On Road through the trans-Himalayan Region

At Pensi La in Zanskar Valley. One of the Z peaks is also visible in the photograph.

At Pensi La in Zanskar Region. One of the Z peaks is also visible in the photograph.

This is an account of three heavenly weeks spent in the midst of some of the magnanimous and most beautiful mountains of the world located in the trans-Himalayan region. The description – from Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti-Lahaul-Ladakh-Kargil-Zanskar-Dras-Kashmir-Jammu – is supported by anecdotes, colourful photographs, general correlation with the region’s physical features, past as well as flora and fauna.

The foundation of the trip – that involved crossing over 10 high mountain passes, fording most voluminous river systems originating in India comprising more than 10 watercourses in addition to numerous streams, negotiating deep gorges as well as narrow and open valleys through the roads and passages built on them to overpass more than 10 mountain ranges – dates back to 2005.

Surrounded by prayer flags and wind chimes, Yours Truly atop the Kunzum La

Surrounded by prayer flags and wind chimes, Yours Truly atop the Kunzum La

Prologue

From the time when I was studying in the university, jaunts to the roof of the world were planned on several occasions every season but nothing fructified. The highland-sojourn kept getting delayed… Read More

Leaving Home (Preparations – NH22 – Chandigarh – Dharampur)

Just as I was about to start for Chandigarh from Jind (Haryana), my hometown, I again faced a few unexpected events which were, mercifully, both welcome and favourable this time… Read More

Mooning with the Highway to Tibet (Shimla – Theog – HT Road – Narkanda – Rampur – Satluj – Jeori – Kinnaur)

The excitement of retracing an olden route lies in the fact that it archives in its passage a noteworthy transition in climate, vegetation, terrain, people and culture…Read More

Up-close with the Tea river (Kalpa – Ropa – Pooh – Khab – Spiti – Reo Purgyal – Hangarang – Nako) 

The ancient version of the HT road, reminisce of petty wool politics and Indo-Tibetan trade, was at best a broad and bridle trail. The olden route passed through the villages…Read More

Brush with The Maling (Maling – Chango – Sumdo – Parechu – Kaurik – SH30 – Sumra – Chandigarh – Tabo)

At 3800m, a few kilometre after Nako is the most notorious and terrific section of the road popularly known as Maling Slide. The infamous Maling nallah…Read More

Bumping into a rare four-legged wild creature (Poh – Blue Sheep – Manerang – Spiti – Dankhar – Kaza)

Afterward, the road climbed progressively and crossed village NadangPoh to reach village Shichling at 3460m where the valley opened itself up again from the gorge…Read More

Climbing up the slope of Bhar Pastures (Shilla – Trek – Langza – Chau Chau Khang Nilda – Bhar – Kaza)

Next morning after the daybreak, loaded with limited supplies that would last us a day, we started the steep climb towards the pastures of Kaza. The seven-kilometre…Read More

The Highest inhabited village in the World (Ki – Kibber – Kanamo – Rangrik – Pangamo – Kiato – Hansa – Losar)

Like every morning, having started the day with Yoga and overjoyed with the activities of the previous day and also of the fact that we had done our bit to get acclimatise with the high-altitude…Read More

The majestic Bara Shigri and a Night-Drive by the River Chandra (Kunzum La – Batal – Shigri – Chhatru – Keylong)

The following morning, weather Gods clearly supported our plans. Having spent a week in Spiti, we were now geared up to enter the Lahaul Valley over the notorious Kunzum La (4595m)…Read More

The longest night (Chandrabhaga – Jispa – Darcha – Baralacha La – Sarchu – Nakee La – Lachalung La – Pang)

Next morning after the routine morning chores and a satisfaction of having gained some experience from the previous night’s drive, we headed back to Tandi to get the fuel tank topped up…Read More

Early Morning on the Rugged Terrain (Moray Plains – Debring – AMS – Tanglung La – Rumtse – Upshi – Indus)

With an average elevation of 4500m, the Morei Plains (MoreMorayMare) are a 40km plain-stretch, fringed by snow-capped mountains on both sides, which lay between Pang and the slopes of Tanglang La…Read More

Jullay! Junction of ancient highroads (Hemis – Stakna – Thikse – Shey – Choglamsar – Leh)

Situated in the lap of the Masho Mountains and overlooking the Ladakh Range – the largest monastic institution of Ladakh, the Hemis Monastery...Read More

The oldest surviving Monastery of Ladakh  (Leh – Spituk – Magnetic Hill – Nimmu – Basgo – Saspol – Alchi)

Having got the fuel-tank topped up, we left for the next stage of the journey on National Highway 1D. Not surprising though…Read More

Retracing The Treaty Road (Alchi – Khaltse – Lamayuru – Fotu La – Bodh Kharbu – Namika La – Mulbekh – Kargil)

The following morning, we were again on the Treaty Road after crossing the Indus at Saspol. From the Alchi bridge the neatly tarmacked NH 1D is a fanciful drive…Read More

Driving alongside Glaciers in Copper Land (Kargil – Suru River – Sankoo – Parkachik – Shafat – Zolidok)

The road to Zanskar’s administrative headquarter Padum branches off the NH 1D, on the left bank of the Suru, immediately after the iron-bridge on the gushing river….Read More

The Sliding Darung Drung in Zanskar (Rangdum – Pensi La – Stod Valley – Phe – Tungri – Sani – Padum)

Located in an awe-inspiring barren mountainscape and surrounded by steep hills, orange shaded pastures as well as streams, the village Zolidok or Juldo is a popoular… Read More

