Leh on Nexon


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Our Blue Diamond - aka Nexon XZA+ AMT Diesel - took us for a long ride of Chennai>Sach Pass>Ladakh>Ajmer Dargah>Chittorgarh Fort>Bangalore safely and comfortably. This was our third visit - but, maiden one for Blue Diamond - to Ladakh. The first one was via Srinagar in Sep 2011, the second was via Manali in July 2017 and the present one was via Sach Pass. We attempted to do Sach Pass>Leh twice in the last 5 years - in 2014 by erstwhile XUV 500 and 2016 by Thunderbird 500 - but in vein due to road closures because of bad weather. Both the times, we returned from Dalhousie/Chamba with the unfinished destination. So, this time, I changed my strategy and drove straight to Bairagarh, stayed there for the night and drove through Sach Pass, the next day!
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Very beautiful pictures.Thanks
One pic on the pass itself shows Nexon with a stepney. Did you face a puncture on the way?
 
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Very beautiful pictures.
Thanks for the appreciation.
One pic on the pass itself shows Nexon with a stepney. Did you face a puncture on the way?
Yes, one each on either way. Two punctures. One near Sarchu on our way to Leh in the afternoon and another at Rohthang Pass at 5 am while returning to Manali, both caused by sharp stones. While the former was repaired, the latter was unrepairable due to big cut and now used as a spare with tube. OE spare tyre does duty in the front right. The worst road award goes to HP. We drove on boulders/sharp stones for some kilo-metres, that too in the night!
 
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Our Blue Diamond - aka Nexon XZA+ AMT Diesel - took us for a long ride of Chennai>Sach Pass>Ladakh>Ajmer Dargah>Chittorgarh Fort>Bangalore safely and comfortably. This was our third visit - but, maiden one for Blue Diamond - to Ladakh. The first one was via Srinagar in Sep 2011, the second was via Manali in July 2017 and the present one was via Sach Pass. We attempted to do Sach Pass>Leh twice in the last 5 years - in 2014 by erstwhile XUV 500 and 2016 by Thunderbird 500 - but in vein due to road closures because of bad weather. Both the times, we returned from Dalhousie/Chamba with the unfinished destination. So, this time, I changed my strategy and drove straight to Bairagarh, stayed there for the night and drove through Sach Pass, the next day!
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Stupendous stamina to drive non stop for over 24 hours at a stretch, Sir. Congratulations to you and Madam on an arduous journey. Thanks very much for the details and the beautiful photos.
Barring the punctures, did you have any issues with the car?
 
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Congratulations to you and Madam on an arduous journey.
Thanks for the compliments and appreciation, @drtrajkumar.
Barring the punctures, did you have any issues with the car?
Nope. Nexon drove easily on the boulders, stones, snow and steep gradients without any issue on MT.
 
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I had been planning for this mega drive since June 2019 with many alternatives. But, due to one reason or the other that are beyond my control, it got postponed many times. I wanted to go via
Sach Pass>Cliffhanger>Sinthan Top and return via Mughal Road. All these plans did not fructify. Finally, I settled for Sach Pass>Ladakh and return via Manali, which was the last alternative.

As I did in 2014, the first halt was going to be at Sagar. I reserved for accommodation for me and wife at Deepali Palace, Sagar through Makemytrip.com for ₹ 1,347 inclusive of breakfast. I loaded ₹ 6 k in my Paytm wallet for tolls. Blue Diamond had tankful of diesel. Wife packed our dinner for the day and breakfast for the next day. We left our Chennai home at 1:30 pm on 23/10 and scheduled to reach our hotel at Sagar in the evening the next day, based on our previous experience. We reached the outskirts of Hyderabad by midnight and chose to drive through the twin cities instead of ORR. Somewhere near Nirmal in Telangana, Blue Diamond recorded 20,000 km on the odometer. The first 10 k mark was recorded at Tripura near Agartala on 29 Jan 2019. Crossing Hinganghat was very easy with the completion of flyover above the railway line. We arrived at Haldiram's, Shankar Nagar Square, Nagpur by 9 am on 24/10. We completed our morning ablution and had a satisfying breakfast. I also had two pieces of rasamalai and bought a few Tetra Paks of Haldiram's buttermilk and lassi. We got stuck for more than a hour in traffic jams due to Nagpur metro construction. We took the Seoni route. More traffic jams delayed our drive due to road-widening works between Nagpur and Seoni. Finally, we reached our hotel at Sagar at 4:30 pm on 24/10. We ate the remaining packed food, tea and called it a day. The next day, after a swim and satisfying buffet breakfast, we continued our drive towards Bairagarh.

