Enroute to Ladakh, the next day, we got up early and drove towards the Dal Lake, the jewel of Srinagar. One can witness the stunning beauty with the breathtaking views of Pir Panjal mountains, the houseboats in the lake, and the painted Shikaras. Spending some time in this ethereal, majestic lake we found a small Gol Gappa stall at the bicycle just outside the lake and that tangy water of Gol Gappa was so tasty that I can still feel its taste.
It is better to leave early in the morning from Srinagar, so as not to get stuck in the traffic-jam at Zoji-La pass. We were following the mentioned below route to reach Kargil. You can also read the detailed information on our Ladakh Travel Guide, the land of high passes.
Srinagar- Sonamarg- Zoji La- Drass- Kakshar- Kargil
Ohh! And suddenly it started raining and we had to stop to cover the luggage we had kept on the top of the car. It did not take too long to reach Sonamarg, also known as the Meadows of Gold. Well, the place is a major tourist attraction because of its splendid and surreal beauty.
Throughout the journey, my eyes were wide open as I tried to absorb the unbelievable scenery. The mountains were getting topped with the snowflakes and giving a mind-numbing view.
There is no better thing to do than to sit in the lap of the high mountain pass of Himalayas and cook Maggi with an outstanding view. The experience at Zoji La Pass was majestic. We were able to cook as we carried our utensils and a small cylinder.
As I crossed the pass, I had the same feeling as Kareena Kapoor had while dancing on “Yeh Ishq Hai song (Jab We Met).” I went out of the car and started walking on the trail where the cold air kissed my cheeks. For a second there I just lost my breath.
Moving further, we finally reached Drass, the coldest inhabited place. We stopped at a small tea stall where I had bread-omelet with a cup of tea. And after a break of just 20 mins, we started for Kargil.
Night Was Young, But Our Car Wasn’t
It was dark and our tire got punctured. There was no one to help at that place but somehow we managed to change the Stepney (spare tire). After 5 min drive, we finally reached Kargil.
We found a place that was surrounded by the sound of water and hosting a picture-perfect view of the Himalayas. The rooms were nicely carpeted and warm. When I opened my eyes the next morning, OMG! the mountains were shining with a lining of gold.
We started around 10:30 AM as we didn’t expect a long journey today. We were used to making Maggi by now and we cooked our Maggi along the way. The adventurous road of Ladakh was yet to come.
Undoubtedly, Ladakh is not just a destination but a journey filled with rugged bumpy roads, adventure, and of course, the breathtaking view of the Himalayas.
Kargil- Mulbekh- Heniskot- Lamayuru- Alchi- Nimmoo- Phey- Leh
Crossing the rugged-smooth roads we continued our journey through the snaky bends of Ladakh. We had a small pitstop. I was standing at a height of about 13,478 ft. above sea level and could not resist me to jump out of the car as soon as it stopped. The pleasing view of the snow-clad mountains. Well, the name of this pass is Fotu La, one of the two high mountain pass between Leh- Kargil Highway.
I was sitting with both my legs hanging down from the top and just trying to soak it all in. We clicked some pictures at that point and then started our journey through the mesmerizing view.
All is Well, That Ends Well
So, finally, the wait was over because we had entered Leh city in Ladakh, a cold desert. It was 7 pm but I was able to see the prayer wheels in the middle of the city when we were heading towards our hotel.
We reached the hotel, cooked our dinner ourself’s, enjoyed the cold weather with a glass of local Ladakhi wine, with everyone enjoying the liveliness of the moment.
Some Related Useful Topics :
Here are some topics you might find relevant and useful for planning your trip:
- Ladakh Travelogue A Dream Ride Part 1 – Starting the Journey
- Ladakh- A Complete Travel Guide
- Places to Visit in Leh
- Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
- How to get Permit for Ladakh
- How to Rent a Bike for Ladakh