8 on 8, a journey in Ladakh

Yogesh Sarkar

Beautiful pictures...
Thanks Viju.

Congrats Yogesh bhai for the eighth trip this year and eighth to Ladakh as well.
I have noticed that you have stopped riding your bike, for touring, now a days. Anything specific, just in case?
Thanks, Satish. Trips are different these days, some are dedicated to photography, others to philosophy, neither of which work well with riding. At least not for me. Hence only one motorcycle trip so far this year, apart from a few short rides on the highway.

Yogesh Sarkar

Fabulous @Yogesh Sarkar. Only after completing first trip to Leh Laddakh we realised why people travel there again and again. Hoping to visit this beautiful land again next year.
Thanks Nidhi, I am sure you will revisit Ladakh soon enough :).

I think we should introduce a new feature, Late Posting Penalty (LPP) method :p
if posting is delayed, few points will get deducted from account\\:D/. what do you say @Yogesh Sarkar ji?

Just kidding ..
eagerly waiting for next update.
Hahaha, and admin ought to be immune from it ;)

View attachment 693495

Nice Start

btw what are the room rent of Otsal Guest House ?
Thanks Sajal, we paid Rs. 500 per room, which is the off season rate.

Nice pictures. Catchy heading "8 on 8, a journey in Ladakh".
Thanks Shekhar

Yogesh Sarkar

22nd September 2016, Shanti Stupa and Thiksey Monastery

Getting up at 4:30am was a little hard, especially since I had fallen asleep around 2am. Still, I got up and got ready. Called to wake up Neha and Kp. And then called the driver Rigzin had sent yesterday (we had hired him for local sightseeing) and he told me he would be at the guest house in 10mins.

After gathering up camera gear, I went to Neha and KP’s room and while Neha was getting ready, KP was still asleep. Eventually, we headed to Shanti Stupa around 6am. Thankfully sunrise hadn’t yet occurred and from the looks of it, it wouldn’t be visible thanks to cloud cover. Yet, Shanti Stupa looked as magnificent as ever.


Today’s agenda was to shoot a time-lapse of Shanti Stupa and although cloud cover meant sunrise wouldn’t be as dramatic as I would have liked, time-lapse itself came out good.

While the camera was busy taking photos for time-lapse, colours over Leh and towards Namgyal Tsemo Gompa were absolutely breathtaking. Thankfully I had my 1000D with me as well, and I could photograph the beautiful colours on the other side.


After exhausting a 16GB card, I turned the camera around and started shooting time-lapse of the picturesque Leh city, which was looking even more stunning under the early morning clouds.

Temperature, of course, was quite low and yet, beauty mesmerising enough to keep us thoroughly engrossed.


Sunrise occurred behind the clouds, yet Leh and its monuments looked stunning as ever.



Around 8am we came back to Otsal Guest House and told the driver we would call him for a tour of monastery circuit around noon.

Breakfast was at Otsal Guest House of delicious Ladakhi bread with an omelet, jam, and butter, along with teas and wonderful anecdotes of travel and photography by Otsal. I also got to see some of the beautiful photographs of Ladakh taken by him and a few of his friends on slides and film.

By the time we finished our breakfast, I got a call from Rigzin, he was still in Nubra, planning to visit Pangong Tso. I told him that our plan of hiring a motorcycle was cancelled and we had hired the guy he had sent for local sightseeing and would need him for tour of Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso, from the day after tomorrow. He in turn told me that either he would accompany us or his cousin, Sonam would and he would meet us, once he is back in Leh.

KP had a light headache and was feeling sleep, hence he fell asleep as soon as he entered his room. Neha and I chatted for a while before she too decided to sleep. And I went to Yama Café to meet Bhuvan and Anchit from Jaipur.

We chatted a while about travel and photography. They were lucky enough to come to Ladakh to not only shoot a pre-wedding but also had enough time to explore Leh and places around it before the couple got there and indulge in landscape photography.

After a while, I came back to my room and took a shower, before getting ready.

Around 1pm all of us were ready to head out, and around 1:30pm, we boarded our cab and headed for Karu. The first plan of action was to eat parathas with kadi at Karu Punjabi dhaba. After a drive which left Neha and KP breathless due to the sheer beauty of Ladakh, we reached Karu and ordered parathas for all of us. While I opted for Kadi, Neha opted for Rajma and KP decided to stick to dal.


Sadly, the taste of food here as well had gone down. Kadi was tasteless and Rajma too weren’t all that good. Parathas were ok, and so was dal. Nothing to write home about or specifically to travel to Karu anymore.

After lunch, we decided to drive back to Thiksey Monastery. En route we stopped at a place for a small photoshoot.



After a fun photoshoot, it was time to hope back into cab and head to Thiksey Monastery, which was founded in the 15th century and is one of my favorite monasteries of Ladakh. Though with sprawling construction, it no longer entices me to stop en route and take a photograph of it from right below the monastery, something I loved to 7-8 years ago.

However, Thiksey is still a peaceful, spiritual and beautiful place to visit and we got plenty of beautiful photographs there.





While I had visited Thiksey Monastery earlier as well, I had never seen all the temples. For a change all of them were open and we could visit each one of them, before walking back to our taxi.

Sun had begun to set and we decided to head to Sindhu Darshan Point for sunset photography. Sadly there was construction taking place and the taxi had to be parked on the highway and we had to walk rest of the way. However, it was worth it. Barring the fact that water level was a less in comparison to June last year and it seemed more rocks had flown in with the current. Yet, it was a beautiful and calm place to sit, enjoy and photograph an amazing sunset.




After this, we headed back to Leh, and en route picked up a bottle of old monk (bad decision as we would later find out) and a few things to munch on. Once we reached the guest house, we requested Otsal to prepare dinner for us.

While Neha got busy with a call, KP and I started watching a movie. However I hadn’t slept much in past few days, hence I fell asleep, a couple of times during the movie itself. And when I eventually woke up to walk back to my room, I was in a irritatable mood and wanted to crash and sleep.

After reaching back to my room around 11pm, this is exactly what I did and fell asleep after calling home.

Click here to read day 3 of travelogue ->
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