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sagar

Srinagar to Leh Ladhak, Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley , Jammu and Kashmir.

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I call it the heaven on earth.. LEH'D.. !!! ( Srinagar to Leh Ladhak ), Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Flash back (Black & White): (June - 2013)

 

It was during the mid of June when the planet seemed to be burning under the scorching sun. Vexed up with the hectic work, we were just waiting to escape from the daily routine and get back to life. It seemed like an eternity since I had been on a holiday by then. Yes, it demanded a desperate break and the idea of exploring Ladhak struck my head which has been one long fancied adventure. With great adversity I happened to manage my leaves at work for 5 days during the 2nd week of July after having read all the possible travelogues that it could be the best time to explore this felicity.

 

Preparation:

 

My immediate task was to mobilize the idea and rope in more folks. As time went by and it was the last week of June, few of my friends were the ones who displayed keen interest in as much as stating that 'Yes, they would work out their leaves', etc. Finally we ended up with 3 in number from my work place. While we started to look up for a definite number of 6 members on the forums online and were fortunate enough to find 3 other travel enthusiasts from Mumbai and the plan took some shape.

 

All six of us involved with Mission Leh would exchange messages on "what would be the itinerary, what all to carry, how much to carry, what would be the budget"? Generally excitement levels were at an all time high. It had become a tad difficult to make a week long program especially to a place like Leh. My dream of hitting the road to Leh from Hyderabad has turned out to be a huge hiccup coz of the number of leaves granted at work seemed impossible to achieve and so we got forced to compromise on making it short by taking the road between Srinagar to Leh. And Yes we finally booked our flight tickets from Hyderabad to Srinagar for the 6th of July-2013.

 

It was the 1st week of July and work seemed to be the last thing on everyone’s mind and the countdown had begun, with each passing day bringing us closer to our departure. After initial rounds of deliberations the dates of the trip were finalized as 6th July to 13th July-2013.

 

The next task was to chalk up an itinerary:

6th July (Saturday)--- Hyderabad ---> Srinagar ----> Meet our co-travelers at the Dal-Lake and Srinagar Local Sightseeing.

7th July (Sunday)----- Srinagar ---> Sonamarg ---> Kargil

8th July (Monday)----- Kargil ---> Alchi ---> Leh

9th July (Tuesday)---- Leh ---> Chang-la ---> Pangong-Tso

10th July (Wednesday)-- Pangong-Tso ---> Chang-la ---> Leh

11th July (Thursday) -- Leh ---> Khardung-la ---> Nubra Valley

12th July (Friday) --- Nubra Valley ---> Khardung-la ---> Leh local

13th July (Saturday)--- Leh ---> Hyderabad

 

Prelude:

 

Leh is definitely not a place where one can just pack their bags and be off. Preparations started soon after finalizing the plan. I had setup a watch-list of 4-5 websites where I would check updates everyday for the weather en-route to Leh. Apparently, Leh itself was bright and sunny.

I have been drooling on Leh Travelogues for years now, but something or the other always came up and spoiled the plans. But this year, variables fell into place and we moved ahead to complete this insatiable desire. Memories zipping around in my head, I somehow plan on presenting as a travelogue that makes some sense... Here it goes.

 

Day-01 (Hyderabad - Srinagar)

 

With no time left to experience the beautiful historical trade routes through the enchanting valleys, rugged terrains, picturesque mountains and scenic landscapes full of thrill and excitement, We have taken the early morning flight to Srinagar with a connecting from Delhi and so we reached Srinagar by the noon around 12:00 p.m.

 

First pic shot at the sun above clouds with the wing of airplane as we started off to bag some crazy memories. 825.jpg

 

As we stepped out of terminal, we were shocked to see the chaos in the luggage area. Every conceivable space was filled with luggage, carts and passengers. It took us more than ten minutes to squirm fifty feet to the luggage conveyor. Pushing and shoving from the crowd proved the space was hopelessly inadequate. We finally got out for a transport at the domestic airport and took a taxi which was a tattered carriage with a cover. We sat inside the car in sweltering heat carrying the luggage on our laps for about thirty minutes we had finally reached the hotel by ~2:00 p.m. close to the Dal lake which was booked online in advance.

 

Hotel at Srinagar where we had stayed for that night had served us some delicious 'paranthes' and 'kulchas' for lunch and dinner 831.jpg

 

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Rested down for a while after lunch, we moved out towards the Dal lake during the sunset. This prestigious landmark definitely justifies the tag 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. The sunset too, was an awesome experience. The month of Ramadan was on and the faint chants from a mosque far away were ringing through the evening adding to the mystique.

 

We did nothing but lazed around the place soaking up the ambiance. Wooden carved house boat lined up along the banks of this lake offered rich views to this lake and my camera went wild! The night time would undoubtedly be the best phase of stay besides Dal lake. The ambiance is mesmerizing as the twinkling stars and black mountains just makes you go awe.

 

Dal Lake is undoubtedly 'A Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'

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It is the first lake in the world to provide wireless internet connectivity 

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The Dal lake is one of the most beautiful photography location sites in India 

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We ventured into the houseboat's Walnut interiors to watch the Lake's Traffic float by and the floating market. 829.jpg

 

The colorful 'Shikaras' on Dal lake

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The Shikaras lined up in a row on the banks of the Dal lake 

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A magnificent sun set at the Dal lake 

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Few calls were exchanged and then we met these wonderful people from Mumbai who were responsible for making this tour worth a reel to rewind quite often in my travel diaries. With dinner involving some valuable discussions of what would be the next plan of action, we chose to book a Scorpio as our 'Travel Beast' for this legendary road trip. Having booked it with the required permission passes to drive down the next morning to our dream destination, we hit the sac quite early.

 

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Day-02 (Srinagar - Sonamarg - Zoji-La - Drass - Kargil)

 

The weather was cracking with bright sunshine and with no time left to duck, we just packed all the luggage on to the Scorpio and there we started off with spirits as fresh as the morning dew, we began our journey from the Dal lake point around 7:00 a.m.

 

Our start point from Srinagar (Dal Lake)

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Early morning reflections on the Dal Lake

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This Himalayan Urban lake has 5 basins linked with each other

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The journey has progressed comfortably until 80 kms from Srinagar to Sonamarg which took about 2 hrs taking a coffee break in between. The road was pretty simple and straight but you need to watch out for taxis and trucks who are the most rashest of drivers here, cutting lanes, honking and giving no thought to nicking your car any moment. I have seen taxis having a sticker which says "Risky Job", which made me more focused and cautious towards the road ahead and got bound to the maximum speed of 60~80 kmph.

 

'Our Drive' during a short break on the way

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Rode over such narrow bridges which could exactly fit in a single four wheeler at once.

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As we passed by, I started to enjoy the drive between evident scenic beauty.

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We stopped by this place for a small Tea and snack break

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Having got closed to Sonamarg, we started to get nestled in a picturesque valley with the awesome scene of the road surrounding snow capped mountains and crystal clear blue sky. The road made its way through the mountain pass with a jaw dropping scenery. Another thing I have noticed on this route is the Indian Army carrying snipers everywhere which threw a reminder into my head that we were getting closer to the border and yes we are being protected by these mighty men. Salute..!

 

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First View of the Snow-capped mountains near Sonamarg

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Sonamarg was beautiful with lush green valleys and snow-capped mountains between the clouds

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As we reached Sonamarg around 9:00 a.m., we stopped by a small hotel in a town like place and had tasty Kulchas and Maggi for breakfast. After some good food, we started off towards the base of a Glacier point in Sonamarg (i.e. Thajiwas Glacier) which is the main attraction of that place. After Dal Lake, this has been the second exiting sites as we had trekked up the glacier for about 3 kms in 45 minutes.

 

You have ponies and car touts available to take you to the top of the glacier but you would be charged a bomb for nothing where you need to be a specialist in hard bargaining and obviously nothing can get better than trekking up to the point by yourself. After 2 hours of time spent in Sonamarg, we started to drive down towards Zoji-La around 12:00 p.m.

