Bangalore-Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Agra Trip 2009

Route – Bangalore – Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali – Leh – Kargil – Srinagar – Delhi – Agra – Delhi – Bangalore

Date- September 18th to October 1st

Trip Mates

Arun Thomas KB from Bangalore
Kiran Joggy from Pune
Akhil Vardhan from Hyderabad
Satish PS from Bangalore
Sooraj VS from Bangalore

September 18th

We decided to keep Delhi as our meeting point since Joggy and Vardhan were coming from Pune and Hyderabad respectively.

Vardhan reached Delhi by 3 PM. Sooraj, Satish and Me reached Delhi by 10:00 PM and Joggy by 11:50 .

September 19th

We took a prepaid EasyCabs taxi from Delhi Airport to Kashmere Gate ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminus). Cost 490 Rs

We reached the bus station at 1:30 am. Vardhan took the tickets to Chandigarh  after waiting in the queue for a long time. And we reached Chandigarh by 6 AM.

Took a room in Hotel Vikrant in Sector 18

Our initial plan was to rent an SUV for self drive.  But after some unfruitful attempts we decided to take a normal taxi.

And we got a 7 seater Innova. Rate – 9.5Rs per km and 250km per day minimum. The rate is a little high. The driver later said that we can get Innovas for around 8.5 to 9 per km for long trips.

We started from Chandigarh to Manali at around 1.30 PM. Our driver Soni is an expert in rash driving. I never thought i would be able to write this.

On the way Soni took us to his house in a small village in Punjab. Gave milk to drink and explained about his field, cattle farms etc.

On the way we saw Sutlej river.

September 20

We reached Manali by 3.15 am night. Took a room in Hotel Chandermukhi, NH-21, Rangri, Manali, Ph: 01902-253279, 253879

At around 10am, me and Vardhan booked flight tickets from Srinagar to Delhi. Then we all went to Nature Park (Van Vihar) in Manali Town.

We took some photos with traditional dresses and Angora rabbit in hand.

There were some adventure sports also.

After lunch we visited Hadimba Temple. Took a ride on a Yak. Took photos with python around neck.

After that we went to Solang Valley for paragliding.

Pilot Roop Singh
Indian Paragliding Association
Mob: 9816232015

Cost 700 Rs per person.

If you bargain, you can get this rate reduced.

We booked paragliding from

Mastry Mountain Adventure,
Near Curisthouse,
Hadimba Rd,
Manali- 175131
Mob: 9816247582

After paragliding we visited Vashisht Temple, around 3kms from Manali town. There is a hot spring in Vashisht Temple. There is a Bullet Club near Vashisht Temple from where you can rent Royal Enfield Bullets for ride.

Then we did some shopping in Manali town. Bought some dry fruits.

At around 10 pm we went to look for a Bullet for rent. We wanted to drop the Bullet at Leh since we were going to Srinagar from Leh

We can get Royal Enfield Bullets for rent from the following places.

NB: There are lots of other clubs and tour organisers who rent Bullets.

1.Life Adventure Tours and Travels
Hotel Diamond, Model Town, Manali
Ph: +91-1902-253825, +91-1902-250239

This guy asked 1200 Rs per day for a new Bullet Machismo 500 and 6000 Rs extra for dropping the Bullet at Leh.

Later he said the bike is not available

2. Royal Moto Touring

3. Near Vashisht Temple
I have heard that there is some Bullet Clubs near Vashisht temple who organize Bullet trips to Leh. We didn’t go there.

4. Bike Tours
Near Naveen Hotel,
Behind Private Bus Stand,
Court Road,
Manali
The guys name is Raju.
Mob: +91-9816082825

This guy promised me to give a new Machismo 350 for 700 Rs per day. And 5000 Rs extra for dropping it at Leh

So we decided to take the new Machismo from Raju. I was really happy because i have a Machismo 350 and am pretty used to it.

September 21

Early morning me and Sooraj went to Raju’s place to take the Machismo. And what we got is a crap old Standard Bullet. From the first ride itself, i felt the lack of power. But since the other guys were waiting for us in the Innove, we decided to take it without causing more delay.

We had to give Akhil Vardhan’s original driving license as security. The guy promised us to give the license at Leh by the time we reach there.  (But he didn’t send anyone to Leh with the license. We had hell lots of problems with this Raju guy. And after hundreds of phone calls, he couriered the license to Vardhan’s house. So be careful if you are giving any of your original documents as security).

We took 10 liters of petrol in a can and kept it in the Innova.

And at around 11.30 Sooraj and me started our Bullet ride, from Manali to Leh.

