Travelogue: Himalayas – The Road Trip

Prelude

This my friends, was an experience of a lifetime. I bet there is no place on earth which can be so simple and adventurous, yet so amazingly beautiful.

Initially, We had planned our road route from Srinagar to Leh. Due to military and political issues in Srinagar at that time, our folks didn’t even want to hear of us going there. So we had to change our route starting from Kullu in Himachal Pradesh instead of Srinagar.

Leh, has always been a dream destination for me. I wanted to go there purely to experience the Mighty Himalayas and a bit of the fragile and antagonistic environment of being close to the Line of Control;  Indo – Pakistan and Indo – China border.I tried the same route last year but couldn’t even make it to Rohtang Pass because of huge traffic blocks caused due to landslides.

…..but this time I made it happen!

…..this is just the beginning!

On a pleasant Thursday afternoon, the three of us Me, Ruby (My better half) and Firas (friend of ours), after our long day’s work, left for Dubai as we were to board from there. After check-in, we roamed around in the duty free shops, got some extra memory cards and torch (which really came into use later). Just before boarding, we munched on Big macs without having a clue that we gonna be missing ‘the food’ immensely for the next week!!

Day - 1 : Delhi - Kullu - Rohtang pass - Keylong

At last!! ….after a very long wait and years of dreaming, the Himalayan trip is on!!! 😀 They were watching a Hindi movie in the flight, Meanwhile I was actually thinking about a plan ‘B’ if things go wrong like last year. At 03.30 am, we landed at Delhi International Airport, having plenty of time to catch our connection flight to Kullu from the domestic terminal, which is 13 km away from the International terminal. We were very excited about landing in India and being in the capital city, but our mood took a different swing when we got out of the airport.

Here are some Travel Tips to be taken in Delhi:chauffeur.gif

  1. There are plenty of prepaid taxi booths within the airport for which you pay Rs. 220-250. Do NOT take them. We expect taxis to be waiting outside to take us as we had already paid for it. But no cabbie is going to stop for you for reasons I don’t understand. You can find empty taxis passing by, but they simply don’t want to stop for you. And please note that these taxis are basically a piece of scrap metal on four tyres.
  2. There is free shuttle service from the International terminal to the domestic one. Don’t bother wasting your time waiting in the endless queue.
  3. Walk out of the airport and you will find private taxis who will not agree to take you initially (again, for no obvious reason). So you have to plead and say that you will miss your flight so that they will agree at a higher price of course.
  4. Best option – Ask your friends to pick up and drop off, if you have any in Delhi. Otherwise.. Good luck!!

Finally, we reached the domestic terminal at 5.30 am, with barely 40 minutes left for our flight. Rushed in and thankfully the flight was late by an hour (as expected from Indian Airlines).  We got into the passenger service bus but had to wait in line besides the runway for about 35 minutes giving way to the huge cargo flights to pass by. Our journey to Kullu was on a 50 seater plane and we got some spectacular views of the freshly brewed clouds in downy pale blue sky, and our first glimpse of the majestic Himalayas.

(I’ve attached some of my pictures for you to have a better idea of what I’m talking about!! Click on them to get a better view)

…..ariel view of Kullu……on the way to Manali..

On landing in Kullu, we were very excited seeing the beauty of the green mountains around us. We got out of the flight looking all around, gaping at the yellow flowers and taking in the fresh air. Kullu airport was only a room sized terminal where we grab our baggage and walk out in 2 minutes. Right outside, our driver was waiting for us with a placard. His name was Baliram, and was a very sweet and humble person.

Our ride was a fairly old Toyota Qualis which was not what we had arranged for. We talked to the local agent, but he said the terrain is a bit rough, so the 4×4 which we had asked for couldn’t reach Kullu on time. He assured that a Tata Safari will be waiting for us at Sarchu.

Without losing our enthusiasm, we started our journey with Baliram bhai and headed towards Manali.

