Ladakh, Heaven on Earth

Day 6: 9th September 2005 Leh - Diskit (Nubra Valley)

It was time for an early start to avoid the rush to Khardung La we had heard so much about. Luckily there wasn’t much traffic; even the army convoys were fewer then what we had expected. For the most part we were the only one on the road.

south pallu

road to khardung la

Roads till South Pallu were good, but after that it was entirely a different issue. Add to the fun of it, slight drizzle started and turned into slight snowfall when we reached Khardung-La or better know as K-Top.

The famous K-Top looked deserted when we reached there and now we were feeling vary cold.

khardung la

As we started descending, snow fall turned into rainfall and rain fall into a slight drizzle. After reaching North Pallu we had to submit a copy of our permits and get ourselves registered.

Here we met soldiers coming from the forward positions, including from Siachen (highest battle field in the world). In front of the 22000+ ft. Siachen Glaciers, 18380ft high Khardung La pass appeared small and insignificant. And our brave soldiers not only man posts at that altitude, they also petrol and fend of intruders. Hats off to the Indian Army; for guarding our borders even at the toughest terrains.

After crossing north Pallu, the weather started clearing up and the roads seem to get smoother after every turn. Add to that, beauty of Nubra Valley was breath taking. We decided to halt at the Khardung Village for breakfast cum lunch. Oddly enough Khardung village is situated 32kms from Khardung la!

khardung village

Roads in Nubra valley were generally quite good and we were enjoying our ride thoroughly, add to this there was vary little traffic. But at one place we were caught in small traffic jam of Army vehicles.

traffic jam

But the beauty of riding a motorcycle is, you can squeeze through narrow gaps between vehicles and Soldiers didn’t mind giving us way so we could clear out of jam first. Now we had open road ahead of us and the knowledge that other vehicles were far behind, with this assurance we started taking breaks frequently to capture the natural beauty of Nubra Valley.

nubra valley

nubra valley

our motorcycles in nubra valley

Descent from Khardung took us to a plateau that looked more like a desert then anything else, only when you start to exert yourself that you realize that you are in plains situated 15000+ feet’s above sea level!

road to panamik

After riding in the sandy plateau for few kilometers, the landscape changed dramatically.

road to diskit

This is the beauty of India; you come across diverse cultures and landscapes within a span of few kms. I guess this is what India is all about and exploring it on a motorcycle makes you a part of the surroundings, rather then an observer viewing it from a metal box.

We reached Diskit by evening and it was time to search for accommodation. After running from one place to another we finally settled for a room at an old lady’s house, she was running it as a guest house. After long bargaining (mainly due to the language gap) we got the room for Rs.200. Cheap considering the size and quality of the room.

After settling in we decided to go out for a short walk and at the same time get some thing to eat. It turned out Diskit was not as big as we were imagining it to be. After calling back home we headed to a small restaurant. Turned out they didn’t have too many choices, for vegetarians they only had chowmean and thupka (ladakhi dish). I choose the former and after getting it regretted my choice! I would say it was the worst food that I had during this trip and I had to gulp it down with the help of cold drink. My 2cents if you come here either look for a dhaba or a big restaurant in some good hotel or order maggi.

Shamik decided to try his luck at another restaurant, after getting a taste of chowmean he wanted to try momos. But that restaurant didn’t had any so once again he ended up ordering chowmean, compared to the one we had before, this one was certainly better but still not to our liking. We decided to return to our room and turn in for the night, tomorrow we were going to explore more of Nubra valley.

Preface, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7-1, Day 7-2, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16-17