Travel

[PHOTO ESSAY] Lakes of Ladakh: Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri

A mystical lake, an animated sky.

A love undefined, and I watched time go by.

The way the sun shone on the water,

Making it sparkle like a thousand suns,

How I wish, your love shines on me above.

Just like this lake was once frozen and is now afloat,

Your love might just revive me, my love.

Neha Ramneek Kapoor

One of my favorite memories from the recent Ladakh road trip, is the visit to the breathtaking lakes.

Ladakh, the land of mountain passes. A cold desert surrounded by mountains. When one hears this description, one doesn’t really expect the area to have lakes. Well, Ladakh has quite a few! Tso Kar, Mirpal Tso, Chagar Tso, Kiagar Tso, Kyun Tso, and of course the famous Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. (The word Tso translates to “lake”).

I believe there are a few more, and I hope to spend some time on each of the lakes of Ladakh, but this post is about Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. These are the two lakes where we spent the most time at. We actually camped at both, and that was really fun! Especially Tso Moriri. Our tents were pretty unadorned and modest, and for me that’s the beauty of camping. Also it was really cold!

If you have been following my social media posts you’d have noticed that my recent Ladakh visit was a road trip with Scout My Trip, OYO and some fellow bloggers. After leaving from Delhi and eventually holding #HighestBloggerMeet at Khardung La, we headed to Pangong Tso from Hunder, and on this day the tone of the trip changed for me completely. On this day we crossed Chang La, which is one of the most difficult and hence thrilling mountain passes in the region. Crossing this pass while being in the Thar was quite an experience. The vehicle is perfect for offroading and that’s what this journey was! There are very few roads! In fact one of the SUVs in our caravan decided not to do this route because of the wear and tear the vehicle had already endured, and that was a great call taken by the Scout My Trip team. Throughout the trip they ensured that the safety of the group was paramount. Hats off to Vineet, Deepak and Dada. Unfortunately Vineet and Deepak had to miss Pangong. Hey V and D, hope the pictures make up for it!

The sheer beauty of Pangong Tso is that the lake changes colors as the sun changes its position. Hues of blue, green and aqua appear to dance on the surface of the water.

A view of the mighty mountains, lush green fields and deep blue water, is what Tso Moriri has to offer.

Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri are paradise for anyone into birding. In fact I will soon be sharing more pictures of the birds Karan, a fellow blogger and traveler, spotted. He is so good at it! This post has one picture of the Bar Headed Geese, which is quite a rare sighting.

If you are planning a trip to Ladakh, make sure you visit both these lakes and if possible, more of them. It is quite an experience, and trust me the views are so breathtaking that they cannot be captured in pictures perfectly. You gotta see it to believe it. In the meantime, hope you enjoy these pictures.

xoxo

Neha

PS: Thank you Amit and Deepak for help with this post!

With the mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
With the mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
The mystical Pangong Tso, Ladakh
The mystical Pangong Tso, Ladakh
The magical blues of Pangong Lake
The magical blues of Pangong Lake
The mystical Pangong Tso
Aqua hues at Pangong Tso
Walking along the banks of Pangong Tso
Walking along the banks of Pangong Tso
The mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
The fierce Thar at Pangong Tso #LikeABoss
Cairns of stones, at Pangong Tso
Cairns of stones, at Pangong Tso. Previously used as signs and landmarks in unoccupied lands, locals say that they are also known to bring good luck for travelers.
A rare sighting: Bar Headed Geese at Pangong Ladakh.
A rare sighting: Bar Headed Geese at Pangong Ladakh
The mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
The savage Thar at Pangong Tso
Pangong Tso
A riot of blue at Pangong Tso, Ladakh
Chillin' like a bawse at Pangong
Chillin’ like a bawse at Pangong

 

Our camp at Tso Moriri
Our camp at Tso Moriri. It was so beautifully cold there!
Thar aka Thor chilling at Tso Moriri
Thar aka Thor chilling at Tso Moriri
Breathtaking views at Tso Moriri
Breathtaking views at Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri and the adjoining area is stunning
Tso Moriri and the adjoining area is stunning
A view of the snow capped mountains from Tso Moriri
A view of the snow capped mountains from Tso Moriri
The rugged Thar taking a much deserved halt at Tso Moriri
The rugged Thar taking a much deserved halt at Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri

 

For more, follow me on instagram, twitter and/or Facebook!

