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Old 30th March 2015, 00:26   #1
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Default Photologue: How I got Leh’ed

How I got Leh’ed

Prologue

Leh needs no introduction and words fall short to explain the magnanimity. This is one road journey that should not be missed, this is going to get him/her hooked, for life – beware!
Well with Ladakh, once is not enough, twice is not enough, an entire lifetime is not enough. Ladakh is the stuff dreams are made of. Road trips will never be the same again, after a tryst with this unbelievable and hauntingly beautiful land of Passes.

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I was very keen to visit this magnificent place. This was on the top of my Bucket list and I could not wait till I visited this awesome place.

The thing about Ladakh is that the journey itself is the most enjoyable memory one would carry with themselves.
There were minor hiccups, headaches, I also got a little high(kid you not) after crossing a pass, experienced extreme heat, extreme cold(by my standards),made wonderful friends, experienced the colorful Hemis Fest, managed to visit the Kalachakra, experienced a state of contentment at Pathar Sahib, had butter tea at our Driver’s home, the hospitability we experienced was unparallel. Overall this was the most pleasing journey I have undertaken, me and my Camera were almost inseparable. The Only glitch I would put in is that my wife could not accompany me as my kid is only 3 years old and I did not want to take any chance with his health. I have promised myself that I will take my wife along this beautiful destination in the near future.

This is not a travelogue but I would put it as more of a photologue.

The route we took was as under

Route
Delhi - Manali – Jispa - Rohtang Pass - Tandi - Keylong - Jispa - Darcha - Baralacha La - Sarchu - Pang - Morey Plains - Tanglang La - Upshi - Karu – Leh – Nubra Valley – Leh – Pangong lake

Some of the pics i clicked on my way from Manali to Leh

Rohtang pass @ 6 in the morning
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Our Stay at Jispa, this was a wonderful place to Stay, we also went for a beautiful walk in the evening
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The beautiful Suraj Tal on tht way to Baralacha La
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On the way to Sarchu

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The Famous and awe inspiring Morey Plains
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Gata Loops
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Some misc pics
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Hemis Festival & Thiksey Monastery
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Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd April 2015 at 15:45. Reason: Minor formatting
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Old 31st March 2015, 10:43   #2
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Delhi to Manali
This could have been by far the most boring route of this trip but for a small skirmish we experienced in our Bus from Delhi to Manali, where there was a fight between two gentlemen, and we realized very quickly the difference between folks from the Northern belt and from someone who has been born and brought up in Mumbai.

We started our journey at 5.30 p.m. from Delhi and reached Manali early morning at 7.30 a.m. Apart from the small skirmish, a break for the one of the dude who was involved in the fight to change his t-shirt which was torn in the fight J and a dinner break, the journey was routine.

A Day in Manali
Manali was a stopover before we started the trip towards to Leh, we had identified couple of places we wanted to visit in Manali, top of the list was the Hadimba temple. This is a 400 year old temple with beautiful Wooding Carvings surrounded by Deodar trees. There is another temple in the vicinity named after Gatotkach.
We had lunch @ Johnson’s which is famous for its Trouts.
In the evening we went for a Village walk which was a beautiful experience and ended up at a small Waterfall. I was keen to start the journey ahead and was restless for the journey towards Jispa.
Manali is the last point before Leh to stock up for food, medicine and other essentials.

Manali to Jispa
We embarked on our first leg of the journey from Manali to Jispa on 5th July early morning, we started at 5.30 a.m. our First stop was at Rohtang Pass, one of the first close for many of us of the snow and the snow peaked mountains, a lot had been said about the route from Manali to Rohtang, there has been numerous instances where the traffic comes to a standstill, the road itself does not help, at many places there was no resemblance of any road, with snow melting and water coming down, it usually washes away the road, luckily we did not experience any traffic and were at the top of the Rohtang pass by 7.00 a.m.
Being at Rohtang gave us a glimpse of the things to come in the days ahead, particularly the passes. Time was well spent at Rohtang, did the customary photography and we moved on.

Leh City from Leh Palace
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Leh City @ night
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Hundar, Nubra and Diskit Monastery
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Misc Pics
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Pangong
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Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd April 2015 at 15:47.
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Old 31st March 2015, 11:04   #3
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Jispa to Leh

We were all geared up for our toughest day in the journey, Ideally the midway point from Manali to Leh is Sarchu but since a night in Manali (2000mts) followed by Sarchu (~4000mts) is recipe for disaster, and AMS can be deadly here, it is always advisable to stay in Jispa(3200 mts). Within a couple of hours from Jispa we reached the Second pass of the trip -- the Baralacha La. We saw lot of snow on this pass. There was a minor mishap at the pass where a truck skidded on the thick snow on the road and blocked the road, we were at the pass for approximately an hour or so. The beauty all around is mesmerizing. On the way to Baralacha we came across a beautiful lake, the Suraj Tal. One thing to be noted is that since we were still in HP all the lakes are called as Tal whereas once we are in Ladakh they are called as Tso

Further ahead was the half way point from Manali to Leh - -Sarchu, we were warned of not staying at Sarchu for a long time as the oxygen in the air is less. We passed through the famous Killing Sarai before reaching Sarchu. The landscape at Sarchu was something out of this world, The landscape started to turn barren and we had clear skies, the clouds formation in Sarchu were just fabulous.
The road from Jispa to Leh is the more adventurous and at the same time most beautiful you would have ever experienced. There as many things to look out for—the Gata Loops, the More Plains, Passes namely Nakeela, Lachungla and of course the Tanglang.
Our next stop was at Pang where we took an extended break before continuing our journey towards Leh. What we saw next was something which cannot be described—the More Plains.

