The Majestic Himalayas and Serene Ladakh

It takes either an adventurous mind or a crazy mind to go to the Himalayas, to an elevation of 18ooo ft and almost touch the China as well as Pakistan borders. All in one week. But yes, it was decided and before I knew it, I landed in Leh -- the capital of India's Cold Desert.
The first two days went in resting. Very crucial, mind you, since the low oxygen levels in the air can take a toll by the following day and you can be immediately deported! All you can do is to admire the wooden insulated ceiling of your hotel room.

image
 image
The people of Ladakh are extremely friendly and energetic. You can almost see their feet running on the snowy roads while you battle the slippery ground with your Nike shoes. Stock yourself up with the Chinese flask that is commonly available in the Tibetan market for your daily supply of hot water. For, once your journey begins, you won't want it to stop!
image
In this scenic place where all you need is a camera with a never ending entourage of memory cards, there is a lot to see. The Khardung La is a pass that has the world's highest motorable road. Go there and beyond to the Nubra valley. Ride on the double humped camels in the desert sands. Feel yourself get lost in the magnificence of the hills on both sides.
image
image
image
Most of the people are Buddhists, so there are several Gompas whose tranquil air instils a priceless peace that can't be bought even by Master card.
image
image
image
image
Flowing all through Leh city is the Indus river. Nearby, it has its sangam with Zanskar and proceeds downwards.
image
On one side is the Pakistan Border, and on the other, we have the Chinese. In Ladakh itself, everywhere you go, there are military vans and soldiers. It is a mutual co-existence. Civilians and the army. Stories of wars won and battles fought have become a part of the folklore, so to say. Even as check-posts control entry into the passes, its these very armymen who come with dozers to clear off the routes for the people when the snow displays its fury.
image
image
image  clip_image032
Not to forget, you can see the Pangong Lake and the Druk School where the famous movie 3 Idiots was shot. You can also say HI to Pashmina goats as they graze on the nutrient-rich grass.
image
image
While driving whole days into the desert, on roads that don't exist and purely trusting your driver's intuition, you develop a sense of humility in this place. maybe its the grandeur of the mountains or the beauty of how life manages to survive even in such harsh conditions. But in the end, the trip leaves you seeking for a higher goal in life than your run-of-the-mill mundane life back home.
image
image
image
image
clip_image052


If you really want to take a bite of this spectacular landscape, see with your own eyes a spark of Earth’s beauty; f you are a nature lover – Go to Ladakh. It’ll be a trip you won’t regret.

4 Comments:

Aki Prasad said...

Wow Soumya. Those are the kind of pictures you normally see in some kickass hd wallpaper search, so to actually be there and take those pics yourself must have been a helluva experience!

Amrita De said...

Majestic!! And that is why we call it "Incredible India" :)

P. Soumya said...

Very true, Amrita! Being there makes you humbly salute the spirit and magnificence of nature. Nothing we do can parallel it. And we ought to be proud to have such a rich country!

Alok K. said...

Brilliant photographs, Soumya!

Amazing landscape, Ladakh. I have got to visit this place before I die!