With love – from Ladakh

Pablo Neruda said “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride, I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving” – in this part of my story dear Ladakh, I am declaring my love for you.

IMG-20150502-WA0023

You bring me happiness of the flirting mountains, endless adventure, foretaste of the barren land, breathtaking landscapes, endless chants, romantic chilliness, gumpas and monks, abundant trekking trails, picturesque lakes and above all, the grandeur of the Himalayas – you do to me what spring does to the cherry trees.

IMG-20150502-WA0009

My Ladakh story is no different; the day I understood mountains are my soul mate I knew Ladakh is where the Nomad will find her home.

IMG-20150429-WA0018

Dealing with Monday melancholy, I was reading about Ladakh and came across this random travel club with a super catchy name – JUGNI (which means Firefly). I ignored for a bit and kept researching but the name JUGNI didn’t abscond – so I opened the website and there it flashed “Nomadic Ladakh Adventure” – for the first time I felt the Universe was truly conspiring. I quickly read the itinerary, compared it with my personal itinerary, checked the trip cost, batch dates (not to miss it’s a women only travel club) and took a sign of relief! Everything was in my favor – even the flight tickets were available at the cheapest. Without any second thoughts I called the number on the website and bombarded them with questions – much to my surprise everything was answered with excitement. Happy me confirmed my trip and booked my tickets – YAY I am finally coming to you Ladakh!

IMG-20150502-WA0006

For the next 30 days I kept reading about Ladakh starting from the history – to the demographics – to the mountain passes – to the stories about the locals – to the home stays – to the food and what not to do at Ladakh.

IMG-20150917-WA0005

Finally the day arrived – all my bags were packed and I was ready to get LEH’D (as they sayJ)

I met the gang of girls at the airport along with the JUGNI Team. I was surprised to see three ladies in their early 60’s were our travel companions along with 8 other young girls in their late 20s. We greeted, hugged each other – I knew this trip will be one of the highlights of my existence.

IMG-20150917-WA0021

Never before had I experienced the charm of a destination well before arriving. The sight of the snow clad Himalayas from the plane window is serene, divine and mesmerizing – a view to die for.

Finally, we were there – on the land of the Lamas, the highest plateau of Kashmir – it was truly the piece of broken moon land. I could feel the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hun” in the air and everywhere around me. I was absorbed by the barren land.

IMG-20150429-WA0015

We reached hotel Auspicious in about 15 minutes and settled – there was excitement everywhere – Ladakh

Here are some pictures from our trip. Detailed info on all these places is well available on Google so I will let the pictures talk and focus less on words J

I must also mention that out cabbie was the most audacious of drivers who drove through the hairpin bends and muddy paths, with frozen puddles all along.

The end of this trip was more of a beginning – I discovered myself along with discovering the beauty of Ladakh.

Om Mani Padme Hum

Advertisements

28 thoughts on “With love – from Ladakh

  1. A beautiful series of photographs Shilpi ~ there is not a better feeling than to be somewhere wonderful and to fall in love with the place. I can so relate to your words “happiness of the flirting mountains, endless adventure, foretaste of the barren land, breathtaking landscapes, endless chants, romantic chilliness…” Wonderfully stated 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shilpi – just had to drop by and check out your site – looks like you had the time of your life. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my poetry – it gives me a special thrill when I see someone stay awhile and read a bunch of poems – glad you enjoyed reading them – they’ll be plenty more so please come again. Take care and all the best, Owen.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Need to go through your other blogs too, can’t travel myself so would be great to see places with your blogs. Once am through March pressure, will check all your blogs.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s