The adventure of driving to Leh and Pangong from Kargil

Table of contents for Road to Leh via Srinagar and to Manali - A family trip tale

  1. To Leh by road : Journey from Chandigarh – Srinagar – Kargil
  2. The adventure of driving to Leh and Pangong from Kargil
  3. From desert to greens – The drive back from Leh via Keylong and Manali

Day 4: Kargil – Mulbekh – Lamayuru – Nurla – Khaltsi – LEH

31st May 2016

Checked out from the hotel and fired the engine of our cars to start our next stretch of journey at 5:15AM. With the exception of a 8 KM stretch just after Kargil, which was under construction, rest of the road till Leh is an excellent condition. You can cruise at fairly good speed except at bends.

Mulbekh was the stop over for a tea break, it is a small village with few home stay options in case someone want to stay over. There are many attractions enroute to Leh on this road and we had a plan to stop over on most of them and complete this journey at ease.

Mulbekh

Mulbekh

Mulbekh to Lamayuru

Mulbekh to Lamayuru

Mulbekh to Lamayuru

Mulbekh to Lamayuru

Our next stop was Lamayuru for breakfast. Lamayuru is roughly 100 km before Leh, right after Fotu la, the highest pass on the Srinagar Leh highway. Due to an excellent road, it was a pleasure to drive through this pass and reach Lamayuru.

Lamayuru

Lamayuru

HomeStay in Lamayuru

HomeStay in Lamayuru

Lamayuru is also place where we found famous Moon Land, these are soft craters, golden color land simply add charm to the beauty of Lamayuru. One can learn the science of mountain formation looking at moon land, which is not a rock nor a dust.

Moon Land in Lamayuru

Moon Land in Lamayuru

Before 40 KM from Leh, one can find Castle Basgo’s ruins, some of the bollywood movies were shot here e.g. a song for Dil Se. Basgo palace or castle is around 500 year old.

Next attraction (under Sham Valley) was Confluence of river Indus and Zanskar. The colours of the two rivers (Indus – green and Zanskar- grey) can be distinctly seen at the confluence,

The very peaceful Indus meets the super rapid Zanskar and flows towards Pakistan. There is also a road which goes alongside the river to reach Chilling Village which is around 25 KM from Confluence. May be we will try this road on next trip to this region.

Confluence of Zanskar & Indus rivers

Confluence (Sangam) of Zanskar & Indus rivers in Sham Valley

Next attraction (30 KM before Leh) is magnetic hill, it is really interesting to see your car moving upward direction when put in neutral. The layout of the area and surrounding slopes creates an optical illusion that the downhill road is actually an uphill road.

Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill

We managed to reached Leh by 4:00 PM and with little efforts we found a very nice hotel with enough parking for our two Innova cars. Hotel Bijoo is convenitnely located near Leh Main Market and we found owner of the hotel and staff quite helping. Parking is a big issue in Leh main market area and if travelling by own car, always look for a hotel with parking facility.

Day 5: Day trip to Pangong Lake – World’s most beautiful lake

Acclimatisation is required and necessary for 1 to 2 days in Leh before excursing to any of the sightseeing passing through high mountain passes including Pangong and Nubra valley. Low oxygen level can make you sick otherwise and whole experience might become terrible and suffering.

Pangong Tso (Tso stands for “Lake”) is 134 KM in length and nearly 5 KM in width at an altitude of 4267m. The water is slightly salted and during winters it freezes completely.

This lake lies on the Indo – China boundary, with only one fourth of the lake being in India and rest extending into Tibet.

The road to this lake passes through Chang-la, the world’s 3rd highest motorable road. The passage is also tough to cross by car (we found this toughest road in our entire trip).

Changla Pass

ChangLa Pass, the 3rd highest motrable road at 4267m altitude

Changla Pass

Changla Pass, the 3rd highest motrable road at an altitude of 4267 meters

Pangong Lake

The first glimpse of the beautiful Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake

Me at Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake

Three children at Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake

It’s around 4 to 5 hour drive 149 Kms) from Leh to this place with below route
Leh – Karu (36 KMs) – Sakti (10 KMs) – Chang La (34 KMs) – Durbuk (32 KMs) – Pangong (37)

You can cover Thicksey, Hemis and Shey monasteries as well as Rancho’s school, situated in Shey town while going through this route (around 5 KM from Leh)

Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake – view

I shall conclude this trip in my next post with the journey back home from Leh via Manali. Thanks for being with me so far. God bless.

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