Family Trip to Ladakh – Fun, Adventure and Much More

Discussion in 'Travelogues' started by Sonia Baid, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    A trip to Ladakh is no less than a dream to a lot of people and it almost took me 8 years to fulfill my dream. Although in between I traveled to Nepal, Bhutan, South India, Tawang, Gujarat but the love for traveling Ladakh was unbeatable. Finally, after a long wait and a lot of planning, I recently visited Leh Ladakh with family and I would like to share my experience here in this post. If you were thinking of whether or not you can go Leh Ladakh with family, then hopefully the information below can help you decide.

    Life is a beautiful journey in itself and traveling to different places is a stoppage to recharge and regenerate the energy to live life.

    Always believe in yourself and travel to places that make your soul enchanted.

    Ladakh, the land of lamas, for me the place to fall in love forever; my dream destination.

    In its serene demeanor, it impresses with its beauty studded with lakes, snow-capped mountains, green patches of land, color-changing poplar trees, bright blue skies, and unimaginable terrains. Nubra valley, the lakes- Tso Kar, Tso Moriri and Pangong of the Ladakh region are the most beautiful parts of Ladakh.


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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  2. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    Ladakh is a once in a lifetime destination, a part of the to-do list. Ladakh is a paradise on earth.

    Since 2011, I wanted to travel to Ladakh but the plan never materialized. But this year finally things fell in place and I boarded the flight with my family. We were a bunch of 15 crazy people, waiting to get Leh’d.

    It’s always a pleasure to travel with family. A loving husband, crazy kids, fighting siblings and last but not the least, our first friends in life, great cousins.

    Here let’s start our journey to JANNAT – The Paradise on earth – Ladakh.
     
  3. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    Delhi to Kargil – Day 1

    We boarded an early morning flight from Delhi Airport to Leh. It was a 1hr 30 minutes of travel time and by far the most fascinating flight I have ever been on; Delhi to Leh, the capital of the Ladakh region. What was so special about this hour and a half flight? It was definitely the view: mountains, mountains, and more mountains.

    The excitement and the eagerness of getting to Leh were fighting with the exhaustion felt after our too-short a night. However, when my eyes saw the mountains I totally forgot about any sort of tiredness. I instantly was mesmerized! I just couldn’t keep my eyes off the view.

    For the first time, I realized that clouds play a scene. When they move we can see where we are flying over. The scene playing in front of our eyes was like a limited edition jaw-dropping event.


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  4. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    Then we had a smooth landing at Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh, the capital of Ladakh.

    We were surrounded by mountains. I didn’t know which way to look first. I inhaled the freshest air I’ve ever felt. After months of drooling in front of pictures of Ladakh, I was feeling it, breathing it, letting myself get captured by it. My legs were giving away being bewildered. My heart was beating with excitement. FINALLY!!!! My dream came true.

    I felt like shouting but my breath was heavy. It was cold outside but I felt the warmness of the place, something I had never felt before.

    After collecting the luggage first thing on mind was to find our pre-booked cab. As soon as we stepped out, we found a guy with a placard and a cheerful smile. Let me tell you one thing. The person on the wheel can make the journey unforgettable or forgettable. We were lucky that our companions for the next few days were extremely cool and patient.

    Now the real chaos began. We were a total of 15 people and there were 3 SUVs that we hired. Now all sorts of permutation and combination started about who will sit with whom. After the luggage was loaded in the cars, we started our road trip. To be honest, I and my sister were inseparable and my hubby was indispensable.

    We were tired but yet felt the freshness like never before.

    Our first stop was the confluence of Indus and Zanskar Rivers, the Sangam Point.
     
  5. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    The confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers feels like straight out of the canvas painted by God. It is truly among the most capturing works of Nature; a spot where the picturesque Sangam of these opulent rivers can be witnessed by travelers. It is 35 kilometers from Leh near village Nimmu. There is a photo point where we took turns to get clicked.


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    Soon our stomachs started growling and hunger pangs took over as we had skipped the breakfast to catch the flight.

    We took our stop to fuel our tanks (oops, stomach) at Nimmu.

    There are many roadside eateries here that sell both local and popular delicacies. We opted for a fully vegetarian eatery, which served Chola Bhatura; and Samosa with tea and coffee.

    Nearby, there is also a toilet facility available at Rs.10 per person. It is rare to find toilets like that; that too clean.

    One thing I would like to add here is that we had taken our first dosage of diamox125 mg a night before flying in and the second dose in the morning before landing. We took ORS and drank plenty of water.
     
  6. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    The beauty of the scenery unfolding before us was mesmerizing. The mountains were majestic in different colors and were a feast for the eyes. I was truly overwhelmed with the sights. On our way to Kargil, we saw mountains having craters just like on the moon. This is called moonland and is located in the town of Lamayuru, between Leh and Kargil. It was evening and the temperature was dropping. At Saraks, another small village a little before Kargil, we had piping hot Maggie n coffee.

    Here we encountered the first traditional Ladakhi toilet; thanks to the lady who opened her personal space for us. Do carry toilet rolls and wipes; it is a must in this terrain.

