Leh on Nexon

J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Naggar>Leh . 508 km . 23 hours . 22 kmph . 12.3 kmpl
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We left our Naggar home-stay at 9 am on 12 July 2017. We were welcomed by rain, fog, poor visibility and traffic jam as a bonus at Rohtang Pass.

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We lunched at Keylong and continued our drive. The roads were good, bad and ugly. Our original plan was to stay at Jispa. But, when we reached Jispa, it was 5 pm. So, we decided to continue our drive.

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Just before Zingzingbar water-crossings, a Dutch-cyclist, who was cycling all over India, stopped our XUV 500 and asked, if we could discuss India for sometime. When I replied in affirmative and got down from my XUV 500, he started discussing domestic and International politics! He had cycled in Chennai too before moving on to Mumbai and then, to J&K. He warned me of dreaded few water-crossings ahead, but jocularly commented that for XUV 500, it was just like washing the feet! We shook hands and continued in our respective direction. As he warned, some of the water-crossings were deep and continued for a few hundred metres all along the road, that too, in twilight condition.

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After sometime, one Saravana Kumar, riding a PB-registered Duke towards Jispa, stopped me after seeing XUV 500's TN registration number plate and started conversing in Tamil. When I asked him, how come he was riding a PB-registered motorbike, he informed me that he was running a Dosa-restaurant in Ludhiana and invited us to visit there during our return drive. He advised me to stay at Sarchu. But, we could neither enjoy his dosas as we crossed Ludhiana after 10 pm, while returning home, nor did I follow his advice of staying at Sarchu!

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Crossing Baralachala was very easy as roads on either side were very good. I could not click a photo as it was too dark by then.

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We reached Sarchu around midnight. I showed the permit at the police check-post, who warned me of very bad roads ahead. I found a tea shop that was open, where we had a good tea, followed by a power-nap. The aromatic ginger tea energized me and I decided to drive to Leh directly without staying there.

True to their warning, the 50-km stretch of very bad roads upto Pang is the worst section in the entire Manali-Leh route. We reached Pang after crossing Nakeela and Lachulungla. I took a power nap again at Pang, while my wife was awake.

I continued my drive and arrived at Tanglangla at 4 am only to encounter fog and snow. I drove very slowly on the snow-capped road with almost nil visibility. There were a couple of cars following me.

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Again, I felt like sleeping and had a power nap at 6 am. Finally, we reached our home-stay at Leh, located at the foothills of Shanti Stupa at 8 am. My host was surprised to see us as I had informed him of our arrival in the evening only with the planned stay at Jispa. When I told him that I drove from Naggar to Leh without overnight stay, he was surprised again! After sumptuous breakfast, we crashed to the bed for the well-earned sleep!
 

J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Leh>Sonamarg

We left the Leh home-stay at 4:15 am on 18 July 2017 and reached Sonamarg at 2 pm, thanks to the super national highway maintained by BRO. We drove on the same stretch on 20 Sep 2011, leaving Leh at 4:05 am and reaching Sonamarg at 8 pm! The old details are here.

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J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Amritsar

We left Sonamarg at 4:45 am on 19 July 2017. After passing through many congested check-posts and getting stranded at the traffic jams, created by the useless J&K cops - especially after Anantnag, where we were stranded for more than 4 hours on the 4-lane highway, solely due to mishandling by the J&K cops - we managed to reach our hotel at Amritsar at 8:30 pm.

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The next day, we had time for a quick visit to the Golden Temple before the check-out. We found the Golden Temple/Jallianwala Bagh area totally transformed with a new look with the pedestrians-only road without vehicular traffic. Our last visit to Amritsar was in 2014.

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