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Way back in the year 2010 that was an adaptation of a popular piece of fiction and the climax was the most spectacular scene of the entire flick, where there was a blue colored lake in the backdrop amidst the brown mountains and flanked by a white soil or gravel. Nobody was actually able to focus on the lead actors, as the backdrop of the scene was so domineering that it overshowed everything and everybody. Back in my mind the thought that cracked was if India could have such surreal locales I would love to live there. Little did I know that the gorgeous locale was not from anywhere outside the country but it is very much the part of India which is so bountiful that we fail to realize about its mammoth beauty. Years after this thought crossed my mind, I came to know that this place called Leh is the most sort after tourist locations of India. Indians in large numbers visit it and turn their trips into adventurous ones by taking the road route than the air route.
However, we group of three people chose to reach Leh via airplane and stay there for a week. The thrill of Leh starts right from the point one reaches the airstrip, when the pilot deliberately flies the airplane amidst the mammoth mountains and playfully turns the plane above and beyond in order to make the view feel like ride of an amusement park. Finally the plane landed and as we got down there were announcements all over the airport about the methods to acclimatize as we were about 8000 ft. above the sea level and it was absolutely necessary to get acquainted with less oxygen. We were greeted by our chauffer with their customary way of saying hello which is ‘Jule’. This phrase had become our slogan throughout our stay in Leh. Then we were driven to our homestay where a couple in their mid-forties greeted us with extreme purity and warmth of love. We never felt that we met them for the first time. The house was a big bungalow with 10 rooms and a vast garden surrounding the house’s backyard and frontward. The family eats the home grown vegetables and fruits and served the same to us as well. We were more than excited to be staying in that beautiful house with sunlit glass walls and windows and a garden flared all over. The network signals for all mobile operators were either not reaching the devices or if they were, they were feeble. The internet was provided by only one provider and that it works once in three days.
Our cellphones were thrown aside and we practically detoxified us from the virtual world. Leh is a desert, as a result of which it has extreme climate in day and in the night. The sun sets early and the life stops after 9 p.m. and people get into their houses layered with wooden floors and ceiling drinking Tibetan herbal tea and watching television. Leh is all about valleys and mountains. The most beautiful one is Nubra valley which comprises alluvial soil of three colors. The road is smooth and passes through the rows of pine trees on both the sides. We stayed in a resort which had tents serving as rooms for the guests, the place was all green, with apricot trees all over. The toughest of all the places to reach in Leh was Khardungula Pass, it is 18000 ft. above the ground and the oxygen availability is negligible at that height. The view was enthralling and there was snow everywhere that was growing on the rocks signaling the onset of winters. Khardungula is not only one of the highest peaks of the world, but also the highest motor able road of the world. The route to the top is not only rough and steep, but also had numerous avalanche prone areas. However the drive to the top and downhill is all worth it. We started descending down on the world’s highest motor able road on our way to the most awaited destination which was engraved on my mind since the year 2010. As we started going downhill we saw a dark blue color mass from a narrow slit between the two mountains, it was more like a blue ink in a big bottle just getting stirred. As the view expanded and the distance shortened the blue mass came to forth in its full beauty, a deep blue, still, clear and shiny water body, called ‘Pangong Tsao’ lake. It was much prettier than depicted or captured by the camera. The waves that changed colors with the sun, the phenomenon of refraction and reflection was so pronounced there that every in every 10 minutes the lake changes its color. The water was cold as winter morning and the feet froze in it, it was crystal clear and one could see their feet through it. The small and colorful tiny sea species swim here and there. The serenity of the lake and its stillness evoke a sense of fulfillment in our souls. With all good memories and embracing the Mother Nature so closely we went ahead to our respective destinations ready to enter the city life with a fountain of renewed energy.
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