    By the time we reached Kargil, it was almost sunset. Our bodies were tired but our souls were fresh still. Our shelter for the night was a small beautiful property with wooden huts and a small garden and the owner was a wonderful person. Mr. Haznain and his staff took care of our needs and made sure our stay was comfortable. We were served hot tomato soup. The dinner was good but the topping was the live singing by Mr. Sonu. No, not Sonu Nigam but a local singer who belted out one after other oldies of Kishore Kumar. People burned the dance floor with their crazy moves.

    This was the end of our first day in Ladakh.

    I still feel Goosebumps when I remember my first foot in my moonland, my dreamland. I hope everyone has a memorable part in their journey. This was my beginning of falling for Ladakh forever.
     
  7. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    Kargil to Leh – Day 2

    We got up early and the weather was cool and pleasant. The sky was clear and sunflowers in the garden were brimming with a lively smile.

    Believe me; travel brings power and love back to life.

    Our breakfast consisted of toast and aloo paratha. We also had Diamox and gave Cocca 30 (homeopathic medicine for altitude sickness) to kids. My advice to anyone traveling to Ladakh would be that you do not overeat. Eat about 3/4th of your appetite which is very beneficial in avoiding motion sickness. Excess eating or empty stomach both cause trouble in the journey. If you still feel uncomfortable then take an ONDEM 4 mg tablet.

    We headed towards Drass. Our first stop of the day was the War Memorial.

    Built by the Indian Army, Kargil War Memorial is located in Drass, in the foothills of the Tololing Hill. It’s a homage to the martyrs of Operation Vijay. It refreshes the memory of the Kargil war.

    Several troops on the route come to pay homage. We were lucky enough to hear the briefing of the war by a soldier. Visiting Drass Memorial is a gesture of respect for the immortal souls of Indian army men. It’s beautifully made with pink sandstone.

    Next, we drove till evening and skipped lunch as there was not much in between. We just had some dry snacks and fruits. We were also carrying some khakhra, muri (puffed rice) and nimki. Being vegetarians, we did face a bit of a problem finding vegetarian-only restaurants.


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  8. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    Mulbekh was our second halt. The monastery here is situated at an elevation of 3,304 meters and is indeed a remarkable piece of workmanship that maintains a carved nine meters tall statue of Maitreya Buddha; which is said to be overlooking the old trade route and the present-day highway. The statue is also called Chamba and is believed to have been built around 8th century AD. It is nestled between the hills and the place is very calm.

    Do remember to remove your shoes before entering any place of religious importance to show respect.

    We crossed Namika La and Fotu La; two high altitude mountain passes on our way to Lamayuru which is at a lower altitude.

    Again finding a toilet was a big achievement. A local tea stall owner on a highway after Namika La had a toilet to let use at Rs. 10 per person. Ladies, if possible, do carry peesafe.

    We reached Lamayuru Monastery in the evening. It is the oldest monetary in the Ladakh region. It is well maintained and is very clean. We took a halt at Khalsi village and had dinner at a pure vegetarian restaurant, Samyas. Food was freshly prepared, hot and tasty. We filled our tummies to the fullest.

    It was dark and the journey was enjoyable with my favorite bunch of people. Last but not least, our mascot on wheels (later we will come to it), was the best to drive us through the rocky terrains.

    It was dark by the time we reached Leh. We could not see much as it was already dark so we just checked into our hotel and called it a day.
     
  9. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    Sightseeing in Leh – Day 3

    Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” John Muir

    I opened my eyes to a treat of sun basked mountain tops, distant snowcapped hills and irresistible beauty from the window of my room.

    After breakfast, we lazed around for a while and got ready for local sightseeing in Leh town. We took Diamox only in the morning on this day. It was killing my appetite, causing nausea but still needed it to adjust to the altitude.

    The first stop was the Hall Of Fame. It is a war memorial for Indo-Pak war martyrs. It stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made by our soldiers to ensure the safety and security of our country.

    Then we went to Zorawar Fort. This fort was home to the “Conqueror of Ladakh”, late Zorawar Singh Kahluria who consistently struggled against the Chinese Rulers. Its impressive structure is made from a local type of clay, sun-dried bricks, stones and wooden frames around the edge.

    Surrounded by the heap of rocky mountains, the attractions in Leh-Ladakh are at no ends.

    Shanti Stupa was our next stop. It is a white-domed stupa on a hilltop. The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location. Panoramic views of the surrounding landscape are worth capturing. The crisp air heals the soul.


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  10. Sonia Baid

    Sonia Baid New Member

    Leh Palace is one of the oldest places in Leh. One has to start from the market and hike for about 15 minutes to get here. We really enjoyed the walk up to the Palace. It has great views of the old and new Leh town. Although there are some nice photo exhibits, the Palace does need more sprucing up. There are many empty rooms to explore, it’s like a maze walking around the rooms and finding more rooms. The rooftop view is worth the find.

    Well, we are people who are not fascinated by the monuments but by the hills.


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