It is rightly said that it is the journey rather than just the destination that one should enjoy. This dream trip was all about journeying into and exploring the "Roof of the World" as Ladakh is called. Indeed a very long journey of two weeks it was from my home in Baroda in the NW Indian state of Gujarat via the capital city of New Delhi and thence to Manali in the hilly State of Himachal Pradesh popularly known as Devbhoomi (the abode of the gods). Ladakh has lots to offer - breathtaking landscapes, charming animals & bird species (many of them endemic), cultural diversity as the population is both Muslim & Buddhist, beautiful variety of Monasteries (Gompas). And for the adventurer you can hike, trek, bike, cycle your way and test your mettle. This is definitely not a place for leisure travel unless you intend to spend all your days in your hotel room & miss out on the lifetime experience that is Ladakh!
The highway crosses some of the highest mountain passes in the world, including Rohtang Pass in Pir Panjal range and three passes in Zanskar range that separate Zanskar valley from Leh valley, namely, Bara-lacha-la, Lachulung la and Tanglang La. The Rohtang La pass and Baralacha La receive more snowfall than the Tanglang La, but all three passes are blocked during the winter months. The road crosses the More plains between Lachlung La and Tanglang La. Be aware that this is a demanding journey that entails being on the road for long hours with patches of extremly bad roads. The 480 km route map which my Tempo Traveler traversed in 17 hours is shown below