3 idiots, 1 Alto and Leh ladakh

“The Land is so barren and the passes so high that only our fiercest enemies or Our best friends would want to visit us” -Ladakhi Saying

I was planning to visit Leh by road since past couple of years, reading blogs, preparing itinerary, detailed plans even power point presentations but it never materialised but this time we were determined to make it. Me my cousin Gaurav and friend Dinesh we agreed to make it this time no matter what comes. We finally planned for a 9-10 days visit in the month of June 2010.

Before I start let me tell you that purpose of this travelogue is NOT to advise or guide people as to what to DO when going to LEH but rather tell people what NOT TO Do. Most of the things we did must come strictly under “Don’ts”.

Timing :- We chose June as no other time was available with us. It wasn’t a good choice as there were floods in Beas River near Manali and Punjab during that time.

Vehicle:- we decided against renting a SUV and decided to take our own Alto. We thought in worst case if we get stuck we’ll turn back to home..As it turned out it’s almost impossible to turn back.

I got the servicing and check up done one day prior and ensured that the car is in good condition. Just one day before leaving we heard that a petrol canter is stuck at rohtang and rohtang is closed since last 3 days. We decided to go anyway as postponing of dates was not possible for us.

Day-1 We left Delhi around midnight for Manali by the morning we had crossed Chandigarh and entered into Hills.

Road was choked with traffic (mostly trucks going towards shimla). Just before mandi it started to rain heavily and it looked ominous. It kept raining till we reached Kullu there were landslides at many places and we had to wait for some time for the road to get cleared.

We reached Manali late in the afternoon weather at Manali was pleasant (as always).

Beas at Manali

Apple orchard at Manali

We were delighted to hear that Rohtang pass was just opened and the truck had been removed. But the condition of roads was pathetic. Roads were almost nonexistent and we asked many drivers everyone advised against going in ALTO. They said the car won’t able to take on the harsh terrain and will certainly break down. We really got demoralised hearing about all this and even contemplated going back from Manali itself but then we met one driver who told us that we should continue since we have come this far. We then decided lets go Dekha jayega jo hoga.

Day 2- We left early morning around 5 am towards Rohtang pass & stopped at Marhi for a cup of morning tea.
Alto waiting happily at Rohtang

Weather at Marhi was chilly and view amazing. When we reached Rohtang (abt 2.5 hrs) we realised why taxi driver told us not to take alto. Just before Rohtang crossing Road was muddy. One innova had got stuck there in slush and other cars were stopped behind her..it took 7-8 people to push Innova out of mud. At that point me and Dinesh got out from the car ready to push our Alto in case it got stuck too..Gaurav (our best driver) took the command of the steering and managed to steer it through the deep mud. Car swerved like a snake but luckily did not stick up..We had our hearts in the mouths but soon the muddy patch was over..Me and dinesh ran over mud in joy. We felt good about clearing the first obstacles but little did we know that it was a mere tip of the iceberg.

Road at Rohtang
We reached Rohtang and spend some time there clicking pictures..there was no snow there at that time but the view was still amazing.
Our target for the day was Jispa a small town near Keylong. We were never in no hurry. There was a last petrol pump in Keylong after that no petrol pumps till Leh. We did a tank full and carried 20 ltrs in a spare can for emergency. Roads after Rohtang were really bad it was actually a rocky kaccha rasta one couldn’t go more than 15-20 kmph (at least in an alto).

Last fuel pump at Tandi

Before Keylong


When we reached Jispa in late afternoon we found that Jispa Hotel was charging exorbitant rates almost twice of the usual and to our surprise we realised that we forgot to withdraw money from Manali ATMs. We had about 7-8K with us barely enough to survive till leh but nothing to cover any sort of emergency.

Jispa

We took a tenting accommodation just near Jispa hotel for 1200 rs including dinner for 3 I think that was a fair deal. Jispa is a lovely little place and it was quite a sight. It’s cut off from rest of India for about 7-8 months in a year due to heavy snow.

