Traveling around the world, witnessing its beauty and different landscapes is one of the best ways to feel self love. It brings a thrill and excitement to one's soul, and that in turn makes them feel alive.
He'd heard a lot about the well-known Manali-Leh bike trip from his friends, and he'd seen it advertised all over the internet. Now it was time for Deepak Mangal to experience it for himself, breathe in the crisp northern air, see the majestic Himalayas up close, and ride the roads that have inspired so many intrepid travellers.
It's one of the most breathtaking aspects of travel that every day is unique. There aren't any hard and fast rules. You can feel the freedom that comes with travelling every time you take a new step forward in your exploration. "When I get back to my daily routine, I have a renewed sense of purpose because of the excitement and exploration that travel brings into my life."
The Adventure Begins
"Before our first day in Manali, we boarded a Volvo bus from Delhi and met the rest of our group. After arriving at the hotel, we freshened up, ate a hearty lunch, and were then given a tour of our motorcycles. Oh! We were enthralled by the sensation of touching and hearing the super-brute bikes. We went to Solang Valley for a test drive and took a lot of pictures. Even simple photographs were enhanced by the beauty of the valley."
"After that, we all went paragliding, which was an incredible experience. Our entire group hiked up to a nearby peak, where we met up with the Thrillophilia representative to plan the big jump. When we took off from the ground, I was awestruck by the view and eager to see what else the journey had in store for me."
Deepak and his new explorer companions returned to the hotel in the evening after their exhilarating paragliding experience and a visit to the nearby natural hot springs.
It was time to begin the journey from Manali to Jispa via Rohtang Pass, Gulaba, and Marhi Koksar after a hearty breakfast. The Rohtang Pass is a natural wonder and one of India's most dangerous roads. With its dangerous curves, icy weather, snow-capped mountains, fresh mountain air and a great challenge, the pass connects Manali and Lahaul & Spiti valleys.
"The view from Rohtang Pass was breathtaking!”
“No matter how many pictures we took, we never got tired of taking more. The ride over the pass was an exciting experience.
There were blind turns, snow everywhere, and tight paths which gave me goosebumps. The Thrillophilia team had already set up tents for us when we arrived in Jispa later that night. During my brief slumber, I was awakened by noises outside. People were gathered around a bonfire, enjoying singing and dancing. They invited me to join them for a night of dancing in the valley, and I accepted. That night has become one of the core memories of my entire trip"
Deepak left Jispa and headed to Sarchu with his luggage. He was rendered almost frozen by the bitter cold and howling winds! It was his first time in the hills, and before this he had never encountered such bitter cold. A night's rest at Sarchu was followed by a 250-kilometer ride to Leh, the final destination of Deepak and the other travellers. "It was bitterly cold at Sarchu, but I believe that if you have the guts, you can handle any condition."
"The following day, we rode 250 kilometres to Leh. In the course of our journey, we passed the Nakee La, Lachung La and Gata Loops and the world's highest motorable road. The wind was so fierce that it froze our hands even with gloves on, but we had to keep going."
"We arrived in Leh late in the evening and spent the night at a hotel equipped with every conceivable amenity.
The company's representatives went out of their way to help us in any way they could, and they were truly supportive of us. While it may seem like a minor detail, a representative stopped and got off his bike to pick up one of the riders' helmets after he slid it on the road. Really, it was a sweet gesture."
After breakfast in Leh, the riders and Deepak set out for Sham Valley, a short excursion. Afterwards, they all set out for other well-known attractions like the Hall of Fame, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, The Magnetic Hill, and the meeting point of the Zanskar and the Indus rivers.
"We made our way to Sangam, the convergence of the two rivers. It was a beautiful sight to see two rivers meet, one with pure water and the other with muddy water."
"The following day, we rode to Nubra Valley, passing through the high-altitude Khardung La Pass (18,984 feet above sea level). For the 15 minutes we were there, we took pictures and had a snow fight, and even though some of us were having breathing difficulties, our guide told us to stay strong, which was helpful. Affirmations can be very helpful in difficult situations, in my opinion. The brain's power determines how the body responds."
Stargazing in Nubra Valley
"The camps in Nubra Valley were one of the highlights of our trip. A white desert surrounded by snow-capped mountains greeted me as soon as I set foot in the area. We had a few drinks around the bonfire at night. Then, the most amazing thing happened.
The starry sky was clearly visible in the night above us as we sang and danced in the thick of our festivities. The best night of our vacation was enjoyed by everyone in the group, even the couples that were on the trip. We were there for each other through thick and thin, lending a hand and sharing travel tales at every turn."
"Yes, I was eagerly anticipating my visit to Pangong Lake the following day in order to see possibly the best attraction there: the red scooter against the clear blue backdrop of the lake. We had to take our time getting to the lake because the road was so rough. A red scooter and a few adventure activities kept us there all day, and we snapped a few pictures with the red scooter and in the lake."
As the trip came to a close, the group returned to Leh with a treasure trove of memorable experiences, new friends, and a newfound appreciation for India's most beautiful region.