 

And the pic says it all

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The Pony and Taxi stand at the base of the 'Tajiwas' glacier.

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Had some quick photo session at the base before we trekked up

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All the fun we had during the Glacier Trek

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A mob of ponies and Himalayan cow were spotted on the valley as we drove ahead of Sonamarg

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We drove across beautiful historical trade routes through enchanting valleys, rugged terrains, picturesque mountains and scenic landscapes full of thrill and excitement. As we moved up, the landscape gradually started to change. Being in the presence of such raw nature, the sight got simply spectacular changing from scenic greenness to boulder strewn slopes and snow capped peaks looming all around the great Himalayan range. My camera just couldn't shut as every next sight seemed absolutely scenic and pristine and i couldn't stop kissing the capture button for just once.

 

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On our way, we were stopped by for a while until the convoy of 'The Indian Army' trucks finished their track on the route.

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The ascent to Zoji-la after Sonamarg creeps up and the road conditions start to deteriorate rapidly. The climb got steeper and the road got narrower. Luckily there was not much oncoming traffic and could easily negotiate the climb with minimal difficulty. Pretty soon we drove down through the Zoji-La pass which is at 13000 feet ASL and reached Drass which is 'The second coldest inhabited place in the world'.

 

We haven't felt so cold as it was said coz the sun was bearing down on us. Soon we have come across some public place but couldn't spot a decent restaurant for lunch so we stopped by Drass to buy some snacks around 2:00 p.m.

 

We took this rugged track as we climbed the 'Zojila' pass

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I had no idea how we had crossed the oncoming trucks on these narrow unpaved paths

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Haven't measured the distance of this very rapid ascent but we stopped at the top just to get the view embedded in our souls and catch our breath.

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A camping site of the pilgrims during their Kailashgiri tour.

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We drove these rough ghats of Zojila above 13000 ft. ASL.

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Teetering on the edge, most of the road has been so narrow that it is usually a one way street and was so treacherous.

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The drive throughout this ghat has been my most thrilling and a life time experience.

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We had spotted the Indian Army men on our way guarding the nation. Respect.

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Camping of the Nomads.

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The Welcome board to the region of Ladhak raised our spirits even higher calling up for more thrills ahead of the drive

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We traversed by the Drass river around

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As we moved ahead into the Ladhak region, the view started to get even better throwing up different shades and textures of nature.

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Every other mountain in the region adds up a definite beauty to the scene

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Himalayan sheep being herded in the Drass region

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A beautiful rock strewn mountain pokes her nose out to the sky

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Drass river

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Beautiful Drass. Lost the focus on the pic but yes, I checked in at the 2nd coldest region on earth

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After a short break, we started off from Drass driving by the 'Tiger Hill', 'Rhino Horn' and 'Tooling'. We stopped by 'The Kargil War Memorial' (Operation Vijaypath) which was built in the memory of the brave men who had laid their life fighting for the country. This is a stark reminder of those dark days in the year 1999 of the Kargil war with names of scores of our martyrs embellished on the memorial. Spent for about an hour at the place which also has India's tallest flag post and started off towards Kargil by 3:00 p.m.

 

Driving by the Drass river for the next 90 mins, we reached the Kargil town by 4:30 p.m. and got lodged at the hotel named Greenland by 5:00 p.m. which had decent rooms compared to the other hotels that we have seen before this.

 

It is all about the ' Kargil War Memorial' (Operation Vijay)

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World's tallest ' Indian Flag' (100 ft.) was being hoisted at this place

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We read those names of the mighty men engraved at the memorial

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Brave soldiers remembered

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This memorial has 318 epitaphs in the memory of all those who made a supreme sacrifice in line of duty.

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A saga of supreme sacrifice for the nation

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A Pakistan's bunker captured at Tololing during the war

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Panaromic view of the memorial

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As we proceeded further, the road got better for good

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A short break on the way.

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Confluence of the Ladhak rivers

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Observe the colors of the two rivers at the juncture

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A prayer hall amidst of the beautiful Zanskar valley

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5 kilometers away from the day break

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We soon checked-in to this place at Kargil which is the 2nd largest urban center in the Ladhak region.

