Saturday, 16 December 2017

Ladakh - stark, barren and imposing !!

History of Ladakh can be traced back to earlier than 9th century and the earliest settlements were nomadic yak herders. Once a very remote location totally cut off from the urban life, today the number of visitors to Ladakh is rapidly increasing at an alarming pace.

The first glimpses of this high altitude cold desert and what follows through the entire duration of the journey, is an experience on a different scale. During your entire stay in this region you are viewing the spectacular jagged peaks, in distinctive shades and textures, that enfolds 360 degrees.
The dramatic views with even dramatically located monasteries, the crystal blue lakes with the snow capped mountains in the background, sparsely populated villages in the heavenly valleys, the warmth and simplicity of the locals, are only one part of the experience.

The other part, will have you on the most treacherous roads/(no roads) and some of the highest passes, the narrowest of turns where two vehicles from opposite directions very meticulously manage to manoeuvre under very skilled hands, the dizzying steep gorges coupled with the challenges of basic amenities on long stretches will trigger the thoughts what made you decide for this trip.. Not to forget the uneasiness of dealing with lesser and lesser oxygen levels with every ascent of the bend combined with harsh windy chills..

Yet...Yet inspite of all this, the otherworldly visuals that awaits on the other side of moments of utter trepidation, will leave some of the most humbling impressions. Terrifying moments that will compel you to re-evaluate your decisions would quickly transpose with reasoning for a next visit .

[ Trivia : the first Europeans to reach Leh in 1631 were the Portuguese priests Francisco de Azevedo and John de Oliveira. Then in 1820 the two Englishmen William Moorcroft and George Trebeck, who worked for the East India Company - they had come to Ladakh in the course of a journey to central Asia in search of horses for the East India Co - were kept in Leh for two years waiting for permission to go to Yarkand, and which was eventually denied them. It was during this two-year wait that they observed and wrote about life in Ladakh, trade, clothes, religion, etc ~ Source : lehladakhindia]

a few frames from my first  Ladakh journey  ...  Ladakh in textures here 

[ traveled with  'fotostudio 365']. 

The many shades of Pangong Tso

Basgo Monastery

en-route to Hanle

Tso Moriri,

Hanle,  the village where we have one of the highest observatories in the world 

Morey Plains