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Old 6th August 2010, 16:07   #61
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Deky,
+1 to what you say about the photos. And beyond trust, it would be grave error to publish them here which is an open forum. I guess it's best that you skip siachen and proceed, for the sake of national security.

And google is not only wrong in proclaiming Siachen glacier as part of Pakistan. They also stopped the LOC abruptly. Forget the PoK. After so many wars, atleast we have a strong LoC within which the Siachen falls.

I don't mind if google shows me a route smack over the jog falls. But google messing with international borders is not nice.
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Old 6th August 2010, 19:21   #62
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Deky bhai,

AWESOME!!! is a very mild expression to convey the magnificience of the photos that you have posted. The narration also made me feel like I was part of the trip and has made me feel very very proud of being an Indian.

Thank you for the travelogue and for showing us the letter of sacrifice from Capt. Vijayant Thapar and the equally touching note from his father. Bravery and sacrifice cannot get a more perfect example than this. My salute to this hero and many other unsung, unheard and forgotten heroes of our country!

Salute to the whole Indian Armed Forces and their indomitable spirit. Jai Hind!
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Old 6th August 2010, 20:29   #63
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Default Day6:- Partapur-Hunder-Deskit-Leh

Partapur is basically a small village just ahead of Hunder. Nothing of importance there except army presence. Actually just ahead is an airport which caters for IAF aircrafts. These aircrafts get in supplies for the men in Siachen, hence these days you hardly see any convoys across Khardung La. Also there are Jet Airways/ AI flights that land here only taking Army men going on leave. This is a boon for those going on leave as with this fascility they can reach anywhere within India on the same day. Earlier they were transported to Leh, then wait for their turn at Leh and then either fly to Delhi or Jammu in turn wasting a lot of hard earned leave days.

So you never know in the near future if the things improve, we might be flying straight into the Nubra valley

The only thing I did not approve of The Army doing was putting this poor guy just outside my hut. But then when you do countless good deeds one error can overlooked.
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It did not take much time to reach Hunder from there. En Route we saw these people immaculately dressed waiting to receive some senior Lama in the village.
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Thank God my daughter was awake when we reached the place where you can see the Bactrian Camels.
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She was pretty excited to see them and so were we.
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Initially we had not planned to do the safari but the plan changed in no time. A 15 mnts safari costs Rs.150/- and a 30 mnts safari is for Rs. 300/- My daughter was all excited to sit on the camel but as soon as the Safari started she wanted to come down. My wife who took the ride because of our daughter was then stuck on the camel for the next 15 mnts.
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This baby camel was cute, my daughter wanted to take it home. Imagine a cold desert camel in a hot desert, so we just took a pic
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And so was this grand old man/lady. Quite majestic.
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Dunes, river, mountains, greenery, snow all in one frame. Reminds me of the photo I took similar to this in Tibet.
At Hunder
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At Tibet
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After Hunder it was time for Deskit. The attraction at Deskit was the 120 ft high Buddha statue, where HH Dalai Lama had just spent 4 days. Buddha statue and the Deskit gompa visible from far.
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The Buddha statue is at a height and is a marvelous peace of art.
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The Deskit Gompa is adjacent to it but we did not go there.
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Since the Statue is at a height the views from there are amazing.
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The three coloured chortens depict sky, peace and earth.
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Arrow straight road cutting across the Nubra valley.
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Soon we had crossed Khalsar and were going up and down the mountains again. Wind and water erosion had given the mountains beautifull shapes.
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Gorges formed over the years.
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Village of Khardung at a distance.
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Villagers channel water in canals to water their fields. By the way Nubra valley is also known for its flowers in this month.
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Clouds over Khardung La were looking ominous.
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We slowly moved up on bad roads and lots of river crossings in slight drizzle.
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And reached grey KhardungLa. We were told it had snowed a bit earlier.
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Aira thankfully was awake this time, so father and daughter could play in the snow.
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But we had to move down fast before the weather got worst and a land slide would block our way. But not before taking a picture of this mess. Sad Sad Sad!!
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As we descended Khardung La looked sad under thick cloud cover.
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And by the time we reached Leh, the heavens opened up on Leh too.
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Today was our last night in Leh as tomorrow we would be driving to Kargil and spending the night there. Also my uncle would be leaving us back to Delhi since he had some important assignment. Hence I would be left with all the ladies.
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Old 6th August 2010, 23:37   #64
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Leh is devastated from the flashfloods yesterday night. The situation/condition as shown on TV looks extremely grim. More than 100 Dead and many Missing. Praying to god that we are able to find Missing people safe and sound. Hope all BHPians traveling to Leh are Safe.

