Ladakh in May 2015 - A dream fulfilled

Post 43

The next day morning we were provided permission to visit Post 43. This is an army post where an Indian Army post faces off a Pakistani post just a few hundred metres away. That apart it provides a great insight into how the war was fought, the different posts of the Indian army, their location, height. Different bunkers on the Indian and the Pakistani sides can be seen through the naked eye and in detail through the binoculars. The Shingo river flows near the post. A ghost village on the other side can be seen too!

Actually 43 was a Pakistani post which was over run by Indian Army in 1971 war when the Indian army was advancing towards Olthing Thang Valley and had to stop here after two countries agree to Ceasefire (Fall of Dhaka)

The members of the 11 Maratha regiment posted there were also very happy to see fellow Maharashtrians coming to see them.

This was a really unique and proud moment for all of us.

What was not a proud moment was that Ajaz stopped mid way while dropping us because of the bad road. We had to walk a kilometer to reach the post. The army officer was kind enough to provide their gypsy to drop us back.

The visit took us around 3 hours and we departed from the post around noon.

View attachment 617274
Unfortunately my friend was having a difficult time and had to stop a couple of times due to motion sickness. Some road work on the way also slowed our progress.

The first break was at Mulbekh monastery where we had a quick lunch.
View attachment 617275
View attachment 617276
The roads ahead were pretty good and so was the weather. Around 3 pm we reached Namikala.

View attachment 617277

View attachment 617278
Firse aur ek panorama :)

View attachment 617279

The next stop was Fotula which is the highest pass on the Leh Srinagar route.

View attachment 617280

View attachment 617281

Notice that you can see Lamayuru Gompa from here.

View attachment 617285

The formations seen along the road were beautiful.

View attachment 617283

Next stop was to take images of Lamayuru from outside. Given our slow progress we could not go in. Later during the return trip we came to know that JK01 vehicles cannot show us these monasteries. They can only drop you at Leh. One more reason for taking a driver and vehicle from Leh.

View attachment 617284
View attachment 617286
View attachment 617287

The weather and the clouds combined with the roads made for great photography.

View attachment 617289

View attachment 617288
I wish I had more time at my disposal to shoot this beautiful journey and the places along the way. As my wife Shilpa said right at the start of the trip, one visit is not going to be sufficient for Ladakh. She was proved true once again :)

We had to stop again to shoot the Moonland and the views. The sun was adding to the beauty of the place.
View attachment 617291
Another 10 shot panorama

View attachment 617290
Sunlight reflecting on the road

View attachment 617292

The famous long roads in this part of the world were welcoming us to shoot them.
View attachment 617294
View attachment 617295

View attachment 617293
And then came the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers at Nimmu.

View attachment 617296
And another panorama

View attachment 617297

By the time we reached Magentic Hill the sun had gone below the horizon and we took a customary shot and rested the camera.

View attachment 617298

Finally around 8pm we reached the Hall of Fame in Leh which was our meeting point with our friends in Leh. They guided us to the guest house.

Some basic checkup of pulse rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels was done by the army doctors. The simple advice was "Drink lots of water. Around 6 glasses before you sleep and there will be no AMS issues"

We tried to follow this advice throughout the trip in Ladakh and accompanied it with some chocolates and dry fruits. Thankfully without any medicine it held us in good stead.

The plan for the next day was nothing elaborate. Rest and visit Hall of Fame and maybe Shanti Stupa.
Cudnt stop myself commenting after reading each page n wt to say abt d picaresque treat of this log...amazing