The Dirty Dozen "SURVIVED" Ladakh

Discussion in 'Travelogues from North India' started by hiambuj, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. hiambuj

    hiambuj Moderator Staff Member

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    Bhiajan, Weekend connection cannot upload photos as I have a Hutch Datacard which works very slow at my home (works better everywhere else) .. Thats why I had promised in my previous posts that next version will come on Monday .. :)
     
  2. sripurna_987

    sripurna_987 Member

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    Amazing Adventure!!! Beautiful Photos!!! Lovely Writeup!!! Kudos to the whole group!!! :)
     
  3. Scorpion King

    Scorpion King Active Member

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    be patient guys these things don't happen at the click of a button
    it took me ages to do mine
     
  4. hiambuj

    hiambuj Moderator Staff Member

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    Day 4: GETTING LEH’D!!

    We woke up to a beautiful morning and witnessed the splendid setting around our guest house! The SIA LA guest house was an amazing place with a small farm of its own. The views were excellent and we truly felt like home. We were all pretty exhausted after our Herculean 18 hour drive but pretty upbeat at the same time about finally setting foot on our dreamland! We decided to give our drivers and ourselves the much deserved rest and planned on doing nubra the next day instead. We planned on breakfast at the guest house itself. And it was undoubtedly voted as our best breakfast! (because of the majority of omlet eaters in the group)!

    Group Breakfast :
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    The resting time at Leh was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip! Everyone grouped together and we happily discussed our unbelievable journey, pinching each other occasionally to ascertain the reality of the fact that we were having a conference in an amazing guest house in LEH!

    @ Sial La Lawns:
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    After our scandalous gossip session, which also included a Guitar round by Manu with emerging singers Aarti, Rachana & Archana and a photo screenplay sessions of the photos downloaded by me on my lappy, we decided on giving the market a visit and planned on a local cuisine lunch! We were all feeling fresh, full of exhilaration and pretty keen to check out the local food!

    Manu's Guitar session :
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    Around 1.30 p.m we left our guest house for having lunch. Unfortunately for us the market was uphill! That assured that we were soon left out of breath. The whole place was swarming with tourists. It seemed that the place had more foreigners than the local people! It was an altogether different kind of spectacle! The whole setting radiated peace!

    Gang @ Market :
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    Who's clicking whom ?? (Meenal clicking me, I am clicking something else & we got clicked by Saurabh):
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    We were searching for Center point Café suggested by a friend ….. But soon we gave up our efforts owing to hunger and breathlessness and chose a nice, cozy looking restaurant by the name “LEH VIEW RESTAURENT”

    We soon discovered that the restaurant’s name was completely justified! The view from the terrace was just awesome. The sight of Leh palace standing tall was remarkable! The setting exuded serenity! And to top it all a cool breeze was playing with our hairs!

    Views from Restuarant "Leh View" :
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    The food at Leh view was pretty awesome! We tried some local delicacies! Veg Thukpa was pretty amazing and Tofu curry blew our minds! After enjoying the view and the food for about couple of hours we finally decided to leave the place! We decided on visiting the two famous monasteries: The Shey Palace and Thiksey Gompa.

    After about half an hour we were on our way to Thiksey Gompa. We were soon giving out our unintentional gasps of incredulity once again! We were back on the Manali Leh highway and it was actually appalling to witness the kind of landscape we had missed owing to our untimely arrival the previous night! Nevertheless we tried making up for our mistakes by furiously clicking as many snaps as we can!

    Snaps enroute :
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    Portfolio in making :
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    We reached Thiksey Gompa around 5.30 p.m. We stopped by for about half an hour, admired its exquisiteness, clicked a few snaps and moved on towards Shey palace.

