Posted by: miilee | June 21, 2010

Onwards to Leh via Kargil


You know that moment? When you come up with poetic lines to say to the one you love.. and as you say them, your love just keeps looking back into your eyes with the most lovable look ever. And somewhere halfway through all that romantic talk, you suddenly run out of words due to that adorable look… you have no more to say but to keep looking back in wonder…

Yeah… That’s how I felt on my way from Srinagar to Leh as I kept staring at the Himalayas…

I guess most of you’ve read my earlier post about our stay in Srinagar and how we left the place in a hurry early morning. Since we’d packed off our large bags onto the bus the earlier night, we just bundled in, sleepy eyed at 4.30 and started the long journey to Leh. The route was from Srinagar to Kargil the first day and from Kargil to Leh the second day. Among the halts that we took on the way, the first was at Sonmarg where we had ‘Kawa’ a spiced Kashmiri tea. It was a delight to the taste buds! Another halt was at the Kargil war memorial at Drass. It was a really simple set up but it got goosebumps to me. Just one of those million times when I feel really proud of my Indian Jawans… Then post Kargil, we stopped at a place called Lamayuru; a landmark monastery which was an idyllic, peaceful place. There was one interesting scene that we saw though. It’s called the moonscape. It didn’t look like anything I’d seen before! It was just this huge chunk of mountain that looked like alien land! seriously a moonscape!

The awe-inspiring landscapes and a few moments of glee every now and then when the bus turned to expose yet another beautiful sight were an unforgettable journey. I was either stuck fast to the seat next to the driver, ogling at the hills before me or was in some window seat, grinning from ear to ear like a cat just out of the sheer pleasure of being where I was.

There was a moment, when we turned a corner right at the top of a mountain and I saw a whole spread of the Himalayas from one end of the horizon to the other. The breath that I drew in stayed in for a long time, until I remembered that I should be breathing…. Calling it ‘beautiful’ would be promoting the over-used adjective to a never-before height (literally!) For one, I have never felt that humbled ever before. Never have I felt as small and insignificant as I did in that moment. The Himalayas, they are just to mighty that one feels like a mouse before their might. Knowing that they have been around for millions of years is even more a perspective modifying experience.

In terms of the journey, there isn’t much that I’d write but since they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve got back a few of them for you guys…

Vijay path.... the Kargil War memorial at Drass

The flags of the different mountain divisions at the memorial...

Operation Vijay war memorial...

Shahid Kalash

It's kinda dark, but it's a beautiful river!

magnificent Rock faces!

Again, a dark pic, but loved it too much!

blue!!

blue!!

🙂

Khardung La

ICE!!

One of the unbelievably cute babies there!!

A Buddha sculpture that actually emitted peace.... *Serene*

Prayers...

The moonscape... well... a part of it...

The other side of the moonscape...

me....

I don’t know how some people have gigantic egos. I don’t know what makes them so super proud and damn arrogant! When you look at the face of Creation the way you see it in a clean sea or across a huge mountain range, you realize how insignificant a part you  are in the whole Dance of Creation. But it is beyond this realization that you find wonder to know that despite the fact that we are but miniature bits of the whole picture, God or The Creator or evolution or anything that you wish to call it, cares enough about each of us enough to have made us as detailed as we are. It is an enlightening and wonderful feeling…. and that wonder stays on with you till Leh knocks you right off your feet once you reach there…


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Responses

  1. “WOW” -> This was the first feeling when i read some of ur posts a few months back! Your blog is one of my favorites. . You are a great writer! The way u explain and present things in ur posts is really awesome, i Mean it 🙂 Keep writting! The pics were amazing. Loved it. . . . Thanks 🙂

    • Jeez!! Thanks!! I just honestly put up stuff hoping that people will enjoy what I find to be the finest moments of my life… 🙂
      Glad so many of you like it so much!!

  2. Awesome Pics.. 🙂

    • Thanks.. I have like 4 GB’s full of them… Still trying to use photoshop some of the panoramas that I will be using in the next posts…

  3. very beautiful post…you have described everything so well..

    I have heard from many friends that they too felt very insignificant after they saw The Himalayas…

    Lovely photos 🙂

    Keep writing…I miss your posts…

    • It’s one of the feelings that I bring to mind when there’s a monumental event taking place in my life…. It gives perspective to my decisions now… and abt the posts, well, i’ll keep them coming as regularly as i can…;)

  4. Wow… Superb pics and good write-up. Can u bring down the Pic size next time… it takes hell lot of time to load 😦

    • I’m using so many pics for the first time on a single post! i’ll keep that in mind for the next posts… (though i’ll hafta figure out how to do it!)

