Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir

Tripoto
13th Nov 2017
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Contrary to visiting Ladakh in summer(June- Sept), i decided to visit in winter as these adventures can rarely be undertaken as one grows old. Also, ladakhi locals are too busy during summer to cater to the huge tourism inflow and rarely find time to show the local culture and places not so frequented by tourists. So i let go of the usually known sightseeing options and went there without a predetermined plan.

Staying in Leh city was not the top of my list(though Leh is a beautiful and old city) and while browsing through Airbnb, i stumbled upon "Old Likir Guest House". A beautiful house in Likir village, with a room that has glass windows covering two walls and the view of the mountains- enough for me to immediately book. I searched though internet and found out that it's an interesting village 50 kms from Leh airport.

Day 1

Unfortunately, i got a seat in the plane that had no windows, so i somehow missed the grand view of the himalayas from the top. I arrived at Leh on 13th morning and the pilot announced upon landing that the temperature outside was -5. I quickly put on my down jacket before going outside and felt comfortable. The grand Ladakh view starts from here.

Took a cab to Likir and encountered beautiful landscapes that mesmerized me. I could have taken the bus if i had waited till 3:30 pm, but i could not hold my excitement till then and took a cab instead. The cab can cost around INR 1800.

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Likir is divided into Lower and Upper Likir(so are some of other villages). As we approached lower Likir the phone network was no more and it left me with a sense of peace. But i was unable to contact Stanzin(my host) and the only clue to the house was that the monastery could be seen from the house. So i got dropped at the Likir monastery and i decided to find the house on my feet. Meanwhile glimpses of moving through Likir.

Entrance to Likir

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The landscape

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

A nun walks along - People generally walk here more

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Struggled a bit to find the house, but after i did, it was like finding hidden chocolates. Stanzin is the kind host of this house, who became a dear friend in due course. He introduced me to the room and i realized the photos in Airbnb which made me choose this place, were not even representing the beauty of this place.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The first thing to do was to appreciate the place over a cup of tea

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Stanzin with his younger son Dorje

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

As i entered the room something caught my attention. A wall poster that Stanzin had put and i knew that i have come to meet the right people.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

After soaking in the beauty of the place i took some rest in the afternoon and woke up with a sense of warmth over my belly. After waking up i realized that the warmth came from the house cat, who slept inside the fold of the blanket. Cats are loved by people here and i found them in all the houses i have been to.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

In the evening it was time for chalking out a trekking plan and also spending time with the family in their winter kitchen. Kitchen is a very cozy place during Ladakhi winter and a lot of time is spent here sitting and chatting. So this is the best place to meet the entire family.

Chalking out the trekking route

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Stanzin's wife prepares a local dish

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The young Monk - Dorje, Stanzin's younger son

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Nurboo - Stanzin's elder son

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Dorje and Norboo

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Day 2

I woke up the next morning to witness the beautiful sunrise and the freezing cold. The sunlight brought out the contrast in the landscape like no other time of the day.

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Brought up in a tropical climate, words like snow and freezing always fantasized me and that was one of the reasons i was here at this time.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

I lazed around the house for four days before we started our trek. Mornings were lazy, so was the rest of the day. Stanzin would prepare breakfast and tea, while i moved around and took some photos.

The eerie contrast

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Stanzin's uncle visited often

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Stanzin while cooking

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

It is important to mention here that one of the first thing you might notice is how people treat you here. I recall this person carrying a heap of grass, stops by me to say hi and ask about me- If i were to carry that heap of grass, i might not talk to anybody on the way. Most people seem content with their life.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Late afternoon, Stanzin accompanied me to the nearby hills, where i saw wolf trap, which was used in the past to set trap and capture wolves that attacked the village.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Places around the house are beautiful and the Monastery is close by. The public toilet looks beautiful in this background, though Indian public toilets are rarely a subject to take travel photos.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

After we came back in the evening, Stanzin cooked momos for dinner, while everyody else rested or played

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Day 3

Woke up early today to see some birds in the area. There are many birds in the area and some walk up the mountains and come down flying like a jet.

Commonly found Magpie

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Brown Accentor

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Robin Accentor

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Robin Accentor

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Sparrow

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Apart from the birds, frequently seen is Dzo, a hybrid between Yak and cattle.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Today Stanzin thought of testing my endurance before he allowed me for the seven day trek. He took me for a very long walk along upper Likir. The walk was beautiful and everything i saw was new to me.

First we dropped his younger son to the monastery school and cricket seemed to be the popular game.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Then we headed for Upper Likir through old villages. Saw some beautiful ladakhi house on the way.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

We finally reached a place where we could no more see Likir. There was no sound there apart from the sound of wind. Herders come here in summer to graze their cattle as it is colder here year round. This time around the place was freezing and we had our lunch here.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Yak

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The deep trenches are carved out by flood that hit Ladakh few years back

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Snow leopard print

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Horns of the Ibex

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Magpie's fight over rotting carcass

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The rare - aquatic white throated dipper

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The rare - aquatic white throated dipper

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Lichens

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

During Lunch

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

While returning, we saw Likir from a distance and it was absolutely grand.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Day 4

I started waking up early and sighted a few more birds on the subsequent days.

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Takes a lot to chase a golden eagle

Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Likir by Soumik Neogi

Me and Stanzin spent the entire morning drinking tea and sharing stories. Two most important things to do today are taking a bath in the greenhouse and visiting the local pottery artist.

Ladakhi breakfast - Herbs from mountains with ladakhi bread

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The grand summer kitchen

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

First i took a bath. Sounds simple, but at sub zero temperatures, the preparations take a while. Stanzin prepared hot water first, which takes a few hours.

Interestingly you get to take a bath inside a specially made greenhouse. This is built during winter only, for washing clothes and bathing. Inside its hot and humid, while it is freezing outside.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The beautiful backyard of the house

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

After the blissful bath, i visited the local potter who was set to bake their new creations.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The day ends with some serene views.

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi
Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

Stanzin had tinted glasses in his room

Photo of Less visited places of Ladakh - Lazing around Likir by Soumik Neogi

The next day we start on our trek so we slept early and i was super excited about the adventures to come.

2 Comment(s)
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Thanks Sinjini... glad you liked it..
Wed 01 10 18, 20:30 · Reply · Report
Beautifully documented .. this trip should be in Everybody’s wish list
Tue 01 09 18, 22:38 · Reply · Report