Beautiful Jispa..road was newly laid

gaurav n dinesh enjoying the beauty of Jispa

Day 3. target of day 3 was Sarchu another tenting accommodation before Leh. Most of the people left early morning to LEH but since we were going only till Sarchu we decided to take it easy and had our breakfast in Jispa itself and left around 10. Sarchu is about 5-6 hrs drive (depending on condition of road).After we left Jispa we found that many vehicles had stranded there at check post. We came to know that there’s a flash flood just before Darcha a couple of nallas/streams (mini rivers) have been formed on the road itself and no vehicle could cross it .It was really a disappointing news as it could means hours even days but we took heart from the fact that BRO guys were already working on the restoration of road. We then decided to move forward and check the status of Nallah/stream ourselves. After about half an hour we saw the stream it was mind blowing..road was almost gone and water had flown so much of debris and pebble with it that it looked like a river itself. We parked our car just before the stream and kept staring at each other not knowing what to say. We saw few bikers cross the stream they managed to cross it with great difficulty.

Bikers don’t have to wait for anybody

No BRO guy was present there somebody told us that that they are working on another stream much bigger than this one. Now we were really clueless and didn’t know what to do there was so much water in the stream and it came with such a great flow that we were afraid that it could even sweep away Alto .some guys then started removing the big stones and rocks after some time the flow of water receded a bit and few SUVs tried to cross it and managed successfully.

We just decided to observe other people and then decide what to do. A NANo came (testing vehicle) and it got stuck in the stream that fully it had a backup vehicle which pulled it from the stream. It was really scary to see that.

Nano

Nano got stuck and had to be pulled away

Then we saw some small vehicles like santro cross the stream. Don’t know what came into Gaurav’s mind then he suddenly got into the car and told us that he’s crossing it he started the car and in one go crossed the stream without a single sign of trouble while myself and dinesh looked with our hearts in mouth. We were delighted to see him on the other side and we clapped and shouted in joy..

Now it was turn to cross the next big hurdle the next big stream, when we reached there we found 100s of truck and other vehicles stranded.

Alto waiting with BIG brothers
We also saw the bulldozer of BRO guys. After waiting about one hour the BRO signals that we could cross the road..and it was not at all difficult considering the previous stretch, BRO guys had made the road motorable.

Brave BRO guys

Soon we crossed Darcha and headed towards BARALCHA one of the highest passes on the stretch. Temperature at baralacha was almost freezing and snow everywhere and it made a very beautiful sight.

baralacha

Baralacha road

taal at baralacha was partly frozen

We reached Sarchu and took a tented accommodation there and then I got hit with AMS (Acute mountain sickness) I spend the whole night vomiting (thanks to dinesh and Gaurav for taking care of me).
Near Sarchu

Day 4- We had to reach Leh and leh was still good 10-12 hrs drive away. I began to feel better by day and ate some dalia and had some lemon tea (I must say lemon tea work wonders when u feel weak after vomiting).Pang was next destination after sarchu (80Kms). Road was more or less good now and terrain was all desert like. Then come the famous Gata loops. Gata loops are a collection of sharp 21 loops which takes you to an altitude of 15032 feet. Roads in the loops are in not so good condition and the slow moving trucks leaving cloud of thick smoke make the ascent feel tougher than it actually is.

Next up is the third pass on the Manali Leh route, Nakee La, 15,547ft. While few km down the road is Lachulung La pass situated at an altitude of 16,616 ft. The descent from Lachulung La will take you to Pang, which is a temporary tent settlement some dhabas selling hot maggi noodles and has a check post where travelers need to register themselves. Take a breather here and eat something for the final push to Leh.

After stopping at Pang for a quick cup of tea we started the leg 2 of our journey (Pang -upshi 125kms).The road from pang takes you to famous Moore plains. Situated in a plateau it’s hard to believe that such a flat piece of land can exist at an altitude of 15400 feet.

Dinesh and Gaurav enjoying at Morey plains :-)

It was like a desert and driving there was like rallying in desert. Soil was loose and Alto was really swerving every now and then.

vast plains

windshield was full of fine dust and we had a tough time crossing moorey plains ( we had thought that moorey plains would be easier to cross and as it turned out it was one of the toughest stretch to cross.

After the dusty journey on the Moore plains, we found ourselves on the ascent to the third highest pass you will encounter in Ladakh, Tanglang La (17,582ft).

Tanglang-la

The Roads are in bad condition and the steepness coupled with lack of air takes a toll on vehicles performance. But once you reach the top you will be greeted with spectacular views,

In fact from Tanglang La you can clearly spot the road to the pass for miles on both directions. We stopped at tanglang la for few minutes for some quick snaps in fact we were not able to stand there for more than 30 seconds (lack of oxygen)..Descent from Tanglang La for first few kms is in bad condition, however after that you will be greeted with spectacular roads and with the altitude decreasing gradually, your spirits will start picking up and you will feel rejuvenated by the time you reach Upshi.