      • This is a good suggestion though size of pictures is required to give the view that the writer wants…

        To resize your images, you can use a free software called GIMP. It is workable in Windows also. I wrote an article how to resize your images using GIMP. You can check it here and do it for yourself:

        http://www.2indya.com/2009/06/01/how-to-resize-images-using-gimp/

      • Hey thanks!!! I’ll try out the software and Your post is gonna be helpful! Will keep in mind for my next post about Leh and Ladakh…. Thanks for dropping by… besides, please share my post… I need comments for a contest on indiblogger… 😉 Thanks again!!

  5. […] : Miilee What : Onwards to Leh via Kargil Tangy : Leh and Kargil hold fond memories for every Indian especially the latter. Miilee has this […]

  6. Awesome post and great pictures.

    • Thanks! Stay tuned for more posts..;) I still haven’t started off about Leh!

  7. i had a similar exp last year when i took the manali to leh route. Didn’t know those barren rocks were called moonscape. Apt.

    • the Manali route must have been awesome!!… but if I’m not mistaken, Lamayuru and the moonscape fall only on the Srinagar Leh route….
      But the view is much more majestic from the Manali route….

  8. Very nice photos…I would recommend this photo to anybody who wants to visit Leh from Kargil…keep it up.

  9. Awesome post .. great read with some beautiful pics… keep up the good work 🙂

    • Thanks Vishal! Feel free to share a link to the post with your friends…

  10. Loved the post Maithili. Like I said before, I’ve always found that part of the country simply magnificent. After reading your post, I just have to plan a trip there soon.
    Loved the snaps as well. Thanks for posting them 🙂

    • It’s my pleasure!! In fact, I love writing these posts… they give me a chance to re-live those wonderful moments!

  11. Awesome pics.. nd your really describe things way too well (do i hav to say dat, u already do kno it :P)
    I wont miss readin yr posts.. m readin al d 1s id missed.. 😀

    • lol!! good good! have a nice time getting updated… and don’t forget to share them on your social networking sites etc..

  12. hey did the Jab We Met shooting take place at Khardung LA? that place looks familiar to the scenes in the song..

    • Lol… no.. I don’t think so… it’s really difficult to set up equipment there… I guess it must have happened somewhere near Simla during or just after the winters…
      But the place sure looks the same! All of us on the trip had started singing ‘yeh ishq hai’ when we first crossed a part like that!”

  13. lovely post..and the pics are simply breathtaking views..

    • Thanks… Actually, the place is so much better than the pics, it is impossible to take your eyes off the scene!!

  14. wonderful writing and very good pics…… 🙂

    • Thanks rohit…. I hope it’s managed to encourage you too to go to these places some day…

  15. Totally gorgeous pics! Fantastic stuff Miilee!

    • Thanks Tanuj! Hopefully, I’ll be able to write the next post in the series before too long…

  16. Breath taking pictures. makes me want to visit the place and visit the place I will !!
    What really got to me was the Kargil War Memorial Pictures. Took me right back to the Kargil war days. I was just out of college then and the thought of some brave young soldiers, some not so older than me, laying down their lives for us really moved me then as it does now. Jai Jawan, Jai Hind !!

    • At leh too there is something called the Hall of Fame of the army. It documents all the work of the Army there…. but the most heart wreaking thing there is the last letter of a soldier to his family before he went to battle….. He was just 21… as old as me… and in that letter, he’s shown wisdom beyond his years…. he’d told his parents what to do with his possessions. He was sure that he’d have to sacrifice himself for the nation….. and he pledged at the end of it, that if he were to get another life, he’d happily dedicate it again, to the country….. I have never felt as proud of our army as I did in that moment….

  17. What can I say, I am too depressed to make a meaningful comment… I am depressed with jealousy.. I want go there 😦

    • Me too!! 😦

    • Don’t be depressed… neither jealous… Just take this and my forthcoming posts as incentive to start planing your trip… 🙂 enjoy! you live life just once!

      • Yea.. aftr ur recent posts abt ur trip… im seriously thinkin of plannin a tour!! =)

      • 🙂 good!

  18. awesome captures… thanks for taking us on this virtual tour…

    • I hope it inspires you take the real one…… It’s worth every penny that you put into it..

