one of the most enriching trips ever, the zanskar trip was an absolute treat. i ain't a good writer so , i wish to showcase my journey through my photographs and also provide whatever first hand info i can ....
THE PLAN :
day 1 OCTOBER 6 2016: kolkata to delhi ( originally kolkata to delhi to srinagar to sonmarg. changed due to kashmir unrest )
day 2 OCTOBER 7 2016 : delhi to leh to kargil ( originally sonmarg to kargil)
day 3 OCTOBER 8 2016 : kargil to rangdum
day 4 OCTOBER 9 2016 : rangdum to padum
day 5 OCTOBER 10 2016: padum ( stongde , zangla , karsha )
day 6 OCTOBER 11 2016 : padum to kargil
day 7 OCTOBER 12 2016 : kargil to lamayuru
day 8 OCTOBER 13 2016 : lamayuru to leh
day 9 OCTOBER 14 2016 : leh
day 10 OCTOBER 15 2016: leh to delhi to kolkata
after almost 9-10 months of planning the d day arrived. though i had to readjust the plan a month before the trip because of the kashmir unrest. initially we were supposed to fly from kolkata to srinagar and then drive to sonmarg on day 1. that changed to flying to delhi and then spending a day in delhi. on day 2 we were supposed to travel to kargil from sonmarg. that changed to flying into leh from delhi and then going to kargil on the same day.
*a special mention here about traveling from delhi to leh and then onto kargil on the same day. it was a calculated plan. normally you don't travel anywhere after flying into leh, and are supposed to rest for a day or two before moving further. but in this case i thought the altitude of kargil is way lower than leh, and therefore the night should not be a problem. also we wouldn't be doing any physical activities or exerting ourselves physically. we would just be sitting in our cars, and driving through excellent roads to reach kargil in , maximum, 6 hours. also not to stop at any passes , specially fotula. the plan worked. no one felt any signs of AMS during the day, drive or at night. infact everyone was in excellent shape, including my parents who are sixty, even though we had to wake up at 1.30 am in delhi for the 5.40 am flight to leh.
everyone ( six people) though were on diamox doasage. only me and my wife didn't take diamox.
things we carried that turned out to be really useful :
1. some food with us : maggie, oats , cakes , cashew , peanuts , slice cheese , jam , tea bags , coffee sachets dalmut , bhujia , bread and cookies from local bakery , etc. early morning departures ( 7 am ish ) at places meant we had to rely on our own food for breakfast. also at large stretches between kargil - rangdum, and then rangdum - padum there is absolutely no place to have any food, not even a tea stall.
2. an electric kettle : this was of great use as it was a source of hot water at odd times during our stays, when otherwise hot water wasn't available. also we could make tea and coffee at will, and not rely on the homestay / guest house people.
3. a 1 lt. thermos to store hot water for the night in extreme cold conditions. also to carry tea or coffee and have it at a location of choice on the way.
4. wet wipes : as not always were the water or weather conditions ideal to cleanse ourselves a little.
MEMBERS : DWAIPAYAN DAS ( me) , PAYEL DE , SHOUBHIK ROY , PALLABI ROY , GOURAB CHATTERJEE , SAYANTANI SENGUPTA , DIBAKAR DAS & GOURI DAS ( my parents, though they did not travel to zanskar. they stayed in kargil and lamayuru for the 4 days we visited zanskar)
Vehicle/s for the trip : i called up rigzin ji for the arrangement of vehicles for the trip in may. he told me that he can not come with us personally, as the car for zanskar has to be hired from the kargil taxi union. but he will definitely arrange for everything. He quoted 44k for the srinagar route, but after the change of routes , he told me that the cost would come down. finally after the trip the car costing ( xylo ) was 36k for 7 days. (leh - kargil - rangdum - padum - kargil - lamayuru - leh)
CONTACT NO.s rigzin angchuk : +919469472772 , +919622954779