This was our last day in Leh and we decided to explore the city rather than visit some destination that was more than 50 Km away from us. We visited some local temples that were on the main roads. We were recommended to visit the Leh Palace by many. So that was our last spot. It was located in the middle of the city.
Leh Palace was made by the king Sengge Namgyal of the Namgyal dynasty in the 18th century. The Palace is built on a small hill itself and is about 9 stories high. It is lavish in style and was built for luxury. Leh is a peaceful village and the king wanted it to be the same. This is what the people here say. You can see the complete city of Leh, as the king intended to keep watch over the town itself.
After Leh Palace, we had enough time for shopping. Leh has a huge market and you can but good clothes at a reasonable rate. Bargaining is a skill that you need in the antique store for sure. One big market is enough to spend a couple of hours. We bought our stuff and being the last day, we wanted to have some local food before we left, so we headed over to get some good street food. It was time to rest soon as we had a long drive ahead of us.
Getting ready for the return journey is always difficult as these beautiful destinations don’t let us go without us regretting that the trip was small. Well, we had time to pack as our next stop was Kargil, which is about 3-4 hours drive. It was the same route back to Kargil that we came through but we missed the most amazing point there called the Magnetic Hill. This is basically a road uphill but what amazes people is that the cars go uphill on their own without any throttle on. It’s one of the few places in the world which cheats gravity itself. Make sure you look around for the board saying Magnetic hill or you will surely miss this spot.
Reaching Kargil was pretty fast but it was in our favor. We got to visit the India-Pakistan border and met with some army officers. A gust of fear ran through us as we were so close to the war zone or literally in the war zone. Kargil has been defamed by its war incidence but if you look closely, it’s an amazing village with a lot of export of local crops. The cuisine here is exquisite. Sadly, we only had one day to stay there on our schedule. But if you do plan to go here, do stay in Kargil for more than just a day.
This was a crucial day. We had to visit the famous Kargil War Memorial. Any Indian will have a proud feeling when
they visit this place. The history of war, the ammunition and the weapons here are all authentic and were used in the war. The discipline here is respected by every visitor. You have to take off your shoes while entering but it is worth it. We had to leave early as the Zojila Pass closes its one-way traffic at 12 and reaching there takes about 3 hours with these roads. With some warm memories of Kargil war, we headed towards Srinagar.
While reaching Srinagar, we got the news that there was an attack on a police officer so there was a high alert situation. But despite this, the tourist side of Dal Lake was open and was lit. As we reached pretty early here, we had time for shopping and a Shikara ride. Shikara is basically a small boat that can take up to 4 people. It’s driven by hand as the lake is not that deep to have motor boats. Shikara rides in the evening are the best. The soothing sound of water and lit water market takes your breath away. Here you can shop for some good dry fruits and warm jackets. We faced some unusual problem in this lake. We had a storm coming in which we hadn’t noticed at the time. This was a thrill ride as the person rowing the boat informed that the boat can flip over. We went through some really small passes through the gaps in the houses. It was one adventure that we can experience once in a lifetime. How many times can you go on a shikara in 5 degree Celsius temperature and face a storm? Luckily, nothing bad happened to us and we came back safely.
We planned for some street food dinner. The non-veg eaters are in a treat at this point. The street food is just beautiful. Search for some good kebab shops around the lake. You will find many shops serving chicken on the street. Rest was pretty important as we were facing the worst ghats in India again the next day.
This was the longest day of the journey. Leaving early in the morning seemed like a better option so we started off at about 7 am. It was about 300km to reach Pathankot where we had hotel rooms booked. We had experienced the ghats and took precautions already. But less that we knew about the traffic. After about 200km near Patnitop, the roads become narrow. We couldn’t really get to know what caused the traffic but we were stuck for about six hours on one spot. The traffic finally cleared at 9 pm which was the time we were supposed to reach our destination.
After the traffic got cleared, we had to have dinner but no sign of any hotel for at least an hour. Finally, we found a small hotel that just served some dal and rice but at this point, anything consumable is good. We got to our rooms at about 3 am after crossing the Kashmir border checkup.
Oh, the worst part of the trip was here. The last day of our dream trip. This day was the most chilled as it was a straight road and a good highway. But then this did not stop us from having an adventure or maybe we wanted one last adventure. It was Punjab so we had this concept in mind that there would be many ‘Dhabas’ on the route which would obviously serve non-veg because C’mon it’s Punjab. But here we were fooled by the Bollywood movies. We fetched a non-veg dhaba for 3 hours straight. We came across one dhaba after the whole search which served non-veg. We had our lunch at about 4 pm which was not at all what we expected it to be.
Luckily, reaching Delhi was easy with really less traffic. We were staying that night in Delhi to catch the early train back to Pune.
The whole trip was about traveling and creating a strong bond with each other. This was our experience and I hope it has helped you in the process of planning a similar one. Do let us know if you want to know anything else in the comment section down below.