We went to Khardungla which is the highest motorable road in the world at an altitude of 18380 ft. It provides excellent view of the Ladakh range as well as the Karakoram range on the other side. It is some 43 kms from Leh town but takes around 5 hrs to ascend. We had taken bicycles with us so that we can ride on our way down hill. And truly, I never dreamt that I could bike from that altitude. It was an experience of a lifetime to bike down the road from Khardungla to Leh. I felt as if I was on top of the world, like a bird flying with its wings outstretched. It was absolutely scenic with long ,beautiful ,winding roads and mountains very close and near.Highest motorable road in th world Next trip was to Pangong lake. A pristine lake with deep blue waters, surrounded by tall mountain peaks.It lies in the Indo-China border with only one-fourth of the lake in India.The 4 1/2 hour drive(149 kms) from Leh to this lake passes through Chang la ,the third highest motorable road in the world. It was a sight to see the water freezing as it dripped down the mountain. What strikes the eye at first is the richest blue and greenish water with a “Garnet Hill” as the back drop where one can find raw, uncut garnets.DSC04607 Our next journey was a white water rafting in the Indus-Zanskar range from Chilling (at Zanskar) to Nimmu through the Indus & Zanskar river confluence. This is one of the most exotic rafting expeditions in the world. The rafting on the Zanskar river passes through the steep gorges carved out by the river over countless years. The gorge has been referred to as the Grand Canyon of Asia by many explorers. The river is graded as Class IV, and it passes through very remote and difficult to access terrain of ladakh. The water was very cold (7 degree Celsius) and cold water gear like wet suits are necessary. This was my first rafting experience and absolutely brilliant. The confluence of the rivers was a sight to watch One is greyish and the other , brown. They merge and flow as Indus forming its tributaries and branches down the Himalayas.DSC04755 The last event in our trip was the Ladakh festival which happens between September 1-15, every year. People from different tribes exhibit their culture and tradition with their traditional dances, archery competitions and processions. Our 13 days trip was coming to an end. The Tibetan chants “Om Mane Padme aum” were still lingering in our ears. With that happy note, we boarded our flight back to Delhi from Leh. It is one of the most exotic locations in India, if one is ready for some adventure and can enjoy the serenity and tranquility of Buddhist culture. Our salutes to the ALMIGHTY who created HIMALAYAS.
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