Leh to Nubra Valley via KhardungLa Pass - Ladakh Diaries Page 2 Skip to main content

Leh to Nubra Valley via KhardungLa Pass - Ladakh Diaries Page 2

Finally, the day had arrived that we had long anticipated. Climbing the Ladakh mountains with a motorbike and passing through the top of the world - KhardungLa. The ride should start from Leh and end at Nubra Valley. Around 10 AM, we were ready with our bags tied to the motorbikes and excited to press that self-start button. I had been looking forward to this 40km of ride since we landed in Leh. 

KhardungLa has always maintained a special place in people's minds because of its high altitude and a milestone that says "Welcome to the top of the world - the highest motorable pass in the world - KhardungLa". It feels like an achievement to be passing through a road where people sometimes need oxygen bottles to battle their shortage of breath. Down in Leh, travellers who had completed their circuit and were relaxing for a day warned us about the dangers of that road. In the last two days, we had heard all sorts of stories related to KhardungLa which may or may not have happened with those people. Somebody vomited five times, somebody fell on the road unconsciously and somebody just returned from halfway. My friend asked me, "Do we need to carry an oxygen bottle in case?". I rejected this idea. If we have a positive mindset and climb gradually, I don't think anything severe can happen. Even though if luck is not on our side, the Indian army is spread across KhardungLa with medical care to support people. 

If you missed Part 1, please read here.

Climbing to KhardungLa was an adventure in itself. The roads are smooth except for a couple of hiccups, and the climb is steep. We were witnessing views for once in our lifetime. Since it was our first climb and the first day of the bike ride, we were more focused on the driving than capturing the views. KhardungLa was the one thing that was in my mind. Milestone says KhardungLa is 20km, then 15km then 12km and then I did not see any other milestone. Thankfully, there were no problems either with me or with my friend regarding oxygen. 

We made a turn and suddenly flocks of tourists clicking their pictures, an Indian flag, a building that has a plus sign on it and snow is falling from the sky appeared magically. Just like that, we reached KhardungLa. It was so sudden for me, I was a bit disappointed. I would not have felt anything if there were no signs on the road. "Do not stay here for more than 20 minutes", said a board just to my right. "Welcome to the top of the world - Mighty KhardungLa -  Altitude - 17982 feet," said another. 

I stood beside my bike and could see every happy face there. All of them feels they have achieved something. An achievement worth bragging about. All kinds of pictures are being taken at this point. Someone is climbing the pole and poses with one leg in the air. Someone is posing on their bike in front of the board. Someone is holding a ball of snow. To my left, I see a military man. Utterly disappointed. He is not enlightened by what people are doing. He is standing with both hands in his jacket's pocket and looking directly at the posers. He is not impressed. Maybe he has seen enough of those. But he is not happy.

Leh to Nubra Valley via KhardungLa

On the way to Nubra Valley

Halting for 15 minutes and getting the proof of our riding on this road, I and my friend continued our journey to Nubra valley. A journey that I will never forget and honestly, the only reason I want to document this post. As we climbed down the road to Nubra Valley, the scenery to my right captures my mind. The scenery I have never seen in my life and I believe there would not be any place like this anywhere. The most beautiful part of the journey was while going to the Nubra Valley from KhardungLa. I constantly said to my friend, describing it in words is extremely difficult. To my right, I had several feet of the valley and across it was brown mountains looking like a green screen wallpaper from a sci-fi movie. No bird was flying anywhere. Time is subjective and it had slowed down to my right. If I were a director, I could feel the slow-motion in the air. Down below, the sand is flowing with the wind trying to reach as much height as possible. I could not resist and stopped my bike frequently just to take a look and click a mental snapshot. I did not want this scenery to end. The mountains ahead seem too close and the patterns on them resemble the patterns of the cloud. Leh to Nubra valley had already made the trip successful. 

We stopped at Khardung to have some lunch and it was a nice place to just sit and watch brown mountains ahead. An alto car stopped at the same shop which had been around me since the North Pullu check post. A lady got out from the driver's side. She wore a pink scarf wrapped around her head and neck. A metallic frame on her eyes and a mole on her nose completed her face. Two kids got out from other doors. Both are 7 to 10 years old. All of them were extremely happy. They all knew the owner of the shop in which we were eating. They started discussing something in Ladakhi and all I could catch was the word "result" frequently. I thought one of the kids had their results out. I am not sure though. 

