After lot of planning, fixing, asking, negotiating, the trip to Ladakh was finalized. Though I wanted to go with just friends, it also included friend’s parents and uncle aunty. Anyways Ladakh was important and not who’s with us. So journey begins…
We planned to take the Srinagar route. Though people say for more scenic beauty take Manali route, which is 1 day extra plus we all visited Manali sometime in our life so we took the Srinagar route. The destination and route was like this..
Srinagar-Kargil-Nurla-Alchi-Leh-Pangong Lake-Nubra Vally-Mumbai
Srinagar is beautiful place. It’s been under lots of stress still no one can damage its uniqueness. We visited 3 Garden in Srinagar, Chasmeshahi, Shalimar and Mugal garden. All the gardens were green, amazing, and calm and it also had sort of some historical connotation. We stayed in famous Houseboat. It’s actually a big boat constructed such a way that it resembles a house. It had living room, kitchen, and 4 bedrooms. The interior was so old age & minute carving. It gives a boat such a rich feeling that once you entre inside, you won’t believe that it’s a boat.
Next comes Kargil, for a Indian – Kargil is place of pride. It gains significance after the war between India and Pakistan in year May-July 1999. It showcase mountain region (Tiger and Tololing) where war took place and Vijay war memorial hall site showcasing war elements. Kargil reflects history of pain and victory, loss and gain. Enroute we visited Sonamarg (Known As Meadow of Gold), cross famous Zodjila pass, Drass Village (2nd Coldest Inhabitated place in the World).
After a memorable history we entered Leh via Nurla where we had an amazing stay in Faryok Camp near the river. On our way to Nurla we visited Mulbek (Giant Living Buddha Sculpture on Rock Mountain).
Now comes the adventure part, early morning we left for Rafting expedition in Indus River. Rafting was a thrilling, freezing and fearsome experience. Waves take over you and leave you feeling cold yet amazed. Later in a day, we visited Lamayuru (one of the oldest Monastery of Ladakh) and enjoyed a spectacular view of Moon Landscape.
Next day was dedicated to our journey towards Leh. We visted places like Likir Monastery, Magnetic Hill, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara and Hall of Fame museum. This day was spent at leisure as it is advisable that when you reach leh, Do not over exert. Since we are on a height and breathing is difficult, Try and keep it low key for a day minimum.
Another exciting day as we journey to most famous lake of India, Pangong Lake. Pangong lake resides to the east of Leh, crossing Changla Pass 17500 ft / 5300 mt. 5 minute halt at Changla pass and we started feeling ill. We left Changla Pass as soon as possible because Breathing was an issue which led to headache and vomiting. Pangong is one of the largest lakes in the Himalayas spanning 140 kms in length and 3-10 kms in width, half of which is in Tibet. Explore the crystal clear blue salt water lake. Pangong Lake mesmerised us with its breathtaking beauty, pristine water and chilled air filled our lungs with speechless moment. We stayed in Pangong Lake for a night and next day we made our journey back to Leh.
Second last day came when we embarked our journey to another spectacular place name Nubra Valley. We reach Nubra valley via Khardungla Pass. Khardungla Pass is World’s Highest Motorable road. The pass is at the height of 18,380 ft. Breathing at such a height is little difficult but once you pass Changla Pass, Khardungla becomes bearable. Key is to not stretch yourself and exert. After arriving at Deskit, rest of the day was free to explore Deskit, Hunder Villages and camel Safari in Sand Dunes between Deskit and Hunder Village. Nubra Valley is only place where you will find sand dunes, river and bactrian camel. Sand dunes with temperature so less that’s it’s next to unbelievable that are you in desert or snow. Lastly we visited Deskit Monastery, where we had a magnificent view of Nubra Valley and drove back to Leh. Next day we bid farewell to Ladakh.
View across all places in ladakh has taken our breath away. From old monastery to snowy way to panoramic lake, Ladakh has created a heaven in itself. People of ladakh are pure at heart and even if they are in bad condition they show smile on their face as if nothing is wrong with them. The nature of business in ladakh is only in 4 months of summer and people make most of it. It might be poor city in terms of money but its priceless in terms of people’s personality and nature’s beauty. When i think of heaven, it is Ladakh which comes in my mind.
Ladakh – Land of Heaven.. True in all its way!