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Leh Ladakh Tour – My Travel Journey (12)

Next day early morning our Leh Ladakh Tour, we decided to go to the Nubra valley, being ‘bird watchers’, the natural and scenic beauty spots were our preference. Especially those places where one could easily get a sight of the bird fauna in Leh Ladakh, hence the whole itinerary of 6 days of Leh Ladakh tour was designed around the same.

Day 1 – After breakfast, drive from Leh to Nubra valley, which is around 130 Kms via Khardung la pass which takes around 4-5 hours. Check-in our hotel in Diskit at 2 PM followed by little rest and the evening walk to nearby villages also a brief visit to Ladakhi house.

Day 2 – Whole day bird watch excursion in Nubra Valley exploring places like Hunder, Panamik, Sumur & Turtuk etc. evening strolling at Diskit local market for shopping for souvenirs.

Day 3 – Drive back to Leh, visiting Shanti Stupa, hall of fame museum which is around 4kms from Leh and evening visit to Leh market.

Day 4 – Early morning drive to Sham Valley (bird watch excursion) which includes Magnetic Hills, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Alchi Monastery, Likir Monastery and Basgo Monastery.

Day 5 – Leh to Pangong Lake (bird watch excursion) which is around 140 Kms visiting Shey Palace on the way and night stay at a hotel near Pangong Lake.

Day 6 – Visiting Hemis monastery on the way Back to Leh. Relax for the day / shop at local market. Next morning departure from Leh i.e. back to Delhi via same route.

Leh (Leh Ladakh Tour)

Leh City (Leh Ladakh Tour)

I have been here in Leh few times earlier as well, but every time I visit, I find some or the other new hotel or restaurant or shop in the Leh city. Though it is always been a concern for the environmentalist that immense increase in tourism in the valley could have a negative impact on the climate and natural flora fauna across Leh Ladakh. But it seems the Land of Buddhism keeps on changing itself, expanding or transforming itself as per the requirements of the travellers. In fact it is one of the important teachings of Lord Buddha as well that ‘change is inevitable’, everything and anything on this planet changes or adapt itself. According to it, human life is like a river flowing on and on, ever-changing. Occasionally it flows slowly and at times very rapidly.

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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Leh Ladakh

 

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Leh Ladakh Tour – My Travel Journey (7)

Next day early morning we started our journey toward Leh Ladakh via Manali. The route between Kullu and Manali is picturesque with river on one side of the road and plush green hills on the other side. Though road was under repair work at certain junctures which slowed us down to a bit but overall it was magnificent experience. Suddenly near Biasar our car’s rear tyre got flat, luckily it was near a riverside cafe. Though it was small but the view from the cafe was mesmerizing in true sense. The cafe owner placed certain tables and chairs just into the water on the riverbed so that tourist can enjoy sipping hot coffee while their feet in the icy cold water of the river. Meanwhile the driver was changing the tyres, I went to see if he requires any help with the same.

Unlike us there were few of other tourists who seem to be taking an intentional break from the journey by parking their respective cars at this cafe to enjoy the view of the river. A cute small child was asking his mother sitting on their car’s bonnet just next to us, “Mom why is that all white colour cars always overtake us, tell dad to buy white colour car instead of red”. His mother replied politely, “Son it is not the ‘colour’ which takes the car faster rather it is the engine that matters”. Same time a thought struck in my mind that this same concept applies on all of us too. As humans it is all about one’s body’s inner energy or soul (as mentioned in certain spiritual books or followings), that is the aspect which takes us to the new heights or speed in life. As I possess no athletic or adventurer body type but still my enthusiasm or self motivation pushes me to explore the most remote destinations in India including some of the highly difficult tracks or places in the Himalayas. Soon the driver changed the tyre and we were back on the track to Manali which was only few hours of drive ahead.

Manali

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Leh Ladakh

 

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Leh Ladakh Tour – My Travel Journey (6)

We restarted our journey to Leh Ladakh in morning from Chandigarh. Before heading towards the Leh Ladakh we visited Nek Chand’s Rock Garden as it opens in the in the early hours around 9 AM. It is one of the most architecturally acclaimed tourist spots in India especially in Chandigarh. It is one of its kinds of park dedicated to artefacts made from waste materials collected from homes and nearby industries. The maze like concept of Rock Garden really adds to its beauty interconnecting sections of garden full of sculptures and art pieces. Soon we headed our way to Leh Ladakh, the next destination on this path and our next stoppage for a while was Kullu.

kullu

Situated at the height of 1220 metre from the sea level, it is one of the most popular hill stations of India. The main approach road to Kullu and further to Manali is built along the River Beas so the whole journey is no doubt equally mesmerizing as destination. Kullu is like any other holy places of north India better known as ‘Valley of Gods’, because it said to be home of God, Goddesses and many sages. Rupi Palace or Sultanpur Palace is one of the major tourist attractions of Kullu, famous for its miniature paintings and combination of pahari with colonial architectural designs. Though there is a prior permission required from the royal family to visit the palace. Some other tourist attractions in Kullu are Great Himalayan National Park, Roerich Art Gallery, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Jagannathi Devi Temple and Basheshwar Mahadev Temple etc. Among which Bahaeshwar Mahadev Temple has some extraordinary Pahari style stone carvings. As the name suggests Roerich art Gallery consist of paintings and other art work of famous Russian artist ‘Roerich’.

Importantly Kullu valley is situated at the centres of greenery and hills on all side which makes it one of best place for mountain trekkers and nature lovers. Also Hindu festival Dussehra celebrations of Kullu are famous worldwide. We planned to stay in the Kullu itself for a day and next day we continued our journey to Leh Ladakh.

