Jammu - Srinagar - Leh (Ladakh) - Manali - Chandigarh on Yamaha RX-135

PrabhuG

Active Member
These incidents are part & parcel of long road journeys. But there are good souls around to help in such situations. Friends & locals help us out. It was good that Narasimha didn't suffer any major injuries and was good to ride the next day.

Nice Going. Well narrated. Kudos to the team.
Yes Shekhar. Narasimha continued the ride.

Thank you for the appreciation !
 

PrabhuG

Active Member
2-Jul-2018 (Monday) – Day 3: (Banihal to Banihal – back to square)

Vinod and I got ready by 6:30 AM and went to “A-one” hotel after checking out from our room. In the night we had to visit rest room couple of times due to loose motion. Vinod predicted it was due to body heat because of riding the bike for long time. Even Rajaprabhu had similar symptoms. I also thought it might be due to body heat but in the corner of my mind was thinking it could be due to food we had in the previous day.

The JKTDC hotel where we stayed

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Punjabi Dhaba across the road where we had our food previous day night

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Narasimha and Rajaprabhu were ready and they wanted Narasimha to have a tetanus injection. They went to nearby primary health care and we were guarding our bikes. They came back in 20-30 minutes.

In front of A-one hotel - bike had become dirty due to previous day's ride from Jammu to Banihal

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Once we confirmed Narasimha is fine, we were about to start the journey and I was starting the bike. Rajaprabhu announced that his rear wheel is punctured. There were no puncture shops nearby and it was very early to bring the mechanic to the place.

One of the bike belonging to the other team which was staying in the “A-one” hotel had also got punctured. They had a mechanic and it looks he helped to get rid of it.

We decided to remove the wheel and take it to the puncture shop near a petrol bunk which was one KM away. Rajaprabhu unloaded the luggage and started removing the wheel. Though it was easy to remove the wheel in RE, we were struggling to remove the rod from left side due to additional carrier fixed which was obstructing. I had hammer in the tool box and with little struggle we removed the wheel using the hammer.

Rajaprabhu and Vinod went to puncture shop on Vinod’s bike which was a kilometer away towards Srinagar side near a petrol bunk. Narasimha and I were guarding all the bikes which were loaded with luggage and outside the hotel. It was almost an hour and a half by the time they returned after repairing the puncture. Narasimha was feeling tired standing for long as he had injury. He got the tea from the hotel for himself and me. He was feeling feverish and sleepy also so he decided to take rest in the hotel room. I continued to take care of bikes and clicked some photos of Banihal main road.

Banihal main road connecting Jammu and Srinagar

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10 liter petrol can Rajaprabhu had brought for the trip

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Vinod and Rajaprabhu came back and we fixed the wheel of bike. We decided to move the bikes and park them in shade since the shops started opening on the road and the road was becoming crowded. Vinod and I moved our bikes some half kilometer ahead and parked on a side where there was a shelter for me to sit. Vinod went back to bring Narasimha and Rajaprabhu’s bike.

There was river and a small bridge in the place where we had parked the bikes. The road across the bridge was not that busy and was very shady. Vinod went and checked that place and we decided to park the bikes there. He and Rajaprabhu had breakfast. Vinod brought parcel for me and I had the aloo Paratha. He went back and moved Narasimha and Raja Prabhu’s bike by the time I finished breakfast. We moved our bikes too in the shade.

Aloo paratha for the breakfast

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Another view of Banihal main road

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Vinod coming back to take the bike to the shade across the river

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Our bikes parked in the shade

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We discussed and decided to give half day rest for Narasimha. We felt we will go up to Srinagar at least and decide if Narasimha can continue to come with us to Leh. We also discussed and thought if he wishes to return to Bangalore, we can arrange to send the bike by road and he can fly back to Bangalore.

Time was close to 11:00 AM and weather was little cloudy. We thought we can wash some of our clothes in the river and I went to bring the Soap. But since it was difficult to get into water we decided not to wash the clothes. I made one more round in Banihal, went to market, got some fruits for eating. Dasheri mangoes were very cheap and we tasted aloo bhukara too.

River and bridge in Banihal

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Banihal market

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Interesting money garlands sold in shops

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Dasheri mango and aloo bhukhara

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Vinod bought a dozen of drinking water bottle and we arranged to keep six of them in Rajaprabhu’s bike carrier where there was space. We shared the remaining in our backpacks. People passing by use to notice our bikes and ask about our whereabouts. We were happily giving the information. A group of boys were curious and had chit chat with us. we took a photo with them.

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At around 2:00 PM Rajaprabhu went to hotel room and got Narasimha who was ready to ride till Srinagar. We again noticed that Rajaprabhu’s bike’s rear tyre pressure is low. We decided that Vinod and Rajaprabhu would check for this issue again at same puncture shop. Narasimha and I decided to go ahead slowly and other two will catch up.

