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Old 29th May 2018, 17:01   #16
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We were approaching Drass. I wanted to consult a doctor for my cough or at least a medical store to get some cough syrup. We reached Drass. We didn't find any doctor or Medical store.

Approaching Drass.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-130.jpg

At Drass Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-131.jpg

We reached Drass War Memorial. I remembered the name of Commanding officer of Drass war Memorial. During my last trip, I had a brief conversation with CO Sir.

Some Extract from my Last trip's Travelogue.

Quote:
We asked that Army Man what to do. He advised us to meet their CO (Commanding Officer). We approached their CO. CO was a nice cooperative person.

He advised us not to spend the night at Drass. He told us to keep driving, cross Zoji La and reach Sonmarg.

We told him...
“For that, we have to cross mighty Zoji La in pitch dark”.

He said...
“yes you’ll have to but that's the only way out. You can't cross Srinagar during the day. It is very risky”.

He insisted us to reach Sonamarg and wait for two or three hours and cross Srinagar after 2330. He also told us that things were not good even in Drass.
I approached CO Sir, he immediately recognised me and said with a smile...
" kya Shreyas fir se aa gaya, nai?" (Shreyas, you came again?).

He remembered my name. He invited me into his cabin. He noticed my condition and called their medical personnel. The medical guy checked my throat and told me that I have a serious throat infection. He gave me some medicines and asked me to consult a proper doctor in Kargil or Leh. I shared tea with CO Sir, thanked him and went to see Drass War Memorial.

Drass War Memorial.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-132.jpg

Drass War Memorial.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-133.jpg

Drass War Memorial.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-134.jpg

We left Drass War Memorial and kept moving. Army medicine did a miracle on me. I was back in my original mood. We stopped again at some bridge and spent some amazing time.

Back in Game.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-135.jpg

Let's move.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-136.jpg

We reached Kargil, crossed it and stopped for a while to have a bird-eye view of Kargil town. It was 1400, all of us were starving. We didn't have anything with us to eat in our car. That was a mistake.

Kargil Town.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-137.jpg

A stop.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-138.jpg

At the outskirts of Kargil, there was only one small dhaba kind of food joint. That dhaba had only two things available, mutton momos and Samosa. If we want proper food, we had to go back to Kargil. No...a Big No ! We ordered whatever was available and finished it.

Mutton Momo.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-139.jpg

Samosa.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-140.jpg

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Old 29th May 2018, 17:18   #17
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On 14/05/2018 at 14.30, we were at Kargil. I checked my distance vs time sheet. We were perfectly on time. As per our plan, we were going to stay for a night at Lamayuru, a small village on Srinagar Leh highway. We were 102 km far from Lamayuru.

After our lunch of Momos and Samosa, we started again. We all were relaxed and refreshed. After a while, we reached Mulbekh village. Mulbekh is situated 45 km from Kargil and 260 km from Leh in Ladakh region. Mulbekh is famous for its two gompas and the nine-meter tall statue of Maitreya Buddha.

We stopped for a while at Maitreya Buddha statue and played/prayed at praying wheel. Personally, I found nothing impressive at Mulbekh. At Mulbekh, We spotted one brave cycling family.

The monastery at Mulbekh.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-144.jpg

Statue of Maitreya Buddha.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-145.jpg

Praying wheel.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-146.jpg

Brave Family.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-147.jpg

We moved ahead from Mulbekh. We started climbing up. We were approaching one more pass named Namika la. Within no time, we reached Namika La pass.

With Yellow Board of Namika La.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-148.jpg

With Green Board of Namika La.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-150.jpg

Our Ride.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-149.jpg

There was no getting down from Namika La. We kept moving ahead. We were enjoying beautiful views and tarred road.

Getting down from Namik La.
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Humour.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-152.jpg

We kept moving. One more pass was waiting for us. Fotu la is actually the highest point between Srinagar and Leh. However, Zoji La takes all the glamour and credit due to its strategic location.

Approaching Fotu LA.
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At Fotu La.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-154.jpg

Dilesh with Green Board.
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It was 1600, we approached Lamayuru. It was 14km away from Fotu La.

Approaching Lamayuru.
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Approaching Lamayuru.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-157.jpg

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Old 29th May 2018, 17:32   #18
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At 1630, We reached Lamayuru. Lamayuru is a small village in Ladakh, midway between Kargil and Leh on NH1-D, the Srinagar-Leh highway. Lamayuru is home to one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, dating back to the 10th century. Local legend has it that the place was once a lake that dried up. The village has around 100 houses scattered around the Lamayuru Monastery.

