Saturday, 16 December 2017

Ladakh - stark, barren and imposing !!

History of Ladakh can be traced back to earlier than 9th century and the earliest settlements were nomadic yak herders. Once a very remote location totally cut off from the urban life, today the number of visitors to Ladakh is rapidly increasing at an alarming pace.

The first glimpses of this high altitude cold desert and what follows through the entire duration of the journey, is an experience on a different scale. During your entire stay in this region you are viewing the spectacular jagged peaks, in distinctive shades and textures, that enfolds 360 degrees.
The dramatic views with even dramatically located monasteries, the crystal blue lakes with the snow capped mountains in the background, sparsely populated villages in the heavenly valleys, the warmth and simplicity of the locals, are only one part of the experience.

The other part, will have you on the most treacherous roads/(no roads) and some of the highest passes, the narrowest of turns where two vehicles from opposite directions very meticulously manage to manoeuvre under very skilled hands, the dizzying steep gorges coupled with the challenges of basic amenities on long stretches will trigger the thoughts what made you decide for this trip.. Not to forget the uneasiness of dealing with lesser and lesser oxygen levels with every ascent of the bend combined with harsh windy chills..

Yet...Yet inspite of all this, the otherworldly visuals that awaits on the other side of moments of utter trepidation, will leave some of the most humbling impressions. Terrifying moments that will compel you to re-evaluate your decisions would quickly transpose with reasoning for a next visit .

[ Trivia : the first Europeans to reach Leh in 1631 were the Portuguese priests Francisco de Azevedo and John de Oliveira. Then in 1820 the two Englishmen William Moorcroft and George Trebeck, who worked for the East India Company - they had come to Ladakh in the course of a journey to central Asia in search of horses for the East India Co - were kept in Leh for two years waiting for permission to go to Yarkand, and which was eventually denied them. It was during this two-year wait that they observed and wrote about life in Ladakh, trade, clothes, religion, etc ~ Source : lehladakhindia]

a few frames from my first  Ladakh journey  ...  Ladakh in textures here 

[ traveled with  'fotostudio 365']. 

The many shades of Pangong Tso

Basgo Monastery

en-route to Hanle

Tso Moriri,

Hanle,  the village where we have one of the highest observatories in the world 

Morey Plains

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Ladakh - in Textures & Hues

Travelling in Ladakh essentially involves long hours on the road. Depending on your itinerary you will be on the road anything between 7-9 hours a day Or may be alternate days if you include longer halts at any place. So much of the experience is solely dedicated to the travel time and in absorbing the visuals. As you drive through the mountains, high altitude passes, beautiful valleys, flat lands next to gushing rivers Or by a terrain that compels you to shut your eyes and hold your breath BUT absorb the 360 deg views as well, all at the same time,  the road  is totally captivating and fascinating.

What strikes most about Ladakh is her unique landscape.. The many shades, textures, the variations in the topography. With the constant uncertainty of the road conditions, the unpredictability of what lies at the next bend weaves magically into our minds giving us the much needed window to quietly surrender to enormity, vastness, and humbly immerse in the views sculpted by nature.

A small representation of the journey that was  !

En route - Leh to Turtuk 

Somewhere between Pangong to Leh

Towards Hanle - One of the finest views here 

Moving Closer to Hanle 

On way Tso Moriri to Sarchu - another showstopper route 

And then suddenly you find yourself  here  @ More Plains (en route towards Sarchu)

On a slightly cloudy day, More Plains with vast stretches of flatlands, and mountain ranges in the distance . 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Slovenia - Triglav National Park

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads -  Henry David Thoreau 

Few Images from Triglav National Park :

Some mist, some clouds , the golden hues , Lake Bled at sunrise

As the Golden Rays burst out from behind the Julian Range.

Less than couple of hours later, from another side of the lake .

Hayracks - unique to Slovenia , primarily used for drying hay Or animal fodder. 
Julian Alps  from Kranjska Gora. This region, is also very close to Austria and Italy borders.

Emerald green water and unspoiled surroundings of Zelenci Spring at Zelenci Nature Reserve

Soca - is one of the rare rivers to retain it's emerald color entirely through it's flow.

Lake Bohinj, another glacial lake, is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia

Blazing sunset over the Julian Alps.  Had never imagined will experience it this close .With Mangart  at the background, this is at 2679 metres , the original road across Vrsc Pass was constructed by Russian POW  during WWI in 1915.

Probably one of the last shots of the day .