Monday, 24 November 2014

Places with distances between Manali and Leh

From
Altitude
To
Distance
Manali
1,950 m
Marhi
33 km
Marhi
3,360 m
Rohtang Pass
18 Km
Rohtang Pass
3,980 m
Gramphu
19 km
Gramphu
3,200 m
Koksar
06 km
Koksar
3,140 m
Sissu
14 km
Sissu
3,120 m
Gondhla
11 km
Gondhla
3,160m
Tandi
07 km
Tandi
2,570 m
Keylong
09 km
Keylong
3,080 m
Jispa
22 Km
Jispa
3,200 m
Darcha
06 Km
Darcha
3,360 m
Parsio
10 km
Patsio
4,721 m
Zingzingbar
16 km
Zingzingbar
4,270 m
Suraj taal
08 km
Suraj taal
4,883 m
Bara-lacha la
10 km
Bara-lacha la
4,890 m
Sarchu
40 km
Sarchu
4,290 m
Pang
80km
Nakeela pass
4,738 m


Lachulung La
4,880 m


Pang
4754 m
Taglang La
69 km
Taglang La
5,328 m
Upshi
60 km
Upshi

Leh
51 km
Leh
3,500 m


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Awesome Road Trip Manali - Himachal Pradesh to Leh - Jammu and Kashmir Part 5

{Leh City}

08 August - The first night spent in the Changlo Chan was ok, we had to keep the windows closed because of all the bugs that were attracted to the CFC bulb, Zariab though it would be a good idea to spray them with Volini Spray that he had got for his stiff neck, he ended up gassing the room with his smokes and his pain spray.

The morning was nice and bright with mild winds and birds chirping, however by about 8:00 am it was a mixture of nature and vehicle noise including the one odd passing plane. Later on we visited Swiss Tours and Travels to get the Tempo Traveller number, the owner Ishey - 9797467371 was kind enough to offer us tea and share the humble beginnings of Leh, she mentioned that Leh was open to tourism since 1972, and a lot of their old articles and jewellery are being displayed in museums worldwide. After a nice breakfast from Hot Pot Restaurant located off Old Leh Road, we decided to stay indoors to beat the dry afternoon heat. We were paid a surprise visit from two local kids asking us for Chocolates and toffee, this happened while we were recording the Room review video, perfect timingJ, after a nice nap it was time for lunch visited the usual Hot Pot Restaurant. Evening was spent preparing for the return trip to Manali.

Leh City in itself was just a regular tourist stop over, it is overpriced, filled with traffic, pollution and the terrible dry heat in Summer, certain places within the city are poorly maintained, they resembled the slums in Mumbai, the best way to explore the beautiful places around Leh City is by private vehicle or hiring a Motorcycle, since only J&K vehicles are allowed to show tourist around, hiring a reasonably priced vehicle from Manali is out of the question.     

If you had a better experience in Leh or disagree with what is mentioned above or would simply like to share your opinion/experience.
Feel free to comment below. 

Watch a funny video of Zariab rolling down the hill with the locals in Old Manali


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Awesome Road Trip Manali - Himachal Pradesh to Leh - Jammu and Kashmir Part 4/5

{Leh City;Leh Palace}

07 August – Woke up to a nice comfy morning, the temperature was like that of a cool Mumbai night, although I did have to flick a bug off my nose once during the night after which I could not find that creepy crawler, the night before Zariab was bit by a bug and it gave him a decent sized swelling on his pinky toe. Breakfast like all else was costly and substandard, INR 50 for a regular coffee as compared to the well made creamy coffee in Manali. This place was clearly not worth the premium, I had sourced another stay last night, Zariab headed there and got a sweet deal although the toilet was common it was worth the INR 600.

We checked into this stay called Hotel Changlo Chan at about 11:50 am.
Watch the hotel review below it Stars a little Local Kid who won’t share the candy bar with his brother...



We headed towards the Ancient Royal Leh Palace, it was a decent walk up the hill to reach the palace there was a mosque near the base, the afternoon sun was harsh, filled with the local stink of animal waste, lucky the Palace was nice and cool, unlike what one would expect from a palace this one was a maze of various small rooms with tiny doors, most of the walls were filled with names and numbers of inconsiderate visitors, the main benefit of visiting the palace apart from the wooden and stone architecture is the view of Leh with the backdrop of the ice capped mountains.

There are many J&K ATMs and a HDFC ATM in the market off the Old Leh Road on route to the Ancient Palace. In order to book a shared mini bus, cab or HRTC bus one needs to go to the bus stop which is near the market area. On the Old Leh Road there are many travel agents for sightseeing within Leh but to book tickets to Manali there’s just “Swiss Tour and Travels“. We booked a mini bus to Manali at INR 2,000 per head that would leave on the 9th August at 1 am.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Awesome Road Trip Manali - Himachal Pradesh to Leh - Jammu and Kashmir Part 3/5

{Gata Loops;Nakeela Pass;Lachulung La;Pang;Pang;More Plains;Tanglang La;Lato;Upshi;Karu;Choglamsar;Leh City}

06 August -Left the camp at 9:30 am total expenses were INR 1,175. Passed through the Gata Loops it’s made up of 22 spectacular hairpin bends and reached Nakeela Pass situated at 4,738 m (15,547 ft) at about 11:20 am, next was Lachulung La situated at 4,880 m (16,000 ft) reached at 11:54 am. The way leads through beautiful canyons, natural sculptured rocks and a great view of the switchback loops. Lachulung La is about 54 kms from Sarchu.

