Leh-Ladakh Diaries – First Step – Delhi to Jammu (600 Kms)
Our Ladakh tour from Mumbai started on a positive note. Just a week before the start of our tour we got a companion from Pune for the full trip. Ironically travel dates were also same and both were searching for companion for this self driven tour. Sometimes, destiny also plays its part. Together we completed the Mumbai – Delhi distance (1430 Km) in two days and were eagerly waiting for our final step towards the ultimate driving experience. All required car checks and equipment were already in place for the tour (Refer: Preparation for Leh Ladakh expedition). We filled the fuel tank on the eve of our tour and were ready for the first step towards our expedition. We fixed Murthal (Amrik Sukhdev – a famous eating joint) as our meeting place to proceed ahead. We finalized the below route for our travel:
New Delhi – Murthal – Karnal – Ambala – Ludhiana – Jalandhar – Pathankot – Jammu
The plan for next day was to leave early at 6 a.m. in the morning and cover the distance before dark.
We left early in the morning at 6:51 a.m. from Delhi and crossed city comfortably without getting stuck in city’s mad traffic. The trip meter at starting point was 1450 KM. After covering 61 KMs we reached our meeting point @ 8:01 a.m. We took a break of 45 minutes and enjoyed the freshly cooked Indian Stuffed Bread (Parathas) with fresh butter at Amrik Sukhdev. After breakfast we straight away hit the highway and started cruising at a comfortable speed. We were running as per our schedule so were not in a hurry to cross the speed limits that we had set for ourselves. We crossed Karnal @ 10:06 a.m. thereby covering 143 Kms. We were comfortably cruising on highway without much of a hassle and crossed Ambala @ 11:00 a.m. thereby covering a distance of 210 KMs. Our bikers were also accompanying us and we were moving ahead together on awesome road. We took a small tea break after Ambala.
We continued our onward journey without any halt and cruised past Ludhiana @ 1:00 p.m. thereby covering 318 KMs. We continued on NH1 and reached Jalandhar @ 2:10 p.m. with total distance of 378 KMs covered. From Jalandhar we moved onto NH 44 for our onward journey. We were expecting good road side eating joints along the highway but were highly disappointed after finding none. Finally, we got one hotel and took a lunch break of 1 hour 15 minutes after Jalandhar. We reached Pathankot @ 5:15 p.m. thereby covering 492 Kms and crossed the city through bypass. After a small tea break we continued our journey towards Jammu. We cruised very nicely on the highway and reached the J&K check post where all vehicles entering J&K State have to register their details. It took some 15 – 30 minutes to complete the formalities. Since we were within stipulated time, we were not in a hurry and again took a small tea break of 15 minutes after entering Jammu. We reached our first destination i.e. Jammu @ 8:10 p.m. after covering 600 KMs.
On day 1 we travelled 600 KMs with a running time of 8.5 hours thereby clocking an average speed of 70 Km/hr. We experienced a very comfortable and hassle-free drive on a beautiful day with clear visibility. There were many fee collection booths on the highway which does take away some time as well. Anyways we were very satisfied with the road conditions till Jammu and reached our target set for the day. We checked into a hotel and our plan for next day was to leave early for the first driving test on the hills of Himalaya.
Basic Necessity check before going for long road trip
We did the basic necessity checks and arrangements before starting our road trip and would suggest all to be very careful about the same.
- Did the mandatory checking of our car like when was the last servicing done, air pressure including the spare tyre, fuel, engine oil, coolants, etc.
- Carried all the valid documents like vehicle registration number, insurance, PUC, and driving license
- Searched the route map and finalized the trip schedule
- Have kept additional comfort for the back seat
- All necessary medicines were in place
For further details on necessary travel tips click here.