Ladakh-A paradise to fall in love with
I closed my eyes to avoid seeing what I thought might be scary,
The aircraft bumped along, gliding and narrowly escaping the nearness to the mountains,
But soon there was calm and I opened my weary eyelids to see a dream,
The lucky heaven clouds knocked at my window and snowy mountains surrounded,
The mighty Himalayan and Karakorum ranges bestowed incredibility to my eyes,
I was living a moment I wanted to have with me forever etched in my mind and soul!
View from the aircraft
I believe I am a traveler, a globe trotter but only in my head. Professional and personal assignments have pushed my passion to take a back seat. Yet the traveler in me is not pseudo though it is dormant and aspiring. As already indicated, I have not been lucky enough to wander the wonder streets of India and abroad, to the extent I desire to, yet life has not been completely partial or unrewarding. I have to confess that I had my share of moments, which are painted like nature’s magnum opus in the cores of my heart canvas. The master strokes of the most wondrous artist, i.e., nature have created epitomes of serenity inside me, an insignificant part of which I captured through my novice lens and a significant part I captured in my traveler heart.
I and my husband Avishek are not a very quarrelsome couple, but when it comes to travelling we beg to differ. I wanted to honeymoon in Maldives, but he insisted to visit the backwaters of Kerala, I gave in to his choice. So next year after exploring the Aravalli ranges in Mt Abu, I rekindled my desire to see the Arabian blueness but again he had a different plan. He said Leh Ladakh is the holiday destination. After quite a heated discussion he managed to inculcate in me a burning desire to behold the cold desert and so he won again. But this is one failure, I will cherish throughout my life and living.
The mountains summons
We boarded the flight from Delhi Airport early in the morning, excited and enthralled. It was not a long flight, but my patience was running low. I wanted to behold the incredible. Here I want to mention of my habit of google searching meticulously before going to explore any new destination. Hence it is no rocket science to guess the reason for my never fading enthusiasm to see one of the most exotic locales of not only India but the world at large. But just before landing, the aircraft entered a seemingly never ending bumpy route, traversing through the narrow gaps between the mountains that stood strong to welcome us. But as they say, incredible destinations are always reached via dangerous roads. At the end what we saw, was the jaw dropping view of the highest ranges in the world, snow-capped, majestic and shinning in the nearness to the mighty sun. A view to die for, a view to live for! This trip to Leh Ladakh is embedded with moments and memories that took my breath away and will be cherished forever.
View from our resort
Frankly now when I look back and recollect my collected memories, I feel amazed at the beauty that this place offers. And it is difficult to find out, where to start from! The first day is more for acclimatization to the enhanced altitude, unrest can be devastating. Breathlessness and asphyxiation are common problems. So the actual vacation starts from day 2 when your body has adjusted to Ladakh’s beauty and adversities. We had planned our trip through Make my trip. They had assigned a car for us, with two other couples of the same age group in it. And it is worth mentioning, that those four are amongst the best of our friends now, true it is, when they say destiny makes friends for you! Day 2 morning was heavenly. The resort had the awesome privilege of viewing the snowcapped ranges. After a quick breakfast of coffee and bread, we kick started our explorations.
A beautiful monastery
Way leading to magnetic hill
Ladakh is a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is known for its Islamic influence. But this one is strangely influenced by Nepali or Tibetan culture. With exotic and colorful monasteries, complimenting the rough landscape of the cold desert and noticeable army impact everywhere, it definitely stands apart from other travel destinations across the globe.
Leh is a small town in Ladakh, with a lovely local market, where you can get souvenirs; it has many restaurants with noticeable number of foreign tourists flowing in every day.
However the best parts of the trip was yet to come and it surfaced with our rendezvous with the highest motorable road in the world, Khardungla pass. Covered with snow in the month of June, when most of the country faces heat waves, Khardungla pass stands tall at an altitude of 5359 m above sea level. The winding road to this destination has mind boggling scenic beauty, which smoothly answers the question, why India is incredible.
All of us at Khardungla Pass
(Bhagyesh, Priyanka,Nilesh, Shalaka, Avishek and I)
Rivers Indus and Zanskar meeting
The next, cherry to the cake was out trip to Nubra valley and champing there overnight. I really lack words to describe my first encounter with fairy tale land. With snowcapped mountains around and sand in between, Nubra valley is nature’s excellence. With double hoofed camels and the slow humming as the stream water flowed past, we had a wonderful camping experience. Sometimes you tend to wonder at the creator’s craft, and this was one such moment.
Tents in Nubra
The best was yet to come; my majestic blues was yet to cast its magical spell on us. The travel to Pangong Lake was a journey of wonders, the mountains and terrain changed color now and then, from hues of grey to green, we saw it all. And there were yaks, horses and streams of freshly melted ice, to enhance. But I was impatient, I wanted to see my majestic blues and yes finally I saw it. In the vicinity of grey looming mountains, a patch of Prussian blue was evident. And as we approached, we saw the extravagance in totality. The best moment of my life, so far! I stood spell bound, trying to imbibe as much as possible this beauty so majestic.
The trip to Ladakh was memorable because it was one of its kinds. An incredible proximity to untouched nature and experiencing it with like-minded fellow travelers! What else goes to etching never fading memory lines? I guess Ladakh gave me the “Jio Khulke Moment” when I had spread my wings to experience the never ending stretches of blue, I had felt much more alive!