Monday, February 16, 2015

.. Julley...

You have to be a little insane to explore Leh in the dead of winters. In my defense sometimes you have to do things outside the box. My best vacations have been in the off season period. Seriously.
This thought was enough to get me excited about my holiday.

It is my third day today in Leh and I have loved every moment so far. Where do I even begin?
Should I tell you about the hospitality? Should I mention the view from my hotel room? Should I write about the monasteries? Should I mention the weather?

I have a better plan. Let me just start writing - uncontrolled and unstructured and lets see where it takes me. I always talk about my love for travel. To see places. To explore them. To live them. To take a part of them back home and leave a part of me with them. Yes, that's pretty much travel for me.

Leh is beautiful and what's more amazing is that it is nonchalant about its beauty. It is full of natural beauty. The wilderness is too grand. The ruins look appealing. It looks like a piece of art and yet it is not mainstream (If you know what I mean). Normally I don't compare places/ attractions/ cities etc but this time I am too biased. People keep talking about Switzerland and I have been to Switzerland and it is way too perfect for my liking. Leh with its landscapes and humbleness comes out as a clear winner.

The rawness, the rustic-ness,  the simplicity will just win you over in a matter of minutes. Last evening while trekking up the Leh Palace I looked down at the city, there is unplanned and harried development and yet there is no chaos. There is something very serene about the city. Maybe, its the ever smiling locals. I was wished thrice in a span of 15 minutes - a quite Julley here and there. It was enough to make me feel at home. Walking up and down the town, I saw the rows of closed shops (Off season).  The peace flags everywhere. Lots of restaurants and cafe's and Stupas outnumbering them in every street. It is an incredibly idyllic small city with Himalayan landscaping.

Today I was out for the whole day. From Pather Sahib Gurdwara we moved to the Magnetic hill.
Once we were on our way to Lamayuru valley. The Indus valley in Lamayuru is famous for its Moonland features. The huge mountains are similar to the surface of moon.
The river Indus never leaves you. Always by your side - Quiet and continuous. I got lost in the barren wilderness. Even the little snow sprayed on to the mountains looks like a work of art on a canvass. There were no boxes to tick off. Every turn presented a different view. I tried my best to soak in every little detail. On our way we stopped to visit some of the oldest Monasteries ( 11th Century) and the stories/ history behind them just leaves you stunned. I have to admit turning the roadside Buddhist prayer wheels feels pretty much a part of my routine now. It feels like a part of the road along with twists and turns.

I spent a quiet time by the river Indus. Enjoyed my lunch with the background sounds of a flowing river. It just felt magical - The water is crystal clear and is Sapphire green in color. I stopped at the confluence of Indus and Zanskaar river and questioned it's perfection.  There's a point when everything around you feels surreal. Everything else ceases to matter. You feel that you are a part of some movie and living the dream. That's what it was like for me today. I wanted that moment to last forever. In front of those mighty mountains I felt so tiny. I questioned my existence. Like those mountains-  I want to stand tall too, I want people to look up to me, I want to be strong too. I want my mind to be like those rivers- always in motion. Restless to seek a new purpose. I am unable to express my thoughts here so please bear with me.

While I was busy getting lost in the scenery there was a moment when I saw two local women carrying supplies and were laughing (Probably sharing a joke). They were young but the hard work had aged them significantly. I realized how difficult the life is here and how privileged I was in my set of circumstances.  I guess traveling brings you face to face with yourself.

Note: The internet is really not at its best here. I have been uploading pics on Instagram. For all the lazy ones here's the link.

Julley - It's a Ladakhi word which means - Hello/ Goodbye and sorry at the same time


  1. Julley back at ya. So cool you are in Leh! Looking forward to more pictures and stories. Stay warm! :)

  2. @Det-Res: Julley :).. You have to be here to believe it.. Mind Blowing.

    @Ananya : Thank you :). Means a lot!

  3. "I guess traveling brings you face to face with yourself."

    That's so truee! Wonderful description of your journey so far.

  4. @Sugar-Cube :). Thank you! Glad you liked it..