4 Days, 3 Passes - One Crazy Himalayan Ride!!

Discussion in 'Travelogues from North India' started by KurtRules, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. KurtRules

    KurtRules Come as you are!

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    4 Days, 3 Passes - One Crazy Himalayan Ride!!


    Ladies and Gentlemen, before I start of proceedings….The Mighty Sach Pass

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    The Men

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    From Left to Right : Sandeep, Me, Sudhanshu and Puneet

    The Machines

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    1) Vaibhav Sabharwal - CBZ Xtreme
    2) Puneet Singh – RE Electra 5s
    3) Sandeep Bharat – Pulsar 180 DTSi
    4) Sudhanshu Shukla – CBZ Extreme

    Preface

    After the Ladakh excursion, the zeal, the flame and the urge to explore the Himalayas even further has doubled, no quadrupled in me and has brought a whole new dimension of change in my perspective and priorities. Being almost 3 months since I returned, I was dying to ride long, real long. Thus began an insane dash to virtually everywhere possible in the time frame round the Himalayas, with ride hours extending to almost 10 – 12 hours, with roads, sorry paths laid out with sharp edged rocks, splinters, broken logs, on a very steep gradient …….
    The irony of this ride was though the initial plan was for Dalhousie and Dharamshala over the weekend, it never turned out that way which of course, was the best part.!
    Me and Puneet had planned these two locations a few weeks ago, BUT (there is always a BUT!!....) with Sach pass doing rounds everywhere, I talked to Puneet about giving it a shot as well, and being the enthusiast the fellow is, he readily agreed. We discussed the ride with Sandeep and he was more than willing! After roping in Sudhanshu just a few days before (poor fellow had to go Leh and had a last minute cancellation. Thought this might just pop up as the consolation prize for him! ), we were a bunch of four, looking forward to the D-Day.

    Proclaiming

    The photographs are courtesy all of us. They were collated and put up by me; to give you guys the best of experience.

    Day 1 ( Chandigarh – Pathankot – Chamba: 362 km)
    “Do you have any idea what time it is!!” I shouted over the phone, Puneet being at the receiving end. He had just finished packing and was tying his stuff to the steed. We had initially planned to leave early, around 1 Pm which of course extended to 2:30. I met the 3 of them near the IT park traffic signal and after fuelling up in Chandigarh, pushed ahead. Took a wrong turn (Reminds me of the movie “Wrong Turn”), and landed up on the road to Sirhind!! … After confirmation from the locals, we back on track and moved on till just ahead of Ropar, where we stopped for some food and all….

    Before Ropar

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    Moving on we rode till Pathankot and waited for Sudhanshu. The ride had been uneventful and pretty boring. Sudhanshu turned up after a while following which we rode to Chamba.


    Enroute:

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    We were in Chamba at around 1 am. After a bit of city loiteting, we managed to find a room for 400 having two double beds. Tired that we were, it didn’t take long to sleep.


    The Lodge:

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    Day 2 (Chamba – Satrundi – Sach Pass – Bagrotu – Killad – Chery : 186 km)
    The same old alarm bells, ringing away to glory, leaving you in a bemused state of mind, where u are left wondering whether you are in the middle of a Trojan War or you have a migraine!
    Eventually, I scrambled out of bed and got ready.
    “Wake up guys, we’ve got a long way to go”, I was pestering the others. Somehow, everyone woke up, got ready and we raring to go at around 6. The initial plan was to ride till Sach and then dash back to Chamba or if possible, to Dalhousie.
    Riding ahead for about 3 km, I remembered I had no cash! Came back, crossed the Chamba Bus stand to find an SBI ATM ( I guess the only one there), withdrew cash and caught up with the rest at a fuel station downhill.
    Topped up fuel again, and cruised ahead. The roads were good this side so the effort was minimal. Chamba is a beautiful place, of all I could figure out from what I observed while riding. “Will surely spend some time here on the return”, I thought.
    Now then, you never know when you contradict yourself do you…. And the best part is, you are glad about it!!!
    Some pics on the way:

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    It was here that Puneet had a slip, eventually managing to break his front brake lever and damaging his clutch pedal…Thankfully the rider was in good shape, and believe it or not, he rode all the way , until Kullu without the front brakes!!! … Kudus to him ….