The important places in the Manali to Leh-Ladkh route are

Manali – Kothi – Marhi – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Koksar – Sissu – Gondla – Tandi – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Patseo – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakila Pass – Whisky Nullah – Lachung La – Pang – Moray Plains – Debring – Tanglang La – Rumptse – Upshi – Karu – Leh – Khardung La

It took some time to get adjusted to right side gear and left side brake.

At around noon we reached Rohtang Pass. Our bullet reached first since the Innova guys were stuck in traffic due to some land slides.

On the way we saw a group of foreigners in 500 cc Bullets going to Manali.

Rohtang is really beautiful with snow clad mountains. We tried skiing in Rohtang Pass.

At around 6 PM, we started from Rohtang. Our plan was to reach Jispa (Jespa) where there are some lodges and tents for stay.

But after around 1 km, our Bullet stopped. Tried several times to kick start it. It didn’t start. It simply didn’t start !!!!!!!!

The Innova was far ahead of us. And me and Sooraj at the top of a hill in Himalayas at around 7 PM with no one and no vehicle to see. And the road was pathetic.

We tried to push start it. No use.

And we waited there for some time till the Innova came back looking for us.  We thought the battery is down. Tried to charge it with Innova’s battery. No use. All the guys were angry with me. They told me to drop the Bullet there and continue the journey in Innova. Our driver Soni was more interested in burning the Bullet with petrol or drop it from the hill.

But i had taken the decision to take the Bullet till Leh. And decided to push the Bullet. It was past 8 PM then.

With Innova behind me, i started pushing the Bullet down hill. Whenever it stopped, some one from Innova will help. It was difficult for them too, since at that cold atmosphere and high altitude we will be damn tired even if we walk for some time.

We pushed the Bullet for around 15 Kms and reached Koksar. By that time i had a small fever.

There were some government guest houses in Koksar, but all were occupied. We kept the Bullet in one daba and proceeded to Sissu which was around 14 KMs from Koksar.

We took rooms in Hotel Triveni

September 22

Sissu is a beautiful place.  River Chandra flows through Sissu. And there is a waterfalls also. We saw a helipad in Sissu near our Hotel.

At around 10 am we got a mechanic. (No +91-9418318544)

With him, we went to Koksar and repaired the Bullet. It was some electrical problems. As soon as i heard the Bullet beats, i got my full energy back. Went back to Hotel and me and Sooraj immediately started from there.

Reached Tandi. There is a petrol pump in Tandi. Filled tank. I think that is the last petrol on the way to Leh.

We passed Jispa.

And after traveling for some kms we stopped near a river. Crossed the river in a trolley kind of stuff. And me, Sooraj and Sathesh took a dip in that ice cold river. Immediately after the dip, we lost our balance. Something happened. And i developed high fever after that.

Me and Sooraj got back in Innova and Vardhan took charge of the Bullet.

We passed Baralacha La. There was snow on the sides of the road. We took some photos.

Reached Bharatpur. Saw a tent there. Had dinner from there and proceeded to Sarchu.

Took a tent in Sarchu. Rate: 400 Rs for one night.

September 23

It was damn cold in the morning. Water was ice cold.

I was having fever and vomiting tendency. Took an avomin and continued our journey to Leh. Sooraj and Satheesh were in Bullet.

Passed Lachung La. Stopped at Pang for lunch. Tents were available there also.

Then we reached Murray Plains (Moray Plains). Sooraj was driving the Bullet then. But after some time i took charge of the Bullet. That ride was really interesting. It was like a desert with tons  of sand coming to our face.

We reached Tanglang La. It is the second highest motorable road in the world. Took some photos there.

By that time everyone was tired. All were having headaches because of low oxygen. Even the driver was damn tired. We gave him Paracetamol and continued. From that point onwards Vardhan drove the Bullet.

We passed through Upshi. From Upshi onwards the climate and scenery is good. All were feeling well then. And we reached Leh at around 7 PM.

Took rooms in

Hotel Shanti Palace
Old Road Shenam,
Leh-Ladakh
Mob: +91-9906987115
Ph: +91-1982-254523
Website – www.hotelshantipalaceleh-ladakh.com

Room rates – 1000 rs for one double room

September 24

I was stunned to see Ladakh.  I never knew that such a place exists in India. It is a different world. Entirely different from all the other places i have visited in India. Its calm, quiet and extremely beautiful.Majority of the Ladakhi’s are Buddhists. And we can a lot of stupa’s everywhere.

We went to Shanti Stupa, a Buddhist temple very near to our Hotel. The view from the top is amazing.

Then we visited Leh Palace.

At around 6 PM, we went to Leh market for shopping. Bought a handicraft bag and pillow cover for my fiancee. There were shops which sell T shirts with Ladakh embroidery. We didn’t get time to buy them. One week later, my brother bought them for me.

