Some travel for pleasure, some travel to known places, and some dive into unknown wanderlust alone. My solo trip to Ladakh belonged to the third category.

The word Ladakh means land of the passes. On 22nd May 2017, I stepped into Leh, the capital city. After a day of rest, I ventured into the capital city. Downtown was Central Asian Museum. This museum was entirely constructed on mud and willow wood and it has fabulous curation of tibetan art and craft of different historic period. Further walking, I came across chortens and pagodas which were created when wishes were fullfilled.

The next day was a tour of the monasterithe Harappan civilaes at Hemis and Thiksey. I learnt about the different incarnations of Buddha and even its female form. The top view from Thiksey was serene.

I left Leh next day and headed towards Nubra Valley. My first destination was turtuk village which was a reminiscent of the Irish hamlets, next was Dahanu. Dahanu was a small hamlet which claimed to have the aryan population. From Dahanu, the next stop was Domkar Rock Art sanctuary which was situated on the banks of Indus and had stone carvings dating from the period of the Harappan civilization.The engravings, according to historians, were made by the caravan travellers and the gypsies. While returning, I came across the Saspol caves. The caves were located on a hill and it was a short hike up there. The Saspol caves are known as the Ajanta of the North and it is known for its Buddhist Rock Paintings.

The next three days was a trip to the three lakes o Ladakh. But before that I travelled via the Khardungla. The chilly air an snowy view still resonates in my memory. On route Pangong, I saw grasslands grazed by the Tibetan wild asses and the Brahmini ducks. 

The blue waters of Pangong and Tsomoriri soothened my soul. Tsokar was dried up and was now a marshland, but still it had its own beauty.

I left Ladakh the next day with a heavy heart. Every place has its story, be it the colors of the mountains or the unconsumated story of lovers behind Tsomoriri or the carvings at Domkar. Ladakh has its own hidden treasures and I am blessed that I got a glimpse of it.

Aditi Chakraborty