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Trans Himalayan Jeep Expedition Manali to Leh

We did an amazing trip of Greater Himalayas crossing 7 Worlds highest motorable road and did some crazy adventures, all thanks to Ladakh tour organised by Renok Adventures – the great adventure company. We all reached Manali on 16th July morning the date to begin the Jeep Expedition. We had a breakfast n got fresh in hotel. We loaded our luggage in our jeep Qualis, our driver Mr. Tule Ram is an awesome driver this was my second trip and I can trust him with my life on curvaceous and tricky mountain roads.

In the first part I will be covering our adventurous journey from Manali to Leh and in Second part our excursion to Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley

We started around 11 and our first big stop was Marhi where we did first adventures activities Paragliding.

Paragliding in Manali

Marhi is a small stopover on the way to Rohtang Pass (14000 Ft), We negotiated a deal for 7 of us to do Paragliding. Yugantar had a small misadventure, his take off was not proper so he slid with the parachute for some distance. He had small bruises on hand and leg.

After doing paragliding we set cross Rohtang Pass our first high altitude pass. There was 8 to 11 ft of snow on both side of the road. Rishin was fully charged up at this point of time he didn’t know what is coming in next few days.

Rishin All Charged Up

Push Up 1 2 3

After fun n masti at Rohtang top we started again and stopped at Khoksar for Lunch. We had awesome Rajma, Dal, Mutton and Rice. Kokhsar is the first village on this route in Lahaul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. Here one need to stop to get police work done. Our plan was to stay at Sarchu but we got late so we will be staying in Keylong today. Our driver paid the homage to Raja Ghaipan at Sissu and we filled diesel in Tandi which is the last Petrol Pump on this route and sign clearly says next petrol pump 365 KM ahead.

We stayed in a hotel with nice view had sumptuous dinner and slept. Morning the view was amazing.

Morning Glory

Morning we started early around 6 AM after a good tea and stopped at Darcha for breakfast. Today was the toughest day of the entire journey, four of the world’s highest passes, 350 KMs and road conditions (You can say No Roads) were bad.

First pass came Baralacha La at the height of 4980 metres. The steep ascent to Baralacha La start at the place called ZingZingBar, One who loves to drink barely misses it and there is a bar by the same name in Manali. This pass connects the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh to that of Ladakh. The Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chandrabhaga or Chenab river, originates from Surya taal lake, which is situated a few of kilometers from the pass towards Manali. The other major tributary of the Chandrabhaga, the Chandra also originates from glacier in this region. Both the rivers originates from the two sides of the pass and meet to become Chandrabhaga River and the same river becomes Chenab entering Pakistan.

Suraj Taal

To be continued in part 2

More Photos on Facebook Album here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.330249997060195.76819.186325284786001&type=3

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Flawless Beauty

M Teresa

When we were on our way back from Ladakh after Stok Kangri’s successful summit, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and this beautiful old woman was the owner. She reminds me of Mother Teresa although I have never seen her. After our lunch we sat with her for almost half an hour and had discussion about her looks, family and when we were leaving asked to pose for this photograph.

 

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Trans Himalayan Jeep Expedition – 16th June 2012 Join Us

Ladakh a barren, virtually rainless area is the most remote region of India. The defiance of its barren landscape, unique flora and fauna, birds, culture, clear blue skies and clean air has much more to offer than just a good holiday. Ladakh is also known as “The Moonland” and romantically as “the last Shangri La” where as Ladakh in Tibetan language means “The Land of Passes”.

Maitreyin Budha

Maitreyin Budha

Ladakh is surrounded by world’s biggest mountain ranges, the Himalayan range and the Karakoram. These lay crossways two others Zanskar and Ladakh range. The main watercourse of Ladakh is Indus which penetrates India from Tibet at Demchok. The highest altitude you will find here is 7637 m. At this height, the air is thin and the heat of the sun is intensely felt. That is why it is said Ladakh is the only place on earth where you can get sunburn as well as frostbite at the same time.

Ladakh has a distinct alpine, floral and faunal variety. Several flowering plants, a dozen important mammals and over a hundred species of birds are found here in this rugged terrain. You are likely to spot marmots, mouse hares, stone martens, red foxes, wolves, ibex, bharal, chiru (Tibetan antelope famous for Shahtoosh), goa (Tibetan gazelle), lynx, pallas cat, kyamg and shapu.