We continued our journey to Nubra Valley in between mountains descending towards a road in between a sea of sands on both sides. We arrived at Diskit which had a petrol pump, the first after Leh. The attendant came running towards our bikes and was very happy doing his job. Weak internet connection, no luxurious facilities and no materialistic goals. A simple life and a simple smile are all fellow Leh people had. The journey was smooth till this point. We reached our resort and lied down for a while after we found out there is no wifi here. The mobile phones were of no use at Nubra valley. We can only talk to each other here. A tent with basic facilities and a light bulb in between was all we had for two days. We were getting the gist of the life people were living here. We stared at the clear and starry night sky, we smiled, and within those slow moments, we dissolved into this life like salt in water.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

A meet with the Backstreet Boys

 Okay, tell me who is this one. I plugged in one earplug in his ear, rewind the song, and asked my friend. That's Nick? He said in a rather "I am not sure" voice. Ah! No that's AJ. Isn't this song great? Yes, it is really! We listened to the song "Show Me the Meaning of being lonely" together on my Sony Ericsson phone which had only 200 MB of space. It could accommodate only four songs if I could balance the weight of pictures and other files. All those four songs belonged to the Backstreet Boys. The four songs I listened to before sleeping and after coming from school. While the mobile phone did not get me enough freedom, the computer I had hosted 80 GB of space. This was enough to satiate my new exploration. I couldn't care much about the lack of internet at my home and just a simple question "Do you know any internet cafe?" to my friend in school gave me a quick answer! "Near the shopping center on the main road". I was looking

Visiting Pangong Tso Lake from Nubra Valley - Ladakh Diaries Page 3

Nubra valley in Ladakh was a pleasant scene to stay in. It had an almost white desert, a vociferous river, brown mountains and considerable vegetation which was hard to find in Ladakh. We visited Turtuk the next day which was 2 km from the Pakistan border. We came back the same day and enjoyed live music and a group of travellers who came from Gujarat. They were financed by their company on a yearly holiday. I remember when we went into the hall to eat dinner a man came to us and said "Bikers?" and I said "Yes". His eyed gloomed in the dim light and a smile appeared on his face. An expression that looked like he wanted to switch places with us and kick start a bike and run into the mountains. He lifted his hands and signed a thumbs up towards us.  The next day was a major day as we were about to visit a place that had become a signature location for people visiting Ladakh. Thanks to the movie 3 idiots , the lake Pangong Tso has seen record-breaking footf

Bhutanese Food You Shouldn't Miss If You Are In Bhutan

Bhutan is an adventurous place for all nature lovers. Bhutan provides us with things that very few countries have to offer. A country that has a negative carbon footprint and is the happiest place on earth deserves at least one trip to it. Is Bhutan famous for anything other than its naturistic landscapes? Yes, it's food! Bhutanese food is one of its kind and will remind you of the Tibetan culture that you might have just read in books or watched on television until now. In this post, I bring to you Bhutanese food that you absolutely cannot miss if you are visiting Bhutan! Let's see our specially curated list of Bhutanese food: 1. Ema Datshi We will start our list with one of the most famous Bhutanese dish called Ema Datshi. Ema Datshi is also recognized as the national dish of Bhutan which makes it worth trying when you are visiting Bhutan! So, Ema Datshi is the combination of two words: Ema which means chilli and Datshi which means cheese. Chilli can be of any

Pangong Tso to Leh - Final Chapter - Ladakh Diaries Page 4

The morning in Pangong Tso was the most beautiful morning ever. My window had a perfect view of the lake and between us were green crops and vegetables grown by the locals. It is too far from the world and no vegetable vendor, fruits or anything else come here. You eat what you grow beside your home. The last village was Tangtse which was 30 km back and this was the day we were to move from Pangong Tso to Leh with our bikes. View from the window The sun was shining brightly and the cold wind filled the dry atmosphere with a view of snow that fell last night on the mountains just a few meters above us. I went outside to the door which was already open and the sunlight was coming inside forming a door shape on the floor. Outside was a small dog, white in colour, bombarded by thousands of smells he was sensing here. All these smells made him too excited on this bright day. He had a very short concentration span. He would smell something and a second later run towards another to smell s

