Ladakh - Journey through the worlds most unforgettable landscapes
Ladakh or the ‘Land of High Passes’ is a barren yet beautiful region located in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Sharing its east border with Tibet, Ladakh has Lahaul and Spiti to its south and the Kashmir valley to the west. Strategically placed on ancient trade routes, Ladakh lies between the Kunlun Mountains in the north and the Himalayas in the south. The region originally comprised the Baltistan valley, the Indus Valley, Zanskar, Lahaul, Spiti, Aksai Chin and Ngari.
Colourful fluttering prayer flags share their spiritual messages metaphorically with the mountain breeze. Prayer wheels spun clockwise release more merit-making mantras. Gompa interiors are colourfully awash with the murals and statuary of countless bodhisattvas.
Though threatened by a rapidly increasing number of visitors, Ladakh has much to teach the West regarding ecological awareness. Most Ladakhis are cash poor yet their traditional mudbrick homesteads are large and virtually self-sufficient in fuel and dairy products, organic vegetables, and barley used to make tsampa (roast barley flour) and chhang (barley beer).
The walls of dramatic mountains that hem in Ladakh make for an unforgettable landscape, but be aware that road access requires crossing tortuous high passes, which close from around October to May (or longer when snows are heavy).
I started this journey in the month of August when most of the snow has already melted and we drove (XUV 500 W6) all the way from Pune to Leh (2686 kms) in 4 days, overall it was a 16 day trip back to Pune, it was such a beautiful and mesmerising journey that it will stay with me in my mind till my last breath.
I have complete details in case you planning a road trip in terms of hotel & food expenses, fuel, driving hours, kms per day and various other things. We during the trip have noted down each and every single thing that can help planning the trip again :) . Please reach out to me in comments section below ( or at http://xplorewithgaurav.blogspot.in/ ) with specific queries.
Sharing some of the snaps, hope you will like them: