Kashmir Trip July 2013
TLDR; it was a good trip, but not satisfied. So I plan to travel again sometime.
Anecdote on my trip to Kashmir. Is it a travelogue? Not really, I think I am reluctant to put the journey in words. I hope to give enough cursors in various forms, especially photographs. Well, photo-log it is! This was supposed to be more of Ladakh trip which ended up being more of Ladakh and Srinagar visit.
Day 1 - 19 July
Bangalore to Chandigarh
We took a flight to Chandigarh and reached there before evening. Our stay was at Hotel Jullundur. It was nothing like how it’s depicted on the website. Beds were sub par. In the evening we took a walk to 17th Sector Market, which was surprisingly pleasant. One of my friend took us around Chandigarh and kept us out of any boredom. I think most of us actually liked Chandigarh. Except from the fact that Taxi fare was much higher than what we pay in Bangalore for Meru Cab service!
Day 2 - 20 July
Chandigarh to Manali
We had planned and booked Innova to cover our entire trip, our original plan was to reach Leh Via Srinagar. Morning had new things for us, things had changed. Curfew was imposed in Srinagar due to tiff between locals and BSF. We were warned alread anyway, we changed the route and headed for Keylong. We wanted to avoid Manali route for various reasons; foremost being that the roads are bad. Second, we may have to spend a night at high altitude, which can turn ugly due to AMS etc. We left for Keylong by 6:45 AM and stopped over at around 8:30 AM to have breakfast. Below are some of the photos taken on our way to Manali.
Offtopic Note All the photos here on this page can be viewed on my Google plus Album which may have more detail about the photo with tags, GeoTags etc.
Back to the log, after noon, we cross mandi and had lunch. We were supposed to be 80Kms away from Manali still. Post lunch, it was time to get another shocker of the day. Our car wouldn’t start! After struggling for few hours, driver gave up, we gave up. We picked our luggage and took a bus to Manali. It definitely was annoying, but then we did not see many options there. We had to change bus at Kullu and take another one to Manali. On the way we were trying to find out a place to stay at Manali. That was the first time I realized that not having 3G speed can be painful. We booked rooms at Silmog Garden. I was apprehensive about Silmog, but tripadvisor said otherwise. Fortunately my apprehension was wrong! IMO its value for money, though its not located in some kickass scenic place, its clean and economical. Oh about the Innova, our driver said he would get it fixed and catch up in Manali by night. Well that did not happen.
Day 3 - 21 July
Going around Manali
This definitely was not in our plan. We had originally planned to go to Keylong and break our journey. I had no clue what to do in Manali. By early morning we did not have any clue about how we were to proceed our journey to Leh. There was no news from our driver. We just went ahead and hired some Bullets. I think one of the few wise things that we did in our entire trip. We originally planned to visit Rohtang on motorbike, but were suggested to go to Naggar and Jana falls instead. I mean we were to pass through Rohtang anyway on our way to Leh. Riding bullet was a pleasant experience. Below are some photos taken around Manali.
Day 4 - 22 July
Off to Sarchu
I know, I said we were planning to avoid Sarchu. OTH we did not have any option. We had reserved a Scorpio to the previous day to head to Leh. We started early morning, and I barely after moving a KM I witnessed snow capped mountain in real life. Had seen it the previous day, but it was sort of cloudy and I was not really sure if it was really snow. We were to reach Sarchu via Rohtang and Keylong. Some clicks taken on the way to Sarchu.