“NEVER EVER I THOUGHT I WOULD VISIT LADAKH UNTIL I MET THE WINNERS GROUP AT JUHU BEACH MUMBAI.”
I was introduced to the group by my colleague Akruti. Need to mention her name as because of her I joined this RUNNERS group and now I am a Fitness freak and now a regular MARATHON Runner.
And 6 months into training, I was given the assignment by my coach “Ravi Sir” to start preparing for Ladakh Half Marathon. I was perplexed and not sure weather I could manage doing such a horrendous task.
But I took up the challenge and here I am, in Ladakh.
Beautiful Ladakh from AIR.
No words to describe. I was spell bound,
At 11500 feet above sea level, acclimatization was an issue for me. Though I was under training for my Yoga and Breathing techniques (thanks to Dr Kedar Bakshi & Chintan Dalal) I found myself breathless on the first day. Thankfully, the whole group was advised complete bed rest for the day.
Beautiful morning …The next Day
Our travel began towards Pangong lake as we had 3 days to go for our Marathon Run on 11 September 2017. And our first halt was at Karu, a hour long drive from Leh City. We had had the opportunity to have the magnificent view of the INDUS RIVER.
Situated at 11500 feet above sea level, en route to Pangong, we passed Karu and had the Ancient Monasteries to our left and right. The Thiksay and The Hemis
After a torturous journey of 2 hours we were delighted and welcomed by rain… and to our surprise we got snowfall too.
We started ascending towards 15500 ft and reached Zingral. We were greeted with army personal and army trucks heading towards Pangong China border.
Hurray we reached Changla Pass….The Second Highest Motor-able Road at 17688ft. And Babji Ka Mandir …Not to be Forgotten; as all pay their respects here. They are our spiritual guardians Protecting our borders. And that was followed by nice hot coffee at the cafeteria.
So ultimately the two groups which had left at different dates met at Durbuk just 45 kms away to Pangong and proceeded to our ultimate destination.
This is the famous and sparkling blue Pangong lake which is situated near Leh-Ladakh in the Himalayas, approximately at the height of 4350 meters. The Beauty of it was so enchanting that it our eyes could not behold and it is impossible to express in words.
It took us almost 9 hrs to reach our magnificent destination and was greeted with 4 degree temp. Cold, Chilly Winds almost flew of my cap.
So we settled in Kora Camps at the lake side. And as sunset began to take its cover and darkness surrounded us, the chilly wind became very intense and the fluttering of the tent made it sound like a Ramsay Horror Movie.
No words can describe the Beauty of this Lake. So just putting all the pics of the Pangong. Enjoy…
Next Day Sunrise
I could not resist myself the following night and was waiting for early morning sunrise. At 5.45am I was at the lake just waiting for the right moment…and there you go I captured the beauty.
The time had come now to say goodbye to our beloved destination. But the first glimpse of the tranquil, azure blue waters and shaky shores will remain etched in my memory. And I will cherish these moments which I will never ever forget in my entire life.
Now we headed back to Leh City and enroute happened to see Marmot which hibernates for 6 months and rest of the time in Summer tries to over fill itself with loads of food.
Also Sheep from whose Fur Pashmina shawls are made. Its also called soft gold for their finesse.
Couldn’t miss the glimpse of Yaks while heading towards the city.
We reached our hotel Oreintal Guest House and laid Flat that evening as we all were exhausted by the journey.
Next day I started with some Yoga, Pranayam & Breathing Techniques. The day was to rest and save our energy for the D Day, THE LADAKH MARATHON, as we all had to get up early at 3.30 and assemble at the grounds starting line for the RUN.
YES we conquered LADAKH….Finished the Half Marathon within the cut off time and I was proud of myself.
My journey did come to an pleasant end but it is still fresh in my memory and will cherish each and every moment of it always.
A La Prochaine
Some more pics before signing off…
Dr. Amit Berani,
Implantologist and Dental Surgeon, Mumbai