This popular honeymoon destination is 40 km away from Kullu. We checked in at a hotel, to freshen up and bought some biriyani to eat on the way. We were on the road in the afternoon which gave us a sunny view of the scenery. The roads were good and the mountains on both sides were green with apple trees in between.

After about 13 km we reached Solang valley, a skiing and para-gliding spot.  Without halting there for too long due to the afternoon sun, we took a couple of pictures and resumed our journey to Rohtang pass.

After 20 km, the ride became bumpier and dangerous, as the tarmac gets deteriorated and the roads became narrow. This went on for an hour till we reached Rohtang Pass. There is no guarantee at all that you would pass….

…Rohtang pass!

…they were waiting for us……to make a mistake!

The view from Rohtang Pass is not for me to explain. Felt as if, we were all in a dream and did not want to leave the place. Breathtaking beauty of the snow capped mountains, green fields full of flowers and wild horses along with the cool breeze left us mesmerized. Below are a few pictures which will give you a small idea of what I’m so exaggerating about! Well..not really!

After a long session of photography, we left the beautiful hilltop of Rohtang Pass to Keylong where we were to stay at Hotel Valley View.

..drive to Keylong was mostly downhill and the roads were mostly…  streams!!!

There is no too many words to explain the beauty of the place. It can never be explained but can only be experienced.

We reached the hotel at around 8 pm. After seeing the dirty toilets in that hotel, we went in search of another one. Without much option, we settled in at Hotel ** where the toilets were still messy(but better than the other one) and the food horrendous(Don’t ask!). I went to bed hoping to get some sleep and the night to pass as quickly as possible to get out of there!

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Travel Tips :

  1. Do not halt at Keylong as the place isn’t very developed and hence the quality of accommodation and food is very poor.
  2. The best alternative is to stay at Jispa which is 22 kms from Keylong.
  3. Note that the next filling station from Keylong is 365 kms ahead!
  4. This is just the beginning of food-less nights… so do carry with you biscuits, noodles, chocolates and tinned food.
  5. Sleeping bag is an option.
Day - 2 : Keylong - Jispa - Baralacha - Sarchu

Was a beautiful day! We all woke up at around 6 am and quickly had our shower to leave the crappy hotel asap. Must say that the view from the hotel window was amazing.

With only ginger tea in our stomachs, we started our journey to Sarchu and had many photo sessions on the way.  The scenery was awesome and it just kept getting better.

..we had a perfect morning, with this kinda view just about 10 minutes drive from Keylong! The sad part was that we forgot our tripod on the roads after this photo session!!

Suzuki Alto got stuck, but Toyota Innova made it through!! Motorbike – a better option(only if you have it in you!)

Travel Tip:

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  • Never fancy venturing out in the Himalayas with a vehicle with low ground clearance, you have more things to feel adventurous than getting stuck in the streams and rock piles every 100 meters.

After a couple of hours, Baliram bhai pulled over near some dhabas (small restaurants). The dhabas were very clean with beds covered in colorful bed sheets. The place was cozy and food homely. We had double of everything… tea, coffee, omelette, toasts and aloo parathas. The kitchen was tiny but very clean. On another bed near the cash counter, some elderly women were knitting woolen socks and greeted us with warm friendly smiles. ‘We should have halted here last night’ I thought to myself observing the difference in cleanliness between the two places. We packed some food for our drive ahead and left the place with our stomachs and hearts full.

After a couple of hours drive, we reached Baralacha which is 4890m (16,043 ft) above sea level and is completely covered with snow. It was afternoon and as the sun was shining, we didn’t feel cold even with all the snow around us. And for the first time I also saw what a frozen lake looks like. We played around with snow, threw stones into the lake, took a lot of pictures and got into the car when we started feeling the hunger pang.

Travel Tips:

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  1. After we got into the car, we realized that we were panting heavily even without much exertion. Be careful, this is how our body reacts to the rarefied air at this altitude.
  2. Take in lots of water & black tea to get acclimatized to the place.