We stopped at one of the crossings, parked our car, made two teams of two persons and started searching for a hotel/guesthouse/ homestay for our night stay. We were early, most of the stay options didn't even start functioning.

At Lamayuru.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-158.jpg

Lamayuru Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-159.jpg

Search for a night stay.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-160.jpg

Finally, we found a decent guesthouse. Greenland Guesthouse on the main road. We got a nice deal, 1200/- per room (twin sharing) including dinner and breakfast. It means 600 per head. That was an excellent deal. We got running hot water and wifi, what else one needs?

Greenland GuestHouse.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-161.jpg

Greenland GuestHouse.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-162.jpg

We checked in, freshened up and rushed to see Lamayuru Monastery. We roamed outside of Monastery, talked with some locals, talked with monks and clicked some photographs.

Stupa at Lamayuru Monastery.
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Lamayuru Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-164.jpg

Praying Wheels.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-165.jpg

With Monk.
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Chilling Out.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-167.jpg

Lamayuru Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-168.jpg

We had some half-hour of daylight. We rushed to Lamayuru Moonland. Lamayuru Moonland is a Moon-like landscape of Lamayuru village is famously known as moon land amongst tourist.

Lamayuru Moonland.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-169.jpg

Lamayuru Moonland.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-170.jpg

Lamayuru Moonland.
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At 1930, we got back to our guesthouse and called it a day. We were 117km far from Leh.

End of the Day.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-172.jpg

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Old 29th May 2018, 18:01   #19
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Day 5 (15/05/2018): Lamayuru to Leh.

During the planning phase of this trip, many friends advised me to have a night stay at Kargil. I had my reason to choose Lamayuru. We were short on time but wanted to visit most of the attractions in and around Leh. During the drive of Lamayuru to Leh, I wanted to cover all the attractions on Srinagar--Leh highway. If I cover these places during my Lamayuru to Leh drive, I would not need to come again to Srinagar Leh highway to see those attractions.

We had good rest at Lamayuru. At 0700, we were ready to move. Lamayuru to Leh is 115 km. The road is excellent. I wanted to reach Leh before 1400. I wanted to reach Leh and consult a doctor. However, I could not spoil other's fun.

We started for Leh at 0730.

To Leh.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-173.jpg

Vicky, Joy and Dilesh were excited.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-174.jpg

We were driving parallel to a beautiful river. I wanted to touch that pristine water. I was searching for an approach road/ track to get into the river. We found an approach road. I wanted to try it. I asked others to get off the car and approached that stiff slope. We were at the bank of that beautiful river.

Beautiful River.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-175.jpg

Pristine Water.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-179.jpg

Getting Inside.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-176.jpg

Let's touch it.
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Wow feeling.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-178.jpg

After a brief stop at the river, we moved ahead. There was a diversion for Likir village. I always wanted to have a glimpse of Likir Monastery. We turned towards Likir.

We moved ahead.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-180.jpg

Welcome to Likir.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-181.jpg

Turning to Likir was rewarding. The road to Likir was full of amazing views. We were enjoying the morning lights on the mountains. The only problem was my constant and irritating cough.

To Likir Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-182.jpg

To Leh.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-183.jpg

Enjoying the Morning with a heavy Cough.
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Views.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-185.jpg


After a short drive, we reached Likir Monastery. We clicked some photograph of that beautiful structure and turned back.

Frist view of Likir Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-186.jpg

Front view of Likir Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-187.jpg

Our Ride with Likit Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-188.jpg

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Old 29th May 2018, 18:25   #20
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We started driving towards Leh. Our first stop en route to Leh was The Confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers. We were on some nice tarred tarmac. We were maintaining good speed.

The road to Leh.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-189.jpg

Leh 48Km.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-190.jpg

Nimmu Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-191.jpg

Due to our high-speed, we missed the turn for Confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. I realised it after 3km. We stopped for a while and took a U-turn.

We missed the turn.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-192.jpg

The Coughing Man.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-193.jpg

We took U-turn.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-194.jpg

We reached The Confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. We spent more than half hour enjoying the water and talking with each other.