There were lots of places to visit in Leh-Ladakh. But we didn’t get time to see those.

September 25

At around 10:30 we gave the Bullet to the Hotel guys after we confirmed that the Bullet Raju had sent the license to Vardhan’s home.

And we started to Srinagar in Innova.

We passed through Kargil, saw Tiger Hill and lots of boards which read “Drive carefully. Enemy is watching you”

And we reached Drass. Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world. At Drass, J & K policemen didn’t allow us to go further since traffic is banned from Drass to Srinagar after 6 PM

So we took rooms in Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Corporations Guest House.

September 26

We started to Sonamarg (on the way to Srinagar) at around 10 am.

On the way, the Innova tyre got punctured. We replaced that and continued.

Reached Sonamarg by noon. Went to see glaciers on horse. The guide told us that the famous scene of Mandakini in Ram Teri Ganga Meli was shot there.

Reached Srinagar at around 7 PM.

Took a 2 bed room house boat for 1600 Rs per night rate.
House boat name : Island Queen

September 17

The specialty of Kashmir is Kashmiri Girls. They are damn beautiful 🙂

Shikara Ride in Dal lake.

Drank Kashmiri Kawa

Did water surfing. There was a photographer with me when i did water surfing in Dal Lake. I was holding a rope with both hands while surfing. The photographer first asked me free one hand and pose for a photo. I did that. He then asked me to free both the hands. I dropped the rope and lost balance. Swam for some time in Dal Lake and then they came and rescued.

Went to Floating market. Bought a bedsheet set and a carpet.

After that went to Nehru Park and Cheshmashahi Botanical Garden

September 28

Early morning we started to Gulmarg, which was around 50 kms from Kashmir.

Horse Ride.

Saw Khilamarg, Strawberry Valley, Maharani Temple, Palace and Childrens Park.

After that returned to Srinagar and took rooms in Hotel

September 29

To Delhi.

Reached Delhi by 3:30 PM

The most saddest part of our trip happened at Delhi Airport. Akhil Vardhan lost his camera there.

Canon Powershot – 17000 Rs

5 GB Photos and Videos of our trip – Priceless

Sooraj and Sathesh returned to Bangalore.

Vardhan, me and Joggy took a room in some hotel in Pahar gunj.

After that me and Joggy went to a pub, Knights

September 30

Joggy returned to Pune early morning.

Me and Vardhan had booked a package tour to Agra, Madura and Vrindavan in a non AC bus for 350 Rs.

We visited Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Madura and Vrindavan.

The trip was damn tiring since it was damn hot in that area.

Bought two sarees made of Banana silk for mummy.

We reached back in Delhi at around 2.30 night.

October 1

Vardhan’s flight was at 3 Pm and mine at 9.40 PM

After Vardhan went to airport, i saw Salman Khan’s Wanted. This was the first time i saw a movie alone. There was nothing else to do in Delhi.

I reached my home in Bangalore at 2 Am night.

And my best trip till date came to an end. Enjoyed a lot.

My total cost of the trip came to around 33,000 Rs. Out of that 6000 Rs was for the Bullet ride.

Manali – Leh route is highly recommended for all travel freaks.

10 thoughts on “Bangalore-Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Agra Trip 2009”

  1. I had gone a trip last June Delhi-Manali-Keylong-Suraj Tal Lake. It was the start of the season. Problem was that we had only 6 days. Cant believe I went to those places now. It was an amazing trip.Almost all time we were in a vehicle like Bhramaram. Didnt see you mention Suraj Tal Lake. Its a frozen lake from where river Bhaga originates. We experienced huge climatic changes during the trip. Delhi was damn hot in June 47 oC. Manali 20 oC. Keylong 2oC. Suraj Tal -2oC.

  2. Hey dude!

    Real nice trip man… am adnan from Bangalore..we are planning to go to Leh and have booked our flights to srinagar.. was wondering if you have any idea if we will be able to get bullets for rent in Srinagar.. we plan to ride to leh from srinagar and back..

    do mail me if you have any idea on the same.. also we plan to stay in tents which we will be carrying.. is it advisable?? n how is the road from leh to srinagar?? i mean how are the scenes around the tar..?? 🙂

    hope to hear from u.. tk cr.. n ride safe..!!

    cheers…!

    adnan

  3. Hi Adnan,

    Regarding Bullets for rent in Srinagar –> Actually I am not sure whether we get bullets from Srinagar. Should be there.

    “We plan to ride to leh from srinagar and back” –> The roads are ok. Scenery is also good. But not as good as Manali – Leh route.

    Staying in your own tents may not be a good idea. If it is too cold, the tents we carry may not be that useful. You need really good and thick blankets for survival.

    There are some small towns on the way to Leh from Srinagar. You can stay there also.

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