To regain our energy, we gobbled on our packed food and some chocolates. After Baralacha, we started to descend. We passed through narrow roads in between the rocky mountains and gradually the climate became very warm. The roads were so narrow that we had to pullover for a military convoy to pass by.

After a couple of dangerous bridges, the roads became wider and smoother. It looked like the green mountains had spread out to give way for us. The place is called Sarchu and the beauty of the place is amazing! It was 1500 hrs and the weather was warm and we were very excited when we were told that we were going to halt there in tents. Staying in a tent in the midst of all that beauty… wow!

We jumped out of our cars and ran around the lovely place clicking lots of pictures.  We then thought it’s a good idea to get some sleep before we set out for our next photo session. Being very happy to see our orange top spacious tents, we comfortably settled in but couldn’t sleep.

As the afternoon passed by, the weather changed drastically. Geared up in two of everything…from socks to caps, we set out to take pictures of flocks of sheep on the mountains.  But we were feeling very heavy and stiff, and could not even walk fast. Once the sun went down, the cold crept in… and it was so cold that within an hour’s time the temperature dropped from 20 to 0 deg C. So we got back and planned to have quick dinner and get some good sleep.

Dinner was terrible! To start with, the tomato soup was a mix of chilli powder in hot water. I didn’t feel like having dinner, but my better half and my buddy chatted over rice and dal curry. We got back to our tent, settled in our beds for our 9 hr sleep, switched off the lights… and then the nightmare started.

The ice-cold wind was very harsh and was hitting hard on our tents. Our heavy clothing and layers of blankets didn’t help a bit. The cold wind made sleeping impossible. Ruby showed the symptoms of altitude sickness first, as she was feeling very uneasy and finding it hard to breathe. She tried sitting, standing and lying down in different positions, but was in vain. At around 2 am she had that urge to puke and all the dal came out! She took a tablet and after that she never puked for the entire trip. By then my friend was showing symptoms of altitude sickness. He puked and puked again and got tired like hell. I advised ruby to keep 2 pillows under her head, which made it easy for her to breathe and she slept off in a couple of minutes.

Travel Tips :

  1. Do not halt at Sarchu as the place is high in altitude and low in oxygen.
  2. The best alternative is to leave very early from Jispa/Keylong and pass through Sarchu by noon.
  3. Sleeping bag is again a very good option, even if you are staying inside a tent.
Day - 3 : Sarchu - Pang - Leh

I woke up at 6:30 am, after a very brief nap of 2 hours. I woke them up and asked them to get ready to leave this place asap. My friend was feeling very heavy and tired, but on the other hand Ruby was feeling great and was full of energy.

We had around a full day’s drive left to reach Leh. As promised by the local agent, the 4×4 was waiting for us at the parking bay. We had our black tea and got into the Safari. Our new driver was Tashi, who speaks very little. In the car, I was feeling very tired because of the sleepless nights and decided to take a short nap. Meanwhile my friend was feeling very tired and already fell asleep.

Ruby woke me up after a couple of hour’s drive, when Tashi stopped for a little breather at Upshi. We all had our ginger teas and biscuits. After a while we regained our energy back and continued our journey to Leh.

They say Ladakh is the only place in the world where you can get frostbite and sunburn at the same time, standing half-in & out of the shade. Trust me, it’s true. If you stand in the shade you will shiver and on the other hand the sunlight is intense. As there is very less atmospheric filtration, you can feel the radiation penetrating through your skin.

Travel Tips:

  1. Always carry sunscreen lotion.
  2. Sunglasses and Caps are handy.

We passed through the second highest pass in the world – Tanglang pass at an altitude of 5328 m (17,582 ft) and barren deserts, narrow bridges, dangerous roads and also had a glimpse of the highest military transit camp in the world at Pang.

