Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 7th September 2011, 12:28   #1
Newbie
 
pradeep_mk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Three things strikes you the most when you visit Ladakh..
First – the outstanding beauty of nature all around. We are surrounded by mountains, most of them bare, dusty but yet imposing and the rest reaching the heavens in the distance with its snow caps. Even the smallest mountain hides some secrets of the Himalayas.

Early morning view of the Himalayas from the airport

Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1975.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2783-copy.jpg

Nubra and Shyoak River Sangam at Nubra Valley
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2652-copy.jpg

View of the mountains on the way to Hemis
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2066.jpg

Second – the warmth, courage and determination of the people of Ladakh. Life is not easy around these parts. The place is covered with snow for literally 6-7 months in a year and rarely anything grows here. The people of this land have to make the most of the summer. They work round the clock during summers not just for their day to day living but also to stack resources for the winter. We met a mother of three during our trip back from Nubra with her children (one girl and twin boys) all under the age of 6 waiting for a bus to Leh. When asked about the purpose of her trip to Leh, she said it was to buy supplies for cooking. We met another 8 year old girl that we picked up in our jeep in Deskit who was travelling all alone to Leh to join back her hostel.

Girl who joined us from Nubra to Leh
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2710-copy.jpg

The family we picked up on our way back to Leh
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2771.jpg

Third – The invaluable contribution of the Borders Roads Organisation/Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. There is huge presence of the Army around Leh..Not surprising because it is very close to the borders of China and Pakistan. On one side you have Siachen and the other you have Kargil. 2/3rds of Pangong lake is in China. These guys ensure safety and also are hugely responsible in ensuring Ladakh is operational to the armed forces and the public throughout the year. The effort that they put to clear of landslides on the mountain passes and ensure smooth vehicular movements is admirable.

BRO folks working overtime to clear the landslide
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2351-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2360-copy.jpg

Travelling tips to Ladakh.
1. Leh is the capital of Ladakh and is situated at an altitude of 11,500Ft. Leh is located on the banks of the Indus river.

2. Leh is 474Kms from Manali. The road crosses some of the highest mountain passes in the world. Rohtang La (13,000Ft), Baralacha La(16,00Ft), Lachulung La( 16,500Ft), Taglang La(17,500Ft). Himachal Road Transport and J&K Transport Corporations have buses to Leh but most people prefer to ride or drive this route. Leh can also be reached from Srinagar which is 434Kms away on the west. This drive takes you through Kargil, Lamayuru and is Zoji La(12,000Ft). J&K SRTC have good bus service from Srinagar to Leh but again most people prefer to ride or drive this route.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2646-copy.jpg

3. There are several flights to Leh. GoAir, Kigfisher, Jet Airways and AirIndia fly from Leh to Delhi and Jammu every day.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1981.jpg

4. Oxygen depletion(Acute Mountain Sickness) – Because of its high altitude, one day acclimatization has to be compulsory. The oxygen depletion might cause headaches, stomach uneasiness, cough, breathlessness and tiredness. Good sleep is essential. Not everyone is affected by this..but is not worth taking the risk. (we had a firsthand experience of the same, more of this later)

5. Preferably travel in groups. Invariably travelling long distances in Ladakh cannot be avoided. All tourist destinations around are 125 to 150kms away from Leh. It takes time to cover these distances. Good like minded group will enjoy the drive and will be helpful if anyone experiences motion or high altitude sickness.

6. Places to stay – there are many hotels in Leh. Most of the hotels are standard and have good facilities. Dont expect hotels to be lavish like the ones in cities..but they are pretty good. We stayed in a hotel called ‘Nobel House’ in the market street in Leh. Sten Del Hotel in Deskit, Nubra and in Watermark Hotel in Pangong. The rooms were very well maintained. Food – excellent. The staff was the best bunch of people and extremely helpful when me and my wife needed some help.

Sten Del hotel at Nubra
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2643-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2644-copy.jpg

Nobel House at Leh - Dorjee Tamang(Manager), Tel - +91-01982-255677, 255679. Email:dorjee@noblehouseleh.com. wesite:About Noble House
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2025.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2018.jpg

7. The market was a 5 minute walk from our hotel Noble House. Kashmir handicrafts are available in plenty. Pashmina, cashmere and chingu shawls are available everywhere. Bargain is the name of the game!!

Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2037.jpg

Leh Palace and Monestery
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2028.jpg

8. Mobile connectivity – Airtel, Aircel and BSNL only work in these regions. The rest are useless.

9. Fitness – Leh will highlight your fitness or in most cases the lack of it.

10. Water, Lotions & clothing – drink lots and lots of water. Dehydration is very common. You will not sweat but still lose plenty of water. Bottled water is available almost everywhere. Carry suntan lotions and moisturisers. Temperatures are low but the sun pricks. Caps and sunglasses are a must too.

Now to begin my travelogue..
It was a long time since me and my wife had taken a good time off from work and the day to day grind. We regularly use our weekends for some local getaways but a long vacation was overdue. We narrowed down a few options
• Travel abroad – south east Asian countries or Europe
• Travel East India – Sikkim, Arunachal, Bhutan, Assam
• Travel North – Ladakh or Himachal or Uttarakhand
• Travel West – Rajastan or Gujarat
Got in touch with a good friend in Philippines and learnt monsoon had set in the south east regions. Rajastan and Gujarat were mere options and had no real intent. It was between East India or North India. East looked very promising till the tour operator came back to me that there were lot of landslides because of rains. We were left only with options in the North. After much discussions and research we decided to finalise Ladakh. Since our transition point was Delhi I was also keen on adding Delhi and Agra to the itinerary.

I booked my tickets and accommodation with Sri Satya Sai Tourists in Bangalore who in turn worked with Maitri Holidays in Delhi to book the entire trip. I learnt very well in this trip of the importance of having a recognised tour operator. After discussing our interests and places we wanted to see the operators came back with a quote and final plan. The quote was very much reasonable and we decided to go ahead and applied for leave at office.

Below the itinerary

Day1 – Arrive at Delhi >Qutub Minar>RajGhat>Humanyun Tomb>Drive to Agra. Overnight at Agra

Qutub Minar
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1496-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1434-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1529-copy.jpg

Imam Zamin's Tomb
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1461-copy.jpg

Row of pillars in Qutub complex
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1531-copy.jpg

Brahamnical carvings in the Qutub Complex
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1533-copy.jpg

Rajghat Complex
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1553-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1550-copy.jpg

Humanyun's Tomb
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1572-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1589-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1595-copy.jpg

Day 2 - to be continued..

Last edited by pradeep_mk : 9th September 2011 at 15:32. Reason: text to be added
pradeep_mk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2011, 20:22   #2
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,758
Thanked: 89,465 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues forum. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2011, 20:58   #3
BHPian
 
neel385's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kharagpur
Posts: 530
Thanked: 401 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Lovely writeup till now. Keep it coming and beautiful pics as well. Kudos!!
neel385 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 00:02   #4
Newbie
 
pradeep_mk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

We left to Agra right after finishing our visit to the Humanyun tomb. We left Delhi around 4PM and reached Agra around 9PM.

I always wanted to visit the Taj. My wife had the opportunity to see it in her college trip and always used to talk about the beauty of this place. This time there was no chance I would miss this visit. I also wanted to visit Mathura and Fateh-pur-sikhri but had very little time. I was able to see the temple in Mathura from the highway but I guess that will be another trip sometime in very near future.

The road to Agra and back was a very interesting experience. Few things I noted..
1. The beautiful countryside. Very different from what we see in the South
2. There are more peacocks than crows/peigeons on this stretch
3. You get to see a new train every second or third minute. The train traffic in the Delhi Mathura stretch is the busiest I have ever seen.

Anyway, we started Day 2 of our trip pretty early. It was Saturday and we wanted to avoid the rush. We reached the east gate of the Taj at 7.30AM. We hired a guide and set off for my first view of the Taj.
Mian Entrace to Taj
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1614-copy.jpg

Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1623-copy.jpg

The first thing that struck me as I saw the Taj for the first time wasnt the aaahh of its beauty..but the aaahh of its size. I must say, none of the photographs or videos of the Taj do any justice to the scale of this structure. My first reaction was man! this is huge!. Only after a minute or two did the Wah Taj! and other famous lines depicting this structure as the symbol of love started to sink in. The first thing my wife observed was that there was no water around the fountains as they had cleaned it on Friday.

Here are a few photographs of this magnificient structure!
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1632-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1663-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1666-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1677-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1700-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1699-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1742-copy.jpg

Next on the list was the Agra Fort. Another beautiful structure! The reds of the fort belongs to Akbar and the whites belong to Shahajahan. You just travel back in time in this place. Every turn and every passage you walk in reminds you that the great mughals had used the same pathways. The open courtyard of Deewan-e-khas allows you to imagine the meetings between the elite. You can picturise where and how Akbar or Shahajahan used to sit. Likewise in Deewan-e-aam where the citizens of Agra could see the official proceedings.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1769-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1773-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1774-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1787-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1795-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1801-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1804-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1828-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1846-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1848.jpg

There were two more things to do in Agra. One, the Akbar tomb ofcourse the other shopping!!All these visits were a repitition for my wife and she was excited but very sobre throughout. One thing she hadnt done in her earlier visit to Agra was shop and this time she had made up her mind to nail it. So, our driver took us to the UP Cottage factory and showroom very close to the Agra Fort.

