Leh Ladakh – A place with serene beauty and having almost all terrains except ocean || By Jitendra Kushwaha

It was the 6th of July, 2014 when we started our  journey to Leh. Planning had started a year back, having some options of Andamans and Goa too. Considering “June” and the climate in the tropics and subtropics, we finalized Leh.

All the friends scattered all over the country in different metropoleis. Some came from Chennai and some from Bangalore, to Delhi. It was the friday evening everyone was waiting for and  energies were at pinnacle.  Seeing our old gang back together after 3 long corporate years, it was time to get the old memories renewed. In It felt like we were back to college :)

We had booked a train to Jammu Tavi late night on the same day. Till late night we chatted on over various topics. We also iterated over the plan of places to visit and/or stay throughout our journey. Next morning, we reached Jammu tavi.

After having the breakfast, we hired a taxi to Srinagar. Roads were good till Udhampur, after which it was a bit muddy but amazingly beautiful.

By this time, we were getting used to the mountain water at stalls and water-outlets on the way. By evening we reached Srinagar.

After reaching srinagar, we lodged at a hotel and dumped all our luggage. Then we went out on a walk. We went to the nearby market, Dal lake to get a feel of the place.

So next early morning, we left for kargil. On the way, we had breakfast. It was an awesome road with lot of natural sceneries

In the way we passed through zero point. This was the first time in the trip we saw lot and lot of snow all across the road. We met a family coming a long way from Bangalore in personal car and travelling from last two weeks.

We reached Zoji La (Zoji pass). Wind was blowing fast making feel like temperature still down. We had to wait at zozilla pass to give the way for vehicle passing to the other side. We felt low pressure outside and also our snacks packets were bulging out due to high pressure inside.

After passing through Zozilla pass we reached Drass memorial. It is made just below the Tololing top, which is one of the area where kargil war was fought. We could see the Tiger hill top also from this point.

A person from J&K light infantry explained us about the Kargil war.

We reached kargil around 6:00 pm. In kargil was a point to rest in the route of srinager to leh. We took a hotel stayed and left next morning for leh.

In the way to Leh, It was awesome terrain and many scenarios.

Somewere in noon we reached Fatula top. Wind was blowing at crazy speed at the top.

We spend time near a river bank after moving on from Fatula top.

We saw two different color river meeting at a point. :)

Moving ahead we reached Magnetic hill. I personally do not felt  vehicle moving against the gravity, and our driver started saying they are making people fool :D

In further road journey was also nice full of different beautiful scenes.

We reached Leh around 4:00 pm and took a hotel. The hotel owner was very calm and friendly. He guided us about nearby tourist places.

After getting fresh, we came out to explore neaby area. Leh palace was at some height. And we started climbing for it. We reached till the palace. Myself and one of the friend decide to climb further up to the peak from where sunset can be seen.

At some point the mountain terrain was very loose sand and it became difficult to go up or return back from same path too leaving me in danger situation. Some how I managed to climb up and reach to the top. Instead of enjoying sunset I felt guilt that why I took this decision.

I am at top of mountain in above photo. From the top, I took easiest path to come down. :)

In the night we got up to the terrace to get the moonlight view of mountain. It was very nice view. 

Next morning after breakfast we left for Pangong lake.  

We pass through monestries,

Natural sceneries

also Changla top. It is the highest point of the route. We had cup of tea and snacks there. Also I saw first snow fall first time in reality. It was awesome. But soon many of us started having headache due to lack of oxygen at the top.

After spending half an hour or so, we left for pangong lake.

Pangong lake is a unique place. It looks like it is some place on alian planet. Here we had a light lucnh and spent around an hour and return back.

Some of the view from the mountain top is was amazing

In the way to return, We spent some more time near a water stream coming out of melting snow.

In the evening we reached Leh stayed there and next morning we left for Nubra valley.

In the way we passed Kardungla top

After kardungla we stopped at khalsar. Had lunch and spent some time near river bank and left for Nubra Valley.

In the way we visited a Monestry of Diskit Gompa

Then we came through Sand dunes. We had camel ride over this place

In Nubra valley we had a hotel at very good location. It was far from actual human dwelling somewhere near to sand dune and river.

At Night we had a bone fire near the river and spent time till late night. Below is the photo taken around 2 am in moonlight

On return from Nubra valley we had gone to Panamic which is hot water stream.

From there we return back to leh. Again many beautiful scenarios and snowfall.

From leh we started our journey to Manali at night. This route was open 3 days back and we were concerned about road safety at night. We have decided atleast one person will be awake every time. Had some thrilling experience on the way. Our Xylo got stroked in the snow in late night around 1 am. Had to struggle for around 45 minutes to come out of it.

In the morning we passed through  Baralacha Pass and we can see snow every where. Totally white surrounding. The attraction here is raw untouched beauty of the nature at mere distance of few hundred metre.

In the way we waited for more than 1 hour to allow passing of other side traffic. We took chance and had a walk in near by area and had some snaps with our driver who drove very calmly through the night

Next day at noon we crossed rohtang pass

Reached manali around 3 pm. It was a very long line of traffic. To cover 4 km it took around 2 hours. Finally we reached to a hotel. After coming from leh manali was not looking good anymore. It is more of family trip place. We stayed there for a night.

We did saw people using road traffic for separate grains :)

Next day we had a Volvo bus for Delhi. Reached Delhi on next morning.

Friends had flight for bangalore and Chennai in the night.

These 9 days of trip was awesome. Special mention for the nubra valley with a night stay there. I personally feel that Leh-Ladakh is must to visit place for travellers.

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