Showing posts with label Kargil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kargil. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Ladakh 2017

Finally all the pieces fell into place, Dussera was earlier this year so it was possible to drive to Ladakh during Dussera school vacations. Still cramming the itinerary was becoming difficult, so we decided that I would start driving earlier and the family will fly directly when the school vacations start. Following was the decided route plan.

Following was the day wise itinerary decided.

  1. 15-September-2017 Day 1 -- Bengaluru to Nagpur
  2. 16-September-2017 Day 2 -- Nagpur to Agra
  3. 17-September-2017 Day 3 -- Agra to Ludhiana
  4. 18-September-2017 Day 4 -- Ludhiana to Jammu
  5. 19-September-2017 Day 5 -- Jammu to Katra
  6. 20-September-2017 Day 6 -- Katra to Srinagar
  7. 21-September-2017 Day 7 -- Srinagar to Kargil
  8. 22-September-2017 Day 8 -- Kargil to Leh
  9. 23-September-2017 Day 9 -- Leh acclimatization and local sightseeing
  10. 24-September-2017 Day 10 -- Leh to Turtuk
  11. 25-September-2017 Day 11 -- Turtuk to Pangong Tso
  12. 26-September-2017 Day 12 -- Pangong Tso Manali, Car breakdown, back to Leh
  13. 27-September-2017 Day 13 -- Leh Local
  14. 28-September-2017 Day 14 -- Fly back to Bengaluru
  15. 28-October-2017 - The Resurrection
The trip was an interesting trip. Unfortunately it had to be cut short due to vehicle failure. After more diagnosis it seems like BMW technician in Ludhiana ignore a error code related to Diesel Particulate Filter. He told me that there is an error code but nothing to worry about. That resulted in exhaust being completed clogged and finally catastrophic failure. Goes to show the fragility of technology in modern cars.
We completed approximately 5000 kilometers of total 7800 kilometers planned, we completed all the tourist attractions that we intended to visit. The return journey had to be abandoned and we had to fly back.
As we speak the car is still being repaired since some parts had to be imported from Germany.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Day 8 -- Kargil to Leh

6:00AM We started from the hotel, the idea was to reach Leh as soon as possible. We were little worried because since last night all data networks had died.

This sector probably has most picturesque landscapes as you are driving around. The trick is to slow down, not rush and enjoy.

Kargil Town

9:20 AM We crossed Futula, which is the highest pass on Kargil Leh sector. Although it is a modest 13479 feet.
Highest pass on Kargil Leh Sector
There are monasteries and other building which just look amazing. One wonders, "How did they build it there?".
Feels right out of LoTR

12:10 PM We reached Magnetic Hill. There is a cafe here where one can have Pizza, Sandwiches, Pasta and other stuff. It is a great respite from Maggi only eatries around this place. Once can take a ride on Quad bikes also there.

1:40 PM We reached Leh, there was no data network anywhere in town since we had not booked any hotel in advance, it was a challenge to find a place to stay. After driving around for a while and making some calls, we found out Hotel Shangri-La on old Leh road.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Day 7 -- Srinagar to Kargil


9:30 AM We left our houseboat and started driving towards Kargil. Early morning there were many houseboats selling stuff. We did not stay at the Dal Lake but adjoining lake called Nigeen Lake. The lake seems to be a living market. Early morning there were multiple vendors selling their wares, we politely told them that we were in a hurry and continued on towards our journey towards the car.
We had planned on leaving much earlier and we were significantly late. Last day's messy traffic between Jammu and Srinagar was in the back of the head. So we decided to not take many breaks and cover as many kilometers as possible.
The roads are narrow hill roads but the surface quality is good in most places, we did not encounter much of the traffic on our way. We did hear the stories of bad traffic on this road but our experience was very pleasant during the drive.
11:35 AM We arrived Sonamarg town. We would have stopped for some time here if we were not pressed for time. The town seems to have developed into a  nice tourist attraction.

This segment is probably the most picturesque drive in the country. The barren mountains are beautifully laid out on both sides of the road.

1:50 PM We reached a sleepy little town which had a dhaba in it, so we stopped for the lunch. The place on Google seems to be marked as Halqa Panchayat. Not really sure of its real name. It had few houses and few shops.

2:50 PM We started after Lunch and continued towards Kargil.
3:45 PM We reached Kargil War Memorial.
The memorial is open to visitors. One has to present a proof of identity and then you can go inside.  The first sight as you enter the memorial is the large tricolor at the end of the complex.
What you see as you enter the memorial
There is a wall behind the tricolor that mentions the names of the soldiers who were martyred fighting for the country.

On the left of the complex, there is a small museum specifically dedicated to the details of Kargil war.

We spend around two hours at the memorial, there are a canteen and a souvenir shop near the main gate. Finally we left towards Kargil town.
6:30 PM We reached our hotel in Kargil. We stayed in Hotel D' Zozilla, Here is my review of the hotel.