World's two mightiest mountain ranges, the Himalayan and the Karakoram, the three highest motorable road-Khardungla, Changla and Tanglangla, desert mountains, night skies full of stars, Tibetian monasteries, lakes at high altitudes, remarkable landscapes and epic journeys capture the essence of Ladakh. Every biker dreams of going on a Leh Ladakh bike trip once in their lifetime. Similarly, I dreamt of riding along the lakes, roaming the valleys on an iconic the highest motorable roads in the world.
In 2017, after finishing graduation, I planned a road trip to Ladakh with some friends.
Arriving at Leh, the first task was acclimatisation. Once acclimated, we rented our bikes and went sightseeing at Tso Moriri lake on the fourth day.
Then we went to the world's highest motorable road called the Khardungla Pass which was a tremendous and fulfilling experience. From Khardungla, we moved to the Nubra Valley. There are three spots in Nubra worth visiting- Diskit, Hunder and Turtuk.
Diskit is famous for the Diskit Gompa, the largest Buddhist monastery of Ladakh. Hunder is known for its dunes, the cold desert that surrounds it, Bactrian camels and its breathtaking natural beauty. Turtuk is the last village alongside the Pakistan border.
From the Nubra valley, we travelled to Pangong lake via Syhok watching breathtaking landscapes pass us by. It was the ultimate destination for me. Remembering this place from the 3 Idiots movie, it was exciting to visit this place in person. Words cannot describe the surrealism of this blue lake. No one can comprehend the scale of this lake unless he/she sees it with his/her own eyes. However, cold winds made it difficult to stay beside the lake for too long.
The experience of travelling to Ladakh was completely antithetical to that of travelling to Kashmir. There were green landscapes with glaciers on the tops of the mountains at Kashmir. Conversely, Ladakh was full of rough and jagged landscapes with low humidity. While everyone dreams of a flawless journey, the reality does come into contact with a lot of shortcomings like dry weather, rough terrain and high altitudes that make it difficult to traverse and acclimate. Yet its astounding topography is enough to make the trip worthwhile.
Here are some of my favourite photographs from this trip of a lifetime.