Hey Fellas, I am writing this blog after a long time. Almost after 2-3 months I guess. But this article is going to be super fun for you and I hope it is informative to you. So this article is all about my visit to Leh–Ladakh.
Before proceeding further, some key points to note before going to Leh:
1. Best month to go to Leh-Ladakh is from May to Sept as the climate is not so cold compared to the other months of the year.
2. You can either travel through roadways that is bike or car or through railways that is train or through airways that is flight.
3. The temperature is very confusing. At some places you may feel very cold whereas at some places you may feel very hot so carry your clothes accordingly. This depends on which month you are travelling. Carry both warm and normal clothes.
4. Drink lot of water and don’t eat much.
5. Carry medicines with you as you are at high altitude so it becomes difficult to breathe. You may get headache, you may catch cold, you may feel nausea and so medicines will help you. So don’t forget to keep some in your bag.
6. You should spend around 24-48 hours in Leh to acclimatize yourself to that environment as you are at 11000 ft above sea level and in the upcoming days you will be travelling to an even more higher altitude.
So let’s start…………
From the 3 ways which I mentioned, we used airways i.e. Flight from Mumbai to Delhi and then Delhi to Leh. Leh is around 11,000 ft above the sea level. We reached Leh around 9 a.m. in the morning. We had a guide with us who was present at the airport to pick us. He dropped us to our hotel Ladakh Retreat which was just 11 mins away from the Leh airport. The Hotel had a beautiful view, the rooms were clean, the staff was amazing and the food was mind blowing. There we had our lunch and took some rest for 4-5 hours. Then we left for our first destination around 3 pm which was Shanti Stupa– a white domed structure dedicated to Buddhism. The beauty of this place is unexplainable. It is located near Changspa village whose beautiful view can be seen from the stupa. The stupa looks even more beautiful at night especially when there is full moon. Then we headed towards Leh palace around 5 pm. Leh Palace– A royal palace of the Leh kingdom. To be frank we didn’t go inside the palace as there was nothing much to watch inside the palace as per our guide. Also, we were too tired to walk few more steps. What caught our attention was the beautiful view from that place. I was awestruck to see the view and couldn’t resist myself to click the pictures. Later around 6:30 pm we headed to Leh market for shopping and was bit hungry as well. So we tried leh-ladakh’s special delicacy ‘THUKPA’ – a Tibetan noodle soup and it was very yummy.This was end of our Day 1.
We woke up early in the morning and left for our destination on our bikes which we had rented for a day. We headed towards The Hall of Fame. A museum of weapons, history exhibits & a souvenir shop. It was all constructed and maintained by the Indian army in memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Indo-Pak wars. A moment of proud feeling and respect to our Indian soldiers. Then we headed to our next place which was the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. The two different colors of two different rivers were beautifully visible. One was dark brown and other was light brown. These two rivers meet and head towards Pakistan. You can even enjoy river rafting at this place.
Then we headed to “Gurudwara Pathar Sahib”. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib stands at the place where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion and the first guru, is believed to have vanquished a demon. We seeked the blessings of guru. The best thing we did in that day was we sat in a Langar. The food was prepared by the army itself. And it was tasty. We came back to our rooms and in the evening we again went to Market to grab some food and drinks. This was end of our Day 2.
We left early in the morning around 9 am towards Nubra Valley as we had to travel 160 kms. We were going from 11000 ft to 18380 ft. The highest motarable road in the world and yes! It was the Khardung La Pass. A place where it was very difficult to breath. You feel difficulty to breath even if you climb few stairs. We were breathing through mouth. Also the place was very chilled. It was an achievement for us to go there. After clicking lot of pictures, we left in 15-20 mins from there as it was very difficult for us to stay there for long time. Now, we were going from 18380 ft to 9000 ft where Nubra valley was i.e. Hundar village. Then we had our lunch – Maggi and Momos on our way which was yumm. We reached our camp Apple Nubra cottage around 4-5 pm and went to our tents. The camp itself was beautiful and had a scenic view. It had a bed and a washroom.
Then after freshening up we went to Nubra valley. The view was quite a breathtaking experience. A paradise on earth, a real fairy tale landscape. You can enjoy there by riding on a two hump camel. Nubra Valley is a combination of sand dunes, small river flowing, greenery, different colored mountains, mountains covered with snow. I was mesmerized by the view. We clicked pictures and were enjoying and relaxing. Then we grabbed some snacks went back to our camp side tents. Had our dinner at night and slept. This was end of our Day 3.