This place is just like a maze!! My wife took 30mins to shop some marble articles and then a door opened which wasnt the exit but entry to a saree shop!! 1 hour in the saree shop and then another door opens..this time to the leather shop!! My wife took this opportunity and unleashed her shopping spirits here. Moreover you have the option to ship it thorough post. After 2.5 hours of trauma we finally stepped out into bright sunlight. We still had Akbar tomb to finish and we started immediately!

Akbar tomb is a wildlife paradise. Blackbucks, peacocks, parakeets and many other birds can be seen from the closest range. I didnt expect it at all but was glad I didnt miss it. Here are some photographs of the great emperor's tomb
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1851-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1859-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1861-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1864-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1875-copy.jpg

The Tomb itself
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1879-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1877-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1884-copy.jpg

We left Agra pretty late and reached Delhi around 10PM. We had dinner int he hotel we stayed in and had to call it a day as we had a early morning flight to Leh on Day 3.

Day 3 strated early. Boarded an early morning GoAir flight to Leh. Its a short 1 hour flight and most beautiful if its a clear sky.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1943.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1962.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1968.jpg

Our first view and more photographs of Leh and more to continue...
pradeep_mk is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 00:48   #5
A M
BHPian
 
A M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Panchkula
Posts: 327
Thanked: 185 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Ladakh...!! Oh yea!! Bring it on!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pradeep_mk View Post
Carry suntan lotions and moisturisers. Temperatures are low but the sun pricks. Caps and sunglasses are a must too.
[/i]
True. Its probably the only place where sunburn and frostbite can happen together.
A M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 02:10   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 828
Thanked: 113 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Good narrative! Good pics! Camera? Lens?

--Ragul
Ragul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 08:11   #7
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 4,189
Thanked: 8,576 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

The forum is flooded with travelogues to Ladakh and back but still each and every travelogue has me floored. Pity that I haven't been able to cross these trails. But I have promised myself to do it as soon as I finish my graduation.

Thanks for sharing all the crisp details Pradeep Sir. Beautiful write-up and lovely photographs. Keep them coming !!
//M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 08:27   #8
Newbie
 
pradeep_mk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Good narrative! Good pics! Camera? Lens?

--Ragul
Thanks Ragul! I have Nikon D40 DSLR. But my investment is always on lenses. I have a kit 18-55, 50mm Prime, 70-300 VR and a 300mm prime coming soon.
pradeep_mk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 08:57   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 180
Thanked: 68 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Ah, a travelogue just tailored to what my wife requires: A visit by air to Ladakh, and if possible a tour of Delhi/Agra. Lovely photos and narration; I would be glued to this one and would really appreciate details on travel and accommodations as well. Thanks for sharing Pradeepji.
gostel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 21:04   #10
Newbie
 
pradeep_mk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

We landed in Leh at 9.20 in the morning and we could immediately see the beautiful mountains and the blue sky sorrounding this place.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1973.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_1975.jpg

We were received by Dorjee and hopped into our car to the Nobel House hotel on the main market street. Another thing I observed in Leh is that it has absolutely no traffic signals. Coming from Bangalore which has signals every 100 metres this was a welcome change.

Views from our room
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2003-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2005-copy.jpg

Walk slow, breathe slow! Acclamitisation is key when you come to higher altitude places, unless you already live in higher altitudes. So the first day in Leh was all about relaxation and sleep. Evening ended with small walk to the market.

Day 4 was all about covering places around Leh. There are a lot of monasteries and palaces worth seeing. Every gompa(monastery) or palace has a unique history worth learning about. Lot of people choose to avoid these as most look the same. I was told by the locals that the school of Fungshuk Vangdoo was more famous than the gompas these days.

We had our own vehicle and we set off to see Hemis, Thiksey, Shey Gompas and Sindhu Ghat

Hemis Gompa -
It is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Hemis. It is situated 45 km from Leh. The monastery's histroy dates back to the 11th century but was re-establsihed in 1672 by the king of Ladakh Sengee Namgyal.

