Just Emkaying: Travelling to Ladakh - Leh

Jul 23, 2011

Travelling to Ladakh - Leh

I have always fancied myself as a traveler, explorer of the unknown and in search of adventure.

(OK, Stop Laughing)
Over the last year or so, I have had the fortune of "visiting" places as part of my job, and managed to sample a lit bit of the cities that I have been to. The Beaches of Goa, The White Town of Pondicherry, the heat of Chennai and the wide wide roads of Coimbatore. Not to forget the great Sea Food in Kerala.

The idea of taking a good ten days off to visit Ladakh and Leh (which I knew was up there on the map somewhere) was mouth watering, and luckily for us nothing got jinxed, so on 2nd July we found ourselves on a Flight to Delhi, the capital of the country, and home to all the fair, every second - swearing - mc/bc uttering crowd that shock us so often. And the good looking Kudi's too.

Me, Raja, Cutie, Pinta and BC (not to be confused with the gaali) (names changed to stop the buggers from showing off) were the partners in crime. There were 2 more guys who were to join us, but one ditched us before the plane took off and the other at the airport, where he was supposed to pick us up.

Our Innova
The Tour plan was simple. Delhi - Manali - Ladakh - Leh - Delhi - Home. We initially planned to travel by car both ways, and then fly both ways, but then we reached a compromise of driving up and flying back, which in hindsight turned out to be a life saver.

We ganged up together at Rohini West (Delhi) and left the place in a Toyota Innova at 12.30 am, stopping over at Sukhdev Vaishno Dhaba for dinner. The Paranthas here are totally awesome and the butter...muaah!!! Avoid the paneer stuff and just gorge on paranthas and lassi!!!
 (Quick Tip - If you miss the
"Vaishno dhaba" sign at the entrance, DON'T ask for non-vegetarian fare, especially butter chicken.The waiter nearly killed us with his vegetarian eyes.)

Ambala, Punjab
The Trip to Manali is very beautiful, moving from Delhi, through Lush green expanses of fields in Punjab to long winding roads in Himachal. We came across Apple Orchards and Farms of green Peas, and lots of rivers and streams.

 We also crossed a dam built by the Army near Sundarnagar, which is after the Shimla-Manali bypass, where the road splits between Shimla and Manali. Here there is a huge ACC cement factory, which is one of the largest factories I have seen till date, the whole town is painted red with ACC logos and cement. Real eye sore in such natural beauty.
Valley along River Vyas
We stopped for breakfast at Jalhol at around 10am in the morning, and we were starving. The odd thing about the journey in Himachal, was that the driver didn't allow us to play any music, insisting that it wasn't allowed. So most of us were either asleep, or snapping away at the landscape.

We crossed through a large valley after the dam, and it was like driving through the floating hills in "Aavatar". The colour of the landscape, the chilly wind in your face, the silence is all too much for the brain to process in one go. I wish we had more time to spend in all of these places where we just snapped photos off the moving car. Sigh,

Our next stop was Manali after crossing Kullu ( which isn't much actually, lots of white water rafting and all that) and we reached Manali at 3 Pm in the afternoon. More on that in my next post!!!

Check out the photos in FB!!!


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