Rushed to meet the River.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-195.jpg

Vicky joined me.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-196.jpg

Dilesh and Joy joined me
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-197.jpg

The Zanskar.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-198.jpg

Yes. We enjoyed. thanks BRO.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-198.1.jpg

We got back from "Sangam" and started driving towards Leh. We stopped for a while for a bird-eye view of Confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. It was amazing.

To Leh.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-199.jpg

Bird-eye view.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-200.jpg

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Old 29th May 2018, 18:54   #21
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After a short drive, we were at the Magnetic Hill. It was all changed, there was some new construction on the side of the road. Earlier we used to enjoy off-roading on the hills of this place, now that entire area is cordoned off by some local group.

Something new.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-201.jpg

Mandatory Photo.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-202.jpg

I asked other guys to do mild off-roading by driving on a hill. They were ready. Vicky took the wheel. We climbed(drove) on a nearby hill. Joy got the vehicle down. They enjoyed it and thanks to Dilesh he clicked photographs.

Climbing up.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-203.jpg

Getting down.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-204.jpg

After the Magnetic Hill, we visited PattharSahib Gurudhwara. I remain in the car and rest of the guys went to Gurudwara.

GuruDwara.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-204.1.jpg

Dilesh Praying.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-205.jpg

Sharp at 1200, We were welcomed by this Signboard. Welcome to Leh.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-208.jpg

Before entering in Leh and checking into our guesthouse, we visited Hall of Fame Museum. We spent more than one hour at the museum.

Hall of fame.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-209.jpg

Inside of the Museum
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-210.jpg

Paying respect.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-211.jpg

Paying respect.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-212.jpg

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Old 29th May 2018, 19:09   #22
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We checked in at Zaltak Guesthouse at 1330. It was a 6-bed room with attached bathroom. Room was basic but clean and comfortable. After checking in, we rushed to the main bazaar to consult a doctor. The doctor gave me some medicine and asked to take rest for one day. I didn't have any problem with that. We were in Leh. I had nothing to do entire day.

Zaltak Guest House.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-213.jpg

Dilesh relaxing in the room.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-214.jpg

After visiting doctor, we went to Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa. We reached Leh Palace by circling entire Leh town. I chose to remain in the car for some rest. They came back within 20 minutes.

Leh Palace.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-215.jpg

Dilesh Buying tickets.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-216.jpg

View of Leh Town.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-217.jpg

View of Leh Town.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-218.jpg

Dilesh Praying. (Once Again)
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-219.jpg

After Leh Palace, We visited Shanti Stupa. We were starving. Moreover, my medicines were working on me. I was feeling sleepy. We rushed back to main Bazar for our Lunch.

Shanti Stupa.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-addon-5.jpg

Vicky at Shanti Stupa.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-addon-9.jpg

View from Shanti Stupa.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-220.jpg

View from Shanti Stupa.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-221.jpg

View from Shanti Stupa.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-223.jpg

We finished lunch and rushed back to our guest house. I briefed them about basics of Leh town and its roads. I asked them to enjoy the city and come back late night.

It was time for me to sleep. I wanted myself fit to drive to Khardung La next day.

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Old 29th May 2018, 19:28   #23
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Day 6 (16/05/2018): Leh & Khardung La.

We woke up at 0630. I was feeling well. The medicine was working on me. It was a two-day course. I kept one bottle of cough syrup with me. We got ready within a half hour. It was time to hit the road for Khardung La.

Khardung La is not a highest motorable road. However, for our trip, it was the highest point. BRO works hard to maintain the road to Khardung La.

We started driving to K-top sharp at 0700. We crossed Leh town and reached South Pullu. I asked Dilesh to go for registration and other formalities. Vicky wanted to drive. I gave him the wheel.

View From South Pullu.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-224.jpg

At Siachin Gate.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-225.jpg

With Our Ride
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-226.jpg

Vicky was a first timer for driving on mountain roads. I was sitting in the front seat and constantly guiding him. It was his vehicle. He was very careful with it. That was good. He drove amazingly. We stopped for a while at one more viewpoint.

The road to Khardung La.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-228.jpg

One more Stop.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-227.jpg

Enjoying the View.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-229.jpg

We didn't have any plan to cross Khardung La and go to Nubra Valley. We just wanted to visit Khardung La top and come back. We had plenty of time at our disposal. I asked Vicky to practise his driving skills on the mountain road.