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We then settled for a while as we checked-in and pushed ourselves out to the town in hunger as we have skipped the lunch and were craving for some good food. Walked down the streets in search of a good restaurant and ended up tummy full. As we got out of the restaurant, it was around 7:00 p.m. and we noticed the temperatures began to dip and the wind got colder.

 

We finally felt the first taste of the Himalayan weather, got back to the hotel and cozied ourselves under the warm clothes to comfort. Spent some time together reeling all that had happened so far and fell asleep.

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Day-03 ( Kargil - Mulbekh - Lamayuru monastery - Moonland - Magnetic hill - Leh )

 

The next morning after some complimentary chai at the hotel, we have started our drive towards the destination around 8:00 a.m.Engulfed between the mountains, getting caressed by the morning winds and enjoying the drive singing out loud we stopped by 'Chamba Buddha' near Mulbekh Gompa around 8:45 a.m.

 

A 40 feet rock carving of Buddha with prayer flags on the highway is the main attraction of the spot and the signs of the pro-Buddhist culture started to get evident. A small sit-out beside this highway temple, we had some Maggi and Paranthe for breakfast and started off around 10 a.m.

 

View after we started our drive and got out from the Kargil town

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As we moved ahead, the road took a toll on us

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As we reached Mulbekh chamba, we stopped by a Buddha gompa

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Buddha carvings at Mulbekh

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A true example for 'Faith can carve mountains'

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A prayer bell at the chamba temple

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As our journey progressed for the next 30 minutes, we got stuck in a long & never moving traffic jam for few kms ahead where even the bikers got unlucky to make a move and by an enquiry, we got to know that there has been some bombing on a monastery the previous day and the monks have declared a strike to perform prayers. I questioned my sanity for this adventure and wanting to be home at the moment after getting so close to Leh seemed so stupid to my head.

 

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Not wanting to waste time, we jumped out of the Scorpio and hiked into the hills. Trekking under the clear blue skies interrupted by these majestic carvings of nature was a beauty beyond imagination. After 4 hours of trekking, we headed back to the road where our car was parked and the jam still longed for more. So we had our lunch, waited until 3:30 p.m. when the traffic started to move.

 

A photo-log of our hike into the majestic mountains of Ladhak

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Adding to the misery of the worsened road conditions even further, crazy cabbies tried to overtake one another on these narrow stretches & blocking the oncoming traffic only added woes to the present conditions.

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I din't have an effing clue where this incredible road lead me to

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Absolute beauty of a mountain to sight at

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We reached the Lamayuru Monastery nestled on the hill top by 4:00 p.m. But, we couldn't spend much over there as the monastery remained closed due to the same reason of prayers being chant by the Buddhist monks at that time. Having spent about 30 minutes, we left the place and drove down through the 'Moonland' in Lamayuru which is an interesting sight on the highway.

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These homes besides the monastery were once bombed during a war

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Welcome to 'Lamayuru'

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The road further took us through a place called 'Moonland'

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Will let the pics speak about themselves for why they are called so

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We were all lost and spellbound in the scenic beauty that surrounded us on all sides as we drove down praising the BRO whose effort was witnessed throughout. After Lamayuru, the road turns from ordinary to extraordinary that signboards even said "It's a highway, not a runway".

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Enroute we pass through Namika La (Altitude 12198 ft)

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A juncture where the Zanskar river and the Sutlej river meet

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Absolutely 'The Road Not Taken' ..

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Amazed by the work of the BRO where a mountain was drilled to a lay a road in between

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By 5:30 p.m., we had stopped by the Magnetic hill and it was already lined up with the cars to experience the magnetic effect. We have seen people sliding up the slope of the hill in reverse and performing stunts.

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A drive down further burning the rubber over a newly laid tar, we finally reached our destination at an undefined time in the grey evening and at an equally obscure location. We had arrived in the wild west, a one-street encampment called 'Leh'.

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Leh town welcomed us

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Edited by sagar

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We entered the town and it was around 6:30 p.m. and drove down to a place named Chang-Spa in Leh where we were suggested of some decent home stays, hotels & restaurants.

