“Srinagar Leh road 2” is the Second part of our journey from Drass to Fotu La. We wanted to complete this series in two parts but realised that we will not be doing justice if we cover in two parts.
When we reached Drass, it was time for breakfast. Mushtaq took us to a nice place and we asked what was special in Drass. Zulfi, the young bloke attending us said that it is “Bun Omelette”. This was something new and we immediately asked him to get us four “Bun omelette”. The bun is slightly roasted in butter giving it a crispy taste. The bun is split into two and omelette is placed in the middle.It tastes yummy even as we bite into it. A lovely cup of Kashmiri chai help us to wash it down.
At Drass. The board says it all……
Afjal Hotel. Where we had yummy bun – omelettes!
Our Breakfast. Bun – Omelette and Kashmiri Chai!
The drive from Drass to Fotu La is altogether a different experience compared to the first leg. The landscape turns dry and mountains get more colourful. The undulating dry mountains give a feeling of driving through a large desert with tall sand dunes. The summer in Kashmir was harsh and there is no speck of snow anywhere on the mountains. But the colours and forms of the mountains left us asking for more. The only contrast was colours of peach orchards or barley fields.
Let us take you through the fascinating journey of Srinagar Leh road 2 through the pictorial ecstasy of the landscape. Don’t blame us if you get mesmerised by the mountains! Please click on the pictures to see them in larger size.
The first stop after leaving Drass town was Kargil War memorial. A poignant place. Very well planned and managed by Indian army. A must visit.
The lovely setting of the war memorial with names of the peaks where Kargil was fought written on the mountains in the background.
We continue our fascinating drive along Drass river. Looking at the landscape, we are already excited. Excellent road only adds to the joy of the drive.
Ever changing colour of mountains. A teaser for more to come!
We cross a bridge and the river accompanies us on the left.
As we climb towards Kargil town, the landscape becomes lovelier!
A piece of greenery for a change. A peach and poplar garden along the river.
We spot this lovely mosque with its colourful tomb contrasting with green surroundings.
Birds eye view of Kargil town from a high point on the highway. Notice the mountains in the background.
As we leave Kargil town, we are in for a surprise. The landscape in the mountains turns surreal. Natural sand erosion has created unusual structures which has small caves, holes in the wall etc. We were able to see these natural wonders through a binocular. It is worth spending a day year to trek to these places to explore them. Check out the following pictures.
A combination of sand and eroded stone structures. A geological marvel!
Look at these naturally carved stone pillars of unusual shapes!
…..numerous small cave like structures….
…..and these unusual formations
Row of frogs climbing mountains???
This one was massive outcrop….
This was a fascinating structure. A pillar arising out of nowhere. You can find a house or a monastery tucked inside it!!
The Maitreya Buddha statue carved on the mountains. Mulbekh has an ancient monsatery.
As we leave Mulbekh and start climbing to Fotu La, the landscape changes dramatically. We are now entering into cold desert. A fascinating array of lofty peaks, rolling hills, colourful landscape. It is spectacular. Check out the following pictures…
And a mosque with its green tom looked spectacular with the mountains for the backdrop.
A pan shot of Kumbhakarna’s feet!!
The rugged mountains and desert. Unfortunately the severe summer in Kashmir and Ladakh had ensured very less snow on the peaks.
Colours of the mountains!
A small village – must be Saraks – on the way had a picturesque setting. Colourful houses and green fields amidst brown mountains!
Shadow play in mountains!
Another lovely village. Must be Khangral.
A monastery in a picturesque setting!!
Another colourful Ladakhi village. The yellows are lovely contrast to brown background!!
Wow!! That was our reaction when we saw this!!
A mud fort….
A small house or monastery tucked on a small hill. Notice the shadow play in the background!
Yes, We are on top of Srinagar Leh road!!
……only to descend to a mesmerising moonscape and lovely colours…..
We get goosebumps even as we complete this post. It is too good to be true. If Manali – Leh road is mind-blowing, Srinagar Leh road 2 is spectacular.
Picture abhi baki hai, mere dost!
Stay tuned as we continue our journey to Leh. Get mesmerised by moonscapes in the next post!!!
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