Blogs from Leh, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India, Asia


Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh August 1st 2023

Today was always going to be a big travelling day. I had to get from the furthest outpost of Ladakh back to Leh, where I had arranged to pick up a mountain bike and then another hour or so in a vehicle with bike and baggage to Sakti where there was a Buddhist festival I planned to attend the following day. The second leg was organised. The first leg was not as there was no taxi stand in Turtuk, and I really didn’t fancy travelling by the local bus (not just because it left at 6am). I had brekkie and waved goodbye to my hosts at about 7.30am, and wandered down to the parking spot where a number of chartered taxis were parked. There were about five vehicles and not a soul in sight. I went ... read more
En route to Leh
A typical roadside ditto
Me and my Sakti homestay hostess

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh July 31st 2023

In case anyone is interested in venturing beyond the usual cycling stomping grounds, Ladakh in Northwest India is a fascinating place for a bit of cycle exploring. The majority of my trip has been for trekking and cultural, but I thought I would share my experiences of cycling. The first, and arguably the most important, point to note is that if you fly into Leh, after a brief stop over in Delhi, then you are probably going from sea level to 3500m in less than 24hrs. Your body is not designed for this so you have to give it time to adjust to the altitude, so for the first two days do take it pretty easy. Having said that I did rent a perfectly decent mountain bike (circa £10 per days from Himalayan Bikers) for the ... read more
Stok Buddha
Stok Palace
Starting point for a 2km vertical descent

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh September 3rd 2021

Leh - Ladakh: 23/8/21 to 29/8/21 There are three mis-matched regions of “Jammu & Kashmir” state: (1) Hindu dominated ‘Jammu’ region, (2) Buddhist ‘Ladakh’ and (3) predominantly muslim - ‘Kashmir’. This is not a political commentary on why and how they came together, but now some sense is being brought in by separating ‘Ladakh’ as a Union Territory with Leh as its capital. Leh-Ladakh has many strange ‘world-records’ to its credit. It is in fact a (world’s highest) desert (rain-shadow area) in the Himalayas. Technically this region opened for tourists sometime in the 1970s but has developed as a major destination in the last two decades only. I will arbitrarily divide Himalayas in to six regions (for tourism purpose only) - (1) Snow clad mountains of Kashmir, (2) Deserted mountains of Ladakh and Kargil, (3) Green ... read more
03a-Low Atm Pressure

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh September 16th 2017

I fell in love with Leh before I’d even got there. The mountains, the views, the people, the air; its whole aura, somehow. If I lived in Delhi, this would be my bolthole from the summer’s heat. On a clear day, the view from the Delhi flight is phenomenal, snow-capped peaks and winding streams of glacier-flow, no apparent sign of human activity until you near Ladakh’s capital and spot the first signs of cultivated fields beside grey-green rivers, a stark contrast to the barren, unforgiving landscape around. As with Paro in Bhutan, it seems incredible that there’s any stretch of flatness big enough for an airstrip, and indeed the airport itself is up the hill from the planes. Too excited to remember to check my seat pocket before getting off the plane – you’d have thought ... read more
Himalayan agama
Gomang Stupa
view from Leh Palace

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh September 10th 2017

The day of marathon has arrived. I am still not confident that I will make it, but there is never a question of turning back. After 4 days of relaxing, I am feeling strong. We started at 5:30 in the morning in taxi to get to our starting point. There were quite a lot of people, more than I expected. Many groups from Delhi, Pune etc. We did our usual pre-race preparation, bib, sunscreen. Then after seeing many groups warming up, I decided to join one of them to warm up. Then it was off on the course. Starting strong, I soon overtook quite a few people. Usually it is a sign that I am running too fast at an unsustainable pace. But I was feeling fine, so I carried on. Once slightly out of town, ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh September 8th 2017

Every year I try to find a nice exotic place to run a half-marathon (21.1km / 13.1miles is standard half-marathon distance). This year it was Leh, Ladakh in India. Sitting at an altitude of 11,000+ ft. (3,350m) where you have only 60% air compared to sea level, even walking is a challenge here. Add to that the fact that the run course had 1600 ft (480 m) cumulative elevation gain / loss, this became a perfect challenge for me. I had already run the Winterthur half-marathon, so I knew that I have the distance part nailed down, but elevation gain would require lot of training. The good part about that is, I can do that in gym on a treadmill. Continuing distance training in India was very difficult for someone used to running in the clean ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh July 5th 2017

Thukje to Leh The Indian Himalaya is made up of a series of parallel mountains ranges running from north west to south east. In order to get from Shimla to Leh you have to climb the passes over all of them. They are, in order starting from the south west, the Great Himalaya Range and the Zanskar Range, then just north of Leh there is the Ladakh Range, and finally, running along the border with China from Pakistan to Tibet there is the mighty Karakorum Range which includes near the Pakistan end as one of its peaks the huge K2. We left Thukje after breakfast outside the tents in the intense sun and road back along the single track road across the Moray plain and back onto the main road leading towards the end of the ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh December 14th 2016

Leh-ladakh in flat Rs 25k Yes, you might feel it unbelievable, but its practically possible.. We did it. Here we are a total of 6 happy go lucky members from Mumbai, I say so because we are travelers and not tourist, which in term would mean that adjustment is the name of the game. The plan started 3 months back from our actual dates of travel ( sept 10 to 18) , so the booking of flight tickets is the most important aspect. Plan the bookings as soon as possible. Sept, I assume is the best month to travel Leh, the reasons being, It’s an off season period, you can get things cheap , the ideal travel period being March to Aug. Though Sept has the same features as compared to the best travel period, yes ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh October 2nd 2016

K2S: Katraj to Stok Quiet an unusual trek? For those who are not from Pune, K2S stands for katraj to Sihagad, a tiring 5 hours (at least) trek made famous by Enduro. What made me to name my blog after this trek name was because I did K2S (Katraj to Sihagad) twice, thrice rather. Once a straight K2S & then….the tiring S2K & return K2S, back to back on the same day! Itserved as a stepping stone, a foundation for the mighty Stok Kangri Climb. I thank my group members for being with me. The foundation of Stok Summit was rather laid many years back during my Harishchandragad via nalichi waat (makad naal) climb, which happened to be my first trek. Innumerable treks later, I was finally prepared by the Sahyadris for the mighty Himalayas. This ... read more
The group
@ Chang Ma
Interesting ?

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh November 4th 2015

Possibly the luckiest traveller in the world this year! I was the plus one on a competition prize to India! Not only do I love to travel, I love it even more when it doesn’t cost me anything! A dream come true! In early November, my friend Leisa and I flew from Hong Kong to Delhi, with a transfer to Leh, in the North of India, Ladakh - Kashmir. If I am honest, I did not know that this beautiful place had existed up until this point! Flying into Leh at 3500 meters altitude, there was not much of a descent but there was one hell of a view over the Himalayas. Plunging to minus two on landing, we collected our bags from the single conveyor belt at the baron airport arrivals and were met by ... read more
Market Street
Through the Lens
Prayer Flags

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