Showing posts with label Ladakh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ladakh. Show all posts

Friday 15 September 2023

Life At My Pace - Aati Pema

While I procrastinate, I remember some things that make me want to curl up and stop existing and others that make me grateful for them happening.

What you're about to read would be hard to actually sympathise with and enjoy if I do not give you the setup, so I hope you enjoy it.

I was a young boy almost in 5th grade, and being raised in Ladakh, I was like many drawn to the waters not by the thirst to drink but with the desire to immerse myself in the bone-chilling waters; though many could not swim, it did not stop us from enjoying it. For me personally, I remember embracing and enjoying every aspect of it, the bone-chilling river young from the glaciers making our nose redder than Rudolf's, the clear sky with its thin atmosphere letting the scorching sun bath us with its warmth as we lay on the sandy banks. The whole experience was perfected by the breathtaking views of the mighty mountains touching the clouds with their tips where it snowed permanently.

Now that you know how it was to be there, I will tell you a secret: we were not allowed to go near the river. But it only made it more of an adventure, so we used to make these plans to go to which place when, and we were always on the lookout for new spots. One day, one of my friends came excitedly and said that he had found a great place and we had to see it. The problem was that my hand was plastered, but I let it off and went anyway.

When we went there, we reached a gate with spikes, which I barely managed to get over. As we approached the pool, I saw why he was so excited. Usually, the waters would be high and were a continuous river, but from time to time, it lowered and let small ponds reveal themselves. It was one of such ponds, but it was unique because it was steaming, and the water was pleasantly warm a natural hot spring! 

We did not need any invite going bare; we jumped right in. I ensured my left arm was always above water and could enjoy just as much. After we were done it was almost dark we were glad that we had gone on a weekend, but as we reached the road I saw my mother searching for me, and when she saw she was not happy! We were scolded for a while, and my friends were asked whether they needed to be dropped home, but as their houses were just a bit away, they went after apologising. 

As I said bye to my friends, I told them where I had been and was again scolded for my carelessness. But till we reached our home, my mother's anger had subsided after having dinner as I lay in the bed with my mother watching a serial I did not know. I fell asleep while still thinking it was great. I did not know how to describe my feelings then, but I do now. It was a pure, immense sense of happiness and gratitude for everything: my mother, friends, and homeland.

This was one day of my life, but this made a part of me.

- Aati Pema
Pestalozzi Children's Village India

Sunday 10 July 2022

Always on Card Trips - Yashraj Sharma

My 15-day road trip to Leh-Ladakh was terrific. It felt like the best time of my life. I loved the whole trip so much.

We all had the time of our lives, and when I grow up, I want to take my family there again to revisit the fantastic experience and see them smile. 


Now let me share my experience; till that day, I had only heard that Ladakh was a beautiful and mesmerizing place, but now I got to experience it in person.

Ladakh is most famous for breathtaking landscapes, crystal clear skies, the highest mountain passes, the highest motorable pass, and Buddhist monasteries.

We saw local monasteries and apricot fields in Ladakh and took two days to acclimatize to the weather.

Our next destination was Nubra valley, followed by Pangong lake.

This was my favourite experience on our trip to Ladakh. 

The drive to Nubra Valley via Khardungla, the highest motorable road in the world, was all about the beautiful landscapes of Ladakh and adventure. With the zig-zag trail continuing till Hundar village... this drive was an unforgettable experience.

The descent from mighty Khardung La towards Hunder leaves us spellbound as the snowy surroundings drastically transform into the desert. Before we sense it, the double-humped camels at Hunder village offered us an exciting ride through the desert.

From Nubra valley, we visited the majestic Pangong lake...which is as big as the sea. We share its boundaries with the neighbouring country. Its crystal clear water is salty and changes its colour seven times a day due to the sun's position throughout the day. It is the world's highest saltwater lake in the world.

Our next destination was Kargil. We visited the war memorial. The sight of Tiger Hill and Tololing hill gave us a sense of pride and patriotism as the air was filled with selflessness and honour of the sacrifices of our Jawans who laid their lives in war.

From Kargil, we set off to Srinagar via Drass and Sonmarg. Drass, which is the second coldest inhabited place in the world.

In Sonmarg, we were mesmerized by the tall pine trees and beautiful 'Sind' river playing hide and seek with us.

The next day we reach the summer capital city of Jammu and Kashmir... Srinagar. 

As we reached there, mesmerizing view of Dal lake welcomed us with open arms. A Shikara was ready to give us a ride to our royal houseboat. It was my first experience of staying on a houseboat.

This stay proved that the beauty of an old-world setup is unparallel. The sight of moving shops of basic amenities in Shikaras is a memorable and unforgettable experience. We bought seeds and flower bulbs from there, and I also tried my hand at the Shikara ride.

We saw the Nishat garden there. It was a myriad of flowers, fountains and lush green grass.

The next day we explored Pahalgam...where we saw Aru valley, Betaab valley and Chandanbari. All were so majestic that they couldn't be summarised in words.

From Pahalgam, we came back to our home.

However, it's not my first time to the mountains for a vacation. But, this trip was so different in the way that we came across snow-capped mountains, clear skies full of stars, colourful rocky mountains (red, green and brown), majestic lakes, deserts, sand dunes and what not?! It was only possible as we took a road trip to Ladakh.

We came across 9 passes during our trip, making it a memorable trip.

On completing 3200 km of the magnificent journey by car, I realized the true meaning of Incredible India!!

Yashraj Sharma

Grade: VIII

Gyanshree school

Reflections Since 2021