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Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven and back

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  • Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven and back

    Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven and back

    28th May'11 to 14th June'11

    Total distance covered - 3500 kms

    Introduction -

    Not so long back, sometime in Feb'11, I remember making up my mind to ride to my dream destination on a motorcycle.
    There are lot of things that went through my mind like can I do it, will I get a chance to do it, what if this dream remains a dream.
    It seemed as if my life will remain incomplete without this ride. I badly wanted to ride, I badly wanted everything to go my way, I wanted every obstacle out of the way.

    Like for everyone else, this trip from the word GO was a dream as there are too many things that needs attention and needs to be sorted out in the real life.
    I consider myself very lucky to have made it for this journey. It seemed eternity since I had been on holiday.
    It took one very detailed mail, one very long heated discussion and a big promise ("Sir, I will not take leave after I return for the next 6 months") to grant my leave as approved.
    Have I ever been so happy to read a mail which opens up gates of heavens for me? No, Never.
    Same was the case for my fellow riders who came with me and for many other countless individuals who have made many sacrifices to fulfill this lifetime journey.
    So finally after the main obstacle cleared I was all set to pass other hurdles. Group forming up, discussions, preparations in full swing and numerous phones calls where just building up my excitement to another level.
    We started our trip hoping it will be in our hands how we will do it but life is full of surprises and we were no exceptions. One fact was clear that whatever happens we will remember this trip forever.

    Yes, it was time to get Leh'd

    That's ME

    Puneet Yashod aka N4Speed (Also referred as Big show in this trip)

    Deepan Devraj aka Xstuner

    Aryan Chaudhary aka Crazy_Rider


    Vote of Thanks & Pre Leh Ride
    In Preparation
    Day 1 - Mumbai to Delhi & Around
    Day 2 - Delhi to Amritsar (NH1)
    Day 3 - Much Awaited visit to Golden Temple, Amritsar & Wagah Border Finally!!!
    Day 4 - Amritsar to Patnitop
    Day 5 - Patnitop to Pahalgam > Part I
    Day 5 - Patnitop to Pahalgam > Part II > Visit to Shepherd's village
    Day 6 - Pahalgam to Srinagar
    Day 7 - Srinagar to Drass > Conquering the mighty Zoji La
    Day 8 - Drass to Lamayuru
    Day 9 - Lamayuru to Leh > Some dreams do come true
    Day 10 - Leh - Khardung La - Leh > Conquering Khardung La
    Day 11 - Aww... Struck Pangong Tso
    Last edited by Sachinnair; 08-08-2012, 08:21 PM. Reason: Hyperlinks Added
    My Ninja 650 Thread:
    A Green Affair! Starring Kawasaki Ninja 650

    My Travelogues:
    LOST in Sikkim
    Ride to Mt. Abu - An oasis in the desert

    Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven & back
    Toranmal - Beautiful yet hidden
    Khushboo Gujarat Ki
    Sands of Time - Rajasthan

  • #2
    Travel log approved

    Some brilliant pics.
    Happiness is finding you have another Gear left....

    Join xBhp On


    • #3
      Finally, It got approved!! Amazing Start man!! waiting for the resT!
      "Four Wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul"


      • #4
        The first Ladakh Travelogue of 2011, congratulations to all, will be glued to this thread now since i am planning in September


        • #5


          • #6
            Love it. The helmet cam attachment is #epicwin.

            Pray continue. Moar boar wants moar!
   - All you ever need to know about getting Leh'd.
            My posting Philosophy


            • #7
              Great bring it ON

              Save the Earth - We are the one who are running out of time, as Earth will take it own time to heal but that time may not be enough for us.