We rode for around 15-18 KMs and crossed Jawahar tunnel. The police men on the other side of the tunnel stopped us and told that we are not allowed to go towards Srinagar after 3:00 PM. When we checked the time, it was 3:10 PM. They told us to come next day morning after 6:00 AM. There was no other option and we came back from the returning tunnel. In Jawahar tunnel there are 2 separate tubes for going and coming unlike Chenani Nushri tunnel. We called and informed Vinod and Rajaprabhu as soon as we came out of the tunnel not to come and look for a hotel.

We stopped in between while returning to Banihal as the view was beautiful and took some pictures. We spoke to few people there and understood that they are working for building a new tunnel which would replace Jawahar tunnel. We took their pictures and returned back to Banihal.


Good view while coming towards Banihal

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Road and tunnel being constructed which would replace Jawahar tunnel

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People at construction site

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There was only one room available at JKTDC guest house and all four of us had to adjust in that room. It looks like the hotel manager was anticipating more number of people in the evening as they were not allowing tourists to cross Jawahar tunnel after 3:00 PM.

Four bikers who were travelling to Leh from Chandigarh also came to same hotel and we had a conversation with them.

Our bikes were very dirty due to previous day’s ride from Jammu to Banihal and we decided to wash them. Free flowing water was available from the hills and we bought some clothes from a tailor shop opposite to the hotel for washing the bikes. We finished cleaning and even washed our clothes and dried them up.

Bikes after unloading our luggage and ready for a wash

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View of the hotel from a tailor shop which is at first floor across the hotel

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All 4 of us had dinner in the same Punjabi dhaba.

The lussi we had during the dinner

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After coming back from dinner we were chatting about the next day’s plan in the hotel veranda. A guy overheard our conversation in Kannada and asked about our whereabouts. They were also from Bangalore and where staying in our next room. Their group consisted of 2 male and 1 female rider. They were going to Gurez valley on 2 KTM bikes and one hero impulse bike.

We had conversation with them for some more time and went to bed by 10:30 PM.

Stay : JKTDC tourist bungalow 2, Banihal. Rent – 800 per / day

KMs ridden : 39 – Start 13972 and End 14011
 
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adsatinder

explorer

PrabhuG

Active Member
3-Jul-2018 (Tuesday) – Day 4: (Banihal to Srinagar)

We woke up at 4:45 AM and got ready by 6:30 AM. We covered the luggages with plastic cover to avoid dust and safeguard the luggages from rain. We took photos with the two bike riding groups we had met previous day and exchanged the wishes.

With Chandigarh team

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Bangalore team

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We started our journey towards Srinagar and had a cup of tea before Jawahar tunnel. Crossed the tunnel and stopped at titanic view point. Narasimha had ridden ahead of us and he had gone far ahead.

We took pictures at Titanic view point and met a big group of riders namely FLG group. They were riding Avenger bikes. We spent 10 minutes at the view point. It was a fantastic view and weather was also very cool.

Selfie during Tea

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Beautiful scene from Titanic view point

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The FLG group and mostly their supporting van

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Rajaprabhu and Vinod

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Vinod found a high end iphone while taking photo at a particular spot at the view point. The phone was lying over there. He collected and we waited for people to ask for it. After 2-3 minutes one guy came asking for the phone. Vinod enquired about the details of the phone and where it was left. After confirming the phone model and place where it was left, we were convinced that the phone belongs to that guy and Vinod handed over the phone. We continued our journey towards Srinagar. The ride was beautiful with curvy roads and greenery around.

We met Narasimha at starting of 4 lane towards Srinagar and the place was 2 Kilometers to Qazigund. We had bread/butter and tea at a canteen. The Bangalore team whom we had met also was there. We spent some 30 minutes to finish the breakfast. While chatting with the Bangalore team we learnt that the female is the Limca book of record holder for covering Kanyakumari to Leh in 129 hours on motorbike and her name is Shubra Acharya.

Before stopping for the breakfast - starting of 4 lane to Srinagar

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Many hotels/canteens

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With Shubra Acharya

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The bread butter ready to be served

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and the Tea

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We started back at 8:20 AM and Rajaprabhu went ahead. Remaining of us were riding together and in between we got a railway crossing where we had to stop. We called up Rajaprabhu to enquire about his position and he had stopped near a cricket bat manufacturing place around 10 KM ahead of us.

Photo when I had stopped (not an add of pro biker !)

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Colorful landscape

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NH 44

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Railway crossing

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We reached that place and we could see plenty of Kashmir willow cricket bat manufacturing and selling shops. We selected 5 bats in a shop and negotiated for the price. Since the guy didn’t give us at the price we asked, we moved ahead. In next stop, we purchased 5 bats for reasonable price and the shop owner said he will ship them to Bangalore at a cost of INR 100 per bat. We said we will take it ourselves and asked him to pack. Vinod carried the bats on his bike.

