Featured Guest Post: My Trip to Ladakh over a Fortnight | Simply Me / Karen Jardeleza

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Featured Guest Post: My Trip to Ladakh over a Fortnight

My Trip to Ladakh over a Fortnight

by: Divij


I had been itching on a trip to Ladakh ever since my cousins had come back, raving about the beauty of the land. Finally, I had the chance to take the trip with a group of friends. Before embarking on the journey, I had read a lot about Ladakh- its hidden treasures, its historical past, its must see places and everything place.

But once I landed in the “roof the world”, I was taken aback by the virgin beauty of the place. The stunning peaks, the fresh air and the ever smiling people of Ladakh were such a refreshing experience. I got to spend a fortnight in this magical land, and I have quite a few experiences to share with you.

My Trekking Experience
Ever since I had read about the treks of Ladakh, I was itching to experience it for myself. I had my sights on Chadar trek, but that happens in the months of January and February. We were visiting it in the month of June, and that’s why, we had to settle for the next best option- Stok Kangri.

Stok Kangri, relatively, is a small peak of the Himalayan region. This relatively small beauty has a height of more than 6,000 meters, which can be quite a handful. But all of us had done altitude trekking before. Therefore, we were up for the challenge. The guide that we had booked beforehand took us to some heights in Ladakh first to get us acclimatized with the weather and lack of air density that exists at heights.

After a couple of days of acclimatization, we were raring to go for our trekking adventure. Our trek started from Rumbak Valley, which is about an hour and a half away from Leh. From Rumbak, we made our way to Mounkarmo, which is a campsite located close to Stok Kangri. Along the trek, we passed through the Stok La Pass, which lies at quite a height. It was here that we could first feel the drastic change in altitude. But each one of us coped just fine and we were there at Mounkarmo for an overnight camp.

From Mounkarmo, it was trekking to the summit over the course of two days. The trek was quite a steep climb, but thankfully, the weather did not play spoilsport. Our guide told us that weather at such heights can be quite fickle, and we were all glad that it didn’t happen with us.

Despite the hardships and some difficult climbs, the experience was just scintillating. The views from the top of Stok Kangri were just mesmerizing. And the trek down to Stok Village was no less either. In fact, we even caught up with a few locals in the village, who showed us their homes and the lives that they live. The trek to Stok Kangri took about 7 days, which combined with 2 days of acclimatization, still left us with about 4 days to explore more of Ladakh.

A Monastery Tour was Next
While in Ladakh, we just couldn’t miss out on visiting the beautiful monasteries of the region. And we visited quite a few of them. Some of the most notable ones were the monasteries of Alchi, Thiksey and Lamayuru. My favorite of the lot was the Thiksey Monastery. It is located atop a mountain and is more grand than the other monasteries of the region.

In fact, the grandeur of Thiksey monastery left me awed. The Buddha Statue here, which is one of the largest in Ladakh, is stunning. And the views we got from the top of this monastery were stunning too. It was a beautifully spiritual experience here.

Back to some adventure
After a spiritual tour of Ladakh, we were back to some adventure in this lost kingdom. We decided to hit Zanskar River for a rafting adventure. I had read about it from fellow travelers online and I was not going to miss out on it. Since we were all adventure junkies together, we weren’t going to settle for something even remotely relaxing. That’s why, we opted for the rafting route from Chilling to Nemo, which consists of Grade III and Grade IV rapids. Conquering the exhilarating rapids of the river was an unforgettable experience.

And after some water fun, we were ready to fly like birds in the air. Yes, it was time for some paragliding. I had done paragliding once before, in Manali. It was an awesome experience then, but this time, it redefined the meaning of the word awesome. Flying like a bird in the sky, looking down upon the unspoilt scenery of the place was just such an amazing experience.

Time for some rest and shopping

The next day was scheduled for rest, and we spent time shopping in Leh. The Leh Market has quite a few shops selling quaint souvenirs and handicrafts which are nice to pick up for your friends and family. And that’s exactly what we did. We even visited some attractions of Leh such as the Stok Museum and the Stok Palace, as well as the Hall of Fame.

It ended with mountain biking

Riding like dudes on the hills was a dream we had harbored for long. Finally, we got the perfect opportunity to realize that dream. Our penultimate day  in Ladakh was spend mountain biking, and what better region to do it than on the highest motorable road of the world- Khardung La Pass. The ascent is quite steep and we had a ride quite slow. But that gave us an opportunity to experience the beauty that surrounded us.

But the way down was thrilling, and it even gave us quite a few goosebumps. Seeing other bikers pass by us with their spirits high couldn’t stop us from smiling back at them.

After that fantastic adventure tour, as well as a spiritual tour of Ladakh, it was time to say goodbye and head back to Delhi. The destination gave me some unforgettable moments, and if given an opportunity, I would love to come back to this destination for some more fun. 

About author:  Divij is an adventurer, a budding photographer and a writer. He has been to various trekking trails and to many offbeat destinations in India. His passion is to explore all the offbeat destinations in India. Currently, he writes articles on travel for www.Thrillophilia.com.  

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Thank you Divij for contributing this article for my blog site.
I hope one day I could  visit India and experience some fantastic adventure 
your country could offer.


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Your comments are always welcome and appreciated :)

2 comments:

purple clandestine said... Simply Me[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

it was really a breath taking landscape...so energizing and relaxing.i probably wrote it down on my travel list and be there..hopefully.^_^

Karen Jardeleza said... Simply Me[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@purple clandestine

Indeed! fingers cross! Cheers!

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