              I dont just ride my bikes, I live with them.
              Yamaha RX100 (1987 model)
              Yamaha YZF R15 (2010 model)
              Hero Impulse (2012 model)
              Mahindra Thar (2015 model)
              GIRed 2012


              • #8
                Originally posted by Noor View Post
                Travel log approved

                Some brilliant pics.
                Thanks for your approval Noor

                Pics have been clicked by Puneet from his Canon 550D

                Originally posted by pratheekkunder View Post
                Finally, It got approved!! Amazing Start man!! waiting for the resT!
                Yeah, considering it was in the late hour
                Originally posted by yatishankar View Post
                The first Ladakh Travelogue of 2011, congratulations to all, will be glued to this thread now since i am planning in September
                First Ladakh thread of 2011. I did not realise that
                Originally posted by pavanchirmade View Post
                Thanks Pavan
                Originally posted by hitanshu View Post
                Love it. The helmet cam attachment is #epicwin.

                Pray continue. Moar boar wants moar!
                Well we had to do lots of experiments to get videos of this trip.
                Buy Suction cup from Ebay only to find later it does not stick.
                Xstunter had to permanently stick a saucer on his Cross Helmet to ensure we have videos of the trip.
                Wish we had Go Pro
                Originally posted by Shivanshu View Post
                Great bring it ON
                Hopefully will not keep everyone waiting long
                My Ninja 650 Thread:
                A Green Affair! Starring Kawasaki Ninja 650

                My Travelogues:
                LOST in Sikkim
                Ride to Mt. Abu - An oasis in the desert

                Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven & back
                Toranmal - Beautiful yet hidden
                Khushboo Gujarat Ki
                Sands of Time - Rajasthan


                • #9
                  Vote of Thanks and Pre Leh ride

                  Vote of Thanks

                  Before I even start writing my experience about this ride and get into the depths I need to sincerely thank a few very special and important people who have been more than just helpful in many ways.

                  Nitin Manore aka Darkknight aka DK aka DK Bhau - So many nicknames you have got man??? People love you no matter what they call you.
                  Just a thank you will not do justice for your contribution to our dream ride. You are a life saver and someone who we could rely in really tuff situations.
                  Right from the time I showed you our plan till the time we reached home safely from our journey you were present with us. You have always been a mentor, guide and elder brother to me.
                  Trust me when I say this, there was not a single day in the trip when your name was not mentioned.
                  Thank you very much Bhai!!!

                  Satyen Poojary - I am sure you'll agree that we owed you more than just a thank you. Writing updates on offline thread for us everyday and your vital tips given at times helped us a lot.
                  I thank you for becoming our point of contact for this trip and been on group rides with you many times has helped me ride bike even better.
                  How to be calm and cool even in the most dramatic situations is something you inspired in me.
                  Many Thanks!!!

                  Alankar Misra - On all the rides we have done together, I remember eating your brains about how to do this ride and so many things involved in it.
                  You were more patient than anyone else I have ever seen explaining us every bit of details we asked you.
                  Alu, you are one of a very few who said to me, "Jaa Bindaas aaram se kar lega tu"
                  Thank you very much for all your help and suggestions. God bless you.

                  All Xbhpians who have been more than helpful in one way or other. Thank you very much everyone for all your wishes throughout the trip, your concerns for our safety, your willingness to help anytime required.
                  I cannot thank everyone enough for their involvement and their willingness, Be it borrowing stuff like saddlebags from Anup or gloves from Suarabh or as simple as borrowing flag and battery charger from Ninad.
                  It's like asking within a family. I Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

                  Pre Leh ride

                  8th May'11

                  Distance Covered - 300 kms

                  It's been many times we get off the couch for a sunday ride. This Sunday was a little different.
                  This ride was more than important and essential to all the group members as it would give us a fair idea of how will our dream ride feel.
                  I referred this ride as Pre Leh ride as it was our last ride before our grand Leh ride.

                  Destination selected was Pune for this ride.
                  Originally we were 5 of us who were going to go to Leh including Priyank Mamtora who could not make it. It was just 2 days before the Ladakh trip started that he had to cancel his dream trip.

