You Live The Best Experiences When You Travel With The Best People: Shriya Agrawal
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Travel everywhere, not a story to say. The entire social media is flooded with photographs of exotic places and luxurious stays, and even travelogues none of which speak about the experiences, but only stuff that happens in front of the camera. Travel is about letting your hair down and living without a care in the world about your clothes getting muddy. It is about tasting the local dishes made by the local people who gave you shelter in their homes. Travel is all about these experiences which shape your life and give you memories that last a lifetime.
If we were to talk to Shriya Agrawal about her experience of Leh trip that she took with her friends, a beautiful story will emerge of things never done before, realization of the potential that we all carry inside us that we have absolutely no idea of and finding true connect with strangers and friends. This is the story of Shriya and her best friends who went on a trip from Manali to Leh and came back as happy souls.
How It Began
The chirpy, happy-go-lucky Shriya Agrawal convinced her brother Raghav, cousins Radhika and Ridhi and two friends Simren and Siddhant along with best friend Priya to take the much awaited, dream of many, Manali-Leh trip and with few emails and phone calls sent to Thrillophilia, she, alongside her favorite people on the planet, got the bags packed and reached Delhi where they stayed for a day to party and started the drive to Manali the next day.
The road from Manali to Jispa is considered one of the most beautiful roads due to its scenic beauty; stunning landscape and twisted roads that will make you sit on the edge of your seat. The high rise mountains, narrow paths, deep valleys and unexpected streams of water gushing from the mountains make the route postcard worthy and travelers usually halt every few meters to capture the beauty.
“On our way to Jispa, we halted at one of the stalls to eat Maggie and after a few minutes had passed, it suddenly started to snow. We stayed there for more time than we had planned to engage in the beauty at the very beginning of our trip.”
Enter The Land Of Beauty
“The first stop of our road trip was Jispa where the tents were already set adjacent to a large water body. Imagine, coming from a populated city, we were in the middle of a valley, with towering mountains, clear sky and clear lake welcoming us to breathe the true beauty of nature. I, with my friends and brother lay down on the grass and gazed at the sky full of stars at night.”
Let’s Get Leh’d
Leh is undoubtedly every traveler’s dream destination. No matter how hyped it has become in the recent years, Leh still remains one of the most breathtakingly beautiful destinations, and is at par with internationally recognized travel destinations in foreign countries.
“From Jispa to Leh, we drove for hours but never felt the urge to take rest. We stopped at various places on the way to capture the beautiful landscapes, but never got bored. The last time I remember taking a trip with my friends and cousins was when we all were really young. This time, we were adults, and we knew how things work, responsibilities and were familiar with the fact that we are on our own. We shared so many instances of life while on the road trip, shared music that I hated and found new taste, dig in stories of relationships and talked about dreams that brought out the versions of us that we had never known.”
The group stayed in Leh for two days and in that time, they explored the nearby villages, Gurudwara, monasteries, Leh market, Magnetic Hills, Zanskar, Nubra Valley and participated in various adventure sports activities. The local food was being served to them and they got acquainted with the culture of the region. Passing by the highest motorable road of the world: Khardung La Pass, Shriya hopped on the seat like a child and got out to stand on the road which so many adventurers, explorers and travel-driven individuals have passed through.
Fire In The Mountains!
“Unfortunately, it happened with me. I still remember, we all were sitting in the garden in Leh enjoying the weather and cool breeze. I, being a restless person, started playing with the matchbox that was kept on the table for the candles that we lit in the monastery. I started taking out the sticks and lit them for fun. I have long and frizzy hair that caught fire by one of the sticks. Everyone, including I, was shocked and couldn’t react for the first few seconds. Then, my brother snapped and extinguished the fire in my hair. When I saw my burnt hair and we smelled the strong whiff, we ended up laughing so hard that even now, when I comb my hair, that moment comes back to my mind and I laugh. I try to stay away from the matchsticks now and instead, use a lighter if I have to light a candle or an incense stick.”
Dip In, Shall We?
“The highlight of our trip was visiting the Pangong Tso Lake, the famous lake that should be added to the list of wonders of the world. The temperature was freezing cold and the lake was so inviting. I remembered the scene from the film Jab Tak hai Jaan where Anushka drowns in the lake and Shah Rukh Khan saves her from drowning. Leaving all the drama aside, I wished to take a dip in the cold, pristine turquoise water of the lake but the moment I dipped my hand in it, I brushed away that silly thought and came back to my senses. Maybe, someday, during summers if I visit Leh again, I wish to take a dip in the water and swim. For now, it was just a dream that I replayed in my head. We stayed there for long and spent time at night around bonfire, singing songs, talking and gazing at the galaxy up in the night sky. I didn’t want to go back to my city life.”
After a fun trip to Leh, Shriya, along with her cousins and friends, reached back to Manali with loads of memories, GBs of photographs, anecdotes and stories to share with people. But more than that, she came back with a life-long experience of being in a secluded place, at the top of the world with the best people that she knows, and where she discovered joy in silly things, beauty in nature and parts of self that she never discovered before. Cheers to Leh!
PLANNING TO GO? HERE’S WHAT YOU GOT TO KNOW
- Leh doesn’t have proper mobile network. Only BSNL or Airtel postpaid works.
- Carry camphor or Kapur which will help you in places with less oxygen.
- Carry some snacks with you like dry fruits and nuts which give you energy because Maggie is the only food that you will find on the way.
- Carry gloves with you or else your hands will freeze.
- Be mentally prepared for a long trip. The roads are not like highways but are trodden and risky so you may need a lot of faith on the driver and strength in your head to be on the journey.
- The temperature will not be friendly. Carry essential clothes if necessary.
- Flights are good but there is more fun in taking the road trip to Leh.
- I didn’t know that the Leh Market was so amazing. Shop and explore!