 The avid bird watcher can spend fruitful hours by observing Bactrian magpies, grey tits, chough, raven, sparrow, kite, kestrel, Turkoman rock pigeon, chukor, finches, buntings, larks, desert wheat eaters, a many more varieties of birds. Black necked crane, bar-headed geese, ducks and several other water birds breed near the lakes in thousands. The highest realm belongs to the birds of prey and carrion eaters. These include choughs, griffon vultures, ravens and lammergeiers (bearded vultures).

During the safari we cross through two famous high altitude passes i.e. Baralacha and Tag Lang La, which is also the second highest motorable road in the world. Crossing through various tiny villages and monasteries we stop at a few and explore. We visit the famous Tsokar lake which is also known as the “White Lake” because of the salt deposited around it. The local nomads collect this salt and sell it in Ladakh and Kashmir.

What’s Included :-

  • Accommodation in Ladakhi Family guest houses and tented or camping during stay in Nubra or PangongTso.
  • Meals during the Safari (Only Veg).
  • Permits.
  • First aid medical kits .
  • Qualified and experienced trek leader, Guide and support staff during trekking
  • Transport

Day 1 Manali to Sarchu

Rohtang Pass

Today we start our journey to Leh stopping at Sarchu for a night. We cross Rohtang Pass (3978 m), Keylong (3350 m), Baralacha Pass (4890m) with overnight stopover at Sarchu (4253 m), border of the states of Himachal Pradesh (Lahaul) and Jammu & Kashmir (Ladakh). Photography workshop “Stop Shooting Auto” on basics of photography and how to do photography in high altitude areas. Upon arrival in Sarchu we will set up our camp for overnight stay.

Days 2 Sarchu to Leh

Car in a Situation

Car in a Situation

Leave for Leh by early morning, through Nakeela and Lachangla Pass 16,617 ft. Lunch at Pang. After Lunch drive to Leh passing through Skyangchu Thang (Biggest and Highest Plateau on Earth on Stretch of 42 Kms), Tanglang La Pass 17,585ft and Indus Valley. Upon arrival in leh you will be greeted by our CEOs (chief Experience Officers) meet our representative and check in at our Hotel.

Day 3 Leh to Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake

Majestic view of Pangong Lake

After an early breakfast we leave for Pangong Lake through Changla pass 5486 Mtrs. Pangong Lake, situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 m). A long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly six to seven kilometer at its widest point and over 130km long, it is bisected by the international border between India and China. Enjoy the landscape in the back drop of the Lake. Evening at leisure and overnight stay on the shore of Lake.

Day 4 Pangong Lake to Leh

Morning at leisure to explore the beauty of lake and later we drive back to leh enroute visiting Hemis Gompa, the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism, Thiksey an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village, Shey Palace, The ancient capital of Ladakh & Stok Palace Museum. Drive further to Leh and check in at our hotel for Overnight.

Days 5 Drive to Nubra Valley

Khardung La and Nubra valley

After an early breakfast we drive to Nubra Valley leads through Khardungla- Pass (the highest motorable road in the world) at 18,390 ft, around 39kms from Leh. Nubra Valley is popularly known as Ldorma or the valley of flowers. It is situated to the North of Ladakh between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of the Himalayas. Arrive Sumur or Hunder by afternoon and rest of the day at leisure to explore beautiful village of Sumur & Hunder with a Visit to Diskit Monastery. Overnight stay at Camp.

Day 6 Nubra Valley – Leh

After your breakfast at the camp, visit the Sand Dunes to enjoy a camel safari. Later we drive to Leh over Khardung La. Afternoon rest and relax or take a walk to the local market. Overnight at hotel..

Day 7 Leh

Post breakfast we drive towards Kargil road and start our sightseeing with Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by Indian army, Kali Mata Temple, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib Nestled deep in the Himalayas, which was built by the Lamas of Leh in 1517 to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak Dev. A drive of another 4 km took us to Magnetic Hill which defies the law of gravity. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up & further Driving through a picturesque landscape we reached the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar River 4 km before Nimmu village. And Visit to Basgo a certainly the most impressive of Ladakhi citadels despite its ruined state. After visiting above places we drive back to Hotel for Overnight Stay.

