SOMEONE who was fond of cars & changing cars every third year from past 18 years. A couple of years when I was contemplating on which car to buy, there comes this magic machine which took my attention…
Ya you guessed it right…
Picked it on 9th October and special thanks to my hubby who took the delivery of my Jeep, not driving it straight home instead he gets it to my office as I could not make it to take delivery from showroom.I jumped like a small girl without saying “NO”, trust me the moment when I held the steering & drove up the ramp of my office building it was ‘AWESOME FEELING’ – never before, never after. Felt proud when this MAGIC MACHINE made the heads turn when I drive it.
his bestie had given a lifetime experience of getting selected for the “Times Women’s Drive 2018” & definitely a PRIDE for being the first car to be flagged off.
This Magic Machine has taken my life to the next level with amazing people of Jeep Community. Made some good friends for life, especially the core team of BJC who are ever-ready to support / help all the fellow Jeepers. They are just a call away making us feel so special.
Wondering when I will be back on those lovely tracks especially made for my Jeep whether it’s on highway, off-road or just a drive to my work – I love being as much glued to my Magic Machine.
After getting my Jeep Compass in August last year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Jeep Trails event in November. Read all about my experience of participating in Jeep Trails White Sands, in the Rann of Kutch here.
But the ownership experience is always enhanced by sharing our passion with other like-minded enthusiasts. With this is mind, I was lucky enough to come in contact with Devendra Deshmukh (lovingly called DD) of Jeep Western Wanderers club. He got me hooked up with the group and I was onboard with JeepAG (Jeep Activity Group).
Jeep Western Wanderers is one of the nine clubs under JeepAG, which brings together various Jeep clubs across India and their enthusiastic members under one roof.
The beginning of 2020 brought fresh enthusiasm to the group and a plan for a 1 day trail drive was made. Me with my impulsive behaviour, decided to attend the event. The drive was planned by Jeep Western Wanderers (JWW) to Morbe Dam, Khopoli which is located about 2 hours away from Mumbai, mid-way to Pune.
The event kick-started with all the participants from Mumbai meeting at a common place. To my happy surprise, many members came with their families, which was a great relief for my wife and son. The youngest enthusiast in the line-up was 9 months old. Kudos to his parents for getting her started early 🙂
The total participants included 25 Jeeps and 72 participants (Participants from Mumbai, Pune and me from Nasik). We started in convoy for our first destination; Hotel Purva in Khopoli. This was our breakfast stop and also the converging point for the participants coming from Pune (Yes.. that’s how enthusiastic we are. Coming from Nasik & Pune for a 1 day trail drive).
After a sumptuous breakfast, we lined up and moved towards our trail. We left the highway and moved onto a small narrow road, crossed Chouk railway station and moved ahead. The long line-up of Jeeps was a sight to behold and enjoy.
The organisers had promised us some off-road fun, and boy, did they deliver!! The paved road ended immediately after the village, and we moved onto a dirt track (Let’s not call it a road). I immediately had my doubts; would my 4X2 Jeep be able to handle such rough tracks? Would it get stuck in the loose sand? Would it be able to tackles steep inclines?
But the 2 dozen Jeeps moving ahead gave me confidence and I started enjoying the drive.
The drive was rough, but we enjoyed ourselves. The going was slow and we had to periodically stop for others to catch up and the convoy would move ahead again.
After about an hour of off-roading, we reached our first stop Pirkatwadi in Arkas Wadi area. This is a small hamlet with 20 houses. There is no electricity or running water. But there is a small Government run school with 16 students. It’s amazing to see the commitment of the villagers to educate their children.
I was astounded to see the school. It had a single classroom but the efforts being taken by the staff to educate the children was extraordinary. Having limited resources definitely wasn’t holding them back. Many unique and out of the box ideas were implemented for making the learning fun and educational.
As social impact is an objective of JWW, we carried as many things as we could for the children including stationary, books, food, blankets and much more. It was amazing to see the joyous reaction of the children. Their parents joined them too and we had a great time chatting with them.
Soon it was time to move on and DD once again sprung a surprise on us. He told us that he will lead us to a remote location, where we will be in touching distance of the water. So we moved ahead. We had to cross a dry riverbed on the way there.
We started driving back the same way but soon took a diversion. It looked like DD was leading us straight into the jungle. I couldn’t even see a walking trail. But we proceeded ahead nonetheless.
