Kashmir is also known as Jannat or The Heaven on Earth. The enchanting and the wonderful Kashmir Valley has many places to visit like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Srinagar, Kargil, Baramulla, Verinag, Kokarnag and many more. Kashmir Valley is also famous for Dry fruits like Walnuts, Almonds and Kesar or Saffron. Kashmir Apples are famous world wide. Get all the travel information about Kashmir in this Blog
It was in the month of January that we decided to plan a trip to Leh. There was lot of internet search to get some real good package for the trip. I decided not to book through travel agents because I believe that you can get good bargain if you plan yourself. We decided that we will go to Leh in the last week of March and would return in first week of April. The dream was about to come true when I booked my flight tickets. Hotel and guest houses were also booked and it was really a very good deal. I would say True value for money. My dream destination Leh was just 2 months away now.
My son’s exams were over now and the school was closed for 15 days from end March. Our journey began on 26th March. We had to take 08:40 morning flight from IGI airport Delhi. I was so excited even more than my son who is 11 years old. I had dreamt of visiting Leh from the time I was in college and in the next one hour I would be landing in Leh along with my wife and son. After 25 minutes the pilot announced that we are flying above Shimla and that was the trigger for all of us sitting in the plane to get a glimpse of the lush green mountains below.
After 10 minutes we were above the giant and beautiful Himalayas which were completely covered with snow. The view was so enthralling that everybody inside just glued to the small windows of Go Air plane. In about an hour we landed in Leh. Temperature outside was 1 degree Celsius but the clear blue skies were visible with pleasant sunlight. As soon as we stepped down we were so delighted to see the surrounding snow clad mountains and a very soothing kind of atmosphere.
Due to high altitude there is less oxygen in Leh and it is advisable not to go for site seeing for at least 24 hours after you reach Leh. This is done to get acclimatize to the atmosphere. In fact the army personnel who go to Leh for the first time are given complete one week rest before they start their job.
Day 1 at Leh
We straight way checked in our guest house and had some light snacks and breakfast and went for sleep. In the evening we just sat in the balcony and cherished the landscapes and beautiful mountains. It is true that on the first day you might feel headache or breathlessness. No need to worry as it will last for few hours. If required you can take a tablet (after consultation with a doctor) before sleep. Though you will not feel thirsty but always drink lot of water. It always helps to stay active in high altitudes.
Day 2 at Leh
The first morning at Leh was breathtaking. The view of multi colored mountains, some with sand dunes and others full of snow was a treat to watch. By this time we were completely rejuvenated and there was no headache or heavy heart like feeling the next day which we experienced on arrival. However we did not want to exert and wanted to prepare ourselves for the journey to the high altitude places. So we decided to visit the local places. We went to see the mesmerizing Sindhu darshan spot dedicated to Indus River. The landscapes were amazing. Few kms from Sindhu Darshan is the famous Thiksay Monastery. On the way we got to see the Rancho’s School (3 idiot fame). Many Bollywood films have been shot in this area and reminded us of movies like DIL SE, Bunty aur Bubly, 3 Idiots, Pale Khan etc.
By lunch we were back to our Guest House. We had our lunch and went for a sleep for few hours. It is very important in high altitudes that you do not exert much and take proper rest. In the evening we had planned to visit the Magnetic Hill. That was an amazing phenomenon. I never believed that this would be happening while in Delhi. But when we reached there we parked our vehicle and to our surprise it was moving upwards as if someone is pulling it. We were amazed to experience the phenomenon that defies gravity at the Magnetic Hill in Leh. Before that we visited a miraculous and religious Gurudwara at Leh. It is Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. The legend about this place is that Guru Nanak Sahab once visited the place and was meditating at this point. One evil force did not like this and threw a huge rock or stone (Pathar) towards Nanak Ji with the intention to kill him. Upon reaching the spot to check whether he has died or not, the devil was surprised that Guru nanak Sahab is still meditating and the stone has turned into wax. You can still see that stone with impression of Guru Ji’s body on that.
After enjoying the Magnetic Hill we proceeded further and saw another miraculous scene, the enchanting view of two holy rivers meeting at Sangam. The scene is still so fresh in my mind, Zanskar River coming from Himachal and Sindhu River meeting. The green colored Zanskar and blue brownish colour of Sindhu River makes a perfect Sangam.