Our Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh – A journey beyond Paradise!

We met each other as strangers on a trip to Kanyakumari – Southern most tip of India to be friends for life. Hence, we decided to kindle our passion for travel from the northernmost part of India, and Kashmir and Ladakh fell on our list.

Due to last moment leave approvals from office we were left with no time for planning and we set on our epic journey with a round-trip flight tickets, 1 extra pair of jeans, a couple of t-shirts and a windcheater.

They said it’s a risk. We call it an adventure!

We wished to start our journey with a visit to Vaishnodevi. Hence, our forward flight was to Delhi. We took an overnight bus from Delhi and reached Katra in the morning.

VAISHNODEVI
We started our hike late afternoon after having a good amount of brunch. Alternating our hike between the paved path and the stairs we could hear devotees chanting praises of the goddess: “Jai Mata Di” which keeps your spirit elevated all the time. We bought some JAI MATA DI written ribbons to tie on foreheads and joined the chanting pilgrims.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

After few hours of the exhausting trek, we reached the holy cave, which has the manifestation of Mother Goddess. Once we stepped into the cold water at our feet, which opened into the cave, all the exhaustion, and the tiredness seemed to alleviate. We sensed an immense peace of mind and came out of the cave rejuvenated much required for our trip ahead.

On returning to the base, we boarded a bus to Jammu and thereafter a shared taxi to Srinagar.

SRINAGAR
Staying at boathouse is completely a different experience with the traditional furniture, elegant Kashmiri rugs lining the floors and the view of other houseboats floating on the serene lake. Shikara ride on Dal lake, the sightseeing tour of interior parts of the placid waters of Dal Lake, the floating vegetable garden followed by some shopping of traditional shawls and sweaters was one of the most relaxing and a memorable experience.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

We concluded our day with lip-smacking dinner at Mughal Darbar.

SRINAGAR to LEH
Next morning we had to take a shared taxi from Srinagar to Leh. When waiting for theΒ taxi we met these two guys Imran and Joy from Delhi who were sailing in the same boat as us and who would be our travel mates for rest of trip and then for the lifetime. Our journey started with paradise on earth Sonmarg, which has some amazing views of green valleys, glaciers, and frozen lakes.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

The main thrill started with the Zojila pass, which was a hair-raising experience with the narrow gravel filled roads, turned to slush due to rain.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

Survival rule was to never look down and not even for a second doubt your drivers driving ability.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to LehAt a point, we saw that mud on the edge of road sliding down and rear wheel of the car in front of us was in the air, but the driver managed to pull the wheel back on the road with speed but the incident left us gobsmacked.

DRASS, KARGIL
We stopped for lunch at Drass a small town in Kargil district, which is an epitome of beauty and courage. As it was late in the evening our driver did not prefer to stop to visit the war memorial but had a chance to get a glimpse of the sight seated in our cars.

We were driving half-heartedly through some of the breathtaking views, as we did not have a chance to feel nature from close. And the gods heard us; our car got a flat tire. We decided to make most of the opportunity, we took a walk along the river, took some quick pictures with the soaring black mountains, gushing rivers, and the wildflowers.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

We drove through many villages which only epitomized the beauty of the destination ahead.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

Mulbek a town with spectacular views of the undulating rocky peaks and river valleys and a statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha carved out of solid rock.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

The village of Lamayuru or Land of Moon, which sights the first major Tibetan Buddhist monastery and beautiful medieval village and finally the deserted route to the village of Nimmu in the Indus Valley with no temples or monasteries, just the reddish-brown hills, and the incredible ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations fills you with the overwhelming feeling that you are getting closer to the paradise.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

We had dinner in one of the restaurants at Nimmu. The friendly manager on knowing that we had no hotel booking done shared a number of his friend from Leh.

Epic Journey from Mumbai to Leh

We reached Leh at 12:00 midnight and called the number, a guy received us and walked us to his hotel. We were completely exhausted and we pulled ourselves into the bed.

Stay tuned while we share more our thrilling and awe-inspiring experiences from Ladakh – Beyond Paradise!

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55 Comment

  1. Sona says: Reply

    I truly enjoyed the read. Your pictures of Zojila pass are very beautiful. I went to Vaisho Devi last year in July but due to lack of time, could not visit Srinagar. Leh has been on my list for a long time. Hope I can make it soon! πŸ™‚

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Kashmir and Ladakh are definitely a must visit. Do plan a visit soon πŸ™‚

  2. Lance says: Reply

    What an epic adventure. Must have been awesome experience. Oh my the part where you guys drove on a narrow gravel road must be nerve racking. Nice pictures by the way.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks! Yes, the Zojila pass was one hair-raising experience πŸ˜‰

  3. danjuma says: Reply

    posts like this give me reason for more fun adventures…. will you make me one?. great read and pictures also.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree πŸ™‚ Do visit India you have plenty here!

  4. Komang Ayu says: Reply

    I love to see your picture, it looks like a very long and enjoyable journey. scenery there is very beautiful. I really like to see the mountain there. it seems very cold on the mountain.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes there is myriad of mountain dry,cold and deserted. Its stunning beautiful there πŸ™‚

  5. Black mountains! Unimaginable!I think I must visit this place.Regarding the Srinagar lakes, I have heard that people living in the houseboats have even divided the waters among themselves ; the lake is now divided into numerous colonies, is it true?

