“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” -Tim Cahill
This is exactly what Ashwini and her friends experienced on their exploration of Leh where the landscapes managed to cast a spell on them. Right from the beginning of the trip, flying over the mighty mountains from Delhi to Leh looked like a painting from the window. It felt special; very special because Leh was always on Ashwini’s go-to places list, along with other places like Amsterdam, Paris, Maldives, Himachal Pradesh, Seychelles, Andaman & Nicobar, New York. Yeah, the list is pretty long but believing strongly in her favourite quote: “Explore Dream Discover,” Ashwini was ready to tick Leh off the list!
The Start Of Magic!
The sightseeing in Leh started on a very positive note when the group of enthusiasts visited Shanti Stupa, a Gompa situated on the hilltop. From here, the entire town of Leh is visible and everything below appears as tiny as ants. It was a great start to the day and the trip. Following this, a visit to Leh palace was a brief introduction to the history and culture of Leh. While the beauty of Leh enthralled them, the rich history of the place surprised Ashwini and friends. “It was so beautiful that I can’t describe in words, one can just experience it…” says Ashwini.
The next morning, the group of friends visited “Sangam” – the point where the holy rivers of Zanskar and Indus meet and start flowing as one. The view seemed absolutely alluring where not clicking enough pictures was just not possible! “We could not stop clicking pictures!” remarked Ashwini laughingly.
The Moment Of Pride
Further making their way to the land of battles-Kargil, the group visited the Hall of Fame, where an emotional moment stuck in our hearts. It was a mix of emotions to see and hear the stories of our brave soldiers who have been doing so much for our country; and those who sacrificed their lives for their motherland in various wars. The impact created by the quote “WHEN YOU GO HOME TELL THEM OF US & SAY FOR YOUR TOMORROW WE GAVE OUR TODAY” was very strong and will certainly never be forgotten by any.
The 3rd day of the trip marked the start of the journey to Nubra Valley, a valley that has distinct landscapes. Enroute, a stop at Khardung La, World’s highest motorable pass, was a refreshing time. A sense of achievement filled the minds of these young souls to reach this height, leaving them with pure joy and happiness. The roads ahead of Khardung La were mesmerizingly beautiful! Every view was picture-perfect. And adding to the experience was their stay at the hotel. The resort was surrounded by a variety of flowers against the mountains in the background. It seemed exactly like the scenery we learn to draw in early school days.
A traditional live show by the locals of the village was fun. The day had so much to offer! There were camel rides, and the thrill of ATV bike ride on sand dunes. Making their way back from Nubra Valley, Ashwini and company visited Diskit Gompa where a statue of Lord Buddha is installed. The statue is so huge that it can be spotted from almost all parts of Nubra. “It may be the most ravishing statue I have ever seen,” said Ashwini.
The Surreal Pangong
While the group of friends was trying to recover from the beauty experienced so far, it was the 5th day of the trip that demanded a visit to Pangong Tso. But this was the most awaited part and the excitement level was at peak for all four of them. Pangong Lake is considered to be one of the most stunning parts of Leh region. And when Ashwini and friends reached there, they got to know exactly why! Various shades of Pangong appeared from time to time as the sun gradually shifted its positions in the sky. The friends posed and enacted Kareena Kapoor’s scooter scene, along with the famous bum seats from 3 idiots and lived some of the craziest moments of their lives. “The night was like a dream where a shining, glittery sky is all you can see. The sky is very clear, so very often you are likely to see falling stars. I was lucky to see one!” says Ashwini.
Further on the journey, a visit to the Gurudwara in Leh felt like a blessing; it was all the more special to see the warriors, Indian army serve at Langar. Respect for the Indian army elated to a different level. Eventually, the group strolled around the streets of Leh market where they shopped the popular Tibetan prayer flags, bracelets, magnets and other souvenirs.
The trip came to an end and a feeling of contentment was all Ashwini and her friends were left with. This is what the places like Leh-Ladakh do to you. They leave you with immense positivity, inspiration and aspiration, so that when you get back home, you have the willingness to achieve it all. Ashwini and her friends enjoyed the trip throughout. They happily expressed their gratitude to Thrillophilia and said, “The trip was just AWESOME. The best trip ever!”