The drive to Hemis is really beautiful along the Indus river on the Leh-Manali highway.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2066.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2085.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2087.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2109.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2120.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2121.jpg

Thiksey Gompa - is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Ladakh. It is known to resemble the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is a 12 storey complex on top of a hill overlooking the Indus valley. One of the main attractions in Thiksey is the 15 metre tall Buddha Statue. The statue was installed in 1970 during the 14th Dalai Lama's visit. The statue of Buddha is a true expression of peace and tranquility.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2160.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2162.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2184.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2198.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2221-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2203.jpg

Shey Gompa/Palace - Shey palace ad gompa were the summer retreat for the rulers of Ladakh. The palace was built in 1655 by the king of Ladakh Deldan Namgyal. The palace has a beautiful Buddha statue that is conisdered to be the second largest in Ladakh.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2052-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2239-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2241.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2247.jpg

Sindhu Ghat - Indus river in Sanskrit is referred as Sindhu. Sindhu Ghat was inagurated by LK Advani in 1997 to comemorate the communal symbol on the river Sindhu. Not much to see around in this place but I am sure everyone spends 30 mins or more just watching the Indus river flow.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2253-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2254-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2273.jpg

We headed back to Leh and called it a day pretty early. Day 5 was completely travel packed as we had to reach Nubra through the famous Khardungla, the highest motorable road in the world. 11,500ft to 18,380 ft. Khardungla didnt dissapoint a bit. More of day 5 to follow..
Attached Thumbnails
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2091.jpg  

pradeep_mk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2011, 01:11   #11
Newbie
 
pradeep_mk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Our trip on Day 5 was from Leh to Nubra near Deskit.
Leh>South Pullu>Khardungla>North Pullu>Khardung>Deskit>Nubra.

Nubra is around 150kms from Leh and is at an altitude of 8500ft. But the interesting bit of this trip is the extremes of elevation changes. To travel to Nubra you will have to drive up all the way upto 18380ft within 30kms from Leh and immediately drive down to 8500ft. Most of the people can cope up with the drastic changes in altitude and some cannnot. In our case, my wife couldnt cope up to the changes and has to experience the effects of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

The drive to Khardungla is steep, back breaking and during our visit was cold. The road is very good till South Pullu and it just vanishes till North Pullu which is on the other side of Khardungla. Me and wife had fun during the climb. I was expecting some effects at Khardungla but all was fine. There is a tea stall at the highest motorable pass and we had some break after the twisty and bumpy drive. It was snowing when we reached Khardungla. It was easily below freezing and yet we were enjoying our time near the peak.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2296-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2316-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2318-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2392-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2393-copy.jpg

On our descent towards Khardung, my wife suddenly started experiencing uneasiness, stomach aches and headaches. Initially I thought it was because of the travel and she was experiencing motion sickness. Good amount of water and a motion sickness pill helped her to gain some rest sleep. But I started to observe that her cough was not receeding. We kept driving and reached Deskit in the afternoon. We saw a huge sandstorm on our way to Deskit.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2439-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2464-copy.jpg

Deskit and Nubra are small Army posts in a valley where Shyoak and Nubra rivers meet.
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2466-copy.jpg

We checked into StenDen hotel in deskit and after a small rest we headed off to Nubra. Nubra is 10kms from Deskit and is unique place with lots and lots of Sand Dunes. It is in the valley of the Nubra river and is a very interesting place. As with most of the places around in Ladakh, you have to travel quiet some distance with lots of elevation changes. The aahh of the place is for 5 minutes only and then you just look around the same mountains, there is literally no vegetation around and you wonder what next, unless you are a keen observer of light and shadows like I do. Anyway, we spent very little time in this place as my wife's health was detiriorating every minute. Here are some beautiful postcards of Nubra
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2471-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2485-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2528-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2541-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2542-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2573-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2584-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2590-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2612-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2620-copy.jpg

We had our tasty dinner pretty early and my wife had the most horrible night. Her cough was unstoppable and she just couldnt lie down. Eventually she had sit on a chair upright and sleep the till early morning. Looking at her condition, I was left with very few options. There is a government hospital in fron the hotel but most of the hotel staff advised me to take her back to Leh. That meant we had to do the bumpy drive through the steep elevations. We eventually decided to go back to Leh. The hotel staff were extremely helpful and packed us garlic soup and hot water for the trip.