We got ready around 10 a.m. to head back to Leh. We left at 10:30 a.m. after having our morning breakfast. We took a halt at Diskit Monastery also known as Diskit Gompa which was just 13.6 km from apple cottage. It’s a small climb uphill to the giant Buddha statue also called the Maitreya. The climb may leave you a little breathless combined with the thin air of Ladakh. May be this is what makes you admire the huge statue better. One can see 360 degree view of surrounding which is very soothing for eyes from the top. It is one of the oldest and largest monastery in Nubra valley. We were there for sometime to seek the blessings of Lord Buddha. Also there were monks chanting some prayers and we listened to them which was very soothing to hear. Then again we sat in our vehicle and headed back through the same Khardung La route. Again 9000 ft to 18380 ft. Breathlessness. The travelling was quite tiresome. We reached Leh around 4-5 pm. And were relaxing in our rooms as we were tired of travelling. This was end of our Day 4.
We woke up early in the morning. Had our wonderful breakfast and headed to the most awaited destination of our tour which was Pangong Tso. We left around 9 pm on our journey to Pangong Lake which was 225 kms from our Leh Hotel.
we passed by the Changla Pass (17,350 ft.), which could test ones lungs for the lack of oxygen. Also we saw very scenic beautiful places in the middle of our journey, there were horses, cow and marmots which are large squirrels in the genus Marmota, with 15 species. (as per Wikipedia). Marmots were very cute. We were not allowed to feed anything to them as they are rare species left and they may die if something wrong is feeded. The sceneries on our way was nonetheless than Switzerland. We took snaps through that location. Then left for Pangong lake. The most awaited destination was here in front of our eyes and it was a treat for eyes to watch such a beauty on earth. It is 14271 ft above the sea level. This lake is 134 km long extending from India to China. Many bollywood movies like 3 Idiots, Jab tak Hai Jaan have shot some sequences here. We clicked many pictures here. Then around 6 pm we reached our camps and went to our tents to sleep for an hour as we were tired like hell. We woke up around 7 pm, freshened ourselves and went for dinner. It was extremely cold when we stepped out of our tent. We all covered up ourselves with 2-3 layers of clothes. Well, the dinner had limited items but it was palatable. Also, we made some new friends and partied till late night and had an amazing bornfire session with tea and maggi. It was the most memorable moment of our trip. Also the stars were looking so beautiful at night that we couldn’t stop ourselves gazing at them. Then around 12:30 am, we went to sleep but actually couldn’t sleep as our tents were shaking due to wind and we were freezing though we were covered up. This was end of our Day 5.
We woke up at 7 am. Freshened ourselves and went for breakfast. Again for some time we went to lake side and what we saw, the lake looks different in the morning. The image of sky was clearly visible onto the water of the lake. When the previous day we saw the lake, it was wavy but in that morning, the water was still. We also stepped inside the water and clicked some amazing pictures. After waiting for some time, we left for the day. Was feeling bad to leave that place as we were really attracted to it like magnet. But that afternoon was too hot. As I said, the temperature is very unpredictable. It can be cold sometimes whereas it can be even more hot sometimes. On day 6, we just travelled to Leh and were tired. Also, we stopped by the school where the last scene of 3 idiots was shot. You can see those pictures below. Then we reached our Leh hotel as we were super tired. We slept as we had a flight for Mumbai the next morning. This was end of our Day 6.
We woke up around 5 a.m. as we had a flight to catch. We had a 6 hours layover at Srinagar so we thought to explore the city as much as we can in those 6 hours. So we straightaway went to Dal Lake. We took a small boat ride known as Shikaras. Dal Lake is floating islands of vegetation, there were manyyy houseboats. Some houseboats were hotels as well. Tourists can stay in those houseboats as well. We saw some lotus flowers that bloom in July and August. We can even do some shopping while on ride. There are lot of Bollywood movies whose scenes were shot in Dal Lake like Jaan Tak Hai Jaan, Mission Kashmir, Kashmir Ki Kali and many other. It was a 1 hour ride. After which we could only cover up Nishat Bagh as it is located on the bank of Dal Lake and wasn’t so far from Srinagar airport. This garden is also known as ‘the garden of bliss’. It has 12 terraces. The garden has multicoloured flower beds, trails of trees and rich verdure, which makes it an apt location for photography. Stunning vistas of Dal Lake and Zabarwan mountains only add to its scenic beauty. Lot of movies and song sequences were shot. We clicked pictures and had lunch and left to catch our flight. This was end of our Day 7.
This was the end of our Leh-Ladakh tourism. A trip to remember, a journey never forgettable, people with sweetness, place with beauty and amazing food to taste. Hope the article and informative and thanks for reading it.