Finally, we were in Leh, the prime destination of our trip. Luckily we even got a decent guest house to stay at a reasonable price. It was the sixth day into our expedition to Ladakh. Getting up early was an exception for that day as it was allocated for rest and some sightseeing. Extremely tired and deprived of sleep, we were lying in our rooms like lazy crocodiles. Suddenly I woke up to the noise of a landing aircraft. The airport was very close to our guest house and you could clearly hear the aircrafts taking off and landing. Struggling to leave the bed, somehow we all were up around 11. Quickly getting ready, we left our guest house to spend some leisure time in Ladakh.
Getting on our mud-spattered and dusty motorcycles we headed towards the main bazaar. It was afternoon and the fierce heat of the sun was unbearable. Dying of hunger we went to a small eatery in the main bazaar to have some food. After gobbling some delicious Chole Bhature we advanced towards Shanti Stupa, one of the most eminent places in Leh.
Sitting proudly on a hilltop in Leh, Shanti Stupa is a white domed Buddhist stupa located 5 kilometers from Leh on a steep hill facing the Leh Palace. Situated at a height of 3,609 meters (11,841 ft), this magnificent stupa can be reached by a motorable road or on foot by climbing a series of 500 steep steps.Unaware about the motorable road that leads to the hilltop, we parked our motorcycles at the foothill and took up the challenging task of climbing the stairs.
Under the scorching sun we started to climb those countless steps. As we started to ascend higher, the view became more stunning. Climbing at a slow pace we took a couple of breaks to catch our breath before reaching the top.
Nearly after 20 minutes of making strenuous efforts we finally reached the hilltop. There was a quaint little restaurant on the top. We ordered tea to get refreshed and to celebrate our victory of climbing to the Shanti Stupa.
The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. The feel of that place was very unusual. The atmosphere was filled with peace and tranquility.
The panoramic view of the city from the top was totally mind boggling.
The panoramic view from the top makes it a popular tourist attraction.
It took us close to 15 minutes to get down. The steps were steep and we had to be extra careful while getting down.
It was 4 pm when we reached down. We were exhausted. Starting our motorcycles we left towards our guest house. On the way to our guest house we saw a small fort. “Zorawar Fort” was written on the main entrance. Parking our motorcycles we went inside the fort.
It was sunset when we left the fort. We went to a restaurant called LAMAYURU to have dinner. The only reason to eat there was free Wi-Fi, otherwise the food was mediocre. Post dinner we directly went to our guest house. After a brief chat session we took off to our respective beds. The next day was going to be packed with fun and thrill. Adventure awaits till the next day.
Read my next blog to know about the thrilling and deadly experience we had on our second day in Leh.