We always love to travel from one place to another. It is a way to seek knowledge from the unknown land and from the people who reside over there. I will be sharing about my experience of traveling to Leh on this blogpost.
As soon as I decided to undertake the trip, the first thing that came to my mind was to check the flight schedule. I checked it on Yatra and zeroed in on a flight that would take me from Chennai to Srinagar. There were few reasons for me to go to Leh via Srinagar rather than going direct. I wanted to see Dal Lake since my childhood since I have heard about the houseboats. These floating beauties will mesmerise any one for sure with serene mountain ranges on one side and lake on the other. I also wanted to check the floating markets over there.
After having booked the flights, I decided to take few things with me as a precautionary measure. The list is given below:
1. Zero Degree Gloves
3. Head Gear
4. Ear Pads
5. Thermal Wear (which is the most important gear)
8. Couple of denims
9. 3 Tees
10. 3-in-1 Jacket
11. Blood Thinner Tablet ( for going to higher altitudes)
12. Sanitary Wipes
13. Mobile Phone with Postpaid Connection.
Please be informed that in Kashmir, no prepaid connection from other states would work due to security measures and only the postpaid connection would work. BSNL and Airtel are preferred. So, if you are planning to take your mobile phone, ensure it has a postpaid connection.
I had spent 8 days in total on this trip with 2 days of stay on the boat house in Dal Lake,Srinagar. I had tasted some of the great delicacies during my stay. We need to travel from shore to the boathouse via smaller boats called "Shikaris" and vice-versa. When you set on travel on the Shikari, it is then, other Shikaris will approach you. These Shikaris will have lot of things for you to buy including eatables. Bigger Shikaris will also serve hot tea and other items. When you travel to the other end, you will get to see floating market which sells handicraft items and items that are specific to Kashmir like Pashmeena Shawls and Carpets. You can buy these items at great prices and you need not have to carry the items yourselves if you are traveling to other parts of the country. The shopkeepers will take your address and will send it to you within 1 month via speedpost. If you pay the amount in full, postage charges are free else you need to bear the postage charges. You may pay anywhere between 30% to 50% as advance and the rest after receiving the item.
On the third day, I started to Leh via road. It took almost 12 hours to reach since I stopped at various places for a break including Drass which is considered as the "Gateway for Leh". After reaching Leh, I stayed in a paying guest accomodation as it worked out much cheaper. The rooms were neat and you can order the landlord about your preferences for breakfast,lunch and dinner. I would recommend Maggi when you are in this altitude though you may get all other delicacies including fried rice and others.
On the fourth day, I ventured out visiting local places that included a monastery. There were flea markets as well where you could get some antique items. If you are looking to taste some great food in Leh, do not miss out going to German Bakery which serves amazing food including cakes, pastries and many other delicacies. One of the attractive option to travel in and around Leh is to hire a motorcycle which is similar to that of Goa. You can also travel on your own motorcycle from your place but vehicles hired/rented from Delhi is not allowed here strictly.
On the fifth day, I had been to Pangong Lake which was the highest landlocked lake in the world. I had one of the terrible experience in the night with temperature dropping to -10 degrees. I started off from that place first thing in the morning.
On my way to visit Pangong Lake, I had seen Moonland which was stunning.
On the sixth day, I had been to Khardung La Pass which was the highest motorable road in the World. It was such a terrific experience. If you are planning to travel via two wheeler, do take great care since the roads are narrow and risky. These were touted to be one of the dangerous pass/road in the world.
On the Seventh day, I stayed in Leh.
On Eighth day, I left Leh to Delhi. From Delhi, I took a connecting flight to Chennai. This was a journey of a lifetime and I must say that I had seen the "Paradise on Earth".