Tashi turned out to be some driver, who took only 6 hrs to reach Leh where it usually takes about 8 hours. He drove through the desert and the plains tackling quick sands and bumpy plains effortlessly.

By 2.00 pm we reached Leh and our accommodation had already been arranged in Hotel Snow Lion in Sankar, Leh. Hotel Snow Lion was a very quiet, warm and cozy place. We went straight to bed as we all were tired because of the sleepless night at Sarchu. I woke up at 7 pm, when the local travel agent – Rigzin Dorge came to visit us. We had a very high voltage talk about the car they provided from Kullu to Sarchu. But we both settled down finding it as the fault of the middle agents. We had dinner at 8 and that’s all I remember about that night.

Day - 4 : Hall of Fame - Magnetic Hill - Indus Valley - Shey Monastery

We were supposed to leave at 8 am to Nubra valley via Khardung pass. But Shah was feeling even sicker than the previous day and when I told my agent Rigzin Dorge about him, he advised us not to take him with us as it is not safe to travel to high altitudes, and he also called the doctor. We were shocked when the doctor told us that Shah was suffering from High altitude pulmonary edema. The oxygen level in his body was below 35 where it has to be above 80 for being normal. So we had no choice but to take him to the hospital. Our agent was really helpful as he was the local guy and knew most of the people around. After the complete checkup the doctor said that his lungs are filled with fluids, and needs medical attention. Without wasting any time, he was hospitalized and provided with an oxygen mask supported by a couple of injections.

Tips from the doctor:

  1. It’s very common to have Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) for tourists in Leh, Ladakh. (where altitude varies from 11,500 ft to 19,000 ft)
  2. Atleast 24 hrs of complete rest is necessary to get acclimatized to the rarefied air in Leh.
  3. Never stay at night in the tents of Sarchu (4300m)(where we did!) or Pang (4500m), as it is too high (17,000 ft) and the oxygen level is very low. So it will not help the body to get acclimatized properly or it can worsen the AMS.
  4. Drink lots of water and black tea, it will help the body to accelerate the acclimatization process.
  5. It’s very common and easy to recover from AMS once treated, if ignored or left untreated, the altitude sickness may also result in death.
  6. The main symptoms of AMS are fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, confusion, difficulty in walking, rattling breath, and feeling generally extremely ill.

Me and Ruby was feeling bad for our friend, as we were waiting and waiting for this trip to happen for a long time which was even rescheduled a couple of times. Doctor assured that he will be fine by next morning.  After taking him into the tourist ward (only to admit tourists with AMS), I went back to the hotel to pick Ruby and brought him lunch.  After a while Rigzin asked us not to waste time staying at the hospital, when there are nurses to take care of  Shaz, and both of us staying in there will make the ward crowded.  Even Shaz wanted us to continue with our trip. But we were not feeling that great, seeing our friend in that situation. But Rigzin and Shaz insisted on and we decided to go for the local sightseeing, so that we can get back to our friend in the evening.

Our driver, Tashi got another job offer in a place called Far Far Away so he left and we ended up with a new driver – Sirjim, and thankfully he lasted for the rest of the trip. He was smart, talkative, friendly and knowledgeable. So he gave us couple of options for the sightseeing, in which we opted for the Hall of fame to be visited at first, and then Magnetic Hill and then the Indus valley and the Shey monastery on the way back.

Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every Indian citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by the Indian army. You can see the memorabilia, eminent Indian military personalities with biographies, images and weapons used during Kargil war and belongings of enemy soldiers found at war site.

Another section of this building is entirely dedicated to Siachen and its heroes. On display are attires, multi layered shoes to keep their feet from frost bites, their daily instruments, their day to day food mainly frozen and packed, which is heated by lighting small balls of Hexamycin tablets, as fire is difficult to ignite at a temperature dipping -30 deg to -50 deg centigrade. It is mentioned on a board that 97% of the casualties in Siachen are due to cold and terrain.