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We lodged ourselves into quite a comfortable stay named 'Monalisa guest house' at Chang-spa.

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Unbelievably the stayed costed us just 800 INR/room and we booked 3 of them without a second thought.

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The rooms were spacious and neat with organic vegetable garden around and a huge window offering us an incredible sight of a snow clapped mountains along the valley.

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The clouds over the distant mountains occasionally cleared to reveal a picture postcard view to die for.

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Comforted ourselves by 7:00 p.m. and walked out for dinner. This place had Indian, Chinese, Italian, German etc. exclusive restaurants all around which has been a good sign as a matter of food. We have tried out most of the restaurants in that lane during this tour and 'Mentokling' turned out to be our favourite among-st the rest. We had discussions about the plan for the next day during our dinner and we were all set to drive down to the 'Pangong-Tso' the so called '3-Idiots Lake'.

 

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Day-04 ( Leh - Chang-La Pass - Pangong-Tso Lake )

 

The next morning as we woke up faintly high up on the mountainside, the sun was smiling high over the town. The clouds began parting way, clear and pure for our onward journey to Pangong. My initial plan was to rent a bike and ride high on the mountains which went for a toss as my friends wanted to experience the track in order to mark the risk factor before we hitch a ride.

 

So, we ended up driving down the Scorpio and decided to make it to the Nubra on bikes depending on risk involved after experiencing the terrain ride to Pangong-Tso. As we woke up and got all set for the drive, we checked out to have some Cuppa and breakfast.Before we had gone for breakfast, we had applied for the necessary 'Inner line permits' required to ascend the circuits of Pangong-Tso and the Nubra valleys at the travel agencies available on the roadside who would help you out in getting those permits. By the time we had our breakfast and got set for the drive, our permits were readily waiting for us and in no time we zipped past the locals waving our hands to begin our journey around 12:00 p.m.

 

Our drive towards the Pangong-Tso begun

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We stopped by a military truck where few Ladhaki sovereigns were being sold by the army men

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We spotted a Buddhist monastery on our way

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As we moved towards Pangong, we crossed some unending barren lands, boulder struck rocky roads crossing melting glaciers tuning down into fresh water streams.

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This sight on our way really amazed us. A lush green village between an absolutely dry valley

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We traveled along the hairpin bends and curves wondering the crispiness of the thrill and adventure the terrain offered.

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We spotted some domesticated Yaks on our way to the lake

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The journey so far was an exquisite delight with sparkling streams, resplendent valleys and majestic mountains throughout.

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We could not just take our eyes off the road and also the interesting caution sign boards warning us about the speed very often is worth a mention. However do watch your speed. Corners are blind, and unexpected dips can make you lose control.

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We passed across few army camps on our way

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Not knowing if we were ascending up or descending down the terrain, in no time we reached the Chang-La point around 2:00 p.m.

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We were at level with the snow clad peaks surrounding us.

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Colorful prayer flags were strung around and we spent some time clicking pics around the Chang-la Baba temple.

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As it started to snow, the temperature dropped down to -6 deg.

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One of the highest passes of Ladakh and the third highest motorable road in the world.

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The Indian army served us the best tea and hot momos which warmed us up a bit.

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After we had jumped into the car and turned on the heater to warm up a little and started to traverse down the Chang-La pass to stop at our next destination 'The Pangong-Tso'. The descent down was quite easy and we found Wild horses, marmots, Yaks and sheep abound in the meadows on the plains

 

After that short snack break, our drive towards the Pangong-Tso progressed on the unpaved terrains

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The oncoming traffic towards Chang-la from Pangong

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We were lucky enough for not experiencing any punctures or repairs after driving such a terrain drive

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Herd of Ladhaki sheep en-route.

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Himalayan Horses

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As the drive progressed, the terrain suddenly started to change and the road was covered with desert sand all over

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We spotted a Ladhaki fox in this terrain.

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Few kilometers away from catching the first sight of the beautiful Pangong-Tso lake we passed by this bridge.

