Stok Kangri The expedition — Day 2: The drive to LEH

It was an early morning start as Dorji the driver had arrived at the hotel at 6 as per schedule. We settled the bill with the hotel management and loaded our backpacks and got ready for the long drive to leh. A customary group shot and we were off.

All set to LEH(From L to R – Anshul, Suhas, Pradeep, Bharani and Me)

Traversing through the empty streets of sringar which would come alive in couple of hours we proceeded towards sonmarg another popular tourist spot in srinagar. An hour’s drive with a few photos of the lush green mountains enroute took us to sonmarg where we stopped for breakfast. Dorji asked us to pack anything if required as we wont be getting anything on the way.

Sonmarg and lush green mountains

Spending about half hour or we continued onwards. The scenery improved as we moved and me and anshul who had SLR cameras were busy with various compositions as the journey continued.

The roads uphill were narrow and the border roads organization (BRO) in charge of maintaining the roads in the mountains were busy with some road widening work. Naturally when any work goes on there are going to be traffic jams. We were stuck in one such jam for a short while and this gave us an oppurtunity to click a few snaps of the distant mountains while waiting for the jam to clear.

Distant Mountains and Traffic Jams

It was smooth sailing once the jam cleared and we were goin at a good speed. A couple of hours of travel and we reached Drass which is supposed to be the second coldest inhabited place on earth for lunch.


After lunch we were given the option of having namkeen chai which was supposed to be a cure of acidity and headaches. As this was new to us we decided to give it a try and though it was tasting a bit odd we enjoyed the taste. Soon it was time to move and we were off.  Another couple of hrs and we reached kargil the place where the kargil war was fought in 1999. There is a war memorial dedicated to the brave soldiers who laid down their lives to protect the country.

Kargil War Memorial

The war memorial set in the backdrop of tiger hill and tololing which were captured by the pakistan army and was taken back later by the brave jawans. A soldier was explaining about the war and the significance of the hills present. There is also a huge flag which has the indian tri-color hoisted and the names of the brave soldiers who had died during the war

Flag and names of the martyrs




There is also a museum which has scale models of the key points of the mountains and photos of the battle.

Kargil war museum

There were huge no of bikers from karnataka who had stopped by at the memorial. Many of them were doin the leh-srinagar route this year after completing the delhi-chandrigarh-manali-leh route last year. A couple of exchanges with them and we moved on.

Before leaving for the trip, I had asked few of my friends who had been to ladakh and also searched on the net regarding the stay options enroute as it would take us couple of days to reach leh, Many of my friends had recommended lamayaru which is 100 kms from kargil as the place to stay.  There is not much to do in kargil and also it would take a lot of time to reach leh in case we stayed at kargil. Those who commute by buses stay in kargil as buses tend to break their journey here before continuing to leh the next day.

It was agreed we would be staying at lamayaru and since we had enough time we headed there after completing our visit at the kargil war memorial. The drive continued and we soon passed mulbek which houses a large stone cut statue of maitrey buddha. Since this is one of the major attractions on the way, we stopped briefly.

Maitrey at Mulbek

There were already a sizable no of visitors there by the time we arrived. We didnt spend much time there as dorji we needed to go to lamayaru soon. A couple of snaps of the country side and we headed to our final destination lamayaru

Scenary outside Mulbek

It was sundown by the time we reached lamayaru. After searching for a while we found a guest house where we dumped our luggage and went out for a walk. Soon it was time to hit the couch after dinner as we had another long day of driving the next day

About Subbu
Name: Subbu Interests : Trekking,travelling Hobbies: Photography

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