Day 8 Leh Depart Leh

Transfer to domestic airport to catch the flight for your onward destination, safari concludes.

 

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Adventure tourism reaches a new high

Three years ago, Preeti Ralhan, a 41-year-old homemaker from Gurgaon, was holidaying in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with her family. While they had no plans for adventure, their guide insisted they try a 5-km zip line tour atop the rainforest. “Suspended from cables, zipping past trees and cliffs, we had the time of our lives,” says Ralhan.

They wanted to zip-line again, but didn’t want to go all the way to Thailand. And then, they heard of Flying Fox, a service that offers zip-lining tours in Neemrana, 100 km from Delhi. So, last month, the family drove to the heritage town for a zip-lining tour that cost just Rs 1,500 per person. “Three years ago, we thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But now, we know we can afford to do it twice a year,” says Ralhan. She adds that the Neemrana zip line was more picturesque than the Chiang Mai one because of the view of the heritage fort and the rocky terrain around it.

If you are an adventure junkie, you needn’t pack your bags and take a flight out of India. You can now go zipping at Neemrana, Jodhpur and Kikar Lodge near Chandigarh, or scuba diving off Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Goa and at Angria Bank in Maharashtra; paragliding at various places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan; hot-air-balloon-riding in Rajasthan; parasailing in Haryana, mountain biking at Jalori Pass in Himachal, Manali and Narkanda, heli-skiing in Kashmir, or skiing in Manali.

Even though adventure tourism has been around for at least a decade, lately, it has seen several new companies offering tours in offbeat sports like sky diving, zip lining, and heli-skiing to consumers that include corporate managers, youngsters and families. Mukul Ronak Das, CEO of Bangalore-based Waltair Escapade Thrills, the company that launched commercial sky diving for the first time in India in October 2011 (in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra late last year and Punjab in February), says that five years ago, adventure sports contributed not more than 35-40 per cent to the tourism revenue, and most of it came from conventional sports such as skiing and rafting. Now, new and sophisticated sports such as sky diving, heli-skiing, and zip lining are also doing well. And the government realises the potential of promoting the country as an adventure destination. “Out of the 48-second recent Incredible India ad on TV, 60 per cent time is devoted to snapshots of adventure activities,” says Das.

While there were already around 35,000-40,000 big and small adventure operators in India, the last six months have seen them getting more organised and professionally managed. Flying Fox, which began in 2007 in Neemrana, has, over the years, spread to Jodhpur and Chandigarh. Delhi-based Wanderlust Camps and Resorts, which claims to be “the first company to bring bungee jumping to India (in 1999), hot air ballooning in 1989 and sky-walking in 2005” and is run by ex-Army officer Captain SK Yadav, has been organising camps for companies and now even families. Their camps are priced between Rs 999 and Rs 1,999 per person per night. “Adventure activities were first brought into the Indian corporate culture as part of team-building exercises. They used activities, such as valley crossing and flying fox, which the army uses to train its officers and jawans,” says Yadav. One of the most unique activities they have organised so far is sky walking. Participants were harnessed and made to walk vertically on the exteriors of some tall office buildings in Gurgaon.

Trained adventure professionals from abroad have also set up shop in India. India’s first 83-metre-high bungee jump, in Rishi-kesh, has been designed and is run by a team of bungee experts from New Zealand, and the Flying Fox zip lining tours are run by two British nationals. “Since these are not native adventure activities, you need to bring in foreign skills because there’s no domestic expertise to draw upon,” says Flying Fox Asia director Richard McCullum.

Obviously, commercial interests are driving the adrenaline boom in India. ­Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head at ­travel portal expedia.co.in, says, “Indians travel overseas a lot, and consume a lot of adventure there. Even foreign tourists, who come to India mainly for cultural and spiritual consumption, end up indulging in adventure activities here, especially in Manali and Ladakh.”

Ajeet Bajaj, the first Indian to have scaled both the North and the South Pole, and who runs one of India’s oldest adventure tour companies, Snow Leopard Adventures, agrees: “There are no exact figures but estimates say that there are no less than two million adventure consumers in India every year — domestic as well as foreign.” Vikas Arora, administrator, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, pegs that number to be increasing at a rate of 20-25 per cent annually, thanks to “corporate getaways and family tourism fuelling the demand.”

