Zojila wohi Sikandar- The Leh Srinagar highway

Another Karmic event that lends to the origin of this trip. We were attempting the Leh- Manali route. After crossing the Khardung La and visiting the Nubra valley the plan was to get back to Manali but as providence had planned, one in our group started showing signs of acute Altitude sickness. Sticking to the itinerary of Manali was keeping us at an altitude of 4000m plus for two consecutive days coupled with the fact that several streams has broken banks and the road to Manali
was in a really bad shape with traffic being allowed only every alternate day.The Leh- Srinagar route kept us at lower altitudes and the condition of the road made it a less daunting prospect even though the km distance was more or less the same.

This is another special Himalayan ride due to the range of its visual extremities. NH1, the highway from Leh to Srinagar, it spends an equal amount of time in Kashmir & Ladhak. Whilst one region passes you in shades of dust & brown, the other region is a display of emerald green. The high points of both these regions have been captured in this trip and it makes for a unparalleled experience in diversity. The vistas of Ladhak will leave you awestruck in their surrealism as will the Kashmir’s postcard landscapes in their beauty.The highest motorable road in the world will be matched with the prettiest place in the world. The bridge between these regions, the Zoji La will make you feel like “Sikander” (Alexander), the conqueror of the world.

 

This ride starts on Friday morning at Leh. A short briefing session, introductions and other necessities completed, we hit the road for the beginning of our little adventure.

Itinerary:

Day 1. ARRIVE AT LEH
Spend the day acclimatising. Visit the town, and allow your lungs to settle to the altitude. Copious amounts of water and light physical activity will be the need for the day.

Day 2. AROUND LEH
Another day to acclimatise and visit some of the sights in and around Leh. The famous Shey and Thiksey monastary complex, the Leh palace, the Shanti Stupa, Zorawar fort are only few amongst the numerous jewels that Leh has in store for you.

Day 3. LEH-HUNDAR (150km)
Our destination for the day is also our excuse for being on the trip. We attempt Khardung La (5,540m), the highest motorable road in the world. We continue onwards to the gorgeous Nubra valley. We a ride the double humped Bactrian camel before settling for the night at our camp site.

Day 4.HUNDAR-LEH (160km)
The return journey to Leh is another surprise of this circuit.A different route into Leh. Know to most but explored by a few, this route will take you to the most transient pass in the Himalayas. Every vision of the Himalayas, every landscape and every whimsicalness of the Himalayan streams and glaciers will be experienced on this ride.

Day 5. LEH- MULBEKH (190 km)
Surreally perfect roads in a landscape which is as harsh as its mesmerising. We cross the magnetic hill on our way to Ladhak’s famous Lamayuru monastery. We can choose to stay on the spectacular NH1 or alternatively detour to the older and more challenging road. Detours to visit some monasteries that sprout along the way,stopping at the Lamayuru monastery and finally onwards to Mulbekh.

Day 6. MULBEKH- SONMARG (157 km)
We cross the Zoji La today and leave the Himalayan desert landscape of Ladhak to enter the lush emerald green of the Kashmir valley. A ride taking us through places of military importance, we cross the towns of Kargil and Drass and the second coldest place on earth which has a recorded lowest temperature of -50 deg C. Descend the pass and enter Kashmir valley to get an understanding of why its a place worth fighting for.

Day 7.SONMARG-SRINAGAR (100 km)
Some more eye candy from nature before we enter the crowded madness of Srinagar. Our respite however is a spa for the senses. We stay on the house boats at Nageen lake and when evening is near and the sun begins its descent, you will be transported to a world of dreams, where the golden hues of a dying sun, are reflected on the shimmering surface of the lake and silhouettes taking forms of water nymphs.

Day 8.SRINAGAR-GULMARG (50 km)
A short ride to the valley’s most famous destination. Ride the highest Gondola in the world, feast on the Kashmiri wazwaan and spend the day in meadows splattered with wild flowers in thousands of colours.

Day 9.GULMARG-SRINAGAR (80 km)
A different route to return, taking you through orchards of Apple, and roads offering panoramic views of the valley. Ride along the Baramulla- Srinagar highway which holds the triple distinction of being an important state highway, a national highway as well as an international highway leading all the way to Pakistan.

Day 10. BUFFER DAY

This ride ends on a Sunday at Srinagar, from where we travel onwards to catch our respective flights to your chosen destination. Transfers can be facilitated but are not included in cost of the tour package.

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