As always, Army is doing a great job in ensuring a quick rescue and relief operations.
Please Pray for the departed souls.

Your Log and pictures are amazing. As always, I enjoyed going through it. You have lived to the standard that you have set for yourself through other (Sea, Kailash Mansrover and HP Trek) Travelogues.

5 Stars from me.

Last edited by Jaggu : 10th August 2010 at 19:15. Reason: Back to back post, please EDIT the original post instead. Thanks
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Old 7th August 2010, 10:40   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saleem_k View Post
Deky bhai,

AWESOME!!! is a very mild expression to convey the magnificience of the photos that you have posted. The narration also made me feel like I was part of the trip and has made me feel very very proud of being an Indian.

Thank you for the travelogue and for showing us the letter of sacrifice from Capt. Vijayant Thapar and the equally touching note from his father. Bravery and sacrifice cannot get a more perfect example than this. My salute to this hero and many other unsung, unheard and forgotten heroes of our country!

Salute to the whole Indian Armed Forces and their indomitable spirit. Jai Hind!
You have summerised the whole thing very nicely. "bravery & sacrifice" well said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaykaul View Post
Your Log and pictures are amazing. As always, I enjoyed going through it. You have lived to the standard that you have set for yourself through other (Sea, Kailash Mansrover and HP Trek) Travelogues.

5 Stars from me.
Thanks for the kind words Sanjay!!
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Old 7th August 2010, 16:33   #66
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Default Day7= Leh-Kargil

Our stay at Leh was over. Today we were suppose to drive from Leh to Kargil. We woke up to the typical smell of wet mud. It had been drizzling through out the night and the clouds hovering over the mountains was testimony to it.
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But as the day progressed the day got better and better and we were soon paying our respects at Gurudwara Shri Pathar Sahib.
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All Army vehicles also stop here to pay their respects. One really good thing about our Army is that irrespective of the religion every member treats the other religion as it is his own. Army also have "Sarv Dharm Sthal" places of worship in all units.
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Then it was the usual stopping the vehicle and make it roll without power up at the magnetic hill.
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I dropped my water bottle on the road and it also rolled towards the so called hill with magnetic power. Never knew water/ plastic is attracted to magnets too...or maybe the incline of the road is indeed just an optical illusion.
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Thank God this rock decided to roll down much before we passed this place.
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The Sangam of Indus and Zanskar rivers. Note that the road with new black top takes you half way to the Zanskar valley till a place called Kanda La.
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This is the town of Nimmu where I spent few days acclimatising on my very first trip to Ladakh 20 years back.
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Notice the purple coloured mud. This is the mud that is mostly used to construct houses in this region. This is supposed to be as strong as cement.
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Apricots were at plenty here. Our driver was mad and he drove the Xylo stright into an apricot orchards and started plucking Apricots for us straight from the tree. We did not want to "steal" from someone's farm but it turned out that this farm belonged to his Uncle. Later we bought some more fresh Apricots from him.
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BRO says "be gentle on my curves" and rightly so!!
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Basgo town and the ruins.
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Till now the road was pretty good, infact this stretch till the Hungroo loops was the best out of the whole journey.
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My dream house is right up there next to the stream in the greenery
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This was the last of the river Indus we saw.
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This is where the Hungroo Loops start, total 22 of them. The road that you see below( black top) is an alternate route via Lamayuru. BRO had shut this road for maintenance hence we had to go via the loops.
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View from the top of the Hungroo Loops
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Rest of the journey contd..in next post!!!
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Old 7th August 2010, 16:58   #67
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Default Day7:- Leh-Kargil Contd.

