Ladakh - A disconnect to connect!
Posted on September 28, 2016 by Sumedh Sengaonkar
No matter whatever they might claim in an advertisement, one does not simply get any connectivity in Ladakh. Only a lucky few who have either BSNL or Airtel connection might get just a single bar. Nonetheless, this might possibly be the best thing that happens if you ever happen to travel to this remote part of India.
I was in no mood to leave this cosmopolitan Mumbai and go to a place that is so much under-resourced. However, my 42-year old enthusiastic mom gave me this glorious opportunity to travel to Ladakh that would change my perspective towards life.
For the both of us, who live at 0 meters below sea level, it was tough to spend 7 days at places no less than 11,000 ft. When we landed there, the chilly wind was a relief after spending the scorching summer months back home. But as soon as we walked a few steps, it felt like we had completed an entire gym session of an hour. It was evident that the height and the climate had taken a toll on us. But to our relief, this only lasted for a day till we were acclimatized to the climate.
You would get a detailed itinerary for a trip to Leh-Ladakh anywhere on the internet, but I’m talking about what you won’t get- AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE. There is definitely no ‘LEH’isure in this journey (pun intended) cause this is more of an adventurous trip rather than a relaxing one. For me, the life changing memories were at three places- Khardung La, Pangong Tso lake and Zanskar river.
Khardung La is essentially a mountain pass which is situated at 18,000ft is the highest motor able road in the world. A sign at the pass reads that no person should stand there for more than 25 minutes due to health consequences. But then I realized there are some people who stand there 365 days of the year and 24X7, The Indian Army. Never had I ever seen any personnel that close. My respect and pride for the army was completely changed that day. We gave them a salute, they gave us a memory.
Next was a place which was point between peace and serenity, Pangong Tso. This is the same lake where Chatur realises that Rancho is actually Phunshukh Wangdu. For our sheer luck, we were there on the day of a full moon night. No scenery can beat the moment that we lived that night. All those snow capped daunting mountains shining under the moon light is just a sight to see. You are never more close to nature. You truly understand the raw and untamed beauty of nature and maintain it further.
And last but not the least was a place which was the confluence of two rivers- Zanskar and Indus. Although my mom wanted to visit this just for sightseeing, I some different intentions. River Rafting. This was by far the best adventure sport I ever participated in. It was special due to the risk I took. We had absolutely the least amount of safety gear, but a truck load of enthusiasm and confidence to do it. It was tiring. 1 hour of endless rowing in the rough waters was the best thing in Ladakh. I really learnt that sometimes it’s okay to live on the edge and take a risk for things that are worth it. The icing on the cake was our return journey as we flew above the snow laden Himalayas promising to come back again.
About the author
Beware when you talk with me. I’m sarcastic, critical and all the other heavy words you could think of! Love Food, Travel and Sports. No need to like all of these to become my friend, only one will suffice.