First Trek of this monsoon – Tadiandamol

Tadiandamol is the highest peak in Kodagu (coorg) district of Karnataka, India. Located in Western Ghats range its a place of interest for hikers & naturalists. You
can find Nalaknad Palace ( meaning 4 villages) at the foothills which is 25 KM from Virajpet town.

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We were a team of avid trekkers reached foothills around saturday midnight. started to trek from Nalaknadu palace, the trail was well marked started with a tarmac road for
almost two kilometers. By the time we reached the end of Tarmac road we found a resort on the left hand side with Y intersection. Taking extreme left lead towards the peak. I have no idea where the other path leads you 😉

Hair-raising steep, entered thick vegetation lush green forest with hand held and head mount torches along with our new Garmin GPS device. We were able to sense the
sound of the insects, the sound echoed leaving a strange feeling. We followed a lane discipline and trudged along slowly. After almost 4 hours of trek we reached
grassland where we found flat surface to pitch our tents and by just 200 meters away we found water stream.

The first view of early morning we were awestruck by the mighty of nature. cotton clouds floating across the blue sky the landscape full of lush green forest, bird calls, we were covered with mist to top it we were served with a cup of hot tea prepared by one of our friend definitely it called for a toast.

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We had to cover another 2 KM from campsite to reach the summit, excluding two of our friends everyone were eager to trek to summit, geared up with gadgets Go-Pro was head mounted, hand picked snacks and started following the trail after almost an hour and half we reached the summit passing through a thin vegetation. The peak got completely covered with mist within 10 minutes the time we reached on the peak, the visibility was very less we managed to take few pictures and returned back to our
campsite.

Food was prepared by the time we reached the campsite, It’s hard to believe we managed to carry a small gas stove, vegetables, meat and prepared Pepper
chicken dry, rice, chicken gravy, salad, raitha(curd), pickle, and also carried a tin of rasgulla sweet to add up to desert. Since I was a veggie I had no choice other than to eat vegetable salad and lemon rice, the food was so delicious could not expect anything more than that, thanks to our friend who managed to cook food for a team of 9 trekkers .

By early evening we started to pack our things and started to trek downhill and reached the base camp by approx 8 PM.

Things to Carry:

Sweaters / pull overs / umbrella / packed food / 2 bottles of water / camping equipments if any plan to camp
Leach protection ( leach socks / salt )

Travel Co-ordinates to reach Tadiandamol

1. Bengaluru to Virajpet – 250 KM approx
2. Virajpet to Nalaknadu Bust stop – 23 KM
3. Nalknadu Bus stop to Nalaknadu Palace ( foot hills) – 3 KM
4. Foot hills to Campsite to Peak- 5 + 2 = 7 KM

Escape to Leh

Dream of every biker is to ride on the highest motorable pass in the world “Khardung La” which is in Leh, India. Most of them plan in advance be it in few weeks, Months or an Year too. The roads are open only from mid of May to end of October every year due to heavy snowfall. These roads are maintained by Border road organization (BRO) which is managed by Indian Army, their efforts to be lauded for maintaining the road in such a great condition.

I was looking for long distance road trip destinations to travel and I wanted to do something different this time. Finally I decided to ride to Leh the land of high passes. I read many blogs, reached out to people who had been on road trip and asked for their suggestions, took lot of precautions right from bike servicing to altitude sickness, things to carry, best time to visit and so on. I did some research about Leh, an article said about Leh festival during my schedule. I finally locked down my destination to Leh and started working upon it.

I discussed about my ride plan with my friends but many couldn’t make it due to leaves constraint, but Gautham gave me a positive response and confirmed he can make it for one way travel and fly back and I was okay with it. We planned accordingly booked train ticket and shipped my bike too from Bengaluru to Delhi. I was very sceptical about this journey as this was my first long distance north India road trip on my Pulsar 150.

Day 1: Delhi – Manali

We rested for a day in Delhi, did some shopping,  We hit the road next day early morning 5AM to Manali, it was a long day we took our sweet time to reach Manali (rode 585KM) and finally reached around 8PM. My  colleagues ( Anand & Guru) had also visited Manali for a vacation we were lucky enough to get accommodation in the same hotel. Night well spent together.

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Day 2: Manali – Rohtang pass – Keylong

We started from Manali to Keylong via Rohtang pass which is approx 120 KM, it takes you through steep curves of Keylong, Rohtang pass is another key destination you often see honeymoon couples walking through the lane, people playing with snow balls, ice skating, paragliding and so on. We had our lunch in Rohtang, clicked some pictures on the way and tanked up the fuel just before Keylong city which is the last filling station till we reach Leh. Managed accommodation and spent the night in a motel.

