The drive from Dharamsala to Srinagar was one of the longest and toughest drive we did on this journey. It was also an eye opener that all is not well when it comes to roads in the Himalayas.
We started with a walk inside Dharamshala township in the morning. Tibetan vegetables that we never see in India are grown and sold in the market here with Tibetan bread and other Tibetan food and daily-used articles.
Somewhere on the highway between Jammu and Srinagar we celebrated completing 10,000 kms of our journey, with a few Sadhus in attendance.
At one point after Jammu, the most important highway in the defence of India vanishes! No roads. Just rocky trails! We were averaging around 20 to 25 kmph! It is a mystery why the government has not cared to do anything for this crucial road.
The Jawahar Tunnel is a big joke and a mess. Absolutely damaged. New tunnels are being dug at a couple of spots on the highway. Locals laugh away and say that that the roads will be ready in the next century!
We reached Srinagar after midnight while we could see the snow capped mountains in bright moonlight. A mild rain added to the difficulty in driving on the roadless Himalayan terrain!
Finally, we reached Srinagar, where our wonderful host was waiting for us with a vast spread of authentic Kashmiri cuisine, even at the late hour we reached.
Origin: Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Destination: Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
Distance Covered: 513 Kms
States Covered: Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir