Our First Travel Destination This Summer: Jammu And Kashmir.
Warning #1: Due to violent demonstrations and terrorist activities travel to Jammu and Kashmir is strongly discouraged with the exception of Ladakh, and Jammu and Srinagar. The ability for foreign governments and Indian authorities to provide protection remains severely limited.
Warning #2: Heavy flooding and landslides resulting from monsoon rains have caused many deaths. Please keep this in mind as you consider travel to Jammu and Kashmir is highly discouraged. The ability for foreign governments and Indian authorities to provide protection remains severely limited.
Well, two travel warnings are currently up for our first summer travel destination, Jammu and Kashmir. Still, nothing will keep us from exploring this far away place in northwest India.
The Journey Across The Challenging, Scary, Yet Sensational Leh-Manali Highway.
We’ll start our yearly summer adventure in Delhi. After buying the rest of our essentials here, we’ll board the train up to Kakla, from where it all takes its course.
Epic would be the best way to describe the Manali-Leh highway journey. The roads open up for only a couple of months during the year (between May/June and mid-October) with some of the most complicated and challenging roads in the world; with snow, kilometre-long traffic jams, landslides and difficult terrain, making the journey almost impossible for anything other than a good 4×4 vehicle – or some reckless motorcyclists. These 479 kilometres will challenge you, scare you and leave you utterly speechless. At least this is what I’ve heard…
Leh, Thikse Gompa, Chemrey Gompa, Pangong Tso, Lamayuru Gompa.
Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. And two capital cities; Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. Ladakh, also known as Little Tibet, is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture … and many Gompas (monasteries). Leh will be our base for most of the time. From here we’ll visit Thikse Gompa, Chemrey Gompa, Lamayuru Gompa and several others, as well as the stunningly beautiful Pangong Tso Lake.
Key Gompa To Varanasi.
Ten days is definitely not a lot of time to explore this region, but travelling to many places with only limited time available is our specialty. Our Ladakh route will end with a trip to Key Gompa in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. From here, it’s back to Kalka to catch the overnight train to the holy city Varanasi…