Riding a bike through some of the world's most spectacular passes is no small accomplishment. The thrill and excitement are multiplied tenfold because of the unpredictability of the climate and the difficult conditions of the rundown roads. Only in Ladakh can you experience this level of exhilaration at such a rapid pace. That is what drew Chandru and his friends to Ladakh, which combines both thrill ride and feeling of calmness in an unparalleled way. To guarantee that he didn't miss out on Kashmir, Chandru added Srinagar to his travel plans.
Chennai-based Chandru Karunanithi and his companions embarked on a life-changing journey. They had a rush of adrenaline coursing through their bodies as a result of their love of biking. However, those who maintain a cool head are the most resilient. Therefore as a precautionary measure, they chose Thrillophilia as their travel planner, which assured a well-planned itinerary in light of the trip's complexities and kept them in check.
Riding Through The Curved Passes
In Manali, Chandru and his six fellow bikers caught up with the rest of their crew, and the gang of 13 guys was ready to tackle the mountains on their powerful bikes. They instantly felt a connection and knew they would be friends for the rest of their lives. Manali was the starting point for the epic journey that all of the bikers had been looking forward to for what seemed like an eternity.
A lush green landscape surrounded the riders the entire way to Sarchu, making for a picture-perfect ride. At Jispa, the road was the most challenging because of the numerous streams that sprang up and made the ride even more exciting. Due to the weather, the roads were wet, offering a challenge to the hardy riders who were not ready to give up at any point.
The riders travelled through a sea of clouds created by the area's periodic showers. "It was a cloudy day as we rode to Sarchu, and the clouds did more than just obscure the surrounding green mountain peaks. While we were on the road, the clouds drenched us again and again," recalls Chandru, who isn't shy about sharing his fondest memories.
The most difficult part of the ride was dealing with the rainy roads. Even though they were the most cautious while riding, one of the bikers had a minor accident, but was quickly back on the road. The bike was a Royal Enfield 500cc belonging to George. "Even though his bike skidded on the slick roads, he held onto it like a pro." Chandru compares fellow traveller George to "Bahubali" in order to describe the power of his fellow biker.
Exploring In and Around Leh
During their journey from Nubra to Leh, they crossed the Khardung La and snapped photos to mark their arrival in the land of awe-inspiring beauty. It had begun to snow, and the majestic peaks kissing the sky were now covered in a pristine white blanket. To get to the charming town of Leh, they had to cross high passes like the Chang La.
The markets in Leh were a great place for the riders to get a taste of the local culture and traditions. At the top of Magnetic Hill, the seemingly unending road stretched out before them. The snowy landscape had begun to transform into a desert as they got closer to Nubra. It was so dramatic that within a few miles, they had gone from the highest snow - capped mountains to the untouched white dunes at Hunder. In the desert, the riders were delighted to see the double-humped camels and take a ride on them.
"It was a tremendous joy to ride on a double-humped camel through the Hunder desert in the bitter cold." as Chandru recounts.
Sarchu to Leh was an incredible journey made even better by the riders' determination to enjoy every second.
The Heavenly Landscape Of Kashmir
As the Leh excursion came to an end, the daring bikers were looking forward to another trip to the stunning Kashmir Valley as they headed to Srinagar through Sonmarg. According to Chandru's account, the trip was particularly memorable because of the breathtaking views and exceptional peace they experienced while riding through the mountains. They also paid their respects at the Kargil War Memorial. Now that the riders were weary, they needed a rest, and Srinagar, nestled in the hills, was the perfect location for that purpose.
They took a tour of Srinagar and left their mark on nearly every major attraction. Chandru and his other riders also took a shikara ride on Srinagar's jewel, the Dal Lake, which was a tranquil experience. They were revived physically, mentally, and spiritually in a matter of minutes by taking a quiet ride on the Dal's peaceful waters.
As they neared the end of the trip, the bikers bonded over their shared experiences and promised to keep in touch for future rides.
Chandru enjoys exploring new places. In the wake of a trip to the Land of High Passes, Ladakh, this curious traveller now plans to visit the northeastern Indian region, which is a priceless treasure. While signing off, he says, "Travel to explore yourself," leaving you with some thought about your own personal discovery journey.