When was the last time, you did something for the first time?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Ladhak Odyssey

Part 1
Srinagar to Drass

Despite ongoing agitation in Srinagar we decided to reach Ladhak via Srinagar, our aim was to travel the famous National Highway 1 D and visit the famous townships of Kargil and Drass enroute.

In addition to that it was my long held desire to visit Kashmir and some agitation was not going to scare me from visiting a part of my own country.

Thankfully my other trip mates agreed with my sentiments.

So finally the D Day arrived and I caught the Goair flight to Delhi , landing at close to midnight pleasantly surprised to find my other trip mate Ashok waiting for me at the airport , his flight from Hyderabad has got delayed so instead of reaching hours before his flight reached Delhi around about the same time as mine.

We took a cab to Mahipalpur and took an accommodation for night there, our much anticipated flight to Srinagar was scheduled 6am next morning .

As a school going kid I had stayed in Mahipalpur years back when it was a quite village, now years later I was amazed at the change that has happened here , sadly for someone looking at nostalgia nothing around was familiar

Srinagar Airport
1 Arrival .jpg

Beautiful house at the edge of the lake - taken from inside the lake
2 Dal Lake.JPG
3 around Dal .jpg

Lake traffic - nearing the main commercial region of the lake
4  Dal Lake again.jpg

Inside the gullies of the lake
5  Gliding through the Lake.JPG

That's Nishant bagh - didn't like the gardens much
6  Shalimar.jpg

Shikara ride what else
7  Shikara Ride.jpg

Due to recession keeping the job options open
8  Shikara Padling.jpg

The famous Hazratbal in its usual peaceful state
9  Hazratbal.jpg

Living room of the houseboat
10 Inside the houseboat.JPG

Trip mates - Ashok and Santhosh
11 Ashok and Santosh.JPG

On the way to Gulmarg
12  Towards Gulmarg.jpg

Its a beautiful place
13 At Gulmarg.jpg

14 Gulmarg.jpg

Ah! the famous Gondola
15 Gondola.jpg

nearing the top
16 Nearing Aprawhat.jpg

Caught in a snow storm at the top (off course...
17 Aprawhat.jpg

With Gulmarg behind me
18 IMG_6590.jpg

Sonmarg Jumping base to Batalik Sector
19  Sonamarg .jpg

Beautiful sonmarg or should I say sonamarg - 1000 times better than Gulmarg
20 Sonmarg.JPG

some people are addicted to photography - I was still cosing up inside my sleeping bag - with temp in single digits thats the best thing to do or is it ?
21 Early morning at Sonmarg.jpg

On the way to the gateway into Batalik sec tor - Zoji La (pass) If i remmber correctly that's the Baltal region below famous for Amaranth yatra
22 on way to Zojila .jpg

First signs that we are nearing the treacherous pass
23 crossing Zoji La.jpg

24 15062009107.jpg

India gate - The scene of the famous Zoji La operation against pakisthan
25 India Gate.jpg

Zoji La
27 near Zoji (la) Pass .jpg

Click to continue

The Ladhak Odyssey 2

Part 2
Kargil to Lamayuru ( Via Panikhar -Zanashkar)

Tiger Hills - The scene of famous Tiger hill battle - Tololing hill is just opposite
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Another View of Sonmarg
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Enroute to Zoji La
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Treacherous road to Zoji La
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All in a days work
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Zoji La
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Zoji La in all its splendor
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Photography session in Drass - Capturing Tiger Hill
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Drass village - prominent battlefield during Kargil war
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Vibrant children on their way to their teacher's wedding
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Ashok taking a well deserved rest after a tough climb
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Reminds me of Tintin in Tibet
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Drass Village - At 3230m ASL is the Second coldest inhabited region in the world
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On route to Kargil
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Towards Panikhar (Zanskar district ) One of the most isolated regions in world
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Nearing Panikhar
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Trip Mates - Ashok , Santhosh and Ajay
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Tangloe - Base camp of Mt. Nun Kun
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At the foothills of Mt. Nun Kun
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Majestic Nun Kun - someday I'll be back to climb her ( as long as I get a 3 month leave)
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Mountain Stream near Tangloe
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Perspective on how really big the stream is
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Oasis in desert - one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever seen.
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Back on road to Leh
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Mulbek - Famous for ancient rock carving of Matriya Buddha ( Future Buddha )
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National Highway 1 D
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Rock caves - didn't have time to investigate
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It was big decision to attempt Leh from Mulbek - with darkness fast approaching and Fotu pass to cross
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Caught in hailstorm on top of Fatu La (pass) 13,480 ft ASL
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Definitely not a pleasant feeling getting caught in a bad hailstorm at night with only one way to go - Down
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Long way to safety
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Click to continue