Mountian Road.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-230.jpg

Three Idiots.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-231.jpg

Our Ride.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-232.jpg

We kept moving at a slow pace by allowing all the taxis and other vehicles to overtake us. We were enjoying the mountains. The road was in bad shape. Vicky was handling it nicely. I stopped guiding him and started clicking around.

The road.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-233.1.jpg

Mountains.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-233.2.jpg

Beautifull Mountains.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-233.jpg

We reached Khardung La top. We went to K-top cafe and ordered tea and Maggi for us. I was shocked to see hundred of Vehicles at Khardung La during starting of the season. But then, Its Khardung La, People love this place.

Highest Cafeteria.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-234.jpg

Vehicles at K top.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-235.jpg

We finished our tea and Maggi. It was time to get out and have a brief photo session with each and every signboard at Khardung La top.

Our Ride at K top.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-236.jpg

That Famous Yellow Board.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-2410.jpg

Nope, not going to Nubra.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-2401.jpg


During my earlier trips, many times I walked all the way up to Khardung La top to see the viewpoint. Those were the sweet old days. Now I am more interested in roads and Vehicles.

Mandatory Photo.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-237.jpg

Mandatory Photo.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-239.jpg

Playing with Snow.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-238.jpg

We spent more than one hour at K top. We were enjoying the weather, talking with other tourist and discussing road status with taxi drivers. Joy started complaining about breathing problem. We decided to get down. I took the wheel. We headed back to Leh.

Joy with breathing Problem.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-241.jpg

Let's get back.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-240.jpg

We reached back to Leh at 1230.
This was my fourth Visit of Leh. I never visited Three Idiot school. I never find anything excited about it. However, rest of the three idiots wanted to visit the Three Idiots school. We finished our Lunch at one of the wifi-equipped restaurants. After lunch, I asked them to drop me at Guest House and go to visit Three Idiots school. It was just 8kms far from Leh.

Here are some Photographs of Druk White Lotus School.

Druk White Lotus School.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-242.jpg

Druk White Lotus School.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-243.jpg

One of the Four Idiots.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-244.jpg

Second Idiot.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-245.jpg

Rancho's Cafe.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-246.jpg

Before going to Rancho's school, they drop me at Guest House. I met Guesthouse owner Tsweng Nubroo. We discussed many things about Ladakh. He invited me to play badminton with him. Badminton at 10000ft of altitude, why not! We played for 20 minutes and I got tired. I went to our room and slept.

Late night, rest of three idiots arrived, I instructed them to sleep early.

Next day, We were going to visit one the most beautiful places on earth.

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Old 30th May 2018, 17:09   #24
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Day 7 (17/05/2018): Leh to Merak (Pangong Tso)

Pangong...Pangong...Pangong...
The entire night this named echoed in my mind. I woke up at 0615. My fever and cough were disappeared. That was the effect of Pangong Tso. All of us were ready to move at 0700. We checked out from Zaltak guesthouse and thanked Nubroo for his amazing hospitality to our kind of budget travellers.

Pangong Tso is a beautiful endorheic lake situated in the Himalayas and is 134 km long, extending from India to China. Pangong Lake is situated at a height of 4350 m. The one factor that makes this Lake so popular is the fact that it keeps changing colours.

We carried 30ltr of fuel in cans. After Leh, we were going to travel more than 700km without any fuel bunk. XUV has a 70ltr tank. It is more than enough to do a 600kms run. However, we were going to drive in some of the worst roads. Keeping extra fuel is always advisable.

Our night stay was booked at a small village named Merak on the bank of Pangong Lake. Merak is 175km from Leh city. We started our journey to Merak sharp at 0715.

We bid farewell to Leh town and started driving towards Thikse Monastery. I wanted to visit Thikse Gompa but other guys were over excited for Pangong Lake. We dropped the Idea to visit Thikse Monastery. Clicked some Photographs and moved ahead.

Goodbye Leh.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-247.jpg

Thikse Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-248.jpg

Thikse Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-249.jpg

Thikse Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-250.jpg

Vicky took the wheel and started driving towards Sakti Village. I was hopeful to get tea and Maggi at Sakti Village. We reached Sakti village after an Hour. We stopped at Takthok Monastery. The name Takthok, literally meaning 'rock-roof' was named because both its roof as well as walls are made up of rock

Approaching Sakti Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-251.jpg

Takthok Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-252.jpg

Our ride with Takthok Monastery.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-253.jpg

After a quick breakfast, we moved ahead. We were enjoying the nature and mountains. There were some breathtaking views of Mountains.

