Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Cold and The Beautiful

Hallooo there!! Oh please, walk right in.....I can see you peeking in, wondering where I have disappeared. Well, I am right here...alive and kicking, or should I say alive and crocheting!  :)

After coming back from a wonderful vacation it took us some time to slip into our regular routine. But once we settled down, calender pages just seemed to fly and before I knew it June had made way for July. And I had not written a single post!!! You have to forgive me for that, but I guess once in a while everybody gets caught up in domestic duties. I did finish a lot of new crochet projects but those are for another post.

First things first, I want to share the lovely pics of my trip with you. As Aishwarya and Preeti rightly guessed in the last post, my holiday destination was the Cold and the Beautiful Ladakh. "La" means pass and Ladakh - meaning Land of High Passes is a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. Ladakh is known for its scenic beauty and enchanting culture. Buddhism is the predominant religion.

The very first glimpses of Ladakh from the plane, had everybody scrambling for their cameras, mobile phones and what not, and then rushing from window to window to get the best photos. I was fervently praying that the plane would not tilt to one side, as in the movies. :) Truly breathtaking!



The first day was spent inside the hotel room, lying in bed to get acclimatized to the high altitude (3000 ft) and the low level of atmospheric oxygen. This is absolutely necessary as otherwise the consequences can be fatal.

Our hotel  - Hotel Grand Willow, Leh.

Sightseeing started from Day 2 onwards.

Shanti Stupa at Leh



Apricot Blossoms:


Sankar Gompa monastery with its gold spire


Leh Palace - built in the 17th century in the grand tradition of Tibetan architecture.


Day 3: We proceeded to Nubra Valley




Brrrrr..... it was freezing and it was a relief to finally reach the Diskit monastery....


the giant statue of Maitreya Buddha - the tallest in Ladakh


The white sand dunes at Hunder




We reached the camp at Nubra just before nightfall. Good thing those tents were sturdy and waterproof as it rained cats and dogs during the night.


Most of Day 4 was spent on the return journey to Leh via Khardungla Pass, said to be the highest motorable pass in the world at nearly 18000 ft.




Day 5
 Shey Palace and monastery, the 15th century summer palace of Leh's royal family



 No visit to Ladakh will be complete without a visit to the Druk White Lotus School. Confused?? Well, maybe it is better known as Rancho school from the Hindi movie "3 Idiots"  :)


The entrance to the museum at Thiksey monastery. I loved the painting and the Leh costumes.


Changla Pass the third highest motorable road in the world at 17586 feet.


Finally we reached our destination camp for the night - Pangong Lake. The lake is 134 Km long and 60% of its length lies in China.




This was our camp for the night. It was directly facing the lake and you wouldn't know from the photo but icy winds were blowing and as you can see the terrain, there is no place to hide. There was a small, teeny weeny, embarrassing incident with someone crying "I want to go HOME". Okay that was me.....hehe. What can I say.....I don't like being cold.



If this place looks familiar to you then you are a confirmed Hindi movie buff as scenes from "3 Idiots" and "Jab Tak Hain Jaan" were picturised here.


A gazebo at Pangong lake


The Brown headed gull - a migratory bird from Central Asia.



Day 6: Return to Ladakh from Pangong Lake



   Tibetan Wild Ass



    Grazing Yak


Day 7:
We proceeded to Alchi - a small quaint village in the Indus valley. Enroute we saw the majestic Sangam (which means confluence), here one can see the Indus river flowing and becoming one with the Zanskar river. Can you see the different colours of the water before they merge?


Alchi village - after days of seeing bare brown and white snow covered mountains, this greenery was a sight for sore eyes!


This path leading to the Alchi monastery was lined with 80 prayer wheels. (And yes, I turned each one of them).


Prayers wheels and stupas are common in Ladakh and you can find them just about anywhere. Giant prayer wheels are seen alongside the streets and marketplaces. It is believed that spinning the prayer wheel is equal to reciting the prayers and hence helps accumulate good karma.


Magnetic Hill - alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars uphill, which was demonstrated to us by the driver of our vehicle.



Our sightseeing ended with a visit to Gurudwara Pathar Sahib (a Sikh place of worship) where one can see the huge boulder (pathar) hurled at Guru Nanak Dev ji by a demon while he was meditating. The rock turned soft like wax and did not harm him and one can see the imprint of Guru Nanak ji on the rock.


And the Military Hall of Fame, which is a MUST visit place.


A farewell gesture by the travel company - a cultural program which showcased the various song and dance forms of Ladakh.


