A few weeks back, my days were consumed in contemplating whether it is the right time to take the trip to Leh. I was torn; to do the trip now with a week in hand or wait for that golden opportunity of having weeks on hand and undertake a road trip to Leh.
The voice inside me, however, kept nudging that 2017 is the year for Leh. After dismissing million excuses, I finally convinced myself that time now is the right time to just move ahead with the booking. With the limited time in hands, in terms of booking and the number of days in Leh, I decided to look up travel services online on Gofro.com and finally booked with them.
As soon as the flight started nearing Leh, my contemplation converted into elation. The mere sight of the majestic snow-capped mountains enraptured me and I was glad that I had dismissed all those pointless excuses.
Here are my five reasons to get up and get packing for Leh.
1. A mesmerizing terrain
The co-existence of snow, pockets of vegetation and desert in such harmony adds charm to the landscape of Leh. As one travels through Leh, the arid terrain offers mixes of vegetation or loose soil or even ash colored dust at the lower altitudes and pristine white snow-capped mountains at the higher altitudes.
2. The tourist influx
The tourist influx is still limited to Leh. Haven’t there been moments when unwanted souls photobomb your favorite shots or there is so much rush that you cannot even click your award winning shot? Not in Leh. You will easily find a ‘sweet spot’ to photograph with your eyes or your camera.
3. A sheer appreciation
A sheer appreciation (or gratitude) for the amenities your city life has spoiled you with, as you observe the harsh terrain people live in and how hard it is to get supplies. While we crib about hour long traffic jams, these people have to wait for days to get supplies. You cannot fight against the fury of landslides, avalanches, snow and weather gods which block the roads for days, cutting off access to the interior areas. You will start being grateful for those little luxuries of city life – that morning cup of tea, Big Basket, Amazon and Wi-Fi.
4. Developing patience
All that honking, cutting and overtaking that you gladly indulge in on the city roads takes a backseat. A roadblock that you cannot clear but wait for the Border Roads Organization to do their best, a vehicle breakdown that does not signal to the nearest service center to come running, the hot water that comes just once a day and even succumbing to the unexpected weather turns thereby canceling even your planned day trip. These will surely make you realise how you are a mere mortal in the wider scheme of nature.
5. A true appreciation and admiration for the Armed forces
We stayed one night in the camp in Pangong, and in spite of carrying a woolen to cover every part of the body; the cold was still piercing and nail biting. This was just -2 or -3 degrees, by the way. It gave us headaches, sore throats and what not, but it made me realise to the full extent the harshness the Armed forces face in Siachen and other high altitude places at -40 degree C.
Leh Ladakh’s charm lies in its pristine beauty, it’s challenging terrain and a humble surrender to the nature. I am sure I will go back someday to soak in some more of its beauty.
Author: Sudeepta Sahu
For Sudeepta Sahu, travel is about garnering experiences. She weaves a story around all her travel tales. She also enjoys doing illustrations, comics on corporate life and doodles.
(Link to her work : https://sudeeptasahu.wixsite.com/illustrations)