Magnetic hill was a rare experience. The hill is alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars uphill and force passing aircraft to increase their altitude in order to escape magnetic interference; in reality, the effect is an optical illusion created by the gravity hill. This is a remarkably common illusion that is found in numerous locations around the world.  Usually it is a stretch of road in a hilly area where the level horizon is obscured. Nevertheless we had fun. We really enjoyed the way our car went uphill, never knowing that it was just an illusion or maybe not, never know!!

Indus valley is a large valley formed by the main channel of the Indus River as it flows across Ladakh. The Indus Valley is the soul of Ladakh and is strategically the most important part. Its borders touch those of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and India.

Shey Monastery is situated about 15 km to the south of Leh town. King Deldon Namgyal constructed this two-story Shey Gompa in the year 1655, in the memory of his late father, Singay Namgyal. The main image inside the Shey Monastery is of Buddha Shalyamuni. It is a huge image of the seated Buddha and is considered to be the biggest metal statue and the second largest Buddha statue in the Ladakh region, which is 12 meters tall made of copper and gold.

By the time we got back to Leh, it was around 6 pm and was getting dark. So we went straight back to the hotel and arranged for packed dinner for Shah. Meanwhile he was recovering fast and had gained the oxygen level back to 75.  But the doctor insisted on taking rest for one more day for complete recovery. We will be traveling to higher altitudes in the coming days, so it was almost certain that Shaz won’t be able to travel with us for the rest of the trip in Ladakh. Even he was not feeling completely comfortable to venture out, so he asked us to continue without him and he opted for a low altitude road trip around Leh town. We returned to hotel after a not so adventurous day.

Day - 5 : Leh - Khardung La - Leh Bazaar

After a good night’s sleep, woke up at 8 and geared up for the drive to Khardung La. We quickly had breakfast, packed some for Shah and went straight to the hospital. Shah looked a lot healthier and was finally smiling after a couple of horrendous days. After a little chit-chat, we headed towards Khardung La.

Khardung la or Khardung Pass is boasted to be the highest motorable road in the world at a height of 18,380 ft. Within two hours drive, we climbed from 11,000 ft to 18,000 ft. Khardung La is situated 39 km by road from Leh.

The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the Khardung la, the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. The weather changed drastically in these two hours. We pulled on our caps and gloves after crossing South Pullu.We were awestruck when we saw cyclists going uphill through those disastrous roads and terrible weather.

There were lots of tourists and bikers on the Ktop, and there was an expression of achievement on everyone’s face. We took a few pictures, played in the snow and bought souvenirs. It was an amazing feeling as if..

….we were on the top of the world.

Khardung La may be a bitterly cold, desolate wasteland for most of the year, but during the summer it grows quite a busy, impulsive population. There’s a medical tent for the people who needs help to keep up with the thin air, a souvenir shop with t-shirts, mugs and cups, a temple, strings of prayer flags, may be the world’s highest toilet, and a canteen doling out hot, sweet black tea called ‘kahwah’ (a free cup for getting here, courtesy the Indian Army). It was very cold and we couldn’t exert much because of the thin air at that altitude. After a proud and fabulous half an hour, we headed downhill.

Travel Tips:

  1. Khardung La is not the coldest Pass in Ladakh, but it’s the highest, so better get completely acclimatized before planning for ‘The Highest Motorable road’.
  2. The wind can be harsh, so wind proof jackets/pants will be the best thing to wear up there.

After so many days of tasteless food we were craving for south Indian food. We went searching for restaurants serving dosas and vadas which is very uncommon in that part of the world. Finally at the corner of a narrow lane, Sirjim saw a small restaurant with dosa and vada written on its windows on bold yellow letters. For those who would like to go there, it’s close to the Leh vegetable market. The food was awesome. They also had amazing Chinese dishes. We packed dosas for Shah and headed back to hotel.

We quickly reached the hotel to find Shaz comfortably settled in the room. We freshened up and happily chatted over tea and biscuits in the cozy garden enjoying the weather.

