Wandering in Ladhakh – Vivek Mehra

Wandering in Ladhakh – Vivek Mehra


In my opinion there are in general four kinds of tourists. First ones are who are happy visiting cities, be it historic or full of entertainment options for whole family. Second are who love sea, surf, beach and water sports. Third smaller category go to jungle, nature reserves.Forth category to which I belong to, like mountains.
Probably my father, god bless his soul, had big role to play in this as he every summer used to take us to hills during our holidays. These holidays used to last 14-15 days at stretch and they were not confined to particular hill stations( as they were called). He used to take us to all the nearby towns, villages, temples, streams, rivers, valleys, passes etc. These holidays got some what restricted and later stopped as we started getting busier with our lives be it going to college, hunting jobs, jobs, moving to other city and then our own families.
Next few years in fact quite a few went past rather quickly. During the period I visited 2-3 hill stations for a few days each time. Then again few years went past.
I had been wanting to go hills (name Ladakh) for last few years but could not materialize as getting long leave becomes difficult 
Finally last year I managed 10 days trip to Ladakh, a trip that changed me forever. It was a self drive trip but the preparation it required was like expedition, because once you go past manali you are going to be in region where altitude ranges from 10000′-18400′ and emergency help if required is virtually not there at all.
How it changed me, how I became traveler than tourist, from the one who like hills to one who love, admire and respect mountains. In last 30 years of my professional life I have visited 30 different countries but nothing comes close to serene, rugged beauty of Ladakh region. Yes it did help that I was not like other tourists in a hurry to cover as many things as possible in given time.
At that altitude our body slows down. If you rush your body to do more than it can do, it simply won’t. I think same goes for your mindset there. If your pace is slow will enjoy more, will remember more. After coming back I realized, same goes for life. Having own pace is not that bad. I changed.
We generally carry lot many things for trips like these for personal use only realizing later that at least 30-40% were not required. Same goes for life. We carry lot more baggage than required. That’s how I changed.
People take a lot of photos, selfies there to show others later. Maybe to prove they were there. Not realizing they are spoiling the scenery behind. I think same goes for life., proving others what we are or did or being very important for others,taking ourselves seriously. Not really required. I changed a bit again.

  • Sanjana Desai

    Awesome ! Incredibly beautiful! Places are definitely part of our growth and do impact us for lifetime time. I wish to visit this region . Preparatory guide would be helpful from you. Please share more

  • Bhupinder Kumar

    great insight…you have really captured Ladhakh very beautifully thru your camera …I am deeply touched the way you have explained the trip and how it influenced you to travel inside you too…