We had a brief stoppage at Upshi around 4pm for a quick cup of tea (lemon tea for me) From Upshi the final leg to leh begins (55 kms).You can also spend the night in Upshi in case you are too tried to continue with the journey.

We reached Leh around 6pm and started searching for hotels. Had to enquire in 9-10 hotels before we finally got a room (1500 rs/nite). May be most hotel prefer foreign guest in their hotels. We were very tired and felt lucky to have reached Leh finally, first thing we did was to find a SBI ATM and withdraw some cash.

Leh

Day-5 Nothing much to do on day-5 except some local sightseeing..after some deliberation we cancelled the visit to pangong lake ( we were really dead tired & pangong was quite far away)

Gompa

Shanti stupa

.we just covered few local attractions like Thiksey gompa, himes and shanti stupa and returned to our hotel in the evening.

View from shey palace

leh

Day-6 It was now time to go back to Delhi we had seen such horrors on the manali-leh route that we decided to go back via leh-Srinagar route in spite of some political problems and protest going on in srinagar. We did a tankful in Leh (20 ltrs of fuel was still there in a can with us) and left Leh around 9 am. The famous town of Kargil was our target on day-1. We were told that road were better on this route. But as we found out it was not different than manali-leh route may be slightly better.

confluence

beautiful scenes just before fotula

Kargil was our target on day-1 (about 300kms from leh) .On the way there is Gurudwara patthar sahib and the famous magnetic hill. We were curious to see magnetic hill and to our surprise it actually worked. We put out car in neutral and it actually started moving there’s a strong magnetic force in that region.

Magnetic hill

On the way we crossed fotu-la the highest point in the srinagar -leh route.

Fotu-la

It was late in evening when we reached Kargil. There are quite a few hotels in Kargil but finding a decent place to eat is a big task. After checking few places we decided to eat at hotel itself. Thankfully food was good enough to eat or may be since we were starving (we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast) we didn’t really care.

Day-7 We didn’t fix any target on the day we just discussed that lets cross Jammu and then we’ll decide whether to stop at pathankot or patnitop. We left kargil early in the morning around 5.30 am. And crossed drass, took a few pictures of the famous Tiger hill.

Drass

After drass comes the famous zozila pass. The route was really muddy it was raining since last 2 days but thankfully just stopped on the present day. Zozilla was closed for the upcoming traffic. We had a really tough time trying to cross it as the road downhill was so slippery . Gaurav had a tough time trying to control a swerving car. We kept on praying till the time pass was crossed. It turned out to be the most horrible pass on the way and literally sucked the air out of our lungs. We were really relieved when we finally crossed Zozila. We reached sonmarg just before noon and had some food in a Punjabi dhaba there.

Sonmarg

We then emptied our stock of spare fuel in the car and moved toward Srinagar. Roads were getting better now and landscapes were turning greener a welcome change from the dry and barren views we encountered since last few days.

Sonmarg

Srinagar is about 85 kms from Sonmarg, when we reached Srinagar the streets were really empty because of curfew. The famous dal lake looked beautiful yet it just appeared to stand lonely in a corner waiting for tourists.
Lonely streets of Srinagar and Dal lake

We had to wait at couple of crossing where protests were going and crowd was shouting slogans of ‘azaadi azaadi’ . Thankfully the protest was a peaceful one and we managed to cross without any sign of stone pelting or violence And for second time in the day we were left terrified and shaken. Srinagar is a beautiful place and seeing army, isolated streets and protests did spoil our mood. We crossed jawahar tunnel and turned towards Jammu and then came another challenge that we needed in the form of a traffic jam. We got stuck for about 4-5 hrs in the traffic jam near Jammu. It was getting late and we thought we should be lucky to reach patnitop. We finally managed to reach Patnitop around 10 pm. We were lucky to find a room in a J&K tourist rest house at patnitop however the bad thing was their restaurant was closed at 10pm and the attendant rudely told us that it’s closed and they can’t provide food..We just had to do with some leftover coke biscuits and snacks.

