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


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5-Jul-2018 (Thursday): Day 6 (Drass to Khalsi)

Vinod and I woke up at around 7:00 AM and went out to have Tea. We saw a restaurant and called our other friends too. Had Breakfast – Paratha. Came back to room, finished morning rituals, dried cloths and were ready by around 9:30 AM.

Our first halt for the day was at a board which indicated second coldest inhabitant place in the world. Next stop was at Kargil war memorial which is few kilometers away from Drass. Please make note of it. People might think Kargil war memorial is at Kargil but it is around 10 KMs from Drass. Distance between Drass and Kargil is around 63 KMs.

We spent almost 2 hours at Kargil war memorial. Took pictures, purchased cap and T-shirt, watched short movie and had some Tea.

We moved towards Kargil city and took many breaks for photography on the way. Even we stopped at a place where people were moving electric cables across the river. It is really a tough job for them with minimum infrastructure. We took selfie and offered some chikki’s to them.

We reached Kargil town at 1:30 PM. Went inside the city and took some money out of ATM. I tried to fix my back packs zip which had come out. One of the shop keeper did it for free.

We moved on and stopped at Mulbekh for lunch. We ordered the food in a small hotel and went to temple and came back. Mulbekh was a very calm place and Maitreya temple location was very nice and silent. There is a big rock statue of Buddha.

After finishing the lunch, I went ahead to fill petrol at a bunk which was around 2 KMs ahead. I filled petrol and was waiting for others to join. Since they didn’t turn up, I called them and understood that Vinod had lost his bike key. I said I will wait and was guessing he would have left the key at temple premises where we removed the shoes to enter the temple. They arrived in another 5-10 minutes and my guess was right.

We filled the petrol at Indian oil petrol bunk and checked the air pressure too in a puncture repair shop 500 meters ahead as there was no air filling facility at the petrol bunk.

We came across couple of more mountain passes now. The traffic was less. It was sunny and hot with winding roads. We crossed Namikla and Fatula passes. Again it was a superb experience of climbing the hill with turns and windings visible for long distance. The hill around was light brown in color.

Rajaprabhu and Narasimha together had gone ahead as always. Vinod and I were behind and going together clicking some pictures. It was around 7 KMs to go to the down and we saw both of our friends had stopped and there was a Mahindra pickup van. We realized Rajaprabhu’s bike’s rear wheel is punctured. Since there is no option to repair the puncture, they were trying to load the bike on van and get the puncture repaired at next repair shop available. We helped to load the bike on the van and Rajaprabhu sat with the bike. We followed the van.

The bike was unloaded 4 KMs behind Lamayuru and the tube was replaced. We had tea while the bike was getting repaired. I took photos around and we saw some cows there. It was close to 7:30 PM when we started back.

We crossed Lamayuru and skipped the visit to monastery. We continued towards Leh and while entering a bridge, Rajaprabhu lost his balance due to uneven road and the bike fell down. Again nothing major happened. We stopped for a while to check if the bike is fine. There was a little damage to the handle which was bent. Meanwhile a person came there by walk and we enquired him about staying options. He said few tents are available little ahead and hotel accommodation is available only at Khalsi or Saspul.

We discussed and decided to reach Saspul. It was getting dark and we reached Khalsi with me leading the convoy. It was close to 8:30 PM. We crossed Khalsi and after a KM we stopped. Rajaprabhu was feeling tired and was not in josh to ride further. We decided to turn back and find accommodation at Khalsi. We checked 2-3 hotel rooms but were not too satisfied. Finally zeroed on one option and parked our bikes in the bus stop just in front of the room. We moved our luggage’s to the room.

Went out in search of dinner but could not get very good hotel since it was almost 10:00 PM. Settled for Maggie noodles in one of the hotels and ate some fruits. We slept off at around 11:30 PM.

Stay : Hotel at Khalsi – Rent 600 per day per room

Odo for the day : 190 – Start 14299 and End 14489


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Beautiful view of Drass (behind our hotel)


Main road at Drass


The Dhaba where we had the breakfast


The landmark board


At Kargil war memorial



The famous photo


The much talked rifle


This tanker deal was also in news for many years


Amar Jawan lamp



True statement we need to remember



Huge Tri color with Vijay Diwas background


Nice road towards Kargil


Nice view all along




cable laying across the river


Entry into Kargil... Kids enjoying swing ride below the bridge


in Kargil city


View of Kargil from outskirts



Mulbek temple






Petrol station at Mulbek


Nice landscape


Fatula top



Vinod riding the bike






The puncture and tea shops before Lamayuru

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Great Moves !
Great Decisions !
Great Pics Breaks !


