Haidar Desai shares with us one of his most fascinating journey on his Bullet Classic 350 CC to Ladakh from Pune.
- How did you prepare to go to Ladakh with your bullet?
Haidar : I was planning for Leh Ladakh since 2013-14, but couldn’t make it possible due to some or the other reasons. Finally I and my few friends made it possible last year that is 2017.I had my own bullet classic 350, borrowed some gears like riding jacket and tent from friends, and few more stuff, planned the route, and as the date came closer we were 4 people in total to ride, so we decided to ride from Delhi and transported bikes through Indian railways till Delhi, and we took flight to Delhi same day our bikes we’re about to reach.Increase fuel efficiency of motorcycle
- Please let us know the road that you had traveled to Ladakh?
Haidar : We carried our bikes from Pune to Delhi via train, and we took flight, from Delhi we started the ride on bikes, our route was to complete the entire circuit from Delhi to Leh via Jammu and while returning Leh to Delhi via Manali.Day 1: Delhi to Punjab (Amritsar) as we wanted to stop and visit Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh.
Day 2: Amritsar (Punjab) to Patni Top (Jammu).We took a halt at before Patni Top that is Udhampur as we wanted to take the new tunnel Chenani Nashri which is 9.1-9.5 kms long.
Day 3: Udhampur to Srinagar.Here we crossed two tunnels Chenani Nashri tunnels that is 9.1-9.5 kms long and other is Jawahar Tunnel which is 1.5 kms.
Day 4: Srinagar to Kargil.Where we crossed Sonmarg, Zozila pass, Drass, and Kargil too and stopped after crossing Kargil that is somewhere before Lamayuru.
Day 5: Lamayuru to Leh.Where we got to see Gurudwara and Magnetic hill.
Day 6: Stayed in Leh and visited places near by.
Day 7: Leh to Khardungla to Leh (Worlds 1st highest motor road).We wanted to reach Nubra valley but we couldn’t make it as the weather conditions were not good so army suggested us not to go ahead and better ride back to Khardungla.
Day 8: Leh to Pangong lake to Leh (3rd highest pass Changla).We visited Pangong and came back leh late night.
Day 9: Leh to Pang.Here we crossed (2nd highest pass Tangangla).We wanted to stop by Sarchu but we were stuck due to avalanche so we had to stop before Sarchu at Pang.
Day 10: Pang to somewhere before Rohtang pass.
Day 11: Started to Rohtang and stopped after crossing Manali.
Day 12: Traveled from Manali to Bilaspur.
Day 13: Bilaspur to Delhi.
Day 14: Delhi to Pune in train with bikes loaded.
- What were the challenges faced while commuting to Ladakh?
Haidar: Delhi to Punjab : After leaving from Delhi the temperature was too hot to ride, we had to take breaks for keeping our self well from getting dehydrated.Punjab to Jammu : It was too hot to ride, we had to take breaks for every 5-10kms also there were few langars who provided free water juices and sarbat too.
Jammu to Srinagar : It was time we had to take off road now to Srinagar also it was highly secured area with army people around and it was advised not to stop after Jawahar tunnel till you reach Sri Nagar.
Srinagar to Leh : The toughest road starts as we left from Srinagar to Sonmarg it was bit tough for fellow riders to ride as it started getting cold and it also started to snow, we had to take a big pause as there was land slide ahead. As we started to climb Zojila pass it was getting difficult as the roads were tough due to slush and few water crossings. Finally completed Zojila and stopped at zero degree point also completed drass and kargil as the roads were good till Leh.
Leh to Khardungla : We left by 8am in morning it was 40kms ride but unfortunately the weather was not clear we had to stop before 15kms as it was snowing and the roads were also blocked for every vehicle by 12 pm one army truck came down and told roads are good to start for trucks and cars but we had to wait till 2 pm.We left by 2pm towards Khardungla after all the hard work we were just 500 mtrs before Khardungla and we had to return from that point felt disappointed as our first attempt failed towards Khardungla and we had to re-attempt Khardungla next day.
Leh to Manali : While riding back there was snow and avalanche we decided to stay by pang as it was getting cold and difficult to ride .Next day morning our bikes were covered by snow and last but least difficulty was to clear Rohtang pass with water crossing and slush.
- Please let us know few very good memories while travelling to Ladakh?
Haidar: Entire road trip itself is memorable.
- Any safety tips that you want to give to budding riders who are passionate for a long adventure.
Haidar :Carry enough cash as days can extend due to natural calamities.Carry extra engine oil, ensure brakes are good in condition before leaving.Carry extra clutch cable and accelerator cable, small things make big difference. Always know your route and pre plan everything, start early end early so you get enough time to take break, click pics, shoot videos etc.
Pic Courtesy – Haider Desai