It is a tough job to portray the vividness and serenity of Ladakh in mere words. It’s colossal and motley with the snow capped peaks, craggy mountainous topography, awe-inspiring lakes, bleak and wintry deserts, mystic rivers and rich culture makes it a montage of natural artistry.
I chose to experience the real flavours of Ladakh and feel its warmth in the truest of senses. I had planned to discover the art, buildings and life style of Ladakhi civilisations. My journey plan was to visit the Buddhist centre of learning first. Then, I would travel along Indus and to relish the true flavors of Ladakh, I choose to stay with a native family.
I home stayed in Ladakh for 8 days and 7 nights. It had all the amenities blended with special reception and congeniality. My hosts provided a thorough cognizance of the society and traditions of Ladakh. I was served with palatable Ladakhi cuisines like Skyu, Thenthuk and Chang, the local beer.
My host guided me about many places which would showcase the true essence of Ladakh. I started exploring the Sham valley first. A journey along the Kargil- Batalik Highway. Well, a very memorable experience indeed!
At the Phyang Monastery, I was accompanied by a lot of local people, to witness the festival of Ph-Yang Tsedup with its sacred dances. With the onset of dawn, I went to Shey and Thiksey Monastery. History and mythology has always attracted me and getting to sense it, my host narrated the legends related to it. We went to the Choglamsar, a Tibetan colony that has become a centre of Buddhist learning too.
From my next stop at the Shanti Stupa, I had an astounding view over Leh. We went in the direction of ChangLa pass and then routed towards Pangong Lake.
The next day was spent in a Ladakhi way. My host and guide too familiarized me with the regular activities of a Ladakhi household, which includes farming, fooding, cattles and many more. Being an enthusiastic cook myself, I tried to make some Skyu too. Although it was nowhere near the tasty Skyu that my host served, but it was surely worth a try!
A trip to Ladakh would have been incomplete without paragliding. The magnificent Stok Kangri stood tall and every bit of me wanted to feel the adrenaline rush of this adventure sport. It was an out of the world experience when you get to see the enchanting North India from such a height!
Of course the food!
My staple diet at Ladakh included Skyu, Paba and tangtur apart from the momo, thukpa, thenthuk that I relished. Extremely delicious and nutritious. For a foodie like me, who likes to experiment, it was indeed refreshing.
Ladakh was an extremely fascinating journey. The whole trip was a great, especially due to the amazing natural beauty of the landscape and the mythical monasteries and not to forget my great hosts who showed me the true Ladakhi culture.Tags: Ladakh trip