    Thiksey Gompa :
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    Thiksey Gompa seemed too difficult an ascent for the group anf would have consumed more time of given the try of ascending. Hence we decided to visit Shey palace’s instead! We reached Shey’s palace around 6 p.m. We found the Buddhist pray places mysteriously intriguing! With huge dome shaped tops and mysterious moving objects (excuse me for being so naïve about religious stuff); these places were a treat to watch. We somehow struggled and reached the top to witness the splendid natural magnificence! The view was just marvelous and we couln’t resist a few clicks. Manu, Hanu, Saurabh and Piyush took a detour and climbed up to the hill’s edge to witness another marvelous spectacle. Shey Gompa was a picture perfect place & every photographer almost exhausted their camera memories at this single location.

    Clicks @ Shey Gopma :
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    Views from Shey Gompa :
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    A motorbiker @ Shey Gompa :
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    Meenal tried her hands on wheel too :
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    another click enroute :
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    We returned to Leh around 7 .30 p.m. The females were pretty keen on some shopping and I wanted to post the status so far on BCMT. Consequently the males decided to go to a cyber café and females scurried off to do some shopping.


    Some time back, I saw a forum where someone had said about a single cyber café existing in Leh. Now you can find a cyber café in almost every lane in the market. We sat and surfed pretty nonchalantly blissfully unaware of the cyber café rates! When we got up to pay the bill, it turned out that the bill totaled to 284 rupees..! For 4 systems for approx 45 minutes (three of which were utilized only in time pass)! We were shocked as we didnt check the rates in advance & even I was not aware of the rates earlier! We paid the bill though and I made a mental note to inform everyone here about the internet rates in Leh! Its 90 rupees an hour! (Eric : A cyber café venture in Leh sounds really profitable)!

    We had dinner at a nearby restaurant. We abstained from experiments and stuck to our normal routine! Very soon we went back to our guest house and comfortably slipped into our beds after a long placating day!

    Day 3 Travelogue

    Day 5 Travelogue

    Day 6 Travelogue

    Day 7 Travelogue

    Day 8 Travelogue

    Day 9-10 Travelogue
     
  5. LLL

    LLL Member

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    intoxicating stuff...but mind demands more....
     
  6. hiambuj

    hiambuj Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks LLL .. more is coming soon :)
     
  7. Yogesh Sarkar

    Yogesh Sarkar Administrator

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    Waiting for more :)
     
  8. hiambuj

    hiambuj Moderator Staff Member

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    DAY 5: The Brusque ascent

    We woke up to another splendid morning at the SIA LA guest house! The two major attractions of the day were Khardung La (the highest motorable pass in the world) and Hunder sand dunes (the highest desert of the world)! We were pretty animated about the thought of the bhajan mandli setting foot at these 2 landmarks! This was surely once in a Lifetime! We figured that these places were surely amongst the most brag-able places of our trips, due to which we were really looking forward to the day!

    After having breakfast at SIA LA, we finally got back on the road for the toughest ascent of our lives! Khardung was 50 kilometers away and the altitude difference between Leh and Khardung was an immense 7000 feet! 7000 feet in around 2 hours seemed Herculean! But we weren’t novices anymore! We were not skeptical about anything! We had already covered Sissu to Leh in 18 hours on precipitous terrains and were sure that we would overcome the brusque ascent too! The views on our way to Khardung La were most amazing views! We had encountered a mixed variety of terrains on our long journey but still we comfortably managed to find freshness in those splendid views!

    The Terrains on the way to Khardung La :
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    We reached South Pullu’s army camp around 7:30 p.m. We decided to stop here owing to water crunch and washroom requests! We had already ascended the major height but were still some distance away from Khardung La. Here we got our first taste of Army’s hospitality. Manu went in for getting the water bottles filled and returned after about 15 minutes looking completely cheerful. Apparently the army men had offered him “fauji chaai” and breakfast and he was too polite too refuse! Looking for some interim relief (envying Manu) we moved towards the army canteen for some Tea and snacks.

    Manu found another reason of joy there as if he found his lost friend :
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    Some more clicks at South Pullu :
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    After about 45 minutes we got back on the road once again feeling fresh and excited about being on top of the world! The chill in the air was increasing exponentially! In less than 2 hours we had experienced an exponentially decaying temperature from about 18 degrees (In Leh) to 4 degrees (at South Pullu)!

