The diary of a few rides and clicks!

Monday, September 3, 2012

On 1:49 AM by Yashwanth Rao   10 comments

Day 6:

So, we woke up at around 7-8 on this day and had a good proper bath after 2 days! After having breakfast, we started roaming around in Leh. It was a small but a tidy city. We had arranged to go in cabs to Pangong Tso the same afternoon, and had given our id proofs to a travel agent to arrange for permits to go to Pangong Tso. He said it would be ready by afternoon. We just wanted to take a break from biking, as we had a heavy schedule, and so decided to go in a Xylo to Pangong Tso instead. 

In the meantime, we were exploring the city, and visited the Kargil war memorial in the Kargil highway. It was dedicated to the soldiers of the army, who fought valiantly in Kargil. We saluted there for a moment and there was nothing else to do there. 

So we then went to the famous Shanti Stupa in Leh. It is situated at a corner of Leh, and you can get a breathtaking view of the city from Shanti Stupa. 

Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in ChanspaLeh districtLadakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura . The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself . The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. 

It was indeed a very peaceful place, where people go to meditate usually. And we still were facing the AMS issues. We were getting tired incredibly even after walking for around 10-15 steps at times! However we spent some great time peacefully there, and took some good snaps, and then entered Leh again to have lunch. 

After having lunch, the Xylo was ready to go to Pangong Tso. We left at around 2-2.30 pm and headed towards the lake with nothing but excitement filled in our heads! After a drive of around an hour, we reached Chang La - supposed to be the 3rd highest motor-able road. And after another 2 hours or so, we finally reached our dream destination - Pangong Tso!

Pangong Tso became much more famous after the climax shot of the movie - 3 Idiots! It was way past sunset by the time we reached there. It had started to become dark everywhere. Still we managed to click some photos there and experimented with some long exposure shots. I was having severe headache by then due to the infamous AMS, and wasn't able to do anything properly! We had took our tents there to camp right in front of the serene lake. It took us around 15-20 mins to put up both the tents in proper shape, and another 30 mins to prepare maggi and have our dinner, sitting in front of Pangong Tso, looking at the moon's reflections in the lake. One of the nights I shall never forget! There are also 2 huge tents, which can accommodate around 20-25 people in front of the lake, if you don't have your own tents, and they provide food as well. Then, we dozed off peacefully, at one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Day 7:

We woke up during sunrise at the lake, and it was an amazing sight! We took some snaps then and after waiting for sometime for clear skies, we finally got to see the Pangong Tso in 3 colors. It was an unforgettable view, so beautiful that it made us wonder whether we were really witnessing it! 

After clicking lots more photos, we then left to Leh and had a heavy brunch, once we reached back.  It was noon by then and we decided to visit the highest motorable road in the world - Khardung La pass, in our bikes. Dumping all the luggage in our rooms, we left on our bikes at around 3. After riding through some scenic landscapes, within an hour and a half or so, we had reached the mighty Khardung La! Situated at 17,582 ft, Khardung La is widely, but incorrectly, believed to be the world's highest motorable pass. There are higher motorable passes at Suge La, west of Lhasa, 5,430 m (17,815 feet), and Semo La 5,565 m (18,258 feet), between Raka and Coqen in Central Tibet. Both these elevations are supported by GPS and SRTM evidence and the latter was also measured by the Catalans and supported by the Cartographic Institute of Catalonia. Vehicles have been driven over the 5,582 metres (18,314 ft) Marsimik La, in the Indian Karakoram to the north-east of Khardung La, but it is debatable whether this pass should be considered to be motorable.

Inner Line Permit (ILP) is not needed to reach Khardung La peak, however Inner Line Permit is needed to cross North Pullu to reach Nubra Valley. Inner line permit can be procured at the DC's office in Leh. Travelers are required to check in and must provide photocopies of the permits, to be deposited at each checkpoint. Altitude sickness is a serious health concern for travellers not previously acclimatized to high altitudes. Even I faced that sickness and ended up puking there! 

There is also a cafe, supposed to be the cafe situated at the highest altitude in the world! We had tea there, and after spending some time there, we reached back Leh by evening, had dinner and slept off. We had visited the two main destinations of our trip on that day - Pangong Tso and Khardung La!


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  6. Leh and Ladakh is situated at high altitude in the North region of India . These are outstanding for adventurous trip . Mansarovar Yatra

  7. Hi..Nice post. In the last few years, Ladakh has become one of the top most travelled destinations in India. Ladakh can be best visited in the month of July. Also, check out various other popular places to visit in India in July.

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