A Cold Dessert and a Land of high passes......Ladakh

Tripoto
29th Jun 2017
Photo of A Cold Dessert and a Land of high passes......Ladakh by Rohini Majumdar
Day 1

Ladakh...my maiden trip with my husband to the lap of Himalayas through extremities was very thrilling.We started our journey from Delhi to Leh by flight. On our flight we witnessed some mesmerizing snow covered Himalayan ranges from the window seat and finally landed in the beautiful town of Leh surrounded by rugged mountains.We were on medication for altitude acclimatization and it was a day of full rest for us. In the evening we went out for evening stroll and then returned back to have early light dinner and went off to sleep for gearing up for upcoming journeys.

Day 2

After having breakfast in the early morning we drove out for local sightseeing to Hemis monastery which is famous for mask festival, Thickshey monastery, 3 idiots’ school and Sindhughat for spectacular view of Indus river. We returned back to hotel for late lunch and again headed for a short trip to Hall of fame- a museum constructed and maintained by Indian army in memory of the martyred soldiers who lost their live in Indo-Pak and Indo-China war along with Shanti Stupa- structure built by Japanese Buddhist as symbol of peace.

Day 3

This day we headed for Nubra valley in the morning via the highest motorable road of the world Khardungla pass (18380 ft). The day was memorable for us as we after driving for 2 hours to the first military check point at North Pullu at around 10 A.M. could not proceed further as it was informed by the military personnel that there had been landslide at the highest point in early morning due to inclement weather previous day and hence the road through the mighty mountain pass was closed. However the road will be opened only after clearing the debris. In anticipation of this we waited all day long having lunch with Maggie noodles till the road was opened at 6 P.M. in the evening. We and our car driver were overjoyed on starting for Nubra through Khardungla pass after long day wait. We passed through the bumpy roads of Khardungla, admiring the spectacular views of mountain ranges. However we did not stop at Khardungla as it was late and hence decided to spend some breath taking moment on this mighty mountain pass while returning back from Nubra. We reached Nubra at 9 P.M. and ended the day with a pleasant dinner and deep sleep.

Day 4

Today we woke up early and were greeted with clear blue sky. After a light breakfast we headed to explore the desert beauty.Firstly to mention sand dunes which is also locally known as Hunder sand dunes against the backdrop of snow covered mountains is beyond imagination and is also home to double humped camel known as Bactrian camels. We went for camel safari to get glimpses of panoramic view of the valley. After spending few hours in the dessert valley we visited Diskit Monastery- the oldest and largest Gompa of Nubra valley where stands the gigantic statue of Maitreya Buddha. The valley is located along Shyok river and while driving back to Leh from Nubra we halted twice by the side of the river for rejuvenating our self with splash of cool refreshing water of the mountain stream. Enroute Khardungla pass we halted for some time to experience the thrill of standing on the world’s highest motor able road with magnificent snow-capped mountains all around. The feeling of breathlessness due to low level of oxygen in the air at the height of 18380 ft above the sea level gets dimmed by the visual delight offered by Mother Nature. This is also the connecting pass for Siachen glacier used by army personnel and for bikers it is like riding to Mount Everest. After spending 10 to 15 minutes clicking pictures and having bowl of hot Maggie we descended down to Leh.

Day 5

On the fifth day of our tour we started off for Pangong lake popularly known as Pangong Tso in Tibetan language. The special feature of this lake is its’ changing colour pattern with the movement of the sun. The drive to the lake will be through rough and bumpy Changla Pass which is considered as 3rd highest motor able road of the world. However the first glimpse of pristine blue water will make you forget every hardship that you faced in your bumpy journey to this lake. This lake is shared by both India and China. It bears immense strategic importance for India in terms of border security and Indian Army has to always maintain a strict vigil around this area. Therefore the extent of remoteness of the area can easily be understood. We reached Pangong at around 4 P.M. and stayed overnight in a deluxe camp by the side of the lake. It was a night to cherish forever as we can spot every billion of stars in the sky .Sitting under this vast sky illuminated with the twinkling stars and the gusty wind blowing all over the lake will make you always feel that you are just on top of the world.

Day 6

We woke up quiet early at 5:30 A.M. and after having a cup of hot masala tea we took a stroll by the lake. We took our camera and walked down to the lake to witness and capture the magical change of color of the lake from sea green to bright blue. I could not restrict myself from dipping my feet into the lake water and it was icy cold.After returning to our camp and having breakfast we drove back to Leh carrying the unforgettable beauty of the lake.During our return we halted at Changla pass for few minutes to enjoy the breath taking view of the snow covered Himalayan range. In the evening we explored Leh market. The popular items for the tourists are the locally woven woolen garments, Pashmina shawls, Tibetan handicrafts, Buddhist mask and paintings.Since apricots grow in plenty in Ladakh, it is another popular gift we can purchase. We picked some shawls, dry fruits, apricot jam and Tibetan souvenirs for our family and friends. The dragon motif is very popular in Tibetan art. Bargaining is a common practice while shopping in open markets and you pay on the basis of your negotiating skill. However government run shops are there where prices are fixed.

Day 7

Today is our final day in Leh and its time to say goodbye to the land of high passes. We headed to catch flight for Delhi with best memories of life.

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