It’s been a long time since I have written. I have had this transition into a rigorous academic program and have had little time to spare. But, I must not sway. Leh it is. We have finally reached here after 10 days of driving. Leh has always been some sort of a feeling for me, not a place. This meant that my experience was rather unique. One which I cannot express.
It has been a long day of driving from Kargil and I am eager to get my hands on some Ladakhi food. We are staying in a family run hotel with cozy rooms filled with the scent of dhoop (incense sticks). Dinner is the local ‘thukpa’ followed by some lemon honey tea.
Leh was to be our springboard into the Nubra valley through the ‘supposedly’ highest motorable road in the world, but it was a lot more important to acclimatize. Acute Mountain Sickness can be a quick killer and can happen to anybody, with the only remedy being decreasing the altitude. The few days in Leh gave us a welcome break from the ‘500km/day’ drives as we explored the many monasteries in and around.
The Hemis monastery founded in 1672 is located on the boundaries of the Hemis National Park and has some great views of the Stok-Kangri range. The museum is also worth a visit with some interesting relics and artifacts.
Since Hemis is the farthest south from Leh, one can easily visit the picture-perfect Thiksay, Shey as well as keep an eye spot the Matho and Stakna Gompas on the way back.
The Stok palace still houses the royal family of Ladakh. Much of the palace is made into a boutique hotel and a museum. The museum is a wealth in itself with people associated with the royal family showing you the ways of the past including the massive royal kitchens and prayer rooms. Some fresh ‘Ladakhi’ cookies right from the royal kitchen along with lemonade wasn’t bad too!
No visit to Leh is complete without seeing the Leh Palace and the Tsemo Namgyal Gompa perched prettily on top of the hill. The Shanti Stupa too, has become synonymous with Leh and is a good place to spend the evening.
Our stay in Leh was but a small part of the journey, and greater adventures awaited us.
This tiny blog post serves to connect some of the dots and shows only little of what Leh has to offer. It has a lot more to offer for people willing to stay longer. Maybe I’ll come to that over some other post.
Wondering what lies beyond Leh? Check these out!
Read:Adventures of Shyok