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Posts Tagged ‘Leh’

Nubra guest house

Nubra guest house


There was absolute silence. My peaceful sleep was disturbed by my cell phone alarm. It was 3AM. Yes, I was sleeping in our guesthouse at an army camp in Leh. It was my responsibility to wake up everyone else so that we can be ready by 4AM. After quick ablutions we were ready by 4:15 as we heard LangChung honking his scorpio. We hit the highway in no time with the army clearance arranged at all check posts.
Road to Pangong tso

Road to Pangong tso


Why did we leave so early? There was a reason. We had decided to visit Pangong Tso – One of the most beautiful lakes on earth. As elders say, the most beautiful of the things are not easily accessible. The road to the lake crosses a few streams and it has to be crossed very early in the morning and come back before 10 AM. The water levels increase due to melting of snow in the day time making it impossible to cross it. If we are stuck on the other side, we’ll have to spend rest of the day and night by the lakeside.

Langchung making the road!

Langchung making the road!


This is what happens if you dont have an SUV

This is what happens if you dont have an SUV


We were happy to be there on time but on seeing the stone clad river bed we felt it would take a hummer to cross it. But all it took was none other than the confident LangChung and his impressive scorpio to do it. He asked us to get down and cross the river bed on foot and arranged the small rocks and stones so that the vehicle could pass. He then drove the vehicle in what could be –the best scorpio Ad- style. We caught a glimpse of the lake from a kilometer but the view on reaching the lake bed really pleased us.
Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso


Pangong tso

Pangong tso


pangong Tso

pangong Tso


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Cout. Wiki

Cout. Wiki


Pangang Tso Panorama cout.Wiki

Pangang Tso Panorama cout.Wiki


It was a never seen before beauty of the lake with the entire spectrum of light sketched on its surface by the just born sun. The reflection of those huge mountains in the lake and fresh oxygen annihilated all our tiredness and sleep. Only 1/4th of the lake belongs to India and 3/4th of it belongs to China. On the lakeside there is a small check post and a shop – The last shop of India where you can purchase clothing and a few antique pieces. We roamed around the place until Langchung threatened us that we’ll have to spend rest of the day and night here if we do not leave immediately.
Chang La

Chang La


The Himalayan Marmot

The Himalayan Marmot


On our way back, after crossing the river bed, we stopped at many places and I caught a Himalayan Marmot in my camera. We stopped at Chang La where the visitors will be greeted with tea by the Army people. One of my friends threw up again! Believe me if not acclimatized properly, AMS can hit you anytime. We reached Leh at around noon and bid goodbye to Lang Chung Tsering promising him our return to the place again.

After a good lunch and sleep, I went around the city of Leh the same evening with one of my friends. Roamed around it’s famous bazaars, antique showrooms, cloth street, vegetable market. The people are extremely friendly and soft spoken. Be cautious when you are trying to buy antique show pieces or the famous kashmiri tea makers. It is advised to go with a trustable localitie for any kind of shopping. One can avail the extremely cheap shared cab facility to reach any place within Leh. We took a drop in one of those till the airport and walked back to our guest house. We packed our bags and talked to Capt. Upul and thanked him for all his hospitality before retiring to bed.

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Leh City

Leh City


Leh - No less than a garden

Leh - No less than a garden


A small green sophesticated house right in the middle of a beautiful valley formed by sun lit golden brown Himalayas. I was sleeping in a cozy bed covered in my mammoth rug. Someone calls “Saab utho chaai lo”. Hmmm was I dreaming? NOP, it was for real! we were woken up by Tarun who had brought a flask of chai. I woke up and went outside to with a hot cup of tea. It feels good to enjoy your tea gazing at the scenary you had just dreamt of. Tarun even brought a few buckets of warm water to bath (In army there is no concept of hot water bathing even at freezing cold) and bread-jam for breakfast. We met capt. Pranav Upul, who was in charge 422 army regiment and had made all the arrangements for our stay. He was an extremely polite and friendly macho man in his early thirties and was guarded by two army men. We had decided to do some local sight seeing for the day and left the camp in a scorpio with our guide cum driver Lang Chung Tsering.
Magnetic hill

Magnetic hill


We left the army camp and after travelling for half an hour clicking photos and discussing the monstors’ beauty, Lang Chung stopped the car right in the middle of the road and pointed us to the board planted next to the highway. The board read “THE MAGNETIC HILL” . The driver explained the nature’s setup. The road is straight but slightly goes uphill. There is a huge mountain facing the road some kilometers away. On parking the vehicle in neutral gear at a marked spot on the road, the mountain pulls the car towards it! Ripley’s believe it or not! It is a huge magnet. We saw the car moving uphill on its own and couldn’t believe our eyes!
Indus Zhanskar confluence

Indus Zhanskar confluence


Gurudwara Pathar sahib

Gurudwara Pathar sahib


stone thrown by demon

stone thrown by demon


Our next stop was at the Indus – Zhanskar confluence. The color palette formed at the confluence due to the difference in color of both the rivers along with native soil is spectacular to view. The next stop was at Pathar Sahib Gurudwara which is situated 25km from Leh on Leh-Kargil highway 12000ft above sea level. It was built in 1517 to commemorate the visit of GuruNanak Dev. It is a pretty religious place where we had free coffee. There is a sacred stone inside this gurudwara which is believed to be the rock thrown by daemon towards the guru. From there we came to the Spituk gompa .

Location: Approximately 8 km from Leh
Belongs To: First to Kadampa School and later to Tsongkhapa Order
Founded By: Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od
Founded In: 11th Century
Attractions: Gustor Festival

Spitik Gompa

Spitik Gompa


Spitik means Exemplary. Inside the monastery, the main statue is that of lord Buddha. It also contains a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and sacred idols. Once can see bird’s eye view of the Leh airport from this place. (Note: Photography of airport from this place is prohibited! Do not even try.)
Shanti stupa

Shanti stupa

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We were in no mood to eat anything at lunch time and hence decided to visit the famous Shanti Stupa. The Shanti Stupa is located on a ridge at about 2 km from Leh in a village called Changspa. This monument of world peace was constructed by a Japanese organisation. This offers spectacular views of the town, sunrise and sunset. The stupa looks best at night, when it is beautifully illuminated with glittering lights. We were luky to catch the glimpse of mountains playing hide and seek with dark clouds pouring on them.
Leh Palace

Leh Palace


Lang Chung drove us to Leh Palace located on a small hill at the heart of Leh. The ancient palace, a ruin, is completely made of sand with numerous small windows and doors. One can feel as if he is exploring a huge cave with numerous hidden routes.

We came back to the army guesthouse and spent the rest of the evening watching Wimbledon finals between Federer and Nadal, Formula One Raceday and Asia Cup.

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