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In no time, finally the breathtaking bright blue surface of Pangong Tso lake started unveiling itself slowly just below the horizon. We finally made it to the Spangmik- the place where the lake is located.

 

We were completely awestruck, in love at first sight with ‘Pangong Tso’.

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The sight was a visual feast, breathtakingly unbelievable as we approached the lake across picturesque mountains and barren terrains.

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It was around 4:00 p.m. by the time we have reached and all of us got involved in clicking pictures for an hour.

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We were mesmerized by the changing colors of the lake from greenish tinge to blue and to golden shades as the angle of sun rays changed over the crystal clear water.

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We got lodged into a Swiss camp right beside the lake which was rented for an incredible price of 150 INR. by 6:00 p.m.

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Not wanting to waste the time, we dropped the luggage into the tents and sat by the Lake soaking in the sight waiting for the sunset

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As it got dark, the temperature started to dip and we moved back to the '3-idiots' restaurant beside our tents to have some dinner. We settled in for a long night having a good time talking about the amazing time spent so far before cozying up under the quilts for the night. Through the night, we gasped for air and the biting cold actually made my bones ache. That morning we were told that the temperature last night was -3degrees, it really felt as it was much worse than that.

 

Sitting under the clear sky, we captured the stars, the milky-way and the night sky.

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Day-05 ( Pangong-Tso - Chang-La - Leh )

 

The next morning, we woke up to a mesmerizing sunrise by the lake, with a splash of purple and pink across the sky.

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It was beyond to describe the beauty here and we got involved in clicking photos.

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All I can say is that I have never witnessed so many hues of blue at one place and my eyes went wide and roaming.

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'Grey headed goose' and the 'Brahmani ducks' are commonly found summer birds at the lake

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A panoramic shot of the lake along with our drive

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Over all, It was one blissful experience to resort on the banks above 14270 feet ASL, watching the waves of crystal clear water of Pangong with amazing interplay of sunlight and clouds.

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Our food point at the lake

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On our way to the shooting spot of the lake towards the Indo-Chino border.

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We spent a couple of hours in the morning ambling around the lake for few kilometers in the direction of Chino-Indian border to a famous shooting spot on the lake bank.

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Well, it was time to leave back for Leh and the experience was one of the best and unforgettable. It took me a few seconds to come out of the trance that moment but then I have it all inside me with a promise to be back again. Return journeys are usually faster when we take the same route back. But as we crossed past Chang-La, we fell into a huge traffic jam caused due to a sudden landslide for few hours. But, the BRO was as efficient as ever in doing their best to clear the landslides and regulate the traffic in these conditions.

 

Our journey back to Leh started to pace up slowly after 2 hours of halt and apparently turned out to be eventful. The direct drive time of 3 hours almost took us 6 hours to reach and we reached Leh by 4:00 p.m.

 

Our Journey back to Leh

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Landslides being cleared off by the BRO

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Planning on riding the bike to Nubra the next day, most of my friends except one, were not so confident after experiencing the risk involved during the drive down to Pangong-Tso. So, 2 of us moved in search of the bike rental agencies around to hire an 'Enfield'. After repetitive trails on various bikes, we have booked the best ones for 24 hours which costed us 1500 INR/day. Feeling exhausted, we moved back early to our hotel in Chang-spa for dinner and fell asleep.

 

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Day-06 ( Leh - Khardung-La - Diskit - Nubra Valley )

 

As usual the plan was to start early and beat the mad rush but, not all plans work out the way they were supposed to be. With all the luggage dumped on to the Scorpio and two of us on the bike holding the inline permit, the ride got set to the ancient Silk Route via the highest motorable road on earth (Khardung-la 18384 feet) to the Nubra Valley Via Diskit.

 

Experiencing the climate at the Chang-la point, we got all gloved to ride up to the Khardung-la. Fueled our tanks and after quick breakfast we start off around 10:00 a.m.

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The road snakes all over the terrain, hugging the mountains up the ascent.

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The ride up the hill was pretty fast and easy initially as i had faced no difficulties during the ride.

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We had come across a group of cyclists on our way.