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Day 3: Keylong – Sarchu – Pang

We had our breakfast in motel and started our Journey towards Leh, the hills & valleys, panoramic view of landscape, Himalayan glacier is totally breathtaking during the travel. We passed through Sarchu and finally called off our day in Pang. We came across few tents during our travel which served  Lunch and Tea. When I say lunch its Maggi 😀 Stayed in tented accommodation the lady was kind enough to provide warmers and quickly prepared a cup of tea. Later we were served with dinner, finished it and took a nap, that night the temperature was around -4 to -6 degree in Pang. The next day I was a victim of AMS (mountain sickness) I was not able to eat, vomiting sensation and mild headache. I consulted a medic help facility and they gave me a pill for altitude sickness, took the pill started our journey towards Leh.

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Day 4: Pang – Leh

Within few kilometres after pang we entered tarmac, now we were descending and I was feeling much better after taking pill and also was getting acclimatized to that weather, around 3.30PM we couldn’t control our joy seeing the sign board “welcome to Leh city”. We managed to get accommodation, had food, after a short nap started planning for local sightseeing.

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Day 5: Leh – Khardung la – Leh

We planned our ride to Khardung-la Highest motor able road which is approx 40 KM from Leh city, since we had taken inner line permit (Currently the inner line permit is not required, just carry your original govt id proof, please check leh official website for more details) with the help of hotel staff, had to submit one photocopy in check post and enter the vehicle details, after almost 40 minutes we finally conquered the highest motorable road Khardung-la pass. We met Bharath who is an adventurist and works for an IT firm in Bengaluru, he had visited Leh for a Cycle expedition for around 120KM organized by one of the community, we exchanged our numbers and returned back to Leh and spent time taking a walk around the city and did some shopping.

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Day 6: Leh – Pangong Lake – Leh

Early morning we started to Pangong Lake (lake pictured in 3 idiots movie or also known as blue lake) which is around 160 KM away from Leh(approx 5 hour ride/drive) which also required inner line permit. it’s a rough mountain road. You will pass through army sentries and a small teahouse once you’re about to reach Pangong lake you will pass through a first view point of the lake really a breathtaking moment, a serene tranquil, mesmerizing beauty it’s tourists paradise. Ride to the lake is one of the most wonderful experience for a life time. Time well spent in the lake,  while returning back from Pangong we met Mr. Satish Laksh who was a solo rider did all the way from Bengaluru to Leh on his CBR 250, joined him for the rest of the ride. You can visit his Leh blog in the below link.

http://bangaloretolehsolo.blogspot.in/

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Day 7 : Leh – Shanti stupa – Lamayuru – Kargil – Drass – Zojilla Pass – Songmarg – Srinagar

Gautham had to board his flight this morning to Bengaluru, I dropped him to airport and back to hotel to check out, joined Satish for the ride and we left to Srinagar. Enroute to Srinagar we passed through Kargil where we took a pit stop in Army hotel for lunch, our conversation was taking place in our local language, over heard one of the Jawan (army personnel) asked us are you from Bengaluru ?? We said yes and he reminisced about his stay in Bengaluru and how much he liked the place. We had genuine conversation with the army person and talked about our journey too and he was really impressed. Resumed our ride rode through Zojila pass, complete off road track for approx 30+ KM, it was dusty and dusky. took more than 2 hours to pass this stretch. We also rode through Sonmarg which is another must visit place in Jammu. Reached Srinagar city around 7 PM in the night and rested for the day.

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Day 8 : Srinagar – Vaishnodevi Temple – Jammu

Due to lack of time constraint this was my final day of ride, since I had my train tickets booked from Jammu to Bengaluru via Delhi. We started our Journey around 6 in the morning towards Jammu, took a tea break once we touched highway, I had my first flat tyre near Vaishnodevi temple, for my luck within half a KM there was a garage who was able to fix it. After a break we resumed our ride, enroute to Jammu found a good Punjabi restaurant  had our lunch and rested for a while. Post lunch we resumed our ride and reached Jammu around 4 PM. Satish departed from Jammu took road towards Delhi and I had to take train around 9 in the night.

Reached Delhi next morning, visited one of my friend in the noon, and on the same night I had to take train back to Bengaluru which concluded my Journey.

I have tried to minimize the context and give you as much as information as possible, If you have any questions about the ride or suggestions do leave me a note to my email address I will revert ASAP

Best Time to Visit : June to October

Leh official weblink: http://leh.nic.in/            (you can also check for road status)          Routes to Reach Leh:

  • Srinagar – Sonmarg – Kargil – Leh
  • Manali – Rohtang – Keylong – Sarachu – Pang – Leh

Things to do / visit:

  1. In Manali / Rohtang Pass
  • Apples & saffron are very cheap
  • Woollen Warmers
  • Ice skating
  • Paragliding
  • trekking
  1. Camp or stay in Tented accommodation in Sarchu, Pang or Pangong Lake.
  2. Khardung la, Pangong lake, Magnetic hill, Shanti stupa, Nubra valley, Fort & Monastery are some place to visit in and around Leh,
  3. Leather Jackets and Pashmina’s are very famous & reasonable in price in Leh
  4. Take pit stop in Army camp hotel in Kargil & if you have enough time look out for accommodation in Sonmarg and stay for a day