Big Question :
How was the performance of Yamaha RX 135 ?


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Great Moves !
Great Decisions !
Great Pics Breaks !


Big Question :
How was the performance of Yamaha RX 135 ?
Thank you Satinderji !

Yamaha RX 135 performed very well all along except for one instance which we could have fixed... I will describe that later...


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6-Jul-2018 (Friday): Day 7 (Khalsi to Leh)

We got up at 4:30 AM and became ready by 5:25 AM. Took few pictures especially construction people carrying cement blocks on their back. We gave a break in between and reached a point for having Tea at around 6:30 AM. When we were talking in Kannada, the owner of the hotel who is a lady also started speaking in Kannada. She said she had stayed in Bangalore for few years and knows Kannada. We took a photo with her. A person was there who took our group photo and we understood he is a Geologist. He had collected number of precious stones around Leh area and we took the photo of the banner he had.

The roads were excellent towards Leh and in some stretches it was very straight. I had started early after the tea break, stopped at a location where the roads were straight to take our friends photos.

We missed Indus Zanskar confluence and stopped at magnetic hill. No one was around. We took few photos and left the place. We didn’t observe any magnetic effect at that place.

Next halt was at Gurudwara Pathar sahib. Vinod and I went inside. Had the Darshan and had Tea & rusk offered at the langar. The premises were very peaceful.

We reached Leh by 8:45 AM. Rajaprabhu went to wash his bike. I had seen a JKTDC guest house which was near the Airport. Since it was little away from Leh city, we went in search of rooms inside the city. We got a room near new bus stand with parking area. We unloaded the luggage and went for the breakfast in a Punjabi dhaba nearby.

We came back to the room and discussed about the plan for the day. We decided that Vinod will go to get the in-line permit for all of us. While returning, he will check his bike in a garage for any anomaly and will get the washing done for his bike. Rajaprabhu and Narasimha will go for the bike checkup/washing. I will be at the room. Once all of them return, I will be going for my bike wash / check. Once these things are done, we will go for local sightseeing in the evening. We heard that Dalai Lama was in Leh and it was his birthday which was being celebrated in Leh. We thought we will attend the function if it was feasible but we could not attend.

There was a washing machine in the common bathroom in that hotel complex. We took consent from the owner to use it. Vinod and Narasimha put their clothes in the washing machine and I took care of my clothes on the rotation basis. We even dried the clothes in the terrace.

Vinod got the in-line permit for INR 2100 for 4 people. We had lunch in the same Punjabi dhaba once all of them returned. I went for washing my bike and got it checked. Everything was fine. Just oiled the chain. I did fill air to the tyre’s at the Indian oil petrol bunk where there was no attender and we need to fill the air ourselves.

Three of us, except Narasimha, went to Hall of fame in the evening. The main exhibition and entry was closed by 6:30 PM. We saw the flag unfurling ceremony and the parade. We watched the short movie too. Had some snacks in the cafeteria and returned to the room.

Our plan for the next day was to go to Pangong Tso, come to Durbuk and stay overnight. Visit Nubra valley next day and stay there. We were supposed to return to Leh on the third day. We had made this plan based on the google map which was showing 223 KMs from Leh to Pangong, 274 KMs from pangong to Nubra and 160 KMs from Nubra to Leh.

When we were discussing with the owner’s son of the hotel, he suggested we can do Nubra and Pangong in 2 days. They have an Innova taxi and are regular visitors to Nubra valley and Pangong tso. He suggested us to go to Nubra first and stay there or if we decide we can go towards Pangong also on the same day. Next day, return from Pangong. We agreed for that plan.

We had dinner at the same Punjabi dhaba where we had the breakfast & lunch and rested for the day.

Stay : Hotel at Leh – Rent 700 per day per room

Odo for the day : 126 – Start 14489 and End 14615


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Outside our hotel room at Khalsi


Construction people carrying cement blocks


Superb early morning view on the way



Golden hill ?


A bridge on the way


New bridge being constructed in parallel


Stop for the morning tea


Colorful hills


Banner of Ladakh rocks museam


With Kannada speaking hotel owner


Excellent roads towards Leh








At the magnetic hill


Vinod approaching Magnetic hill point


Bike bathing !


Hall of fame