Leh, Ladakh : Final Memories

If I were to look at these photos on the internet, my first thought would be, 'My God! It's ridiculously Photoshopped'
Its unbelievable that I actually witnessed such a sight.
Never would I have ever thought that you can actually find such beauty in India.
The clouds look so unreal and the colors of the sky are so vivid, it just leaves you awe-struck.
This is the last post in the Leh series. I've tried to incorporate as many pictures as I possibly could in this one post.
But I'm still missing out on SO much more.

In continuity with my previous post, we then visited the 'SPITUKMONASTRY'.
The place was beautiful but not the most beautiful. 
But still beautiful.

All the dogs in Leh are hairy, fuzzy creatures. 
I was so tempted to carry them and pull their cheeks and smother them with my violent love.
But I didn't.
I'm glad.

These are prayer bells which are found everywhere in Leh.
It is said to bring you good luck.
You know what that means, right?
A bunch of crazy women continuously turning it round and round, spinning for sommmeee luck atleast.

Next was the 'HALL OF FAME'
A tribute to the military.
The were various rooms showing you different aspects of the Ladakhi life and also rooms filled with ammunition and stuff that was retrieved from the opposition.

We then visited the 'Pathar Sahab Gurudwara'. I didn't click any photos there, so I don't have anything to show. It has a wonderful story behind it, but interested parties will have to  google it by themselves.

The next day was scheduled for a visit to 'PANGONG LAKE'.
This lake is one of the most famous spots to visit in Leh.
It is also where the last scene in '3 Idiots' was shot.

We left early in the morning and after a death scare, finally managed to reach there after around 6-7 hours.
The journey to Pangong started off with high levels of excitement and enthusiasm. 

However, as we reached the mountains of Chang-la, the roads were filled with slush.
The snow hadn't melted and the roads were freakish-ly narrow.
Suddenly, the excitement turned into horror when our car started to skid.
I was so sure we were going to fall. I had all my bags in my hand and gloves on, in an attempt to make a quick dash out of the car in case we actually fell.
But Dorji, the other driver, refused to let me get out.

After what felt like ages, we finally reached our destination.
It was simply beautiful.
But the journey was a terror-ride.
Also, it was so cold and windy there, that my entire body started to pain after a  while.
I ran and finally found comfort only in the car.
Having lived in Bombay for so long, its not easy surviving in such a cold climate.
I couldn't even stand out to click any photographs, which was a pity, but I just could NOT do it.

The high altitude made almost everyone sick.
Luckily, the drive down wasn't as bad, since some of the snow had melted.
I started to thank my stars like crazy, to have survived such a journey.
Pangong Lake is beautiful, but the cold just took ruined the whole experience for me.

Anyway, we visited some of the most wonderful places on the fourth day.

Lovely monastery will lovely stories.
There were intricate designs and pictures of every wall.
It had different temples within the monastery, one also with the futuristic Buddha, which I sadly missed because I was hungry and chose to eat salty Chowmein and bland Thukpa.


After having grumbled about the not so tasty food and dirty bathrooms and running away from the souvenir shops that try to fleece you and clicking like a gazillion pictures, we left for yet another monastery. 


This was my favorite.
They say this is the richest monastery.
Why, you ask?
Because it is so hard to locate that the dacoits in the olden times often couldn't spot it.
So they could not steal from here.
True story.

 Unlike most of the other monasteries that do not restore the wall paintings, this one had done so.
The others believe that the paints that are used for restoration of the monastery contain synthetic colors, and that takes away from he purity and authenticity of the monastery.
So they prefer peeling walls.

The last place that we visited in Leh was the 'DRUK PADMA KARPO SCHOOL'
Popularly known as the school which Phunsuk Wangdu owned in '3 Idiots'
Before we started the tour, we were given strict instructions about not loitering around for long and not speaking to the kids there and all.

It was a b-e-a-utiful day.
The sun was shining so bright, and the weather was simply perfect.
Every color came out magnificently and the stone houses emitted warmth.

We skipped the visit to Khardongla on the last day and stayed back to visit the Tibetan Refugee Market instead.
You can find beautiful trinklets and some truly artistic pieces in the markets but you've also gotta be good at bargaining because, boy, these people try to fleece you like no one's business.

 Little Red Riding Hood.

We wrapped up our last night by eating at one of the local restaurants.
Summer Harvest.
If you're planning  a trip to Leh, you have to try out this place.
It looks really dingy from out with neon lights, and looks a little less dingy from inside, but the food there is speactacular.
Momos, thukpa, and more momos.

I still think about how wonderful this trip has been.
I have seen so much and met some amazing people there.
Also, thank you Mom and Dad for letting me experience such magnificence.
There is no doubt about the fact that I'm going to visit Leh again.
There is still so much left for me to see.
I would also recommend each of you to go to Leh at least once in your life, because everything is so beautiful there.

Ladakh, you have simply been marvelous.

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