After crossing the Hungroo Loops, on our way down the village of lamayuru is visible. You can also see the road that takes you without having to climb up the loops in the photo.
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Then we saw the Moonscapes.
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Lamayuru town from the top road.
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One single mountain with so many colours and shades was a treat to watch.
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Fotu La after KahrdungLa and ChangLa is a non event. But still a pic is must for keep sakes.
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As per our driver this rock on the mud hill would fall of in the next 10 years. He says he has been watching this mud hill getting thinner and thinner over the years due to wind erosion.
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We found a nice spot for a picnic lunch just after BodhKharbo village. This rest was much needed as after Lamayuru the roads were non-existant due to widening happening. The journey was full of dust and pot holes.
Eating the packed Poori Aloo by the stream was no less than a Gala dinner.
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As we arrived closer to Kargil, the greenery definitely increased.
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Why do we have to go to South Africa when we have our own table top mountains!!
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As we arrived at Mulbek the change in culture was much evident.
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This Buddha Statue carved into a small hillock is apparently 2000yrs old. It is made by the same sculptors who made the now destroyed Bamiyan Buddha in Afghanistan.
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A local lady happy to smile for the camera.
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After Mulbek the road got a bit better but the vistas definitely changed.
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This Monastery of Shergol is built inside a cave in the mountain.
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Soon we arrived at the Town of Kargil situated at the banks of Suru. Unfortunately the town was closed due to a Bund, so the plan of the ladies going to the town and shopping for Almond Oil was put to rest.
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Command center visible from the town on top of the mountain. This is not classified information, everyone in the town knows what is there on the hill hence posting the pic.
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Since there was nothing much to do we retired to our twin huts aptly name NUN & KUN for a quiet evening. The discussion of the evening was Srinagar as we knew that Srinagar town our next days destination was under curfew and the surrounding villages that came on our was were on boil too.
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Old 7th August 2010, 17:51   #68
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Nice pictures Deky. Whats the green connection as I see you have travelled with an LO and CHT's. You stayed at NaimkaLa while Khardungla used to be my favourite hut near to your one. It doest get quite windy in the evenings. Do the AAC still practices there in the evenings? And in Kargil Nun and Kun are great places to stay as they afford quite a view of the town down below, if I remember correctly. Did you get food at Bodhkarbo? That place had a tea stall in 10 years back who was only good and cooking and boiling your MTR food packets, lol. He used to charge us 2 packets for making them for us. How much time did you spend at the base? At Partapur did you go for a walk towards Shyok? Its the narrow gravel road alongside the scouts mess. Aha pakodas at North Pullu, devine and the weather can change in a jiffy there, from barren green slopes to a blanket of white in a matter for a few minutes.
Since you did it the official way the trip seemed more recognizable through your eyes than the other leh travellogues. The bathrooms at Panamik have been under construction from time immemorial and would remain so I think.
Siachen issue is about occupying the heights. Basically there is a ridge called as Saltoro Ridge that India says should be the natural divide as in Mountains borders are often defined through natural divides. It is hotly contested and the neighbours claim that the LOC should rather be a straight line between Pt X and Y. (not putting up the real coordinates, here). It was way back in the late 70's that we first woke up to this marvel of nature when the Army sent a adventure team to these heights. They found Ciggi packets of a foreign brand popular among the neighbouring officers which led to some palpable tensions. Then when a same swedish firm who supplied to us both (since business is business) in passing remarked about the shopping list for high altitude clothings from the next doors that it was decided to pre emt a climing expedition from the other side. And lo and behold when the khakis came climbing they were more than surprised to see the dash of greens all along the high ridges. And the rest as they say is history.
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Old 7th August 2010, 18:01   #69
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Excellent photos deky. Yes, as others have said, it is a different kind of Leh TL. The quality and composing of pics is top class.
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Old 7th August 2010, 18:29   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Nice pictures Deky. Whats the green connection as I see you have travelled with an LO and CHT's. You stayed at NaimkaLa while Khardungla used to be my favourite hut near to your one. It doest get quite windy in the evenings. Do the AAC still practices there in the evenings? And in Kargil Nun and Kun are great places to stay as they afford quite a view of the town down below, if I remember correctly. Did you get food at Bodhkarbo? That place had a tea stall in 10 years back who was only good and cooking and boiling your MTR food packets, lol. He used to charge us 2 packets for making them for us. How much time did you spend at the base? At Partapur did you go for a walk towards Shyok? Its the narrow gravel road alongside the scouts mess. Aha pakodas at North Pullu, devine and the weather can change in a jiffy there, from barren green slopes to a blanket of white in a matter for a few minutes.
Since you did it the official way the trip seemed more recognizable through your eyes than the other leh travellogues. The bathrooms at Panamik have been under construction from time immemorial and would remain so I think.
Siachen issue is about occupying the heights. Basically there is a ridge called as Saltoro Ridge that India says should be the natural divide as in Mountains borders are often defined through natural divides. It is hotly contested and the neighbours claim that the LOC should rather be a straight line between Pt X and Y. (not putting up the real coordinates, here). It was way back in the late 70's that we first woke up to this marvel of nature when the Army sent a adventure team to these heights. They found Ciggi packets of a foreign brand popular among the neighbouring officers which led to some palpable tensions. Then when a same swedish firm who supplied to us both (since business is business) in passing remarked about the shopping list for high altitude clothings from the next doors that it was decided to pre emt a climing expedition from the other side. And lo and behold when the khakis came climbing they were more than surprised to see the dash of greens all along the high ridges. And the rest as they say is history.
1. Lol!!! LO and CHT's now thats nice to hear someone apart from me using the term on the forum. As for the Fauji connection, my side of the family and my wife's side of the family are all in Fauj.