Women, he says, are big drivers of adventure tourism. “More than 25 per cent of adventure travellers are women in the 35-60 age group,” says Arora. Chandigarh-based Kanika Khanna and her four college friends, for example, celebrated their graduation by bungee-jumping in Rishikesh, offered by Jumpin Heights, which also organises an 83-metre-high swing and a 1-km-long zip line. “The first sight of that sky-high platform from where I was supposed to jump off , even though the coach had harnessed me well, gave me butterflies in the stomach. I almost chickened out but when I saw another girl my age jumping off the platform without any inhibition, I took heart and gave it a shot. The next day, we took the combo package and enjoyed all three activities in one day for Rs 4,000 per person,” she recalls.

India’s vast terrain makes it an ideal adventure spot. Says Das, “We have the mountains with snow-clad peaks, beaches and coasts, rocks and plains — each state has something to offer,” he says.

The topography apart, affordability lures domestic tourists. Arup Bhowmick, a 32-year-old investment banker from Delhi, went scuba diving in Goa last May, after his “very expensive” adventures abroad, including bungee jumping in Poland and scuba diving in Mala in 2008, and sky diving in California in 2010. “I wouldn’t say that the Goa experience was better than Malaysia — the marine life is equally divine at both places, but we saved a lot of time and money. My Goa trip cost just 25 per cent of my Malaysia one,” he say

Sky Walking in Gurgaon – Indian Express.

http://www.renokadventures.com

 

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Markha Valley

Attractions of Markha Valley

The trekking routes
The place is a hot destination for trekkers, while the mighty valleys and passes are also covered in the itinerary of these trekkers. Starting from Zhingchan Valley, moving on to many villages and to the mountain pass of Kanda La, the trip will be an exciting trek. Many other major sites like Nyimaling Plains, Gongmaru La, form the major tourist destinations in these valleys. While roaming around on an adventurous trek here, you will come across many Tibetan monasteries, every now and then.

The Villages
A trip to Markha valley is incomplete, if you do not cross the various small but authentic villages of the area. A throng of villages are here, where you can also enjoy the cultural ethnicity of the people. The trip will cover villages like, Zhingchan Village, Rumbak Village, Yurutse Village, Shngo Village, Skyu Yokma, Skyu Gongma Villages, three villages situated close by, which are Nakdi, Sara and Chalak villages, and many other pleasant villages. Also interact with the local people here, and witness their hospitality.

The Campsites
The valley, being a major tourist trek route, provides various areas for campsites, where amazing locations and convenient accessibility can be seen. These campsites are nice places to relax with clear and amazing views to enjoy as well. While on a trek in Markha, you will come across many campsites, like Lartsa campsite near Rumbak, Pentse campsite, then Lhatho campsite and Da amo campsite. Some other good camp areas are Tsigu and Nyimaling. Enjoy the serenity of these sites and adventure of the trek on a Markha trip.

Adventurous Activities in Markha Valley

An adventure trip to the Markha valley, will lead you from many mountain ranges, plateaus, exciting passes, rivers, tributaries and settlements, and you can have a time of your life in these places. Trekking through these wild and wacky places, meeting the tribal nomads in their villages, exploring an unexplored wilderness, would be some ideal things to do in Markha.

Also make sure to visit the Tibetan monasteries here, where butter lamps are lit by the elderly nuns, giving an aura of a unique culture. You get to have a rafting and camping experience also near the Markha river.

Also try these:
In Markha valley, an adventure trip not only includes fun and thrill, but you can also try the Kashmiri, Tibetan Cuisine, handicrafts and cultural authenticity. The people, show you such a unique style of living and eating, that it becomes interesting on an Indian trip to explore these. You must also shop for their local outfits, antique jewelery and crafts from the village markets, and keep something for memories.

So enjoy this top adventure spot in India, and get surprised with the marvelous and adventurous places.

Ladakh Photos: Renok Adventures 

Source:http://www.indiatravelportal.com

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Adventure, Photography, Travel

 

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At 11 lakh, J&K tourist count best in 25 years – The Times of India

 

 

Jammu and Kashmir

At 11 lakh, J&K tourist count best in 25 years – The Times of India.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Travel

 

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