“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”
The Asian Proverb above complements the traveller in the protagonist of this travel tale. A digital marketing professional, Farhat Ansari has the soul of a wanderer. She has checked a number of places in India and abroad from her list of dream destinations, including Singapore and Malaysia. When it comes to travelling, she claims herself to be impulsive as numerous times in her lifeshe has taken unprompted trips.
Farhat tells that a trip to Ladakh with friends was on the cards since long but years went by and it never happened. But this year, she was in no mood to postpone the trip to any further year, so she made her mind to take the long-awaited trip. She decided to travel to Ladakh solo. Though she had travelled solo before, it was her first domestic solo trip, and the excitement was on a different level altogether.
“Enough was enough! I had to see Ladakh before my birthday,” tells Farhat.
After some research, impressed by the good reviews and the perfect itinerary, she booked a trip of her dreams with Thrillophilia. After that, she booked a flight to Leh and sighed – she was finally going to Ladakh.
“The flight to Leh evoked a sweet kind of restlessness in me. There was a sense of disbelief and excitement involved. The trip started with me landing in the city of Leh and being transferred to my hotel there. Upon reaching the hotel, I realized that the 5 other travellers who were supposed to join me on the SUV trip were not there. Leh has a considerably high altitude, so my priority was to acclimatize to the climate and atmospheric pressure there. So, I spent the first half of my day resting, and then left to explore the nearby spots in the evening.”
Impressed by the unique culture and landscape of Leh, Farhat visited Shanti Stupa and found it gorgeous and peaceful in a divine manner. It was raining when she visited the site and there were not much people around. She just stood at the bottom of the stairway and admired the beauty that surrounded the stupa.
Day 2 was here, and visits to some exciting place were on schedule. Since there were no fellow travellers, it was just Farhat and the driver driving through the magnificent hills and mountains. Though Farhat had not expected it to be like that, she enjoyed every moment of it even in absence of any fellow traveller. She visited the Magnetic Hill – the place that defies the law of gravity – and was awestruck to realize that the claims she had heard about the place were not wrong.
But, the part of the day that occupies a place in Farhat’s heart till day is when she witnessed the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers. She stood there admiring the splendid sight of the meeting of the two rivers with different identities.
“To me, it represented that two people or bodies can meet and still retain their individuality and qualities. It was beautiful,” describes Farhat.
Farhat also indulged in the thrilling activity of river rafting there. What made the river rafting there special for her was realizing that she was rafting at the world’s highest rafting point.
The Vrooming to Nubra
You cannot travel to faraway places without expecting the unexpected!
“After exploring the places in an SUV for the first 2 days, 3rd day, my tour was clubbed with a group of bikers on a biking expedition to Ladakh. Initially, I was not quite happy with the change in plan, but I was also thrilled about the idea of exploring the land of high passes on a bike, so I took the bait,” shares Farhat.
It was time to leave for Nubra Valley. Farhat had heard a lot about the beauty of the valley, and the time for her to witness it with her own eyes was getting close. Riding through the extremely scenic yet nerve-wracking roads gave her a good dose of adrenaline rush. Her mind could not register the beauty of the landscapes she was passing through. She was now living what she had been dreaming of since long.
“The most thrilling part of the journey to Nubra Valley for me was passing Khardung La. It was challenging, and passing it filled me with a sense of triumph. I was on the top of the world,” quotes Farhat excitedly.
The unique landscapes of Nubra Valley featuring unending stretch of desert against the backdrop of imposing mountains rendered Farhat speechless. She thoroughly enjoyed her visit to this gorgeous valley. Besides, she also claims that the food she was served there was the best food she had had on the trip so far.
The Azure Lake
You must have heard Anthony Hopkins say “All good things to those who wait” in the movie Silence of The Lambs. Farhat had waited long enough to visit Ladakh, and she deserved to get rewarded for the same. All her wait became worthwhile when she finally got to see the unending horizon of Pangong Tso in front of her eyes. The azure lake sitting against the backdrop of mighty mountains, exhibiting the unparalleled artistry of God with a shadow play by the clouds overhead. Everyone, including Farhat was stunned.
“Words can’t describe how beautiful this place is. More than the scenery, it’s the feelingyou get when you just stand in front of this lake that mesmerizes you,” Farhat describes.
Highlights of the Trip
“Though throughout the trip, the unbelievably beautiful landscapes kept me hooked, it was the sight Pangong Tso that I truly fell for. One midnight, when we were staying by the lake, I stepped out of my tent and there was no one around – just Pangong Tso and I. I gazed at the sky ornamented with millions of stars and the moon, and caught their reflection in the calm water of the magical lake. It was truly mesmerizing. No sight can compare to what I witnessed that night,” shares Farhat with a hint of nostalgia.
Excited after her Ladakh trip with Thrillophilia, she intends to travel to Europe and Andaman soon. Another time, another destination!