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    We decided to meet up at a place called Kalhel and have breakfast there.
    From Kalhel

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    The Blessing!!

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    Now the next destination, after a mutual agreement was decided to be Bairagarh (some 26 km before Sach Pass). We were all cruising at our own individual speeds, enjoying the nature and passing through some scenic villages on the way. The roads were pretty decent here, the sun was shining bright…Mother Nature was on our side.

    This, right in the middle of the road!

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    Puneet later told me that he actually went across and then came back to drench himself under that so-called waterfall J.
    Some more pics

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    I didn’t even know when I reached Bairagarh. I had to virtually ride back 2 km where I met Sandeep riding towards me. We both went back to a roadside settlement and relished over an omlette and a plate of dal-chawal.


    The Dhaba at Bairagarh

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    A friend

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    Sandeep with another friend!

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    Waiting for around half an hour we figured Sudhanshu riding in the background!

    Finally……

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    A couple of minutes later saw Puneet in the vicinity. “Late eh!” I smirked. “Yaar vo thodi photos lene ruk gaya tha”, he responded.
    Here is where we met a local who told us about Killad and the Pangi valley…. He was a resident of Chery, some 16 odd ahead of Killad. He told us to ride on and enjoy the beauty ahead, we won’t be dissapointed.

    The locals at Bairagarh

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    Upon inquiring of the road conditions, we were informed that they were bad. Now then,I hope u are paying attention…BAD is a very weak word in this context!!! We didn’t understand that then….We were in for a ride we were never going to forget!
    The road begins!!

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    More

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    Even More

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    Puneet

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    Some kinda heroism!!

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    A few locals en-route Satrundi

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    It took us a lifetime to reach Satrundi, some 16 kms ahead!

    At Satrundi:

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    The roads were pretty similar hereon till Sach. Rocks, Boulders, Snow at some places, was all that we could spot. The bikes were gasping for breath, puffing ahead, virtually dragged! One hell of a bumpy ride…

    On the way to Sach:

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    My Favorite

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    Sandeep

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    Finally after an hour or so, I inched upto Sach Pass….

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    The group at Sach Pass

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    From there:

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    Scenic

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    This was undoubtedly the worst road that I had ridden on. Manali – Leh is seemed pretty decent in front of this.

    Due to the less quantity of water I had, my head was spinning; I was feeling a bit dizzy now. We were there for around half an hour when we started the journey ahead. The passage ahead was equally horrendous, though very beautiful. I had begun to enjoy this now! Bodies being flared up in the air and then thudding back to the saddle at regular intervals. I might be killed for this, but yeah, it was fun!!!!!

    On the way to Bagrotu:

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    ...........................................................
     
  2. KurtRules

    KurtRules Come as you are!

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    The Nullah Enroute

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    The Puneet attempt

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    The Nullah again

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    The descent kinda hurts you were u never wanna get hurt!! Not even in your dreams ;-) And on roads like this, you are putting your future at stake.. he he…..

    We reached the Bagrotu post, some 16 km down from Sach, were we had tea and biscuits. It was here that we were told of two bikers, one of which had virtually ride back to tissa, and send a pickup to transport the other’s bike cause of terrible punctures! On further enquiry by giving credentials , he said “Ha ha vahi mota sa ladka tha..;)!!” ...

    No points for guessing, it was the Yogesh Sarkar and Varun story …. :grin:

    At Bagrotu:

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    After completing all the formalities, we told them of our experience till here, the road condition and all.
    “Ye toh achhi thi, killad tak ab roads aur bhi kharaab hai” …….
    What!!!!........ Does he really mean that????? Aur form the inside, came a “WOW”
    Keeping the thanedaar’s advice of curving carefully cause of steep descent in mind, we moved on…

    Here I experienced how hard these guys work to create roads for freaks like us. They were actually blasting the mountain, showering rock splinters boulders everywhere. No point in explaining, I ll let the pictures do the talking …….. But ya, Pangi was quite breathtaking!!!!
    This was the somewhat so called ‘Road’

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    And this

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    Clicked this from under a waterfall

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    The same waterfall from a distance

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    Enroute Glacier

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    RoadBlock

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    Classic example of “Gayi bhans paani mein”!!!!

