My husband and I are travel freaks. I jokingly say that we have the restless leg syndrome. After a month or two we start itching to go visit some place..any place! We have been to hill stations, beaches, national parks, sea salt pans, been to spice plantations, seen the borders of our country, visited those villages in the interior where weavers sit and weave (Patan, Sualkuchi, Kanchipuram). And we have come to the conclusion that we live in a very beautiful country.
But then we came to Ladakh. This is God’s own place. I believe he sat down in front of a canvas and painted his greatest creation. You can never imagine a dry, arid, rocky, mountainous region to be so simply breathtaking. You cant envisage rocks being so beautiful. With a palette of very few basic browns and purples God created this masterpiece. You can find no adequate words to describe this beauty. All permutations and combinations of the 26 letters of the alphabet can not encompass the beauty of Ladakh .
It is a harsh land. Vegetation spouts for only four months. The temperature dips to -30 degrees in winters. Winds howl through the valleys. The altitude and lack of oxygen takes a toll on your body. And when it snows you feel the chills to your very bones.
Winter in Ladakh is beautiful. The land is covered with snow. The contrast between white and brown becomes even more pronounced. The poplar trees stand tall and barren.
The overcast sky changes the whole look of the land. Snow covers the houses and roads.
The fresh snowfall motivated me to visit the Shanti stupa as it gives a bird’s eye view of the whole city. You can see miles form that vantage point.
Shrouded in mist and snow the Shanti Stupa looks beautiful.
And this is just a small part of the beauty of Ladakh. As you leave the city behind and move into the less travelled areas the landscape is mesmerising. This is a place that grows on you. Isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life, the pollution and population of crowds in towns, the blaring horns, the seething mass of humanity this land is an untouched jewel. There is a reason for this pristine beauty. Not everyone can make this trip. Not everyone can bear the punishing effects of this land.