Ladakh : The Himalayan Expedition
Never, ever in my entire life have I imagined going to Himalayas! Word itself is huge, how much more exploring this tremendously beautiful mountain range in Asia? Well, here I am loving every bit of the taste of Himalayas as I explore small parts of it.
Since we are talking about Himalayas here, I will try to take you there as much as I can through this blog.
Just a quick overview, The Himalayas is part of Asia that is composed of mountain ranges. It is part of India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bhutan with 14 highest mountains in the world, with more or less 100 peaks and famous with several World’s Highest Motorable Passes.
Since I am living in Chandigarh, the best way for us to go there is fly from New Delhi to Leh that will take 1 hour and 25 minutes. Leh is the capital city of Leh region of Northern India which is Jammu and Kashmir.
Leh during off season is like a school on holiday. You seldom see tourists roaming around and most of the shops are closed. However, when the season starts, brace yourself for this high-desert city is like a party place for both locals and foreigners.
Leh serves as main point for visitors who wants to trek or drive to the highest passes. Staying in Leh on your first day is A MUST to get yourself acclimatized before pushing off to your activities for the next days. Normally, the first and last stop in Leh before flying back to New Delhi or from other major cities in India.
I was already acclimatized and was ready to conquer the World’s Highest Motorable Pass, Khardung La! Well, good luck to me!
Khardung La : Highest Motorable Pass in the world
We covered 40 kms before reaching Khardung La and the cold really bothered me all the way. BUT, it was my moment, my snow moment, my first ever snow encounter! I was just so emotional despite the circumstances and the altitude. It was so beautiful!
Stopped for an hour in the middle of the road and waited for the crane to clear the big rocks to avoid landslide.
After almost an hour, we start moving and few more minutes, we reached! The feeling of Dizziness, freezing and hunger were set aside as I, pillion rider from Philippines reached World’s Highest Motorable Road! It was just incredible!
Leaving Khardung La was definitely had that Achievement Unlocked feeling. I couldn’t believe myself reached there.
Right after not more than 20 minutes, we hurriedly start moving due to High Altitude which causes all kinds of discomfort, we need to go further down and continue the ride.
From Khardung La off to another High Altitude corner of Ladakh. A cold desert with scenic view, Nubra Valley is a heaven on earth for the nature lover like myself.
Some of the most amazing experiences I had was able to meet and greet Bactrians, also known as Double Hump Camel. They are just so adorable and sophisticated!
Spent incredible time here in Nubra Valley, met with locals and enjoying every moment that this place has to offer.
Ladakh trip will never be completed without visiting the World’s famous and highest salt water lake-Pangong Tso! A lake in the Himalayas that is 134km long that is situated in both India and China.
Have you seen the movie “The Three Idiots”? It was shot in this area and because of that movie, tourism in Pangong Lake has boomed. Both Locals and Foreigners never wanted to miss this beautiful, turquoise salt water lake.
Chang La : Second Highest Pass
After conquering the World’s Highest Motorable Road, Khardung La, why not conquer another Highest Motorable Road in Himalayas, the Chang La. Such a great feeling to be able to visit these places in this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Ladakh is a place that one should visit. Regardless of what kind of adventure you are up to, this corner of Himalayas will surely take your breath away.
After roaming around Ladakh, we were back to Leh and what else are the best things to do? Monasteries and Food hunting!
Each monasteries has its own unique features which will never give you dull moments because of its structure and history.
In an altitude of 11, 800 feet, this Buddhist monastery has the collection of historical writings, pieces and paintings.
The home of today’s hundred monks, Spituk temple is dedicated to Vajrabhairava Deity which celebrates Gustor Festival that is open for everyone to witness.
Another beautiful Monastery which is considered as secondary temple of Spituk. Oldest part of Stok Monastery is around 550 years old but main assembly hall is just 50 years old as the locals shared
The Palace that is located at the top of deserted Tsemo Hill, Leh Palace is also known as Lhachen Palkhar. This was built in the 17th century which is now under the management of Archeological Survey of India.
Old paintings, great artistic works, and painting that ages 400 years that were created using powdered gems and stones. Former Royal family’s jewelries, dresses and crowns can also be spotted inside.
This white dome stupa on a hilltop is just amazing that overlooks the town of Leh. A panoramic view of the area is for sure visible from this huge Stupa. It looks like a huge crown from afar and it is just a must see Stupa in Leh.
This whole trip would not be possible without my husband and ofcourse his team, Colokal for accommodating a first pillion rider throughout the trip :D. This is definitely one for the books! And this is something I wanted to do over and over again ( maybe as a pillion rider until I will have the courage to learn driving around the dangerous but magical road of Himalayas)