Traveling to Kashmir was a dream from the time I started seeing pictures of amazing mountains and beautiful lakes of Indian Himalayas. The whole trip was planned by a couple of friends of mine whom we met during our trek to Sandakphu an year earlier.
We followed an itinerary starting from Srinagar and traveling towards east to visit Ladakh before flying back from the Leh airport. It was an itinerary well balanced with short drive times and including a lot of attractive places on the route. But the route itself is really the attraction in the Srinagar - Leh route.
Day 1: Chennai - Srinagar
We flew to Srinagar on an early morning flight and reached there by noon. We moved to the boat house that was booked at the Dal lake and then enjoyed a couple of hours long Shikara ride at the Dal lake. The sunset during the Shikara ride, seeing chori ka zameen(floating vegetable garden) and villages in the dal lake is a lovely experience.
Day 2: Srinagar - Kargil
A drive from Srinagar to Kargil passes thru Sonmarg, Drass, Tololing and Kargil and takes about 200Kms. These places are famous due to the Kargil war that was fought between India and Pakistan. In fact on the way we get a good view of the Tiger hill and the war museum at Tololing gives us a lot of insights about the Kargil war.
Day 3: Kargil - Alchi
Since we reached a bit late in the evening the day before we couldn't explore the town of Kargil. So early morning we spent some time walking around the busy town and spent the independence day at a school in Kargil with a grand ceremony. Later we embarked on our journey to Alchi during which we crossed the highest point of the Srinagar-Leh highway called Fotula Top and the entire day went in the drive because of very frequent breaks for taking photos.
Day 4: Alchi - Likir
Plucked some apples and apricots in the morning before starting our journey to Chilling for doing rafting in the Zanskar river. It's one of the fabulous rafting places in India and we did a Level 3 rafting there. Indus-Zanskar confluence on the way is one of the very scenic places in this route. After finishing the rafting we went to the Likir monastery and stayed overnight at Lukhil home stay.
Day 5: Likir - Leh - Khardung La - Tirith
Started before breakfast and reached Leh very early before proceeding to Nubra Valley. On the way to Leh we passed thru magnetic hill where the driver demonstrated the car getting pulled by the hill when it's left in neutral. Khardung La is one of the highest motorable passes in the Himalayas and we drove past that on our way to Tirith. We stayed in a tented accommodation in Tirith and the place was beautiful.
To be continued.