Leh

भाग4: पैंग – ताग्लंगला ला – उप्शी – कारू– लेह……………12-सितम्बर

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आज हम पैंग से 185km का सफ़र तेय करके लेह पहुँच गए। लेह पहुँच कर बिना समय ख़राब किए हमारा सबसे पहला काम था “DC” ऑफिस जाना। वहाँ जाकर हमे “नुब्रा वेली” (nubra valley) और “पेंगोंग सो” (pangong so) जाने के लिए “Inner-Line Permit” लेना था। “DC” ऑफिस मे ज्यादा भीड़ तो नहीं थी पर ऑफिस बंद ना हो जाए इस बात का भय सता रहा था। ऊपर से सरकारी ऑफिसर कब अपनी सीट छोड़ कर चला जाए क्या भरोसा। सीमित छुटियाँ होने की वजह से हम एक दिन की देरी भी नहीं झेल सकते थे। हरी और मनोज ने तो दिल्ली से हेदराबाद का हवाई टिकेट भी करा दिया था। अगर देरी होती तो इन दोनों को मोटी चपत लगने वाली थी। परमिट का काम राहुल को सौंप दिया गया। मैं, हरी और मनोज “DC” ऑफिस के बाहर फ़ोटो लेने लगे।

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Sarchhu to Leh, Pangong Lake, and Back via Kashmir

Sarchhu to Leh, Pangong Lake, and Back via Kashmir

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First town where some civilization could be seen was Upshi which is basically a check post where we did not stop. Next stop at about 30 km was Karu which basically a military establishment just before Leh. We stopped a Karu for a late lunch and some tea and then soon proceeded to Leh which took about 1-1.5 hours. On the way to Leh one can see gorgeous mountain views with Indus flowing along the road.

Next, day we went to places around Leh such as Patthar Singh Sahab Gurudwara (पत्थर सिंह साहिब गुरुद्वारा), so called Magnetic Hill, Confluence of Janskar and Indus rivers, a Kali temple and a Buddhist temple, and one of the oldest monastery near Leh. The landscape near Leh is also dry, barren but mesmerizingly beautiful. Buddhist temple have special wheels called Maney ( माने) carrying the holy mantra “Om Many Padme hum” or “ओम माणी पद्मे हूं”  which the devotees rotate.

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Ladakh: Nature’s Eloquent SIlence

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A trip to Ladakh leaves many a visitors breathless and not just because of its high altitude location. In an ephemeral moment of truce, when the cool breeze lets you rejuvenate your thoughts long lost to the battles of daily routine, a perchance to dream, a sense of being afloat on wings of imagination and suddenly you realize you need to breathe too. It’s just like in songs, ‘a flight of fancy on the windswept fields’ when you are standing alone and your senses reel. The attraction in Ladakh can be fatal especially when emotions are involved. When you are in Ladakh all you wish for is to capture its reality and here in the overwhelming vastness even reality turns out to be abstract.

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Motorcycle Diaries. Road to Ladakh… (Delhi – Kaza)

Motorcycle Diaries. Road to Ladakh… (Delhi – Kaza)

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As I rode though barren patches, I would not help admire the exquisiteness of the rocks all around – they were as spellbinding as the Grand Canyon, all through the journey on the Indo-China border. No images can describe this splendor!

During last 100kms, as the terrain turned bad to worse, I had consumed all my water. Thirsty and tired, I found water only at Dubling, after riding for over 3.5 hours. As I gulped down water, I couldn’t help observe that the same Kinley packaged water bottle we paid Rs.40/- at the HPTDC hotels (a premium of double the cost!) was being sold by this mom-&-pop shop at the MRP!

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Getting Leh’d in ten days – Part 1

Getting Leh’d in ten days – Part 1

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Whenever I read about someone’s excursion to Leh, it’s a heroic story all about grit and determination. It’s about a man, his machine and the mountain. It’s about how one faces the vagaries of nature, the treacherous roads and the numbing cold. It’s like an action movie with a heavy metal background score. In stark comparison, my narration will be like a Karan Johar flick. All scenes will be in soft focus, everything will be beautiful, there will be drama and intrigue, all set to a melodious tune.

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Ghumakkar Insights – Biking Guide from a Biker

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I have always considered biking to be a natural instinct for me. It is like my reflex action to any elongated duration of professional boredom. Until now, when I was asked to provide my insights on biking, I could never realize that there are a lot many things that I do to ensure that I, and sometimes my group, have a safe and exciting riding experience during our rides. So here my chance to earn some good karma.

We have covered quite a few places in the hilly parts of Uttaranchal & Himachal and have had the privilege of riding to Ladakh twice. We have also covered the entire Spiti Valley circuit along with other long distant places like Harsil, Chopta, Chittorgarh etc.

Having established my reputation as a biker, I am confident that the rest of the prose will get your undivided attention.

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