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


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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............................
No. We didn't taste the Saffron. I gave one packet to a relative and other one we used at home with milk. Good suggestion on real V/s Fake. I will spread this with relatives and friends so that they can take care while buying in future.

Now on wards I will post the write up and photos separately if that helps....


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4-Jul-2018 (Wednesday): Day 5 (Srinagar to Drass)

Vinod and I wanted to have a morning jog / run around the beautiful roads of Dal Lake. We had informed the assistant who has been ferrying us from boathouse to bank and back to take us early morning to the bank. We were ready by 5:40 AM. After reaching the bank, we went to check if our bikes were intact since they were parked in a public parking area. We ensured that all of our bikes are in good shape.

We did the warm-up exercise and a 7 KM run at a comfortable pace around the lake. We met many runners / joggers during this time.

We also saw a Maruti Eeco car with Kerala state registration and saw some names of places stickered on it. We saw 3 guys taking photo nearby and checked if they were travelling on that Eeco. After confirming that it is correct, we had conversation with them. They were on a 45 day journey from Kerala to Leh and back. They were into 15th day of their journey. We took a photo with them and continued our run.

We finished our run by 7:10 AM and called back our friend to send the guy to pick up us. We had bath and packed our luggages. We had bread jam/butter for the breakfast in the boathouse.

A boat had come near our boathouse who was selling saffron and other items. We purchased some saffron packets.

We clicked few photos of the boathouse and the person who had arranged the stay. He arranged a small boat for us to move to the bank. After reaching the bank, Vinod and Rajaprabhu went and brought their bikes while other two were guarding the luggages. We brought other 2 bikes also and started loading our luggages.

One of the guy who was watching our loading of luggages started conversation with us & informed that the road towards Leh is closed due to land slide and we may not be able to travel today. However there are chances that the road might open at around 2 or 3 PM. Since we had time now, we thought we will visit Mughal garden or Nishat garden in Srinagar.

It was around 9:30 AM and we went towards Nishat Garden. We parked the bikes outside the garden and had Kashmiri falooda. We met a guy from FLG group and started talking to him. He said if they clear the landslide they might allow bikers to go. So all of us rode ahead on Leh road but after around a distance of 500 meter we were sent back by police/ military people.

We came back and parked the bikes at the same place, just outside Nishat garden.

We sat for some time to discuss the plan if we were not allowed that day towards Leh. We also understood that a minister is visiting Amarnath so the security is stricter and they might allow us once the minister goes in that route. I thought I will make a casual round by walk around and went into Nishat market which was just 200 meters away. I purchased few caps and bags to take back home.

We thought of going for a Shikhara ride in the Dal lake which we had planned but couldn’t do due to lack of time. Initially Narasimha and I went for the ride since all of us could not go as someone was required to guard the bike with luggages. We paid around INR 220 for 2 people and finished the 40 minute ride. After coming back Vinod and Rajaprabhu went for the ride. The weather was very pleasant and cloudy.

It was close to 1:30 PM. Narasimha and I went for the lunch in the same Nishat market. It had started raining when we were taking lunch. We finished the lunch and Narasimha wanted to make some purchases. However the prices quoted were high and we started returning to our bike parking area. We saw a convoy of vehicles going towards Leh with sirens. We guessed it was the minister’s convoy and we saw many other tourist vehicles following it. We understood that the roads are open to Leh and decided to get out of Srinagar first.

Vinod and Rajaprabhu had not taken lunch but they were fine with that. We started our journey towards Leh. It started raining heavily however we had worn our raincoats. I told the team that I will go ahead to fill the petrol and we can meet at the next petrol bunk. There was lot of traffic on exit road to Leh. I found a petrol bunk and went to fill the petrol there. It was not covered petrol bank and personal was having an umbrella since it was raining. I told him to fill INR 500 worth of petrol. When I saw the reading, it was showing already INR 275 within seconds. I told him to stop and asked him if he had not reset the meter. He said he did. I told he has not reset the meter and will complain to police since he is cheating the tourists. He said might be the reset has not happened and he will fill the petrol for 750 to make it up for 500. Petrol was filled and I demanded for the bill.

I checked if my team is waiting on the road near petrol bunk but I didn’t see anyone. I was not able to use the phone due to rain. I continued for a KM and stopped near a shop shelter and tried to call Vinod but they were not receiving the call. I removed my canvas shoe and wore rubber boot since it was still raining. I continued on Leh road. I reached one more junction which was the highway towards Leh. I stopped and called my friends again. They were 5-10 KMs ahead of me. I told them to continue and started to follow them. Rain became very less and roads were good but again lot of traffic was there.