Mountian Range.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-254.jpg

Green Valley.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-255.jpg

We stopped at many places to enjoy those views.

look at that.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-256.jpg

We were approaching Chang La. We met that famous Z, crossed it, clicked it and moved ahead.

Famous Z.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-257.jpg

To Chang LA.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-258.jpg

We started climbing on Chang La pass. After that famous Z, the road to Chang la is always chaos. Pangong Lake is one of the top tourist attractions and Chang-la pass is the gateway of some of the border military posts. Due to these reasons, Pangong road is always busy with taxies and military supply vehicles.

Climbing up
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-259.jpg

Narrow roads.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-260.jpg

A small stop.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-261.jpg

We had to take a diversion from Pangong road. After that famous Z, we took a diversion towards Wari La. The road after that diversion was in very bad condition. We had to negotiate some very tough and stiff slops. It was tough. Our XUV struggled on those slopes. We were not able to take any photo or VDO of that road.

We took the red marked road.
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We negotiated that tough patch of road and reached Chang La. The Chang La (also known as Changla) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5360 m (17,590ft). The pass, guarded and maintained by the Indian Army (due to its proximity to Chinese border), is covered with snow throughout the year. The Changla Pass is the main gateway for the Changthang Plateau situated in the Himalayas. The pass is located on the 134 km-long road between the Pangong Lake and Leh.

At Chang La.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-263.jpg

At Chang La.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-264.jpg

Jai Chang La Baba
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-265.jpg

Playing with Ice.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-266.jpg

Medical Centre.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-267.jpg

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Vicky took the wheel. We started getting down from Chang La. We were entering in the territory of Yaks, Himalayan Marmot and Kiangs. We spotted many yaks. We were searching for those "biscuit crazy" Himalayan Marmot. We didn't find any.

Vicky at Wheel.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-268.jpg

Getting down from Chang La.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-269.jpg

Yaks.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-270.jpg

And some more Yaks.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-271.jpg

Kiangs
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-kianga.jpg

And some more Kiangs.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-kiangs.jpg

We kept moving ahead. The road was good. We were enjoying the drive and amazing views. After some moments, we spotted a small frozen lake. We immediately took a turn towards that Lake.

We stopped at that lake. I got out and started getting inside the frozen Lake. Other guys were sceptical about the thickness of surface. I was also sacred a bit but what was the harm in trying. I got in, ran on it, jumped on it just to saw others that its safe to walk on that frozen Surface. Other joined me. We had a great time with that small lake.

Moving ahead.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-272.jpg

A frozen Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-273.jpg

Hello, lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-274.jpg

I got in.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-275.jpg

Played with it.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-277.jpg

And others joined me.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-276.jpg

We loved that Lake. Normally, during Jun, July, August or September tourist never come across this kind of frozen lake. Tsk1979 and adc's travelogues taught me a very important lesson, always travel during the start of the season or off-season. That is always rewarding.

Vicky offered to pack that lake and carry it to Ahmedabad. I rejected that offer by saying a 700ltr boot space cant accommodate this lake.

We moved ahead. We found one more frozen river.

Back to Road.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-278.jpg

Frozen River.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-279.jpg

Is it Parked?
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-280.jpg

We were approaching Tangste village. We faced a mild sand Strome on the road to Tangste. Here is a small VIdeo.



That sand Strome calmed down after some minutes. We kept moving towards Tangste. Within 20minutes we reached Tangtste. The small town of Tangste is the nearest settlement of Chang La pass. We stopped for a while at Tangtse to do registration formalities.

Approaching Tangste.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-281.jpg

The road to Tangste.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-281.1.jpg

Tangste Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-282.jpg

Moving Ahead.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-283.jpg

Om Mani Padme Hum.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-284.jpg


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At Tangste, we thought to have some food. I decided against it as I wanted to reach Pangong Lake as soon as Possible. I convinced others that there"ll be plenty of food joints at Pangong Lake. We left Tangste and moved ahead.

Goodbye Tangste.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-295.jpg

Rocks with different patterns.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-296.jpg

Pashmina goats.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-297.jpg

We stopped to click some photographs of Pashmina goats. They literally rushed to our Vehicle. I offered them some Parle-G biscuits. One big goat got excited and climbed on our vehicle to get its share of biscuits. We fed all our stock of biscuits to goats.

