Ladakh is the undisputed champion of beauty in India. I have been almost over this entire country, and I have never witnessed such sheer elegance. For every serious rider, it is the trip of a lifetime. I did just that in the August of 2013 and still can’t believe it.
Many people ask, what do you get by going on this perilous ride? Apart from pride for completing one of the toughest rides in the world, here are some of the tangible milestones you can achieve from this Ladakh trip:
- World’s highest motorable passes: You get to cross world’s 3 highest motorable passes. First up is Khardungla, which stands at an impressive 18,380 feet above sea level. Next up comes Chang la pass, which is 17,585 feet high and acts as the gateway to Pangong Tso lake. Finally, there is Taglang la pass, which stands at 17,480 feet. There are quite a lot of disputes about the heights of these passes and if they indeed are the highest ones out there, but don’t let that dampen your spirit!
- World’s second coldest inhabited area: Drass is the second coldest inhabited area in the world. Average winter temperatures range around -22 degrees, with the coldest nights dropping to a whopping -45 degree Celsius. It might not be as cold as Oymyakon, but it is close!
- India’s longest road tunnels: You cross through the Aut tunnel, just before Manali, which at 3kms just keeps going forever. While returning via Jammu, you get to cross the Jawahar tunnel, which is also quite long at 2.85kms. Both of these tunnels are extremely dark and very difficult to maneuver. The construction of Rohtang tunnel is underway, which will reduce the distance between Manali and Keylong by 60kms. When complete, this tunnel will the longest in India by a huge margin, at 8.8kms long.
These are some of the reasons why you would want to do this Ladakh trip. But if you are like us, you don’t need any reason to complete this journey of a lifetime.