Maitreya Buddha at Mulbek
What is GHiRT?
Ever since I did the Grand India Road Tour (GIRT) in Dec-2007, I have been wanting to do a similar road tour; but this time in the Himalayas! Starting from Srinagar in J&K, thru Ladakh, thru Himachal Pradesh, thru Uttaranchal, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and ending in the easternmost parts of the Himalaya in Arunachal Pradesh! The name GHiRT for the Himalayan Tour was a sort of 'shared' effort of "Sadanand Kamath" and "Dilliwala" on the IndiaMike website. The IndiaMike discussions on GHiRT can be seen in this IM-Thread.
In April 2009, I did the Eastern segment covering Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, which was described in detail here: GHiRT-1
And now ... GHiRT-2 in Sept-09:
Recently the India-Highways veteran HV Kumar announced his plan to do a Ladkah Road Tour covering J&K, Ladakh, Zanskar and Himachal Pradesh. A convoy of 6 Scorpios, owner-driven by members of TeamBHP, are planning to join HVK on this tour. They will come from various towns like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune etc. and will join the convoy at Delhi.
I booked a seat for myself on this tour, in HVK's Scorpio in this convoy. I plan to travel from Mumbai by train to Jammu; and then join the tour at Patnitop (J&K), and get-off the tour at Delhi; thus skipping the the long drives in the plains of first and last 2 days.
The Overall Plan prepared by HVKumar was:
Date From-Via-To KMs
12-Sep Bombay-Behror 1370
13-Sep Behror-Patnitop 874
14-Sep Patnitop-Srinagar-Kargil 389
15-Sep Kargil-Padum 235
16-Sep Padum-Kargil 235
17-Sep Kargil-Leh 225
18-Sep Leh Local Gompas 98
19-Sep Leh-KhardungLa-NubraValley 173
20-Sep NubraValley-KhardungLa-Pangong Tso 214
21-Sep PangongTso-TsoMoriri 322
22-Sep TsoMoriri-Sarchu 212
23-Sep Sarchu-Kaza 291
24-Sep Kaza-Tabo-Sumdo-Sangla 250
25-Sep Sangla-Shimla-Delhi-Behror 754
26-Sep Behror-Bombay 1370
27-Sep Extra Buffer Day
Total KM = 7012
But my tour got cut short at Leh:
On 19th Sept, I was back in Mumbai! I had to abort my trip at Leh on 18th, for personal reasons; and flew back from Leh to Mumbai via Delhi.
Though it was a disappointing not to complete the entire grand tour, I consoled myself that the parts that I missed, I had visited in 2006. Luckily, I could do the amazing Zanskar Valley from Kargil till Padum, which I have never done before.
Zanskar valley view from Pensi-La Pass
To read detailed narrative accounts of the Tour and various enthusiastic posts and pictures by 20 people in the Tour Group see these links:
1. HVKumar's daily account of Tour: My Take On Day-X
2. LaluKS and Others on Team-BHP Travelogue: HumbLeh'd
3. MileCruncher's Travelogue: Leh'd and Back from Hyderabad
5. RKBharat on his Leh tour at: Saying JULAY Bachelor style
To see the entire Route on Google Earth download HVK's GPS Waypoints and Tracks from here: Ladakh-HVK. It is a Zip file that you will have to download and unzip and then open in Google-Earth.
To download HV Kumar's detailed Driving Log-Book of this Ladakh Tour (as an Excelsheet) click here: DRIVE LOG-BOOK
Since so many accounts of this Ladakh Tour is available (above) I am going to skip my usual 'blog' of the tour and just give web-links to my picture Sets on Flickr:
Slideshow of all my Zanskar-Valley Ladakh pictures: