Lustrous Ladakh

18th Jul 2017
Photo of Lustrous Ladakh by Dhwanil G. Savla
Day 97

LEH – LADAKH || 12 Days, 12 People, Travel to be cherished throughout the life

LEH, Name always glittered in the soul.

A trip we were contemplating since last year, however we got late. And finally thanks to Mr. NaMo- the PM.! We booked our tickets during the biggest monetary lockdown in India – Demonetization 2016.

Khusbhu, one of our friend booked tickets for 13 of us. We also had to ask for leave in our respective offices as it was a long trip. Couple of months passed and we all started the planning.

Understanding the routes, weather and climate, culture was also equally important. We also took guidance from Manish sir of Kutchi Trekkers. As days passed, the level

of excitement kept on increasing. 2 of them backed out and one was added to it. So finally, count of 12 was good to fly. So, the Month of July started & we started to

count the days.

18th Jul, 18 days left.

About a week prior to our journey, there was an attack in & around Srinagar where we were planning to start our journey from. This was an attack on CRPF from the

locals which killed the officials.

2 weeks ago there was an attack on pilgrims going for Amaranth yatra. Bus was attacked by terrorist groups and 56 people were injured and 6 killed. Many of our

relatives & friends advised to cancel the trip, but we had to go.

Karna hai, toh karna hai, toh karna hai.

On Sunday, the day we had to leave, there were heavy rains all across Mumbai. Our flight got postponed and the connecting was getting missed out. This created a huge

hassle about 12 hours ago for us. There were lot of hiccups in the pre-journey stage. We did lot of ways to get the flight issue sorted. Finally, l fight to Delhi was

preponed from 9 am to 6 am. We spend whole night at the airport. We spent sleepless night due to the anxiety and excitement.

The Day 1 – 18-07-2017 Mumbai -> Delhi -> Srinagar

On Monday midnight, we did our check-in and boarded the flight and reached Delhi. Took a brief overview of the Delhi Terminal 3.

Fledd off for Srinagar at 1:45 PM.

Our traveller car was booked for the day by the hotel Nishat – our roof in Srinagar. Yogyata’s bro is the Commanding officer, Head of the force at Srinagar. He came to

meet us at the hotel. Did brief talks with him.

Left from hotel in the evening went to resto Krishna dhaba had amazing veg food – dhaaba style. Post FullTummy, we reached Mughal gardens and on the other side of the

road is the world famous DAL lake. Witnessed the beauty of DAL lake while the sun was settling down. funtimes clicked. We couldn’t go ahead for the shikara ride as it was already quite dark outside.

Returned to Hotel, had snacks, played cards, slept and then woke up early in the morning.

Day 98

Day 2 – 19-07-2017 Srinagar -> Kargil

Indian Army guys were placed every half a mile in Srinagar City.

Took a halt at Punjabi dhaba on the river banks of Sindhu while moving from srinagar to Kargil. Driver Mustaq shared his life experience during the kargil warfare. On the way to kargil, We did snow sledging at Zojilla pass – zero degree point. Another topnotch place in the region – Drass !! – second lowest temperature inhabited area First being Siberia. Temp here in winters goes as low as -65 Celsius. After

12 hours of wonderful roadtravel, we checked in zojilla hotel, Kargil.

Day 99

Woke up early at 7 am. Due to permit issues, we’d to opt out from River Rafting at Alchi River. We left for Leh, took our first halt at mulbek – a village near to kargil. There we met an elderly man – born & brought up in the same village. He explained one of the

Buddhist mantra. “Om maane padme um.” – Famous Leh Flags.

entered the first buddhist temple in Kashmir. Had breakfast and left for Lamayuru witnessing wonderful creation of the almighty – Vast Mountain ranges. Its varied colors just like youth – with variety in his

behaviours. After that we reached lamayuru – one of the biggest monastery. Known formoonland , where we can go for star gazzing during full moon day . On the way , we

visited pathar sahib gurudwara, reached leh in the evening . Riders started their hunt for rented bikes. Had dinner at crossroads in leh market. We stayed overnight at Lings Hotel.

Day 100

Day 4 21-07-2017 LEH-> NUBRAVALLEY ( Khalsar )

On Thursday night we finally met sewangnorbu . I thought he must be 35 -40 , however he is actually just 28 , married and has a 5 months infant. He stays 100 kms from

leh . He is our guide-cum-driver for all the days till manali. We’ll wokeup early, witnessing pleasant Dawn in wonderful city. Dismayed by the water issues, had to

delay our start. Had breakfast in leh market at motherland hotel and left for khalsar at 11 am.

On the way we had to pass by the world’s highest motorable road at 18,380 ft. – Khardung La We reached the top with multiple hiccups, but karnahaitohkarna hi hai attitude carried us till the top. On the way we saw hundreds of cyclists. So much amazed atop,

coolness and serenity of the place. We left for khalsar, Nubra Valley which is 80Kms from khardungla and 120 kms from leh. We reached khalsar at 5 pm, our camping

location. We drilled down the tents at the location. Went for river rafting in shyok river. Water stays so damn cold even during the start of the summer. River is

highly soily. It was another wonderful experience. I & Jinesh slept outside tent. Did star gazing in midnight, there was low rainfall for about 15-20 mins. The temperature dropped off and we’d shift inside the tent.

Day 101

Day 5 – 22-07-2017 Khalsar -> TurTuk -> Tyakshi -> Khalsar

Wokeup early with the blissful view from the tent. Had breakfast, but started quite late at 11 am. Left for turtuk. we reached turuk and then tyakshi ( last village in

the Indian territory ) Loc at 330 PM.