                  Why did we do this ride? Few reasons

                  1) To ride together and get familiar with each others riding style. I have rode with Puneet in Mount Abu, with Deepan & Aryan in countless G2G's but not with Priyank.
                  2) Fellow riders who were thinking of buying Army boots available in Pune.
                  3) Ride your bike with Saddlebag and Tank bag something which I have never done.
                  4) This was the first long ride on new set of Michelin M45 tyres [Front and Rear]

                  So we all met at Panvel McD chit chatted long enough, had a coffee break before we moved on.
                  My ZMR was an incredible companion for the trip and its been delivering great mileage, superb low end torque. It was an absolute pleasure riding the bike in the group.
                  Everyone riding in single lane one after the other. No overtaking, No funny business. No ripping. As if this was an exam for everyone to pass before riding to the mountains.
                  On the road to Lonavala we took a brief halt for pictures and here we had a glimpse of Tenhut's Fireblade passing us.
                  Wow what a sight and drooling sound she made! I am not sure who was riding it but it slowed down only for a brief 2 seconds and revved up to full speed. There was a speedway event that day in Kharghar so may be it showed its presence there.

                  We moved on and reached Kamat's hotel at Lonavala. Riding with heavy luggage did not bother anyone of us as the roads were in good shape and even while cornering I never felt that the extra weight behind might cause any issues.
                  At Kamat's after breakfast came the first twist of the day. Priyank's rear bike tyre was loosing air gradually. He had just changed to M45 rear and front few days back.
                  Luckily for us Deepan was carrying foot pump and we pumped air in his rear tyre while others at Kamat's looked at us curiously. Turn by turn we filled air in his bike till his tyre pressure was back to normal.
                  We moved on and this time the speed was getting more slower gradually after having a small chat it seemed that Priyank was not happy the way his Karizma was riding.
                  Damn our luck it was Sunday all shops in Pune related to tyres were closed and a few puncture shops open could not find any puncture or reason to why the air was leaking. How skilled he was in his profession?
                  We reached Pune by 2PM and it took us a good 20-25 minutes to find the army store.
                  Deepan wanted to buy Army boots which we heard are very good for ride to Ladakh. Cheap and best. While Deepan was shopping I was sitting outside the shop chilling out.
                  Deepan came outside after sometime and told the boots dont look that good in quality. When I checked it out I also felt the same. The boots looked a big compromise for this ride.
                  What do we do? We called up DK and enquired about the boots. He said he was fortunate enough to get the right pair of army boots which were good in quality.
                  That time it struck to my mind that Viraj (Fellow Xbhpian) had recently bought riding boots called Racing which he wanted to sell. We called up Viraj and he was ready to sell it to Deepan for Rs.2500/-
                  Deepan's boot problem got solved.

                  Tired and sweating in the hot sun we move to a nearby restaurant and had our lunch.
                  Again post lunch we had to pump air in Priyank's rear tire again. We continued to ride and fill air in Priyank's rear tire in every 30-40 kms I think. Something was seriously wrong with his tire.
                  After we reached Lonavala in the evening we took a little break and here Deepan exchanged his bike with Priyank who was not able to ride as he felt something is wrong with his bike.
                  Deepan after riding the bike explained Priyank that he needs to get his bike in good condition before the ride. There were lot of issues in his Karizma.
                  We reached Kalamboli by 7PM. Aryan & me who were heading to Thane said adeios to Deepan and Priyank and moved on.
                  I was totally exhausted riding at slow speeds to be in the same page with other group riders. Sometimes riding a motorcycle slow can really get on our nerves.
                  Here since we were just 2 of us I zipped around the traffic with ease and was enjoying the rush and wind blowing in our direction. Riding at more than 80+ was a treat with all that power in the bike.
                  It was good to see Aryan riding a Fazer to actually keep up with me and we reached Thane in no time.
                  It was around 8PM I reached my complex along with Aryan.

                  This ride was very helpful indeed as it helped us understand our bikes minor issues, how to ride with extra luggage and special care that needs to be taken while riding.
                  It turned out more than helpful for Priyank as there are seriously lot of things that needed attention in his bike.

