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Trip Report Ladakh:landscapes, lamas, lakes and the Indus.

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This is the page with all pictures: http://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com/travels-from-india/ladakh-in-one-week/

It’s been sometime since I’ve been to Ladakh, I went there in the summer of 2011,just after my bachelor’s exams got over. Folks back at home were concerned about how I would cope up with the adverse climate(high altitude), but everything turned out perfect. So Ladakh is well separated from the Indian mainland by the Himalyas, which makes it’s culture,landscape,people,food,all of it unique, bearing resemblance to Tibet. It is located at a very high altitude, and it hardly receives any kind of precipitation(less), so that too makes it different from the rest of Indian highland areas. Huge rocky mountains,snow covered distant peaks are the norm here. However, what makes Ladakh super scenic is the water bodies which contrast with the rest of the landscape, the River Indus and the high altitude lakes, Pangong lake being the most famous one.

I took a flight from New Delhi to Leh, the flight was a trip itself, the aerial views of Himalayan peaks and the view of the Indus Valley near Ladakh were excellent. Do yourself a favor and get a window seat on this flight. I landed at Leh, took a Diamox, and proceeded towards my hotel, Kidar Guest House by taxi. The first day was rest day, since I had landed by flight, so the first day had to be for acclimatization. The terrace at Kidar Guest House had amazing views of the far away mountains and the Leh Palace.

So I actually began traveling on the 2nd day. Went up the Shanti Stupa for sunset for one of the most phenomenal views I was to see in Ladakh. Now monasteries and Buddhism form an integral part of Ladakhi life. And all of them have very splendid locations, usually they are perched up upon hilltops with gorgeous views of the countryside. So I headed off by a minibus to the Thiksey monastery, which bears resemblance with the massive Potala Palace at Lhasa. Awe-inspiring would hardly be enough for Thiksey monastery. Climbing to the top of it, and looking upon the countryside with the holy Indus river valley in view and with all the silence around, you could just hear the wind, was divine. I also walked till the Shey monastery, which again was another gem. Was more like a fortress, than a monastery. I returned back to Leh after visiting these amazing places.

More coming soon..

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