This is one dream that has certainly been eluding me and a few close friends for a very longtime now. We had planned to get to Ladakh quite a few times and never even got close.
Now that i work in Bangalore and my friends are abroad, I had given up on Ladakh fr a few years until suddenly out of nowhere Praneet’s call lands on my cell and he begins with the customary superlatives and then mentions Ladakh and says that I have to get to Delhi by the weekend and we shall drive to Ladakh. These words were like music to my ears and I kinda felt the rush of a few thousand orgasms.
I had a different battle/ war to fight at home to get the necessary permissions to travel to Ladakh. I was allowed to go on one major condition, i.e I would not ride a 2 wheeler in the entire trip.
I reached Delhi and began calling Praneet, he was in some place with loud music and so he cut the call and sent me a message asking me to get to RSVP in JayPee Continental. I took a cab and reached the place only to be greeted by Praneet, Nishu, Divya, Silvia and a few more friends. We danced and partied all night and by the time we got back to the guest house, it was around 7 in the morning.
We slept, took rest and then in the evening we went to Red Fort, a place that I had not visited in my 2 years stay in Delhi. A nice place, but the heat was killing us ( Me, Praneet & Silvia ), we had to get to the airport to pick up Deniz and Rubina.
We picked them up, got to the guest house and then headed tp party. The evening was so much fun, dancing and chilling. Once done we headed back to the guest house to crash.
We began in the after to head towards Shimla. We took our first break to eat at a customary dhaba near Karnal. We had our shares of Lassi’s and Parathas. We also stopped en route at a place which was called Tiger Trails, we had to take a winch to get to the other side of the hill. It was a nice ride and we had a jollyful time. Then we started on our way to Shimla. We reached there quite late and managed to find the place designated for our night stay there. We drank, ate and had a joyful time. Deniz was at his dragoneous best, spitting out fire and made our evening worthwhile, while all this was happening, Rubina was busy removing her making up.
We got up and went our way to explore shimla, we checked out of the place too, we had our break fast in a very dingy place in the corner of a cross road, Deniz would vouch for the fast that the restroom probably had a better view than most places in shimla. We also walk to Mall Road, climbed up the small view point and clicked loads of pics everywhere.
Then we headed to Manali, the distance to Manali wasn’t too much but just that we had to encounter winding roads and the scary sound on the tingling waters of River Beas. We drove slowly and cautiously to get to Manali. We stopped at a few places where the view was amazing. We took our time to reach Manali. We had our difficulties in locating the place where we had to stay for the night.
We crashed in our respective rooms and drank, ate and made merry before we all crashed. In fact I slept much earlier than the rest.
Then we continued on our way to Leh, the drive was through Rohtang, we had an amazing time while the weather began to get more cooler and the winds began to get more chillier, we began to see the snow clad mountains and also snow covered on most parts of the roads, it was an amazing experience in itself. We were all clicking ourselves to glory with the DSLR’s. We stopped at a very nice point from where the view was breathtaking, all we could eat there was Maggi, Break Omelet and Chai Tea. While riding on our way to Rohtang just before we reached there the mountains had come crashing down thereby closing the roads. We were left with no option but to return back to Manali. Disgusted as we were, we wanted to still continue on the ride and see a few more places. So after much discussion and contemplation we decided to drive to Dharamshala/ McLeodganj.
We started the next day, the ride to Dharamshala was simply beyond the mind to even fathom, we were like the only souls in that part of the country driving through the mountains, it was so much fun, we reached dharamshala very late in the night. we couldn’t see much of the countryside in the night, but the view in morning from the balconies of our hotel rooms was simply awesome. We had sumptuous breakfast before we left to the Dalai Lama Monastry. That was another place that got ticked off the Bucket List. We also drove around the super tiny roads of the town in Mcleodganj. All that was so much fun. Once done with all this we decided to head to chandigarh.
The drive to chandigarh was very much a descent from the Himalayas to the plains. It was a long drive, praneet’s mother did not like the idea of us driving to get home in the middle of the night, so we kind of drove a little quicker to make it back to Chandigarh. We in fact got to Parwanooo. The town from where Praneet belonged. We slept well there after our customary celebrations.
Then the next day morning I took my Bus to Delhi and then a flight back home in Blore. the other continued on a tour around chandigarh and then Delhi before they headed to Thailand and other places.
We all have our itineraries booked for next year, this time around we hope to scale the peaks and cross the passes that will get us to Leh/ Ladakh.
Things to Note – You will need a Whole lot of guts, adversities are a way of life up there so the temperament to withstand them is also the key, all necessary medicines, Diamox should be treated as a compulsion, eat less but eat many no of times, keep smiling, enjoy everything you see and feel, beauty is in abundance, every nook and corner calls for a click and will keep you mesmerized. Take your time, switch off your mobile phones, no laptops and all other electronic goods, for you are as close as you can get with Nature.
Cost – Around 50k per head for a round trip including airfare, food and stay. Around 10 days.
Pack less and travel light. Carry camera with loads of extra memory cards and batteries.
As Ladakh has been one dream that has been eluding us for a long time. We are wanting to get to the top of the world and so We are already considering to book our air tickets for next year.
Praneet, Silvia, Rubina and Deniz have a special mention as they made this trip a memorable and fascinating one. I now know that I have friends in different parts of the globe.