                  For people who are going to Ladakh and have never rode their bike with lugagge it is worth riding an experimental ride to any short destination before your on a long trip. It helped us a lot

                  Pics from Pre Leh ride to Pune

                  My Ninja 650 Thread:
                  A Green Affair! Starring Kawasaki Ninja 650

                  My Travelogues:
                  LOST in Sikkim
                  Ride to Mt. Abu - An oasis in the desert

                  Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven & back
                  Toranmal - Beautiful yet hidden
                  Khushboo Gujarat Ki
                  Sands of Time - Rajasthan


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sachinnair View Post
                    Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven and back

                    28th May'11 to 14th June'11

                    Total distance covered - 3500 kms

                    Yes, it was time to get Leh'd
                    Congrats legends. Waiting for the full Log
                    Honda Unicorn 150 (2007- 2011) - 55000 Km
                    RE Thunderbird 350 UCE (2011 - 2015) - 30500Km
                    RE Classic 500 (2015 - 2016) - 10100Km
                    Suzuki Gixxer 155 - (2016 - 2017) - 17500 Km
                    Honda Activa 125 - (2017) - 3200 Km - Darjeeling
                    RE Thunderbird 350 - (2017) - 12200 Km - Hyderabad
                    Yamaha FSZ3.0 - (2019) - 5012 Km
                    Motorcycle Trip log - Summer ride to N. Sagar | Leh 2012 - A story told in pictures | Winter in Darjeeling 2018 | Summer in Goa 2018 |


                    • #11
                      In Preparation

                      In preparation -

                      For a ride of this magnitude, For a ride of a lifetime, riding in mountains where unexpected things can happen, surprises are a part of the game a fully prepared person is the most sensible person.
                      You have to be ready to face any situation any time anywhere. There was a long check list before the ride. A checklist which I have never made for any of my rides long or short.
                      I am trying to put a few important things that we did before the ride. This can be vital for someone's preparation or not required for someone else at the same time.

                      Bike Preparation
                      My bike had completed 20000 kms before the trip. Mentioned below are the list of things I changed I thought were important before the ride.

                      New Sprocket [Front & Rear]
                      New drive chain
                      New clutch plates
                      New spark plug
                      New Air filter
                      Replaced clutch wire & throttle cables
                      New set of Michelin M45 tires made tubeless [Front & rear]
                      Clutch Lever and brake lever [Carried as spare]

                      It costed me around Rs.10,000 for getting my bike completely in shape before the ride. But I was very happy with the way it rode after the changes. It felt new, it felt as I first rode it.

                      Medicine List
                      I would like to thank Aryan for bringing medicines for the entire group. Though at the last moment we found that he forgot to carry the most important medicine - Diamox
                      Mentioned below is the list of medicines we prepared and took with us in order to ensure we have proper medical aid if required.
                      The quantity mentioned below is for 5 person.

                      1. Diamox - For Acute Mountain Sickness - 10 strips (Very Important)
                      2. Diegene / Rablet - For Acidity - 10 strips
                      3. Combiflam - Pain killer - 10 strips
                      4. Perinome / Domstal - For Vomiting problem - 5 strips
                      5. Decdan - For vomiting and headache due to AMS - 3 strips
                      6. Becosule - Multivitamin - 5 strips
                      7. Levocet - anti allergic - 5 strips
                      8. D Cold - cold - 5 strips
                      9. Savlon - 2 bottles
                      10. Bandaids - 2 packets
                      11. Betadine / Soframicine - 2 tubes each
                      12. Sunscreen

                      NOTE - Please consult doctor before taking any medicines mentioned above.

                      Luggage carried

                      I carried 1 saddle bag [Get off your Ass] & 1 Cramster tank bag.
                      Thanks to Anup Abraham for lending his saddle bag to me.

                      It might sound a little less but thats all I required. I avoided all possible extra luggage and went with minimum luggage and few essential bike spare parts.

