Wari La mountain pass in ladakh, india. adventurous and tough motorcycle ride.

Motorcycling India (Part 4)

If you are new, start with Part 1. Part 2 can be found here, and Part 3 can be read here.

78: The long road back from Turtuk…


79: At Diskit Monastery, with the statue of the Maitreya Buddha in the background…


80: The other side of the Nubra Valley. Due to the Shyok river, the valley is green and has nearly 7 villages on this side.


81: Heading towards the Siachen Glacier. Panamik was the last village that you can go to on this side of the valley before the restricted area of the valley starts. The Indian Army presence is very high in this area due to the close proximity with the Chinese occupied area of Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier itself.


82: The hot water spring at Panamik. There is nothing much around this area except the spring.


83: I had the pleasure to meet an Indian army major and his deputy at the hot water spring in Panamik. They came to speak to me as I was standing by the spring because they found that I was from the same state (Karnataka), by the registration of my bike.


84: Made a couple of wishes at this little pond called ‘Yerep Tso’. A nice little place to have camped for the night, if there was the possibility to get some food and drinking water nearby.


85: “When I was growing up, I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize that I had to be more specific. – Lily Tomlin”. Riding away from Wishing Pond.


86: Finally, I found a good camping spot at the sand dunes near the village of Sumur. The Sand Dune Hotel was right next door.


87: I had some great views from outside the tent…


88: … and some unusual company…


89: … and it’s friends as well.


90: Thinking of where I should ride to next…


91: The desert seemed to meet the mountains far, far away…


92: Traditional Ladakhi entertainment at Sand Dunes Hotel…


93: Portrait of a Dancer…


94: With my cronies at Sand Dunes Hotel. I had a fun time with them the previous night, with some home made drinks and a few games of carom.


95: Into the harsh terrain of the Wari – La. At 17,300ft (5,250m), Wari-La is one of the toughest terrains on this side of the valley. A very adventurous alternative to the Khardungla.


96: From the village of Agham towards the village of Sakti, the Wari-La connects the main Nubra road network to the other side of the Ladakh region. The Shyok river follows the route at some points before being lost from view.


97: Yak-Yak Ladakh! Yaks were the only company on this rather desolate route.


98: The green valley provided ample food for these beasts of burden of the Ladakh region. The winding road of the Wari – La can be seen in the background.


99: At the top of the Wari-La. The roads were back breaking for most part. At this stage, I had completed only about 30 kilometers from Agham village in a little over 2 hours.


100: The road improved considerably on the descent from the pass. Very fast, and often, quite scary due to the sheer drops on the side of the roads. Exhilarating, nonetheless.


101: Literally sent chills up my spine when I think of how close they often were, sometimes, right next to the road.


102: Bye, bye, Wari – La. You were my moment under the sun for this trip!


103: Back to Leh, and the family that I stayed with during my second time at Leh.


104: The family that I stayed with when I arrived at Leh. Goodbye everyone! I will make sure to send the photos!


105: Shanti Stupa, the crown jewel of Leh town. Located on top of a hillock, the place offers a birds eye view of the town.

shanti stupa leh india motorcycle ride

106: A view of Leh from the Stupa.

view of leh from Shanti Stupa leh Ladakh motorcycle ride

106: Dedicated to the Buddha, the Stupa has carvings of the same, and various parts of his life.

buddha at shanti stupa leh ladakh

107: Carvings depicting the birth of the Buddha.108: A typical market shop in the old town of Leh.

leh market ladakh India

109: At Chang-La (17,590ft/ 5,360m). The second highest motorable road in the world. The name means “Pass towards the South”. The climb was tougher than I expected, and tiring in the midday heat. The Chang – La pass is the main gateway to the Changtang plateau in the Himalayas. Next stop: Pangong-Tso!


Read Part 1, or Part 2, or Part 3. Part 5 is the final chapter of this epic trip. Check out some vintage photos of Ladakh, or the Lost World of Ladakh of the 1930s, or a timelapse of Ladakh for your next read!


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