The ‘Once in a lifetime’ journey is about to begin for Ankit Siwach. He’s excited thinking of how will this end up even before it actually begins. As the ‘safar’ starts, his excitement grows more and more and that is how he reaches his first stop, Delhi, and relishes some Mughlai food there. Then he moves towards the next stop, Manali, where a special conversation awaits him.
As the conversation continues with David, Ankit moves towards the Manali Market, and then to visit and explore the known facts and unknown tales of the Buddhist Monastery there. The trip continues as he proceeds to reach Jogini Waterfalls but halts midway at the Vashishth Temple for some time. Till the time he reaches the marvellous Jogini Waterfalls, darkness starts hitting the sky and the day ends up with a campfire dinner and a few campfire songs with the tourists there.
The next stop is Kullu, the sister city of Manali. As Ankit visits the market there, he gets to learn a lot about the history, establishment, and the beliefs spread all over the place. After talking to the locals and wandering around, he heads towards Manikaran via a beautiful Parvati Valley and has a full tour of the place with the passing day. The day ends with him travelling to witness the exhilarating beauty of the Jana Waterfalls via a picturesque route.
As Ankit was moving towards the Bilji Mahadev Temple, he was advised not to go any further for the time being as the route is a risk to one’s life. So he halts at the nearby apple orchids and interacts with the locals about how can he continue with the journey. After proper consultation with the locals and checking up with all his safety gears, he proceeds to the temple situated right at the peak of a mountain. The Bilji Temple exploration ends the Manali chapter, and the journey continues with the motive to reach Leh soon via the mighty Rohtang Pass and a beautiful town called Keylong.
Sarchu turns out to be the midway point on the journey towards Leh. Reaching there, Ankit gets to meet the bikers travelling towards Leh and talks to them for knowing more of the place. Till the end of the day, he reaches Leh. The next day, as we roam around the place, he gets into an indepth conversation with Mr. Swatin, a regional history expert. The conversation ends and then he is all up to explore the local flavours of the place.
Ankit is curious to know about the businesses running there in Leh. That makes him interact with a particular shop owner there. After the conversation is over, he proceeds to reach the Shanti Stupa to learn about its history and the tales revolving around the place. As he was done with knowing enough about the stupa, his calling takes him first to Thiksey Monastery, and then to SECMOL, the school popularized in Aamir Khan’s film, 3 Idiots. The episode ends with him visiting the Hall of Fame war memorial.
After Leh, Ankit is on the way to reach the Hemis Monastery. As he reaches the Monastery, he gets into a conversation with the monk there to know more about the place. Then, he proceeds towards Stoke Palace and gathers information about the rich history of the palace. As the journey continues, he crosses the Khardung La Pass and learns about the famous Gompa there. Then he continues his trip to the Nubra Valley, visits the Yarab Tso Lake and wanders near the Hunder Valley where he finds a beautiful monastery run by the Tashi Family.
Ankit is on the way to the town of Kargil. On the way, he halts at the Patthar Saheb Gurudwara, interacts with the head priests of the shrine. He also explores more about the Magnetic Hill midway and visits to witness the Alchi Monastery, the Lamayuru Monastery and the 1500year old Mulbekh Chamba Statue. After all of the midway exploration, he reaches Kargil and starts exploring every inch of the place, from its ambience to its infamous Kargil War Memorial that takes one back to 1999.
30 July 2020
Travel, Non Fiction, Adventure
Ishan Jacob, Ashish Dubey