I chose my Tata Safari over the Scorpio N for a road trip to the hills

The SUV performed flawlessly and returned me an average fuel efficiency of 13.3 km/l with the AC on for the round trip.

BHPian iskandariya recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hemkunt Trip

With the temperature mounting in the plains and giving exposure to the kid of flora fauna also being on the agenda for his summer break, planned a trip to Hemkunt. As per the initial planning, the itinerary was:

  • 1st June'24 - Chd to Rudraprayag
  • 2nd June'24 4AM - Rudraprayag to Gobind Ghat
  • 2nd June'24 Trek to Govind Dham
  • 3rd June'24 Trek to Hemkunt & Return
  • 4th June'24 Valley of Flowers
  • 5th June'24 Trek Down to Gobind Ghat and start return till Rudraprayag
  • 6th June'24 Rudraprayag to Chandigarh

Ensure a light backpack, with a focus on synthetic and easy dry clothes. Decathlon was of great assistance for trekking sticks, shoes. Medicines, proactive and reactive both.

Also got myself a Solar Panel, guess was being over cautious, but after the 2013 incident wanted to be fully protected in case of a calamity to have a backup to keep the mobiles fueled. Added 2 Power Banks also to the mix, Potronics were the chosen choice, one with wireless and the other being standard 10000mah. A portable collapsible Electric kettle was also in the mix.

Only thing left was prepping the vehicle. I chose the Safari over Scorpio N to avoid the extra body roll and have a more planted feel for the other occupants who weren't so accustomed to motion sickness.

Hence Safari was fueled up, my right rear wheel used to lose some amount of air every now and then but never go below 24psi. Upon checking it was found to be a small puncture near the wall hence mushroom puncture was the option adopted. I feel others would have also done but I think it is better to be safe than sorry. Trip meter reset.

After this got the car Cleaned prior to the Trip

The car was parked, packed and kept in ready-go-to condition.

Assuming everything was set I just had to drive. Till the drive, I was contemplating and was simply excited.

Just then around midnight prior to Departure, I realised I forgot to top up the Urea/Adblue, went to 4 pumps of Indian Oil and finally got the 10L box. Then topped the Urea which consumed a full 10L against my assumption of 5L which was needed.

Got free by around 1 am, post that rested and reached my polling booth at 06:45 AM; to my surprise, I found a long queue at my polling both early morning itself. Hence we got free from our Duty by around 07:30 AM picked up my brother and set off for our Trip.

We took the Yamunanagar Saharanpur Rishikesh route... and made good time till the Roorkee bypass and it was here that we met a traffic jam of 15mins - Google maps was quick to guide us to the service lane which avoided much of the traffic.

After crossing it we were green all the way to Rishikesh, where the traffic coos diverted us to Jolly Grant Airport road because of the jam inside Rishikesh at Laxman Jhula.

We had another family joining us who were travelling from Dehradun and were stuck in that jam.

Then traffic officials diverted us to the forest area hill route and then beyond to Old Tehri route and from there to Srinagar bypassing the complete jam we did end up covering more miles but the route was great, scenic, traffic-free and loved the drive.

We ended up driving 17 hours and reached direct to Gobind Ghat.

Next morning post having breakfast we set off for Gobind Dham / Ghangharia. One takes a Cab to Pullana Village and from there the 10km trek starts, the last 3km are steep post-iron bridge. (Which prepares you for the next day's 6km trek)

We stayed at Hotel Kuber at Ghangharia/ Gobind Dham. In fact, the only booking I had made prior was with the Hotel owner. Aman, a great person very helpful and soft-spoken. He really was reachable throughout my planning stage.

Ghangharia has a wide variety of food, just be careful about the portion and quantity and quality.

Next day we set off for the Hemkunt trek. While the trek is steep, the views are awesome and so is the vibe. While it took 6hrs for 10km in the first leg this 6km was to take at least 6hrs with a time-bound clock ticking as one needs to reach atop by 2PM.

Above once you reach all tiredness goes away the view is mesmerizing and you are served with the World's Highest Langar at the World's highest Gurudwara.

Reaching down is a different game altogether, don't over extert.

Valley of Flowers though open had only blue poppy hence we decided to skip it for now and return to Gobind Ghat the next day.

Next morning we started at around 10AM reached Gobind Ghat, around 1PM and then decided to continue further and started our journey at 2PM.

Encountered some traffic at Joshimat and after that, it was mostly clear so pushed on.

I would like to compliment Uttrakhand Traffic / Homeguard police both are nice, well well-present throughout the state. The administration has also worked well to keep the Hotels/ Restaurants open all across the highway 24x7.

You also have Gurudwara across the route which is open 24x7 in case you need to stop rest and take route updates in either direction.

I reached Srinagar at around 11:30pm and stopped for tea, at Naani ki Rasoi. Why I am mentioning them categorically is they brought 2 biscuits along with tea without asking for it while I was contemplating about it and all this at midnight.

After that, I was set for the next leg and we pressed on crossing Rishikesh at 1am. The town was alive, especially near the Lemon Tree Hotel.

After that, I had the intention to go on but my passengers stressed we needed to stop. Hence just before Haridwar at Raiwala, we stopped for food at a Vaishno Dhaba (avoid).

After this, we went on to Chandigarh and reached at 6AM and then straight to bed.

Vehicle Feedback

  • Performed Flawlessly and gave me an average of 13.3kmpl with AC for the round trip.
  • My arm aches a little, the hydraulic steering while it is planted gives good feedback, but aches after a long drive.
  • The sunroof (closed) provides a good view.
  • Power delivery is smooth, AT performed well no complaints and was peppy throughout under normal mode.
  • Brakes were upto the mark
  • Only observation I had was, while coming downhill on Kaizegs turns the steering used to make a shuddering noise at the wheels-end, not felt at the steering though. (Experts can share feedback on this) - Would be taking the vehicle for a minor service checkup and get this also highlighted.

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