Imagine yourself to be crisscrossing the serpentine roads and lo and behold you have a Plateau which stretches 40 kms, this is a must see place for its almost unbelievable to experience such a flat surface amidst the vast mountains, its Natural Rock and Sand Formations. Once we cross Morey Plains the next photo op is the Tanglang la, the third Highest Motorable pass(that is what is claimed). I have to mention here that throughout the trip most of us had the most difficult time in breathing at this pass, as soon as I ventured out of the vehicle I got a “kick” and found myself dizzy, similar thing happened to my fellow travelers, we quickly came back inside the vehicle and moved on.

After Tanglang la we are at the outskirts of Leh in approximately 3 hours where we had a hot cup of coffee, ate some biscuits and basically just relaxed after the taxing journey. We soon Reached Leh in the evening, we could see thousands of camp for the Kalachakra Fest which was being held in Ladakh after 75 years, We were all super excited to have reached Leh and we deserved hot dinner and a sleep well deserved.

The rest of the trip was pretty much on the expected lines except that we were lucky to experience the Hemis Festival and the Kalchakra Festival.

Kalchakra Festival, you can see the number of colorful umbrellas, it was a sight i can never forget.
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The Confluence of Zanskar and Indus.
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These are all Pangong pics, you have to be there to believe the beauty and serenity of this place, no words ot photographs can do justice to the calmness and beauty of this place.
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Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd April 2015 at 15:48.
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Old 3rd April 2015, 15:48   #4
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Default re: Photologue: How I got Leh’ed

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing these stunning pictures!
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Old 5th April 2015, 13:32   #5
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Default Re: Photologue: How I got Leh’ed

Hey Mayur. Those are some really stunning pictures! It's been a long four years since I visited Ladakh. Miss it like hell.

As good as the images are, you are absolutely right when you say no photographs can do justice to the calmness and beauty of the place.
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Old 6th April 2015, 17:48   #6
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Default Re: Photologue: How I got Leh’ed

Those are some wallpaper material pictures that you have shared out there. Thanks for sharing. Each time I see a travelogue / photologue related to Leh, I feel rather embarrassed for not having been there yet.
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Old 6th April 2015, 22:03   #7
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I have never seen such a clear skies. Excellent pictures!
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Old 9th April 2015, 22:32   #8
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Ladakh is always a treat to the eyes Thanks for sharing
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Old 10th April 2015, 10:42   #9
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Default Re: Photologue: How I got Leh’ed

Awesome pics, specially mention to Pangong. Can you give more details on the drive. which is the vehicle, Is it a self drive and is it your own vehicle/hired. Road conditions?
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Old 10th April 2015, 11:44   #10
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Hi mdave, great Photolouge. Really the pictures are great, specially the one with stars and the green valley in between barren hills.
I think I have missed about the vehicle you have used, was it self driven? Although there were couple of pictures of bikes but I think it was not your mode of transport as you have said.
"I have to mention here that throughout the trip most of us had the most difficult time in breathing at this pass, as soon as I ventured out of the vehicle I got a “kick” and found myself dizzy, similar thing happened to my fellow travelers, we quickly came back inside the vehicle and moved on."
We are planning for a Ladakh trip in August with Hatches and Sedans guided by couple of SUVs hence any first hand experience will help us out in planning.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11th April 2015, 12:25   #11
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Hi Mayur,

You have clicked stunning images of the landscapes, amazing visuals. Please do continue the photologue if you have more images.

Can you share further details of the trip / costs etc. We are a group of 6 to 8 planning to visit this June / July from Mumbai. Would you recommend to get a travel operator to plan out the trip and the hotel bookings?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11th April 2015, 16:06   #12
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Hey, Thank you for your feedback, i do have many more pics, believe me, you end up clicking loads of pics on this trip.
I went with a travel company RLTGO, this is a company based in Delhi, they are professionals and know their trips.
Ideally you should do this trip on your own, there are millions of posts and information available online, i went with them since i was alone and wantedsome company.
We travelled in group of 18 folks and were travelling in Scorpio from Delhi.

I visited this place in the beginning of July.

SouraC, we went in a group and drove in a Scorpio / Xylo most of the time. Hatches and Sedan may not be an ideal mode, though it does not mean you cannot drive them, there are many stretches where it will be difficult.
i would advise you to go through this link on team-bp
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ate-guide.html (Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide)
i consider this to be the holy grail of how to travel to Leh, it has all the details you need for this trip.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 11th April 2015 at 17:31. Reason: Making it as one logical post.
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Old 11th April 2015, 18:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdave View Post
I visited this place in the beginning of July.
Interesting.. Early July sky normally shows lot of clouds with character. Must say you got a pretty clean sky all along.

Lovely set of pictures. Only request, send your camera to service center for sensor dust cleaning (wet cleaning I mean).
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Old 11th April 2015, 19:22   #14
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MDave - You are plain lucky to have such clear skies when you visited Pangong. We were there in August last week. All the way it was sunny but at the lake, clouds came from no where. it was bright but not sunny. The sunlight added that extra zing to your photos. great write up. BTW, how was your pagal nulla experience?
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Old 11th April 2015, 19:22   #15
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I agree... I have had the camera serviced
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