July 29, 2021

Highlights of Ladakh

I have just returned from two weeks in Ladakh – mid May turned out to be a great time to go, despite the severe cold and dark clouds during the first few days – the high passes kept getting shut due to snowfall and our plans kept getting changed from day to day, yet more snow and fewer people made it all a dream holiday.

A few highlights for now:

~ the cheerful Juley! greeting from everyone on the streets, perfect strangers smiling at you…

~ landing at Leh, flying over the thick snow-clad mountains and then the shock of the stark brown hills of Ladakh, and the descent on to the tiny runway bounded by Spituk monastery on one end…

~ the unpredictable weather – clouds, rain, snow and sunshine in the same day…

~ driving to Pangong up the high Chang La, totally covered in snow, the pure white and brown like ice-cream with chocolate sauce…

~ the blues of Pangong, a hundred different shades all at the same time…

~ the blues of Tso Moriri, similar yet different from Pangong lake, the route along the crystal clear Indus all the way through…

~ the monasteries with their friendly monks, and especially the monklings (the young ones in training), all surviving the severe weather conditions over centuries, all unique in some way that makes it hard to play favourites…

~ walking up and down the tiny market road, chatting with the vendors of green vegetables and dried fruit and learning their names, just to forget them the next minute…

~ hot momos and thukpa soup, vegetable chowmein and the green chilli sauce, peanut cookies and mint tea, alu parathas and rajma chawal…

~ making friends with other travelers, many of them sophisticated world travelers who lose their world-weariness in Ladakh and give in to its quiet charm, some for months on end…

7 thoughts on “Highlights of Ladakh

  1. One place I so badly want to go to!!
    Loved the pics and the highlights – awaiting detailed trip report. :o)

  2. Wow..good to know that you have explored ladakh in this weather..and cant wait to read the detailed narration of your trip…
    Ladakh is a dream place on my itenary fro long…
    I am very much looking forward to plan a trip once we have 10 days leave approved ( woes of working in a typical corporate scenario )

    Till that..I keep myself content by reading your blog.

    Keep it up !!

  3. sasha – detailed posts coming up soon (I hope!) – and do go if you ever get the chance…

    Arch – ah yes, Gezmo Bakery – of course! I loved the mint tea in Ladakh too!

    neha – thank you! do go – I cannot recommend it enough!

    Pracheta, I’d never seen so much snow before – so I enjoyed it thoroughly…

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