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    We halted at Killad for a butt break, a well deserved one indeed!! The stop for the night was a PWD guesthouse at Chery, some 16 km away, and similar roads ( They kept us company till Udaipur) ….. These were roads that had never seen tar in their entire life!

    Some pics enroute Killad
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    It had gone dark now, and riding was getting pretty tough …. We somehow managed to reach Chery at around 7 45 Pm…Pulled up to a hilltop PWD rest house….The beauty of the location would shock us tomorrow morning, as it was dark now..

    I have done may rides in the past, rode long without breaks, in pitch darkness, without visors, on sand and gravel, black ice and all kinds of surfaces….. But THIS…..THIS surpassed all…..Rose above all……This was one ride extremely hard on both the man and machine …. Steep gradients, going up and coming down….where u have to curve down on boulders, at never before experienced descents, where just a notch of speed up, might see you swirling downhill in no time, as control was extremely difficult …
    …..Its like pushing yourself to the limit …. Hardcore biking is all I have to say ……

    We were covered with dirt, mud ….sand in our eyes, busted asses, bad breath, tangled hair….. But immensely satisfied!! …
    Sach pass is a test of abilities; A test of skill and endurance; of patience…. for any rider …..
    And I salute those who successfully did this on two wheels! Amen…

    Well then, now that’s that …. Lets move on shall we :D

    There was only one, small little dhaba at chery. The hungry dogs that we were, we devoured Rice and Dal . Here we met a couple of Cloth traders who enlightened us on the Pangi valley. It’s one of the most backward areas in Himachal; People used to walk till Chamba and Jammu, even till 1999. Sach - Killad is just a recent opening, enabling cross-valley transit to Pangi; Being jeepable in nature. (Buses go only till Bagrotu as of now).
    Me and Puneet had locally made Rice-Beer here ( Merely Rs20 a jug!!). It was like sour curd, but refreshing nonetheless.
    Thus after a long day of tough riding, we crashed in to our beds and dozed off….

    Day 3 and 4 travelogue...
     
  3. KurtRules

    KurtRules Come as you are!

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    The rest tommorow .... M hungry and the only one in office as far as i can see!!!:D
     
  4. joie de vivre

    joie de vivre Guru

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    ....:-#......=D>=D>=D>
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  5. Devil.Dj

    Devil.Dj Active Member

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    Wow... And the 2008 adventure continues... Great ride all.. Eagerly awaiting the rest of the log..

    Thanks a ton for sharing :)

    Cheers,
    DJ
     
  6. akshay4384

    akshay4384 THE LONE RIDER

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  7. Yogesh Sarkar

    Yogesh Sarkar Administrator

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    Fantastic stuff, lots of snow at the pass already, was it also on the road?

    Looks like Varun and my trip has become legendary and will be told to every biker who goes there :grin:, should have put a BCMTouring sticker there.
     
  8. rahulzzz

    rahulzzz Member

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    woow you guys sure had FUN... nice pix
     
  9. chauhan_ait

    chauhan_ait The tourer

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    Man o Man!!
    I am speachless.... what a wonderful set of pics. Did'nt you guyz got flat tyres on those horrible trails!

    waiting eagerly for rest of the treat :)
    - pankaj
     
  10. hitanshu

    hitanshu Master of the OT Universe

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    kakke

    khush kar ditta.

    No nonsense ride - cognizant of the challenge yet minus any hype or hysteria - and covering a fantastic distance at the end of it all. I am kicked, to say the least.

    will surely drop by for a hello next time I drive by chandigarh :)

    or when you come to dilliii!!
     

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