Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by VahanPujari, Sep 6, 2014.
Ladakh-June'2014: Full Circuit ->Zojilla-Suru/Zanskar-Leh-Turtuk-Pangong-Hanle-Tso Moriri-Rohtang
The following is the snapshot of the itinerary planned after several iterations:
Following is what got actually executed (didn't deviate much - minor changes):
I must express my & co-passengers gratitude to HVK. Like our family members, we used to get message or a call from HVK asking our whereabouts & location we reached. Likewise we're thankful to HVK volunteer team also. While we were driving on the road in late afternoon or evening, they used to call hotels to book rooms for us.
Thanks to them & the exhaustive research I did that this once-a-lifetime & a difficult trip was so successful and easy (it was not sort of typical day-trips from Leh but involved less-travelled or rather rarely travelled places too).
Who all Travelled: Me, My Brother, Nephew, BIL - Me & my brother did most of the driving for we allowed our nephew to drive only a few times while we were in plains.
A Road trip has a distinct advantage for me for I go through the journey 3 times for the same trip - 1) while researching for it making preparations, 2) actual drive/ trip & 3) capturing it in blogs / travelogue
That said, I invite you to revisit this wonderful journey along with me....
Awesome start, VP. Eagerly waiting for the journey to start. Leh log is always special.
Thanks Ramesh. Before journey, let me start the preparations for it is one of the most important & critical part of a Ladakh Drive
The earliest modified file in LEH folder of my PC is dated 19th Mar'14. So, I started the preparations almost 2.5 - 3 months before the trip. There are 110 files in the Leh folder of my PC The sources were various Automobile forums, BCMtouring, HVK forum. The broad category explored were as follows:
Circuits to visit in Ladakh
Car related preparations
Items to carry including medicines
List of Fuel Pumps in Ladakh
List of important spots/ sights to visit
When we started journey I had with me 2 folders of 75 pages each & 2 folders of about 10 pages, all of which were kept in the cabin (I'm a fan of old school hardcopies). The entire Leh folder with all files were copied to our cellphone memory cards as well as USB stick too.
Not going into all those details, however, sharing below the list of items to carry as it covers most of the other stuff and might be useful to someone planning a trip (this is a compiled list from the net from various forums/ articals and advices from friends). There are a few items which are repeated but I didn't allow to delete it as each item was assigned to each one of us to manage and I was tracking it in excel by using vlookup with serial no./code no. (didn't like it an online google doc which can be edited by everybody of us)
List of items to carry:
Congrats on your achievement! Waiting for the complete travelogue
Broadly, we covered following Circuits/ Places:
Zanskar : Rangdum – Pensi La – Drang Drung and back to Rangdum. I’m glad that we didn’t choose to omit it due to time constraints as we thought at beginning. Though finally we had 2 buffer days left unused, I thought visiting Padum would have been nice. Any of my future Leh – Ladakh drives won’t be without Zanskar / Drang Drung. Such is the beauty of this Glacier Express circuit.
Nubra Valley till Turtuk (the last Indian Village that one can visit towards PoK border in North)
Pangong – Chushul – Tsaga La – Loma – Hanle
Following Circuits/ routes/ places could not be visited due to requirement of 4WD vehicle (except for Padum which was due to time constraints) and are on the cards for the next such trip. It's here that I repented my decision of not going for 4WD vehicle last year when I bought it.
Agham – Shyok Route from Nubra to Pangong direct
Nubra to Pangong thro’ Wari La
Chushul – Kakasang La – Loma
Hanle – Kyun Tso – Nidar – Nyoma
Day 0, 11th June'14
Left Mumbai at 5.30 pm. Reached Surat at 9.30 pm. Had dinner, picked up Bro & left at 11.30 pm for Ahmedabad
Day 1, 12th June'14
Reached Ahmedabad by 3.30 am. Picked up BIL from Kalupur Railway Station at 4.30 am as his train got late. Crossed Ahmedabad City & picked up Nephew. Though early morning but getting into the city & crossing it took time and could leave Ahmedabad only by 6 am.
Had a breakfast of mouth watering “Methi Bhajiya” at Himmatnagar.
Encountered heavy truck traffic at Udaipur Bye pass, crossed Chittorgarh and reached Kishangarh at around 2.30 pm. Had Lunch, filled up fuel and after wasting precious time in sundry items, left for Hanumangarh at around 4 pm. Reached Hanumangarh at 9.30 pm. A long day drive is over for about 1500 kms. Next Day is another day of long drive with target aimed at Patnitop / Batote (keeping in mind notorious Jammu-Srinagar truck traffic & road conditions)
Day 2, 13th June'14:
Left Hanumangarh at about 7.15 am. 4 Guys luggage & the most important 5th one i.e. the car for which I took lots of items means the boot was overflowing (car related stuff occupied almost 33% (or more) of the boot)
Had breakfast of Kachori on outskirts of Hanumangarh on the way to Abohar. Tasty !!
Crossed Kotkapura at about 10.30 am. Reached Jalandhar at about 1 pm. Here, my Nephew drove the car again from Moga to Jalandhar or Dasuya (don’t remember). Had lunch at McD just after Dasuya.
Crossed Jammu Bye Pass at about 5.30-6.00 pm. Held up in traffic at Patnitop. It was week-end and JKTDC Alpine was full. Proceeded to Batote & reached at about 9.30 pm, again JKTDC Batote was full. Both JKTDC’s don’t take booking over phone. Finally, managed a hotel room in Batote, had dinner at a typical dhaba in Batote market (tasty again) and crashed to bed.
Jammu – Srinagar road is a beauty. Full of awesome vista’s. Though, it was dark in the last 1-2 hours we drove on this highway till Batote.
Next day was again going to be a long day with a target of crossing Srinagar first, reach Sonamarg by 2-3 pm, cross Zojilla & reach Kargil by late evening !!
Passed thro' beautiful fields of Punjab on Day 2
Separate names with a comma.