Uttarakhand Trip 2009

Harshil River
Coffee or Tea?

Cats or Dogs?

Ladakh or Uttaranchal?


As worldly wise or open minded one can claim to be, most people have a strong preference for only one of the two.

Strong black tea, with ginger and sugar; or a well brewed cuppa coffee, I’ll take either at different times of the day.

And dogs are the most adorable creatures, but i’m not ailurophobic either.

But Uttaranchal?

I had an awesome trip of Ladakh last year, but until now, I didn’t have an opinion.

That all changed in April.

Even though they’re geographically quite close, the scenery is still (in my opinion) drastically different.

There was more greenery on these mountains, in the 10 days we were there, there were sunny skies, overcast skies,  light rainfall, snowfall and hailstones.

The people definitely look and seem different too.

Gangotri-Star Trails

The area was quite easy going, but we were fidgeting and farting long after the sun went down, as you can see from above. So click on any of the photos to experience the trip as close to as  I did 🙂

Spanish Couple


Set 4-The odyssey wraps up

If this is the first time you’ve visited my Ladakh Odyssey series, please first start with Set 1.

Just a few days had passed, and Ladakh had become a way of life. You come to expect that whichever direction you look at, you’re going to see something pleasing: rolling mountains, lazy rivers, glaciers in the distance and a haze-free atmosphere.

And then I have to give credit where it’s due: the people and their culture is great too. The people in Leh seem geared to take care of it’s tourist inflow: Leh’s market area is full of handicrafts, shops offering to arrange treks, adventure gear on hire and pretty restaurants. However, none of this is in-your-face; the area never gets too crowded, and it all co-exists beautifully with the Buddhist way of life.

After we had just passed Rohtang Pass, I came accross this: a Kasturi. It’s unfortunate for what it stands for, do read more about it when you go through Set 4-Album.

Thus wraps up one of the most memorable times I’ve had, where for the first time I left home on trip by myself, saw snow, crossed 18k feet in altitude, got a 2 inch long cut, scraped on my left leg  (twice) and rescued my fellow travelers from a 7 foot long snake. Phew! 🙂

Visit Set 4-Album


Set 3-Pangong Lake

If this is the first time you’ve visited my Ladakh Odyssey series, please first start with Set 1.

Right on the outset, I have a confession to make. This set takes you through my first two or three days at Leh, where I visited Sindhu Ghat, Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Palace and Shanti Stupa….a good bouquet which you’d want to go through to see how beautiful Leh is, and notes to make if you plan on visiting that place.

But all of this takes a backseat to one of the most beautiful places on earth: Pangong Lake

It’s a terrible journey to get there, by far the worst of my entire trip. The roads are non-existent,  parts of it were submerged from melting glacier water, you travel through Changla Pass (17,800 feet, world’s third highest motorable pass), oxygen is thin which compounds things, someone in my group developed a slip disc on this trip.

This is one of the closest we got to the Chinese border, and once you reach there, you’ll think you’ve landed on another planet. So while this post and accompanying album (Set 3) will duly show you around Leh, I’m actually whispering in a hoarse voice: ‘Pangong Tso, Pangong Tso’!

And for dessert, the album also includes a picture of the ass that almost chewed off my right hand!


Set 2 – Kargil

If this is the first time you’ve visited my Ladakh Odyssey series, please first start with Set 1

‘Kargil? Did you say Kargil?”

‘That’s where the war thingy happened, right?’

‘Why are you trying to be brave, it’s plain foolish to put yourself at risk’

And two days before my departure date:

‘You should do a south India trip instead’

There are, in fact, not many reason’s why you’d want to trek among the hot spots of N. India, where, as you’re reading this, people still die for religious & political agendas.

Ah…but those few reasons are still excellent reasons:

Nowhere else in India do you come across a landscape like this, where you’ve got multi-hued mountains (blue included), flowing rivers, patches of green & absolute bare desert terrain, all within a blink of an eye.

If you, like me prefer cool weather, you’re going to get it in spades here.

Visiting the region, seeing army convoys moving through the mountains, speaking to the soldiers on the road, hearing the locals discuss their situation, all help you understand something you didn’t realise you did not comprehend fully before.

I hope the pictures here whet your appetite to check the rest of the album here.


Set 1 – Nagin Lake

Howdy! Welcome to C&H. This is my first post in a series to document my North India trip to Srinagar-Kargil-Leh (Ladakh)-Diskit-Keylong-Manali. Places so beautiful, it made me want to start a blog 🙂

So Day One was spent on Nagin lake (Srinagar), which adjoins Dal Lake. Very beautiful, & I got to learn a few things… like did you know that there exists a community of people living & trading in houseboats on the lake? Here’s the local bazaar:

My canon DSLR came in handy

when it came to capturing all the splendid colours on offer. I remember a friend of mine had just bought his DSLR & went down south and said he had no trouble taking pictures: just point in any direction & shoot. I kind of understood what he meant now.

So do check out the whole album. It’s a beautiful place, give yourself about 10 minutes & go through the whole set. It’s got a running commentary under each snap, which pretty much tells the story.

And I’m not the regular blogger type, so if you subscribe to this blog (via feeds or via email), it saves me the trouble of figuring out how to let you know when I’ve put up the other sets….& you won’t need to worry about your mail inbox being flooded.

Alrighty then, why aren’t you going through the album yet 😉

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