Day-8 Time had come make the journey back home. Patnitop is about 700 kms from Delhi. We left after having breakfast. We already had more adventures than we expected now we were tired and slightly homesick too..We left in the morning around 10 am and reached Delhi around 5am next day it took us slightly longer owing to some traffic jams on the way. But the last leg was done without any major hiccup however when we parked the car in front of my house in the morning we realised we had a flat tyre :-)

=============Some Facts=======================

Route Covered :-Delhi-Manali-Leh-Kargil-Srinagar-Pathankot-Delhi.

Vehicle :- Maruti Alto 2009 model

Total Kms :- 2404

No. of Days :- 9 (2 nite halts at Leh)

Fuel Consumption :- 135 ltrs approx.

Passes covered :- 6 nos Highest being Tanglang-la @ 17500 feet

Coldest temperature encountered @ baralachala and Sarchu – almost freezing.

146 Comments

  • vinaymusafir says:

    One of the most adventurous travel stories I have read on Ghumakkar.
    Pics a really breath taking. Very well written post.
    Cheers!

  • Sharma Shreeniwas says:

    Good detailing. Alto is a good car. I also prefer travelling by self driven own vehicle. let God always keep together you 3 IDIOTS.

    • Rahul says:

      Yes indeed Alto was real good.We noticed one Gypsy and Xylo broke down on the way. The problem with Alto was low ground clearance as a result it scraped its underbelly far too often.

      • Gaurav says:

        But you need a driver like Gaurav :)

        • Rahul says:

          True..:))

          • shivam111 says:

            Hi
            i like 3 idiot and 1 ALTO story too much, first time i have read your story MR. gaurav rahul and 3rd boy i dont know the name ..

            awesome !!!! it was a great trip hahahahhah,

            you shared everything i like it..

            i am also planning to visit delhi to nainital area, first i will see nainital hill area and then move to leh laddakh area like you..

            is Honda amaze SMT diesel car suitable to go ?

  • Amazing post complemented with great pics.

    I wonder how you people passed those dreadful roads, especially those streams.

    After reading so many posts about Leh-Ladakh on Ghumakkar, I am keen to visit the place.

    I liked the title of the post very much.

    • Rahul says:

      Thanks Shefali, Indeed it was very difficult and scary thats why we kept on moving forward as we were afraid to turned back and came back via a different route. Crossing an unknown hurdle is slightly easier. Yes you must atleast once go there (by road). why dont u plan this season? manali-leh route is about to be opened.

  • Nandan says:

    Dar ke aage jeet hai. Very inspiring.

    • Gaurav says:

      Dar ke aage jeet hai per aaj bhi jab wo trip mere sapne mai aata hai mai darr jata hun… :)

      Per Leh mai jo darr gaya wo kahan gaya kisi ko nahi pata :)

      • Rahul says:

        Ha Ha rite Gaurav, if it wasnt for you we wouldnt have been able to cross Darcha and Zozilla pass..:)) your exceptional driving skills came handy that day. :))

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Rahul,
    Hats off to you people. Amazing, wonderful and really mind blowing post. I have gone through the post for 4-5 times, reading each word carefully and looking each picture eagerly. One of the greatest posts on Ghumakkar. It was great, keep travelling and keep writing.

    Thanks.

    • Rahul says:

      Thanks Mukesh…What I have mentioned here is not more than 20% of what we actually experienced on our journey At the same time its not unique to us I am sure all visit to Leh bring some unique and mind blowing experiences.

  • Sumit Nirmal Kumar says:

    Hi Rahul,
    It is an amazing travelogue you have written. Full of adventure and adrenaline rush. Majaa aa gayaa.
    I have been planning a trip like this for a ling time but arranging atleast 10 offs from the job is next to impossible. It was good that you persued you passion and found yourself in the middle of heaven at last
    For the problems that you faced, those were the best part of your journey. A few years from now it will be these problems that you will cherish the most. A dull visit is of no use.
    Overall a great presentationa nd great snaps as well.
    Keep on travelling
    Sumit Nirmal Kumar

    • Rahul says:

      Hi Sumit, thanks for your appreciaton ,I hope you also get a chance to visist leh soon. however the only way to get 10 offs is either you convince your boss or take a ” planned sick leave” :-)

  • Ruchik says:

    Rahul

    Terrific post..one of the best on the site surely..,very detailed lovely photos…thanks for sharing this…After reading this I want to visit Leh..have been planning for almost 5 years…

    • Rahul says:

      Thanks Ruchik, Hope you get a chance to visit Leh soon..Hope to read your travelogue some day..:-) (wt bt this season?)