At around 6.30 pm, Sirjim came to take us to the Leh bazaar (market). Ruby had a wonderful time shopping and bargaining and shopping and bargaining!!! while I was busy capturing the feel of the colorful Leh bazaar. All the shops are kinda similar on both sides of the road, with a variety of bags, handicrafts, Kashmiri shawls and jewellery.

The crowd was a mix of local tourists, foreigners, and the ladakhis. The place was peaceful and the people were really warm. The air was cold and filled with the aroma of fresh garam samosas and aloo tikkis being prepared in small tea-shops.

After a pleasant walk through the heart of Leh bazaar; we went back to the hotel and joined Shah for dinner. We had delicious soup for starters and for the main course we had chapathis and veg curry made from hand-picked vegetables from the garden. After a very exciting and comfortable day we all went to bed expecting even more excitement the next day.

Day - 6 : Leh - Chang La - Tangtse Valley

After breakfast, me and Ruby packed up our stuffs for an overnight stay at the Tangtse valley, from there we will be visiting Pangong Lake the next day. Mean while Shah was getting ready for his local sightseeing at the lower altitudes. He opted for Hall of fame, a monastery tour and the Leh view point at 13,000 ft.

It was a 5 hour drive to Tangtse valley, through the third highest pass in the world – Chang La (17,800 ft), most of it on a rough and dramatic mountain road. Chang La wasn’t the highest pass, but it was definitely the coldest. There was snow fall when we stopped there for a cup of tea. There was an army check post, a tea shop to greet visitors with complimentary tea and a temple full of prayer flags. After Chang La, the road gets a bit more narrow and dangerous with avalanche warning at every 200m.

We also drove through the running river called Pagal Naala or “The Crazy Stream”. Thankfully we crossed all this safely and reached our destination – Dotguling Guest House in Tangtse Valley. Dotguling GH was the only guest house in the area, surrounded by green fields and the rocky mountains with a small stream on the side. I was relieved to see a military hospital right opposite to the guest house. As far as I could see there were only a couple of houses on the road side and six or seven scattered around the valley, and a small grocery shop which calls itself a super market and a mechanic shop.

The day was complete with us sitting on a huge rock in the middle of the green field gazing at one of the most romantic sunset ever. The dinner was served at 8, with soup, fried rice and momo. I made sure that my camera battery is full and the memory card empty before I went to bed.

Travel Tips:

  1. Be prepared for some snow fall in Chang La. 
  2. Complementary tea is available at Chang La, Have it!
  3. Take a walk around Dotguling Guest House and the surroundings, it’s very refreshing! 
  4. Get some good sleep. It’s required to enjoy the next day.
Day - 7 : Tangtse Valley - Pangong Lake - Chang La - Leh

The most awaited day of the trip… today we are going to visit the Pangong Lake. We started at 6.30 am, for an hour’s drive to Lake Pangong. The terrain was almost similar, but it was amazingly beautiful that morning with sun shining just above the Himalayas, the rocky sand was sparkling like diamonds! Man… that was truly awesome! The winding narrow roads went up and down the rocky mountains.

As we were passing through a green valley, I spotted something rolling over the green grass. I asked Sirjim to stop the car and got out quickly without making too much noise and asked Ruby and Sirjim to stay in the car. I walked carefully through the grass keeping a low profile with my camera ready-to-shoot anything that might come across. I saw them again, they were the Himalayan marmots. I really had a great time clicking them, Have a look!!! They were cute and very funny!!

Even Ruby had a wonderful time watching them play. They were too cute. After that brief photo shoot, we continued our journey to one of the world’s highest salt water lake.

Lake Pangong:

Pangong Tso (‘Tso’ Means Lake in Ladakhi) is one of the highest salt water lake in the world, situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to China. 60% of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point.