After few hiccups, we finally could enter the military zone at LOC – Jai Shivaji !! Jai Bhavani !! Jai Maharashtra!! Jai Hind!!

LOC is about 120 Kms from Khalsar.

LOC – Mountain ranges of siachen and on the banks of river combined from siachen and shyok . During summer, villagers stay at bit high altitude above the tyakshi village and during winter they star at tyakshi village – same height of turtuk.

While return journey, we coundn’t go for double humped camel ride at hunder, as we reached late. Had dinner at 10 PM in diskit, good food, Bambaiya taste. It was quite

dark outside and lil cold too. Left for camping site. Planned for next day and then slept.

Day 102

Day 6 – 23-07-2017 Khalsar -> Hunder -> Diskit -> Leh

Positive news arrived in early morning that we can go for the camel ride. So we started at 8 am . left from hunder for the double hump camel ride.

Good time spent in the miniature of desert surrounded by the huge snowy Mountain ranges, literally, creation only of its kind .

After enjoying the camel ride, we went to monastery at diskit . It is located on of the hill top from where most of the Nubra Valley can be


Left for Leh from

The diskit Monastery. On the way, we reached base village – Khardung of the Khardung pass . Had lunch over there. The cook-cum-owner is an ex-army officer and his

brother has completed PhD in Literature. They hail from Delhi. We reached Khardung la, clicked few wonderful scenes and eventually left for Leh. Reached leh in the

evening post sunset. Left for shopping and then dinner followed by sleep ZzzzzZZzzzz

Day 103

Day 7 – 24-07-2017 Leh -> Tso Pangong

We left for Pangong lake on Monday . ON the way we visited a monastery in leh. Due to time constraint, we missed out with couple of places including Panamik. Roadways, its neighborhood is wonderful. To reach Nubra, Khardung La is the major one ( highest motorable road across the Globe ) while to reach Pangong / Manali, Chang La is another one ( Second Highest across the Globe 17,590 Ft ) .

Though Chang La is the second highest, weather and location is quite nasty as compared to the Highest one. Observed a landslide already occurred just before pangong. So had to take off-road for 5-10 kms.

Reached pangong quite before sunset. Clicked many pictures.

Checked in tents. Fun-Time post dinner.

Day 104

Day 8 – 25-07-2017 Tso Pangong -> Tso Moriri

On Tuesday early morning we left for another lake – Tso Moriri which is at about 220 Kms . More than half of the road is erroneous – heavy off roading. Everyone was

tired due to the off-roading. Reached Tso Moriri at 530 PM . Had fastfood.

Me Jinesh payal and khusbu left to witness the serene view of the Tso Moriri Lake. Personally, TsoMoriri looked more beautiful than Pangong, if at all comparision is

asked. Pangong off-late has been pretty much commercialized and loosing its purity.

On the Other hand, tsomoriri still looks like an untouched one maintaining its serentiy, calmness, purity.

It was quite cold and major chunk of us were unwell. Next day we had to leave for Sarchu.

Day 105

Day 9 26-07-2017 Tso Moriri -> Jispa

Few of us were unwell and had to visit hospital. Ruchita & Yo had bad ache in the head for quite a long time – which was finally relieved as the Oxygen level was back

to normal once visited a nearby hospital. Viral too faced a similar situation.

This day too was supposed to be a hectic one due to huge travel time.

initial phase was quite patchy one after that it was wonderful highway roads fromthere till HP. We reached at 7 pm at sarchu . IT was again cold and windy weather over

here. Also not staying at sarchu was advised by many of the travellers.

SO everyone decided to Go to Jispa(2-3 hrs ) drive from Sarchu .

Sarchu is the bordering village ( J&K || Himachal Pradesh )

Checked into a hotel in jispa at 11 pm and then slept.

Jispa is at about 10K ft whereas sarchu at 15K

Day 106

Day 10 27-07-2017 Jispa -> Manali

We slept for quite quite long time, as we knew manali is only 4 hours’ drive from jispa. We left at 11 am from jispa. Reached manali at around 4-5 pm . the journey was

quite authentic of its own. On the way we passed by the most famous Pass in HP, Rohtang Pass. Wonderful climate experienced.

worth the time spent at the pass. Checked into hotel aroma. Went for shopping. Came back home at 10 pm after dinning at satyam hotel. Slept and next day woke up at 12 noon.

wonderful evening spent in Manali.

Day 107

Day 11 28-07-2017 MANALI

It was a lazy start to the day after partying night gossips, games etc.

We ( I , Viral , Pratik and Ruchita ) went for brunching to a resto managed by south Indians. Had awesome idly dosasambhar . Tasted as if we ‘re somewhere local in

south. Then went for shopping and finally in the evening found a jacket . Kind of similar that I wanted since long. Had dinner again at satyamhotel. Played cards 2 am

. We left for chandigarh in traveller car at about 4 30 AM.

Day 108

Reached chandigarh airport at 230 pm. Huge temperature transformation from cool to hot and humid!!!

Had lunch at the airport canteen. It was a tiring day as we moved from 8 K ft to 0 ft || cool to hot-Humid. Chandigarh is a well-planned city , acting captial of both the states – Punjab and Haryana and an Union-Territory too!!

Checked in, boarded at 6 pm for Mumbai. Reached Mumbai at 8:30 PM and finally the trip came to an end. Reached home at 1 AM.


Time to visit - Mid-May until October

Approx budget - ₹ 30K inclusive of airtravel

If go by tour - it varies from ₹ 40K onwards