In my previous post about how to prepare for Ladakh I talked about how Ladakh was one of the most extreme places and the things you should know before visiting Ladakh. I had also mentioned that of all the ‘dangers’ that pose a threat to someone visiting Ladakh, Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS is the one thing you really should know well about before visiting Ladakh, or any high-altitude destination for that matter. The topic of how to avoid altitude sickness is a big one but I will try to be precise here. So buckle-up and be rest assured that by the time you are on the other side, you will have a clear idea about how to have a safe and wonderful trip to Ladakh.
Ladakh is a land of many extremes. The cold there can freeze you to death and you run the risk of suffering a sun-stroke as well. An old Ladakhi saying perfectly sums up Ladakh in one line, “The Land is so barren and the passes so high that only our fiercest enemies or Our best friends would want to visit us“. What it also means to someone who wants to visit Ladakh for the first time in practical terms is, you cannot do an impromptu visit to Ladakh. In order to enjoy your trip to this magical land in the laps of the Himalayas, you should have some idea about how to prepare for Ladakh before you actually embark on your trip.
Despite the fact that I have been to Delhi an insane number of times over the past few years, as embarrassing as it might sound, I had not been able to visit the India Gate at night. Something I really wanted to do since a while. Heck I haven’t been there even during the day time in almost two decades now. Last I was at the Rajpath was on a humid June (or was it July?) noon as a school boy, way back in 1997. So when me and Ruchi found ourselves in Delhi last summers after a successful trek to the Hampta pass, I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to visit the India Gate which had eluded me far too long now.
India Gate at night-Dilli
The warm and humid air welcomed us as soon as left the comforts of the air-cooled cab.… continue reading
I feel my heart beat faster with every step I take on this last stretch of the road. No vehicles are allowed on this half-kilometer or so of the road leading to a security-check area and then to the border-gate. I had been dreaming of being here since quite some time now and now that I am here, I am finding it tough to control my excitement, quite literally. The sticky and humid August afternoon suddenly doesn’t feel bothersome any-more. Pushing myself through the sea of people I somehow make it to the security gate. I can still feel my heart throbbing under my dripping-wet Tee but I don’t care. My eyes are fixated at what lay beyond.
So Near yet so far – Wagah Border, Punjab
I am at the border-gate between India and Pakistan, at what was once the village of Wagah.… continue reading
The year 2015 has been pretty exciting in terms of travel for me. It has been a year of at-least a couple of interesting firsts for me besides visits to places I had never thought I would be visiting any time sooner. I was hoping to squeeze-in one more trip somewhere in the unknown this long weekend before I come-up with this post but sadly, that could not happen, all thanks to the flu that the changing season seems to have brought with it. Having said that, there’s no point brooding over something that did not materialize. Instead, let me share with you some moments from my travels in this year which is only 6 sunsets away from becoming part of history.
Beauty of the Borail Hills
The Borail Hills: Even though I was born and brought-up in Assam (which still is my home) and not far from the Borail Hills, I had never had the opportunity to venture into them and experience them up close, save for once as a child.… continue reading
After completing the series about our Hampta Pass Trek I realized that the posts related to the trek are not in sequence. In between, I have related about my other travel as experience as well, like the post I wrote about my first trip to the Himalayas or, the one I wrote when I decided to go on my first solo trip. This made it pretty irritating for someone who wanted to read the posts related to the Hampta pass trek in a sequential way. So, I decided to put all the links here ordered by day in this post which will make it easier to find the related post.
Looking out from my window seat, I see the chaotic & touristy Manali getting smaller and smaller as the bus slowly crawls down one last bridge before it starts snaking ahead. Tall pine trees on both sides lean-to make sort of a green tunnel around the snaking road. I try to be as comfortable as I can in my cramped seat and settle-down for the hour-long journey ahead. Old Hindi songs blare from the stereo as my co-passengers get busy with whatever seems to interest them. Some talking, some dozing-off while few of them twiddling their mobiles. With every turn, the road seems to become narrower leaving me surprised every time our jovial driver comfortably gives way to an oncoming vehicle without having stop the bus even once.
Our trek to Hampta Pass formally ended with our arrival at Chattru on the fourth day. The day however was not over yet. What was coming up was much more exciting than what the past few hours until Chattru had been. Soon after a quick but to the heart’s content round of Maggi, I found myself inside a Sumo with five other equally excited people from my group. The Chandrataal lake located 14,100 feet ASL is one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing lakes in the region so the excitement on everyone’s face was obvious. More so because, the visit to Chandrataal was not something which had been decided for sure until the final day.
Road to Chandertaal Lake, Hampta Pass Trek
Given the kind of roads (read no roads in the real sense) it all depended on the weather.… continue reading