2. We had 3 Rooms in the Holiday home. My MIL stayed in KhardungLa and My MIL's younger sister and his husband stayed in FotuLa.

3. It was very very windy in the evenings the 4 evenings we were there.
4. What do you mean by AAC? Sorry dont know the full form

5. Yeah we stayed in Nun Kun in Kargil. Pic will be posted in the next post.

6. By the time we reached Partapur it was already 2000hrs, hence no time to do anything except sleep. We spent not more than 30 mnts at the base. I think we stayed in the Scouts mess, next to the GOC hut.

7. The food that we had at BodhKharbo we carried it packed from Holiday Home Leh.

8. North Pullu hot pakoras were actually devine.

9. Thanks for the info on Siachen. Have you served there?


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Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Excellent photos deky. Yes, as others have said, it is a different kind of Leh TL. The quality and composing of pics is top class.
Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 7th August 2010, 18:43   #71
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I happened to read the first part of your writeup before I left for Ladakh. It gave me a whole new perspective of what the region was like many years ago. And now I am reading your latest Leh travelogue just days after I got back myself. Brilliant. Thank You.

Slightly OT, but a small prayer for lives lost in the flash floods that devastated Leh. May they rest in peace.
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Old 8th August 2010, 13:01   #72
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Default Day8:- Kargil- Dras-Sonamarg- Srinagar

Our Taxi Driver wanted to leave by 0700hrs in the morning. He was with us till Sonamarg only and from there we were supposed to take another taxi to Srinagar.

His concern was that he wanted to drop us before the Up convoy from Sonmarg started for ZojiLa. We had taken permission from Ghumri TCP and were allowed to pass the ZojiLa anytime we wanted to. But still we wanted to start early as we knew there was trouble in Srinagar. But by the time we left it was 0830 hrs.

Our accomodation at Kargil.
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Soon we were on our way to Dras from Kargil. This point on the road is actually visible from the other side of the LOC. Hence the civil admin. has made a permanent concrete wall to save the NH and the vehicle from direct shelling or fire.
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The route along the Suru was really very scenic and picturesque. Why would we ever want to part with this land??
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I showed my middle finger to the enemy:P
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If you notice closely on the hill tops you can see plenty of bunkers around. These bunkers are mostly civil to save the villagers from the shelling.
Spot the bunkers on the hill tops.
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This river on the right side comes from across the LOC and joins the Suru and flows into India. See even the rivers prefer to flow in our country
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As we approached Drass the greenery and the vistas got better. Drass as you all know is the 2nd coldest habitable place in the world after Vostok in Russia. The winter temperature recorded in 1995 here was -60 Degrees C.
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While crossing Drass the war memorial here is a must visit. It tells you how our brave men fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

