Point to note, don't leave the NH12 that take you to Bhopal, the same NH12 has to be taken and later on it becomes NH69 that will take you to Nagpur, I took lots of break for tea, and used to wash my face so I don't feel dozzy, was able to make it to Nagpur in morning of 11th june by 6 AM.

Done was able to do it without any unwanted incident, the vehicle apart from the ECU check light gave no trouble and same goes to my son, he was able to adapt to high altitude very wel and also kept hi cool with long hours of driving.

A very special thanks to HVKumar for all his help and moral support though out the tour, I was in touch with him via phone call and SMS.

PS: will update with few more snaps later and with other facts about Kms, diesel .
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Old 17th June 2009, 23:31   #44
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Fantastic effort.
Pangong lake pics were amazing. Pls keep the pics coming.
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Old 18th June 2009, 15:09   #45
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Well done, great journey, good photos and story.

That was one heck of a long drive from Ambala to Nagpur!!!!!

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