Debasis's own account about how his dream trip materialized...
This dream trip came into my mind when I was posted at Dehradun in 2006. Every fortnight we do frequent visits to places in Tehri, Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Bageshwar dist. of Uttarakhand. May be this fearless travelling & pleasure of roaming around / within the mountain valleys might have poked me to make a trip to Leh / such places having such type of road conditions. When I heard of this Himalayan tribal circuit in 2008, discussed the same within my NTPC friend circle to make it out. But time passed by and it just remained in virtual. ***[In 2009, while travelling from Shalimar to Raiganj (WB), my fellow traveller (around 60 yrs) just ignited again by praising the trip he has done it once and longing to do more.
I became father again in 2010 where I had to suppress my dream trip and to look at it minimum after 3 to 4 years. After all priorities ... In 2014, after doing a full overall R&D for purchasing a new 4 wheeler, I bought a SUV - Safari Storme mainly looking to off road conditions. Meanwhile (2010-2014), the kick for my dream trip on hiring vehicles had been changed to trip on self-driven.]*** Looking at all parameters, my dream trip scheduled from May end till 15th June as that was the most right time (better to move after few days of road/snow clearance) and trip end before 15th as I have to reach near my daughter on her birthday.
Before making my schedule, became an active member in Devils On Wheel (DoW) for better/clear/practical view of the route/trip and all type of infos for my dream trip. Accordingly, started telling/asking my NTPC friends about this trip (which we had planned since 2008) over phone and email too before a month i.e., April 2015.
Studied the route on Gmaps and infos from DoW and prepared a map on my own relating to all.
In one hand the queries for the roads, preparations was on and in other hand mailing and coaxing friends for the trip was on. Everybody was hesitating (15 days journey) apart from one friend at noida who had agreed partially.
My Scheduled Itinerary:
DELHI SRINAGAR LEH MANALI DELHI ITINERARY
Day 1 – 6 AM: (30.05.15) Noida City Centre to Jammu (Outer) - 614 km.
Day 2 – 7 AM: (31.05.15) Jammu (Outer) to Srinagar Outer (Ganderbal) or at Sonamarg NH 1A (290+80 km) = 370 kms. *
Day 3 - 9.00AM: (01.06.15) Sonamarg to KARGIL (120km).
Day 4 – 7 AM: (02.06.15) Kargil to Mulbekh (40 km) to Lamayuru (70 km) = 120 + 115 = 235 km. (Scenic places start from Mulbekh area till LEH)* Cover Mulbekh, Lamayuru and Sham valley enroute, easily doable as most of the places are bang on the road except for Alchi and Likir monastries which are 10-15 kms detour from NH1. SHAM VALLEY consists of Alchi monastery – Likir monastery - Gurudwara Pathar – Magnetic Hill – Confluence of Zanskar and Indus – Ruins of Basgo palace and Basgo plains – Nimmu * Stay overnight at Leh.
Day 5 – 9 AM: (03.06.15) Complete Ladakh /Leh Tour day. The Khar*, Shanti stupa, Hall of Fame, Datun Sahib, Sindhu Ghat & evening Leh market. Overnight at LEH.
Day 6 – 7AM: (04.06.15) For NUBRAH VALLEY (HEART OF LADAKH) – 116 kms and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit. Leh- Khardung La Pass (40 km) – Khardung Village (34 km) – Khalsar (23 km) - Diskit (19 km) = 116 km Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder. On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
Day 7 – 9AM – (05.06.15) From Hunder to Leh back
DAY 8 – 6AM: (06.06.15) LEH to Pangong Tso Lake (3 Idiots) – Best road and sunrise or sunset point. Pangong Tso lake is located about 170 KMs from Leh town of Ladakh district. Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Sakti (10 KMs) – Chang La (34 KMs) – Durbuk (32 KMs) – Tangste (9 KMs) – Lukung (34 KMs) – Spangmik (16 KMs) = 171 KMs. Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung).
DAY 9 – 7AM: (07.06.15) From Pangong to Leh. From Pangong - (Thicksey, Hemis and Shey monasteries while going through this route). Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Leh.
DAY 10 – 6 AM: (08.06.15) Leh to Tso Moriri Lake via Upshi, Chumathang hot spring – 220 km. Stay at Tso Moriri
DAY 11 – 8 AM: (09.06.15) Tso Moriri - Tso kar – Debring (Manali Highway) - More Plains – Sarchu. Stay overnight at Sarachu or Keylong or any suitable place on Manali Leh highway.
DAY 12 – 8AM: (10.06.15) From Sarachu to Manali. Enjoy the balance day and night at Manali. Sarchu- Baralacha la- Keylong- Rohtang pass- Manali. Stay overnight at Manali
DAY 13 – (11.06.15) Manali to Noida
DAY 14 – (12.06.15) Reach Noida.
Fortunately, met Prakas in 1st week of May in one of my relative's marriage ceremony where I just briefed abt my trip and probable date of departing in my Storme. Showed me some positive signs but not confirmed.
As the date of journey was nearing i.e., finalised to start it by last week of May, now nobody turned up for this trip, all my efforts were in vain.
What to do now?? Everything arranged as per the requirement. I was totally blank and helpless. Finally called up to Prakash i.e., on 25th/26th and told the whole incident over phone. Dont know what happened but he agreed to join me in the trip but not from Raigarh but from Delhi. PRAKASH CAME IN DISGUISE TO HELP ME OUT/ FULFILLING MY DREAM TRIP. He had some official work till friday and told me to join @ Delhi as he ll fly to Delhi that evening (29.5.15). So finally done. My dream trip......