We reached there by 7.45 am. Even though the lake is under military surveillance, there was no military equipments seen that could ruin the beauty of the place. After we passed through the military check post, we drove along the lake for kilometers. The drive was bumpy but the view was beautiful.

Despite being saline water the lake freezes completely during winter. The water is crystal clear and the lake shore is of rough gravel, sand and pebbles. It is completely surrounded by bare brown, rocky, snow capped mountains! The sky is amazingly blue and the view is spectacularly clear because of the thin air. The water in the lake is freezing cold, which changes color/shade every now and then as the day progresses. It has deepest hues of blue when the sun is high, with a turquoise shade near the bank and deeper hues in the middle of the lake. It looses color later in the day and turns greenish as the sun moves towards the horizon. At times when there is no wind, the clear surface of the lake reflects the brown mountains surrounding it, just like a painted canvas.

The spectacular lakeside is open during the tourist season, from May to September. An Inner Line Permit is required to visit the lake as it lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control. We spent hours playing around, exploring and taking pictures of that amazing place. My camera couldn’t do any justice to the exotic beauty of that place.

I’ve been dreaming about being at this very spot, for ages. I call it as a ‘Life time experience’! The beauty of the nature, the purity of the air, the freshness of the wind, the clarity of the water…and the feel of being at the ‘Top of the World’, as the Master Card guys say ‘It’s priceless’. The whole trip was a complete package… adventure, tension, laughter, nature, people, wildlife. Truly a Life time experience for me and I know, Ruby felt the same way as I did!

After spending couple of hours in that exotic place; we decided to leave, as we had 5-6 hrs drive back to Leh and the road was very adventurous. We encountered rock slide, in fact a road slide and we narrowly escaped from an epic disaster; and a flat tyre on our way back gave a comprehensive end to the adventure side of the trip.

That was lovely evening back at the hotel Snow lion. The weather, the ginger tea and the view from the backyard garden complimented with the endless discussion about the gains and drops of the trip and the place was the perfect climax for a seven day life time adventure trip for us.

Travel Tips:

  1. The best time to visit Pangong lake is in the early morning, by afternoon it attracts a lot of crowd.
  2. You can stay there overnight in tents. Make sure you have everything to keep yourself warm and should be completely acclimatized to the rarefied air.
  3. Plastics are banned and area is under military control/surveillance. So please be careful not to litter.
  4. There are plenty of choices for trekking/hiking enthusiasts and pros in that region.
  5. Always watch out for some amazing wildlife. 
  6. Make sure you have extra camera batteries and memory cards, coz they all gonna be working overtime and the cold temperature will drain your batteries twice as fast.
Day - 8 : Leh - Delhi

The morning was fresh and bright, but we were feeling the pain of leaving Leh. It was time to convey our gratitude to all those who welcomed us in Leh wholeheartedly and helped us in the difficult times. It was a great feeling to meet very down to earth and humble people all around, in a remote place, where habitation is difficult during most of the calendar year coz of the weather and terrain.

Around 8 am, we boarded the flight to Delhi, which gave us our final glance of the Mighty Himalayas

Conclusion

…in the flight, we were beginning to miss the gorgeous Mountain range. They are mighty and unforgiving and the experience can never be told! Go experience it!!!!

If you feel like experiencing the Himalayas, I can provide you with the phone number for Mr. Rigzin Dorge (who can help you with anything in Ladakh and this Delhi University grad speaks fluent English) or else you can find loads of agencies on the internet who can help you with the permits and all other facilities in Leh, Ladakh.

I am concluding this post hoping that some day, you guys will share your Himalayan experience with me! 🙂

35 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Very beautiful! A little scary for someone like me, who has never been out of the US.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you very much Lisa! 😀 I think you should explore more. There is always a first time for everything.

