Swirl With Sanket And His 350 CC Royal Enfield On The Roads Of Mighty Ladakh!
A travelog of the most daring bike ride ever in the words of Sanket Mehta
“Every aspect of who I was, I carry with me. Everything I will become lies ahead of me.”
You find it troubling now and then when you see someone ride a Royal Enfield 350 CC across one of the intimidating, high(est) passes spread across Ladakh's rugged terrains. Your travel goals have always been the same as your goals in life. To date, you have only dreamed.
Become a part of Sanket's journey of how he drove across Ladakh's steep terrains in just 12 days and 11 nights; and returned more dynamic and energetic than before.
The Royal Rider
Get out into the world and see what it's like. One day after returning from the mountains, a wise young man said: "You aren't just here for the money.".
Meet Sanket Mehta, a software engineer living in Ahmedabad who is passionate about all things related to wheels—walking through the mountains, riding bikes, or driving cars.
We asked him, "What made you select Ladakh as a destination for your biking vacation?" He responded, "It's the only place in India where you can drive a motorcycle up the mountains."
Fortunate are those who know that India has the world's highest motorable road. Those who have ridden on the rugged roads are even luckier. Dream trips are never easy to plan. The expense burns a hole in your pocket, time off is not readily approved, and a business suffers while you are away. However, there's an adage that goes like this: "Travel makes you richer." So, why not travel?
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In the beginning, Sanket had just the idea to research Ladakh's terrains, if it was feasible to go on a bike ride in July, and what booking platforms he could use. Naturally, every vacation we take brings out the curious kid in us right from the stage of planning.
Sanket was a curious kid in full gear!
Following his investigation of a few websites, reading reviews and doing some primary homework, he contacted Thrillophilia. Sanket and his friends were booked for this once-in-a-lifetime journey within minutes of exchanging emails and calls. He said, "The trip was amazing," and we appreciate him trusting us to plan it for him.
An individual's journey in life is characterized by him walking alone.
Almost all memorable vacations involve a group of close friends who do not let you walk alone. We are not speaking about something you read in a Bollywood or Hollywood movie. This is simply what travelers tell us on a daily basis.
Sanket's journey would not have been complete without the companionship of his fellow riders. "They are amazing, helpful, jovial people. Up above the clouds, where amber-flavored mountains meet azure skies, your best friends are the people who travel with you”. Ladakh is well known for its famed silence, especially when it comes to the length of roads a traveler traverses on his way from Leh to Pangong or Leh to Nubra! Here's where it's crucial to stay with your buddies while riding and enjoy the changing terrain.
Obviously, we don't need to talk about the crazy-mojo fun these riders had together. This one can be a mystery for you to uncover when you decide to go.
Magic ensues when a human being and a powerful machine such as an Enfield 350 CC are combined on a ride of 12 days and 11 nights through the Ladakhi terrains. Adventure is what happens as a result.
The Ladakhi Mountains, Sanket, And 350 CC Royal Enfields
On the 23rd of July, 2017, Sanket embarked on an adventurous journey from Delhi to Manali on the semi-sleeper bus. Among the first rays of the morning sun, Sanket was far from his hometown, comfortably placed in Himachal Pradesh. During our post-trip follow-up conversation, Sanket described his experience, stating, "I have never had such an adventure in my life. I am falling short of words to define what I experienced during that trip."
However, it is necessary to tell the story that must be told.
Rohtang Pass To Leh
During the third day, the group left Manali and traveled to Jispa before camping at Sarchu for another night. They noticed that the terrain changed every few tens of kilometers in the next few days. As one travels through Zing Zing Bar, Baralacha, Sarchu and Jispa, eventually reaching Leh through the Nakeela River, Lachung La and Gata Loops, one simply cannot resist the Jispa's enchanting beauty.
As Sanket and his friend traveled to Leh, they were mesmerized by the changing landscape. This place seemed to be a mystery box that no one could crack; a puzzle that fascinated everyone who came here-the foot tramps, the Enfield tramps and even the rubber tramps!
They entered Leh on Day 5 as the night was about to turn dark, after traveling 520 kilometers and 24 hours. The comfort of their hotel room in Leh was a welcome change after their briefing. Sanket happily reflects on the day that came to an end.
Nubra To Manali
You cannot avoid Nubra and Pangong if you are in Ladakh on a bike!
The seventh day began with a day of sightseeing in Ladakh and a visit to the famous Sham Valley, Sangam, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, and Hall of Fame before setting off for Nubra. Sanket reflects on the bike trip's best moment, crossing Khardung La. Every biker's dream is to ride on the world's highest motorable road. Following a night on the white sands of Nubra, the group headed to the crystal clear Pangong Tso Lake, which connects India and China.
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On the way back, they crossed Upshi and made it to Manali. The time had come to give the bikes back, pack their bags, and say goodbye to the road. Now that the excursion was over, it was time to return to the monotony of daily life.
As Sanket concluded, "Until next time, Ladakh.”
Word Of Advice By Sanket
Sanket was gracious enough to praise us and make some suggestions to us, which we are already implementing. Yet he was kind enough to include a few pointers for those riders planning a trip to Ladakh. Here they are-
- Avoid being heroic at all costs. Before helping others, you must first look after yourself.
- A bumpy ride awaits you in Ladakh! Expect most of the journey to be rough.
- Don't exercise on high streets; it will zap all your energy unnecessarily.
- Avoid compromising on utility tools at all.
- Avoid overtaking. Embrace the wind, feel the scenery and slow down.