"Marte Bhi Gaye, kahte Bhi Gaye Azadi Ke Parwane
Jeen To Usi ka Jeen Hai Jo Marna Watan Pe Jaane

Aye Watan Aye Watan Humko Teri Kasam Teri Rahon Pe Jaan Tak Luta Jayenge
Phool Kya Cheez Hai Tere Kadmon Pe Hum Bhenth Apne Saron ki chaṛa Jayenge"


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The hill tops where our brave men fought and the war for us against all odds. Its no easy task when the enemy has taken the higher positions and you know you will be in the direct line of fire.
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The legendary Tiger Hill Peak.
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Draupadi Kund just after Drass.
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Road around Ghumri TCP was good.
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Amazing sceneries greeted us as we started the ascend to Zojila. These green pastures are a delight to watch and lots of nomads come to this area with their cattle. Also at the onset of winters when they return to lower grounds, there are so many of them with their cattle that the road has to be closed for 5 days.
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At the top the road was really really bad. But the vistas made up for the bad roads. With the greenery and the clouds hanging on the hill top, it did feel we were going to heaven
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Infact there are 2 routes to ZojiLa. One is the top route which was closed for maintenance. The top route apprently the road is much better. We were asked to take the lower route and the roads there we horrible.
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HMV traffic was stuck there as they were allowing only a few vehicles at a time since blasting was going on the top route and all the debris was falling on the bottom.

We were in a LMV hence were given priority and soon we crossed on to the other side of ZojiLa.
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Day8:- Sonamarg to Srinagar Contd..in next post.
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Old 8th August 2010, 13:25   #73
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Default Day8:- Kargil- Dras-Sonamarg- Srinagar Contd

Luckily the up convoy had not started as yet from Sonmarg, hence the route down was pretty fast. The road was also much better.
View of Baltal, which is the base for Amarnath Yatra.
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We arrived at Sonamarg by 1400hrs. We had to have lunch and were supposed to change vehicle Here. The driver that was supposed to take us to Srinagar told us that the road to Srinagar is closed and we would have to wait till the situation got better. Anyway we had accommodation in Sonamarg if we wanted so we decided to wait patiently. And what other better thing to do than to take pics of this beautifull place while we waited. Sonamarg for me is still very very pretty.
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Finally we started to drive through the valley towards Srinagar. Everything was shut and there was visible tension all around as we got closer to our destination.
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05824.jpg

This accident had happened the previous morning when one tavera in order to overtake the other tavera from the same party, fell down in the ditch below. There were 7 people in this tavera who thankfully all survived the horrible crash.
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05826.jpg
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05830.jpg

Just before Ganderbal we joined a huge que of vehicles. All the vehicles were stopped from entering Srinagar town as there was still stone throwing happening there.
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05831.jpg

After about an hour we were asked to move on and we reached the town. This is all I could capture of the lake.
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05832.jpg
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05833.jpg
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05835.jpg

The town looked like a war zone.
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05837.jpg

Curfew, policemen and stones greeted us in the city.
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05839.jpg

DAY9- Srinagar
The whole day was spent in the confines of the house thanks to the curfew

DAY10- Flight from Srinagar to Jammu
This was the last day Srinagar airport was open. After this day even the airport was closed for a few days. We were lucky enough to reach the airport that day to take our flight out of Srinagar.
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-dsc05846.jpg

This was the end to a beautifull holiday. We were also lucky to leave Leh in time before it was devastated by floods.

Hope the town gets the strength to be back on its feet soon and is restored to its original grandeur. May the souls of the departed RIP

A big thumbs up and a heart felt thank you to the Indian Army for manning our borders and helping one and all in such adverse conditions and also making us feel proud of our beautiful Country.

THE END
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Old 8th August 2010, 20:48   #74
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Default A few Panoramas

1. Panorama of 4 photos of the 2 story Buddha at Thiksey
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-buddhapano.jpg

2. Panorama of 4 photos of Pangong Tso
Ladakh- A family Holiday Pictorial!!-tsopano.jpg
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Old 9th August 2010, 01:33   #75
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very nice photos.

felt very sorry to see the "red road" in srinagar, it is a beautiful place ruined by MEN! i wish they all leave the place and just keep it naturally beautiful for us tourists!
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