My Trip To Vietnam - Peace in the Chaos (Ho Chi Minh City)

Vietnam has always fascinated travelers all around the world without actually pointing out any one thing specifically. You might be traveling to India to visit just the Taj Mahal but why do you want to visit Vietnam? There is no such thing. You just want to visit Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. But why do you want to do that? I don't know! And perhaps I did not get this answer from all the videos describing the beauty of Vietnam. This was something that had been playing in my mind ever since I saw a guy crossing a road with a million scooters coming at him. That looks like India though! Would that be the reason? I don't know! And so I pinged my friend Sudhanshu if he'd be interested in taking a trip with me to this beautiful country of Vietnam. Ah! Sure he is. I knew the answer before even asking him. He and I have made and canceled plans a lot of the time. The one thing that we decided on our trip to Ladakh was to visit Vietnam (or maybe another south-east Asian country). It w


As I mentioned earlier, I was seeing double from the first day till now. My eyes did not improve even a little for many days. Everything I used to see was double. Two doors, two mobile phones, two coffee cups everything. The doctor said my pupils are not moving synchronously as they should and hence you are seeing two images of everything. The images are seen separately by both the eyes but our brain combines it as one, while in your case it is still two images. But, you will be fine with time. With time. This is a very vague sentence. There is no specific maximum limit nor there is any medicine. You will see normally with time. Hence, I waited for " the time ". Two days after I came home after being discharged, I picked up my father's phone, opened chrome browser and typed, GB Syndrome patients case studies . I wanted to know how much time? How everyone else have managed and how much time they took. I needed to know. I needed to be prepared at least. I read three case

A Day's Tale In Meghalaya

It has been a long-awaited trip to Meghalaya. I always wanted to visit the states far in the east and experience their culture. In the December of 2021 by booking tickets for Meghalaya, me and three of my friends decided to explore this state navigating our ways by an i20 car that we took from Guwahati. Since our entry and exit point was Guwahati, it made sense.  Meghalaya is a small hilly state with a population of around 75%  Christians. This was one of the reasons that we had planned a trip during the last days of December to celebrate Christmas Day. The day around which this story pertains is the same day that we wanted to celebrate and came here for. Trekking in Mawryngkhang Trek On 25th December 2021, four of us decided to do a nature trek in Meghalaya around 50km away from Shillong where we were staying till now. Today was the day for which we didn't have any bookings done as we were not able to find any hotels online. A unanimous decision pointed towards " we'

How to plan a budget Kerala trip?

Kerala is one of the most popular choices for people looking to wander around the southern part of India. With its coffee plantations and hazy roads, a budget Kerala trip is what brings happiness and refreshes your mood from your daily lifestyle. In this post, we will discuss how to reach Kerala from anywhere in India, the places to cover, and what season would be the best for your upcoming Kerala trip. A brief introduction to Kerala Kerala is an Indian state falling in the southern part of the country. The population of the state stands at a little higher than 3.5 crores or 35 million. The state is 21st largest state by area in India and borders the Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The language popular among Keralites is Malayalam and therefore if you learn a few words before your Kerala trip, it would help you on the road. How to reach Kerala? Kerala is easily accessible by all types of transport modes. So, you can use either land, water, train, or air for your

Best Places To Visit In Winters In India

 India is the “land of diversity”, which is glorified worldwide. From food, culture, and language to religion, climate, and festivals everything varies here. While the north of India is covered with extensive massive icy glaciers, the south is surrounded by oceans like the Arabian sea and the Indian Ocean. The barren wilderness of the deserts in the west, and the wild tropical forest in the east all dignify the beauty of India. From Holi to Diwali to Onam, various festivals are celebrated all throughout the year. This diversified nature attracts people and makes India a country that you can visit any time of the year. But in this article, we bring you the places from India that you can visit to start your new year or end this year with great joy! Jaipur Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan. It is also known as the “Pink City” because of the pink and saffron colors of the buildings. The architecture and structure of the city are designed as per the ancient science of architecture. Th
Managed and maintained by Harish Rajora