After about 15 mins. drive, we got to the catchment area of Morbe dam. It was a wonderful place. Right by the water, the weather was mild and we enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere. Piping hot tea and poha was served by the same villagers who has met us earlier. The favourite timepass for the children seemed to be throwing stones into the water.
Too soon it seemed, it was time to head back to civilisation. We drove back the same way and after another hour, we reached the Chouk village.
It was a pleasure to drive on paved roads again. We assembled at a nearby restaurant and after a well-deserved lunch, it was time for goodbyes as everyone headed in their own direction, with promises to meet soon at similar trails.
I must specifically mention the performance of the Jeep Compass. My Compass is a 4X2 variant, but it conquered the rough terrain with ease. Not only mine, but all the Compass made it through without getting stuck. It shows the capability of the vehicle. The build quality is top notch as well, as my Compass took all the bumps, scrapes and underbody hits and still came out with flying colours. I am impressed and mighty pleased with my decision of purchasing the Jeep Compass.
Special thanks also to JWW organisers who took out time to visit the location beforehand and made the great arrangements. It was a great family drive, and I am looking forward to many more drives in the future with this great community of Jeepers and road trippers.
This was a dream destination for many of our Jeepers from BJC, GOJ, WW & DJ, and when it was announced as a Legendary Trails by FCA – that added glitter to the beam that we were projecting to from long time. The planning for the trails started backend once the registered participants from our clubs confirmed their participation. A couple of more destinations were included on our route to the reporting location at Jaipur for LJT 2019.
For the BJC Jeepers the day started with drive from Bangalore on 19th early morning, while a Jeeper from Kerala had started off a day earlier to join us at Bangalore start point. The drive was smooth till the scheduled breakfast point and we were able to reach the break point ahead of schedule to have a local delicacy – Benne Dose of Davangere. There was an unassigned pit stop at Hubli to meet a fellow Legend Jeeper and as we were ahead of schedule the lunch point was dragged to few 100 kms further. After yet another local savory near to Kolhapur the convoy of 5 Jeeps headed towards Pune with an evening tea break to beat the upcoming traffic. In spite of the heavy traffic we reached our stay point by scheduled time. A quick dinner and retire to bed early was welcome by all to start off early next morning.
The day two drive started off on dot and reached the breakfast point on time, beating the Thane / Mumbai traffic. An appetizing Maharastrian breakfast at a prominent joint boosted the endurance of all Jeepers for rest of the day’s drive to the world famous Statue of Unity. With yet another lunch break for the famous Gujarati dishes at Navasari, the convoy of 6 Jeeps headed to the day’s sight seeing place. The view of the world’s tallest statue welcomed us from kms away, with the size of the statue increasing every meter we were nearing to it. Jeepers spent ample time at this famous location with a view of the biggest Dam and a late evening laser show over the statue of unity. Everyone retired at a nearest hotel for the day after the memorable visit to the status of Unity.
The day three all 6 Jeeps started rolling out 6:00 AM to the next destination Ajmer with a first breakfast stopover at Godhra after a flat tyre for one of the Jeep. The lip smacking local delicacy with a tea gave a boost to drive ahead. All Jeepers had a quick stopover at Jeep Centre in Udaipur for a tyre change and munching some snacks during lunch time. We had a late stopover for lunch on the highway towards Ajmer, thus proceeding the day’s final destination near to the Ajmer Dargah.
The day four started off with in-house breakfast at our place of stay and skipping both the tourists places en route citing to the security reasons and warnings by localities. Headed directly to the LJT reporting place at Jaipur. The streets to the hotel at Jaipur were blocked with no internet connectivity for entire day, but FCA / Trails team guided us through exclusive paths to reach the hotel. After registration and check-in, all Jeepers hopped into a nearby food court in a Mall for quick lunch / snacks. Meeting and greeting fellow Jeepers across the country – a few of them took off for shopping at local market. Everyone assembled for the briefing on the lawns and welcomed each other once again along with the trails team and FCA officials. All of us retired after dinner by the lawns as the next day was scheduled to be hectic with lot of activities / places to visit.
The day five (actual day 2 of LJT Trails) kicked off as early as 4 AM with every one reporting and rolling out towards the first break point for a hot air balloon ride. The flight took off in batches and was a most thrilling experience chasing the balloons to board the flight. It was amazing experience and the pilot was very cautious to give us a smooth ride and landing.
After the ride we headed back to the exclusive breakfast at the Samode Palace.
