“Great things are done when men and mountains meet”
Words by William Blake describe the adventurous journey of Nikhil and his friends to Ladakh.
He would sometimes take his bike to an undecided place, and sometimes he would climb atop a goods train to witness the majestic sight of the Dudhsagar Falls; it’s his very own spontaneity that makes Nikhil enjoy his expeditions and collect a new experience every day. It is impossible to describe Jaipur-based Nikhil Maheshwari without mentioning his crazy gigs, which have been an inseparable part of his journeys.
Having graduated from an engineering college recently, Nikhil is always on a lookout now for places to explore across India. It was the same desire that helped him plan a bike trip to the Land of High Passes, Ladakh. Accompanied by his two friends, Nikhil knew that the road journey to Ladakh is going to be fun-filled and just the kind the three would cherish all their lives. Being the most excited of the lot, Nikhil could not plan this trip just as any other trip; Ladakh, for him, held a special place in his heart. After proper brainstorming and discussing the places with his two friends, Nikhil booked a Thrillophilia package from Manali to Leh to experience a lifetime of moments.
Making it Happen, Finally!
The journey was all about taking a risk to taste adventure, and Nikhil’s travel tales from the past were adequate a reflection for him to validate the numero uno trip on his bucket list. Along with his two friends after landing at the airport, he headed straight to the hotel. A delicious breakfast followed the course, after which the travelling teams were introduced and they also met the local guide who would be taking them through the attractive places all along in Ladakh.
The night ended with a delicious dinner, followed by an advised sound sleep, which would help the three acclimatise to the mountain climate and the high altitude. The next morning, Nikhil and his two friends, along with fellow travel mates, set off to travel to Nubra Valley.
The surroundings en route to Nubra Valley were astounding. Crossing the mighty Khardung La, located at an impressive attitude of 18,380 feet, on the way gave Nikhil a feeling which cannot be described in words! Being a biking enthusiast, Nikhil had always dreamt of visiting on a bike a place as high as Khardung La. The triumphant feeling at Khardung La brought with it a lot of tranquillity and a certain kind of satisfaction to the three friends, who were lost in the astonishing beauty of the mountains.
Heading towards the Nubra Valley, the surroundings were a delight to the eyes of a person visiting the high mountains. The snow-clad mountains established themselves on both sides of the road as their enchanting views mesmerised Nikhil and his two friends. The surroundings changed drastically from snow covered mountains to cold, white desert of Hunder in no time, leaving the three friends spellbound. In the desert of Hunder, they spotted the double-humped camel, which is a rare species in other parts of the country.
For Nikhil and his fellow travellers, a night stay was arranged at the camp in Nubra Valley. A bonfire was arranged at the night stay, and explorers got together to share their life experiences and moments of warmth and comfort. Tented in the white, cold desert of Nubra, the three friends talked about their journey so far and the next day, in which they were scheduled to go to the picturesque Pangong Tso, the waters of which are popular for its changing hues due to the sunlight falling on the lake.
Fun by the Pangong Tso
It was now time for them to head to their most awaited destination on the trip that is the mystic Pangong Lake. The stretch from Leh to Pangong Tso was scenic, and it enchanted the travellers during every minute of their exhaustive sojourn. Riding parallel to the Indus River to reach Pangong Tso was an exciting experience in itself as the noise of the gushing waters in the river constantly reminded them that they were in the lap of nature.
After a journey which was a visual delight, the three reached the majestic Pangong Tso. The first glimpse of the lake filled the boys with great enthusiasm as they could not wait to watch it at its full splendour. They reached the popular tourist spot near on the banks of the lake where the movie “3 Idiots” was shot. After sharing moments of joy at this major attraction, Nikhil and his friends ensured that they have a handsome number of photographs near the lake.
The three friends took pictures against the majestic lake as the picture-perfect lake changed its hues against the backdrop of mighty mountains. If the day was spent well near Pangong Lake, the night was cherry on the cake. Nikhil and his friends were accommodated in the camp opposite the picturesque lake. The temperature at night was freezing cold and the three reminisced having the time of their lives, sharing an inseparable bond right in the heart of the Himalayas.
A Close Shave to Buddhism: Exploring Leh
The next day, it was time to say goodbye to the serene lake. They headed back to Leh and explored the city. The markets in Leh impressed Nikhil and his friends with the local items which reflected the heritage and culture of Ladakh. To explore the cultural nuances of the place furthermore, they visited popular monasteries in Ladakh. The monasteries have been a hub for Buddhist preaching and heritage, reflecting the rich culture of the people of Ladakh.
As Nikhil and his two friends recall the best moments from their trip, they feel nostalgic about everything—ranging from the high mountains to the snow-clad peaks, from the streams that crossed their path while biking to the rivers which roared as they moved parallel to the journey of the three friends. For them, it was not just a journey, it was a time the three will remember and cherish forever.