Monday, October 23, 2006

Drive from Leh to Padum

The road from Leh to Padum is around 450 km and is usually covered in two days with an overnight stay in Kargil. The road condition from Leh to Kargil (230 km) is somewhat okay, but after that it is more of a rugged dirt track fit for mountain biking rather than for cars and SUVs. This stretch from Kargil onwards was probaly the bumpiest and dustiest stretch of the entire journey from Delhi to Padum/Raru.

On day 1 we had decided to drive all the way to Parkachik from Leh, but one of the group member was suffering from motion sickness by the time we reached Kargil, so we decided to stay overnight in Kargil only, which was'nt such a bright idea as it was a very big town, not really to the likings of the group members.

The road from Parkachik to Padum (140 km approx) was actually even more bumpier and dustier than the stretch from Kargil to Parkachik, but if you think about the altitude at which this road was built (average altitude of 3750 meters) and if you also consider the physiographic conditions in which this road was built, one should really have admiration for the people who built this road.

Prominent monasteries and ambient stops between Leh and Padam are Alchi, Lamayuru, Rungdum and Durung Durung Glacier. Penzila (4400 mt), is the solitary pass on the highway from Kargil to Padum (One enters the Zanskar Valley on crossing the Penzila). Durung Durung is a massive glacier close to Penzila.
For more dose about the journey from Leh to Padam, please Click Here to read up on Chris Feela's Blog.

Road to Kargil: One of the rare stretch where we had a straight road rather than winding road all the time

Concfluence: Confluence of the River Indus with River Zanskar at Nimoo.

Photo Time on the banks of River Indus: This is where Chris dropped the remains of the dread locks of his friend's hair into the river Indus.

River Indus

Moonscape: Terrain that resembled more like something on the moon, (shortly before Lamayuru 3800 mts).

Lamayuru: Monastery at Lamayuru

Lamayuru Village

Caravan: Caravan of army trucks near Fotu La (4100 mts), shortly after leaving Lamayuru.

Ladakhi Landscape

Dry Riverbed: The riverbed was sooo dry, I almost felt emotional for the dry river ;-)

Mt. Nun and Kun: These are the highest peaks of the region at an altitude of 7135 mt and 7070 mt respectively.

Indus View: Enjoying the view of river Indus.
Photo Credit: Nathalie

Check Post @ Parkachik in Suru Valley

Washroom(s): Ladakhi Stylee

Highway to Zanskar: The road from Kargil to Padum was more like a dirt road, but this road offers some spectacular views and is at an average altitude of 3750 meters

The long road: few kms before Rangdum

Lunch Time: @ Rangudm Express Restaurant and hotel in Rangdum.
Photo Credit: Nathalie

Chocolate Swirl: This mountain reminded me of the chocolate icecream big times.

Glacier Durung Durung: This is a massive glacier close to Penzila (4400 meters).

Group Shot: Shiny Happy People posing @ Durung Durung

Motion Sickness: Almost everybody experienced some sort of motion sickness on this long, bumpy and dusty ride from Kargil to Padum.

Dusty: Yes it was a dusty ride


Blogger Osscat said...

We had a drive into Zanskar from Kargil to Padum on a BMW 750 motorcycle in 1981.

It was a magical journey.


Peter Dewhurst

12:52 am  
Blogger Siya Kumar said...

This drive trip was the exciting thing in my life when i went to Ladakh holidays. I just loved the roads, the scenery on the road side. I was feeling that this drive should never stop. Even the drive to Zanskar from Kargil is awesome. Great experience.
International Family Holidays

11:48 am  
Blogger Osscat said...

See some photos from our 1981 trip here:


1:08 pm  

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