14
Mar

My solo adventures to Ladakh on a budget – Shashank Shekhar

When I hear people saying “Ladakh”,it really excites me. It had been a dream ride for me from the year 2006. But never had the courage to do it alone. Years passed by and the dream was just a dream.
Finally the year came 2013 when I was done with MBA and was waiting for placement. Days just passed by nothing happened,I started getting depressed. One fine day around 11;00 AM got a call from Dad and he asked how are you? Having a depressed tone I just replied fine, and he disconnected the call. Evening Dad called me back and said I have deposited  30000 in your account; Go travel.
I told dad I want to go to Ladakh on bike. The reply I got was who is stopping you and I was all pumped up and super excited.

It was the month of July I came to Delhi to stay at my cousin’s place and get my bike all set for the trip. As it was my first trip ,I stared calling people,read loads of blogs just to gets as much information on how to travel to Ladakh. I was lucky enough that I had a tent and decided to do the trip to Ladakh on a budget – the least possible.

 

Day 1
Delhi to Jammu(650-700 KM)
Finally the big day arrived when I had to leave for Jammu that was 23rd July. The distance between Delhi and Jammu was around 650 to 700 Km. It was 5;00 AM when I started, made it to Jammu by evening 5:00 PM. I was thankful to people who offered me free lunch and snacks at few places. Also to my relative who managed to get a government guest house for night stay that just costed me Rs 180 with dinner and breakfast. It was a tiring day after a long ride but full of fun.

 

Day 2
Jammu to Srinagar(300-320 KM)
I woke up around 5 and realized it was drilzing outside;thought will wait for an hour or so. It was still the same,finally made my mind will make a move. At 6 I started from Jammu and met 3 riders from Chennai. Rode with them till Srinagar. When it came to stay they said I could share the room with them, That got a big smile on my face. We had reached Srinagar around 4:00 PM. We were going around Dal Lake and some how I got separated from them and I couldn’t call them as I had prepaid phone. I tried calling but no was out of reach. Finally I made my mind that I would look for a decent room just to spend a night. After looking for room for almost an hour  I found a good  room behind Dal lake after bargaining  from 800 to 300.

 

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Day 3
Srinagar to Kargil (200-220 KM)
It was a tough day as it was raining and was cold as well but I had to start. Started around 7:00 AM and by 8 I was all wet and shivering. I stopped near a tea stall and was thinking to go back to Srinagar.Contradicting thought was coming an extra day would cost money. Then within few mins came across few young riders from Delhi and they motivated me to ride to Kargil. We picked up rain cover for around 300 and I also picked gumboots for 200 which were very helpful.

It was fun riding with them,we had few picd clicked together. I asked them to carry on, I would click some pic and join them soon. I never realized I would not see them again till we reached Leh. The Monster crossing Godzilla That’s the name I gave  to Zojila pass. I came to know in Leh that the fellow riders from Srinagar had a puncher which they fixed it all by themselves.

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It was dark when I reached Kargil and when I asked people where can I find a good and not much expensive room I got response ” ya will get you a room it will Just cost 2000″. I rode few KM ahead came across a Dhaba had my dinner and asked the guy I need a place to sleep. All of a sudden a Sardarji who was a truck driver said “sleep in my truck.” This was a new experience and not bad.

 

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Day 4
Kargil to Leh (210-220 KM)

Next day was full of excitement as was about to reach Leh. I had thanked Sardarji for all the help.
It was a good ride from Kargil to Leh the landscape was amazing. By the time I reached Leh it was dark again and it looked really crowded. I had no idea where to go where to stay then I came across a gentleman who was eating kabab by the road side. I asked him for help with some space where I can put up my tents and sleep. He was kind enough he took me to his hotel which had a big garden and finally found a place to put up my tent.

 

Ladakh on a budget

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Ladakh on a budget

 

 Day 5
Leh
Next day before leaving I was given tea and breakfast. Half the day was wasted in getting the permit. Finally by noon I got the permit and when had planned to leave for Nubra valley had some issue with,so bike had to come back to Leh. By the time I got the bike done it was late to leave for Nubra Valley. Again I had to find a place to stay. I came across the group of people with whom I rode from Srinagar to Zojila pass. They had an extra room but unfortunately we got separated again. I finally sat near a small complex close to Polo Ground for few hours. A guy was closing his shop and about to leave he looked at me and said ” Bhai come to my house and stay there.” I was bit scared how a stranger can invite me to his place but later on gave it a thought- let’s go!Finally I went to his house and  was given lot of respect and had a good chat with his family. He became a good friend and we are still in touch.

 

 

Day 6
Leh  Khardung La  Pangong ( 200- 210 KM)

I was all set to leave for Khardung La. Before leaving I was given lots of dry fruit by my friend. It took me 5 hours to reach K top(Khardung La) had spend around 1 hour and came back to Leh to attend a Royal Enfield’s Reunion. When people asked me with whom are you riding and I replied “Alone” they praised me which gave me lot of confidence.

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After a good lunch I left for Pangong Lake riding all alone. There was a time when I got frustrated because of too much of bad road and riding alone. I had stopped and was thinking to go back but when I saw few riders coming back from Pangong Lake I asked them ” is it worth going there.” They replied Dude just chill few more kilometers and you will find a good road and it worth visiting there.
Some how made up my mind will go and yes in few hours was there at a place called Tangtse.
Got a room for 400 and had spend an extra  day over there. At Tangse met few riders from Chennai they were another good company.

 

 

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Day  8
Tangtse to Pang ( 220-230 KM)

Finally the time came to leave Leh and head back to Delhi via Manali. I reached Karu around 11:00 AM. While on the way met again riders from Chandigarh and rode with them till Pang.It was fun and lot of adventures as we had to cross many water crossings. After reaching Pang we stayed in tent that was set up by local people.

 

 

 

 

Day 9
Pang to Manali (300-320KM)

This ride was one of the scariest ride as it was raining and we had to cross Rothang La before it was dark. We had came across few more water crossing and lot of slush. At a point of time when it was getting dark and my bike had bad light my fellow rider decided to keep me in center so that I could follow them. I was really thankful to them for this.

Finally we made it to Manali by 8:00 PM.

Solo biking Ladakh

 

Biking in ladakh

 

Ladakh adventure

 

Day 10

Manali to Delhi (550- 570KM)

Final ride of the trip.I was excited to talk to family members and friend to share my experience.

I was asked to write about my trip by many people but I know I am not so good at it.
But finally have done it( Ladakh On a Budget).

Thank you.

P.S The cost of the complete trip was under INR 15000.

Contact me here.

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One Comment

  • You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you
    write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t
    afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

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