Solo Ride from :Ramprastha (Ghaziabad)-Udhampur-Sonmarg-Kargil-Leh-Khardungla-Hunder-Leh-Pangong Lake-Upshi-Pang-Baralacha-Keylong-Manali-Ghaziabad (3000 Kms.)
Total expenditure : Rs. 10,000 +/- ( including fuel cost= Rs.3200; Room Rent total= Rs. 2200; Shopping = Rs. 1500)
Model : Caliber 115 ( 2003 model)
Myself: Age 55+ years
It was in November, 1988 when I had gone to Rohtang Pass for the first time. It was fag end of the year and about 2 kms. from the Rohtang Pass all the private vehicles and taxies were kept stranded on the road since the whole area was covered with thick snow. Since we were in the Himachal Roadways Deluxe bus, which had the iron chains to be fixed on the Tyres, the driver dared to move forward and we were able to reach Rohtang Pass. There were not many tourists at Rohtang Pass and we could see the peaks covered with snow all over. Although I had the urge to go to the other end of the Rohtang Pass to see what lay on the other side of the snowcovered Rohtang Pass but due to lack of time and deteriorating weather conditions had to return.
Thereafter, whenever I read any article or saw any photograph of Rohtang Pass (claimed to be the pile of corpses) the urge to know what lay on the otherside on the famous “Silk Route” used to haunt me.
Now, after 24 years, I have got the answer when I covered this route Solo, not only upto Rohtang but far far ahead upto Ladakh, on my Caliber 115 bike surpassing all the fears.
I got my 15 days leave sanctioned from 11th September well in advance. Although it is believed to be the fag end of the season, I could get the leave only for these days due to heavy work load in office. In fact, till the last day of my departure, I was working in office almost 7 days a week and could manage the necessary luggage and other items, including spare parts for the bike, whenever I got little time. I could not even get my bike serviced from the Bajaj Service Centre before departure.
Besides browsing through Google Earth to have a glimpse of the entire route, one of my regular routines , besides looking at the Manali Leh Road status on various websites, was to observe the satellite images (half hourly) shared by Indian Meterological Department . Here is the link :
Day 1 – Ramprastha (Ghaziabad) to Udhampur
At last the D.Day came and since I had already packed by bags with all the necessary items listed by me, time and again, and I left for Udhampur at 3.30 a.m. on 11th Sept. 2011. There is nothing much exciting to writing of first day except that I bypassed Jammu and reached Udhampur by 6.45 p.m.
First day photographs :