Road Trip from Manali to Srinagar via Ladakh and Leh



I always wanted to do a road-trip to Ladakh with friends. But when it finally came to being there for a holiday, I had but a chance to fly half way and go up there. So I took it. From Hyderabad to New Delhi in couple of hours and almost 24 hours of local bus journey from Delhi to Manali through the longest traffic jam of my life due to rock sliding (our bus had to cross over 1000 trucks) to start off on a 10 days long , 1500 Kms bike ride. Crazy ? I’d say completely worth it. :)



This wasn’t just about riding/travelling on a bike to Ladakh and Leh. But of the Lamas and monasteries, butter tea and gently grunting yaks, there's much more to Ladakh than just spectacular scenery and deep blue lakes.

Most of Ladakh still remains largely unexplored. So covering its gompas and stupas, riding to the confluence of turquoise Indus and the muddy Zanskar rivers and for its lovely silences that just don't need to be filled. Spending a morning in prayer with monks at Thiksey Monastery or horse riding beside Pangong Tso and come back with equally memorable photographs.

While the blue shades of Pangong Tso allures, riding via The mighty Khardungla Pass at 18000+ feet altitude (One of the highest motorable roads in the world) and some more high altitude motorable passes with low oxygen levels and equally low power in your 500 CC bike, it still does give you an adventure high. While the mystic monasteries amaze you, the Nubra Valley awaits to welcomes you with an unexpected Sand storm (if you’re lucky enough) with double hump back camels gazing silently in the scintillating sand dunes.

The mesmerizing Star gazing at night, spent in Batalik and Aryan valley during the ride before paying tribute to the Soldiers at Kargil war memorial and move towards Kashmir, A valley between the Great Himalayan range and the Pir Panjal mountain range, a place of beautiful simplicity and pristine natural beauty to end the ride. An extra day spent in Srinagar by the Beauty of Dal Lake with incredible backdrops and the sight of primitive boats traversing a mirror like lake with reflections of snow covered mountains before heading back home….



All in all, Felt like being tossed off a frying pan directly into a refrigerator. I was suddenly 7000 – 19000 feet closer to the sun amid severe cold, and mountains alien to the concept of our everyday hustle and bustle of the city. Barren mountains, that cold expansiveness, a beautiful calm broken only by frigid winds whistling past my ears, and the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere is unforgettable !!!


Lingeshwar Reddy
About the Guest Author:

This article is a Guest Post by Lingeshwar Reddy. Lingeshwar is a self motivated adrenaline junkie. Worked in the IT industry as a Project Manager in the Support Industry and now as a Customer Success Manager, takes interest in occasional offbeat trips.
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Places to visit in Kolkata

Ask a localite on the best places to visit in any renowned place?  You are bound to receive an answer which you will not be expecting. Ideally someone living in a place is so accustomed to the place that they would not find a specific place interesting even though it might be an attraction to someone who has the eye of an explorer.

Me, being someone who is very close to Kolkata fall in the same category. Nevertheless putting myself at least once in the eye of an explorer have tried to collect all the areas of interest of Kolkata.

Kolkata formerly known as Calcutta was initially a colonial city developed by East India Company and was also the capital of British India. As a result Kolkata has lot of historical structures from the British era which still stand strong.

Vidyasagar Setu, - Second Hooghly Bridge

Some of the prominent are as below:
  1. Victoria memorial
  2. Cathedral Church
  3. Fort William - Entry restricted but there's an incredible view from the ghats of the Hooghly
  4. Prinsep Ghat
  5. Birla Planetarium
  6. Birla Mandir

Kolkata is known for its Art and Culture. There are several places which attracts the culture lovers.
Few of them are below:
  1. Academy of Fine Arts
  2. The Asiatic Society
  3. Indian Museum
  4. Nandan - Rabindra Sadan
  5. Jorasanko Thakur Bari - Rabindranath Tagore’s ancestral home Sobhabazar Rajbari
  6. Marble Palace Kolkata

Kolkata also has a lot of renowned places for worships:
  1. Kalighat Temple
  2. Thanthania Kalibari
  3. Dakhshineshwar Kali Temple
  4. Belur Math
  5. ISKCON Kolkata, Sri Sri Radha Govind Temple
Other places of attractions include:
  1. Mother House
  2. Alipore Zoo
  3. Eden Gardens
  4. Mother Wax Museum
Like any other metro city, Kolkata also has a number of Amusement Parks like:
  1. Science City
  2. Nicco Park
  3. Aquatica
  4. Eco Park - Specially the Seven Wonders of the World
If you have some time to spare and if you are book addict, do visit College street or Boi Para. It is the largest second hand book market in the world where you can purchase rare collections at a very cheap price.

There are lot of other places which I might have forgotten but truly it is the City of Joy as it is being termed.

Howrah - The twin city of Kolkata also has places which are worth mentioning and if you are at Kolkata, make sure to visit the below.
  1. Howrah Bridge
  2. Howrah Station
  3. Botanical Garden, Howrah
Howrah Bridge


Trust me, I have not visited all of them till date, but will definitely try to visit them along with my wife and kid once I get some time out of the regular schedule.

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Super Quick Homemade Pizza

If you kid is back from play hungry and pestering you for quick snacks and you feel that maggi is too boring everyday, then I have a quick recipe of a different variety. Trust me they would love it too and it would be ready in no more than 5 mins.

YES!!! It is Homemade PIZZA...



Ingredients:

1. Ready made Pizza Base
2. Onion
3. Capsicum
4. Tomato
5. Pinch of Oil
6. Cheese Slice
7. Butter or Cheese Spread
8. Oregano (Optional)
9. Chili Flakes (Optional)

Preparation:

1. Chop one onion and capsicum into pieces. Also slice tomato into small pieces.

2. Fry the chopped onions, capsicum and tomatoes in a little oil to make it crispy. Add salt for taste.

3. Take a non-stick pan and roast the side of the ready made Pizza base which you want to make upper crust.

4. Once that is roaster, spread the butter or cheese spread on the roasted upper crust.

6. Cut 1-2 cheese slices into small pieces and place it all over the pizza base. You can also replace this with grated mozzarella cheese.

7. Spread the fried veggie mix on top of the cheese crust and roast it for 2-3 minutes.

8. Your pizza is ready. You can garnish this with Oregano and chili flakes.

Of course, you can customize and add more varieties/flavour. Try this at home and provide your feedback or comments on how you feel.


50% off on pizza

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Being Local 7


The shopkeeper who poses like a girl while displaying the colorful sarees at the Lakshal Saree Centre at Sarnath besides the Thai Temple. Handlooms prepared by the local weavers inside the Sarnath Temple area is sold here. They have huge varieties of Banarasi sarees and offer very good prices compared to the market price.

'Being Local' is a series where I post the different characters who I feel is interesting enough to have a mention during my travels. You can find others in the series here.
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Being Local 6


A candid shot of a priest collecting money in return of the blessings at the Dashashwamedh Ghat just prior to the Ganga Arati.

'Being Local' is a series where I post the different characters who I feel is interesting enough to have a mention during my travels. You can find others in the series here.
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