The trip to Ladakh was a dream come true from May 25 to June 8th 2015. Far away from sweltering heat of Mumbai to the beautiful land of passes. The mesmerizing landscape visible from aircraft was a delight. I kept taking pics of clouds clustering the snow clad peaks which made me realise that this journey is going to be the journey to heaven.
The trip started with a workshop on egovernance(which was just a way to get away from plains). We were based in main market in Hotel Lingzi in Leh where the staff was helpful. The first day was the rest day to deal with an altitude climb of 11500 ft above sea level. Second day post evening 12 of our group members went for the nearby monastery i.e. Hemis, Thikse, Shey palace Shanti Stupa Visit. Next day was the road towards sangam where we went to pathar sahab, sangam and magnetic hill. NH1 held itself in the best beauty. The next day was the three idiots lake of Pangong Tso. The landscape to Pangong was breathtakingly beautiful. The everchanging whites, blues and browns with passage from one of the highest passes Changthang. The snowfall near the pass was around 12 -13 ft and fresh snow covered the pass. The road after changthang was skidding and scenes of skidded vehicles were observed. Pangong Tso and the sea gulls were eye catching with the lake colors changing every passing minute due to the landscape reflection. Our group kept taking funny pictures and all became young kids at the lake.
We left for Leh at around 4 p.m and reached at 8 :30 pm. The next day was the day I bid adieu to everyone and overstayed. I took a new guest house Shaolin away from the main market. The hosts were friendly there. It was the rest day for me and I went to leh palace on that day. I had a ghostly experience in the palace but it is fine since the view og leh valley was spectacular from the 9th floor of palace. The climb from market was a long one but I thoroughly enjoyed.
Next day I headed to Tsomoriri lake. The views of landscapes and Indus Valley enroute to Tso moriri were out of the world and were extremely picturesque. The temperature at night time where I stayed was -5 deg Celsius. If you can't handle low temperature a trip back the same day is advisable. The morning next day showed me the white color of lake which changed to light blue to turquoise to dark green in the evening.
Marmots and Ibyx were seen in abundance so were the wild fox. The wild geese were seen in Tsomoriri.
I returned the next day and went to Nubra Valley with a group of four in a shared taxi via Khardung La the highest motorable road. It was snowing in Khardungla and the view as always was inspiring. We had gud gud chai with some wafers at Khalsar enroute to diskit. We stopped at DIskit gumpa before reaching Olgok guest house in Hunder. Hunder was a pretty village with a few guest houses. It is known for its sand dunes and Bacteriyan or double humped camels. In the evening we went to the sand dunes for camel ride and came back for some chit chat and dance before dinner. Next day was mission Turtuk (the last village where civilians are allowed). Turtuk was taken back from Pakistan in 1971. The village was out of the world and the BEST view to the village life. the giggling children, the chit chatting elders and scenic views of wheat and mustard fields filled the atmosphere.We took a 6 hr walk through the fields above the bridges to the gumpa above.
Next day we headed to LOC via Tyakshi and Thang to have a view of bordered lines by humanity between two nations which were originally one. Then we headed for Sumur and Panamik to reach Siachen base camp. The scenery was LOTRed movie like and the hot springs were the best I saw any where in India. Rabbits and marmots were seen in between.
The temperature of the valley could reach -25 deg celsius in winters whereas Siachen glacier it reaches to -70 deg celsius. How a human survives such hardship is not known by me?
We reached leh at eve around 7 o clock. There was a snow storm in khardungla and an accident caused us an hr's delay. Next day was rest day and I went to Leh market for shopping.
Lamayuru, Alchi, Likir and Basgo Palace were covered the next day. I am unable to put all details in the blog or else it becomes a book.
Last day in leh was around the guest house where I happen to see Rock Museum and Sankar Gumpa and a trip back to shanti stupa. I returned on 8th june 2015 to Mumbai for some monsoon showers.
It was indeed memorable trip,