Later headed to the Sambar Lake for a lunch at a nearby heritage resort which was exclusively opened for our lunch. We had a quick drives to the lake bed for Flamingo sightings in batches along the railway tracks. The thrill for the day was awaiting for us at the Salt bed where every Jeeper had a stunning experience driving over the sandy salt bed. The convoy in three batches proceeded further over the Salt pan crossing to reach our halt at Khimsar. The stay at Khimsar Fort was yet and heritage cum luxury experience with the dinner at old ruins followed by folk performance by local artists which encouraged fellow Jeepers to tap their feet for a while.
The day six with a little relaxed start post breakfast towards Jodhpur for a visit to the famous Umaid Bhawan. Here we were welcomed by a local mentor who took us around the palace and also the Mehrangarh Fort along with Blue City walk towards end of the day. Yet another exclusive lunch for Jeepers was organized by the foot hills of the fort at Chokelav Bagh – perhaps we had our best food over here with the tunes by Rajasthani artists.
Couple of hours walk by shopping and food street munching typical Rajasthani country side snacks, everyone headed back to the hotel for night halt. The stay at heritage Jhalamand Garh meeting the king of the palace for Christmas eve cocktail dinner on the palace gardens.
The next day had a leisure drive after breakfast at Jhalamand Garh towards Osiyan. Every Jeeper had a track to drive on dunes with an amazing experience as how their beasts can perform on such terrain. A stopover at top the sand dunes to meet the local children and camel rides added glamor to the drives. Apart from FCA donations to the needy school children the Jeepers also accumulated a whooping amount to provide the blankets to the families of those children. The lunch on the dunes at a camp was unique and heading back to the camp site for the stay. A quick check-in and everyone headed for sunset point along with dune bashing. We had our hands on experience taming the wranglers over the sand dunes and bushes. Back again to camp refreshed swiftly – all Jeepers were taken to the Gala Dinner place on the dunes. The deserted desert was jacked up by the trails team for an unprecedented elegance. The Christmas evening went on till late midnight with live music and various drinks to beat the chilling night on desert.
This day was most fascinating drive to the jungle path for lunch with privileged permission inside the jungle. A few Jeepers were welcomed by the stunning Leopard on the jungle path – a true off-roading experience. As we descended everyone were reasoning how do we go back on this path! But the Jeeps cruised through this with ease and without any additional effort. A hearty thanks to the team who arranged for the lunch in mid of jungle. Few of us had a quick foot trek to the dry water falls and headed back to next adventure.
All Jeeps climbed the rocky mountain in dark, this was a very thrilling element of our drives. Between Uphill and Lake front a shack was setup for high tea – to be welcomed by the Princess of Deogarh. The Princess unfolded the greatness of the place and also we gained knowledge about stars from her. We headed back to the Deogarh Palace for our night stay with a royal dinner hosted by the Princess.
The last day of convoy drive started off after a yummy breakfast at the palace, heading towards our lunch stop near to Tonk. The lunch was hosted at a Royal Family’s property which was jacked up and opened solely for our group after 10 years of shutdown. A garlanded royal welcome to cherish and relish the royal life with the delicious food prepared under the supervision of the great daughter of the royal family. A warm thanks to the family, we headed to our final destination Ranthambore. After checking in to our suites, we were back to dining area for the dinner together with the entire team. Later we drove to the Ranthambore festival at Nahargarh Palace to meet and greet the top officials from FCA. Later we were greeted by the Prince Alsisar himself and later spent the night with couple of music performances over the festival city. Whilst most of us returned back from the festival city due to sub zero chillness, a few of the Jeepers spent more hours at the Den for after hours party night which went till early morning.
Our day ten (LJT’s last day of trails) was almost leisure day as the Safari got postponed due to some entry issues. We spent most of the day planning for our next trails and get togethers, cherishing the moments spent for the past 5 days. Post lunch everyone headed toward the festival location and tapped feet for those various musical performances.
Out of the blue – FCA arranged for another gala evening along with awards ceremony. Everyone were excited to receive their badge of honor for the completed Legendary Trails and few more were awarded additionally for the contests or outstanding performances.
A good bye for all other fellow Jeepers and warm hugs ended the night for us.
The day eleven for us was scheduled to head back towards south, whilst other Jeepers enjoyed the ride to Safari. We had a foggy drive for being started early morning on a bad stretch for almost an hour and later to be veered off to a better roads. The 8 Jeeps from South India followed each other in convoy to reach the breakfast point by the river side restaurant. A couple of breaks we reached our scheduled lunch point in Sagar for some delicious MP food. Beyond this point was what the nightmare drive for most of us, as the roads were in very bad shape before we could hit the normal highway to Nagpur. A quick vehicle checks was organized by FCA late night at Nagpur and later everyone retired for the day.
The day twelve kicked of as scheduled and reached the fixed breakfast point on time even though we had some hinderances on the way. A couple of tyre fixes were completed by the time the food was served. The scheduled lunch break point was replaced by a lunch at a fellow Jeeper’s farm house. Everyone cherished the homely food after so many days and thanked the family for the hospitality. Saying bye to DJ team, a late evening start off towards Bangalore delayed our destination time by many hours due to multiple breaks. A couple of them reached Bangalore few hours earlier than the rest who happened to reach by early morning. Almost 20 hours on the road was tiresome but none were exhausted to the core. The Jeeper from GOJ had another 9 hours drive back to his location and reached safely late morning.
Amidst the ongoing agitations at some places from our start point to the end point – we had a safe drive without any hurdles and at many a places the public gave way for the convoy with respect. So when’s the next trails is what in everyone’s mind…. Jeepy New Year 2020
Five years and close to two lakh kms of ownership experience is a perfect window for a change/upgrade. My humble steed, the Linea MJD had served us well in the past 5 years and I had no plans to upgrade it. But, a chance test drive and some deep discounts going on for the Jeep Compass pushed me over the edge to upgrade from the Linea. The temptation to bring the Jeep home was too much and resistance was futile.
Right from the launch of Jeep Compass in June 2017, I’ve had an eye on it. Not just for the looks, but the ride handling as well. I was thoroughly impressed when I took a test drive, way back in 2017. However, Linea was doing its job perfectly and we didn’t feel the need for an upgrade then. But things changed in March 2019. Oh! we never know on what life has in store for us!
I did think about retaining the Linea as a spare car. But it was not a viable option for us due to budget constraints. Also, the Linea will be driven sparingly with the Jeep in the garage and it’s bad to leave such a great car unused. So, after a lot of thought, we decided to let go of the Linea for a Jeep Compass.
A quick summary based on my experience so far:
Power! 173bhp on tap and it is very nicely distributed. (Of course, it’s a big upgrade for me from Linea MJD)
Excellent performance and handling on the highway. Its rock-solid at good speeds.
Tight suspension. At moderate speeds and above, the potholes and uneven surfaces are absorbed well. (Basically, the ride quality is stiffer than plush)
‘Drivability’ inside the city is good too.
Smooth gear shifts and I like the gear knob, cool metallic finish, and nice grip to hold too.
Clutch is light (not in the Harrier league though), has a long travel like Linea. Initial batch had clutch issues which is fixed now.
Braking is excellent with all 4 disc brakes.
A meaty steering. It has a nice grip and it is handily wrapped in leather.
Quickly got adjusted to the driving position and no ergonomic issues as well.
Nice and comfortable leather seats with good under-thigh support. (Like in linea, it is a bit on the harder side)
Excellent NVH levels either while idling or at speeds.
Excellent build quality
Interior quality is good. Be it the buttons or plastics or the finish.
Equipped with side/curtain airbags along with front airbags
Good fuel efficiency for a 2L / 173BPH engine
Bi-Xenon Head Lamps
Reverse camera clarity is good and it directs you based on steering input.
Dual zone AC. You have an option to set a different temperature for either side. (Driver/Passenger side)
It’s a head-turner from any angle
Liked the dual-tone exterior.
Of course, with plans for Sikkim, Leh-Ladakh in the future, it’s good to have a 4×4 car
The service interval duration is every 15K Kms, just like the Linea MJD.
White interiors. With two naughty kids, it’s a pain to maintain the interior.
Something which I miss big-time is the “Rain-sensing” wipers. I was so used to it in the Linea. It comes in Limited Plus though.
Engine guard is not metal. They should have provided a metal engine guard like in Trailhawk.
Cruise Control. Not a deal-breaker but a good feature to have these days
Blank buttons in the steering wheel, this was supposed to be for cruise control
Reclining option for the rear seat would have been nice.
Bumper lip is low. I have seen many owners who have replaced the bumper lip from the Limited Plus model which is a little shorter than this and helps with better ground clearance
Exide battery. I am seeing many complaints from other owners with the battery dying in 1-2 year’s time frame.
