Leh - Ladakh Road Trip in Mahindra Scorpio


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Simply awesome . Showed this thread to some of my friends and they all liked the idea . Hopefully we can make such a trip this year in one of my friend's Pajero .
 
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Maybe this Travelogue will give you some ideas about driving to Arunachal!
https://sites.google.com/site/hvkumar/kumar'snortheastdrivingholiday

North East is best in winter before April because there is least water - and hence river crossings & better roads - and after that it rains incessantly till at least September. The rains leave behind a trail of destruction of roads and it take still at least Dec for roads to be repaired. Places like Kibithu (eastern most) are not accessible except during winter. Wherever there are ferry crossings, there are significant differences in time for crossings across the Brahmaputra & Lohit Rivers. The main highways in Assam are excellent.

Roads from Siliguri to Bhutan border of Phuntsoling is excellent but if you are looking to go to Guwahati, both the main highways are in bad condition. Of the two, prefer the one via Cooch Behar & Gauripur, and not the one via Alipurduar & Bongaigaon.

Getting permits for Bhutan is no issue at all. You can obtain visit permits in Calcutta itself, but the Phuntsoling Immigration is faster and efficient, except that you have t present yourselves there during office working days/ timings. Moreover, you have to obtain your car permits at the RSTA Office there. Multiple permits for travelling beyond Thimphu & Paro to Central & East Bhutan, from the Thimphu Immigration & RSTA required.

To go into certain Dzongs, you need a Cultural Ministry permit also. For example, you can climb up to the Tiger's Nest in Paro Valley but cannot enter the Dzong/Gompa without a permit.

Your friend who did not get the permit must have been denied it because the border was closed for 1.5 months during the SAARC Summit during the September period. Make sure you do your research on such things before you travel. Bhutan Govt officials are super-friendly and you can call them up and check out these things before you plan/ travel. Please remember that Indians are welcome and need hardly any formalities to travel there unlike other foreigners who can travel only as part of conducted tours in pre-arranged taxis, and through tour operators. Only Indians can plan their own drives in Bhutan. I have driven there both by mobike (1994) and car (2009).

Road from Tezpur to Itanagar is also excellent.

There are no safety issues anywhere en route to Bhutan (or in Bhutan) and even in Assam, but for the frequent bandhs, an ordinary tourist faces no problems unless he tries to act "smart" . Keep tipping anyone who stops you on the road. Please respect local sentiments and do not get into ideological arguments on Maoism, ULFAism, Bodoism and such like, simply concentrate on your drive.

To travel anywhere in Arunachal, you need a permit which has to be obtained in advance at either Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, Tezpur or Dibrugarh. Withot this, you cannot cross check posts into AR.

Road to Tawang is good except during rainy season and in some sections around Se la. Remember, you need special army permits to go to Bum la, the China border beyond Tawang.

You can also read my drive account to Tawang in this 2001 travelogue:
MOTORING HOLIDAY IN NORTH EAST INDIA

You can check out log books of all my drives to the region here:

1994 mobike ride to Darjeeling, Sikkhim & Bhutan
https://sites.google.com/site/hvkumar/kumar%27sdrivinglogbooks18

2001 drive to Tawang & rest of North East India
https://sites.google.com/site/hvkumar/kumar%27sdrivinglogbooks37

2009 drive to Sikkhim, Bhutan & Arunachal, including easternmost sectors
kumar'sdrivinglogbooks46 - hvkumar
 
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Address of Bhutan Consulate for Permits for Bhutan from Kolkata :
Bhutan House, 6 Mall Road, Dum Dum(After Nagerbazar), Kolkata - 700080, WB, India.
Contact Person : Mr. Rinzen , Ph:09836794716.

If somebody is travelling to Bhutan from Kolkata it is okay to get the permits beforehand otherwise it is better to get the permits from PhuntSholing as it is faster as mentioned by Kumar Sir. It will take atleast a day or two to get the permits from Kolkata Bhutan Consulate, whereas one can get the permits from Phuntsholing in couple of hours.

Bhutan RSTA link :
RSTA Home Page
 
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@ HV KUMAR, Great to have you here. Have gone through quite a lot of your experiences in the net and other forums. Your inputs here will be very helpful.

