Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
~ Dalai Lama ~
I still remember all those crazy expressions from my friends and family a decade ago when I first decided to travel to the highland of Himalayas. When I first traveled to the Himalayas, the only information I had is that you can’t go there by road as high passes are closed by heavy snowfall and the only way out is to fly into Leh. I still remember the day when I landed first time in Leh in the middle of winter and realized what real “cold” is for the first time in life. It was -20 degree at 8:00 am in the morning and I was there wearing just a denim pant and a regular jacket which is just suitable for 10 degrees.
10 years back, Ladakh was not that popular as a tourist destination as it is today. This highland was a place only for hard-souls who really love adventure and want to enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalayan desert. When I was roaming around in a small sleepy town during that winter, I saw signboards everywhere and all were about Chadar trek and was wondering what is it all about. When I was out for jeep safari on the way to Nimu village, I came across with a place where Zanskar and Indus river confluence and both of them were in semi-frozen conditions. Then the local driver told me about Chadar trek & what it is all about. And all I decided then that this the adventure I am going to explore. I never had an idea that this dream of doing it once will bring me back to this river more than half a dozen time to walk and lead this expedition for many other adventure lovers. Today my love for this high land of Himalaya is decade old and I just keep visiting this place 3-4 times in a year in different seasons and mode of transportation, starting from a flight, jeep, bus, on a bicycle and noting but walk too.
Here is a glimpse of Ladakh through my lens. And yes. Ladakh indeed is a cold desert.
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