While going towards Nimmoo we did some off roading and went uphill on dirt road. It was great adventure on this deserted hill. The view from hill was mesmerizing. We took some rest and then we decided to start again. It was easy for our riders to reach the top but while descending we were struggling. After some efforts we were on better track.After reaching Nimmoo we again took wrong route and went towards Chilling Village. We entered Zanskar region and were just 24 kms from Chilling Village. Again we went on the banks of Zanskar river on bike for adventure.Now it was time to take things seriously as it the sunset was near. We finally found a vehicle whose driver guided us to Sangam.Sangam is the confluence of Zanskar river and Indus river.
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White Water Rafting at 11,000 FeetThe next leg of my unconventional sojourn in Ladakh was a somewhat adrenaline-inducing one! After scuba diving up to 60 feet underwater and paragliding at 8,000 feet, I guess white water rafting was the obvious next choice?I reached the rafting company campsite and changed into my wetsuit, before proceeding to the rafting spot, which was an hour away by bus. We were split into two groups of 8 people each, and my group had women and men from France, Austria, London, and Singapore!Once we set off into the Zanskar river and started paddling, it felt surreal- the water was chilly, but the sun provided warmth; massive mountains towered over us on all sides, and occasionally, a strong wind blew against us. It was a humbling moment, acknowledging and bowing down to the power and might of mother nature. Us, humans, paddling away with all our energy, seemed like ants amidst our surroundings.Every few minutes we were hit by a rapid; the adrenaline rush each time the rubber raft wobbled, and the chill of the water that splashed all over us- was thrilling!
Confluence: After finishing a brief lunch in the hotel we started for the Confluence of the Indus and the Zanskar river near Nimmoo village it was the most scenic journey of the entire trip. It was around 35 km from Leh on National Highway 4. A one and a half hour journey through barren mountains and extremely rocky terrain along the Indus River took us to the point of Confluence. The confluence can be viewed from the road while driving towards it. The Grey blue River coming from the western direction is the Indus whereas the green blue one is the Zanskar flowing from the Zanskar range.As the sun was leaning towards the western horizon the brightness of the day was fading away. The deep blue sky now was slowly turning into grey and was forming a beautiful background for the surreal beauty. The black barren hills standing like mighty giants where seeming to guard the heavenly place from the rest of the world. We were not ready to come back yet. To our great pleasure our driver agreed to take us further down the beautiful landscape towards the chilling village. Chilling is a pristine village with hardly 30 inhabitants. The valley is also part of the Hemis National Park. From here the famous Chadar trek starts over the frozen Zanskar river. In fact it is the only possible route for the people of the Zanskar to connect to the rest of the world. Chilling is 21 km from the point of confluence. Though the condition of the road was very bad at some points the experience is worth taking. We felt ourselves to be lucky fortaking the decision of going till Chilling as the scenic beauty along the road was something we never had experience. The greenish blue Zanskar River flowing through the deep gorges flanked by the black and brown hills offers a breath taking view all along the way. There is also a bus which plies between Leh and Chilling on every Wednesday and Sunday. By car it took us almost 2 hours to reach.We stopped at a quiet place hidden by lofty peaks. The river here is meandering through the hills and hiding behind huge rock faces. An icy cold wind was blowing, and without gloves our hands were almost becoming numb. It was below freezing. We walked a little and took a few snaps of the river and the surroundings. We had some hot tea in a thermos in the car which gave great relief. The unearthly color of the Zanskar River, the approaching twilight and the desolate serenity of the land took us away from the world.Our driver informed us that a motorable road connecting Zanskar to Leh is being built. Eventually the ancient land which lies hidden behind the lofty peaks will lose its annual ritual of travelling on the frozen river and tradition will succumb to convenience of modernization.It was only 4:30 in the evening but the surrounding was getting very dark.The condition of the road was terrible and it was too risky to drive in dark. It was time to leave Chilling and head back to Leh via Nimmoo. On our way back we couldn’t miss a single glimpse of the celestial beauty of the place. Gradually an all-enveloping darkness engulfed everything.It was a long day and we needed to rest enough before starting on another day- long trip to the famous Pangong Tso.
5. Visit Nimmoo – a beautiful valley that marks the confluence of Indus and Zanskar River!Sangam, the point of confluence of these two rivers, is located in a traditional village in Ladakh called Nimmu that has about 200 families. Spend a beautiful evening at the confluence point nestled between mountains and be mesmerised as you soak in the vastness of the Ladakh region from this point!