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

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


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

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

The Divided States Of India

As I landed in the city of Bangalore, a man is shouting just outside the airport. He is shouting something that I do not understand. Fortunately, he has learned 4 5 English words. After all, he is standing outside the airport. “ Where, ” he asks. “ Marathahalli ” I spoke. “ Bus 8 ”. He says one word and starts shouting again. He was a bus driver. But most importantly, a resident of Karnataka state in India. Yes, this place is in my country and we both cannot communicate. Many years back when I was in the eighth standard, my textbooks proudly and boldly highlighted the words, “ India is a diverse country ”. They would show the culture and folk dances of each state. Unique on its own. A moment to feel proud. You can never find a country as diverse as India, as culturally rich as India. That was just the textbook. My practical started almost 2 months ago. Soon when I reached my hotel I realized nobody in the hotel knows Hindi. Yes, Hindi. A language spoken in India.

A Day Before Long Nights - The Start of GBS || Part 1

I took my empty bag, I took my jacket, dressed in college uniform I started my ride. I was going to my college to give my final semester presentation for the project I had done in LTI, Mumbai . I was happy about the fact that after today, there will be no exams, no attendance and my college life would be over. I had my days planned. Since I had been on the flight from Mumbai to Delhi to come home, I had planned all my days. I wanted to learn driving at a driving school. I wanted to learn swimming. I wanted to go to the gym. I wanted to go on at least three trips in one month. I had all planned but I guess life had other plans for me.       I gave my presentation to a four-judge panel out of which three were ladies. They were chit-chatting and I don't remember any of them listening to me after I told them the company and brief of the project. My presentation was over as soon as they told me "Thank You". It was a moment of epiphany. My college was over with that s

Mumbai Life - Experiencing Living In Mumbai

Mumbai as you know is the financial capital of India with big buildings and sky-touching hotels and apartments. But as I know, Mumbai is really more than that. I arrived by August Kranti Rajdhani from New Delhi to Mumbai transitioning from 0 degrees to almost 25 degrees. I had 2 sweaters in my hand and an internship offer letter in my bag which I had to show in LTI ( previously L&T Infotech).  First of all, I was kind of looted at the railway station by the cab driver. Well, let's not say looted but I was charged like uber after finalising a lesser amount before getting into the cab. On the way, I got to know that so called kaali peeli taxi  and the ola-uber taxi have become arch rivals on this land. Well, still I believe that you should not get into those cabs and prefer ola-uber only. They really try to play smart and think they can earn more from Non-Maharashtrian. From that point on, I have been living in Mumbai and I hoped to share my experience of Mumbai life with you all


I climbed to the peak with a dog whose both eyes had different colours. A disease maybe. The scenic beauty of Kheerganga trek is something you cannot miss and would crave for later in your life. It was a hard trek, especially for someone who does not trek regularly. The path was natural, unpaved and quite narrow. At some places, there was no path at all due to the landslide happened just a night before. It was tiresome to climb such a trek for 14 kilometres but I had a companion that I told about in The Untold Story Of A Few Good Men . I reached the top of Kheerganga trek at around 5 in the evening. It was very cold at the peak. Nearly about 12-15 degrees. But thankfully there was a hot spring bath at the top. A hot spring bath is all you need after such a growing latitude. I booked a tent and quickly went for the bath. It was the best. The natural hot water flowing continuously and in the centre of the highest peaks you can see them capped with snow. I spent nearly an hour there

Passing through the top of the world - Ladakh Diaries Page 1

"Do you feel anything?", I asked my friend outside the airport. "Yes", he said. "Like what?" "Like I smoked a joint" This conversation is not regular stuff I ask people when I land every time. This was special. We just landed in Leh by flight. An altitude of 3500 meters is equivalent to the height of Monte leone . A lower oxygen in the air compared to New Delhi and altitude sickness is not surprising at this place. But I had more important things to focus my mind on. The iconic brown mountains that have always been a signature symbol of Ladakh were merely 200 meters from where I was standing. I had not slept for 30 hours but the excitement had overcome sleep in just a few seconds. Zostel was the place we thought of staying at because of the vibes and bachelor culture it exhibits. Zostel is unique. No one cares about what you are doing but if it is something exciting, people will ultimately join you. This introduction is just to create th

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
Managed and maintained by Harish Rajora