A Himalayan Journey – Video

Have you ever wanted to gaze on the Himalayas shrouded in mist and snow, to listen to the wind or watch the river torrents surge? For years I longed for these distant horizons, finally I had the chance to go. Zanskar was my goal and as there was now a jeepable road into the region I decided this was it.

I travelled along the Leh to Srinagar highway only open 3 months of the year because the passes are closed by snow in winter stopping at Kargil overnight. This is a predominantly Moslem town halfway between Leh and Srinagar in Kashmir. As there are many hard line Moslems here I stayed all the time in the hotel. Being a foreign woman travelling I felt my reception on the streets could be hostile. The following morning I changed drivers for one from Kargil and drove to Padum in Zanskar where I stayed for a few nights before returning to Leh. The taxi union in Kargil does not allow the drivers from Leh to continue past Kargil.

The journey was not without its hiccups somewhere along the journey my hotel vouchers disappeared but eventually the problem got sorted out. I met school children who were thrilled to get a lift to school, gazed at mani walls (made from carved stones), monasteries and lit butter lamps. We even got stuck in a traffic jam. Back in Leh I went to a party to celebrate the birth of a child.

There are two graveyards in Leh one for the Moravian Church which had some 19th century German missionary graves and the Explorers’ Burial Ground where the remains of European adventurers lie including that of Stolickza who died on the Forsyth expedition from Kashmir to Yarkhand. http://www.genealogybookshop.co.uk/kabristan-publications/india-publications/himalayan-headstones-from-ladakh-kashmir.html .

Zanskar stayed with me for a long time, its breathtaking beauty forever imprinted on my mind.