Stopped at Pang for lunch at 12:58 pm, situated at 4,754 m (15,600 ft) it’s the world’s highest Transit camp, according to the Indian Army. Lunch was reasonable; Rice and Dal with Maggie and egg along with 2 Chai and a BarOne was about INR 200. The stalls doubled as sleeping tents, with about 5 to 6 sleeping spots, we were thinking about trying the sleepover, but Bittu mentioned that he needed to get back for Raksha Bandhan, we hit the road at about 1:28 pm.

Just about a minute drive and we reached the J&K border, they quoted a toll of INR 200 for 2 passengers, but Bittu bargained for INR 100, Passed through the More Plains (4400 m) at about 1:50 pm, the Plains were just a long stretch of linear road, one of the best and most deserted places in the entire trip.

Reached Taglang La at 3:12 pm situated at 5,328 m (17,480 ft) this is the 2nd highest pass in the world. Next was Lato situated at 3,880 m (12,729 ft), we reached here by 4:35 pm, Lato was a small village, seemed very quiet and peaceful, it had a few shops and a couple of Homestays, the cost for accommodation was between INR 400 to INR 1000. It was an ok place not a lot to explore so we decided to head directly to Leh.

Passed through Upshi check post at 5:04 pm and then Karu at 5:28 pm, came across the 1st speed breaker in more than 400 kms since Manali, this place was mostly occupied by the military with their sponsored School, the land was mostly barren littered with civil trucks.

Passed through Choglamsar at about 6:07 pm, it’s situated just outside the Leh City; this was one of the villages that was badly hit during the 2010 Ladakh floods, reached Leh City at 6:14 pm.

After searching for about an hour for a suitable accommodation we checked in at Hotel Shanti Palace at about 7:30 pm. Price was INR 1,500 bargained for INR 1,000, the room had 2 double beds, no TV, no Fan, no Shower, there was direct warm water, after a night's stroll and an expensive meal we called it a night.

Watch the Review of Hotel Shanti Palace 


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Awesome Road Trip Manali - Himachal Pradesh to Leh - Jammu and Kashmir Part 2/5

{Darcha;Patsio; Zing Zing Bar;Suraj Taal;Baralacha la;Sarchu}

5th August -Woke up to lovely morning, shot a funny room review video and left at 8:34 am. Reached Darcha situated at 3,360 m (11,020 ft) by 8:45 am for breakfast. It’s is small stop over spot with a few huts/tents which double as accommodation in case it’s needed. After climbing up hill for a while we reached Patsio at about 10:00 am it’s situated at about 4721 meters. Rested here for about 30 minutes there’s something about having nice warm Chai at these altitudes, I just can’t explainJ, the stalls are located just off a nice pristine pond off the road, it’s a favourite stop over for most bikers before heading towards the High pass. Watch the video below to get a better look.



Left Patsio at about 10:27 am reached Zing Zing Bar at about 10:58 pm. Then we stated the climb through various hair pin bends towards Baralacha la, saw a lot of glacier remnants on the way. The topography was similar to Spiti, mixture of dry snow capped peaks, with sparse greenery.

Reached Suraj Taal aka Vishaal Taal at 11:25 am, it’s situated at 4,883 m (16,020.3 ft), extremely beautiful and cold, mainly because of the winds blowing from the ice capped peaks. Experience Suraj Taal by watching the video below.    



Passed through Bara-lacha la at about 11:50 am, it’s situated at 4,890 m (16,043 ft), it’s a high mountain pass in Zanskar range that connects Lahul district in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
Contrary to what I had thought unlike Rohtang this was a small camp with beds and stalls, mainly because of the altitude.

Passed through Killing Sarai at about 12:20 pm and reached Sarchu at 12:50 pm, it’s situated at 4,290 m (14,070 ft). Surprisingly most of the camps here were occupied, luckily we came across Snow Gold Camp, they courted INR 1000 got a bargain for INR 800.

The camp was well equipped with a dining area, car park and about 4 guest toilets, there were 8 smaller spacious tents with bedding set on the floor for 2 occupants and about 4 bigger Family tents, the caretakers Tent was equipped with television he had his own satellite Dish. Watch the video below it covers the entire Snow Gold Camp



Lunch for two consisted of Roti, vegetable and Dal, cost INR 160. After a nice nap we had some tea, the crowd started pouring in, we decide to have some fun and we shot the “Cure for AMS” video, we had some spectators and apparently one of them was suffering from AMS, shit happens ;) the van from Jammu consisting of 12 people, a mixture of Maharashtrians from Nagpur and a few Bengalis. There was another group of 4 people who drove all the way from Mumbai - Borivali, their travel path was Mumbai - Madhya Pradesh - Agra - Bilaspur (HP)- Manali – Leh (J&K) - Rajasthan - Gujarat and back to Mumbai. There were also 2 bikers who drove from Manali, we chilled out in the caretakers Tent,  he had set up a sleeping area with TV along with his cooking space which made it nice and cozy; even though it was one of those open tents. Bittu along with the other Van driver were there too, sharing life stories and getting drunk, a suppositional remedy to beat the cold. The cold winds outside the tent were relentless after a nice warm dinner and some TV we called it a night.