Ever wondered how the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh looked like in the 1990’s, at a time when tourism was still not popular and no proper roads existed into this spectacularly barren and rugged wonderland? In a time when tourism has exploded across the region, and more and more tourists and travellers arrive in droves to this region, the feeling, the charm, and nostalgia of the place seems to be missing. You will hear old travellers talk with much fondness of their times in Ladakh when it was calm, quiet, and not over run by anyone and everyone looking to take a few days off to visit the usual tourist attractions. But, gone are those days….
Vintage pictures are refreshing. They are simple, and sophisticated at the same time.
Satya Rao Komanna, a friend of mine has been an adventurer, motorcyclist and a traveller from what little I can make of him. So, when I saw his pictures of riding to Ladakh in 1994, at a time when there was no proper infrastructure in place, nor the knowledge about such places, I knew that I had to share it with other fellow travellers. The bike he used, a 2 stroke Yamaha RD350, got him there and back again. For people who are not acquainted with this legendary 2-stroker, take a look at this article to understand why so many bikers hold this motorcycle in high regard.
All the pictures were shot on a film reel camera, and scanned for uploading. All credits go to Satya for the pictures.
Traversing the ‘notorious’ Zoji La just outside Sonamarg and enroute to Drass/Kargil!
In a time where beautifully captured and post processed pictures from DSLRs rule the roost, old pictures like these are a refreshing change. Next time, I guess I would make a side by side comparison of the various places, then and now.
Disclaimer: Cover image source. All other images and captions belong to Satya Rao Kommana and are reproduced with permission. Please contact Satya directly for more information, or to share the pictures.
Motorcyclist, Traveller, Photographer, and your friendly neighborhood Batman. Sometimes, life throws me a curveball, and I catch it with both hands. Any suggestions as to where to go to next? View all posts by Suhas Rocky