Friday, October 13, 2017

Dream Ride 2017 | Bangalore to Ladakh | 25 Days, 5175 Kms


The Himalayan Adventure

An Epic Journey of 25 days covering 5175kms on my Bike. It was definitely, 'The Journey of a Lifetime'.

The Struggles, Learnings, a few tough Choices and Decisions, the Challenges, the People, Mind blowing Landscapes and Nature at its Best!! Memories to Cherish for a Lifetime.. The Solo Bike Ride from Manali to Bangalore was a Dream come true and a Life Changing experience. All I can say is - "Chase Your Dreams and Conquer your Fears. Cheers!!"

Riders: Vinay B M and Nitesh Chandra
Bikes: Karizma ZMR and Pulsar 200NS
Other Riders we met on the Trip: Vinod (ThunderBird), Sheshu, Prashanth, Deepak and Co.

Here's the Trailer of the Trip. Enjoy :) More Videos on the way. Subscribe to TrailBlazer Vinay

Route Map of the Trip

For Videos, Subscribe to my Youtube Channel TrailBlazer Vinay
Bangalore-Delhi: We traveled by Flight and Bikes were shipped through VRL.
Ride Started from Delhi. Took Srinagar route while going and Manali route while returning since the elevation is gradual and that minimizes AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness). While returning, I Rode Solo from Manali to Bangalore. My other friend took a flight from Delhi to Bangalore and shipped the bike through Train.

VRL Bike Shipping Cost from Blore-Delhi: Rs. 7400
Transit time: 10 days, So need to leave our bikes at VRL warehouse, 10-15 days in advance.

Options to Ship the bike: Train, VRL, Ghati and others. Train is the Cheapest option.
But VRL is safer and convinient, since they provide a palette(cage) for the Bike and our Riding gear, Helmet and luggage can be sent along with the Bike.

***Before you go to give the Bikes at the VRL Godown, call them and check if the palettes(cages) are available.
***Carry all documents: DL, Passport, RC and Insurance.
***Carry enough empty bottles and a petrol draining pipe.


Things to Carry: Excel Document  Check the list of medicines as well in the second sheet. As bare minimum, carry at-least the commonly used medicine for Cold, Cough, Fever, Headache, Gasteric, Diarrohea, Stomach Ache etc. Carry Pain Killer tablets, Gels and Sprays. Bandage, Band-Aid, Dettol and Anti-Septic Cream. Carry mosquito repellants like coil or Odomos.

Keep in mind that Medical stores will not be available at all the places you visit. Power and network may not be available at few places.

Regarding Permits:

1) From 2014 onwards, Indian Tourists don't need permit to visit Khardung La, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Turtuk etc. But we still need to take permits to visit Hanle, Chusul, Tsaga, beyond Loma bend, Chumur, Marsimik La, Batalik sectors.

2) Inner line permits are issued from DC office in Leh (10am to 3pm).
Closed on Sundays.Getting Permit may take 1hour to half a day.

Need to carry few attested copies of Permits with Photo-IDs (Passport, Driving License, Voters ID, PAN card etc.) and submit that in check posts. Good to carry a Self Declaration form mentioning the Details like Name, Age, ID No., Vehicle details, Places and Dates etc but its not necessary. But the attested permit application form along with valid ID proof need to be carried for checking at the checkposts without which entry will be denied.

You will get the application form in the DC office itself. No need to write the place names. It will already be mentioned. We just need to underline or tick the places we will be visiting.
This is the latest format of application form taken in July 2017. Take a look: Permit Application Form Latest

These old formats are for your reference (they do not work anymore): Self Declaration FormPermit FormApplication Form FormatFilled Form Sample

Getting Permit took us around 30 minutes overall. If you go early it'll take 10 minutes only. The crowd will be more as the day progresses. If you do not want to go the DC office yourself you can ask your hotel/lodge guys to get you the permit by providing your ID proof. Of course they will charge a nominal fee for this. You can even email the Lodge guys your ID proof and details before going to Leh (in case you've booked your stay in prior) so that they keep the permit ready for you when you go there.