They came to meet us.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-298.jpg

Excited goat.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-299.jpg

We had to run from those hungry goats. We moved ahead and got stuck in one more small sand Strome. That Strome decreased our visibility. We stopped for a while and let the Strome pass.

Sand Strome.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-300.jpg

It passed.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-301.jpg

We were excited to see the first view of Pangong Lake. We were negotiating mountain roads at a slow pace. After a small turn, Pangong Lake 's first view welcomed us with a big smile.

To Pangong.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-304.jpg

Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-302.jpg

Frist View of Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-303.jpg

Let's meet Pangong.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-305.jpg

We did a quick photography session and started towards Pangong Lake. We were excited to be at one the most beautiful places on earth.

Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-306.jpg

To Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-307.jpg

We reached Lukung. Lukung is the starting point of Pangong Lake from the Indian side. We were at Pangong Lake. I consider myself lucky to visit this amazing place fourth time in my life. I knew that it was not the last time. I"ll come again and again and again...

Quote:
Pangong Lake, situated at a height of almost 4,350m, is the world’s highest saltwater lake. Its waters, which seem to be dyed in blue, stand in stark contrast to the arid mountains surrounding it. Extending to almost 160km, one-third of the Pangong Lake lies in India and the other two-thirds in China.

Pangong Lake, one of the most famous lakes in Leh Ladakh, derives its name from the Tibetan word, “Pangong Tso”, which means “high grassland lake”. You could spend hours in contemplation here, and still not have enough of its beauty. Pangong Lake is also known to change colours, appearing blue, green and red at different times. If you have decided to go on a trip to Ladakh anytime soon, don’t forget to visit the Pangong Lake. The beauty which awaits you there cannot be described in words. It has to be seen, felt and absorbed within yourself.
Courtesy :www.lehladakhindia.com
Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-308.jpg

Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-309.jpg

Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-310.jpg

Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-311.jpg

Once again at Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-312.jpg

I liked Three Idiots movie but I hate the damage it made to Ladakh region. Earlier, Ladakh region used to be an adventure circuit. After Three Idiots movie, Ladakh became a tourist destination. I hate it or not. Three idiot movie actually helped locals in a big way. My other mates were excited to get clicked with that yellow scooter. I got along.

Three Idiots influence.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-313.jpg

Three Idiots influence.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-314.jpg

Three Idiots influence.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-315.jpg

Let's go.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-316.jpg

We left that overcrowded end of Pangong after a quick photo session.

Pangong at its best.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-317.jpg

Some more of it.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-318.jpg

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We moved ahead. Our destination for the day was a small village named Merak. There are a few villages on the bank of Pangong Lake named Lukung, Spangmik, Man and Merak. We were approaching Spangmik. We planned to have our late lunch at Spangmik village. Lukung to Spangmik road was in excellent condition.



On the road to Spangmik, we gained some hight and the lake became blue.

Blue Pangong.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-319.jpg

and some more blue.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-320.jpg

Our ride.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-321.jpg

Observing the colour.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-322.jpg

Spangmik Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-323.jpg

After a while, We started getting down. We were getting near to Spagmik Village.

Road to Spangmik.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-324.jpg

Spangmik village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-325.jpg

We got down at the level of Pangong Lake and once again it changed its colour to green. I have seen blue Pangong, green Pangong and black Pangong. I have a dream to see white Pangong but for that I "ll have to visit this during hardcore winter.

Green Pangong.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-326.jpg

Green Lake and Black XUV.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-327.jpg

We were hungry and equally excited. We were enjoying the drive with Pangong Lake. We decided to have our lunch at Spangmik. Spangmik came and we ignored it.

Spangmik is as remote that a village can get but still remains accessible by road. It is almost like being at the edge of the world. A small army check-post bars civilians from going any further towards the border of Tibet.

We kept moving. We thought we would get some food at Man or Merak village. However, food was not that important. We wanted to spend maximum time with Pangong Lake.

Talking with Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-328.jpg

One more shade of Pangong.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-329.jpg

And one more.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-330.jpg

XUV was enjoying the Lake
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-331.jpg

We reached Man village at 1400. We stopped and inquired for food. There were some tent accommodations options, none of them was serving food. Actually, they were setting up their tent set up. We were hungry. We cursed that Pashmina goat who eat all of our Parle -G biscuits.

