13 Years Old Herbie On Way to Ladakh



Just finished reading another Ladakh Travelogue.
It was Great & Inspirational !!!!!
We were sooo inspired that it was decided. We too are going to Ladakh to experience the journey.
Soon the discussions began in ……………… August 2017
Discussions continued all the way till.Sep – Oct 2017
Suddenly we realized the Winter is almost here. So had to shift the plan to early June 2018

For 6 months almost there were no discussions. Finally as March ended the travel bug started to bite us again. News of the opening of different passes was trickling in slowly and we were at it again going through the new travelogues posted. Travel Vlogs on Youtube………….

As this was our first trip to the Ladakh region, it was decided to take the safest time to travel with almost zero water crossings. After all the information we gathered it was decided. September 2nd week. Time to Live our dream to travel to Leh.

Let me introduce the Gang

My Cousin (Sunit)

My brother –in – Law (Rakesh G)

And Yours Truly........ :D

Let us start with some teaser pics







Fourth Gang Member....... Herbie
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This Chapter gives the account of preparations. Specially of a 13 year old car with a ground clearance of just 165mm. I had an option to take Duster with me, but Herbie was in full mood to fight it out.
“What’s new in doing it on Duster. Everyone does it. Do the trip with 13 years old Wagon R. That sounds like a challenge” Sunit said.
Although Herbie has never let me down but till now, but she needed to get full body Check up to prove that she is fit and fine to take a trip to the land of high passes.
WhatsApp Image 2018-10-31 at 5.45.04 PM (1).jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2018-10-31 at 5.45.04 PM.jpeg

I would like to clarify that Car bears a Delhi Registration but I am from Dharamsala and that's from where the journey began.

Below is a long list of checks undertaken. I am sharing the full list, so that it can be useful to readers in future as well.

P.S. The below list is as per the requirement for a 13 years old car. Need not to apply to every vehicle.

Oil Change
Filter Change
Tyre Changes – I had already changed the tyres approx. 5000k before the travel
Shockers – Got all Shockers Changed
Front Suspension
Clutch Plate set Changed - Very Important
Brakes Disc Changed
Wiper Set New
Fuses – Kept 10 extra fuses
Coolant - Changed
2 Jacks
Towing Rod – 2
Head light bulbs Extra were kept
Engine Oil – 2 Ltrs extra kept
Gear Oil – 1 Ltrs extra kept
Brake Oil - – 1 bottle extra kept
Set of wrenches
Wheel spanner
M Seal – 3
Cello tape
Small Hammer
Elfy – 3
Plier + Screw driver with some nut bolts
Petrol Jerry Can 10 ltrs + Bottles 3-5 (2 Ltrs Each)
Some rope
Tyre puncture kit
portable Air Pump- We had the electronic one

Below is the list of some other items that we took care of as a part of the preparations

Water bottles 2-3
Power Banks - 2 Nos
Dry Fruits
Leather gloves
2-3 blankets
3 Sleeping bags
1 Fold able Tent for emergency
Medicine and first aid kit including Diamox

Once the complete list was checked, the wait for the D - Day started (16th Sep, 2018).

Although I got a lot of help from online Blogs but still had butterflies in my stomach. Lot of questions still in my mind.
Hope we Have not left out anything.
Herbie will be jam packed with the list above.
Hope She performs well.
Hope there will be no underbelly hits
As per recommendations did not book any accommodations in advance. Hope that will not be a problem.
Hope will not face any tyre problems
HOPE........... yes it is a big word that makes ordinary people do extraordinary feats..............
With this hope we were off to sleep as had fixed 6 AM as the departure time. I leave you with the below finalized itinerary for our trip.

DAY 1 - 16 Sep - Dharamsala - Srinagar
Day 2 - 17 Sep - Srinagar - Kargil/Lamayaru
Day 3- 18 Sep - Kargil/Lamayaru - Leh
Day 4- 19 Sep - Leh Local with Permits
Day 5 - 20 Sep - Leh - Hunder Via K - Top
Day 6 - 21 Sep - Hunder - Pangong (Via Agham - Shyok) - Merak
Day 7 - 22 Sep - Merak - Tso Moriri/ Hanle via Chushul, Rezangla
Day 8 - 23 Sep - Tso Moriri/ Hanle - Pang
Day 9 - 24 Sep - Pang - Jispa
Day 10 - 25 Sep - Jispa - Manali
Day 11 - 26 Sep - Manali - Dharamsala

Hmmmm............ Seems simple enough.................... NOT EXACTLY !!!

Till next time
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ODO READING – 0 KMS - 432 KMS - 16 Sep 2018

Hardly got any sleep due to the excitement of the trip. Early morning 6 AM departure was on cards but could manage to leave around 7.00 AM. Herbie was packed with all the stuff and space enough for Sunit the squeeze in who would be joining us from a place called Nurpur. With best wishes from the family and blessings of Almighty we began our journey…….

She looks confident enough to carry us through the trip.

Sunrise at Dharamsala

Once started it was a straight dash to reach Pathankot picking up our third member enroute.

The town of Pathankot was just starting wake up when we reached the outskirts. Took the Mamun by pass to connect with the Srinagar – Kanyakumari Highway and entered the state of J&K around 9.30 AM with the first stop at Lakhanpur to have light breakfast.

Sign Board Just after Lakhanpur

Usually everyone takes Samba Mansar Udhampur route. We took a right turn from Dyala Chak (Approx. 35 Kms from Lakhanpur) to a link road to get connected with Dhar – Udhampur Road.

The only positive in this link road is less traffic. Once on the Dhar – Udhampur road it was easy cruising as the road conditions were very good. Stopped at Udhampur for a tea break around 11.30 AM before heading into a massive Traffic Jam in Udhampur area and the National Highway.

It took us more than 3 Hours to cover the next 26 Kms till Chenani Tunnel to reach the other side.

Once we crossed the Chenani Nashri Tunnel the traffic eased a bit but the road conditions were still bad.
We had skipped a proper breakfast to dig ourselves into the very famous Rajma Chawal of Mansa Ram @ Peerah Mod. They serve you only one dish- Rajmah-chawal mixed (Red Kidney beans and Basmati rice) with anardana chutney and almost a large peg equivalent of desi ghee. :razz:
Mansaram Dhaba.jpg

With our belly full and after a break of almost one hour we were ready to face the notorious Rambal to Banihal stretch. But surprisingly we did not face any traffic jam. Slowly we continued our journey and stopped for a while at Toofani Nallah before Jawahar Tunnel for a tea Break. It was almost dark by the time we reached Qazigund.
We reached Srinagar around 8.00 PM.
We looked for some budgeted property around Boulevard Road. After some negotiations we managed to get GH accommodation at a walking distance from Dal Lake.
Marjaan Guest House - We paid Rs.800/- for room only with extra bed.


We opted for a light dinner at a nearby Punjabi Dhaba . With all the excitement of crossing our first pass and reaching the highlands tomorrow we decided to end the day as we would be leaving early morning tomorrow.

Overall the day went well minus the traffic jam at Udhampur.



We had skipped a proper breakfast to dig ourselves into the very famous Rajma Chawal of Mansa Ram @ Peerah Mod. They serve you only one dish- Rajmah-chawal mixed (Red Kidney beans and Basmati rice) with anardana chutney and almost a large peg equivalent of desi ghee. :razz:
Mansa Ram
Google Maps

Is this correct location of Mansa Ram Rajma Chawal wala ?