Discovering Leh

Lake Tso Moriri Leh Ladakh India
                                                                        Lake Tso-Moriri Leh Ladakh

An August afternoon in a bustling city on the western coast of India where four guys badly stuck in the rut finished lunch at the same usual place and suddenly decided to get quick break from their mundane lives. Soon after taking that precipitous call, we packed our rucksacks,cameras,tripod,boarded a flight and landed to the Capital city of India by midnight. In that damp midnight of August, We hired a taxi to continue further north from Delhi. through out the night, taxi kept cruising and cruising through the pristine countryside of Haryana and Punjab. Following morning we were in Chandigarh and yet very far from our first destination. Without breaking our journey, we decided to travel further from Chandigarh towards the foothills of Himalayas. By evening we made it to the famous hill station of Himachal Pradesh... Manali it was....After such a tiring and rigorous journey, it was just impossible for us to continue further on those rolling roads of high Himalayas... We were restless to get into much isolated terrain and equally eager to escape in those snow peaked mountains in the mild hope of finding sempiternity... Yet we stayed at Manali for the night to rejuvenate... Manali is a typical tourist paradise...honeymooners paradise, lush green valleys, distant snow-capped peaks, water falls, Mild snow,Temples,Some beautiful gardens and of course a shopping street, Manali is situated on the bank of River Beas. It's a serene hill town but getting crowed and commercialize year by year.

Hidimba Temple Manali
                                                                       Hidimba Temple Manali
 

we went to some temples early in the morning...had breakfast...and then took the road which winds further north. On tourist Maps, its a National Highway that connects Leh to Manali. After few Kilometers of drive, we reached Rohtang pass, which is one of the major attractions for the tourists traveling Manali. At Rohtang, We witnessed distant glaciers and felt elevation of the mountains. Rohtang is one of the most visited passes on that highway. After spending some time,we again moved further north on the open road. Now there was very less number of vehicles on the road. You would just see some trucks and workers repairing road. Splendid landscape was truly mesmerizing and it surpassed my expectations about Himalayas. In the afternoon we pulled over to take lunch and enjoyed fresh Paratha in the middle of nowhere. It was the one of best lunches i ever took . Surroundings redefined silence,altitude,endurance,thrill. There was just nobody except the ethereal Himalayan  Range .First time in my life i feel like living in a democratic system. Freedom of this place was truly inspiring. You will feel like dreaming with eyes wide open. We moved further and stopped at the last fuel filling station on the road and got it full. Now terrain became more and more lifeless,arid,isolated and stupendous.

 

Road to Lake Tso Moriri Leh Ladakh India
                                                                        Road to Tso-Moriri in Ladakh

Before taking this journey to Ladakh, I had been to Himalayas plenty of times but those were totally to a different landscape/terrain. As we moved further towards Leh that day,We started leaving living species behind(even birds and plants).There were just untouched glaciers rested proudly on that magnificent surface since ages. From Manali to leh we passed many high passes ( Rohtang, Baralacha,Tang Langla etc).I really loved Baralacha pass because of some unknown reason. you can feel extremity in height and temperature at the same time. Snowy breeze will freeze you till the core of your heart. i have seen people falling down due to Acute mountain sickness at Baralacha. I will rate it one of the most adventurous and deadliest stop on the route.

Sarchu
                                                                            Sarchu

A Night in Sarchu :
This was the most challenging night of the journey. it was around 10 AM in the cold desert of Himalayas. Nothing all around and we all were extremely tired, hungry. thirsty, tasteless, lethargic and on the top of those countless problems we were also starving due to thin air. With little fortune, we saw a Slim light coming from far distance. We followed the source of the light which was a camping site and you can get a tent on rent for overnight stay though those tents were really expensive. we were in the midst of the glaciers. No need to mention negative temperature and heavy cold breeze. So without any negotiation we hired two tents for the night. Somehow we survived that severe night and decided to leave that place very early in the morning. Night gave us an idea about what we were going to face for the days to come.


 

Ladakh Valley during Summers
                                                                   Ladakh Valley during Summers

Reaching Leh : Reaching Leh has never been a relaxing experience for any rider who follows the roads. you would be tired,restless,dizzy or may be delirious. you may not feel like eating anything or may start suffering nausea. But once you cut yourself loose and start roaming on the bank of great Indus you will slowly start forgetting all your pain,headache and even bitter memories. For me, It was like relishing heaven without even witnessing the death. It's like attaining the state of deathlessness. for anyone it always seems like flowing with alluring scenery. On a very serious note, You will definitely need some rest in Leh for getting acclimatize..