At Man village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-332.jpg

Hungry Idiots.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-333.jpg

We were thinking what to do(Eat). We were 14km away from Merak Village. However, I knew that 15km could take more than 2 hours. The owner of Home stay at Merak briefed me that road after Spangmik was in very bad condition.

What to do.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-334.jpg

What to eat.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-335.jpg

We had only one option, forget our hunger and drive to Merak village.

Chalo Merak.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-336.jpg

We started for Merak. I was driving. Noone was in the mood to take any photographs. I put on the Dashcam and started negotiating some the worst road of our entire journey.

The road to Merak.





We reached Merak at 1530. We met the homestay owner and asked to cook something for us. We checked in at the homestay.

Approaching Merak Village.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-337.jpg

Our Homestay.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-338.jpg

Owner's house.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-339.jpg

Guest Rooms.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-340.jpg

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Peaceful Home Stay was basic but clean and comfortable. They had two double-bed rooms with attached bathroom and one 5-bed room. The owner was friendly and co-operative. He allowed us to use any of the rooms. Each of us occupied separate rooms.

Dining room.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-341.jpg

Room with Double Bed.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-342.jpg

Room with 5 Beds.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-343.jpg

Bathroom
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-344.jpg

We got freshened up. Meanwhile, our Maggi was ready. It was very cold and windy outside of the rooms. However, we didn't want to get away from Pangong Lake. We asked the owner to arrange a table outside of rooms. Vicky was not feeling well. I gave him some tablets. He slept in the room. We had Maggi and tea watching the Pangong Lake.

Maggie and Tea.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-346.jpg

Enjoying Maggi.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-345.jpg

We finished our Lunch. It was 1700, we had nothing to do. Lake was at a walking distance from our home(stay). We went to meet the lake.

Our home(Stay)
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-img_3252.jpg

Walking to Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-img_3255.jpg

We reached Lake. We had some photo session and spent more than two hours at the lake enjoying the nature.

The Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-349.jpg

Enjoying it.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-350.jpg

Spending time.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-351.jpg

Relaxing.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-352.jpg

We came back to our home(stay). I visited the owner's family. As per owner, whenever they have a guest at their homestay, it is always a celebration for them. I asked do they prepare different food for guest. He said they eat same food made for the guests. I invited owner and his family to have dinner with us.

My other friends shocked to see introvert and stubborn Shreyas socialising with unknown people.

Meeting the Family.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-353.jpg

At night, Owner, his two kid and his caretaker joined us for dinner. We spent more than two hours talking with them. I discussed the road status of Merak to Korzok with the owner. He gave me some useful tips for next day's drive. We had some amazing time with totally strange people.

Dinner with The Owner Family.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-355.jpg

Homestay's caretaker.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-354.jpg

We had amazing food and retired to our separate rooms.

We were at Merak On Pangong Lake. That was an amazing feeling.

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Day 7 (18/05/2018): Merak (Pangong Tso) to Korzok
(Merak-Chusul-Tsaga La-Loma-Nyoma-Mahe-Sumdo-Tso Kiagar-Korzok)


Merak was very cold but our rooms were warm. Each of us enjoyed separate rooms and had sound sleep. We woke up at 6.30. Homestay owner packed breakfast for us. We got freshened up, had some tea and got ready to hit the road once again. I checked our Vehicle, after Merak, there wouldn't be any mechanic for more than 600kms. I wanted XUV to remain in its best possible condition.

I checked fuel status. The owner helped me to empty a 10ltr can in the tank. ( we had one 10ltr and one 20 ltr fuel can). I gifted that empty can to homestay caretaker.

The entire family came to say goodbye to us. I went to homestay owner and promised him that I"ll come again. He asked me to come during winter to see white Pangong. We bid farewell to those amazing people and started driving towards Chusul.

Good Morning Merak.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-356.jpg

Good Morning XUV.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-357.jpg

Topping up.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-358.jpg

Ready to move.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-359.jpg

The owner briefed me that after Merak there is no road till Chusul. There would be only tyre marks. He also told me that those tyre marks would be confusing at many points. There"ll b many tyre marks and choosing right tyre marks to follow would be a hard task. Moreover, We won't get any human being on this road to ask for directions.

Before starting this trip, I downloaded offline maps on Gmap. Ok, we all have our issues and complains about Gmap but that was the only available option for us. I put Merak to Chusul in my phone's Gmap and started driving.

Start from Merak.



