Ladakh Trip Day-8

Friday, Jun 21 2019

Pangong to Leh

A bridge on the way.

DRDO - World's highest Terrestrial Research Center.
We had to pass through Chang La Pass to reach Leh-Manali Highway. We got stuck near the pass for an hour as there were a huge pile of army trucks moving. Civilian vehicles were put on hold.

Army movement on Chang La Pass

We started from Pangong at 8am. By the time we crossed Chang La Pass, it was noon. We stopped for lunch a hour before reaching Leh. Thukpa was my lunch. It tastes similar to noodles, but, very plain, bland, and soupy.

Drive on Chang La Pass was tiring. Oxygen levels were low and we got tired waiting in the car for an hour. We munched biscuits as we were feeling tired and hungry.

On the budget side, cost of cab to cover Nubra and Pangong was Rs.20,000 (we were total 5), i.e., Rs.4,000 per person. Room/camp cost in Nubra and Pangong was Rs.1500 person per night.

After reaching Leh at 3pm, we planned to rest for the day. For next day, we planned to roam aro…

Ladakh Trip Day-7

Thursday, June 20 2019

Nubra to Pangong Tso (Lake)

Drive from Nubra to Pangong took us about 6hrs.

Clear waters of Ladakh

Road blockage due to landslide. Dirt road is getting cleared here.

Local Tea shop serving lunch

Maggi for lunch on the way to Pangong

On our way to Pangong

Marshy land

Wild horses seen in the plains

We reached Pangong by 4:30pm. First view of Pangong was breathtaking.

Pangong - First view

Pangong Lake with campsites

Ladakh Trip Day-6

Wednesday, June 19 2019

The driver was supposed to pick us up from the hotel at 9am. Due to brake repair, we were informed that he will arrive an hour late. That driver had completed a long a tiring drive previous night driving another set of tourists from Pangong Lake to Leh.

As we were waiting and walking near the reception of our hotel, one person who seemed to be lost walked in. After inquiry, I got to know that he was looking for us. Without knowing his name and he not knowing my complete name, we were all set to start off to Nubra Valley via Khardung La (world's highest motorable road at 18,000 feet. With all the hurry in boarding the vehicle, I forgot to pick my camera battery that I had kept for charging in the room. For next 2 days, I was left with no shooting pictures on my DSLR camera. I had to satisfy myself to my smartphone camera.

Leh to Hunder (Nubra Valley)

Khardung La (Pass) is an hour away from Leh. When we approached this pass, it started to snow. There was del…

Ladakh Trip Day-5

Tuesday, June 18 2019

First half of the day, we visited Kargil Memorial that is about 50Kms from Kargil in a place called Dras.
Kargil to Kargil War Memorial
We spent couple of hours in the memorial. One should watch a small documentary on Kargil War of 1999. It is informative before walking to the memorial point.
Kargil War Memorial
Read more about this place here. This is the place where every Indian must visit and show respect and solidarity to our Army. The area where the memorial stands now had come under the radar of Pakistan during Kargil war. We recaptured the place during Operation Vijay in May-June 1999.

Bofors gun used during Kargil War, 1999

On our way back from Dras to Leh, we wanted to see the last point of Indian soil. Hunderman is the village that is located in LoC and is the last village of India. Beyond this village is a mountain behind which PoK lies. We were able to see a village in PoK using a binocular that was available for rest at Rs.30 per person. No pictures ar…

Ladakh Trip Day-4

Monday, June 17 2019

Our plan was to travel from Leh to Kargil and rest for day.
Leh to Kargil: About 220Kms, 5 to 5.5hrs with breaks. Road is good as it is NH1 Leh-Srinagar Highway.

We (5 friends) got ready and headed towards Kargil. The drive was very picturesque. We first reached Magnetic Hill that is 30 minutes away from Leh on Leh-Srinagar Highway.

Magnetic Hill: My personal opinion - This is optical illusion. Road seems to be uphill, but, it is actually a 2-3 degree downhill. This makes the vehicle move forward. I found confirmation of my opinion online. See article by Vargis Khan here.

Next pitstop was Indus-Zanskar Confluence. Indus river has a light green color and Zanskar has light grey color. After the confluence near Leh, it flows upwards and enters Pakistan. It is the national river of Pakistan. Read more about Indus here.