Space, it is adequate and nothing to complain about. Rear seat leg-room is more than Linea’s and no complaints from any rear-seat passengers so far. Space is not in the leagues of Harrier/XUV 500 though.
Boot Space, again it is just adequate. The Linea has more boot space than the Compass. During long drives with the family, we have to arrange the luggage strategically to accommodate more things. There is some space available in the spare wheel compartment as well. Removing the parcel tray helps to increase the boot space, but we have not tried this so far. Removing the parcel tray also means that the luggage will be visible via the windscreen.
Rear seat is for 2 adults + Kid. It will be difficult for 3 adults to fit in comfortably.
Thick A-pillar, especially the one on the left side is a hindrance while taking sharp left turns. With the left ORVM kind of an extension from A-pillar, it makes things difficult.
I feel the steering heaviness while taking U-turns and the turning radius is not that great as well.
Auto-head lamps is a miss too which was there in Linea
The display unit could have been bigger. (Limited Plus gets a bigger one)
Tinted glass windows. This is another miss from Linea.
Service Network. It’s not a Maruti or Hyundai or Tata or Mahindra with wide network.
My short take on jeep compass on its abilities against owner’s expectations – Ponz
Let’s start with challenges
Head lights, rattling, approach angle & missing a few (not so important) features
Headlights: Aftermarket fix available, so not much to worry.
Approach angle: I hope Trailhawk bumper fit these, sources say yes! …. but can live without one.
Missing features: I would rather talk about the 40-odd other safety features jeep compass has in it but is missing on cars in the segment and beyond the segment!
Expectation vs Reality on a few issues:
By now if not all, most should have understood that this is not a naked off-roader, but capable to be made one if someone has the money to convert a 26l 4×4…..I am sure if done so, it will be one of the best across segments….what needs to be done to get there…( A separate write up can be done on this) .
With the current stock state and for most who feel that they have paid a bomb and hence expects it to go places where none other in the segment or below this segment can’t go….that’s not true….even a Nano survived north east peaks! But yes, it handles places with no roads elegantly with comfort and ease. A 4×4 owner can best feel how effortless it is to get over some deep slush and flip side is yes it can get stuck! & so does a 70l Wrangler!
Rattling : ( delicate topic)
Not a big fan of this topic largely because I think it depends on how the owners handle and take care of the vehicle. The only rattling I heard was from the dash speaker location until the last Wester Trails. Post that meet, I have been hearing a lot more noises and I narrow the reason to have rattling is only “US” who drive and how we handle it in bad roads! The day 2 road to Bhandardara during the trail was pathetic and now when I think about it , the way the convoy drew in high speeds( including me, under pressure of keeping up) either to keep up with the lead wrangler or assuming it’s built to be driven in a messy road without repercussions is not true! I have noticed more rattling in my JC post that drive. Let me clarify off-roading is rolling the wheels in a roadless space and not driving like maniacs on a broken tarmac road!!! Let me assure none of the cars existing on earth can survive without rattling if driven that way!! Something we will ensure to take care in the upcoming drives!!
My take or rather most of ours:
In simple few words – power packed, strong, able and safe. Best in segment and does beat a few cars in the next segment too. Clearly no comparison to Hyundai, Tata, Mahindra etc. Takes the Fiat Linea’s slogan to the next level “admiration guaranteed”. The Jeep community and like mindedness makes this stronger than any other brands in the country and in the world!
If you are taking your vehicle, MUST to have under body anti-rust coating.
recommend to remove front bumper nose lip. this will increase the ground clearance.
REST AND ACCLIMATIZE
CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE YOUR TRIP
DO make sure you’re a good driver and comfortable off-roading
DO carry medicines and supplies
Do carry tablets for altitude sickness
DO Try to choose hotels or camps that have oxygen supplies
Try to acclimatise to high altitude gradually.
DO carry toilet paper – public toilets are a rarity (and grubby!)
DO make lots of unsolicited stops along the way
DO make sure your paperwork is in order
Always carry drinking water and dry food.
Before you plan to visit Ladakh do collect all information about the weather and road conditions.
Take complete rest at least for a day after arrival to Ladakh.
Ladakh is located at a high altitude; thus the level of oxygen in Ladakh is very low. So, it is advisable to move slowly and breathe deeper till your body becomes used to the high altitude and low level of oxygen.