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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Leh Ladakh

 

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Leh Ladakh Tour – My Travel Journey (5)

We reached Chandigarh soon, meanwhile I explained to them (Australian touring group) that though Leh Ladakh is no less than any other town in terms of technological resources but credit card functionality and ATMs are still bit problematic aspects. Actually there are very limited ATMs for cash withdrawal catering huge population, resulting in long queues often and credit card acceptance is also limited to fewer shops only so it is advisable to carry cash and do the necessary shopping beforehand in Chandigarh or Manali itself in order to save oneself from credit card acceptance ordeal in Leh Ladakh. Using ATM or credit card in Leh Ladakh should to be the last option.

We planned to take halt in this city for night stay, meanwhile we had some time but Chandigarh had lot to offer like Government Museum and Art Gallery, Shanti Kunj, Garden of Fragrance, International Dolls Museum, Sukhna Lake, Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, The Rose Garden of Chandigarh, Butterfly Park and Leisure valley etc. but we planned to visit only 1-2 destinations in Chandigarh, our priority was Government Museum and Art Gallery. We had our lunch in car itself to save the time to reach Government Museum and Art Gallery on time as it closes down at 4.30 P.M. in the evening. It is the only place where one can see some of the rare collection of art including painting and sculpture of Pahari, Rajasthan and Gandharan. Most of these collections were brought from Lahore in 1948 post partition of India. The Museum has four major parts i.e. the art gallery, the national history museum, the national gallery of portraits and the Chandigarh architecture museum.

chandigarh2

Then we spent later part of the evening near Sukhna Lake which is 3 KM long manmade lake originated from Sukhna Choe stream. Though we were bit late for the water sporting activities like boating, water skiing and yachting etc. but overall it was soothing to have a slow walk nearside. Then after a little shopping trip from sector 17 market we all landed in our respective rooms to start our journey afresh tomorrow morning to Leh Ladakh.

chandigarh1

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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Leh Ladakh

 

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Leh Ladakh Tour – My Travel Journey (3)

As I mentioned that have already visited Leh Ladakh couple of times earlier as well so I am quiet acquainted with the place. Nubra Valley, Lamayuru Monastery, Pangong Lake, Zanskar Valley and Shanti Stupa are some of the tourist places to visit part form it Leh Ladakh has lot more to offer depending upon the person’s stay. Usually tour groups or travellers come to India with a very tight travelling schedule so they left with very less days to explore the beauty, spirituality and mysteries of the place Leh Ladakh. But this time things were little different as the Australian touring group mentioned their long stay with a special demand to visit all possible transit destination’s tourist attraction. So this time things would definitely be different in terms of our explorations.

I have this habit of digging into the history and geographical details of that place well before actual journey starts through various books and online resources. So as Leh Ladakh was concerned I already had a fairly good amount of knowledge about the same during my previous visits, historically Leh was a transit hub or town for all trading activities to India through Kashmir, Tibet and China as it had the tactical advantage falling on the so called trade route or main passage. Also during the times of Dard colonizers, Leh Ladakh was a significant stopover of Tibetan nomads and traders. Basically the place is dominated by two distinct cultures comprising of Buddhist monasteries and architectural monuments on one hand which has a sheer dominance due to their presence since 2nd century and the mughal architecture i.e. monuments and mosques of 16th century.

Leh Ladakh4

Just a day before our journey was going to start as the Australian group have already arrived in Delhi, India. Tomorrow morning we will start our road trip to Leh Ladakh via Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali – Leh route. I have had this unusual habit to lock myself into my reading room for few hours a day before any journey. In those hours I analyse everything from travel plans to budgets to route maps to other important instructions or facts about the place, it is not that I do this intentionally but with times I have developed this habit of assessing all this.

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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Leh Ladakh

 

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Leh Ladakh Tour – My Travel Journey (2)

For the readers the region of Ladakh lies connecting the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, this region is among the most scarcely inhabited regions in the state. Due to the difficult terrain and the height of 3505 meters from the sea level Leh Ladakh it stand almost isolated for years wasn’t properly connected to other parts of the country but since last few decades after the road and airport infrastructure development it emerged as a popular tourist destination. Climate wise Leh district in Ladakh has a typical arctic desert climate it can go up to minus 40 degrees in winters which is generally from November to March and other months of the year it’s around 25-30 degrees with clear skies. This region of Leh Ladakh is commonly known as “roof top of the world”. It is one of its kind places on the earth which can give you sunburn and a frost bite at the same instance.

Leh Ladakh5

Though as in the travel company we personally make sure to advise the tourist for the clothing or bag pack essentials for the destination like Leh Ladakh. So the same instructions I followed given to me in ‘CC’ mail with all other travellers (Australian group) by our company’s tour coordinator. Usually we need to carry as much woollen as possible as Leh Ladakh climate is so unpredictable and can go to extremely cold within minutes. We always suggest all our tour groups travelling to Leh Ladakh to carry as much stuff as possible as that will equip us for the difficult terrain and unexpected climate situations. High-quality heavy shoes, jackets, caps and goggles as sunrays are quiet strong at that altitude. Small medical kit including sunscreen and other basic medicines for head ach, upset stomach and pain killers etc. A high quality camera with extra batteries or portable charger as being ornithologists we need to keep an extra camera as well in case of any trouble with primary camera unit also a set of binoculars. Though everything is nowadays available in Leh Ladakh still some tins of packed food wouldn’t add much to our baggage with lots of chewing gum and other candies.

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Posted by on March 22, 2014 in Leh Ladakh

 

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