Grand Himalayan Road Tour - 2 (GHiRT-2)

GHiRT stands for Grand Himalayan Road Tour. And GHiRT-2 is the second segment of that Tour! In this tour, we went in a SUV convoy, through the Himalayan roads of J&K, Zanskar and Ladakh visting passing through places like Srinagar, Sonmarg, Zozi-La, Drass, Kargil, Pensi-La, Padum, Lamayuru and Leh.

Tour Highlights

HVK Scorpio at Beacon Pt, Kashmir

Dal Lake, Srinagar J&K

Padum Valley from Karsha Gompa

The dirt track road to Padum

Rangdum Teahouse owner 

Our 3-cars at Abrang Checkpost

The Tiger Hill Pt. on way to Kargil

Maitreya Buddha at Mulbek

Views from Namik-La

Indus River at Khaltse

Lunar Landscape at Lamayuru

Prayer Hall in Lamayuru Gompa


Thiksey Gompa 

Thiksey Gompa, Leh 

Patseo Lake (in 2006)

Patseo lake (in 2006)

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.

 The Drang-Drung Glacier near Pensi-La pass in Zanskar Valley, Ladakh

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

Our convoy group of 20+ people, at Pangong-Tso (Pic by: Saji Joseph) (I am not in this picture ... as I had to abort the tour at Leh)


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

4. Team Raid de Ladakh 2009  live posts on T-BHP & BCMTouring 

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: 

Zanskar-Valley (Highlights - 20 pics on Flickr)

Zanskar-Valley Ladakh (All 160 pics on Flickr)

Raid De Ladakh Tour 2009 (30 Pictures) 


Slideshow of all my Zanskar-Valley Ladakh pictures:

Kothanda Srinivasan,
Feb 20, 2010, 3:34 PM