What an incredibly long post!!! I have tried (with great difficulty) to keep my jibber jabber to a minimum, hoping that the photos will speak for themselves. I hope my pics have captured your imagination and your hearts and that Ladakh will be on your list of places to see.

Lots of crochet goodies to share with you in my next post. Until then, take care and happy crafting.


23 comments:

  1. what a feast of eye. I saw the Ladakh to your lens. it is not a long post... it is an extremely beautiful post...

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  2. Wonderful post,fantastic photos!!!
    Vacation like a movie!!
    Greetings.:)

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  3. Awesome place....a must visit in my travel book! Very beautiful clicks. Thanks for giving us a virtual trip to Ladakh!!!:))!

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  4. Awesome place....a must visit in my travel book! Very beautiful clicks. Thanks for giving us a virtual trip to Ladakh!!!:))!

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  5. Thanks for sharing with us a bird's view of Ladakh So lovely and siren Lucky you was able to complete the trip without any hurdles Pl do visit my blog http://nityakalyani-kalmat.blogspot.in/

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  6. Welcome Back, Sangeetha! Wow! What an amazing and beautiful adventure! Your lovely pictures make me want to visit, too. Looking forward to seeing the wonderful hooky creations!

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  7. A warm welcome to you dear from the cold Ladakh. The pics look so beautiful and serene, especially the Pangong Lake. It is always on my list of must visit places. Hope you got yourself a snap in the blue background for memory keepsake! Lovely post, thoroughly enjoyed reading it and waiting for your other "crochet" adventures post soon :)

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  8. Wow! What a fantastic trip. One my husband would probably thoroughly enjoy! Thanks for sharing! Best wishes, Tammy

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  9. Sangeetha !!!
    The pictures are breathtaking !!! SO heavenly. Thank u so much for sharing this with us !

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  10. Welcome back, Sangeetha !!:) beautiful and serene pictures!! Ladakh is still serene and clean as it is not that easy place to visit. I wanted to visit, I may withstand the cold but not the breathless height. I don't think I will ever make there. Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures!! Was it a honeymoon trip or your son was also with you ?;) waiting to see your creations!!

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  11. Beautiful places, beautiful pictures, amazing vacation !
    Thanks for sharing !
    Have a nice weekend !
    Hug
    Anna

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  12. Wow! Gorgeous pictures! Sounds like an amazing trip :)

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  13. a warm and ecstatic Hi from a fellow Crochet enthusiast Sangeetha. you are so creative and loved each and every post of yours. am mainly a food blogger but love my art and craft. crochet is a comparatively new hobby that I started and so glad to find one in you too.would love to visit you again and again o see more of your awesome works.

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  14. Sangeetha, have no doubts that you ignited the sparkle of adventures! To my and my husband's shame we haven't visited Ladakh yet, but we want to do it for sure, may be this year.
    Those view are breathtaking... and yes, I already watched quite many Hndi movies, so the lake is very familiar to me :)
    Is that you wearing capris there??? No wonder why you cried for home... :) But I am sure you have good memories of this awesome trip! Thanks for sharing the beauty of that area with us:)

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  15. Where have you been lost!1 Was thinking of you. Hmmm... my guess was right!! Lovely place. As if in a dream. I have been wanting to go there for quite some time. And Nathulla pass too! Someday it will happen. I am SURE!!

    Great holiday. Life time memories for you. I'd be showing this post to my hubby. You know why... haha

    And Anna was right. Capris in Ladhak made you cry hehe....

    We'll catch up soon

    Aishwarya

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  16. Thanks a ton Sangeetha for your lovely message on my page. really glad that you liked my pictures.
    wanted to ask one question is Laura knitting cotton or anchor knitting cotton is good? am looking for some cotton yarn which is thick like wool. so new to this crochet that hardly have any idea. sorry to bother but dont know anyone else to ask.

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  17. hello mam...
    i am anuprem i like your blog very much...what an interesting works u done...i am so happy to follow your blog..not only the blog i am a beginner to crochet so i am try to follow your tips also ..have a great day..

    by
    anuprem
    http://anu-rainydrops.blogspot.in/

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  18. Awesome photos. Truly breathtaking. Thanks for showing us Ladakh!

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  19. Thank you for sharing this Sangeetha. What an incredible place to visit....amazing. I would really like to visit this part of the world there is so much there I know nothing about. A fantastic geography and cultural lesson!

    I am like you I hate the cold too.

    Impressive photos.

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

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  20. What a joy to visit this far-away land through your beautiful photos! I have enjoyed viewing each one as I journeyed with you to see such amazing places.

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  21. Fabulous! What a trip! I loved your photos...so interesting..thank you for sharing xx

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