One of the cricket bat selling shops

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So many varieties of Kashmir willow bats

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We purchased the bats here

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Bats that are ready for putting stickers

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The making of the bat

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The raw material

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Excellent view near to Srinagar

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On the way to Srinagar we saw some shops selling saffron but we didn’t stop. We reached Srinagar by 11:05 AM.

Rajaprabhu went ahead in search of a mechanic to get the tube replaced for his bike since it was giving trouble. We stopped near a place where there were many shops. Narasimha purchased saffron. We parked the bike inside a public compound and Vinod said he will be waiting there.

The place we stopped after reaching Srinagar

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Variety of fruits

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Narasimha and I went ahead to Srinagar city for re-dressing Narasimha’s wounds. Initially we were guided to a government children hospital but it was crowded. We asked the directions for next hospital and we were guided to a Kidney hospital. However we got the dressing done there.

I purchased 2 liters of 2T oil for the bike from an automobile shop. We went to Lal chowk to check if we can get a mounting bracket for helmet camera which Narasimha had. We parked the bike near Lal chowk and went enquiring about camera shop. We came across couple of shops but could not get what we wanted. I needed a visor for my helmet too and we could not get the right size.

We roamed around Lal chowk and Narasimha purchased a pair of gum boots. I bought a new helmet. We came in an auto to parking place. Rode back to place where Vinod was waiting. Rajaprabhu also had reached there.

Lal chowk - Srinagar

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Street where we purchased the gum boots

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The new helmet I purchased

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It was around 2:00 PM and we wanted to have lunch. Vinod and Rajaprabhu went to a nearby hotel. They wanted to eat Biryani but Vinod didn’t like it and he came back. We ate fruits from a nearby shop. While we were waiting for Rajaprabhu, we heard a big sound. When we turned around to see what happened, we observed that a car driven by a lady had banged a taxi in front. It looks like taxi driver had applied sudden break. People gathered around and some discussion was happening.

We were contemplating whether to stay in Srinagar or proceed towards Leh. Since the situation is calm in Srinagar, we decided to stay and proceed to Leh next morning.

Dal lake being famous and popular destination, we rode towards it. A boat house owner approached us and we decided to hire a boat house in Dal Lake. Vinod and Rajaprabhu went and saw the boat house rooms and were satisfied. We sent the luggage and Narasimha accompanied it since he was not interested to visit Shankaracharya mutt. The road leading to Mutt will be closed by 5:00 PM and hence we started immediately to the mutt.

Dal lake

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City sightseeing bus

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We had to show our ID card and driving license at the check post leading to mutt. Once we got the clearance, we rode to the top. It was around 4-5 KMs drive. We parked our bikes and approached the main entrance of the mutt. The security asked us if we had any cellphone or camera. We said we have and requested them if we can keep in the cloak room which they didn’t have. Since we could not keep the items in bike too, Vinod decided to stay back guarding the camera and phones. Rajaprabhu and self-climbed around 300 steps and went to the temple.

The view is extra ordinary from the top. We can see full Srinagar.

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I came down first and let Vinod go. Rajaprabhu also came down by that time. It started raining heavily as soon as Vinod climbed the steps. We waited for half an hour. He came back once the rains slowed down. I had the rain coat in my bag. I gave the top of the raincoat to Vinod since I had one more jacket. Rajaprabhu had a rain coat inside his bike riding jacket. We started descend and took a stop in the view point and clicked couple of photos. Came down and parked our bikes in a designated parking area which was fully packed. Somehow we managed to park the bikes and went to boat house on a small boat. We freshened up and had a cup of tea. We came back to road in the small boat again and had some pakoda’s in a small eating outlet. We spent some time on the banks of Dal Lake and went back to boat house on the small boat again.

Super evening at Dal lake

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Riding to the boat house

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Boat house

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Inside the boat house

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Tea served in the boat house

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We had dinner in the boat house – Rice, dal and chapatti. We slept at around 10:30 PM. It was an excellent experience to stay on the boat house.

Dinner served in the boat house

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Stay : Boat house, Dal Lake, Srinagar – Rent 800 per day per person – inclusive dinner and breakfast

KMs ridden : 126 – Start 14011 and End 14137
 
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Pardeep Dhounchak

जाट देवता ने कहा है : घुमक्कड़ी किस्मत से मिलती है
Have you taste Saffron??? bcoz there are so many fake Saffron sellers also in. I had experience Real Saffron taste which is a bitter taste or some tasteless.
I heared that Fake Saffron is sweet in taste.
Very nice journey........................ keep it up to write up so we enjoy more............................
 
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