                      While my other riders carried too much extra luggage especially Aryan. Dude you carried 2 huge bags + saddlebags on poor 150cc engine. God bless your Fazer for completing the ride.

                      Maps - I had carried all the google maps and our trip plan. Last minute chat with DK resulted me in carrying the most important thing - The Ramky's Map
                      Ramky's Map was more than helpful and enough to guide us. Thank you DK for helping me with the Ramky's map.

                      Riding gear Checklist
                      Alpinestar TRC-1 Air Flo Jacket - V.Good
                      Joe Rocket Alter Ego Overpants - V.Good
                      Rjays Blade runner Helmet - Good
                      Rjays Tornado Gloves - Useless [My personal opinion about this gloves. It was not at all waterproof not even water resistant. It is not a winter wear gloves either]
                      Joe Rocket Sonic Waterproof Boots - V.Good
                      Duckback - XXL carried - V.Good [Only had a chance to wear it a couple of times though]

                      Phone Service - Vodafone, Airtel and Loop mobile had network till Srinagar. After that we got network directly in Leh.
                      You need to carry BSNL for network in most areas of Ladakh.
                      None of us carried BSNL though. We managed by using STD as an option to call our family and point of contact in Mumbai.

                      Air tickets were booked from Mumbai to New Delhi and for return journey also. It costed Rs.7500 per person

                      Bike Transportation

                      May 25th'11

                      Bikes were planned to be transported till New Delhi by train.
                      This is something I hate to do but we had no other option left. We all rode our bikes till Mumbai Central.
                      Aryan & I reached at the same time. We both had to rush back to work as we did not get leave and not even allowed to come a little late.
                      I handed all my bike documents and other important documents over to Aryan and left.
                      Deepan and Puneet went to Smart desgins to buy some stuff required for the ride before they came to Mumbai Central.
                      After sometime Deepan and Puneet arrived at Mumbai Central.
                      Both first removed Petrol from their bikes and filled as many plastic bottles as possible still leaving good amount of petrol in the bike.
                      They went for a brief period to bring Xerox and guess what they see. All the bikes packed and ready to be loaded.
                      Fortunately for us the petrol was not checked. It took a lot of efforts from Deepan and Puneet to ensure we do not have any issues with the bikes.
                      It costed us around Rs.1850 per bike. The bike was loaded in next day morning's train. Before Deepan could reach there in morning the train already went with the bikes but the guy assured that the bikes were loaded safely.
                      So with the bikes transported we were only 2 days away from our dream trip to start.
                      Leaving my own home and going to home of mother nature which is full of wide valleys, snow-showered peaks & mountain desert - Ladakh.

                      My Ninja 650 Thread:
                      A Green Affair! Starring Kawasaki Ninja 650

                      My Travelogues:
                      LOST in Sikkim
                      Ride to Mt. Abu - An oasis in the desert

                      Ladakh & Lahaul Valley 2011 - A journey to heaven & back
                      Toranmal - Beautiful yet hidden
                      Khushboo Gujarat Ki
                      Sands of Time - Rajasthan


                      • #12
                        Congratulations !

                        And your most welcome Sachin...lets meet up soon..
                        A very good and safe biker not only because he can pop up either of the wheels,scrape his knees on a corner or go fast and make it look stylish but because he very well knows his limits and capabilities and has the patience to learn about others and ride safe ! :)


                        My Saddlesore Log : The 1st Saddlesore in India on a 135cc


                        • #13
                          Finally its here and m njoying very word of it !!! keep it going proud of you my brothers


                          • #14
                            Congratulations to all four of you.. Amazing start to your log.. Please keep the flow of your thread going till the end


                            • #15
                              Awaiting for the whole trip log..
                              Every part of it is like a thriller movie.
                              Soon Complete it Bro...
                              A next door biker..

                              Ride To the Coastal Heaven
                              Trip of Joy Ended in Learning out of Disaster!
                              Please Vote for me for the True Wanderer by Wrangler