It was a sudden decision, ‘let’s go to Ladakh’ – the finest part of this great country. Before that, all of us watched 3 idiots and to me, it was just dreams come true as a photographer. We, five families, booked our tickets to Delhi and from there by car to Manali and the last destination would Leh Ladakh. Started reading about all the touchpoints through our journey path and was so happy to think that we will get lovely images at those paradise points.
June 21st was our date of journey. But on the 6th of June, we came to know that the Manali road will open after a few days not on 21st since there is a huge rainfall going on. We didn’t take chances and canceled our tickets to Delhi and instead we landed in Srinagar airport on 21st June. It was an amazing experience in the paradise of the world – Kashmir. Our trip became by then – Kashmir Leh Ladakh. The first day we all stayed in a boathouse. The next day we went to Pahalgam. A beautiful valley where many Indian movies were shot. The common transport modes were small local horses. It was very difficult to climb the mountains by waking. But while coming back I took a call of coming down by walking so I can get some good shots.
The next day we went to Gulmarg. The place has the second-highest cable car in the world. You have to cross two stations to reach the top. From there you can see the entire Karakoram range of mountains. The roads were amazingly beautiful and every moment we felt like it’s our own country by the inhabitants and their warmth.
Then on the next day early morning, we started for Ladakh. It took two days to reach and on our way we halted the night at Kargil. Before reaching there we experienced the great war museum of Kargil and listened to those all stories of brave hearts and our heroes. Indian national army made us proud by their small address to the group of people who were present.
After reaching Ladakh, we had to stay back at the hotel – The Druk Ladakh for the acclimatization process. At 9800ft from sea level, a lot of process needs to be maintained before you start your actual tour. On the first day, we only went up to Shanti stupa which was just a few KM ahead of our hotel. Dark blue sky and beautiful weather were helping to create every image as a great one. The city has loads of rich history and heritage. Great Buddhist monasteries were our destination to find peace and photographs. Leh palace keeps evidence of great architectural value which was made out of clay, stones, and woods.
Pangong Tso (Pangong Lake) was a different experience. The journey was terrific through the barren valleys and deep sides of those mountains. Sometimes you get to see some cars are lying down with deformed skeletons and you start feeling that how fast you can reach your destination. A beautiful lake and a few tents around that is the famous place of 3 idiots, where Rancho was kissed by Pia. We stayed in a tent where Sharukh Kahn stayed while shooting for the film Jab Tak hai Jaan, his photographs were everywhere in those packs of tents. Our Kashmir Leh Ladakh tour coming to an end and we all started feeling bad inside. Nubra valley was the last place to visit next.
We had to cross Khardungla pass to reach Nubra Valley. High altitude mountain cold dessert and you get here double hump Bactrian camels. We again stayed here in tents. These tents operate here six months of the year and during winters they close down these makeshift hotels as tourists stop coming. Again amazing drive and beautiful roads we covered to reach here.
While coming back home, our minds were not ready to board the flight. We were thinking several times to cancel the tickets and stay back for a few more days but the trip was already for 14 days and after that again extending holidays became a problem for all of us. So we had to come back from the paradise of earth. Our Kashmir Leh Ladakh tour ended with great memories.
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