Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Leh Road Trip - Tsomoriri

This is one of those posts where I am going to let the pictures do the talking. All I would say is when you go to Leh, Tsomoriri MUST be there on your itinerary. Around 230 kms from Leh, this place will just blow you away. We started the day with a hearty Punjabi breakfast - aaloo paratha, rajma and curd and then, geared up for a long day of travel. It takes almost 7 hours to get there.
All the aaloo parathas!
The route is scenic as usual. But Tsomoriri beats the rest hands down. Just before the main lake, as our car weaved up and down the hills, we saw this small pristine blue lake peeking between the hills. That one view is probably what I'll remember about Leh for years to come. It was unbelievable!

The lake before Tsomoriri

Monday, January 28, 2013

Leh Road Trip - Khardung La, Nubra Valley and Panamik

After yesterday's journey and a good night's rest, the plan was to head off to Nubra Valley on Day 4. Around 150 kms from Leh (5 hours), the route goes through extreme ups and downs. The famous Khardung La pass is on the way. We started the morning with a walk through the Tibetan market and then a quick visit to the Shanti Stupa.
Shanti Stupa

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Leh Road Trip - Kargil, Lamayuru, Leh

From Srinagar, we hired a cab till Leh. Can't really recall how much did he charge, but it was a nominal amount. The distance to be covered was more than 400 kms, and considering the terrain, taking it nice and slow was the sensible thing to do.

The scenery changes dramatically as you move from Srinagar towards Leh. The rich shades of green on the mountains speckled with ice get replaced with rocks and sand. Till you reach Kargil, the greenery follows you. I managed to lose all pics of the drive till Kargil because of a virus mishap, but the view is definitely eye-catching! Right after crossing Drass, we reached the Kargil war memorial. The place has a backdrop of jagged rocky snow covered peaks. The view is beautiful, till you get reminded that those were the peaks that our soldiers climbed. In the dead of night at sub-zero temperatures. With hostile fire from top. And nowhere to run for cover. It was a very sunny day and still, there were goose-bumps on my skin. The music of 'Ae mere watan ke logo' drifted in. And in that one moment, I think we stood taller with patriotism and bowed down with humility. There is a massive tricolour hosted right in the middle of the memorial. None of us talked. Stood in silence, looked up, looked around. Respect. Period.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Leh Road Trip - Srinagar

The lag between the trips and the journals has been increasing exponentially! So, lets see. Where were we last? So in April 2012, we were in Thailand for a week. A blissful week at that! Guess I wrote too much. But well, that's how much I liked the place! Next we had Leh on the radar. The year we went to Europe is the year when most of my friends went off to Leh. Europe had wiped out my finances. So we solemnly promised ourselves that next year same time we shall be headed off to Leh! And there we were - Independence Week - 10th to 20th August, 2012.

Plan A - Delhi -> Manali (volvo) -> Leh (car) -> Srinagar (car) -> Delhi (flight)
Plan B (in case of cloudbursts/landslide in the Manali route) - Delhi -> Srinagar (flight) -> Leh (car) -> Srinagar (car) -> Delhi (flight)