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The reading says it all

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The road gets as treacherous as it can get

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In no time by 11:30 a.m. we had reached the highest point 'Khardung-la'.

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Yes, I rode the highest motorable road in the world which is 18380 ft. ASL.

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Getting down our rides, we got involved in clicking pics at this pit stop

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And we got into the highest cafe at Khardung-la to grab some chowmeen and tea. It was quite windy and cold on the top that even the hot tea served failed to keep us warm.

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We started our ride down the Khardung-la around 1:00 p.m.

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The road down the 'Khardung-la' towards Nubra valley started to worsen

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And we got trolled :cool:

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We crossed that isolated track laid between the desert on our way to the 'Nubra valley'

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As we looped and looped down from the sky, we saw an altogether different vista from the other side. No trees, no greys, no gravel, no vegetation, just smooth undulating desert and incredible rock formations. We then halted for lunch at Khalsar (10,080 ft.) a small village at the mouth of the valley by 2:30 p.m. After a meal of parathas, our journey headed towards Diskit around 3:30 p.m. where a famous 100 feet tall Buddha statue looks down on the Shyok river flowing into Pakistan.

 

The entrance of the Buddha Gompa

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A famous 100 feet tall Buddha statue at Diskit

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Diskit village Monastery

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Lush green Diskit Village in between the deserted Nubra valley is a true wonder

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Not spending much time there, we moved down and entered a flat stretch of road with the enormous valley unraveling to the village of Hundar.

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Not booking the hotel stay in advance ventured us to roam the whole village of Hundar in search of stay and finally by 5:00 p.m. we had managed to find a home stay for the day amidst a treasure trove of picture-perfect scenic majestic mountains.

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We dropped in our luggage and got out in no time to enjoy the Nubra valley riding down to the desert area.

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We walked on the sand dunes where the sand got colder as the sky turned dark

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The food served to us at this home stay was organic and cultivated in the backyard

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Drove to a point after which the sand did not allow the vehicle to go any further.

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We experienced this unbelievably rare sight of seeing a water stream, desert and greenery at the same place

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Thereafter, we started walking in the direction of a grayish black mountain crossing a feet deep brook on the way.

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We rode the 'Double humped Bactrian camels' which were once brought to Ladakh by the ancient Silk Route traders.

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Spent the rest of the evening between the valleys resting on the desert land looking at the unrelenting mountains around.

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A group of youngsters got their wheels dug during a desert safari

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We then got back to our stay by the dinner time to have few Ladhaki delicacies.

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Spent the time gazing at the stars and the Milky way, we signed out for the night.

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We started off from the Nubra back to Leh after a quick breakfast around 9:00 a.m. with a short snack break at the Khardung-la.

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One last pic of the ride :D

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Day-07 ( Nubra valley - Khardung-La - Leh )

 

We reached Leh by late afternoon around 2:00 p.m. and had our lunch at our favourite place 'Mentokling'. Being our last day at Leh, we yet continued to keep it tight and unrelaxed. We returned the our ride back, got done with the formalities and set for Leh local tour in our Scorpio to cover Shanti Stupa, Hall of Fame and The Leh Monastery.

 

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Getting back to the room after a fine dinner, we had farewell talks with our friends from Mumbai without whom the tour wouldn't have been so much fun. Alas! Ladakh holiday comes to an end as we got transferred to the airport the next morning to catch our flight back home.We craned out constantly to absorb all the encompassing sceneries possible as we fell short of time before we could buckle up over this life time tour.

 

It was overall a soul stirring experience, reaffirming my belief that it is impossible to overcome the lure and fascination of the Himalayas.Will be back soon. Cheers..!!!

 

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Hey Sagar !! Amazing post....one of the best ones I read till date on Leh :) Impressive pictures....Now this makes me feel to take this travel journey into myself !!

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Teju said:
Hey Sagar !! Amazing post....one of the best ones I read till date on Leh :) Impressive pictures....Now this makes me feel to take this travel journey into myself !!

Thanx a lot. You have to do this.. I am sure it is definitely going to be your lifetime trip :D

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