Last updated on October 23rd, 2019 at 11:33 am
Siachen base camp. The toughest training ground in the world. The drive to Siachen base camp is a spectacular and poignant experience.
Our driver, Nowang had warned us that we need to leave very early in the morning so that we can go to Siachen base camp and return to Leh by evening. We were game for it. A lovely chai served at 4 AM by army mess staff – nowhere can you get this kind of hospitality – got us ready to leave the officers mess by 5 AM.
Nowang was there dot at 5 and we bid god bye to the staff in darkness. it was cold in the morning and we quickly got into the car and started driving towards Siachen base camp.
Siachen is the highest battle field in the world. Indian Army captured it in 1984 through Operation Meghdoot.
We always dreamt of going to the Siachen base camp. To see for ourselves how the Indian army gets their soldiers prepared for a gruelling tenure at the high altitude. Fortunately we were able to get the required permissions in time to go there.
The sun was still behind the mountains when we left Patarpur. Sun rises early in Ladakh and soon we were greeted with first glimpse of mountains with their looming shadows.
We traced back the route through Hunder we had taken on the previous day. With no tourists around, the dunes presented a pretty sight early in the morning. Soon, we were back on the highway and crossed Shyok river and headed towards Siachen base camp.
The road to the camp goes all along Shyok and Nubra river. We don’t climb much and the road is winding only in some stretches. What stuns you is the might of mountains. Here you see what the Himalayas are made of. Sheer granite. One towering over the other.
It is a pity that there wasn’t any snow on the mountains. But still we could see through our binoculars lovely peaks and glaciers. Driving in the Shyok valley early in the morning meant that we drove in the shadows while the mountains on the right bank were lit up beautifully.
Let us start telling the tale through the pictures. Please click on them to see them in original size.
By the time we returned to Hunder, it was afternoon. It was a spectacular drive. A fulfilling one of visiting the soldiers getting ready to fight in the highest battle field in the world.
A humbling experience. A big salute to the “Snow warriors”. Thanks to these guys who give their today for our tomorrows!
Our visit to the Siachen Base camp in June 2019
Yes, we went to the Siachen Base camp again this year as one of our friends had not seen it. It was a memorable experience again. There design of war memorial is changed and it looked very interesting. Since we went in June, this was the blooming season of wild roses. It was a riot of pink all along the route!!
Here are few pictures from this trip.
The lovely road leading to the base camp.
Rose Rose everywhere!!
Cattle grazing on the meadows with Nubra river and mighty mountains in the background!!
First glimpse of the Siachen glacier.
Lovely roses!! All around!!!!
Vast Nubra Valley!!
This used to be the snout of the glacier 30 years back. The Glacier used to start where the blue board is. Thanks to global warming it has receded……..
The new War memorial
The names of the snow warriors who laid down their lives in icy mountains…..
a) You need to take a permission from Army authorities either in Leh or in Patarpur for visiting the Siachen base camp. It is not easily available. With the recent announcement by the Defence Minister opening Siachen for Tourists, this may get streamlined for the next season.
b) Visitors are not allowed to take pictures inside the base camp and surroundings.
c) Army authorities may stop visitors without prior notice
b) Ideally it can be done as a day trip from Hunder/Diskit. Make sure you leave early and return early. The weather in this region is very unpredictable. In fact, the soldiers in the base camp were saying that we were very lucky to have a bright sunshine.
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