Day2&3 Pathankot-Srinagar-Drass 28-29 May 2012​

To read this log from begining clich HERE

Pathankot stay was a good experience.I was ready to enter Kashmir valley.Obviously,I would go via Udhampur bypass which is Just after after Samba cantonment.Right turn and you would be in hills with in minutes.Road was of mixed type.Broken and smooth surface coexists here on this route.Arrived at Udhampur and found a bustling busy market with lots of buses and cars parked on the road.But my eyes were looking for an ATM.Do I need to tell why I was looking for an ATM??Withdraw money sufficient for 15 days.After Udhampur,all the popular places on NH1 came and go.Here comes Banihal where a serpentine traffic of 2-3 Kms awaits me.But no worries.I was riding a two wheeler and we Delhites aptly know how to make our way in maze pf vehicles.Within few minutes I was out of that vehicular Maze and was cruising towards Srinagar,my destination for the day.I was smiling in my helmets on the fate of stuck vehicles.After crossing Titanic Point,market of Kesar(saffron),paddy fields,Avenues,Cricket bats market and factories, I was only able to reach swanky Srinagr only after dark and settled in hotel named Green Mountain in Badami Bagh area.Tariff 600 rs for a kitchen turned hotel room.Entire hotel was booked to full capacity.After all it is Kashmir,heaven on earth.Entire Bengal and Gujrat was there to have a piece of heaven.Idea was to spend the night and leave early next morning to see Sonmarg in early morning and cross Zozila as early as possible.Here in Srinagar, I met an elderly man who after hearing that I am am heading towards Zanskar told me he himself drove a truck to Zanskar hired by a foreigner couple 30 years ago.People of Zanskar were bewildered to see a truck and jumping with joy.It is only after Srinagar that Landscapes changes and journey becomes exciting.

Hills of Sonmarg,JK,India

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A cricket match in Sonmarg

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View from Thajiwas glacier point

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The Golden Meadows of Sonmarg

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Enchanting Sonmarg

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A guy i met at Zozila traffic halt

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Zozila landslide halt

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Maple leave

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Halt at Sonmarg was very brief,only for photo shoot.Plenty of tourists vehicles were parked and lots of tourists were riding Ponies towards Thajiwas Glacier point.After spending some time at the filmy location of Sonmarg,I moved ahead only to be flagged down by an BRO worker.Reason,JCB was clearing the road and big rocks were falling down.Wait was hour long.A man from Kargil was also waiting just behind me and seeing my scooter,he approached me and started a conversation and expressed amazement to see a scooter on Zozila.I also made a call from his cell phone and talked to Pragya from Zozila pass.
Today’s desination was Drass,a comfortable journey,not much long.Umba La pass was the reason behind breaking journey at Drass because I wanted to enter Suru valley thru this pass not thru Kargil.I did attempted Umba la pass road and went up to few kms crossing Umba village only to find road blocked and fully deserted.
People warned me not to go far as Bears roams up there and there is no village through out the whole route.
Road to Umba La pass starts 300 meters ahead of busy Drass market.After attempting Umba la pass road for few kms,returned to Drass and straighway went to JK Tourist Bungalow and met Salim who had helped us secure a room in Kargil in our 2011 trip.After exchanging pleasentries,he once again open a room for me and treated me with hot cup of tea which I enjoyed with Salim and two Enginners from Jammu, Pradeep and Deepak.They were constructing all weatherproof,insulated rooms for Army on trial basis .These room were heavily insulated, with floor heating system,hot running water and Sewage treatment Plant.Currently they were overseeing the work at Army post near Tiger Hill and Batalik.They shared many stories about Dah and Hanu Villages and promised me to arrange visit me a visit to one of Army posts up in the mountains very near to International border and show me the constructed rooms and explain the techonology.I was super excited to hear.Around 8 PM,both the engineers invited me to thier room for Rum and dinner.What a night to remember.

 Riding Thorugh Zozila Pass

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Riding Thorugh Zozila Pass

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Broken Zozila Pass

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Snowwalls of Zozila

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Snow walls of Zozila Pass

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A shepeard I met on Zozila Pass

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Top of Zozila pass called -Zero Point

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Zero Point

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My fav activity

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It was one amazing time crossing streams

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That waterhole frightened me big time

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It was very dangerous

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Very very dangerous

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But i came out of the waterhole

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Happy me after coming out of water

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My scooter at Zozila Pass

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Vertical Landscape near Zozila

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Scene near Gumri after Zozila

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A fertile land near Matiyan village after Zozila pass

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Drass fields

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Road to elusive Umba La pass

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Road to elusive Umba La pass

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Drass fields

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Drass town

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A village near Drass

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Drass town

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Green fields near Drass

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Greenery around Drass

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A shot of Hills near Drass

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Day2&3 Pathankot-Srinagar-Drass

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