|Indian woman solo trip to Ladakh |
|Solo trip by Indian woman traveler to Ladakh |
I love travelling. Nature just mesmerizes me and keeps me spell bound. Hence, it’s no wonder that I would travel to a place ladakh, the most enchanting place that I have seen till date.
For those who wonder why travel alone? the answer is quite simple, going solo, gives you the freedom to do the things you would like to do, see the places you would love to see, at the pace that you are comfortable with.
Those women travelers reading and wishing to go to Ladakh, but wondering about the safety aspects… I would like to assure you that Ladakh is a very safe place. Though travelling in a group is recommended more from the cost perspective if nothing else.
While planning the trip, I read a lot , joined forums like India mike, devil on wheels and also read a book by Partha S Banerjee. Basically I made a list of the places that fascinated me and then planned the route considering acclimatization. I got immense help while planning the route from the above forums. Extensive reading helps you be sure of the places that fascinate you, so that if you have to alter you trip plans and you have to choose between places, it becomes very easy to do so. You can also save cost as you would know the most expensive and the cheapest way to travel.
So here are my trip details
Day 1 : Mumbai – Srinagar
I caught the early morning flight and reached Srinagar at around 12. From there caught a bus to go to the bus stop. (Paid 50 Rs.) Then I booked the bus for the next day to Srinagar. While boarding the bus met with an agent who offered me a room for Rs. 400/-. Stayed at that Place. From there I went to Dal lake and took a shikara ride. There are various rides offered, if going to the dal lake would recommend that you go upto the main dal lake, it is the most beautiful part of the dal lake.
After the trip to the dal lake went back home and rested. Was very exhausted.
Day 2 : Srinagar to Kargil
The bus was to leave at 8 am from Srinagar for Kargil. However, the bus we were to ply by conked of so we had to take another bus.. Must have left around 9 am from Srinagar.
At the bus stop met a girl from Thailand would had come from Ladakh after having spent around a month in ladakh. The thought of spending one month in ladakh is amazing wish I could get such leave.
The route to Kargil was great. Crossed Pahalgam.
Stayed overnight at Kargil.
Day 3 : Kargil to Parkachik
I had originally planned to go to Pensila (wanted to see the glacier of Drass – Drung). However, the person who gave me the accommodation at kargil convinced me to trek upto the Parkachik glacier.
Since I was going to Pensila mainly to see the glacier, I altered my plans and decided only to go upto Parkachik.
In the morning I got up and brought some apricots. The apricots from Kargil are very sweet and are amazingly delicious.
I went with a group who were going to climb the Nun peak. That day was quite eventful.
Firstly, I wanted to go to the J & K tourist lodge. The driver dropped me and told me that he would be returning in the evening and if I wanted to go back I could go with him. When I went in I realized he dropped me at the wrong place that instead of the J & K tourist lodge he had dropped me at the PWD works dept office, where senior PWD works officials live. The J & K lodge was one kilometer away. The thought of walking back one kilometer was daunting.
However, as they say that what happens , happens for the best, it so happened that the office was very near to the place from which I had to take a trek. So instead of going one kilometer away and coming back, I just requested whether I could keep my haversack with them.
I then started to trek, I went half way and saw the glacier and came back. It had started drizzling to same back as I did not want the camera to get wet. However, would recommend people to go up and as from there you can see the nun and kun peaks up close.
Came down, by then the engineer form the PWD work dept had come and he told me that I could stay there. I sat at the veranda and from the veranda saw the glacier and the nun peak.
Then I went for a long walk and came back. By the time I arrived, my driver also had come back. So I decided to go back with him to Kargil.
On the way I told him that I wanted to see a ladaki house, so he took me to a ladaki home. Initially the head of the house, was a bit reluctant to even let me take pictures of the women folk. However, the driver spoke to him. After that they warmed up, and gave me their traditional bread, curd and butter tea. They were so warm just enjoyed my visit there.
Reached kargil at 10 pm at night. The place I had stayed over the previous night was given away so had to stay in another place near the bus stand. This place was horrible enough to wake me up at 3.30 am the next day and check whether there was a bus going to leh. Had to go back and forth few times, finally got a place in private bus going to leh.
Day 4 : Kargil to Leh
I did not get a window seat in the bus which was a downer since I could not look out and see the landscape clearly. However, the way was very beautiful.
The landscape here is so beautiful; some of the mountains look like the back of the camel. Some times you are in the centre and you can see the entire range of mountains and behind those mountains further mountains till they reach the horizon. Amazing.
Then I reached Lamarayu and saw the Moonland formation. It was so beautiful. It is place which looks like a crater and is so bright, you wonder where you are.
I had initially thought of getting of at Alchi and then going to Leh. But being in the bus I would have to get down and hitchhike. So instead I went directly to Leh.
Went I got down at Leh I went down searching for a guest house. There a sweet lady approached me and volunteered to take me to the guest house I was searching. After walking for some time she told me that she had a guest house. I agreed to check out her guest house and was so glad I did it, since this was the place and I stayed and just living with the family. They are such great people.
Went to a travel agency for getting the inner line permits done. And also booked for the next day to go to Alchi, likir, magnetic hill, hall of fame. I went solo on this tour since I did not get any one to share the trip with.
Day 5:- Alchi, Likir, Magnetic hill, Hall of Fame, Gurudwara.
