Sumit Kanoi talks about his adventure trip to Leh-Ladakh that he took with 8 of his best pals! He elaborates on the fun that the group and tells us why it is a must-visit destination for all those who want to feel close to nature. He booked the group package via TravelTriangle and it included their hotels, transfers, and meals – all for a cost of INR 130500. Let us hear his story.
This was a very special trip for me since I took it with my best buddies! All of us were settled at different places and we made special efforts to group in Delhi for this journey. Before this trip happened, we had been planning it since our college days in 2010. Seeing it finally happen was surreal.
Also since I am a travel buff, I love to explore different places and connect with people and surroundings that I encounter. Travel for me bridges the gap between you and your inner self. It is a holy practice that adds beauty to life.
I found TravelTriangle on the internet when we were looking for packages for Leh. The whole process of booking the package here was easy and soon we were given multiple quotes and itineraries for the destination as per our requirements. We chose the best one and were soon sorted with our package to Leh.
All that was needed was the whole group to come down Delhi and for us to begin our much-awaited adventure!
Day 1: Camping in Jispa
Excited and happy, we took a Volvo from Delhi on 13th August evening and by late morning, we had arrived in Manali. We hurriedly checked into our hotel, freshened up and then left Manali by noon to reach Jispa where we would be camping in tents.
On our way, we crossed Rohtang Pass and the place was all green, devoid of any snow. It was still incredibly picturesque and we loved the scenic landscapes in the background of beautiful mountains. We finally reached Jispa by 8 pm, thanks to a delay caused in Rohtang due to a long line of vehicles.
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Our tents in Jispa were by the riverside and were dimly lit. It was set up by the Himalayan Midway and the whole ambience over there was incredibly natural. The staff here was also good and the dinner was also okay.
Day 2: Celebrating freedom at 18,000 feet
This was a busy day for us. We had to cover 250 km and that too at an altitude of 18000 ft and it was a monumental task. To keep things according to plan, we had decided to leave early morning but could not – due to the biting cold. Finally, we all got ready, grabbed a quick breakfast and left Jispa by 8:30 AM in the morning.
It was 15th August – the Independence Day and we all were in high spirits. Luckily, the whole place was too and there was a guy carrying mini flags for everyone. We sang our National Anthem with great pride and then proceeded on with the journey.
During our journey, I was the first victim of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and as we crossed Sarachu, things quickly turned worse for me. I started vomiting and later on as we stopped at a small restaurant for supper, I lay down with headache and giddiness.
One of my friends found out about a medical camp nearby and asked me to get myself checked. The doctor found low oxygen levels in my body and advised me to take artificial oxygen which I took. He advised me to take more H2O and I did.
Soon we left the place and crossed another pass by 6 PM post which we finally reached Leh.
Our driver was literally like Superman who drove through the most treacherous roads like a pro and got us at our destination on time!
Since my condition was not improving, we visited a local hospital in the vicinity and the doctor there looking at my condition advised me to stay the night.
To my surprise, I found out that many were people having similar problems like me and post 3-4 hours of medication (inhaling oxygen), I was soon discharged and later came back to my hotel.
Day 3: The wonderful charm of Nubra Valley
This morning, my AMS was gone and I was once again brimming with energy. We were scheduled for Nubra Valley today and had to pass by Khardungla pass – the highest motorable road in the world.
And once again, this experience was awesome although the wind at the pass was too strong and after a few clicks beside the BRO milestone, we had to rush back to a small tea and snack stall.
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And it was here that we had the most amazing soupy Maggi that we were obviously not gonna miss.
Later after a lot of ups and downs, we finally reached the sands of Nubra valley by late afternoon.
We enjoyed a camel ride here and also saw the most interesting cultural show by the locals. And yes, we later also drove the Quad Bike and in the white sands and it was awesome and thrilling at the same time!
In the evening, we checked into our campsite – Nature’s Nest at the Hunder village.
The boys at the camp also arranged a bonfire for us on request and we had carried our portable Bluetooth speaker – JBL Flip so we spent a great night with music, food and in sweet company of friends.
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Day 4: The surreal Pangong lake
We were to go to Pangong lake today and since we were running short on time, I insisted that we take a direct route from Nubra to Pangong. Although this route is not advisable because of some offroading and crossings of Shyok river, our driver agreed with us. He advised us to start early since he knew the water level at the river points would rise and we followed his instructions.
This offroad ride was going smooth and nice until we got stuck crossing the river. Although the water level in the river was really low, our vehicle being a large one (tempo traveler) got stuck and we had to call repairmen for help. After a few hours of efforts by the repairmen, we were finally able to get out of the river and we thanked Ganpati Ji for helping us out.
Had we been not able to get the traveler out, we would have had to spend the night with GRE personals and repairmen gazing the stars in the open sky.
Anyway, with the grace of God, we were fine and continued our journey. The rest of the drive was very scenic, natural and smooth. There was a river flowing on one side and mountains on the other.
By 4 PM, we had almost reached Pangong and could even sense it coming closer due the blueness of the whole surroundings.
Upon reaching Pangong, the first thing that came on our minds were the scenes from 3 Idiots movie. We immediately proceeded to the spot where the shooting of the movie had happened and post some photography went to check out our tents.
Our tents were situated very close to the lake and it was a magical experience just to look at the lake in the night shimmering against the moonlight. To soak in the beauty of the place, we took a walk along the lake and after coming back had delicious soup to satisfy our hunger. It was the perfect recipe to get rid of the cold there and tasted very refreshing.
Later on, as we were in the tent, the wind speed picked up and it got really cold. Since we could not open the tent vent for the fear of it flying, it got really suffocated and the oxygen level, it dropped too.
We had a rough night and had difficulty in sleeping.
Day 5: Exploring the beautiful all around us
This was the day we were to go back to Leh. We got up in the morning to extreme cold and found out that none of us was willing to take a shower in the chilly weather.
By 10, we left Leh and before leaving also saw the monastery and took a view of the 3 Idiots school once again. We clicked so photos here and post this started back for Leh. Everyone on the way back was calm and quiet, enjoying the inner peace that they experienced in the mountains. It was blissful and very soothing.
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By evening, we were at our hotel and were sipping delicious tea and gulping on sandwiches.
Later, some of us went to the local market in Leh and were surprised to find it dotted with cafes that offered great music and aromatic food.
We also purchased a few souvenirs post which we returned to our hotel and called it a night.
Day 6: More sightseeing
This was the day we did local sightseeing in Leh. After breakfast, we visited Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Hall of Fame, and Magnetic Hill. All the experiences were awesome and upon our return, we spent our evening at leisure in the hotel.
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Day 7: Goodbye Ladakh
This was our last day and with hearts, we bid farewell to Leh and proceeded on for our early flight to Delhi.
Leh/Ladakh was an awesome experience for us. We loved the whole pristine vibe of this place and the serenity and peace that it offered. I am glad that this group trip was finalized and even more happy that it was done in Leh/Ladakh as per our plan. Spending time here with my friends was wonderful and during this trip, we truly felt as if we were welcomed by the mountains with open arms. It was adventurous, fun, and peaceful at the same time.
High Points: Waking up amidst the snow clad mountains, the sound of water engulfing the rocks and a misty morning with a cup of tea!! Ah!, what more can you expect from life? It was enchanting!
Low Points: Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
Tips for travelers: Whatever it may be, Leh has to be experienced once in your lifetime.
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