3 Idiots ignited a vision, the stunning locales of Jab Tak Hai Jaan reminded me of the passion again. The desire to visit Ladakh-the coldest desert in the world!. As the highest inhabited land in the world, it holds a fascination for many, I being one among the numerous many. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it is a land like no other.
As previous tourists claim, even an Indian traveler will probably find no similarities in the land and people between the ones he leaves behind and those he encounters in Ladakh. Not only in terms of the landscape, the rich traditions of Mahayana Buddhism continue to flourish in ‘Little Tibet’.
However, the only issue faced by tourists is the problem of acclimatization due to the high altitude and low level of atmospheric oxygen. That can be taken care of by taking adequate rest in Leh for at least a day or two depending on your condition, after which one can proceed to indulge in the trekking activities which the desert offers.
One reason why Ladakh tops my list of ‘Urgent Places to Visit’ is because I am a diehard gormandizer of Tibetan food. My research reveals that it is a great locale to nibble on local staples like momo, thupkas, maggi, chang (barley beer) and butter tea. Rice, dal and sabzi we hog for a major fraction of our life, thus I believe, when in Ladakh, eat as the inhabitants of Ladakh do!
I belong to the category of tourists who like exploring new places on their own terms, uninfluenced by what the ‘Places to Visit’ list offers in the tourist brochures. What intrigues me the most about Ladakh, and what I would like to go and explore is how, miles away from the wonderful inventions which the metros offer us, can life thrive, right on the roof of the world. Satisfactorily or not, is what will form the basis of my quest…
Some date in 2013, Ladakh is where I wish to be.
Contributed by Rini Sinha
Image Courtesy: http://www.filmapia.com/published/places/pangong-lake