Saturday, January 12, 2019

Leh Diaries - Day 2 - Patriotism, Dharma and Nature

With the Hall of Fame, Pather Sahib Gurudwara, Magnetic Hill, Indus Zanskar Confluence and Spituk Monastery, day 2 in Leh for us had in store a remarkable combination of adrenaline and solace. Here goes...
Zanskar (Left) Indus (Right) Confluence (Sangam)
With an action packed day ahead of us, we started early and reached the first destination - The Hall of Fame. It is an Army Museum that showcases the valor and achievements of our armed forces. Walking through the displays and artefacts is an adrenaline gushing experience. There are stories of ultimate sacrifices done by our soldiers to protect the motherland on the walls of museum. As I am recalling the stories while writing this, I am getting goose bumps. They are the real saviors - I salute them!

Shaurya Sthal
Showing off!

Fire in the hole!
Collection of weapons

Walls decorated with the valor of India's finest!

Gears for the troops in Siachen
More weapons
Outdoor adventure for kids
One can easily spend a couple of hours here. There is a restaurant and a mini activity circuit for kids that involves a mini obstacle circuit - rope bridges, tire mesh, etc.

After paying homage to our soldiers, we continued on our onward journey for the day on the Leh-Kargil-Baltic highway.
Let's go!
Next on the list was the Pather Sahib Gurudwara. According to the local folk lore, when Guru Nanak Ji was resting at here, a devil threw a rock at him from the adjacent hill. Guru Nanak Ji stopped this rock by his hands and is now placed as the base for the Pather Sahib gurudwara. This place appears all of a sudden on the road. We reached just in time for the prayer. The prayer was followed by Langar (food given to all regardless of caste or religion as a gesture of equality). The food was simple but tasty. It was my wife's first experience at langar and we were fortunate to be accompanied by a battalion of forces at the gurudwara.
Gurudwara Sri Pather Sahib
Entry for the shrine
Inside the Gurudwara
Post this, we moved on towards the Magnetic Hill. There is a yellow box marked on the road and when a vehicle is left idle in neutral gear here, its starts moving uphill. It is a gravity-defying phenomenon caused by the magnetic forces of the hills. There are quad bikes that can be rented for a ride on a predefined circuit.
Magnetic Hill

The adventure quad bike route @ Magnetic Hill
Without spending much time, we left for the next venue of our day - the Indus-Zanskar confluence. The view was very refreshing. The two rivers - Zanskar (left) and Indus (right) were sparkling in different shades of blue-green-turquoise. We could feel the breeze and gushing of the rivers. There is a small establishment on the bank that organizes rafting. We were all game for it but then we learned that the organizers were loading 14 people on a raft that was designed to carry 8. I have done white water river rafting in Rishikesh multiple times and know the risks. Hence, we backed out and just laid back on the banks enjoying the view. Just could not get enough of it.
Zanskar (L) and Indus (R) sangam

Standing @ the confluence
With a plate of maggi and several rounds of coffee, we left for the next venue for the day - Spituk Monastery. This was on our way back to Leh. Spituk monastery is the first thing that a curious traveler can notice while landing in Leh. It is visible from the flight as well the airport. I was very excited about visiting the monastery. The monastery is on top of a hill and requires climbing the stairs to reach the top. It was windy and the fluttering of the small colorful flags could be heard from a distance. There was a giant prayer wheel at the beginning of the climb and a series of medium to small on on every turn. The entire monastery was a result of a aesthetic and meticulous architecture. From the top of the monastery, a different and colorful side of the city can be seen.
Spituk Monastery
Super windy @ Spituk
Prayer Bell @ Spituk
Sun star escaping the stack stone
Colorful view of the city from Spituk
This was the last item for the day on the list. We headed back to the city and strolled around the market exploring the coffee shops and bakeries.

Day 3 coming soon.

Link for Day 1.

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  1. I can definitely imagine getting goosebumps from the Army Museum. The monastery looks gorgeous by the way! I would love to visit someday!

  2. Great! Let me know if I can help you in planning the trip.

  3. Abhay what a gorgeous area! What dramatic scenery.