Brown, blue and grey – those to me were the colours of Ladakh. The Uttaranchal Himalayas were lush and verdant. Ladakh is barren desert and mountainscape, an expanse of craggy snow-covered peaks and muddy deep rivers. The silence-filled expanse is magnificent and mysterious. It feels like few people have walked these lands before.
The mentions of height above sea level are casual and matter-of-fact – Leh is at 12,000 ft, mountain passes at 17,000 and 18,000 feet. To a plains-dweller, that is pretty awesome. A little reflection and you realize you are talking of 2/3rds the height of
The Indian Army is ubiquitous in Ladakh. The proximity to the borders (of both
We were in Ladakh for about 10 days and there was no way we could escape the gompas of the land. These are ancient monasteries and quite like the temples of south
Leh itself has little of great interest. It is a capital town, overflowing with tourists from abroad. Tibetan shops and people are everywhere and its main market roads are pretty crowded and noisy. But it’s a nice place to stay for a couple of days to get away from the heat of the plains. Leh palace is in ruins and though it is supposed to be modeled on the Potala
Pangong Tso, the lake that lies on
Ladakh was an experience to remember. Rarely have I seen such true scenic beauty. We went there in the height of summer, when there was hardly any snow and ice. Ladakh in winter would be impossibly tough yet impossibly beautiful as well, I am sure.