Take plenty of fluids and drink boiled or bottled mineral water.
Always carry ample drinking water and dry eatables, dry fruits etc.
It is suggested that you must start taking 2 Diamox Tablets per day 2-3 days prior to your Departure for Leh by Air and continue it within Ladakh till your Departure from Leh. This is to overcome the effect of High Altitude. It is highly advised that you MUST consult your Doctor and confirm if you can take diuretic medicines like Diamox.
For all your tours within Ladakh, go for a local Taxi/Cab as outside Cabs are not allowed to move within Ladakh.
In your initial days of arrival in Ladakh, avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol.
Do remember to carry First-aid box along with all necessary medicines.
In Summers (May – September), do carry Cotton wear, light woolens, strong walking shoes, rain proofs and in Winters (October – April), kindly carry heavy woolens, thermal wear, feather jackets, strong walking shoes.
Before your leave for a tour in Ladakh, do remember to carry fully charged extra batteries/Power Banks for digital products like camera, mobile phones, etc because there is a lot of electricity problem in Ladakh.
If you have a prepaid Sim Card of any provider, you would not be getting any Signals anywhere in Ladakh. In Ladakh, either only local J&K BSNL Prepaid/Postpaid Sim Cards work or Airtel/Vodafone/BSNL Postpaids from other states work.
Ladakhi people are known to be very friendly and they love to interact with tourists. So interact with them to know more about their life and culture.
All the bikers visiting Ladakh should go in a group of at least two or more. There are areas where you would not get help for kms, a group is always better than going solo.
People can ask their Cab Drivers to carry oxygen Cylinders while travelling to high Altitude Location around Leh. They may charge a nominal amount for it. However, it can help you to breathe properly in areas where you have problems breathing.
Make sure your have the Innerline Permit if you are planning to Visit areas like Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake. As of September 2017, they would charge your Rs.400 per person + Rs.20 per day per person for the permit. So, for a 3 Day trip, permit for 1 person will cost you Rs.460. You can also get the permit sitting at your Hotel, by paying about Rs.100 per permit. Note : Do carry your Address Proof document like Aadhaar Card, Driving License etc. because the photostat copies of your Address Proof documents will be needed for permit.
Car Inverter (220v, 200W)
Carry 100-150W immersion rod to boil water or carry 12V DC car cup to warm water
Do NOT follow your GPS blindly
DO NOT depend on Mobile Connectivity or expect good internet
DO NOT forget your sunscreen
DO NOT refer to Google Maps for time frames
If you reach Leh by air, stay that day and do not plan to go anywhere for that day, as you will need a day or two to acclimatize yourself. Drink plenty of fluids (that does not include alcohol), do not move much for the first two to three days.
DO NOT use Polythene bags. Ladakh is a “no polythene” zone. Kindly respect this and please carry back all the plastic you take with you.
Refill your water bottles instead of buying new ones. Mountain water is good. If you have doubt, boil it and refill.
Wear nice clothes covering your body while on roads, especially while visiting a Buddhist Gompas.
DO NOT BE FUSSY ABOUT FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION
Do not click photographs inside any monasteries without taking permission from the monk or the person in –charge.
Do not use or carry plastic/polythene bags in Ladakh as plastic is banned in Ladakh.
Do not carry short clothes like skirts/sleeveless blouses tops while you are travelling on roads, especially in Buddhist Gompa.
Do not try and disturb the wild life.
Do not exert yourself a lot by running or climbing quickly.
Take Disprin with you if you want to go to Khardung La, as it is very high altitude of 5359m.
If you are not able to go further from a particular spot in day, do not move stay there, as road condition is very bad in some places and it would be very difficult to travel in night.
Temperature in Ladakh is too low and if you will throw any biodegradable item, it will remain in the same state for very long time, especially in snow, people defecate and the shit remains in the same form for years, so please try the Ladakhi winter toilets.
Use vehicles, which have good-ground clearance and are in good condition. SUVs like Tata Sumo Grande, Toyota Qualis and Highlander, Mitsubishi Pajero work best over there.
Make a first-aid box and carry proper medicines for headache, fever, and vomiting also in it.
There is electricity problem in Leh, so it is better to take extra batteries for digital products like camera, mobiles phones, etc. Charge them fully before leaving for the tour. You may not get electricity at some remote places and also because of the cold, the battery gets discharged soon.