  • Deepaks says:

    Very well written. Reading it was watching a thriller, though I knoew that you must have made it since ghosts can’t write blog posts, still the curiosity to know was strong throughtout. And great pictures too.

  • Sahil says:

    Rahul ,

    Brilliant narration, great pics overall a great travelogue with excellent pictures. But its really sad that you missed Pangong Lake and Khardungla. You went so far and missed those landmarks.

    Whats your take whether M800 can survive the road trip to Leh ?

    Sahil

    • Rahul says:

      Yes Sahil we were a bit disappointed too with missing Khardung-la and pangong but there was no way we could have made to these places..but then we need some motivation to make another trip to Leh sometime in future.. :-)

    • Rahul says:

      Regarding Maruti 800 yes definitely it can make it (when altos and spark can do it M 800 can do it too)… you just have to mindful of low ground clearance.. The underbelly of car will definitely take some hits. So just make sure that you choose a time when roads are in (comparitively ) better shape (like month of August will be just fine)..

      If you see some bad stretch or sream its always better to wait and let other cars pass first before you make your move…and it wud greatly help if all other passengers (Except driver) get down before crossing such stretches atleast thats wt we used to do..

      • Sanjay says:

        Yes, M800 can surely do it…..We did Delhi-Manali-Leh-Khardungla-Kargil-Srinagar-Delhi in 2001 by M800…..we are going to do it again this year from July 1st by i10….cheers

  • Pammi says:

    Great post. The pics are gorgeous. Thanks to your account of this trip, I want to visit Leh also.

  • Dinesh Saini says:

    those memories are still very much fresh in our mind. I think luck also plays a vital role in those road & exteme weather conditions. yes, driver like Gaurav is indispensible.

  • Adposting says:

    Wow! it’s an amazing trip!

  • Arijit says:

    Great trip :) i really wish to visit these places.How much is the approx cost for 2 person for the same trip?Wish to take my wife with me.Just advice me with hotel charges from Manali onwards to Leh plus transportation charges as i don’t have a car.

    • Rahul says:

      Hi Arijit, That depends on lots of factor i.e, in how many days u want to cover it..what kind of transportaion you want..kind of hotel u r looking for etc…you can mail me for details. Will gladly help you out..

  • arun says:

    Bravo guys,
    You all are amazing, you all didnt turned back…welldone.
    Anyone going by bike please inform me, me and my friend need a company, we plan to go there this year in two bikes without pillion…cheers
    Arun 09444481964

  • Kamal says:

    I was scared while planning to drive to Manali by my own Alto car but after reading this amazing story I have decided to drive to Manali by my own Alto with my family. Bravo Guys your story helped me to take decision….cheers…. by the way I’ll leave Delhi on 2/6/2011. God bless us.
    KAMAL

    • rahul says:

      All the best Kamal. Road till Manali is absolutely fine..no need to worry at all..U can even easily visit Rohtang pass in your Alto as well but beyond Rohtang is a a bit of problem as there is no road at all..

  • Kamal says:

    Thanks Rahul………..

  • Ankur Jain says:

    Awesome man… great to read the whole thing…

  • vijay singh rana says:

    u guyz are just awesome….

    we are also planning to go leh from Chandigarh in SWift…

    • Winston D'souza says:

      when are you guys planning to leave from Chandigarh, may be we could catch up somewhere and make a convoy.

  • Winston D'souza says:

    Excellect write up bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am planning something simillar from mumbai all the way to leh and back.
    I am taking my Indica, i know it does not sound good. But want to make it in a self drive car and not getting one.

  • Winston D'souza says:

    Best of Luck to all who are planning thier trip to LEH. LEaving Mumbai ton 24th, will be in LEH around 29th hopefully. (hahahahahaha)

  • Sanjay says:

    We are planning to repeat our 10 year old journey from July 1st….last time we did Delhi-Manali-Leh-Khardungla-Kargil-Srinagar-Delhi from June 16, 2001 to June 23, 2001 by M800….this time we are planning to repeat the route and might add Nubra or Pangong…we are going to do this by i10….we are planning to do it from July 1st….hope to meet some of you during this journey….cheers

  • kulyash says:

    Guys.. you gave me big motivation. Even i have a Alto N m definitely going to try for this route.

