Day 6 & 7 – 31.07.2010 & 01.08.2010: These two days were spent in sleeping, eating and wandering around the lanes. Leh, the district headquarter of Ladakh, is situated at the foot of Namgyal Hills in the valley north of the Indus River. At that time of the year the temperature was somewhere around 20 to 25 degree Celsius. But it was told that it ranges from minus 40 in winters to plus 35 in summers. The road from the airport runs straight to the end of the main bazaar. Leh is not difficult to navigate around, with narrow intersecting lanes and one main street leading to the old, dilapidated palace of the king. Fort Road is where most restaurants and guest houses are. As we got the accommodation at Kangri for two days only, we need to search another option. We searched out almost every hotel and guest house and finally booked two rooms in Tsumori which was situated in the main market area. Rooms at Tsumori were smaller than that of Kangri but by that time we only need rooms to put luggage.
There was a mosque at the head of the main bazaar that was commissioned by
Emperor Aurangzeb, and a polo ground to the south of the town. Shops selling traditional Ladakhi artifacts line the streets in the main bazaar. Items like prayer wheels, wooden masks, coral stones, hand-woven blankets, cashmere and pashmina shawls, and silver jewellery were available at very reasonable prices after a bit of bargaining.
As per the rules of Jammu & Kashmir state government, prepaid mobile SIMs of other states does not work in J&K. But luckily we were having one post paid connection, but still the post paid connection was not working well, one need to try a number of times before it connects. The same problem persists at STD booths.
Being at Leh, one needs to take dinner early as the market and even the restaurants start shutting down at around 2100 hrs. After 2200 hrs they won’t even take orders for tea. Lamayuru restaurant was the best among all and the small notice board in the restaurant is the major attraction which gives a glimpse of latest happenings in Leh. A waiter at Lamayuru became our friend and took our orders for Lemon tea even after closing the kitchen.
Day 8 was reserved for exploring some
far-off destinations like Pangong lake and Changla Pass. We booked a taxi and took inner line permit in advance.
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