I have always admired Ladakh for its landscape beauty and diversity but after going there, I think its way beyond that as it surprises us with every moment we spent in the Land of Lama. It was not only life time memorable journey and experience but it will also continue to motivate and inspire us for more exploring of such places for long time.
We covered :- Leh – Leh Palace – Namingyal Monastery – Magnetic Hill – Confluence – Shanti Stupa – Stok Kangri Base Camp – Khardungla Pass – Nubra Valley – Turtuk Village – Thang Village (LOC – Border) – Pangong Lake – Tso Morri Lake – Leh in 10 days.
DAY 1 :- We reached to Leh (Altitude 3500 m) around 8 am with morning flight from Delhi. After that we took the cab outside of Airport to reach our Nangseem Guest House then we checked in the hotel, got fresh, had breakfast and took a nap for few hours. Then in afternoon we all got ready and went towards Leh main market by walk to get acclimatization. After reaching the market we first had a good lunch then we decided to move towards Leh Palace which is just above the main market. It took us 10 min to reach to the palace then we bought the ticket of the palace. Then we wander the whole palace and took many amazing pictures. After that we found Namingyal Monastery just above the Leh Palace where one can reach either by Trek or by Road as we were interested in acclimatization so we decided to trek to the Monastery. It took us a while to reach and it was also getting dark, we reached the Monastery almost in the dark but it was most beautiful evening of the town at such height. Namingyal Monastery is truly most beautiful place of Leh town I must say. So far we were good with our health status even after without having too much rest. Then we reached the hotel again by walk after having lunch which is quite memorable as it made our memories of streets of Leh more alive.
DAY 2 :- Next morning we decide to rent one scooty & one bike for four of us for normal price for entire day from guest house itself. Then we filled our Patrol Tanks and start the ride towards Magnetic Hill on Kargil Highway (27 Km approx), 4 Km further we also went to confluence of Zanskar & Indus Rivers where we sat for a while. The whole ride was amazing experience as the road conditions were awesome under the awesome wide landscape of Ladakh. Then we returned back to leh main market again & had our lunch there then drive to the Shanti Stupa in the evening. Late in the night we finally able to arranged our trekking expedition to Stok Kangri Peak (6000Mtrs Altitude- Highest Trekkable Peak in the World) with local travel agency after lot of negotiation (Which I will disclose below).
DAY 3 :- Then next morning after partial advance payment to travel agency, we moved to Stok Village (12Km from leh – Starting point of trek) . After having tea and registration at Stok Village we started our trek and reached ChangMa (5.5 Km) for another stop over. Then after having rest at ChangMa we moved to towards Manokarma our night stay for that day which is around 3.5 Km from ChangMa. We reached Manokarma in the evening where we stayed overnight and met other fellow trekkers.
DAY 4:- Next Morning after having breakfast we started our trek towards Base Camp(5100 m altitude) which is 2.5 Km from Manokarma. We reached the base camp in the afternoon and had our lunch. After having lunch we moved to our camps. Suddenly one of my friend got sick due lack of oxygen showing severe symptoms. Luckily a Doctor was available there at the Base Camp who suggested to move him down. After which he went down to Manokarma along with our porter there he got some relief which we got to know next day . After he went down rain started heavily which turned into hailstorm then turned into snow fall. As per the plan we had to leave the base camp in the night to reach the peak in time but unfortunately due to heavy snow fall and crazy weather we couldn’t able to do so and nobody else also. With this weather the season for Stok Kangri was called off and we had to drop the plan for the next time.
DAY 5 :- Then after having breakfast with heavy heart we decided to move back to leh. We met our one friend at Manokarma and in same day we reached leh from Base Camp. Then next we arranged our super awesome Roadtrip from sweet lady in the leh market late in the night with the reasonable rates. After having a dinner in the market we went to our hotel which we again booked on Go Ibibo App in same day.
DAY 6 :- Next day we got up early in the morning and with partial advance payment, we started our Roadtrip from Leh to Khardungla Pass-40 Km (World’s Highest Motorable Road) with Very Nice Driver . When we reached Khardungla Pass it was also snowing there, bad road around Khardungla and some traffic also. But we enjoyed every bit of our Khardingla Pass moments as it was truly magical. From Khadungla Pass to Hunder, Nubra Valley- 86 Km, we reached in the evening at Yourdum Guest House, Hunder, Nubra Valley. I must say this is one of the most beautiful property one can find in Nubra Valley.
DAY 7 :- Next day morning we get ready for going towards Turtuk and Thang Village (80 Km-Northern Most Part of Ladakh) which are situated near LOC at Pakistan Border. Turtuk Village is not anymore secluded village, it has become a hot spot among the tourist so one can easily find numerous café and homestay there in the village. Thang Village is situated at border itself 3km beyond Turtuk Village, everyone needs to take permission to go there after depositing the ID documents at check post. We did our lunch at Turtuk Village then moved back to Nubra Valley in time so that we could do the famous Camel Ride of Nubra over the sand dunes. Camel ride was quite fun activity with my friends. After that we reached back to Yourdum Guest House.
DAY 8 :- Next Day we left for Pangong Lake -240 Km (One of the worlds most beautiful lake). During this we saw beautiful landscapes, rivers, marmot, valleys and many more unforgettable views of Ladakh. It was a long journey which took our entire day and we reached to the lake in the evening. It was super fabulous first view of Pangong lake, I mean its completely different world and feeling which is difficult to describe with any word. The weather and environment was cold & windy, it was most beautiful moment of our life. I must say Pangong Lake is must visit place in Ladakh. Then our driver helped us take the camp for overnight stay. There were multiple camps there then with all the facilities. We enjoyed everything and every moment of Pangong Lake especially its mesmerizing or breathtaking sunset and sunrise.
DAY 9 :- Next day we left the Pangong Lake after the breakfast for Tso Mori Lake-150 Km (Southern Most Part of Ladakh). Again it took our entire day from rough terrain, no road and we reached at TsoMori almost in the dark. We got the room in the village and went straight to the lake which is quite different from Pangong as there was no camp near to lake. It was extremely cold there in the evening so we came back from the lake in the dark ,had our dinner and slept in the guest house.
DAY 10 :- Next Morning we again went to the Tso Mori in extreme cold to witness its super awesome sunrise and it was truly worth of every struggle and effort for that moment of golden sunrise. Then we went back to hotel. We checked out the hotel and moved back to Leh (200 Km) in between we witness such diversified landscapes of Ladakh which anyone can just praise and admire. We reached Leh late in the evening as near Tanglang Pass our Cab’s one Tyre moved out suddenly and we somehow escaped severe accident with deligence of driver then with the efforts of driver and one of my friend we used “JUGAAD” system of India and came back to leh with very slow speed. We booked the another hotel on Go IbIbo APP same day, reached there, had our dinner outside and left next morning for the Delhi Flight.
So after covering all these places and adventures of Ladakh I can say that there only one Ladakh in this world the beauty of which is unparalleled. Its once in a lifetime journey which everyone should do at least once. Make sure you once go to Ladakh with the Love & Respect towards its culture and environment. Be responsible tourist don’t create nuisance and litter around.
About Stok Kangri Trek :- It is easy trek till Base Camp if you are acclimatized. One can easily find food and stay options at Manokarma & Base Camp. I would suggests don’t book through any agency, go and find local guide he will arrange everything with the lesser charge and can help you also at higher altitude.
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