I had driven from Kolkata to Thmpu way back in 97 and rules might have changed. Getting permit from Phuntsholling for the car was probably mandatory though I had a reccomendation letter from their Govt authorities from Kolkata. It had taken me 24 hours to get the clearance in Phuntsholling.
 
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Chandranath, getting the permits nowadays has become a simple affair.

All you need are your documents in original - driving license, car RC book, PUC (they donlt ask for insurance). Fill up the form at the RSTA, the ladies at the counter will quickly check and send you to the counter where they will examine the documents/ application, levy the fees of Rs 20 (?) per day and forward it to the higher official for issuance of the permit. Entire process took me less than 30 minutes. Everyone is very friendly and eager to help.
 
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Maybe this Travelogue will give you some ideas about driving to Arunachal!
https://sites.google.com/site/hvkumar/kumar'snortheastdrivingholiday
Hello Kumar Sir. Welcome to TAI and great to have you here.

Your's is the first travelogue, I ever read about Arunachal.

You can also read my drive account to Tawang in this 2001 travelogue:
MOTORING HOLIDAY IN NORTH EAST INDIA

You can check out log books of all my drives to the region here:

1994 mobike ride to Darjeeling, Sikkhim & Bhutan
https://sites.google.com/site/hvkumar/kumar%27sdrivinglogbooks18

2001 drive to Tawang & rest of North East India
https://sites.google.com/site/hvkumar/kumar'sdrivinglogbooks37

2009 drive to Sikkhim, Bhutan & Arunachal, including easternmost sectors
kumar'sdrivinglogbooks46 - hvkumar
Thank you for sharing these wonderful travelogues. I will surely consulte you, once the plans are finalized, just like I did before the Leh trip.

Address of Bhutan Consulate for Permits for Bhutan from Kolkata :
Bhutan House, 6 Mall Road, Dum Dum(After Nagerbazar), Kolkata - 700080, WB, India.
Contact Person : Mr. Rinzen , Ph:09836794716.

Bhutan RSTA link :
RSTA Home Page
Thank you for the address and link, anisghos.

Will surely take advice from You and Chandranath.

Thank you.

Simply awesome . Showed this thread to some of my friends and they all liked the idea . Hopefully we can make such a trip this year in one of my friend's Pajero .
Thanks Rohan. You guys have a lot of time to plan for this year. Hope you guys do it.
 
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HVK great to have you here.read a lot about your great road trips. your mumbai by pass guide was the one i followed in my recent trip to rajasthan from kerala.thanks a lot.
 
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Re: Leh - Ladakh

Hello Avindu,

My randon thought of a drive to Leh and a google search landed me straight at your postings. First of all Congratulations on this beautiful experience. Secondly thank you for posting enough that it now has increased my resolve to do it this summer with the family which is equally excited about these trips.

Any way to connect with you for more details?

Naveen
 
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Avindu,

Awesome Travelogue!! no words to describe my feelings when I read this story, and of course mesmerizing pictures! :D ... added Leh to my list ;)
 
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Hi Avindu,

This is a great travelogue. The details and the pictures are astounding. So much so that it inspired us to take this trip this year. We will be traveling in a Logan. We have more or less finalized the itinerary with a lot of help from HV Kumar.
At this point, we are looking at acquiring the supplies and are wondering if there is anyone who would be willing to rent/sell some of the items like plastic cans, tow rope, booster cable etc. We are in Bangalore and if anyone has these items to lend/sell, please let me know. If you have the details of any dealers for these in Bangalore, please share the details.

Thanks,
Pradeep
 
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Hi Avindu,

This is a great travelogue. The details and the pictures are astounding. So much so that it inspired us to take this trip this year. We will be traveling in a Logan. We have more or less finalized the itinerary with a lot of help from HV Kumar.
At this point, we are looking at acquiring the supplies and are wondering if there is anyone who would be willing to rent/sell some of the items like plastic cans, tow rope, booster cable etc. We are in Bangalore and if anyone has these items to lend/sell, please let me know. If you have the details of any dealers for these in Bangalore, please share the details.

Thanks,
Pradeep
Hoping to reading your travelogue very soon
 
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