3) If we are going to Leh from Manali, need to take permits to cross Rohtang pass from SDM office at Manali (10am-5pm closed on Sunday and Second Saturday). Need to submit DL, Vehicle RC, pollution certificate. Again might take half a day.
*Rohtang pass permit is mainly for our vehicle, to prove its fitness & validity of registration, whereas Leh Inner Line permit is to prove our identity that we are Indian citizens visiting the places as tourists.

4) The good thing is Rohtang pass Permit is not needed if we coming to Manali from other side(Leh-Rohtang-Manali). All the more reason to take the route: Chandigarh-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Chandigarh


Our CheckList: 

1) Flight Tickets
2) Riding Gear: Helmet, Jacket, Gloves, Knee Guard
3) Bike Service and Extra cable fitting
4) Tyre Change, Engine Oil Change
5) VRL Booking 
6) Saddle Bag, Tank Bag
7) Puncture Kit and Foot pump
8) Mobile mount and USB charger for Bike
9) BSNL and Airtel Post Paid Sims
10) Rain Cover for Shoes
11) DSLR n Action cam 
12) Final Bike, Luggage and Documents check
13) Route map, documents, ID Proof and permit Application forms
14) Bookings for Hotel/Stay if any.
15) Fog Lamps for Bike
16) Toolkit, First Aid Kit and Medicine
17) Rain Coat and RuckSack
18) Water proof Gloves
19) Windproof Gloves
20) Tarpaulin and Rain cover for bags
21) Tripod, GorilloPod and Mounts
22) Memory Cards

I'll be making a detailed post/video on Preparation and Things to Carry. For now, I'll leave links to some handy utilities that I've bought and used:-

Bike Related

Fog Lights:

Allen Key set

TubeLess Tyre Puncture Kit:

Light Weight Foot Pump(Decathlon):

Mobile Mount, Rynox Croc :

USB Mobile Charger for Bike, RoboTouch RideOn :

Osram Night Breaker Unlimited H4 Headlamp 12V, 60/55W:


Magnetic Tankbag, Rynox Optimus-M v2 (31 litres):

Water Proof Tarpaulin (09 ft x 06 ft) 100% UV Treated:

Cramster Saddle Bags for Raised Exhaust:

Camera Gear

GoPro Hero 3+ Silver:

Latest GoPro Hero 6:

Nikon 5300 DSLR:

GoPro Spare Batteries(SmartTree) with Charger:

Universal MonoPod/Selfie Stick for GoPro, DSLR and Mobile:

Generic Lavalier Mic:


Riding Gear

Full Face Helmet
LS2  FF352 Phobia Matt White :

Riding Jacket
Spartan Aspida Helios Classic Mesh  :

Riding Gloves
Spartan Aspide Ares :
ProBiker Gloves:

Axo Knee Guard :


Bungee Chords:

Ambrane P-2000 20800mAH Power Bank (Black) :

WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Disk:

Helmet Mounts for Action Cam:

Portronics Spike Buster 5A 3 Sockets and 3 USB Ports:

UFO USB Charger 6 Ports 8A :

3M Hi Strength Bond Tape

SanDisk 32GB Class 10 Memory Card with Adapter :

Lexar Class 10 Memory Card :

Cheap and Best Budget EarPhone
Philips SHE1360/97

Best Earphone under 1K
JBL C100SI in-Ear Headphones with Mic :

Adidas Men's Agora Multisport Training Shoes:

Waterproof Non-slip Shoes Covers :

Pepper Spray:
You are Welcome :)


Route we took:
Delhi - Ludhiana(Punjab) - Patnitop(Jammu Kashmir) - Srinagar - Gulmarg
Sonmarg - Zoji La Pass(11,575 Ft) - Drass - Kargil - Mulbek
Namika La(12,139 Ft) – Fotu La(13,478 Ft)- Lamayuru Monastery- Leh
Khardung La Pass(17582 Ft)- Chang La Pass (17,590ft) - Pangong Lake(14270 Ft)
Karu - Upshi - TanglangLa(17,480 ft)- MorePlains- Pang
Lachulung La(16,598 ft)- Nakeela La(15,647 ft)- Gata Loops - Sarchu
Baralacha La(16,040 ft) -Zingzingbar -Darcha -Jispa
Keylong -Tandi -Koksar- Rohtang Pass(13,050 ft) - Manali

