From Chennai To Ladakh, Explore All With Thrillophilia!
“Ladakh features a beauty that is so serene, you can easily lose yourself in the mesmerizing views. It is difficult to put into words what I felt on my trip, you must experience it in person. Ladakh tour on a bullet road trip is the best birthday gift I ever gave myself.” shares Vijay, lost in his adventures on the bike trip from Manali to Leh he went on just a while ago.
Vijay decided to go on this long awaited bike trip to Ladakh, the place which renders every traveler speechless, while he was living in Chennai. The mountains were calling him for quite some time now and he had been planning this for a while. He resolved that it would be best to tag his friend along too as his birthday was falling during the trip and that would make the whole experience even more memorable.
The Journey Begins
Vijay and his friend reached Delhi by flight from Chennai and eagerly awaited the departure of their bus. The journey of a lifetime started with them boarding the bus. The bus driver drove cautiously due to the heavy morning fog in Delhi. The Luxury bus arranged by the tour operators kept them cozy throughout the journey. As fate would have it, they encountered a landslide on their way to Manali, thankfully there was no real harm done.
Vijay tells us, “There was heavy fog in the morning due to Delhi winters. We could see the steep downhill as our bus was rolling down enroute Manali as soon as the fog lifted. You don’t get to Ladakh if you don’t encounter at least one landslide, we came across a minor one and after 15 hours we finally reached Manali.”
Upon reaching Manali, these travelers visited the famous Hadimba Devi temple and paid their respects. Afterwards they enjoyed tea and chaat, spicy pakoras, and delicious gulab jamun to top it all.
The stay in the guest house was quite relaxing and recharged them to go on the ultimate ride. But the next day started with a twist , due to heavy snow they traveled to the remarkable Rohtang La pass in an SUV. Even this minimal setback couldn’t affect their excitement level.
As Vijay stepped out of the car at the next stop, he was startled by the chilly winds blowing around him. The freezing temperature out here in the mountains was beyond imagination in comparison to his home where the minimum temperature would not go below 16 degrees.
After enjoying lunch with his friend and fellow travelers they were ready to hit the road again. By the evening they reached the campsite in Jispa after crossing Keylong pass. He was greeted with a sight fit for the special occasion, his birthday, when he stepped out of his tent after dinner.
“Post dinner, as I came out of my tent, I was taken aback by the scene. Yes! Millions of stars and our milky way were visible through naked eyes and I lay there on the cold soil and gulped down the spectacular view. It was out of this world and one of the best moments of the trip.”
Eager to proceed in their journey they waited for the driver who woke up a bit late; one companion was also facing difficulty with AMS and another had to go back home as he got down with chicken pox. The trip was filled with rocky turns, figuratively and literally which made the experience all the more fulfilling. Mesmerizing snow, scenic beauty and refreshing mountains all came together to celebrate these travelers as they crossed the 2nd highest pass the ‘Baralacha La’ pass and reached Leh.
Vijay was delighted to see the dazzling bike waiting for him. After enjoying a heavy feast he explored the local markets on the shiny beast along with his friend and fellow travelers. They went to famous tourist spots such as the War memorial and the school which was featured in the movie ‘3 idiots’. Vijay recalls experiencing the magic of Magnetic hills to be dreamlike. Exploring these famous sites concluded the day for them.
“The day arrived when I rode on Khardung La. Each and every kilometer I clocked, the excitement to be on the K-Top grew in me. Finally, about 2 Km from the K-Top, it finally happened. It started to snow! I took the photo of a lifetime and moved towards Hanle and took a camel ride. It was smelly.”
On the way to Pangong Tso lake, Vijay asked his fellow riders to move ahead and told them he would catch on to them soon unaware of the adventure waiting for him around the corner. He stopped to capture the moments of serenity as the sun was setting. Only after immersing himself in the beauty around him did he come to notice that his bike wouldn’t start. It was getting dark and cold in the evening. He found out that the bike’s fuel tank was empty and there was no phone connection. He was grateful for the pickup vehicle that reached him in about 20 minutes, which helped him refuel his bike. He finally reached the campsite at night after a 2 hour drive in the chilly weather.
Vijay states, “The night view of the entire valley was awe-inspiring. My friends and I captured some of the best shots of the entire trip that night.”
At first Vijay was a bit skeptical about visiting the ‘Pangong Tso lake’ because of the hype around it. Although when he actually visited the lake he was dumbfounded by its beauty. This mesmerizing view concluded the final day of their bike trip in Leh.
The Grand Climax
While en route to Manali they encountered one more landslide which delayed their bus by over 4 hours as they waited for the road to clear.
They had one more day all to themselves to explore Manali a bit more. In order to maintain the spirit of his adventure till the end, Vijay decided to go paragliding. He soared high over Manali in the sky not once but twice. He jumped from 7500ft and 9000ft. Vijay recalls the experience as feeling like a bird, free from everything.
“Ladakh is a drug! A medicine that can cure the ailing heart of the cravings for adventure. You will get addicted to the mountains, the peaceful valleys and amazing beauty that surrounds you in Ladakh. I can hear mountains calling to me every day, every hour and every minute. I have already made my arrangements and booked another rehab trip to the Spiti Valley.”
Things to Consider Before the Trip
Vijay recommends to follow these tips-
- Traffic jams and Landslides are common so keep your plan flexible.
- Go on a road trip, preferably on a bullet to ensure the best experience.
- Camping at Pangong Tso is a must to have lifelong memories, it really is a beauty queen.
- Try paragliding in Dobhi Valley, Auli on your way back.
- Visit Tso Moriri lake and capture the mesmerizing views.
- If you wish you can bring along small gifts like stationery, etc to donate to the children studying in Leh schools and engage with them.
- If you experience mountain sickness or AMS it is better to take the prescribed medicines by a doctor so that you can enjoy your trip.
- Prefer shopping at Bazar Road in Manali instead of Leh, to grab great deals.