Guest Post: Ladakh, Kingdom of Nomads…

Guest Post: Ladakh, Kingdom of Nomads…

Many thanks to Divij – traveller, adventurer and budding photographer – for providing us with an insight into the lesser known side of India. In this post, he shares some fond memories of his time in the Ladakh region of this fascinating country……

“I am standing with my eyes open wide at the gorgeous view of snowcapped Himalayan ranges, with the peaks of the mountains invisible by a thick layer of mist. The air is chilled and as I breathe out from my mouth to keep myself warm, I can see my breath like smoke in cold air. Ladakh is truly a paradise hidden in an oasis of attractive mountains and valleys untouched by industrial growth. From where I am standing at the base of mountains, I can see monasteries located on cliff tops glittering under afternoon sun.

I met with many locals of the area, mostly Buddhists and Tibetans and I found it so easy to talk to them. They are warm and friendly people. I learned a lot about various regions in Ladakh and I was amazed to hear stories about nomads still wandering through the high altitude mountain ranges with their yaks and minimal belongings. I couldn’t help but felt a strong urge to explore the majestic Ladakhi Mountains and the kingdom of nomads.

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I reached Leh airport from Delhi and checked into a homestay where I was greeted with a much needed hot cup of herbal tea. It tasted a little spicy and relaxed my senses that were overwhelmed with the anticipation of the next few days. After checking in and taking some rest, I headed out to go to the Markha Valley where I trekked with a group of strangers, all adventure lovers from various parts of the world. The picturesque landscapes and valleys brightly dotted with barley, wheat and other plantations made me marvel at nature’s wonderful creation.

Trekking through the Markha Valley was a wholesome experience; this region is known locally as ‘Little Tibet’. The view of the Himalayas and Zanskar Ranges from here is spectacular and I also got to visit a small monastery on the way. It wasn’t very grand like a few others I have seen, however, as I walked through its doors I was instantly struck by the feeling of harmony and spirituality inside these walls. As I trekked further, I crossed two mountain passes dotted with wild roses and deep canyons with multi colored prayer flags flapping in the wind – making the otherwise White Mountains look colorful.

I crossed through the Hemis National Park and spotted some exotic wildlife and birds but my biggest excitement was to be able to meet the nomads of Ladakh who have reigned over these lands throughout the ages and wander from place to place without settling down. I reached the Rupshu Valley with its vast highlands and gigantic lakes spreading calmness around them. It’s here that I crossed thousands of nomadic people including children with huge yaks. These people live in almost uninhabitable lands with no scope for farming and yet are satisfied in their way of life.

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Another fabulous region in Ladakh that I strolled through with my backpack is Changthang plateau – stretching all the way to Tibet at an altitude of 6600 meters. It is mostly inhabited by Tibetan people who are kings of their lives without any work pressures. They don’t do farming like most of the other people settled in these high ranges, mostly for the reason that at this height, the terrain is rugged and rocky and cannot support any kind of agriculture.

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The way that nomads live in such uninhabitable lands surrounded by desert and harsh cold weather is a great mystery for me. But the experience of climbing rocks and trekking with strangers while making friends with local people is unforgettable and I have collected a million memories to cherish for a lifetime.”

We love hearing people’s travel tales from far flung parts of the world, so if you’ve got a story to tell, contact us today!

If you would like to read more about Divij’s other adventures, head over to his blog at www.thrillophilia.com – the company website for his new adventure travel startup based in India.

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1 Comment

  1. April 18, 19:25 #1 dtravelsround

    A part of the world I would love to explore!

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