Solo Ride Route:
Manali - Kurukshetra- Panipat
Rohtak - Rewari- Jaipur
Ajmer - Udaipur - Vadodara(Gujrat)
Surat - Mumbai - Lonavala
Pune - Kolhapur - Belgaum - Hubli - Bangalore

2 ways to Reach Leh from Kargil
Kargil – Mulbekh – Lamayuru- Alchi – Leh = usual route
Kargil– Batalik – Dah – Skurbuchan – Leh = more scenic.(need permit from Kargil DC office)

Group Ride Map:

Solo Ride Map:


Day1: Banglaore to Delhi- Flight
Collect Bikes from VRL. Halt at Karolbagh.

Day2: The Ride Begins with my Ride Partner 'Nitesh'. 
Delhi to Ludhiana, Punjab

Day3: Ludhiana to Patnitop, J&K

Day4: Patnitop to Dal Lake, Srinagar

Day5: Srinagar to Gulmarg to Srinagar

Day6: Srinagar to Kargil

Day7: Kargil to Leh

Day8: Getting Permits at Leh- Rest and Halt

Day9: Leh- Khardung La- Leh

Day10: Leh- Pangong Lake(Halfway)- Leh

Day11: Leh to Pangong Lake-SightSeeing to Leh

Day12: Leh to Shanti Stupa to Leh- Rest

Day13: Leh to Sarchu

Day14: Sarchu to Manali

Day15: Manali Sight Seeing and Halt

Day16: Bike Fog Lamps Repair. Rest and Halt at Manali. 'Nitesh' leaves for Delhi.

Day 17: Solo Ride Begins.. :)
Manali to Mianpur Bandalian, Punjab

Day 18: Rain Ride Begins.. :)
Mianpur Bandalian to Bawal- Rewari, Haryana

Day 19: Rewari, Haryana to Amratpuri, Rajasthan

Day 20: Amratpuri, Rajasthan to Udaipur, Rajasthan

Day 21: Udaipur- SightSeeing, Bike Service - Rest and Halt at Udaipur

Day 22: Udaipur, Rajasthan to Vadodara, Gujrat

Day 23: Baroda(Vadodara) to Thane West Mumbai, Maharashtra

Day 24: Mumbai to Pune

Day 25: Pune to Home (Bangalore, Karnataka)

Some Pics..

Love taking pics of my Bike. Who doesn't?? This is somewhere on the way to Pangong Lake from Leh. 

Mesmerizing Snow Caped Hill top at Sonmarg

Snow Caped Hill covered in Fog. Clicked by my friend using Zoom Lens​

Beautiful Leh City surrounded by Hills​

On the way to Lamayuru Monastery. Beautiful Landscape. You can see this in the videos too.

Beautiful backdrop. My Sports Tourer going places!

 Waterfalls on the way to Manali from Sarchu.​


 Scenic Landscape​


 Khardungla Top! Not the Highest motorable Pass but definitely one of the most visited High mountain Pass.

Sliding on Snow on top of Khardungla


Beside a River. Good that we took a detour to this place. Scenic beauty with the backdrop of mountains (can't see here).! Pics don't do justice to this place!. Hope the Videos will.

Admiring the beauty of Nature.. The Gift of being a Biker.


At Pangong Lake. Dr. Rajkumar Pose

One of the very few pics I've with Nitesh, my Ride Partner. This picture needs some brightness adjustment. I know!

Shooting a Chipmunk at Udaipur Palace. GoPro at Work! The Tripod did come to use.​

The Majestic Udaipur City Palace. It was worth the Visit.​

Colorful City View through an Arch. Artistic Click! :P

At Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, Belgaum. Last Day of the Ride covering 808kms from Pune to Bangalore. So Happy to be back in Karnataka.


Watch this video montage of dialogues that strike my mind and instantly remind me of this trip. You can also see the Ride on Zojila Pass in chilling weather.

While going to Patnitop from Ludhiana, my friend had a skid and almost fell. Well almost.. Here's the video:-

Happy Trailblazing!! Ride Safe..



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