    A Sample of the cold :
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    View of India Gate :
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    Braving the cold along with ruthless winds we finally reached Khardung La around 9 A.M. It was a great feeling to be standing at 18380 feet and we all felt a strong sense of achievement! Snowy peaks met our eyes once again as we drew out our cameras and clicked the awesome views from the world’s rooftop! We all scampered towards the Khardung La landmark and quickly got our snaps clicked in front of the board that bore “KHARDUNG LA, 18380 feet, HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD IN THE WORLD!”.. Yes we had done it! Conquering the world’s highest motorable pass was a stupendous achievement and we applauded ourselves!

    The Gang pose @ Khardung La :
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    Views from Khardung La :
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    After about 20 minutes on the rooftop, we moved on towards our next destination! Once again the terrains started changing dynamically. Every turn was offering a new & fresh look & our hands were constantly out from the partially open Glasses of the car’s windows clicking at each opportunity.

    Some clicks enroute North Pullu :
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    View of North Pullu from top :
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    After a long descent, North Pullu was the next habitation & the cold was strong enough to invite Nature’s call again. The setting at North pullu was such as if it was explicitly done for the photographers going towards Nubra. What else can one ask for when you already have a beautiful stream flowing through the pastures with the arid mountains & thickly snowed capped peaks (we named them Vanilla ice creams) in the horizon. To add to the Flavor were the systematically set Army camp on the one side and Yaks/horses grazing on the other side.

    Some clicks on the way to Nubra :
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    In half an hour we left the place moving forward towards the next attraction of the day, Nubra Valley. This particular portion of the journey had nothing much & new to offer until we took a turn from Khalsar & drove to some distance to find this beautiful straight stretch :
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    Diskit was some 15 kms from here & we were raring to reach there for two reasons, one we were already behind the schedule & two was the hunger. The temperature had gone so high & the sun was so harsh that at this place we first time felt the need of Fans. After some scenic click here, we moved on & reached Diskit soon, located a restaurant & ordered the regular meal.

    Between Diskit & Hunder (notice the reflections in the waterbody):
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    Hunder was the destination next & after having some good meal we marched on. We reached Hunder around 2:15 PM And an astounding sight drew our eyes! The landscape bore such a wide plethora of colours! Along with the snow capped peaks in the distance the place had an exquisite stream gracefully flowing and consequently the area around the stream was lush green! The icing on the cake was certainly the sand dunes with copper raw mountains! We were delighted to witness such diverse colours all at the same place and hence clicked many snaps here! The temperature fluctuations were too harsh! The temperature rose exponentially from 1-2 degrees at Khardung top to around 30 degrees at Hunder!

    Clicks @ Hunder :
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    The “Fame Dus” pose :
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    & the fun @ World’s highest desert :
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    I loved this drive very much :
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    Hanu getting his head out for click while I drove here repeatedly:
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    After enjoying the place for about an hour we got back on the road. Sumur & Panamik were never in our plans & hence we decided to head back to Leh. Return journey was done with minimum stops & clicks. Worth mentioning is the offroading done by Meharbaan (driver or other Scorpio) at some places & an accident spotted on the way.

    The crash :
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    We felt high about the fact that we, the susceptible bhajan mandli had finally managed to visit such amazing places without being struck by A.M.S! We returned to Leh around 8 p.m. Me, Archana & the married couple decided decided to stay at the guest house while others went to a nearby restaurant to eat our routine stuff! They returned back to the guest house and we slumped into beds with a strong sense of satisfaction!

    Day 3 Travelogue

    Day 4 Travelogue

    Day 6 Travelogue

    Day 7 Travelogue

    Day 8 Travelogue

    Day 9-10 Travelogue
     
  9. sripurna_987

    sripurna_987 Member

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    Ahh!!!! The blue sky in all the photos is so beautiful!!! Great pics!!! Keep it rolling!!! :)
     
  10. joie de vivre

    joie de vivre Guru

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    Superb pics.. =D> mazza aaa gaya...amit bhaiya.. waiting for booster dose.
     

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