If you are planning to visit Leh-Ladakh on your bike, please make a group of 2 or more. Please do not go alone on bikes, especially Royal Enfield Electra or Bullet as it is very dangerous.
People there are very friendly and hospitable. Respect them.
Checklist Prepared by us for this trip
(credits Mohit Gupta)
Maps + ininerary in mobile
Tissues (instead of hanky)
Warm head cover
hand sanitizer (handy+ big)
Recognisable photo id
All soft copy in mobile
odomos fabric roll on
car papers copy
Rain coat + windcheater
Mobile Phone (airtel postpaid)
Jeans + Track
DSLR Extra battery
Digital extra battery
Data cables (1+, moto, android)
Torch + charger
Ready Food Packs
Spectacle + Case (Mohit + Eedha)
Sunglasses + Case (all)
Motion Sickness medicine
Water Bottles (own)
Green tea bags
+ Big Water bottle
Salt & Sugar
Plastic bags (Small)
Plastic bags (Big)
Plastic Zip Lock bags
LED Buld attachment
Pen Drive + songs
roadside assisstance number
Swiss knife + Window breaker
Car Spare keyfob
check tool kit
glass cleaning chemical
** please note that the above checklist & do's/ don'ts are just recommendations/ suggestions, following or not following them is entirely your decision. We do not take any responsibility and we are not liable for any damage caused during your trip.
Leh – One of the most ecstatic and beautiful places to visit in India, especially if you have Jeep and adventure running in your blood.
Leh- One of the places with most wonderful highways running along the LOC and the LAC, with gigantic valleys, majestic mountains, the highest mountains passes of the world. You feel as if you are cruising in your jeeps along the Mighty Indus, Zanksar and Nubra Rivers, on top of the world.
It obvisously had been in our bucket lists since years and we believe, now is the time.
One casual evening during our North Indian Jeepers meet, the thought triggered and we were ready to explore this amazing terrain. Some initial hiccups, suitability of time frames, dates etc. definitely came through our way. A Small family get together comprising of all aspirants (Ayush, Kannav, Mohit, Parnavi, Pooja, Juhi and Lakshay) and the final go ahead was okayed.
With experience of few of our traveller friends and veterans, the plan, itinerary and booking were freezed upon. The research and analysis on the route was just perfect to set the program on.
Final touches on the program were carried on by all three of us.
We could have understood that planning for Ladakh is also as challenging as going there. You also need courage to accept the forecoming risks, do and don’ts, driving tips, refuelling issues, rough terrains, low oxygen, AMS and all.
With all the the things now running on track with our families and with supports of Jeepag and travel veterans like Dheeraj Bambroo, we finally managed to bang on and our dream trip is just a couple of days away.
The best part is that our Jeeps will flaunt the uber cool *North Indian Jeeper*s logo right on the hood.
The Jeep is ready, the bags are packed. Can’t wait to hop on the driver’s seat and begin the adventure of a lifetime. Fingers crossed…!!
I still remember the day when I was pleasantly surprised by a phone call from Mr. Swapnil Shinde, Sales Executive from Landmark Dealership Worli, Mumbai in the month of March. He asked me if I was interested in Participating in the Times Women’s Drive 2018 from Mumbai to Goa. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning as I had never driven such a long stretch and that too for a competition !! I was wondering how come me ?? Then I realized, it was the ease at which I could handle Jeep Compass during the test drive sessions and my innumerable queries must have made the Sales person realize that she can really tame the beast.
Well after all the paper work and month long preparations, finally the Day arrived when me and my sisters were all set to go on our longest drive together.
The preparations at the flag off were top class and I could meet 10 more fellow Jeepers.
The journey was great, 1st Day upto Kolhapur and the next day upto Goa. The only sad part was we had to drive our Jeeps at a specified speed only. Imagine driving Jeep Compass at 40-50 Kmph that too on empty roads on Mumbai Bangalore highway!! That was the biggest challenge.
Goa was super fun as always. So well organised. We also had our own Jeep convoy and a short trail organised by Jeep India.
Well all good things had to end and so did the Times drive. Driving 1300 kms made me realise that the Jeep Petrol AT though considered a beast made us feel so secure. The gear changes were seamless and it felt so planted on the road.
This was one hell of a ride. So why should men have all the fun.
Happy Jeeping to all.
On the ride were Jeep Girls Pooja Asnani, Ritu Motwani and Divyaa Mehta.