 

Exploring lakes :

Pangong Lake Leh Ladakh India Pangong Lake Picture
                                                                        First View of Pangong Lake

Here came some memorable days,driving to those remarkable lakes set near Tibet border. 140 km long Pangong Lake borders India and Tibet. 70% of lake falls in Tibet. I will not go in the details of geographical setting or geological traits of the region. you can get hell lot of information about it on web. Well interesting part is not just reaching Pangong through the deadly Chang la pass with scarcity of O2 but its about getting very close to mother nature. Believe me these passes are terror to all travelers due to thin air and inclement weather conditions. If lucky, you may also get a glimpse of yaks and other species. I adamantly believe that first look of Pangong can mesmerize any living creature (except cynical) of the planet or with anyone with normal sense of sighting. you will get to know a unique definition of colors. hues,.A glorious reflection of sun rays on that huge water body can jealous any painter of this planet. we went little further from the usual site of Pangong till we reached to the restricted forest area. This place is some 5-6 km far from start of Pangong lake. Please carry a map else you may reach to Tibet, Chuck it. Beauty of this place will fill you with sudden wonders. there was just one house in that last village. Again we had a lifetime lunch on the bank of that great water body. I will recommend all travelers(Not tourists) to touch that village. you will start getting deluded with the unknown in you and may start flirting  with the purpose of human existence. Utterly serene surroundings and pristine beauty will hypnotize you to some extent. I can die any day for the lake Pangong. I just loved it ..true epitome of beauty...


 

Lush green valley of Leh Ladakh India
                                                                           Leh-Ladakh Valley

Now it's becoming very though for me to talk about Tso Moriri... its again a lake 250 Km away from Leh and equally beautiful to Pangong. the best part of the journey is "No passes"...so you may not need to apprehensive about altitude sickness... All you need to follow the decent road on the bank of Indus throughout the way. you will see different pattern of this great river on the road side. colors of the mountains were magical...
 

Pangong Lake in Summers Leh Ladakh India
                                                                       Pangong Lake:Leh Ladakh

 

This is totally an unique landscape. its a plateau with colorful sand. mercury went down significantly and Charm to enjoy snow disappeared till that day. Snow capped peaks were all around the lake... Tso moriri is not that huge lake but it has a different shape. corners are finely crafted by nature... Most importantly its remotest place in India so you will be among Lucky chaps if you happen to make it... its at an elevation of 15000 feet.

For this experience ( Leh - Tso-Moriri ), I will fold as "Journey is more important than destination"
Leh Palace and City
                                                                             
Leh Palace and City

A City Drive :
 

It was about reaching to world's highest motor able road (Khardungla Pass)...There is a lot of controversy about it. It's the primary attraction near Leh city. There are markets,emporium,monasteries in the city. In the summers Leh is bit crowded with the tourists. And finally it was time to say good bye to Leh and It was a breakup with sweet memories... but I can never forget that desert rose. I enjoyed every bit of those narrow,winding and open roads... Driving back to Srinagar through kargil-drass was also memorable experience as we passed one of the coldest region of the world. Temperature again went down drastically. We took dinner at Kargi and spent the night in the Car near Drass. It was again a long journey across the entire Ladakh region. We reached Srinagar in the morning after 20 hours straight drive. Srinagar is again a typical hill station. You can relax on the shore of Dal lake and will find it difficult to restrain yourself from a boat ride on Dal lake....its quite tempting indeed... Dal lake is unique experience for any tourist. But no excitement was for us as we had just returned from heaven even without departing from earth. Every time You visit Leh. you will certainly fall in love all over again with the infinity of this great town and its surroundings...
 
I always dream about walking in a desert,shadowed by glaciers on the side of transcendental lakes...
 
Do you want to join my dreams.... :)

I want to go to Leh. Help me

I want to go to Leh. Help me when I return .
Well penned and shot blog

Yes. you should visit Leh.

Yes. you should visit Leh. All the best for your journey and will look forward to read your experience.

+- Vishnu

Thanks manish

Thank manish for the appreciation...its just an attempt to capture the beauty of God's own abode...

i willlllll

taste the thunder.

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