Sunday 31 August 2014

Day 4 : Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar - Sonmarg

Day 4 : Events (Aug 18)

  • Bit bored and annoyed with the family vacation routine followed by this group so far, I gave a heads up to all that am riding solo from now on and would catch up with all during night halts
  • Two more riders liked the idea and we three split up from the rest and headed to Gulmarg
  • Had a quick visit to Gulmarg
  • Picked up a monkey cap for the rest of the ride (just in case)
  • Enjoyed the horn-free twisties Gulmarg had to offer
  • Came back to Srinagar to meet a friend.
  • Rode through Munwaar and Lal Bazar
  • Met my college friend and her family and spent some time chatting
  • Left Srinagar at around 5 pm and rode through Dal lake road
  • Reached Sonmarg around 8 pm and stayed in Tents

Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar - Sonmarg

Road condition:
While leaving Srinagar for Gulmarg, there were some busy market areas I had to cross and there was a traffic jam. This is expected, so I suggest you better plan your travel time for this and don't be in a rush like I was. Nevertheless, it was manageable. Once I left the city and got onto the road to Gulmarg, the roads are good and traffic was less. The uphill climb to Gulmarg top was awesome to ride a motorcycle on. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Same road one has to take while returning from Gulmarg to Srinagar, however, instead of entering Srinagar city, one can take the bypass road to Sonmarg. I had to come back to the city to meet a friend, so couldn't get time to use the bypass road.

The road from Srinagar to Sonmarg is in excellent condition and full of scenic beauty. Now I think, it beats Scotland in my books.

In Srinagar, the weather was pleasant and there was no sign of rain. However, while entering Srinagar at night it was quite cold due to a shower that happened a few days ago. As you climb Sonmarg it gets colder, yet can be managed with thermals and layered clothing.

Fuel Stops:
Munwaar, Srinagar: 
Rs 500 / 78.00 pl = 6.4 Ltrs

The first sight of mountains at the base of Gulmarg.

After filling up petrol at Munwaar, Srinagar

At a friend's place in Srinagar. Having tea and a casual chat on the weather, the journey so far, and the roads ahead.

After spending a good time, it was time to start for Sonmarg.

Roadside view of Dal lake. Stopped near the famous Dal Lake. Didn't have enough time to explore, so decided to skip it and move on. 

On the way to Sonmarg, locals have a look at the bike and all the luggage setup.

Passing through some lush green fields and as can be seen from this photograph, sunlight just makes everything glow.

After enjoying some plane roads, mountains start to appear again, reminding me that I am heading toward Sonmarg.

Few houses and shops on the way.

The view gets better and better. I couldn't help but compare the scenery with that I had seen in the highlands of Scotland (UK) while I and Balaji were driving through.

Stopped for some refreshments.

Enjoying tea on the way to Sonmarg.

Having a chat with Mohd Lateef, who lives in a village up the mountains. He owns a chai shop and very soft-spoken and shy person.

Sun starts to go behind the taller mountains, and the valley starts to glow in the reflected passive light.

Me and Murali trying out combinations of long exposure and light painting. This was the only usable shot we could come up with before we decided to get into our warm sleeping bags sandwiched between layers of quilts and mattresses inside the tent :D

That double line is when I went to Gulmarg and then came back to the city before leaving for Sonmarg.

Night Halt:
Place                : Sonmarg Glaciers
Accommodation : Tent, Tajhwa Camping Site
Cost per tent     : Rs 1000
Tent Capacity    : 3
Other Details     :
- All tents are inside a roped fence and bikes are parked inside
- Each tent has attached western commode and basin with 24 hours (cold) water supply
- Basic but good food provided at additional cost
- Waking up in the morning among the snow-covered glaciers is worth every penny

View the Main Post for this ride

No comments: