Ladakh Calling… (Part 3) Sarchu to Leh

Day 5 (26th June 2010) Sarchu – Pang – Rumtse – Leh (260 Kms)

Next morning the sunlight came as a pure bliss. See the first sight of our saddles below to get a feel of what we handled last night. We were up early by 07:00 Hrs. & rubbed our numb feets to bring them back to senses, coupled with few rounds of hot tea from the nearby dhaba. We all expressed thanks to HIM for keeping us fit & alive & for giving us strength to go on further. Our target for the day was “Leh”. To reach “Leh” we had to cross 3 more passes during the day – “NakeeLa”, “LachuLungLa” & “TangLangLa” & a vast plateau of “Moore Plains”.

Sub zero temp. @ Sarchu

Sub zero temp. @ Sarchu

Sub zero temp. @ Sarchu

Sub zero temp. @ Sarchu

Surya feeling better

Surya feeling better

We changed our clothes & also put on a fresh pair of shoes, while “RR” on the other hand continued in sandals & that too without socks, truly a tough guy. Soon we were on the track & reached a point which said “Welcome to the paradise of India” which means that we had left Himachal behind & entered the territory of J&K.

Rambo in frame

Rambo in frame

With some beautiful sceneries on the way we soon reached “Gata Loops” – A succession of 21 hairpin bends which raised the altitude by another 1500 ft. The view from the top describes it all.

Gatta Loops

Gatta Loops

from top of Gatta Loops

From top of Gatta Loops

We three

We three

A few Kms away from Gata Loops was “Nakeela Pass” @ an altitude of 15,547 ft.  Not a very difficult pass to achieve. We took a break here, clicked some photographs & resumed our journey for “LachuLungla Pass”, at a height of 16,616 ft. with moderate difficulty level.

@ NakeeLa

@ NakeeLa

A LachulungLa

A LachulungLa

After crossing “LachuLungla” we reached “Pang”. We were desperately riding for the vast flat terrain of “Moore Plains”. I read it somewhere on a board “Darling I want you but not so fast” so we gripped our nerves & maintained a decent pace.  As we started early & wanted to enjoy this particular stretch (Sarchu – Leh) of our ride to the maximum, we took frequent small breaks, enjoyed that heavenly feeling, and experienced the scent in the whistling air. We literally lived those moments, discussing about our bikes, tough terrains & beautiful valleys around.

During a break

During a break

After driving few more Kms away from “Pang” we finally reached “Moore Plains”. A stone laid by “HIMANK” at the entrance of this vast plateau says it all ”Don’t be Gama in the Land of Lama”. A crisp to the point message to all the riders on this highway. We spent about half-n-hour capturing the beauty of that place in our cameras.

Indus River

Indus River

IN Moore Plains

IN Moore Plains

We covered a good stretch to 50 odd Kms & saw the only milestone in that deserted plain which indicated a good distance of 155 Kms more. As the distance was not much to cover from “Moore Plains” and it was just 14:00 Hrs in the afternoon we decided to take a long break, relax & stretch a bit.

After driving for another 44 odd kms we made contact with “TangLangLa”. The road to “TanglangLa” was comparatively wide but in a bad shape. BRO officers were working hard to keep it operational and simultaneously the road widening work was also in progress.  At the top of the pass there is a temple of “Tanglang Baba” where all the travelers pay their tribute to Baba for their safe journey. As per tradition we also offered our prayers & clicked some photographs. The height at “TanglangLa” is 17,582 ft this is the maximum height one covers on “Manali – Leh” highway.

Tanglang Temple

Tanglang Temple

Tanglangla Top

Tanglangla Top

Looks like a stud

Looks like a stud

We continued with our downhill journey & reached “Rumtse” which is at an altitude of 14,000 fts. Rumtse – a beautiful small village, surrounded with scenic views, is located at the foothills of “TangLangLa”. This small town had everything one can imagine at that height including the facility of a satellite phone. We took a Tea break & informed our families about our status after a gap of two-n-half days. As it was already 4 we thought of filling up our stomachs as we missed our lunch during the day as there was literally nothing on to eat the way. We had few rounds of bread omelet along with hot tea.

Rumtse

Rumtse

The road from “Rumtse” to “Leh” was well tarred. We passed through small villages & green fields. We were easily cruising at 60Kph without even touching the brakes & the distance was roughly 80 Kms to reach Leh.

We reached Leh at 20:30 Hrs and took a small room in a guest house in Chanspa. As per routine we celebrated our achievement & relaxed in all the comforts of that guest house and discussed about the day.

11 Comments

  • Saurabh Gupta says:

    Again a very good post. This time post is short but pictures are saying itself the story.

  • Saurabh Gupta says:

    In all the pictures only you three people are there. no other person is seeing in temple also.

  • Vishal says:

    Thanks Saurabh. Yes we were the only one at that time at TanglangLa top coz we were not in a hurry to reach Leh like other tourists or bikers… :) we were enjoying every bit of this ride.

  • Archana says:

    Vishal,

    You have been to Paradise!! And your writing and the clicks show us a glimpse of heaven! What a marvel it is!!
    I particularly loved the pic with the caption “In Moore plains” which shows the shadow of the clouds on land… I am in serious loss of words to describe how beautiful the clicks are…
    Great post and fantabulous pictures…
    Loved the post, a lot!

    Cheers.

    • Vishal says:

      Thanks a lot Archana for all the appreciation :0) I am feeling flat with so much appreciation.

      I think You are the only Ghumakkar till now who has come to this level of experience when someone feel short of words. This is the beauty of Ladakh.

      Now you have come up to the level where you can easily imagine and relate to what we have experienced in this ride.

      Lot of action coming in the upcoming parts.

      Cheers.

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Wow! Wonderful journey to the paradise. As Saurabh Ji said, pictures itself are telling the story Enjoying the journey with you.

  • Vishal says:

    Thanks a lot Bhatt Saab… stay Glued.

    Just FYI… We (Paahji & Me) are planning to take this route this year also.

  • ashok sharma says:

    Fascinating photographs.

  • Vishal says:

    Thanks Ashok Ji for appreciating the work :)

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Welcome to Leh Vish.

    After Archana’s comment, I looked at all the pics again :)

    I liked the simplistic (no gloss) narration, with a lot of soul.

  • Vishal says:

    Thanks a lot Nandan.

    So now u can relate with that heavenly experience we had on this ride. Lot of action coming-in in the upcoming posts and till this trip concludes.

    Would like to hear more from You and Archana. :)

    Thanks once again.

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