Ladakh is pretty much in the to do list for every one. As like any other traveller, we also wanted to visit the land of high passes since long. But after lot of contemplation, in 2014 we decided to visit this (we travelled with our 3 yr old son). Lot of research and study made us think that travelling with child is safe, but now when we are back we will never do it again even though everything was perfectly fine. The problem is that the mind is in a constant state of fear about AMS particularly when we flew to the region.
Day 1 [Delhi – Leh]: We flew directly from Delhi to Leh in an early morning flight. The views of Himalayas, Zanskar and Ladakh ranges are breathtaking. We clicked innumerable pictures while on the flight.
After landing it took us about 20 mins to reach the guest house which is located in the main market area. The rest of the day we spent in the garden soaking the summer sun.
Day 2 [Leh]: After taking rest on the day 1, we decided to take it easy on day 2 and allowing the body to acclimatize better. We took a road trip in the Indus valley and visited the monasteries towards east till Hemis and returned via the south banks of the river. Ladakh is a land of great architecture and that is pretty much evident with the amazing monasteries in the beautiful settings.
The evening we went to Shanti Stupa and captured some pictures of the Leh city at sunset.
Day 3 [Leh – Khardung La – Diskit]: We had a notion that after spending two days and 2 nights in the high plains of the Leh, we should be ready to embark a road trip via Khardung La which is at 18000 ft. and move again down to Diskit which is at same elevation of Leh. After a heavy breakfast we started the vertical climb up the Ladakh range and made the journey smoothly. We stopped at Khardung La and took some customary shots before going down to nubra valley and ending it in Diskit.
The evening was well spent in the dunes of Hunder where the double hump back camels roamed. The beauty of Nubra Valley is second to none.
Day 4 [Diskit – Khardung La – Leh]: After breakfast we started with the only motto of returning to Leh. The journey was slow and steady and nothing much happened.
At night we contemplated about the next day. Having spend 4 days and 4 nights at same elevation, we were preparing mentally whether to stay the night in the high altitudes of Pangong Tso or not? Pangong Tso is much higher than Leh and a day trip is too hectic. We have risen to 18000 ft two times and even then we were not ready mentally. Finally we went to the doctor and did a checkup and found things to be OK. Hence we decided to proceed to the Changthang Platue tomorrow.
Day 5 [Leh – Chang La – Pangong Tso]: After breakfast we started a long beautiful journey to Pangong Tso. The route is scenic and the destination is breathtaking. Truly a wonder for the eyes to behold.
Day 6 [Pangong Tso – Chang La – Leh]: We were unable to sleep the whole night in fear of AMS. Finally the morning sun bought relief. After a big hot breakfast, we decided to proceed to lower elevations of Leh.
Day 7 [Leh – Kargil]: Falling short of days to explore more and ticket prices being exorbitantly high from Leh to Delhi, we postponed our plans to visit Tso Moriri and Tso Kar. We moved west along the banks of Indus and drove on some of the most beautiful roads of our country to reach Kargil.
Day 8 [Kargil – Srinagar]: Kargil to Srinagar is undoubtedly one of the most scenic drive. With fear of AMS no more, we enjoyed the breathtaking vistas and green was a welcome form the barren stiken land of Ladakh. Summer is so green in Kashmir and totally opposite to Ladakh.
Day 9 [Srinagar – Delhi]: A day to bid good bye to the land of Himalayas and head back home.