We left the hotel in Deskit very early and reached Leh by noon. Even as we rushed through to Leh, I couldnt let go of some of the rarest photography opportunities. I would have ideally liked to spend more time here but the conditions didnt allow me to. No complaints though. Here are some pictures on ur way back from Nubra/Deskit
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2651-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2662-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2675-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2696-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2735-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2709-copy.jpg
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2783-copy.jpg

As soon as we reached Leh I took my wife to a doctor. He just rushed us to the government hospital. The doctors in the hospital asked me to admit my wife for the entire night. Looking at what she had gone through the previous night I didnt question and wanted her to get maximum rest under supervised care. She was put on oxygen, given couple of shots to thin her blood and reduce flum that had accumulated. Believe me, there is a ward for tourists itself in this hospital. When we entered the ward, there were a few foreign tourists and a few Indians on oxygen already.

We still had three days to go in Ladakh. Pangong lake and Zanskar valley were yet to be seen. As a passionate photographer I was very keen on photgraphing Pangong lake. So I went ahead and asked the doctor if I could do the trip next day. The answer came a little hesitantly and he said no. He asked me do you want to put her through this again. I looked at my wife and immediatley decided to call off the trip.

I called up my travel agent in Satya Sai tourists and asked him to book new air tickets for me and wife for the early morning flight next day. They took 45 mins to complete the task, didnt ask me for money or credit card details also. Since I had to fly back early in the morning, we decided to leave to the airport directly from the hospital. I had informed this to my travel agent and he inturn had informed the folks in Noble House, Leh where all my belongings were stacked. I reached the hotel and packed my bags. The hotel kitchen staff packed food for me and wife for the night in a hotcase and also wrote off the Rs.500+ outstanding bills. They arranged a cab for me back to the hospital and for the morning pickup and also helped me to get print out of the tickets. Dorjee accompanied me to the hospital to check my wife's condition and wished her well. If not for them, it wouldnt have been truely a horrendous experience for me and my wife. I felt like we were helped by a family and since we had such a amazing experience, the incomplete trip doent seem incomplete at all.
Attached Thumbnails
Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh-dsc_2719-copy.jpg  

pradeep_mk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2011, 10:44   #12
BHPian
 
rahul_sinha's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 265
Thanked: 156 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

@pradeep_mk: Awesome photographs - one of the best on the Ladakh circuit, rating 5 stars. And thanks for providing details on the stay, will help fellow bhpians like me.
And kudos to you for handling the journey with aplomb. Well being of loved ones is more important. I am sure there will be next time. Did you carry any medicines to counter AMS with you?
rahul_sinha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2011, 18:49   #13
Newbie
 
pradeep_mk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 15
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_sinha View Post
@pradeep_mk: Awesome photographs - one of the best on the Ladakh circuit, rating 5 stars. And thanks for providing details on the stay, will help fellow bhpians like me.
And kudos to you for handling the journey with aplomb. Well being of loved ones is more important. I am sure there will be next time. Did you carry any medicines to counter AMS with you?
Thanks rahul_sinha!! I agree with you, there will be a next time and I have made up my mind that next time will be in winter.
We were on Diamox pills from two days prior to the start of the Leh arrival. Unfortunately my wife experienced severe side effects from Diamox. We were told that side effects were common like numbness of fingers and hands but she started experiencing numbness on her face and it would just not subside. We were later told that this was common. The problem with pills like diamox is the extent of side effects varies from individual to individual. So a good prescribtion and consulting is a must!! This is not to be taken lightly. Most of us feel we can achieve it easily.
pradeep_mk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2011, 03:02   #14
BHPian
 
chethan.ram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 159
Thanked: 23 Times
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Nice write up and images. I see people come back from Ladakh with some great images. Waiting for my turn to go there. Hopefully will be able to do it next year.
chethan.ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2011, 18:16   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: new delhi
Posts: 12
Thanked: Once
Default Re: Om Mani Padme Hum - The Jewel called Ladakh

Dear pradeep ur pictures are amezing.Pictures are speaking themself. One more thing i would like to tell real name of the river is SINDHU and these were romans who pronounced sindhu as INDUS. Indus is also source for our country's name as INDIA.Otherwise it is ARYAVRAT.Aryans still have a village there in Laddakh.
rajeevkmr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
3M Paint Protection V/s Waxoyl V/s Dupont Teflon V/s Jewel Ultra Diamond Brite Sunilrj Modifications & Accessories 222 27th April 2017 07:51
My Jewel.. “Deep Sapphire Blue - Honda JAZZ" scrooze Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 51 9th November 2013 11:47
A little hum and slight metal grind kind of sound sreenivass Technical Stuff 11 17th May 2008 20:05
how to get the hum sound? hellspawn Modifications & Accessories 20 4th August 2006 04:31


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 03:22.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks