Saturday, 17 December 2011

Road Trip To Heaven : Leh !

I had been waiting for this day since a very long time and now : YES !!! (joy :P) here it is ! The Best Road Trip Ever ! I got myself a Cannon E 60D with a spectacular lens of EF 100-400mm, which doubled my desperation level of going on this trip as Photography was one of the main factors of me, going to Leh.

I had the Best company with me ever, :), i.e. my younger son Sanchit, two of his friends  and my nephew, Abheer.

Day 1 : Target : Manali ( 585 Kms from Delhi)

We started for Manali early morning from home and reached before the Estimated time as we didn't stop frequently on our way. It was Mahindra Xylo and Mr. Driver carrying us all. We stayed at a Guest House in Manali and preferred to Rest as the REAL JOURNEY was still to start.

Day 2 : Target : Jispa ( 133 Kms from Manali)

Made an early start in the morning. Going up Rohtang pass around 51 KM from Manali was a harrowing ride. At the height of 13,051 ft, the view going up was amazingly beautiful, and where one is advised not to make plenty of stop, we experienced one of the longest traffic jams. Were stuck there for 5 hours but finally managed to sneak out and start again for Jispa. Jispa is a small village in Lahaul Spiti District. We reached the destination : Jispa Journeys Camping Site, where Tents with attached bathrooms were waiting for us. Weather there was cold, buffet dinner arrangements, super chilled water in bathrooms and much more, making it a pretty adventurous stay.

Day 3 : Target : Leh ( 346 Kms from Jispa)

Again, an early start and we were ready to experience the best photographic views. I was amazed at every sight which came in front of me and was proud to be born in such a beautiful country. We saw mountains covered with snow, river flowing alongside and our car was above clouds. It was heaven, pure heaven.

We reached Sarchu, 89 Kms from Jispa, a district consisting of a small village, some guest houses and camping sites. Do try the Momos and Sidu in Sarchu. We didn't spend much time there, and came back on track soon. We then reached Pang, again a camping site, where we stopped for Maggie and some rest.

As soon as we started from Pang, series of bends gave way to another marvel on this journey, the Moreh Plains. A plateau at the height of over 14,000 ft. You will be amazed at finding miles & miles of flat surface at such a high altitude. When we drove through this track, initially it was lot of fun as the track was firm & sort of visible for first 20-30 kms on the dirt track, thereafter there are multiple tracks & one can get confused as which one to follow. We then passed those plains, The Talangla pass (17,500 ft), and then Upshi, Hemis, Shey and then finally reached Leh at Sunset and checked in the Oriental Guest House, Just below the Shanti Stupa in Leh.

Day 4 : Leh

After a sleep of about 10 hours, adapted fully to the atmospheric conditions in Leh, we were all set to explore every bit of it. My son and his friends took Royal Enfield ThunderBird on Rent and we started the Monastery Tour. Hemis, Thiksey, Shey Palace, Spituk and Shanti Stupa were invaded by us thoroughly :-P and that was it for the day.

Day 5 and 6 : Nubra Valley (150 Kms North of Leh)

We spent a night there. Major Attractions were The Diskit Monastery ( Gigantic Buddha Statue), The Sumur Monastery and the Double Humped Camel Ride.

Day 7 : Pangong Lake ( 5 Hour drive from Leh)

The Most beautiful lake I have ever seen ! Crystal clear water, showing different colors and shades of blue and green and ecstatic bird view. Drive till there is a little tiring, but it's Worth It ! Other attractions : Yak ride on the way, Maggie Point near Pangong Tso and Chang-la Pass(17,590 ft).

Day 8: Leh : Rafting + Exploring Leh Market.

We took a rafting package, Rs.1400 per person with packed lunch for all. A 16 Km long rafting in river Zanskar till the "Sangam", the point where it meets River Indus. The water is icy cold and also, flow is pretty fast, with whirlpools and just 2 solid rapids in between. In short, a Wow! experience :P

Don't forget the Magnetic Hill on your way to the Rafting Camp.

Day 9 : Back to Delhi by Flight

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