 

 

 

 

Khardung La
Travel

#HighestBloggerMeet at Khardung La, with OYO and Scout My Trip

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from the affable Vineet of Scout My Trip, knocking my socks off by telling me that I am going to be a part of the First Ever Blogger Meet being held at Khardung La, and the Highest Blogger Meet in India. At an elevation of 18380 feet above sea level. The highest motorable road in the world. Woot! I could not have asked for more as I had always wanted to visit Ladakh and being a road trip buff, I jumped on this opportunity.

Our journey began on 11 July and lasted 12 days, the details of which cannot be contained in one blog post. Brace yourself for more! These 12 days have been life changing, as I met some wonderful people who are going to be an inseparable part of my life from now on. And moreover, there’s just something about the mountains. You come back transformed, every time.

The highlight of the trip was of course Khardung La, where history was created as we all collectively made not one but two records. Steering through tough terrains, braving the cold, getting over tire punctures, reveling in the beautiful views and laughing through it all, we made it to Khardung La on 16 July. It was as remarkable as we expected. Blankets of snow on the mighty mountains, cold winds and the thrill of being there.

Khardung La, Ladakh
Khardung La, Ladakh

The cherry on top of the snowy cake was the announcement made by OYO about #OYOnauts. It is a huge step forward for the travel community. What us travelers really cherish, are stories. OYOnauts is providing a platform where travelers, photographers, writers and bloggers can share their travel stories and bag all expenses paid trips. Doesn’t that sound amazing? It is! Go check it out.

IMG_1908-3
#HighestBloggerMeet at Khardung La. Pic courtesy OYO.

After touching the highest point of Khardung La top, we gathered at Tsolding Buddha Park, a pristine little area with a small water body. Almost 30 of us sat there for 2 hours, relished our Maggi and had brilliant conversations! I have to say, this bit wasn’t easy. Oxygen was scarce and the weather kept changing from really cold to really sunny. Records don’t come easy!

#HighestBloggerMeet
#HighestBloggerMeet. Pic Courtesy OYO.

While making the records was such a thrill, the best part about the trip was the people. The immensely talented bloggers, and the gifted scouts. It was an honor being a part of this with them. I will need another blog post to talk about the bloggers, but here’s a quick thank you to the scouts. Because this feat of #HighestBloggerMeet would not have been possible without them.

Scout My Trip
L to R: Pratik, Dr. Amit, Dr. Shakeel, Samarth, Neeraj.
#highestbloggermeet
All smiles after making two records. Pic by Raza.

Vineet, Co-Founder, CMO, ScoutMyTrip. And the literal glue of the group! Sab saath me chalenge!

Deepak, Co-Founder, CEO, ScoutMyTrip. Such swag much wow. PS I like the beard.

Neeraj aka Yayawar aka Dada. The encyclopedia of the mountains! 

Samarth. Fellow retro music buff. Fab dancer. Life of the party. Cheers for the good times!

Dr Amit Nikam. Rescue team leader. Friend for life. #hippiecar core team member. More on that later.

Dr Shakeel Khan. Scientist. XUV lover. Faster than F1 racers. We would still be revving our engines when Shakeel bhai would reach the destination.

Pratik aka Nano Seth. Cutest and funniest. Kaafi nakhre and kaafi swag.

I am getting all senti now so will continue in the next blog post. Missing these people and the mountains. Seems like I left a part of me there itself.

Adios.

Khardung La
Happy happy at Khardung La