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Leh by Thar in Sep 2023
Here is a quick navigation with links of our third visit to Ladakh in Nexon [Sep/Oct 2019]:
- Sach Pass
- Alchi Monastery
- Pangong Tso
- Chittorgarh Fort
Before starting this travelogue, let me salute the valiant Indian security personnel, both who sacrificed their precious lives and who were/are working against odds in bad weather conditions at unfriendly, isolated locations, but for whom, this expedition would not have been possible.
I started dreaming of driving to Leh in my Linea in May 2011, when the roads to Leh were open to civilian traffic. First, I wanted to take my family. When I came to know that my Linea just cannot climb Zozilla Pass with the entire family in the car, I dropped that idea. Then, I invited my friend to join in Leh expedition, which he readily accepted. Later, I had to postpone the expedition due to unavoidable personal reasons. Afterwards, when I rescheduled it, my friend's leave application was rejected. The next right of refusal was given to my son, and as expected, his leave was also not granted. The reason why I wanted to take my friend or my son was there must be somebody to push my Linea from behind at Zozilla Pass in case she struggled to climb! Then I thought, I must do this trip, come what may! So, I asked my wife and she readily agreed.
I reserved our accommodation in advance for the up journey including Leh. The return journey part was left open so that we would have some flexibility.
Since we had to participate in a marriage at Chennai, we decided to start the expedition from Chennai, actually from my niece's home at Orchards, Arcot Road, Chennai. My niece had packed enough chappathis and mixed veggie side dish to last for our dinner and breakfast. Myself, my wife and my Linea left Orchards at 6:05 pm on 9 September 2011 [Friday].
I took the route of Chennai>Ongole>Chilakaluripeta>NagarjunaSagar>Hyderabad>Nagpur for the first lap of my Leh expedition. The road from Chennai to Chilakaluripeta was superb 4-laned NH 5. However, from Chilakaluripeta to Nagarjuna Sagar, there were many bad stretches. My Linea bottom-scraped 4 times. Again, from Nagarjuna Sagar to Hyderabad, the road was very good. I drove on NH 7 from Hyderabad to Nagpur. Except for about 100 km, where 4-laning work was still in progress, the remaining stretch was fantastic.
We reached Peanut, Nagpur at 2:24 pm on 10 September 2011 [Saturday] after driving for 1171.8 km.
After checking in, we had a wash, rushed to the nearby Haldiram's at Bardi, tasted our favourites, returned to Peanut and crashed to the bed for the much-needed sleep.
More to come.