Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020 | Last Update : 03:37 PM IST

A voyage to the land of Lamas

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 20, 2019, 12:19 am IST
Updated : Jun 20, 2019, 12:19 am IST

The extraordinary sunset from Shanti Stupa and Night view from Leh place was one of those few things one cannot afford to miss.

Ladakh, “the land of high passes”, is a high altitude desert that lies between the Himalayas and the Kunlun mountain range at a height of more than 3,000 metres. Being located at a distance of 1010.5 km from the national capital, it took us arouund 2 hours to reach Leh by air.
 Ladakh, “the land of high passes”, is a high altitude desert that lies between the Himalayas and the Kunlun mountain range at a height of more than 3,000 metres. Being located at a distance of 1010.5 km from the national capital, it took us arouund 2 hours to reach Leh by air.

As a couple who loves traveling and shares a mutual sense of adventures, our trip began when we got a call from a friend whose wedding that was to take place in Leh got postponed. Instead of cancelling our tickets, we planned for a vacation. We love going anywhere as long as it’s adventurous, and Ladakh and Kashmir being two of the most beautiful places in the world, happened to be our next far off destinations. This unplanned vacation of ours ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Ladakh, “the land of high passes”, is a high altitude desert that lies between the Himalayas and the Kunlun mountain range at a height of more than 3,000 metres. Being located at a distance of 1010.5 km from the national capital, it took us arouund 2 hours to reach Leh by air. We reached at 10 am and stayed at our friend’s place. Our adventure hence started here. Pangong, Tso moririri & Nubra, few of the most beautiful places in Leh grabbed our attention. Next we visited the local Leh markets, Shanti Stupa and Leh place. The extraordinary Sunset from shanti stupa and Night view from Leh place were one of those few things one cannot afford to miss.

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The next morning after a quick breakfast we went for local sightseeing. Gurdwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill, Confluence of Zanskar (sangam), secmol school at Phey village by Sonam Wangchuk (the real life Phunsukh Wangdu of ‘3 Idiots), Thiksey monaster made our day. The charm of the place gives rise to a wide range of tourists. I don’t know if it is the beauty of this place you want to explore or it is the hunger for adventure you want to satisfy, Ladakh is a perfect destination to be.

Replete with scores of places with stunning landscapes, Leh is an artist’s fantasy. One of the places that adorn Ladakh is the Diskit Monastery on route. Also, don’t forget to take the Camel Safari on the white sand dunes of Hunder. We spent a night at Hunder and then left for Nubra which is approximately 160 Kms from the Leh town and takes around 5 hours via Khardung La.

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We were so keen on visiting places that we didn’t want to lose even a second so we started off our day at 7 am. We enjoyed Panamik hot spring for a hot shower before leaving for Pangong lake which is around 250 km and a 6-7 hours drive from Nubra.

After enjoying the sunrise and a lip smacking authentic breakfast at Pangong, we left for Leh. Hemis Monastery & sindhu darshan were two of our stops while going back to Leh.

The unparalleled charm of Leh is what makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in India. Tso Morriri which is approximately 220 to 240 kilometers from Leh was our next destination. It took us almost 6 – 7 hours to reach this amazingly beautiful place.

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After enjoying the sunrise, we came back to Leh and visited some of the local markets. When in Leh, you can buy Pashmina shawls, stoles and other Pashmina wool garments. Also, handmade woolen socks, gloves, caps and sweaters are tourist’s favourite in Ladakh. Even though most of the things were expensive, but one can surely buy some dry apricots and ishing flags.

Summer season in Ladakh is a very pleasant period and is a good time to visit this place. A winter visit to Ladakh can be avoided since winter visits can really be harsh. Tourists should take some precautions while planning a trip to Ladakh since it has low atmospheric pressure and low oxygen levels at higher altitudes. Medicines like Diamox, Dexamethasone, Aspirin or Disprin can be the saviour.

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On route from Leh to Srinagar, I had not only had the most beautiful journey of my life but also the most wonderful one. Srinagar is a dream destination for any human on this earth. The legendary 467 km Srinagar-Leh national highway NH1D traverses the lush valleys of Kashmir, the ridges of the Great Himalaya, and the rust-brown landscapes of Ladakh. Traveling from one heaven to another was an amazingly memorable journey. It is like the paradise you have been waiting for all your life. Tourist attractions on Srinagar Leh highway was something we expected. Afterall who on earth would not like to visit heaven.

Before anything, if you really want to enjoy Kashmir, visit the Valley of Flowers- Gulmarg. It’s one of the major attractions here along with Nimmu, Lamayuru, Moon land, Fotu La, Namika La, Kargil, Drass, Tiger Hill, Kargil War Memorial, Zoji La, Sonamarg.

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When in Srinagar, Wangnoo Sheraton House Boat is the perfect place to stay. Next, we went for sightseeing and visited the local markets.

Everything about Kashmir was captivating. Be it the lakes, snow filled mountains or the house boats, the beauty of Kashmir is very difficult to express in words. A visit to this heaven should be on every traveler’s list for it’s never going to disappoint you.

Tags: himalayas, leh, magnetic hill