Indus-Zanskar Confluence

Curvy roads from Leh to Kargil. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) puts up a note saying, "Be soft on my curves"

BRO: …

Ladakh Trip Day-3

Day-3, Sunday, June 16 2019

I woke up with a bad headache. Hot water bath didn't provide any relief. After having breakfast and sipping hot tea, I was feeling little better.

We started from the hotel towards Leh as per plan. The dirt road from Tso Moriri to Leh-Manali Highway was bad. There were 3-4 cabs that started with us towards Leh. Our driver drove in full speed to stay with the group. About 2 hours after we started, our cab had a flat tyre. Other cab drivers helped us to get back on road in 15 minutes.

One nice thing that happened on this day was recovery of my camera lens malfunction. With frustration, I accidentally moved the lens manually to do manual focus (instead of auto focus). With this, the jammed motor started to work normally again. I was happy to get this work again for me to click lots of pictures for the rest of my trip.

Tso Moriri to Leh via Tanglangla Pass on Leh-Manali Highway. 232km. About 7.5hrs

Flat tyre from Tso Moriri to Leh

Marshy land

Tanglangla Pas…

Ladakh Trip Day-2

Saturday, June 15 2019

Breakfast - MTR Ready-to-eat Poha.
Got ready and boarded the shared cab to Tso Moriri. Made a quick call to family back home to inform that I will be away from cell phone signal for next 2 days. Nubu was our driver for next 2 days. In the cab were 3 more passengers - A couple sitting in the back along with me and a lady from Arunachal Pradesh (AP) sitting in front seat. After 5 minutes on road, we had the ice breaker and for my surprise, I got to know that the couple were from Bangalore. We spent nice time talking and sharing our Ladakh experiences. The couple had already finished visiting Nubra Valley and Pangong. The lady from AP had visited Kargil already. Their visits gave me good information for my upcoming visit to those places.

Leh to Tso Moriri - 220km - Took around 6 hrs
We reached Tso Moriri by 3pm.

First Glimpse of Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri with varied colors

Blue Tso Moriri

Panoramic view of Tso Moriri with mirror reflection

We stayed at a place near Ts…

Ladakh Trip Day-1

We (5 friends) started from Bangalore on June 13 2019 night from Bangalore to Delhi. My plan was to reach Leh on Friday morning at 7:10am. My 4 friends took the road on Friday morning to drive 400kms to Leh.

I reached Leh as per plan. My host (Tenzin) picked me up at the airport. The drive from airport to homestay was 10 minutes only. I stayed at The Golden Apricot on Fort Road.

Landed in Leh

I was served upma for breakfast. The owner of the hotel told me to rest for the day to acclimatize with the height and weather.
Upma for breakfast on Day-1
After resting for 3-4 hours, I was kicking to roam around. I hired a two wheeler and had Google maps as my assistant.

Hired 2-wheeler Rode to Thiksey Monastery that is 30 minutes away from Leh, about 15 kms. This ride was the most memorable one for me as I hadn't ridden a 2-wheeler for more than 15 years. With Google maps, I had all the freedom to roam around like a local person. I reached Thiksey on Leh Manali highway.
Thiksey Monastery

Visiting Ladakh, Tips and Suggestions

I visited Ladakh with friends in June 2019. There are few things that I learnt and like to share with people who plan to visit Ladakh.
Ladakh: Leh, Kargil, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso
Places to visit: Leh city, Tso Moriri (Lake), Pangong Tso, Kargil and Dras, Nubra Valley.
Minimum days required: 10 days.
Ways to reach Ladakh:
(a) By Flight from Delhi to Leh.
(b) By road from Manali or Srinagar to Leh.

Permit is required to visit interiors of Ladakh. Agents can help to get the permit. It is recommended to hire a taxi/cab in the region. It is not advisable to drive our own car. For bike enthusiasts, you may rent a bike in Leh to cover entire Ladakh.

Tso Moriri 1. Plan to go there in the months of July, August and Sept. We went in the 2nd-3rd week of June. Due to snowfall and road closures, we had a tough time in rescheduling our tour itinerary. Though roads usually open in first week of June, 2019 was different. The later you visit, lesser snow you will see. Positive of visiting l…

Cheeku and Meeku

The two joined our family.