  • Rinchen Sangrup says:

    Hi guyz,
    iam from ladakh but sofar i had never drive to leh my self, i have an opel corsa 1.6 with which iam planning to visit my home next year, i was a bit confused till I read your story, it such an inspirational, really Iam feeling on cloud No nine, but still Iam bit worried will I be able to do it, lest i try I’ll never know, thanks a lot for sharing such an inspirational and educative experience.

  • Amitesh says:

    Guys hat’s off….By reading yurs I am also planning to visit manali in Oct 1 st week……I hope Manali to Rohtang road will be open by that time…is it so?…Also how much time it will take to manali from delhi by SUV?

  • Shoan says:

    Hello Rahul,
    Ist of al hats off to u guyz, & the narration is gorgeous..
    Actualy I was in search for the road route to leh, then accidently I saw ur posting..:-)
    my friend I am a keralaite, & me along with 1 of my frnd are so eager to visit Leh-Ladakh by road. But actuly v were out of idea on how to fullfill our dream. But nw i got some idea over that & I am really thankful to u..:-)

    • Rahul says:

      Hi Shoan,

      Thanks for your comment, Indeed kerala-leh by road will definitely take some doing, What you can do is arrive at chandigarh or manali by air and then take cover the rest of distance by road.This way you will be able to enjoy the journey more.

  • Pallav says:

    I am planning to visit leh in coming June with my i10, kindly let me know the kind of preparations required. Anyone planning to come with me, let me know.. its always gud to have two cars

  • Pallav says:

    anyone planning for the Summer of 2012, kindly contact me on 9818007122 or pallav.gargin@gmail.com

  • kalyani says:

    Wonderful travelogue ! Thanks for mentioning the minus points also.

  • Amrita says:

    wow!!! dats d ultimate ‘jo hoga,dekha jayega’ attitude!!! kudos to u guys!!!while i was thrilled to read ur experience, cant imagine wht a trip it would hav been for u guys!!!!!!!! grt travelogue!!

  • aryan vaid says:

    what a fantastic piece.so well documented,and i could almost visualize the journey with you.well done both with the writing,and of course the adventure that you did embark on..god bless you guys…

  • Mary says:

    Hey,
    wow!!! adventurous…experiences for life time!!!
    we just got transferred to leh.Planning to drive down from delhi to leh….well ,in our Alto!!!
    It will the four of us,me ,my husband and our two little boys. what do you say???

  • deepak says:

    i m goinig to leh

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    I don’t think there is difference between big vehicle or Alto Car. Except consumption of fuel . SUV is good option but you know your Alto very well and it proved in your jorney, it is great as like you guys . Done a wonderful job.

  • nizil aggarwal says:

    such a adventurous journey……
    I appreciate it …..
    I will also go there and live d moments…i will take my octavia….

  • Ankur Goyal says:

    Thanks a lot Friends,

    Planning to visit this place this July. You post halped me lot paln mah visit and mapping all location.

  • Deepak Chopra says:

    HI Rahul,

    I jaust wanted to know whether there is any mechanical problem in your alto car after reaching back to home. I am also having same vehicle and planning to move in next month.

    One more question, how you managed to cross that nallaha ? Is your car damaged in some way during crossing nallaha ?

    This whole blog is very much informative, it would be great help if you managed to clear my these 2 doubts.

    Thanks

    • Deepak Chopra says:

      Is water get into your car while crossing that nallah due to low ground clearance ?

      • Rahul says:

        Hi deepak,

        We just got few underbelly hits and scrapes, apart from that there was not any other major problem. You have to be careful while crossing nallahs..be patient let the other car cross first and carefully mark your path, if possible try to cross nallah on your feet first , just walk across it and you will get a good feel of it. when we crossed the water level was not very high. make sure you dont take so much risk..just wait if you are not comfortable.

  • manish says:

    i am plan to going leh by road pls gide
    me

    • Rahul says:

      Hi manish,

      am not sure if I can guide you…all you need is a good car ,a good driver and some guts thats it..!

  • Shubhangam Sharan says:

    Hi Three Idiots :),

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. Me, along with four other members are planing to visit Leh in the first week of September. Please advise, that is it feasible to go by Maruti Ertiga? I have an immense driving experience and have drove to Badrinath through Indica.

    I know the pass you mentioned in your blog would be definitely much horrible than what we have in the way to Badrinath, so please advise. Your advise would be highly appreciated.

