Travelogue: The Himalayan Road Trip

Travelogue: The Himalayan Road Trip

Day 5

Route:  Leh – Khardung La – Leh Bazaar

After a good night’s sleep, woke up at 8 and geared up for the drive to Khardung La. We quickly had breakfast, packed some for Shah and went straight to the hospital. Shah looked a lot healthier and was finally smiling after a couple of horrendous days. After a little chit-chat, we headed towards Khardung La.

Khardung la or Khardung Pass is boasted to be the highest motorable road in the world at a height of 18,380 ft. Within two hours drive, we climbed from 11,000 ft to 18,000 ft. Khardung La is situated 39 km by road from Leh.

The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the Khardung la, the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. The weather changed drastically in these two hours. We pulled on our caps and gloves after crossing South Pullu.We were awestruck when we saw cyclists going uphill through those disastrous roads and terrible weather.

There were lots of tourists and bikers on the Ktop, and there was an expression of achievement on everyone’s face. We took a few pictures, played in the snow and bought souvenirs. It was an amazing feeling as if..

….we were on the top of the world.

Khardung La may be a bitterly cold, desolate wasteland for most of the year, but during the summer it grows quite a busy, impulsive population. There’s a medical tent for the people who needs help to keep up with the thin air, a souvenir shop with t-shirts, mugs and cups, a temple, strings of prayer flags, may be the world’s highest toilet, and a canteen doling out hot, sweet black tea called ‘kahwah’ (a free cup for getting here, courtesy the Indian Army). It was very cold and we couldn’t exert much because of the thin air at that altitude. After a proud and fabulous half an hour, we headed downhill.

Travel Tips:

  1. Khardung La is not the coldest Pass in Ladakh, but it’s the highest, so better get completely acclimatized before planning for ‘The Highest Motorable road’.
  2. The wind can be harsh, so wind proof jackets/pants will be the best thing to wear up there.

After so many days of tasteless food we were craving for south Indian food. We went searching for restaurants serving dosas and vadas which is very uncommon in that part of the world. Finally at the corner of a narrow lane, Sirjim saw a small restaurant with dosa and vada written on its windows on bold yellow letters. For those who would like to go there, it’s close to the Leh vegetable market. The food was awesome. They also had amazing Chinese dishes. We packed dosas for Shah and headed back to hotel.

We quickly reached the hotel to find Shaz comfortably settled in the room. We freshened up and happily chatted over tea and biscuits in the cozy garden enjoying the weather.

At around 6.30 pm, Sirjim came to take us to the Leh bazaar (market). Ruby had a wonderful time shopping and bargaining and shopping and bargaining!!! while I was busy capturing the feel of the colorful Leh bazaar. All the shops are kinda similar on both sides of the road, with a variety of bags, handicrafts, Kashmiri shawls and jewellery.

The crowd was a mix of local tourists, foreigners, and the ladakhis. The place was peaceful and the people were really warm. The air was cold and filled with the aroma of fresh garam samosas and aloo tikkis being prepared in small tea-shops.

After a pleasant walk through the heart of Leh bazaar; we went back to the hotel and joined Shah for dinner. We had delicious soup for starters and for the main course we had chapathis and veg curry made from hand-picked vegetables from the garden. After a very exciting and comfortable day we all went to bed expecting even more excitement the next day.

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The Himalayan Road trip continues….

Skills

Posted on

October 22, 2010

35 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Very beautiful! A little scary for someone like me, who has never been out of the US.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you very much Lisa! 😀 I think you should explore more. There is always a first time for everything.

      Reply
  2. Ed

    Dude! Truley a once in a lifetime adventure, thank you so much of taking us along on your trip. Fantastic photos, you should make a coffee table book out of them, I’ll let mom know you posted, she misses your posts..:-)

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks dude! 😀 My pleasure. Glad you like it 🙂

      Reply
  3. Beyond Bluestockings

    So many beautiful pictures!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us 🙂

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Jo! 😀 This one was worth sharing! 😀

      Reply
  4. Shafeel & Shyleen

    Shafeel:- Superb work bro…as i said to you, i thought only europe in this world is most beautiful, but i was wrong..u proved me that….It was simply awesome,…and what else i should say you are truley blessed by the God, no you both (ur better half) are. My wife saw ur blog to all our flat mates, they all were like WOW…….. You see the world in different way from other..keep it up mate………

    Shyleen:- I have seen many pics before,,but when i saw ur pics and read along with your blogs,,,only then i realized,,how much effort is there for each single clicks.. and i really admire your works..hats off…

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      @Shafeel: Thanks bro! I’m flattered 😉

      @Shyleen: Thanks dear 😀 Glad you both like my photos and the post 😀 Your husband made me a hero in the office! I’m in love with photography..so I’m more than happy to put in some efforts to get some good ‘Winks’.

      Reply
  5. Henry

    Dude!!!!!!!!

    Amazing travelogue and a very theatorical unfolding of true feel of The Great Himalayas. Regret i missed the chance with you guyz and a very little i can write about my trip last year.

    Well done

    Henry

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Dude!!!! Thank you so much 😀 I’m so happy to know..that what I wrote in the post..brought in the feel of the trip 🙂
      Don’t miss it..if you get another chance!

      Reply
  6. chloe

    LOVE the 3rd & 6th photo!! stunning

    Reply
  7. Nidheesh.

    Dude..
    Great fotos as always & well penned down..

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Dude! 😀 Glad you commented.. been long time! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Brenda

    I can only imagine the places that you have been! They are beautiful. thanks for sharing your pics!

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks alot Brenda! 😀 You are most welcome.

      Reply
  9. suraj

    heyyy this is freaking awesome …never i have seen so descriptive and the pictures a mind blowing and even cud imagine the pain and pleasure u guys had there ……..cud get to know high altitude conditions ….hopefully the friend of urs is better now 🙂 keep posting am a fan of urs

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Bro! 😀 You said it ..Pain n pleasure! Our friend is fine 🙂

      Reply
  10. Lushfun

    the pictures seem to curve into themselves on the sides. sorta like they are curving around my view sorta interesting

    Reply
  11. kcjewel

    Oh my goodness the scenery is fabulous and your documentation is perfect. There is one thing for certain… even if given the opportunity, I will never be driving the Rohtang pass!!! or, riding for that matter.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you so much! 😀 I think everyone should go there..its Fun and will be an amazing experience! 😉

      Reply
  12. Chloe Sam

    rather useful material, in general I imagine this is worthy of a bookmark, thanks a lot

    Reply
  13. Gert

    Wow! Talk about a psotnig knocking my socks off!

    Reply
  14. scoo

    omg omg!!!ur blog is really amazing!!! leh has always been my dream destination!! i feel as if I am also experiencing this heavenly beauty when I read ur blog..n must say…beautiful pictures!! just like some Russian painting,,,best were the one with wild horses. I have seen lot of leh pics but has never seen one with these horses!! m jus running out of words while complementing you..jus perfect..n also really sorry about your tripod 🙁

    Reply
  15. Toshi Chan

    Thank you for such an excellent article and wonderful photographs.
    The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Reply
  16. Lacey

    Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult
    to find quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Reply
  17. Suze

    Love your panoramic shots! What camera is it you’re using? 🙂

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thanks Suze 🙂 I used Nikon D90 with kit lens 18-105mm for this trip.

      Reply
  18. Alexandra

    breath-taking images… beautiful work…

    Reply
  19. Afham Baramy

    really informatic and beautifully written.wish i too get a chance to visit these places in my life.have great passion for these roadtrips but don’t know from where to get started.

    Reply

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Skills

Posted on

October 22, 2010