The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018

Tripoto

 A Trip of a lifetime 

Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi

Note : Things to pack during the trip and other permits required info is at the end of the blog

To see a glimpse of the trip do visit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcVJjCBT_JI

THE JOURNEY BEGINS HERE (click the title to watch the video )

The trip to the Himalayas was a lifetime dream and one of the things in bucket list to be strike'd off . There was a lot of planning involved before going for this trip as it takes a lot of patience , physical fitness and a very strong will power during the travel . Our itenary for travel was from Chandigarh-Manali-Keylong-Jispa-Sarchu-Leh-Nubra-Leh-Pangong-Leh-Kargil-Srinagar-Jammu .

We shipped our bikes via train from Kochin railway station to Chandigarh and started our ride from there . To escape from the warm climate we started our ride immediately after our flights to Chandigarh . We halted at Manali for 2 days to chill out, to service our bikes which got a banged up little on the transport and plan our journey further .

Day 2 : Manali

Manali was so serene exotic and a calm place to relax and unwind . We just visited some local places like the Vashisht temple and the hot water spring present there , Hadimba temple and did paragliding at Solang Valley ( cost : 3000rs ).

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Day 2
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Beas River, Mandi by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Vashishtha Temple, Vashist, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Day 3

We then embarked the journey of our lifetime heading to Leh , adrenaline rush had begun. Our first stop after Manali was Keylong, a small and beautiful place with very friendly lovely people . We camped there for a day .

Photo of Keylong, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Keylong, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Keylong, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Day 4

After a relaxing day at Keylong camp we headed out to Sarchu via Jispa, which was a drastic change in altitude and the acclimatization process had begun , initially an excruciating experience, then our bodies slowly got adapted to it . Camping at Sarchu was a mind boggling experience with extreme cold temperatures at night and spectacular view of the snow clad mountain in front you can watch all day with a cup of tea and a friend beside you whom you can talk to .

Photo of Sarchu, Himachal Pradesh by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Sarchu, Himachal Pradesh by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Sarchu, Himachal Pradesh by Kiran Ravi

Once we were done with the acclimatization and good night sleep at Sarchu camping we headed out to the Leh , passing through places which looked like Switzerland , which was a treat to the eyes , next up was the mighty Gata Loops , the thrill of riding on the curves was out of the world experience and special surprise treat awaits on top of the curves "The Moore Plains" a place that can be described with words , just see the photos below to understand why I said so ...

Photo of Gata Loops by Kiran Ravi
Photo of More Plains by Kiran Ravi
Photo of More Plains by Kiran Ravi
Photo of More Plains by Kiran Ravi
Day 6

And then we finally arrived to Leh , where we realised we were back to civilization and everyone was back with phones and WiFi. Leh , a very beautiful city with views of mountains all around , monastries and stupas was an enchating experience . And it was time to put our rucksacks aside and explore the place and new cuisines of Leh .

Photo of Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kiran Ravi
Day 7

The trip to the Himalayas is never complete without visiting the Khardungla pass , the highest motorable pass( when i went :P ), we kept one room with us kept all out rucksacks there and we headed out to Nubra Valley via the mighty Khardungla pass , which was to most exhaustive road or to say no road at all , to ride the bike to the top . Although the ride was very exhaustive one on reaching the top we realised it was all worth the pain .

Photo of Khardung La by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Khardung La by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Khardung La by Kiran Ravi

We halted at Khardungla for a while to grab a cup of tea and then we headed out to Nubra Valley , the high altitude desert , the ride was a visual treat to eyes . On reaching Nubra valley we just went on some random roads where there were houses of the locals and met these beautiful kids , who were full of energy and excitement , we spent some time with them clicking picks and having some fun chat ...

Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi

After day at Nubra Valley and we had planned to visit Pangong Tso directly from Nubra passing through a water crossing of Shyok river . But unfortunately on reaching the water crossing point the water was flowing in its full fury and we had to head back to Leh once again to find an alternate way to Pangong Tso .

Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Photo of The great Himalayan Ride #bestof2018 by Kiran Ravi
Day 10

Thus we headed back to Leh ,ride from Nubra Valley was very exhaustive we had to stay at Leh for another day . On the positive side we had time to taste a lot of other cuisines of Leh .

Pangong Tso was a destination we had only seen in the movie 3 idiots and it was a must visit place in the bucket lists since a very long time . On the way to Pangong Tso we encountered a traffic block , since we were on bikes we just cruised though the block where people were taking turns to cross a pebble area with some small stream of water flowing in it . After this there were several small water crossing places and horses grazing in lush green places which finally led to the eye candy Pangong Tso .

Photo of Nubra Valley by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Nubra Valley by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Nubra Valley by Kiran Ravi

After experiencing the colour changing Pangong Tso lake it was time to head back to Leh . But there was very heavy rainfall when we camped at Pangong and we were worried about landslides on our way back to Leh , so we waited for a while to see if any other travellers arrive to Pangong from Leh side . Once we spotted people coming we headed back to Leh .

Since Shyok river was merciless to let us cross from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso our buffer day was exhausted and we had to head to Jammu via Kargil and Srinagar . During our travel time was when the tragic incident of Amarnath Yatra shooting had happened so there was a lot of military personnel everywhere and we had been cautioned to ride with care . Passing through Zojilla pass , most mightiest pass throughout the trip and the beautiful Sonmarg we reached Kargil .

Photo of Zoji La, Forest Block by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Zoji La, Forest Block by Kiran Ravi
Day 12

Finally we headed to our final destination Jammu with a one day halt in Srinagar . The entire trip was a life changing experience with different scenic views from Snow clad mountain to splendid looking Switzerland alike and high altitude desert , different kinds of people,their cultures and their kindness . Overall a must visit place and experience that are worth every penny spent .

Photo of Dal Lake, Srinagar by Kiran Ravi
Photo of Dal Lake, Srinagar by Kiran Ravi

Things to pack before the trip :

1 Woolen gloves & Woolen socks

2 Riders gear ( Jacket , arm guard , knee guard , gloves , HELMET)

3 Mufler

4 Balaclava

5 Spare parts for your bike ( clutch wire , brake wire , brake handle etc.,)

6 Puncture kit

7 Portable air pump

8 Thermals ( more than one pair )

9 Sunglasses ( Preferably polarised )

10 Thermal gloves and winter jacket

11 Lots of Chocolates & water can

12 Petrol cans

13 Tarpaulin sheets to cover your luggage on bikes

14 Water proof shoes ( you dont wanna ride with a wet sock or even worse a wet shoe )

15 Sunscreen lotions

16 Sleeping bag (optional - as all camps / hotels provide blankets )

Permit Information :

Permit 1 :

If you are starting from Manali a permit is required to cross to Rohtang pass & beyond rohtang pass which is available easily online in the following website http://rohtangpermits.nic.in

Permit 2 :

From Leh to Pangong & Nubra Valley

This inner limit permit is available in Leh town tourism office & it is a fairly simple process which one can do it themselves without a 3rd party .

You just have to fill the form with owner details and the vehicle details ,submit them along with the ID proof and cash payment and you will receive the permit immediately .

Cheers and have a great ride folks ... !!

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