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On a dream ride from Leh to Delhi

A motorcycle ride on the Himalayan terrain will test your grit and surprise you with breathtaking nature.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2011 16:43 IST
Neha Dixit

A motorcycle ride on the Himalayan terrain will test your grit and surprise you with breathtaking nature.

An ideal road trip includes adventure, challenge, breathtaking views and a 1600 km motorcycle ride from Delhi to Leh. As eight bikers storm through Leh over 11 days, we trace their journey. For adventure seekers, here’s an account of the expedition. When strangers are about to set on an expedition, it is mandatory to be acquainted. The participants of the Kingfisher Blue Mile contest, the organisers and the TV crew, who capture their journey, break some ice. However, the thinning air on ascending altitude will ensure that some chill lingers on.

Weather woes morphed into adrenaline pumping adventure on reaching the freezing waters of Zanskar River, near a town named Chilling. The group rafted for 17km on the rapids.

We zoomed off to cross the highest motorable pass on earth — Khardung La, where you’ll meet some teething issues with the thinning air. Arunesh Moudgil, the winner of the contest, had a bike that kept stalling. To avoid such situations, make sure a mechanic accompanies you. We made it across 18,380 feet with one.

After a long ride over the Himalayas into the Karakoram Range, a little rest is must. The Nubra Valley may be the most beautiful cold desert on earth, but you have to take a camel ride on the white dunes to have a complete experience.

If you want to see the best of the azure Pangong Tso, visit it on a sunny day. Rain played a spoiler in our case. The 134 km long brackish lake has no sign of life inside, but on looking around you see brown-headed gulls, bar-headed geese, horses and yaks grazing, and rare marmots posing for pictures.

We dealt with sleet and then snowfall at Chang La. However, on reaching Tangste, the sun was back. Over the next four days we cover 1000 km. Regular tea breaks make the ride relaxed. We halt in Sarchu, Jispa and then ride toward Manali. It was not the lack of oxygen but a 24-hour-long traffic jam that tested our grit at the Rohtang Pass. However the feeling of accomplishment on completing an expedition surpasses everything. The 25 strangers at last bid adieu as friends and sojourners.

(By Neha Dixit, on her Dream Ride from Leh to Delhi, NDTV Good Times Travel Shows Producer)