Monday, October 24, 2011

We Visited Leh - Part II - Khardung La

Trip to Khardung La – 3rd Oct

As we had to travel a short distance to see Khardung La, all of us took it easy and after a leisurely breakfast we set out to be a part of another historic moment. We also dressed up little more than usual to combat the cold and especially the biting wind.

Khardung La (meaning the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ ) is situated 39 km by road from Leh. The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the North Pullu check point about 15 km beyond the pass the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. However, this pass is in better repair than many of the surrounding passes (Tanglang La, for example).

Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Chinese Central Asia. In the yester - years about 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually.

Post 1962 war with China and subsequent skirmishes with Pakistan, the entire area has become militarily very sensitive. The Indian Army is present in large numbers all along the route to the pass and beyond.

On reaching the pass, all that I could do was to take a few photographs and visit a local tea shop to have Cinnamon Tea. At 18,358 ft one has to exercise extreme care to conserve energy. Too much of talking and moving about can be tiring , simple tasks like getting out of the car, bending down can drain your energy. Act your age is the thumb rule.

Quickly we descended and returned to Leh and spent the better part of the day having Ladhaki lunch, strolling on the streets and shopping for souvenirs.

I bought a Golf hat, a commemorative ceramic palate and a hip flask all of them loudly proclaim having traversed the highest motorable road in the world.

Having reached 18,358 ft, we ended our high altitude adventure – this will probably remain the highest altitude I will ever reach in this life.

At Last

I understand that the mountains are growing 2CM every year

Nazeer is showing something

Tasted Cinnamon tea

Not at all energetic

Let us go back after this photo

Offered our prayers to all those who work here

Another View

Some Details

Beginning to snow

Local Hero

Back to the car

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