      Reply
  2. Ed

    Dude! Truley a once in a lifetime adventure, thank you so much of taking us along on your trip. Fantastic photos, you should make a coffee table book out of them, I’ll let mom know you posted, she misses your posts..:-)

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks dude! 😀 My pleasure. Glad you like it 🙂

      Reply
  3. Beyond Bluestockings

    So many beautiful pictures!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us 🙂

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Jo! 😀 This one was worth sharing! 😀

      Reply
  4. Shafeel & Shyleen

    Shafeel:- Superb work bro…as i said to you, i thought only europe in this world is most beautiful, but i was wrong..u proved me that….It was simply awesome,…and what else i should say you are truley blessed by the God, no you both (ur better half) are. My wife saw ur blog to all our flat mates, they all were like WOW…….. You see the world in different way from other..keep it up mate………

    Shyleen:- I have seen many pics before,,but when i saw ur pics and read along with your blogs,,,only then i realized,,how much effort is there for each single clicks.. and i really admire your works..hats off…

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      @Shafeel: Thanks bro! I’m flattered 😉

      @Shyleen: Thanks dear 😀 Glad you both like my photos and the post 😀 Your husband made me a hero in the office! I’m in love with photography..so I’m more than happy to put in some efforts to get some good ‘Winks’.

      Reply
  5. Henry

    Dude!!!!!!!!

    Amazing travelogue and a very theatorical unfolding of true feel of The Great Himalayas. Regret i missed the chance with you guyz and a very little i can write about my trip last year.

    Well done

    Henry

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Dude!!!! Thank you so much 😀 I’m so happy to know..that what I wrote in the post..brought in the feel of the trip 🙂
      Don’t miss it..if you get another chance!

      Reply
  6. chloe

    LOVE the 3rd & 6th photo!! stunning

    Reply
  7. Nidheesh.

    Dude..
    Great fotos as always & well penned down..

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Dude! 😀 Glad you commented.. been long time! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Brenda

    I can only imagine the places that you have been! They are beautiful. thanks for sharing your pics!

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks alot Brenda! 😀 You are most welcome.

      Reply
  9. suraj

    heyyy this is freaking awesome …never i have seen so descriptive and the pictures a mind blowing and even cud imagine the pain and pleasure u guys had there ……..cud get to know high altitude conditions ….hopefully the friend of urs is better now 🙂 keep posting am a fan of urs

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Bro! 😀 You said it ..Pain n pleasure! Our friend is fine 🙂

      Reply
  10. Lushfun

    the pictures seem to curve into themselves on the sides. sorta like they are curving around my view sorta interesting

    Reply
  11. kcjewel

    Oh my goodness the scenery is fabulous and your documentation is perfect. There is one thing for certain… even if given the opportunity, I will never be driving the Rohtang pass!!! or, riding for that matter.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you so much! 😀 I think everyone should go there..its Fun and will be an amazing experience! 😉

      Reply
  12. Chloe Sam

    rather useful material, in general I imagine this is worthy of a bookmark, thanks a lot

    Reply
  13. Gert

    Wow! Talk about a psotnig knocking my socks off!

    Reply
  14. scoo

    omg omg!!!ur blog is really amazing!!! leh has always been my dream destination!! i feel as if I am also experiencing this heavenly beauty when I read ur blog..n must say…beautiful pictures!! just like some Russian painting,,,best were the one with wild horses. I have seen lot of leh pics but has never seen one with these horses!! m jus running out of words while complementing you..jus perfect..n also really sorry about your tripod 🙁

    Reply
  15. Toshi Chan

    Thank you for such an excellent article and wonderful photographs.
    The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Reply
  16. Lacey

    Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult
    to find quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Reply
  17. Suze

    Love your panoramic shots! What camera is it you’re using? 🙂

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thanks Suze 🙂 I used Nikon D90 with kit lens 18-105mm for this trip.

      Reply
  18. Alexandra

    breath-taking images… beautiful work…

    Reply
  19. Afham Baramy

    really informatic and beautifully written.wish i too get a chance to visit these places in my life.have great passion for these roadtrips but don’t know from where to get started.

    Reply

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