We continued our journey and I met the team almost after 10-15 KMs. We proceeded and stopped at a hotel for having Tea at 4:45 PM. Couple of private buses came there and people who got down saw the registration number of our bikes and asked if we were from Karnataka state. We said yes and they started talking with us in Kannada language. They were a group of 30+ people from Bangalore going to Amarnath yatra. They had visited Vaishnodevi and were narrating that they should have taken helicopter to temple instead of horse which was almost costing the same price. We took a selfie with them. They wished us happy journey.

We went ahead and took some pictures on the way at a beautiful location. Sindh River was flowing all along on the right hand side of us. It was a very satisfying ride and we were enjoying it.

Our next stop was at Sonamarg which we reached at around 6:30 PM. The place was magnificent with cloudy weather and snow on the hills. We took few pictures and spent 15-20 minutes. We decided to continue towards Leh and try to cover as much distance as possible since it was still sunny.

We crossed Baltal which is the base camp for Amarnath yatra. We saw number of vehicles there. Now we started the climb with sharp turnings on a muddy road. It was Zojlla pass. The roads were bad with little traffic. Two trucks could not cross at one place in opposite direction and the vehicles had to reverse to give the way. We could see the Amarnath yatra base camp from the top with lights on. It was a beautiful sight.

It was drizzling and cold. We crossed the pass with caution and reached the other side and stopped. It was close to 8:45 PM. We wanted to have some hot tea. One of the team member had Maggie too. The price was on higher side. We paid INR 30 for Tea and 80 for Maggie. A guy was asking if we would like to do the skiing. We said no however were surprised by the offer since it was pitch dark and visibility was very poor. Another group of 5 bikes joined there and we learnt that all of them are from Bangalore.

We enquired about any stay options and there were tents. But since it was very cold, we decided to go to the next place and came to know that many stay options are available at Drass which is around 40 KMs. It was already 9:00 PM and we moved on. The roads were not good and I had to enter a ditch and come out due to stagnant rain water. I lost a little control after crossing a bridge where the road was broken and it was muddy but nothing serious happened.

We were stopped at a check post and we entered our details. Accommodation was available there also but since Drass was another 20 KMs away, we continued. We reached Drass by 10:45 PM and found a hotel with parking for bikes. We moved our luggages to the room and had dinner and slept. It was 12:00 midnight.

Stay : Hotel at Drass – Rent 400 per day per room

Odo for the day : 162 – Start 14137 and End 14299
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Getting ready for the run


Flower seller on the boat



Running on the banks of Dal lake




Eeco car with their route


With the team who were travelling on the Eeco


Facebook deluxe !



Waiting for the boat to pick up us


Coming back to the bank


with the person who arranged the boat house for us


Kashmiri Falooda



Shikhara ride in Dal lake










On Srinagar Leh road


With Amarnath yarthris from Bangalore


Before Sonamarg


We had XXL sized rain coat so that we can even wear with warm clothes on



The Sindh river


At Sonamarg






Before Baltal


Zojila Pass





View of Amarnath yatra camp


Having tea after Zojila pass

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Nice write up. Great to know you're a marathon runner too. Running along Dal Lake on a road trip ! That's really inspiring! Oh BTW I've got a silly question and off topic too. How do you manage to wash your running attire and dry them after your run in the mornings of such road trip :-k.

Pardeep Dhounchak

जाट देवता ने कहा है : घुमक्कड़ी किस्मत से मिलती है
Gr8 journey till now ................keep pouring:supz:


Active Member
Nice write up. Great to know you're a marathon runner too. Running along Dal Lake on a road trip ! That's really inspiring! Oh BTW I've got a silly question and off topic too. How do you manage to wash your running attire and dry them after your run in the mornings of such road trip :-k.
Thanks Prasad !

I am not a marathon runner yet but a long distance runner...Marathon is 42.195 KMs which I haven't done but have done few half marathons (21.1 KM) and ran up to 30 KM. I am attempting to do a full marathon this year. Let me see how it goes.

About managing the washing cloths and running attire... we use to wash the clothes during night times and dry it overnight and next day morning in sunlight (till 9-10 AM depending on our start time). If we can't wash, we just use to pack them in separate plastic covers and store in the bag and wash at next opportunity...