Butter Tea at the Ancient Karsha Gompa (Padum – Karsha – Sani – Pensi La – Rangdum – Parkachik – Kargil)

Clinging to an outcropped feature on a vertical mountain-face, in the shadow of Sasririgo and Rinamphu peaks, the eleventh-century Karsha Monastery belongs to the GelugpaRead More

Promulgation of War Tourism (Kargil – Drass – Zoji La — Sonmarg – Gund – Srinagar)

The traffic on the Zoji La is managed by the local police in association with the administration. The time earmarked for the vehicles to cross the pass from Kargil-side is in…Read More

The floating village and hanging gardens  (Srinagar – Dal Lake – Mughal Gardens – Srinagar) 

The following morning, I got woken up by the incipient sunlight filtering in from the curtains of the lake-facing window of the hotel room…Read More

The Jawahar Tunnel (Srinagar – NH1A – Qazigund – Jawahar Tunnel – Patnitop)

Bidding adieu to the Dal Lake as well as the Hari Parbat in its backdrop, next morning we checked out from the hotel after morning yoga as well as breakfast and headed towards the Lal ChowkRead More

Maa Vaishno Devi (Patnitop – Kud – Udhampur – Katra – Maa Vaishno Devi)

The hill – Tirukuta Mountain – on which the main temple is sited, becomes visible from the highway itself near Domail. Revering the holy site…Read More

Postscript (Katra – Jammu – Jalandhar – Karnal – Home)

The following morning, I chose to ignore the otherwise routine morning activities, which includes yoga or a morning-walk. Without breakfasting, we checked out of the…Read More

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57 Comments on “On Road through the trans-Himalayan Region

    • Thanks. Please watch this space for more (and informative) updates on the route. Thanks for revisiting the blog.

  1. Pingback: Prologue to my trans-Himalayan Stroll | bNomadic

    • Thanks for appreciating the travels Sir. I look forward to remain in touch and seeing you on bnomadic again.

  2. Pingback: Leaving Home to reach the Roof of the World | bNomadic

  3. Beautiful!I went to Simla,Manali,and Rohtang pass last year.They’ve become quite dirty,but still a visual treat! 😀

  4. Pingback: Mooning with the Highway to Tibet | bNomadic

  5. Pingback: Up-close with the Tea river | bNomadic

  6. Pingback: Brush with The Malling | bNomadic

  7. Pingback: Bumping into a rare four-legged wild creature | bNomadic

  8. Pingback: Climbing up the slope of Bhar pastures | bNomadic

  9. Pingback: The Highest inhabited village in the World | bNomadic

  10. ‘Manimahesh’ signifies a “jewel (Mani) on Lord Shiva’s (Mahesh’s) crown”. According to a local legend, the moon-rays reflected from the jewel can be seen from Manimahesh Lake on clear full moon night (which is a rare occasion). However, it has been inferred that such a phenomenon could be the result of reflection of light from the glacier

  11. Pingback: The majestic Bara Shigri and night-drive by the Chandra River | bNomadic

  12. Pingback: The longest night | bNomadic

  13. Words would fail to show my sense of appreciation for the beauty and serenity of the places shown in your deftly taken pictures and nicely worded text.

    • Thanks for showering with praises and appreciation Maveric. I am glad you liked the effort. Hope you’d continue to encourage me by visiting in future as well and leaving your feedback. Thanks

  14. Pingback: Early morning on the rugged terrain | bNomadic

  15. Pingback: Jullay! Junction of ancient highroads | bNomadic

  16. Pingback: Need inputs for Spiti valley trip - BCMTouring

  17. Pingback: The oldest surviving Monastery of Ladakh | bNomadic

  18. Pingback: Retracing The Treaty Road | bNomadic

  19. Pingback: Driving alongside Glaciers in Copper Land | bNomadic

  20. Pingback: The sliding Darung Drung in Zanskar | bNomadic

  21. Pingback: Butter Tea at the ancient Karsha Gompa | bNomadic

  22. Pingback: Promulgation of War Tourism | bNomadic

  23. Pingback: The floating village and hanging gardens | bNomadic

  24. Pingback: The Jawahar Tunnel | bNomadic

  25. Pingback: Maa Vaishno Devi | bNomadic

  26. Pingback: Postscript to my trans-Himalayan Stroll | bNomadic

  27. Pingback: On Road through the trans-Himalayan Region

  28. I have started following your blog and reading this memoir. You are a wonderful writer. I still haven’t posted the Kinnaur -Baspa valley posts. They are in two parts but don’t have any pictures. I never had a camera on that trip. Just a Sony Handycam. Noone knows how to transfer from cassette to CD and then take stills from the movie. It doesn’t look as beautiful as your posts but I still want to share my joy of that travel. Will let you know the moment posts are up. Rhank you following my blog. Very beat for your future travels. Keep sharing.

    • Thanks Tikuli for showering with appreciation. Just came back to internet zone this morning after a month-full of hectic worklife. The best travels happen when you are without a camera. 🙂

  29. Pingback: Travel Diary – Part-1 – A Night Drive On The Old Hindustan Tibet Road | Spinning a Yarn Of Life

  30. Superb Photo essays! You have Captured the heart of Trans Himalayas!

  31. Pingback: The best blogs out there on Lahaul & Spiti | The Blueberry Trails

    • Thanks Harshita for stopping by the blog. Hope you’d find the content useful as well. Keep visiting bNomadic for more such travel stories 🙂

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