Sunday, 27 December 2015

Ladakh... Revisited (Read: Mind.. Rejuvenated) Part-2

Day 3 :

We started our journey early in the morning. The route to Pangong was tedious but beautiful (needless to say, every part of Ladakh is beautiful..)


We had already been to Pangong lake last year (a filmy connect : last scene of 3 Idiots was shot here and this place surely has much more than what we saw on screen) but this is such a serene place that we could not resist being there once again. And we were so right in coming back. Luckily!

Sunset at Pangong
Yes! Luckily. It was unplanned but like I mentioned last year also that this place makes plans for you and you just seem to follow them. When we reached Pangong, we witnessed something extremely divine, spiritual, magical. It turned out to be a full moon night. I, being a Reiki practitioner, am aware of the value of full moon powers, but being there in front of this vast lake (135 km long), witnessing this sheer magic of nature under that clear sky found myself spellbound. I felt myself blessed to be there. It is a feeling that can not be expressed, only felt. And all this was totally unplanned by us, may be planned somewhere else.

Night at Pangong- Pic clicked by Mohit
We got something to eat in the evening and clicked some pictures but it was our night stay that I can never forget. It was left unclicked, but still it will remain with me, forever. After taking dinner, we spent time near lake in the night.
It was pretty cold there but we took our blankets (provided by guest house at Pangong) and went by the lake side. It was getting colder and we were shivering like anything but we wanted to spend some more time there. But considering that we had to travel a lot, we returned back to our rooms.

We were tired like hell but no one was ready to sleep. After a great round of Dumb Charades (Of course! my team won ;-)  ), we forced ourselves to sleep. What a waste of such wonderful atmosphere. It was a wonderland for meditation, the perfect enviro.

Next morning, we woke up early. I was in such an awe of last night's experience that I did not want to miss the sunrise and again it was worth getting up early. The pictures may speak better:

A tourist capturing the sunrise @ Pangong

Peace in recluse
After breakfast, it was time to say good bye to Pangong and its magical effect. We reached Leh by 2:30 p.m. After some tea and snacks, we went to local market, purchased a few things and enjoyed every bit of our time.
We were returning to Reeyork House for dinner and suddenly we heard some music.. Saiyoneee... It was the music coming from nearby roof top restaurant Il Firno. We all looked at each other and everybody had already wished and agreed to dine there.Along with free wifi, nice live music we got good food and as a pleasant surprise, we found actor Rajkumar Yadav (Queen, Kaipoche fame) dining just next to us. We didnot get a photo clicked with him but this was the strongest filmy connect of my travels. We left the place by 10:30 and were thrilled to see Tso Mo Riri next day.

Tso Moriri, Day-4:

We had a cab booked for taking us to this magical place. Though, the place seems less beautiful than Pangong, it has a different magic. Our cabby Norba Ji told us that this lake freezes in one go in winters and also melts in one go. Thats the kind of purity it has! Amazing.
NOrba ji had an anecdote on the tip of his tongue for every moment. For Tso Moriri, he told that A Yakni (female Yak, called Riri in Ladakhi) thought that the lake is still frozen whereas it had melted in one go a few moments ago. Riri had no idea of this and it fell in lake (called Tso in ladakhi). From that day, people named it Tso Mo Riri (Yakni's lake). Sad one..

We reached there via Chumathang (we found hot water springs there and these lovely kids as well !!!) .

Kids in Chumathang
The floods and landslides last month had shattered most of the routes and this was one of them. Even the brave efforts of BRO and army could not restore the road fully. Most of the road was in bad shape. We would have stuck hard time had we opted for biking through this route (As per locals at Leh, the road is beautiful drive. It used to be, but not now)
Bad roads, but BRO never stops working
 After a lunch break at Chumathang, we moved ahead and reached there by 5:00 p.m. 

The beautiful way to Tsomoriri was increasing our anxiety. If path was so beautiful, destination had to be awsome. And it was... We lose words for the beauty of this place. Clear skies, fresh air, deep blue water... All colors of nature are so vibrant. For city folks its like a dream and we lived this dream.. again..
Way to Tso Moriri

Roadmates - On way to Tso Moriri
Tsomoriri is around 60 kms from there. After getting into a nice hotel (Rs. 2600 per room with dinner and breakfast), we went to Tsomoriri. Let this beautiful lake talk for itself.. You may think I had a great DSLR to click these shots. But no.. I just had my Microsoft phone and a passion for capturing beautiful moments and nature was ready to be my muse.
Tso Moriri - View of lake from our Hotel


Colors were never so... so...Picture perfect

Even in September, it was pretty cold out there and the fear of catching cold brought us back to the hotel. With friends, the time flew by. We played nearly whole night. Next morning, we wouldn't be there and we made the most of our time.
After breakfast in the morning, we left at 8 in the morning.
The return journey felt easier and we reached Leh at 2:30p.m. This was our last day and the thought of ending this vacation saddened us. But we had already decided to enjoy as much as possible.

Way to Gompa

Downhill from Gompa to Palace
After evening tea, we went to see Leh palace (I missed it last time, this time I made up for that). The palace nowhere feels similar to forts and palaces I have seen and heard of. It was quite a simple yet elegant piece of architecture. Only our journey to Gompa and from Gompa to palace was not elegant. (I almost broke my leg while coming down hill)

Leh palace- The history

We paid Rs. 30 for Gompa and Rs. 5 for Leh palace. Foreign nationals have to pay higher (100 bucks for Leh palace).

Dinner at Neha Snacks
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit though, some may find it boring. (My friends felt so!)
After this tiring visit, we came back to Reeyork, had some lemon tea and then paid our last visit to Leh market. We had our last dinner at Neha Snacks, a nice place to dine. 
It is by far my favourite market among the places I have visited.

I once again fell in love with this beautiful land. And I feel special being born in country with such diverse culture, lands, people, cuisines and what not! I just love being a traveler here. Thank you Ladakh....
Our last evening @ Reeyork House, Leh

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