Bengaluru to Leh: A 31 day & 8000 km long travelogue

This trip to Leh Ladakh was very dear to our heart as it was our silver jubilee anniversary month.

BHPian vittal recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Travelogue Bengaluru to Leh - Leh Bhai (Bye) Ladakh

South Sanskar to Zanskar

Bengaluru to Delhi: Awesome drive in XUV 5OO in 2 days

We explored a new route from Bengaluru to Delhi via Hyderabad, Nagpur, Gwalior and Agra. We did Bengaluru to Delhi thrice earlier, but we always took the route via Rajasthan, Mumbai.

Day1: Bengaluru start at 4:15 am (stay at Nagpur)

Day2: reached Delhi at 10:30 pm

Summary of the Travel:

Date: 24-Jul-2019 (Wednesday) to 23-Aug-2019 (Friday)

Total Days traveled: 31

Distance Traveled during this trip: 7964 Km

Route taken / Places Visited: Bengaluru – Hyderabad – Nagpur – Sagar – Gwalior – Agra – Delhi – Vaishno Devi (Katra) – Jammu – Palampur – Sissu – Keylong – Pang – Leh – Hunder – Hanle – Sarchu – Mandi – Delhi – Nagpur – Hyderabad – Bengaluru

Total toll paid: Rs 6,705

Any damage to XUV5OO during the Leh Ladakh Trip?

An underbody hit during rugged terrains and nala crossing somewhere on the Pangong – Chushul route. The Mahindra service centre Mandi supervisor helped repair the cut and replace the nut at 09:00 pm. Yes, you read it correctly. XUV 5OO was repaired at 9:00 pm at Mahindra authorized service centre! So, eventually, we did not do much repair work or spend on our cheetah.

Any other significant expenses on our XUV5OO?

We took precautionary measures due to the travel to such tough terrains in the Himalayan region (Leh and remote places in Ladakh). We replaced all 5 tyres to brand new Bridgestone tyres in Delhi a couple of days before our trip to Ladakh. This was done to ensure that we did not encounter frequent flat tyres in such remote places, though we carried all the necessary puncture kit (including compressor). We did our regular service after returning from Ladak.

Encountered any landslides?

Pang toward Gata Loops (cleared self with the help of lorry drivers)

We encountered various water logging and the gush of water flow at various water crossings.

How about Acute Mountain Sickness?

Yes, AMS is definitely an issue that we travelers should be concerned about at high altitudes and take adequate precautions. Drinking lots of water, ORS (electral), Dimox and avoiding taking hotel / night stay at high altitudes are some precautions that we can take to minimize AMS.

What is required during the trip?


Why these delays in writing the Travelogue?

The reasons are multi-fold. I was pursuing PhD in Marketing at the Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi (IIM-Ranchi). Also, because we are in a premium institute, we are expected to do high-quality work. Thus, I brought my research & laptop with me on this trip. Secondly, I had to learn and excel in the art of academic writing & research as I had transitioned from industry to academics. Thirdly, my PhD thesis included multi-study research, comprising of total 4 studies (the first being a qualitative study and the rest 3 quantitative studies). This brought around the challenge to publish my research work in International premium journals (known as ABDC category journals). During my journey to Leh, I received a review from one journal, and I was working on a response in Leh, Hunder, and Mann village on the banks of the Pangong Tso to meet the deadline. As a result, I was fortunate to have my first research paper published in ABDC category "A" journal – Marketing Intelligence & Planning (Emerald Journal) ( I am happy to share that I was able to obtain my PhD in 3 years time. Fourth, despite taking care and shutting down the laptop after each usage, my laptop's hard drive was knocked off. I did consider the advice of other travelers not to bring a laptop or to keep it turned off. However, the laptop was affected by the rocky terrain we travelled over and the high altitude. After returning to Delhi, I bought a new laptop from an authorized Lenovo dealer at Nehru Place. Retrieving data and then copying it into a new external USB hard drive took a while. Fifth, after arriving in Bengaluru, I faced issues with my external USB hard drive and retrieving data again took a long time. Sixth, we recorded our travel details enroute to this trip that failed to upload on iCloud due to lack of free space in the mobile and network connectivity. We had to recall all the experiences and pen them down from our vivid memory. Also, we had used all our gadgets for clicking photos. Finally, the pandemic situation and our mindset caused procrastination.

Prelude to the trip

This trip to Leh Ladakh was very dear to our heart as it was our silver jubilee anniversary month. Earlier in 2009, we planned a trip to Leh Ladakh, drove from Delhi to Chandigarh – Manali, and got stranded for a whole day due to heavy downpours and landslides. We were disappointed that we had to retrace. However, we took a detour and spent our holiday at the Amritsar and Wagah border, which was also very memorable because of the Independence Day celebration with great vigour and fervour at the Wagah border. As a result, it was a decade long delay to make this trip happen.

Planning for the trip

a) Vehicle checks and servicing

b) Condition of tyres – replaced all 5 tyres in Delhi

c) Altitude details of Leh Ladakh (with altitude variation graph)

d) Budget/cost for the trip (food, diesel, hotel, vehicle expenses, toll plaza fee, miscellaneous)

e) List of items to carry for the trip

f) Things to purchase for the Leh trip

g) First-aid Medical kit and essential medicines (Diamox, electrol, Vitamin C, lozenges)

h) Details of hotels, homestay enroute

i) Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow the inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. Details of where is it issued, office working hours, time taken, the fee to be paid, and the process to be followed to obtain the permit. ILP was required for Hanle, Chusul, Tsaga and Marsimik La.

j) Photocopies of valid Photo-IDs (Passport, Driving License, Voters ID, PAN card etc.)

k) Toll plaza details and fee paid (accessible as csv in FasTag)

l) Extra diesel plan with alternates (based on the trip enroute)

m) Our Day Log (updated each day during the trip including places visited, time taken, diesel filled, odo km, hotel stayed)

Teasers from this trip

Filling the Army green Jerry Can 20 ltr capacity at Delhi


Pic of essential items to take for Leh, Ladakh Trip

Timbaktu- Kiosk of art and craft enroute to Anantapur

Moong dal pakoda breakfast at MP topped with chat masala

Beautiful Nehru ORR - Developed India

Parantha with a lavish dollop of freshly churned butter

Vaishno Devi - the start of trek

Palampur- Most scenic Himachal

Hall of fame - A true tribute to the Kargil war martyrs

Most friendly double humped camels at Hunder - cold dessert

Magnetic Hill- Illusion

Nimmoo - confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers

Most famous 3 idiots bike - commercialisation at Pangong Tso

Pathar Sahib Gurudwara - maintained by Indian army great langar and kada prasad

Rabcho's wall- place of shoot of 3 idiots fame

Rohtang pass- we visited 25 yrs ago in 1994 on our honey moon trip

Shanti stupa Leh

Tanglangla - 2nd highest pass in Ladakh

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