Adventures of ladakh

9th Jun 2016
Photo of Adventures of ladakh 1/20 by anurag sharma
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the map
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Photo of Adventures of ladakh 20/20 by anurag sharma

Leh has always been my dream destination , i always had a blindspot for leh more than any other destination in my bucket list .I always dreamt of going to leh from the start of my mechanical engineering days but my dream came true after my final year exams;i like adventurous thrill seeking journeys and going to leh from manali on an enfield is on the top of the food chain for such travellers.

Day 1

As we all know delhi is the capital city of travellers so yeah it all started in delhi's very own kashmere gate(ISBT).Me and my friend boarded a regular hrtc bus to manali at around 5pm in the evening and we reached manali the next morning around 10 am,it was a worn out journey for us  as regular buses kill your backs but if you can get the last two seats you can relax your legs.

Day 2

manali on season time is full of rush and all honeymoon couples flood in; after reaching manali we decided not to take rest as first we should hire a bike so we went to many bike rental shops all had the same story either go from srinagar,stand in the queue for permit or give us 3000rs for a quick permit FYI himachal tourism had made it mandatory to issue a permit from the last 3 years for any vehicles going to leh it costs around 250rs and the queue is bigger than any other queue at railway ticket counters;the bike rental shops always fool you for bigger profit by scaring you by their so called tactics that it is a dangerous route and go from srinagar and atleast rent for 12 days ;on the contrary about the dangers of high altitude they are right it's an arduous journey with places very low on oxygen i will not lie about that,so for getting a permit the trick is you have to come and stand in the queue at 3am in the morning if you want the permit for that day.So we took the risk of booking the classic 350 costs you around 1500rs per day with security amount around 12000rs refundable and equipment security another 1500rs non refundable without having an in hand permit.Stayed in buddhist monastery costs 200rs per head and had a lunger in gurudwara.

Day 3

the next morning we managed to wake up at 3 am that never happened in my 4 years of engineering and we got the permit around 10 am irony is that the moment we got the permit; permit for that day was cancelled due to huge rush at rohtang but yeah checking still happened but we had the permit so no worries.

We began our journey around 3 pm afternoon all geared up and reached rohtang pass around 5 pm ;rohtang pass around 5 pm was covered in dense fog and we were not able to see even the traffic in front of us as soon as as we crossed rohtang there was another beautiful mesmerizing valley with full sunshine as nature played a magic trick upon us entering in lahaul and spiti ;the two valleys are altogether different with stretches of good roads and bad muddy roads spinning you through heaven,so enrouted we reached keylong around 8 pm in the night and filled our tanks at tandi as there is only one petrol pump till karu.

we decided to give it a bit go after keylong as it was all lonely in the mountains in the night felt adventurous so we went ahead of keylong till jispa . We reached jispa around 10 pm and hitched a mountaineering dormitory for our night stay to get acclimatize to the altitude,this day was a mixed experience but overall nice without being aware what is waiting for us the next day.

Day 4

to begin on the note why my title starts with 2 mirrors, there is a thief in jispa who steal mirrors of bikes, cars and he is stealing a lot in the last few months so the next morning we geared up reached 5 kms ahead of jispa and came to realize that we don't have mirrors,we were in a lot of shock and we returned to the dorm started interrogating the incharge and whole scene got created over there ;I always blindly trusted the honesty of himachal but the world is changing pretty quick I guess ,there was a very heated argument with the locals;Anyways we informed the police assistance and carried on towards leh so that we don't ruin our time as it was getting late

the treacherous part starts now we had already wasted 2 hours in that incident and there came the blissfull roads with their own taste.We were carrying on towards our magical journey and then came the 11 streams of glacier water bottomed by huge slippery stones ,we got through them ;this was the first test and then came zing zing bar and the mighty baralacha and my friend got an attack of AMS(altitude mountain sickness) ,we wanted to reach pang that day but could not make it ;we somehow managed to reach sarchu he got seriously ill i gave him a diamox(med for ams) with some glucose , iwas too breathing heavily we took a halt at sarchu in a tent(500rs),he fell asleep soon after ,i ate some maggi, bread omelete and also went to sleep.This day was real test for us sense of hopelessness and many other things piled up but we got through.

Day 5

so began our final 250 kms with lots of hours wasted in the morning ,my friend got better with some honey lemon tea and we decided to continue ;these 250 kms were the most cherished ones through himank border ,gata loops,upshi,karu,pang we reached leh finally;the stretches were a little more curvy in this part through deserty terrains but the road from pang till upshi was breathtaking a huge thanks to indian army and border roads org for that;the tarcoal roads as smooth to ride an enfield over 100 gives you goosebumps;we stayed in otsal restaurant in leh it was a good one and a kind of homestay with 600rs per day what else you need.

Day 6

friend got better in leh after some beers and butter chicken;this day we decided to explore whole of leh the market,shanti stupa and khardungla which was 40 kms from leh ,as we got more acclimatize we did not feel the air pressure and reaching to the highest motorable pass was some sense of achievement,actually reaching leh is not that important but this journey is amazing and will you speechless spellbound and i do not have any word porn left, we took a good nap in the hotel as the next day obviously was booked for pangong.

Day 7

this day was booked for pangong and to tell you reaching pangong is another journey soulfully different than reaching leh via manali,we had already covered all the highest passes of india but pangong is about another 200 kms from leh which will leave your back paining after 6 days of rigorous biking reaching pangong is alot tiresome and takes a hell lot of time but when you get the first glimpse of the lake your tiredness fades away and you can watch pangong changing its colours through the clouds and sun all day, i suggest a night stay is must.

Day 8

after spending the farewell night to leh the next morning we headed towards darcha and this time we knew the roads better so we reached quickly on our round trip on the return covering almost 350kms.

Day 9

we reached manali the next afternoon around 2pm after spending a night in darcha in a small cafe tent with some algerians .MANALI TO LEH can be summed up as one of the the most thrilling,arduous,treacherous,magical journey through virgin mountains untouched by any civilization,high altitude terrains with low on oxygen,a must in everybody's bucketlist ,it will forever change the free soul inside you;these 1600 kms on a royal enfield were the most cherished ones in my life.what else can i say-

Day 10


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