    • Rahul says:

      Hi Sharan,

      Ertiga is a good car, only problem is that because of the increased wheelbase , its ground clearance is under threat..you will for certainly take some underbelly hits. Apart from that it should be fine.

  • Asokan says:

    Its really amazing adventuress travel, even we cant forget your experience

  • sainidk says:

    @ Deepak: Car is running absolutely find even today. Do not have any mechanical problem. Few precuations will be really helpful.

    Do not over weight car by luggage, 3 persons are ideal for small car like Alto. It keeps car light and help in crossing Nallah & Gaddah on the way.

    Get out of the car if there is slush or any waterfall/nallah & can help driver to cross it over. First observe few vehicles before crossing nallah and then take a turn. Be carful with Gaddah & stones on the way it can damage your car underneath.

    You will feel your car powerless on the height because of lack of air but that is common to all vehicles.

    Before starting your journal get a health check doner of your car.

    Have a nice journey….enjoy.

  • sainidk says:

    @ Deepak: Car is running absolutely find even today. Do not have any mechanical problem. Few precuations will be really helpful.

    Do not over weight car by luggage, 3 persons are ideal for small car like Alto. It keeps car light and help in crossing Nallah & Gaddah on the way.

    Get out of the car if there is slush or any waterfall/nallah & can help driver to cross it over. First observe few vehicles before crossing nallah and then take a turn. Be carful with Gaddah & stones on the way it can damage your car underneath.

    You will feel your car powerless on the height because of lack of air but that is common to all vehicles.

    Before starting your journal get a health check doner of your car.

    Have a nice journey….enjoy.

    Dinesh

    • Deepak Chopra says:

      Thanks alot for your valuable advice/information, I will keep these points in my mind while moving to Leh :)

  • sainidk says:

    @ Shubhangam : Don’t think there is any problem with Ertiga. If you have driving experience of Badrinath i don’t there will be any problem, it’s good if there are two people who knows driving because sometime people feel mountain sickness and if only one driver & he start feeling sickness than it becomes problemtic but certainly not a big issue.

    Have a nice journey….
    Dinesh

    • Gaurav says:

      Hi all

      To be safer side dont forget to carry extra cash, petrol, water, biscuts, dryfruit, driver, jaket, cap, torch, medicin (diamox), tool box, rope and EXTRA LUCK haha.

      Darr ke aage hi jeet hai.. dont think much bus nikal pado, jo hoga dekha jayega..

      Its a life time experience which you will remember till death.

      Cheers..

      Gaurav

  • Shubhangam Sharan says:

    Thanks Dinesh for your motivation. I will definitely hit that road and will share the experience.

    Any other useful and important suggestion will add a boon here.

  • Supratim says:

    Rahul, Gaurav, Dinesh,

    In 2005 I covered that stretch on a hired Qualis. I can understand the magnitude of your achievement. I own a Alto which I have taken to the eastern Himalayas like Darjeeling, Bhutan. But I never dreamed of taking it to Ladakh. Your post is a very infectious…who knows!! Just curious to know if any of the readers of this post tried this route in the last two years in a small car like Alto.

    Best regards,

    Supratim

  • umesh says:

    we are planning to go by scorpio
    can u plz tell us the budget that u people had and how much did u spent
    we have around 25000/- as our budget

  • Sunil bansal says:

    ohhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    great experiance of mine…..my trip was vaishno devi to baltal to leh- ladhakh to kullu manali nd return back to punjab..

  • manmauji says:

    Well had this in mind for a long time and now its time to make it reality. I am planning to move on 20th july , but not sure whether ALTO will be a good choice over Bolero. in my case it will be only ONE idiot trying .

    C ya

  • Ankit says:

    Great! Yehi hai zazbaa…..

    tumne yeh saabit kar diya ,,, urdne ke liye pankh nahi zazba zarrori hai

  • One of the most exciting travel story i ever heard.. u guys have real guts to do this during floods.. hats off!!

  • Shivasankar.G says:

    Hey guys,

    Exciting to read start to end.

    I’m inspired to do this in My Swift Petrol 1.3 Ltrs.

    Me Unlucky, me live in other end of India, Bangalore. However made up my mind to do it in next year… Got to dive 4500 Kms to have this fun…. yeh sounds too big, further 1600 odd kms..

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. It is awesome adventure, indded.

    g.shiva
    bangalore

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