Tuesday, July 11, 2017

10 Awesome Reasons You Should Join This Trip to Ladakh

So much has been said about it, so much has been written about it, so many pictures have been shared on social media from the place, but roadtripping through Ladakh is an experience incomparable to any other. It’s an experience you have to live at least once in your lifetime.

As you see the landscape change from lush green to rustic brown, from green trees to barren icy mountains, the blueness of the lakes to monasteries perched on top of cliffs, none of the pictures you have seen will do justice to the beauty right in front of you.


Join us this August and let the colourful Gompas and Buddhist prayer flags enchant you as we, a group of young travelers, head on a 10 day road trip to explore Ladakh, the land of high mountain passes, and India’s only high altitude cold desert. 

1. Witness the brilliant change in landscape from Srinagar to Leh

The road journey from Srinagar to Leh passes through some brilliant landscapes. From the lush greenery of Srinagar and the Dal Lake, we would be heading to the grasslands of Sonamarg with horses grazing on them. Next is Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world and the Kargil War Memorial being overlooked by the mountains that saw the 1999 War. Once we cross Kargil town, we would be on a stunning stretch of curving roads passing through some high mountain passes on the historic Silk Route and finally arriving at Leh through the rustic brown mountains of Ladakh. There is no way a direct flight to Leh can ever justify the beauty of this road journey that is possible for only 4 months in a year.


2. Witness the Unfurling of the Tricolor at Khardung La

Ever dreamt of unfurling the Indian tricolor on top of Mt Everest? Well, that’s probably not too easy. We will do the next best thing- We are going to witness unfurling of the tricolor on the highest motorable road in the world- Khardung La- and that too on Independence Day. Can there be a better way to celebrate 70 years of India’s Independence? And there is hot maggi and tea too. And snow. Who doesn't like a snow fight?


3. The sand dunes at Nubra Valley

You probably have been to the golden sand dunes of Jaisalmer. It’s hot and there is acres of sand till as far as the eyes can see. Now add some snow peaked mountains to the background, make the dunes silver and decrease the temperature by 20 degrees- welcome to Nubra Valley- India’s only high altitude cold desert- located just an hour away from the Siachen Glacier base camp. And did I mention the double humped Bactrian camels that rule the valley? We are going to meet the rare species too.


4. Camping under the stars at Pangong Tso

You probably have camped at Triund or Rishikesh. But definitely never at an altitude over 14,000ft with the most beautiful lake in the vicinity and the Milky Way staring down at you. We are going to tick this off the bucket list at the world famous Pangong Lake. Oh and perhaps it’s going to be freaking cold in the night but the Swiss Tents will keep us cozy. (And yes, they come with attached western washrooms)


5. Absolutely stunning road journeys

When I first went to Ladakh, my initial thought was ‘There is absolutely nothing here’. In Ladakh, just reaching the destination isn’t satisfactory. The entire journey, every single turn, every single moment, you would want to keep staring out of the window so as not to miss that sight of beauty and ever changing landscape. This is one roadtrip where the journey is as rewarding as the final destination. And did I mention there is going to be ample amount of singing and dancing and games throughout the journey?

6. The chance to bond with the local Ladakhis

We will be staying at some beautiful hotels and homestays that I have personally chosen for us. Last time I was in Nubra, I had a long chat with the old lady who owns the homestay as she picked vegetables from the home garden to be cooked as breakfast for us, and told me innumerable stories of the place and how tough it is to sustain a livelihood in such difficult terrains. It is amazing what kind of stories can come up in the shortest of conversations with the Ladakhis, most of whom have never set foot outside the region. While you are there, do ask them for a taste of the local food.


7. You get ample me-time and August is the best time

Most fixed departure holidays have a strict full-time on the road, sightseeing on the way and just resting at night kind of tours. It leaves no scope to laze around your favourite location or try out that cafĂ© you have heard so highly of in Leh. Our itinerary is designed in a way so as to give you ample time to spend the way you want to, as long as it doesn’t hamper the group’s movements or the day’s plan. Adding to this is the fact that we are headed to Ladakh in the best season possible when the weather conditions are just right.

8. The brilliant co-trippers

You may or may not have travelled with a random group of strangers before. If this is your first time, there is absolutely no reason to be apprehensive. I haven’t known a single tripper who has not enjoyed the company of like-minded travelers and the stories that come with them. The group is going to comprise of 14 people, all in the age group 20-35 years who are travelers at heart and come from across India with just one objective- that of making the best time out of their dream Ladakh holiday.


9. Bollywood overdosed

Ladakh was made famous by Bollywood, specifically by ‘3 Idiots’. There is going to be a lot of ‘3 Idiots’ flavor spread across the trip. Be it visiting the Pangong Lake Shooting point or Rancho’s School. But did you know that the first movie to be shot here was back in the 1960s? This and a lot more trivia will be part of the journey. And if you aren’t fond of movies, then what is it that sets your heart pumping? Let us know. (We are headed North of the Wall on Nimbus 2017s and Dr Watson can’t seem to be staying away for long as The Eye watches every movement of The Witch. Did I just put 5 literary geniuses together?)

10. Your trip leader

Right from the moment you meet me at the Srinagar Airport, until the end of the trip, all your worries will be taken care of by me. (Not the problems with your boy friend or girl friend or mummyji or mamaji) Only trip related worries. I don’t see a reason why you would have to worry of anything when everything has been taken care of, but in case you do, I will be right there in the same hotel, in the same vehicle and at all times with the group to take care of things. This isn’t a typical travel agency which takes your money, books your holiday and leaves you to handle situations on your own. Also, I will be your know-it-all guide throughout. Come on, bring those questions in. (Opens Wikipedia. Reads a few lines. Boring. Closes it. I will make up a story, they will never know!) :D


Bonus Reason

Adding to all this, we are going to be responsible tourists in Ladakh. For a region where even drinking water is scarce, it is highly important we leave it the way we find it, so as to keep its charm going for the years to come.

Trip cost (Without flights):
Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar- Rs.27,500
Srinagar-Leh: Rs.25,000

So hit me up boys and girls if you would like to be part of this epic roadtrip we are taking next month. You can check the basic details on the facebook event page here and ask me to share the detailed itinerary on email. I can be reached at antarik.anwesan@gmail.com Or just leave your email id in the comments section below.

Half the seats are already booked out. So in case you want to join, do not delay in making the booking. Last date: 20th July. (Contact me to check if there are seats left after the deadline)

Also, if the trip looks interesting to you, how about sharing the post with your friends? Sharing is caring and it always helps.

Now read:
3. A Traveler’s Odyssey: Meeting Strangers

Watch my Ladakh Vlog Series on Youtube. Click here

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5 comments :

  1. looks like a dream!! Wow!! I really hope I get to see this beauty atleast once :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow. Unfurling of Tricolour seems to be one of the best part of the trip.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ladakh is a dream place to visit. Very informative and helpful post. Thanks for sharing this post.

    http://www.discoverytravelandtours.com/

    ReplyDelete

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