It was monsoons, July 2017 – when I was in Himachal, organizing The Lost Tribe Art Festival – Mountains 17. I knew I had to visit Ladakh anyhow, so I planned way in advance. It was difficult for my parents to agree for me to go on a solo trip, all the way to the highest altitude of the world – 18000 ft! So I decided to find a more valuable reason.
Having wished to attend a Vipassana Course, I signed up for a 10-day course at Dhamma Laddha Vipassana Meditation Centre in Youknas, on the way to a small village called Saboo in Ladakh [you can check all the course schedules here]. Of course, people thought I was crazy to take up a course that involved ten days of silence and no mobile phones, no writing or reading, no eye contacts, no expression at all. However, all I had in my mind was to be able to live longer in Ladakh and I could give up anything to experience the silence of starry nights.
A few days after the Art Festival ’17 wrapped up, I left from Jagatsukh at 4 am to catch my tempo traveller from Old Manali, leaving for Leh. You can book a seat for Leh in Tempo Travellers [it usually costs 2200-3000 INR]. It is one heck of a ride – 21 hours to be precise. I got the company of Kapoor & Kapur, from my hostel and I am happy I had people who I could share my moments of awe. We crossed terrains after terrains, only to be transported into a land that didn’t quite look like our planet.
So untouched, so pious.