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree it does look surreal indeed. Ahh! About that division of lake I have no idea but people do leave in harmony there πŸ˜‰

  6. What an epic adventure! Stunning photos and really great shots of the place. I hope to visit that place one day. The scenery of the mountain and prairies looks gorgeous.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Sharon. It is one epic experience πŸ™‚

  7. Ana says: Reply

    I’ve never visited Vaishnodevi and beyond but would definitely love to go someday in my life! The Zojila pass looks extremely dangerous. I bet, you guys would have had the highest level of adrenaline rush. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Anamika it was a trip full of adventures. Thanks!

  8. Jenn says: Reply

    Wow, those cliffs right by the road must have been quite something. It is amazing how opposite different zones in India can be!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Very true Jenn. India is land of diversity with abundance of nature and travel inspiration.

  9. Blair Villanueva says: Reply

    I need more energy to walk for longer hours (a pilgrim??!!) to arrive the destination. My friend who is a hiker would be happy to do it. πŸ™‚

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True. The trek to Vaishnodevi definitely requires lot of energy πŸ™‚

  10. Liana says: Reply

    Wow, those landcapes are inimaginable! You said it right! Adventure awaits and you just got to take a ticket and a pair of jeans, and you can discover such piece of wonderfulness!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Isnt it true that unplanned trips are one of the most memorable trips?! πŸ™‚

  11. Ami says: Reply

    Very stunning pics. I have yet to do Leh and hope to make it sometime soon. πŸ™‚

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks!

  12. Sheri says: Reply

    I love adventures and discovering places. The flat tire you had gave an opportunity to use an unfortunate stop and turn it into something positive and worthwhile to make memories of.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Sheri.. We are still grateful for that flat tire πŸ˜‰

  13. Tae says: Reply

    Wow, that is one adventure πŸ˜€ The Zojila pass looks downright scary though. I love the pictures, it’d be incredible to go too someday.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree Tae it was a lifetime experience!

  14. Wow this is India? crazy! The city in the hill is BEAUT… seriously a great advenure, totally our thing, thanks for sharing!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Sure Thuymi. Hope to see you sometime here πŸ™‚

  15. Chris says: Reply

    Travelling is an interesting experience and I like when it becomes more than just a story about the trip. In your case it is a love story, which is very inspiring.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Chris πŸ™‚

  16. That sounds amazing! How lucky that you had a flat tire and got to see more of the beautiful nature in India. I look forward to reading the rest of your adventures.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Stella.. Yes flat tire was an advantage πŸ˜‰

  17. Vyjay says: Reply

    This is indeed an epic journey, we had wanted to go by road from Manali to Leh, but unfortunately the Rohtang Pass was closed. Hope to get there some day soon. Loved your account and experienced the trip through your pictures and words.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      We too wish to visit again through the manali route.. Hope to some day soon πŸ™‚

  18. Annie says: Reply

    I loved the post! I wish I could go too… And those pictures are amazing!

  19. Terrifying and amazing! What a neat trip – you are so blessed to have been there. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  20. Its beautiful. My parents have been there (a year before my birth) and since then whenever i have asked them to take me there, they have ditched me πŸ˜› . This time its deifnitely on my bucketlist once i go back to India. πŸ˜›

  21. Jessie says: Reply

    Wow, it looks like an adventure of a lifetime. It’s good to see this side of India – I think that it’s less advertised than Mumbai or New Delhi, so I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Jolina says: Reply

    Epic is so appropriate here! What an adventure. And love the photos.

  23. Oh my goodness, your trip and your pictures are absolutely amazing! Very inspiring.

  24. Oh gosh, what an incredible adventure. This must have been so much fun!

  25. Elizabeth O. says: Reply

    What an adventure it must have been! Everything that you mentioned is so lovely and it would be nice to experience this first hand! The sights are breathtaking!

  26. I think you are blessed to have witnessed such a paradise here on earth, its not often that we are left speechless but I think now would be one of those moments.

  27. I write about my trip to India in my blog but unfortunately I wasn’t in these places. Your trip looks amazing and photos are gorgeous.

  28. Joanna says: Reply

    Wow, the pass looks so dangerous. It reminds me of a trip I took in Peru, where I doubted my driver’s abilities (a 16 years old kid) all the way. He had a full van of people and none of us was saying a word while he was speeding on serpentines.

  29. What an adventure, India is so beyond beautiful so many places to see and explore. The pictures are all breathtaking.

  30. Carrie says: Reply

    Looks like an adventure! I would love to go to Mumbai but I don’t know about this journey! I don’t know if I am brave enough.

  31. Glad you enjoyed your adventure. The boathouse looks nice and the mountains look amazing!

  32. I have never been to this part of the world! The scenery is really unique! I find it very interesting! Who knows, I may visit it some day! You certainly had a good time.

  33. David says: Reply

    Such a lovely place, it’s so important for everyone to have a little trip like this. This place is absolutely beautiful, the nature is truly something priceless.

  34. This sounds amazing. I’m envious. You’re so lucky. Gorgeous photos too!

  35. Nina says: Reply

    Wow that is absolutely beautiful! I hope to get to India one day!

  36. Wow, what beautiful photos! Looks like you had a delightful trip! I’ve never been to this area of the world, but it definitely looks like somewhere I’d like to visit!

  37. Lily says: Reply

    What an experience. Definitely an adventure you’ll tell stories about! I loved India. Want to go back

  38. I’ve never been to India but have heard so many good things about the Leh region. The landscapes are definitely breathtaking!

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