Featured Writer: Divij
If there is one stop destination for adventure lovers all over the world, it has to be Ladakh. The huge snowcapped mountains and picturesque valleys of Ladakh offer a wide range of heart- pumping adventure activities. This trip brought me face to face with my fears and I surpassed my abilities and was surprised to explore my wild side that had been unknown to me till now. White water rafting through the treacherous stretch of Indus River was a great way to start the crazy expedition. On my first day for trekking in Ladakh, I started out in the calm waters for almost three hours through the quaint villages of Shey and Thiksey, which was grade1. This helped boost my confidence and the next day I was much less anxious and was all set to try grade 2. First we started out easy, mostly through playful stretches of river and then through the wild and thundering parts of the river which was extremely exciting and left me almost hyperventilating. I took the rest of the day off to relax and visited the serene monastery nearby which made my day wholesome.
Another nerve- wrecking experience was climbing expedition. Although there are a lot of trails to choose from, I let my instincts choose for me. I began my day with a visit to the Spituk monastery which energized me to hike my way through numerous passes. The anticipation of thrill kept me bouncing on my toes till we started. Hiking across the Markha River while getting enveloped by the awe- inspiring view of the landscape was a great start. We reached till elevation of 17,400 feet and I was amazed to see terrain inhabited by people at this altitude. It is one of the world’s highest inhabited plateaus and as we crossed through it, I saw nomadic families walking with their yaks and bags. Camping and sleeping under the clear blue sky was my motivation to keep walking till the end.
After days of trekking and river rafting, I was quite excited to try my hand at paragliding. Ladakh is an ideal spot for the sport and the experience of flying through the Himalayas was unmatched. I was sailing in the wind through the clear sky like a bird and I could see tree tops when I looked down, it was definitely a challenging sport and once in the sky, the pleasure was immense.
The wildest way to explore the terrain of Ladakh is by motor biking. It was started by gypsies who found it convenient and stated their way of life as freedom. I crossed the highest motorable road in the world, Khardung La at 5606mts. It is a memory I’ll cherish for a lifetime. This region is beautiful and quite remote; there is no trace of any modern world technology. While biking across Ladakh, I took photos of some of the most enchanting lakes and rivers. The view of monasteries on cliff tops is totally irresistible.
I even took a cycling tour through Ladakh. It needs extreme focus and concentration and at the same time requires a level of physical fitness. I crossed many hair-pin turns and cycling on the zig- zag road gave me enough opportunities to marvel at the beauty of the magnificent hills. It was easier as I wasn’t carrying any luggage and the cold wind was filling my lungs with crisp fresh air.
It was a very inspiring trip with early morning visits to divine monasteries and rest of the day hiking, motor biking. I’ll never forget my encounter with nomadic families and those people staying in extreme high altitudes with chilling air throughout the year. Flying like a bird over the tree tops and rafting through roaring waters gave the final touches to my awesome week in Ladakh.
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