Srinagar Leh road is spectacular. We missed doing it when we travelled to Ladakh in 2010 as the situation in Srinagar was not good. In 2014,when we planned another trip to Ladakh, we decided to do this road trip on Srinagar Leh road.
When we arrived in Srinagar in the afternoon in August, it was cloudy. The city had seen worst of floods in the previous year. Everyone was hoping that there would be respite this year. Mushtaq Ahmed, our driver was at the airport to receive us. A man in late forties, Mushtaq was a genial person with great attitude. He had got his Scorpio and we loaded our stuff – quite a bit as we were travelling Ladakh for ten days including a trek in Markha valley.
We asked him to take us to the taxi stand in front of tourist information centre for a cup of Kashmiri chai. We obliged gleefully and explained how the guy who was earlier managing the tea stall lost everything in the floods and rebuilt it again. That was a hear warming story.
We ordered tea with buttered buns. It was yummy and suited the cloudy weather. We wanted to show Dal lake and its surroundings to our friend Sachin, who was coming for the first time to Kashmir. A quick drive around dal lake and customary photo ops in front of Shikara, we were on the way to Sonmarg.
The drive to Sonamarg this time was trifle disappointing due to clouds covering the mountains. Otherwise ones’ love affair with Himalayas starts on the drive to Sonamarg when you drive along the mighty peaks with Sind river giving the company. We reach by late evening and crash. All excited for next day’s drive to on Srinagar Leh road. Mushtaq asks us to be ready by 6 AM.
We get up at 5 in the morning and get ready. The sun rises early in the north and when the first rays of sun fell, we were treated to a spectacular views of the valley which we hadn’t seen on the previous day.
Mushtaq was ready with the car and we started our journey at 6.15 AM. And what a journey it would be! We will not write about it. It has to be experienced. Through pictures. As they say “one picture is equal to thousand words”.
Ladies and gentlemen, we present the photogenic journey of the first leg of our journey on Srinagar Leh road……..
Please click on the pictures to see them in larger size.
After driving through the magnificent mountainscape, we reached Drass, one of the coldest inhabited place in the world. We stopped over for a breakfast break.
Next part of our journey on Srinagar Leh road will be covered in next post. If this was spectacular, the next part of the drive is jaw dropping!!
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