  19. It is indeed a pleasure!! Reading and watching the pictures!! Love it!! 🙂

    • Glad you liked it… I’ll be posting a few more about the rest of the journey too…

  20. Wow very articulate writing. Keep writing. Great work!.

    • Thanks! Hope you like the others that i’ll be putting up….

  21. Mili…..each time I read from you, I go through a roller coaster of emotions just hard to explain. You indeed touch the soul.

    Am proud to have a friend like you who articulates with such a flair all the truths of life.

    • Thanks anju!! It’s just my attempt to help my readers see the better side of life… 🙂

  22. Hey, Excellent photographs. Correctly said picture is worth a thousand words 🙂
    I am too travelling to Ladakh in Aug.

    • Wow!! Good luck!! may Gaia be with you on your journey…. (Gaia is the spirit of the Earth… we even call her ‘Mother Earth” )

  23. Hey Millee, truly touching, you have expressed it so well through your minds eye and of course your camera, it brings down mixed feelings of patriotism, beauty of nature, this materialistic life and what we strive to achieve at the end of the day… Great post, kudos, awaiting more..

    • I’m really glad you like the post….. A journey through the Himalayas is always perspective modifying experience….. I’ll put up most posts as soon as possible…

  24. Hey Millee, lovely words and lovelier pictures. Cud actually visualise every place u mentioned, such beautiful are your words.

    • Thanks a lot sir! It is just an attempt to help more people see the better side of what the world has to offer….

  25. Nice Pictures and very well written. And Leh is one the most beauiful places on earth. I claim to have seen most parts of the country except a few (Leh being one of them). I envy you…. 🙂

    • Then I’d suggest that you make a trip to ladakh asap! It’s the mecca of indian travelers…. you cannot NOT visit it at least once in a lifetime….

  26. Loved all the pics:)

    • Thanks! Glad you liked them…

  27. kahve tamper, ıslak mendil makinası, tamper, makina, teksan, teksan makina, teksanmakina.net, özel tasarım makina, özel makina, bot şişirme pompası, pnömatik ayna, makina üretimi, makina imalatı, ıslak mendi makinası üretimi

    thans for great sharing

    • um… I don’t think that was english… Could you possibly translate for me?
      But anyway, I’m glad you commented… thanks!

  28. hello miilee.
    Needless to say, superb photos and superb way of presentation. When such kind of beauty is around you, putting it in words will be difficult. But you have done justice to this heaven on earth by proper presentation.
    Best wishes
    Subu.ps

    • Thanks… I’ve done the best I could… But one must visit the place to get the whole blast of just how beautiful our earth can be…. 🙂
      thanks for reading! and welcome to my blog… 🙂

  29. […] as I was responding to all the comments on my last post about the journey from Srinagar to Leh via Kargil, I saw that most of the people loved the pictures I’d added. I’d casually thrown in the […]

  30. It must have been exhilarating to see beautiful scenery frame after frame without stopping to take in a moment! Lovely descriptions and awesome photos!

    • The place made me wish I was a genius with a paintbrush so i could paint it all out! But I guess the Ultimate Painter up there has given me no such skills… just some humble words and a heart full of sighs…

  31. Wonderful photos! My dream is to get there somewhere, too:)

    • Thanks! And it would be brilliant if u could go!

  32. Beautiful. Makes you want to drop everything an board a train for the hills.

    • Trust me, at this moment, i really wanna do that!

  33. hey milee, awesome pics !!! can you tell me how you traveled from mumbai to leh??? it has been my burning desire to go to ladakh…

    • Hey Edin,
      Thanks for readin the blog!
      And about the journey, well I went with my college’s nature club. So we took the swaraj express from mumbai to jammu and then took a bus for the whole of our trek there. But there’s another route, you know. Go to delhi and then by road to leh via manali. That’s supposed to be a more picturesque route… 🙂

  34. Hi…Just read ur post on leh trip..it was just awesome…I am planning to travel this june… any suggestions for me? or any must visit places ?

    thnz

    • Hey,
      Well, I’d say there’s a whole lifetime’s worth of experiences to be lived in that part of the world, but some must see spots on your list: Tsomo Riri, Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley, Khardung La, Lahul and Spiti etc… But please ensure that you are a traveler and not a tourist… believe me, there is a difference between the two…. Here’s what I think of that difference: http://wp.me/pDvVG-db


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