The next day I saw the monasteries of Alchi, Likir, Loved the frescos at Alchi, the Buddha statue at Likir, Then saw the Hall of fame, and liked it too. The hall of fame has all the war relics of the kargil war. I was particularly moved by a letter by a son to his family just some days before he died and his father letter on his death. While travelling look out for the road signs they are so witty.
I was not that interested in the magnetic hill and the Gurudwara. I tried to get a sharing jeep to go Nubra valley, however I did not get the same. One of the tour agents told me that above the polo ground there is a place where the locals take a sharing jeep and that I would surely get transportation to Nubra.
Day 6 and 7:- Nubra valley upto Turtuk
Went early in the morning to the place above a polo ground I got a sharing jeep . Saw the Kardungla pass on the way and reached Diskit. The driver and the passengers said that they were going upto Turtuk so decided to go with them upto Turtuk. Made arrangements for staying in Diskit and then went to turtuk. Past hunder, there were these beautiful light blue streams which would join with the main river which was slaty. I wonder how these streams got this beautiful light blue colour may be it is the ice which was melting just don’t know. Then on the way saw these beautiful water falls again with this beautiful blue coloured water. The route to Turtuk is very amazing and particularly loved the landscape post hunder to turtuk. The village at Turtuk is also beautiful. When I got there I saw no jeeps and panicked on whether I would be able to come back so told the driver to return back to Diskit.
But thinking back it was a wrong decision, I should have stayed at Turtuk it was a beautiful place and would surely have got transportation next day morning.
I crossed hunder, but seeing it from above, I decided to skip it and not to visit it and stayed directly at Diskit
The next day I went to the Diskit monastery. There was a group who were going back to leh so I joined them. Reached around lunch time at leh.
During lunch I heard that a couple Nnandini and Prahlad wanted to go to Shey , Thiksey and hemis monastery , I asked them whether I could join them.
In the evening I went to the Leh Palace and the monastery above it.
Day 8:- Leh festival, Shey, Thiksey, Hemis.
I went to the Leh festival, quite liked it. Since it was the first day of the festival, they had a procession which I missed, post that there were some traditional dances, where they wore traditional clothes. There was a dance put up by some school children which I particularly loved. Post that we went for lunch and then we went to Hemis monastery, where we saw the monastery and the museum. Then I went to Thiksey monastery. By the time we were done with Thiksey monastery , the driver told us that the shey palace would be closed so missed seeing it.
Day 8:- Pangong Lake
I had arranged a trip to the Pangong lake through a travel agent. One of the persons who had to join our trip did not come and we were waiting for nearly hour for him .
After an hour we left within him for Pangong lake. On this trip, I was joined by a Polish girl Agneska and a German guy, Erwin.
On the way to Pangong we got down at this beautiful place where there was grass , ponies and the mountains it was a really amazingly beautiful place. It is may be half and hour distance from Pangong. When we reached Pangong lake, we were spell bound by its amazing beauty. The lake is so long, and such a beautiful blue and with the backdrop of the mountains is just so amazing. The best part is the colours of the waters keep changing. I could not resist the temptation of getting into the water.
We left after being there for around an hour. While returning we went to a place where supposedly u get yak cheese.
However, the lady at the tent told us that there was no yak cheese, but invited us in.
We went in and she served us curd, and a powder made of roasted corn. Later on she had Yak cheese which she gave us. So I got to taste Yak cheese.
Day 9 :- River rafting
The next day I went for river rafting from chilling to Nimo. We had a captain for our raft, and there were these two guys who were accompanying us on kayak , just in case anything went wrong. They gave us some basic training, Then we had to change into a water proof costume and helmet that they gave us. They also gave us shoes to wear and then we started on our journey. The rocks that we past while rafting was amazingly wonderful, some rocks were maroon coloured, some looked like pure chocolate, it was just amazing.
The rafting was quite easy and then after some time they told us to go it into the water. I went in the water , later on we had lunch and then reached back to leh.
In the evening I took the family I stayed with out too dinner. I was really grateful for how well they treated me during my stay with them.
Day 11, 12 :-
I wanted to go to Tsomoriri lake. But I could not get any sharing jeep for it. Since I had visited the Pangong lake originally, I decided to skip going to Tsomoriri lake.
So the next two days I spent going to the Shey Palace and museum. Shanti stupa,
Day 13 and 14 and 15:-
I started off for manali by the HPTDC bus. We stayed at Keylong . At Keylong they provide these tents. But I did not want to stay at the tent so I stayed at the hotel.
The next day We went to Manali.. There was a beautiful mist. At one place the border road organization did not allow us to go ahead because, of the problems with the road. And that was wonderful, because we got to spend time in that place which was very beautiful.
After one and half our the mist cleared up and we were allowed to go ahead, the road was really in such a back condition due to the rain, and some part of the road had actually washed away. The route is so beautiful, there was a small waterfall in every nook and corner. Any picture u took, looked so beautiful.
We reached Manali , On the bus I met Shashi from Hyderabad, Andy from Switzerland and Maya from Czech republic, Maya took us to a place in old Manali.
The place we stayed at was small but it was so beautiful, since the place had a verandah, from where you could see mountains.
The next day , I and Shashi wanted to go Paragliding, but it rained, so we instead walked through a Park in Manali which was amazingly beautiful.
While returning back, we did River crossing, though it was for a very small distance we really enjoyed the experience.
I then boarded the bus to return go to Chandigarh.
Day 16 :- Chandigarh to Mumbai
I took the flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai and returned home.