After Merak, we stopped at a very interesting sigh board. It says... "No Visitors allowed beyond this Point". We were getting into the Indo-China border area. It means that area belongs to ITBP (Indo- Tibetian Border Police).

No Visitors allowed beyond this Point
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-360.jpg

Goodbye Merak.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-361.jpg

Into the wild.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-362.jpg

We were driving parallel to Pangong Lake.

Driving with Pangong Lake.



Brahmani Duck
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-363.jpg

Kiang
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-364.jpg

We kept moving. There wasn't any road. There were only tyre marks. In fact, plenty of tyre marks of Army (ITBP) supply trucks. I made a mental note for a particular pattern of tyre mark and kept driving on it.

Driving on a particular Tyre marks pattern



Pangong was just next to us. We spent two big days with Pangong, still, we kept stopping at the lake.

One more Shade.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-365.jpg

We stopped
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-366.jpg

And some more stops.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-367.jpg

We drove more than 14kms with Pangong Lake. It was time to bid a farewell to Pangong Lake and turn towards Chusul village.

Pangong! our dear Pangong. We spent more than two days with it. And now, It was time to say goodbye to the lake.

We bid farewell to Pangong lake with heavy hearts. There was a group of Kiangs staring at us and asking to get out of their territory. We moved ahead.

Pangong Lake.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-368.jpg

Last view of Pangong.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-369.jpg

Get out of our Territory.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-370.jpg

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Goodbye Pangong Lake.



We bid farewell to Pangong Lake and turned towards Chusul. We were approaching Chusul Village. We noticed a small village kind of settlement on a small hill. As far as I knew there wasn't any village (that big) between Merak to Chusul. Those small houses didn't have the green roof ( Identification of army constructions). I was confused. I tried to recall each and every writing of tsk1979 and ADC. None of them ever talked about a big village between Merak and Chusul.

We stopped. Rest of the three idiots were looking at me. I didn't have anything to tell them. I told others that, I think we are on a wrong route. All of them were socked. Earlier during our briefing session, I told them that we cant afford to drive on a wrong route in this regions. If we do so, we could end up in China.

I didn't have any clue what to do. Even, offline map in Gmap was confused and showing re-routing. I got off the car and started observing that village by my telephoto lens. It was well-organised village without any traditional Ladakhi House. It raised an alarm in my mind..."are we In China?".

I zoomed in and noticed an Army truck. I like those sturdy Indian Army trucks. I am able to recognize those truck from any distance. Finally, I got a clear picture in my mind. It was an Army Camp. Why didn't it have the green rooftop? Well, It was an ITBP camp. I got back in the car and informed other that we are on a right route. It was a funny incident. We all laughed on it (and on me) that entire day.

A small Village
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-371.jpg

Zooming in
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-372.jpg

An Army Truck.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-373.jpg

I wanted to meet that army truck driver. I tried to drive fast but the road was bad. I couldn't catch him. We kept moving ahead. We had some last glimpse of Pangong Lake from a small hill.

A patch of rough road.


Last view of Pangong.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-374.jpg

Goodbye.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-375.jpg

If one read tsk1979 and ADC's travelogues thoroughly, one can get some amazing information. I remembered one scope of information from tsk1979's Log...
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...all-again.html (18 Passes, 15 lakes and 2 breakdowns : Ladakh and Lahaul call again)

Some Extract from tsk1979's above log.

Quote:
BTW, did you know that Chinese Eat Kiangs. So if you approach them on foot they run away, but with vehicles, they are more welcoming. Many who have migrated to safer India, now do not go back towards China
We spotted two kiangs staring at our Vehicle. It reminded me tsk1979's statement. I got out of the car and ran behind them. It was true, they were not scared of our vehicle but scared of me (me on my foot).

Kiangs Starring at our Vehicle.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-376.jpg

I ran to them.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-377.jpg

& they Ran away.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-378.jpg

Sorry, Kiangs.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-379.jpg

After seeing me on my foot, Some more kiangs ran away from us. They were at the other side of the car and running crazily. I thought they"ll bang with our vehicle.

Kiangs Ran away.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-380.jpg

Once again sorry to them.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-381.jpg

Kiangs and some more Kiangs. Some Kiangs crossed the road in front of the XUV. This time we were in our car. I was not running behind them.

Kiangs and some more Kiangs.


One lonely (and I think angry) horse was watching our games. We ignored him and kept moving ahead.

One Angry Horse.
Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500-382.jpg

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