In our earlier Ladakh drives, we used to halt at Delhi for a couple of days. But, not this time with the completion of Eastern/Western Peripheral Expressways. We drove via Yamuna Expressway and had filter coffee there. Then, we took the Eastern Peripheral Expressway and landed at Kundli, HR, bypassing Delhi by midnight. After a nice midnight dinner at Pahalwan Dhaba, Murthal, we continued our journey. Whenever we drive on this highway, it has become a norm to have dinner at late nights or early hours of the day as most of the eateries open 24 hours. I call this a foodie's highway! [:D]

We reached Haveli, Jalandhar bypass by 9 am on 26/10. After morning ablution and delicious breakfast, we continued our drive. Road condition deteriorated in HP. Finally, we reached Chamunda Hotel, Bairagarh at 7:15 pm on 26/10.

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More in the queue.
 
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On 27/09 early morning, we were ready. But, there were no traces of the caretaker or the cook. Since we were assured of breakfast by 7:30 am, we waited anxiously. But, the kitchen and reception were still locked. We were certain that we won't be lucky enough to have breakfast there. Finally, I started yelling the name of the caretaker 'Monu Thakur!' repeatedly. After sometime, the cook came up from the basement from a deep slumber. I told him that we didn't want any breakfast and would settle the bill and quit. But, he assured me of tea in a few minutes and vanished into the kitchen. Meanwhile, Monu Thakur too arrived from the basement. I settled the bill, drank the tea - with our own biscuits - and started our drive to Sach Pass at 8:15 am.

We reached the Sathrundi policy check-post in a few minutes amdist drizzling. We were stopped. I was asked to enter the details in a register like Aadhaar number, where from, where to, car registration number, make/model, etc. Then we were videographed. The cops advised me to return, if I could not drive any further due to bad roads. [sad] After Sathrundi, the road deteriorated rapidly. We were driving on the boulders and stones. Finally, we made it to the top, Sach Pass. It became a reality in the third attempt in 5 years! [clap]
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More on the anvil.
 
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On 27/09 early morning, we were ready. But, there were no traces of the caretaker or the cook. Since we were assured of breakfast by 7:30 am, we waited anxiously. But, the kitchen and reception were still locked. We were certain that we won't be lucky enough to have breakfast there. Finally, I started yelling the name of the caretaker 'Monu Thakur!' repeatedly. After sometime, the cook came up from the basement from a deep slumber. I told him that we didn't want any breakfast and would settle the bill and quit. But, he assured me of tea in a few minutes and vanished into the kitchen. Meanwhile, Monu Thakur too arrived from the basement. I settled the bill, drank the tea - with our own biscuits - and started our drive to Sach Pass at 8:15 am.

We reached the Sathrundi policy check-post in a few minutes amdist drizzling. We were stopped. I was asked to enter the details in a register like Aadhaar number, where from, where to, car registration number, make/model, etc. Then we were videographed. The cops advised me to return, if I could not drive any further due to bad roads. [sad] After Sathrundi, the road deteriorated rapidly. We were driving on the boulders and stones. Finally, we made it to the top, Sach Pass. It became a reality in the third attempt in 5 years! [clap]
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More on the anvil.
I am mighty thrilled that you went by Nexon. The travelogue is exceptional with the photos. Really want to do this sometime. Thanks Sir
 
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Very beautiful pictures. You are giving an example to us, the lesser mortals, on how to do it, even at this age. This is the first time I got to see sach pass pictures, with your firsthand experience.
What is even more shocking to anyone would be Tamilnadu no. Car on the such pass. It's difficult to guess you drove it all the way!!
 
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Very beautiful pictures. You are giving an example to us, the lesser mortals, on how to do it, even at this age. This is the first time I got to see sach pass pictures, with your firsthand experience.
Young at heart is what matters!

Ravi sir, I would be interested to know what are the practical challenges you have faced in undertaking such a mammoth tour and how you overcome them. Would be great for aspiring travellers.
 
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