A year ago I had visited Ladakh with my cousin and since the trip did not go as expected, I decided to revisit the place. Back then I had absolutely no plans to travel alone, however a few recent events in my life led me to change this decision.

For a big trip, where I had to travel to 18000 plus feet(Chandigarh-Rohtang-Leh-Srinagar-Chandigarh), making my way through one of the most difficult terrain in the world, planning was very crucial but for some reason, I wanted to face the adversities head on! So I did not plan much for the trip and the day before starting the trip I met my cousin, who gave me the much required pep talk, a few lifesaving tools, a tent being one of them, and a detailed demonstration in the middle of the night in a parking lot somewhere in sector 36 (Chandigarh) – on how to set it up.

The next morning after spending around 40 minutes in properly balancing my luggage (which comprised of everything from needle, thread to bike spare parts to oxygen shots and a container full of fuel) and roping it to my bike tightly, I managed to leave Chandigarh by 7:40 AM – initially moving slowly, constantly checking my luggage from the rear view but after a few miles I gained some confidence and carried on!

So, from not wanting to travel alone to taking on such a trip by myself – I have often been asked as to what changed that I now like to travel alone and take my bike along – and after much introspection I have come to understood – I enjoy the thrill of travelling alone – the feeling of achievement after facing all the challenges, I gain a certain kind of confidence which helps me in difficult times. And, then there is this another side to travelling alone where the loneliness flashes the memories from the past and once in a while you can shout out loud at the top of your voice about your feelings, which of course is a great curative exercise.

The trip itinerary as planned took me from 1090 feet to 18000 feet plus, taking me through vivid geography – plains to green mountains to barren mountains throwing a myriad of colors from grey, brown, red and beautifully white snowy mountains. Let me iterate to you the rivers have their own brand of beauty and serenity – some of the ones (to name a few) I crossed this time were Indus, Beas, Jhelum and Shyok.
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Just like the journey with some fabulous views and some very pathetic roads the trip too had its shares of ups and downs. I had to face various adversities such as bike shutting down, hallucinations and headaches on higher altitudes, and worst of all meeting with an accident towards the end of my trip, but, there were many blissful moments such as drinking water from the streams, waterfalls and rivers, getting help from the fellow bikers, meeting with the king of Baluchistan and interacting with the soft spoken & helpful locals.
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All set to start my journey through the Himalayas.

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Crossing the mighty Rohtang La pass to make my way to Leh.

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The Pangong lake- The beauty of this place is beyond words.

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To get a view of K2 (second highest mountain in the world) you have to pass through

Khardungla top-the highest motorable road in the world.

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Diskit monastery the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra valley of Ladakh.

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Camel back riding at the Nubra valley will always be special for me.

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Local balti food consisting of roti served with curd and cherries is an experience in itself.

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Rafting at the mighty Zanskar River gives you a beautiful view of the mountains of the Zanskar range.

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Gurdwara Pathar Sahib- a beautiful Gurdwara built about 25 miles away from Leh.

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A few selfies at Sonamarg beside the angry current of Jhelum.

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Relaxing on a houseboat before my journey back home…