Chennai to Leh & then Turtuk and back
8171 Kms - 23 Days
From almost the southernmost part of India to Definitely the northernmost point of India.
Chennai - Hubli - Nashik - Chittorgarh - Jammu - Srinagar - Kargil - Leh - Pangong - Leh - Turtuk - Diskit - Leh - Manali - Keylong - Greater Noida - Narsinghpur - Hyderabad - Chennai
Stayed in Homestays, tents, vacation homes, basic to awesome hotels.
Drove over rivers, stones, muddy roads, back-breaking roads, fantastic roads but always breathtaking roads.
There were many reasons NOT to do this trip...The "What Ifs" that play truant....
What if the car fails....and that too in a remote part
What if I have an accident?
What if I can’t handle the roads and become part of the many cars deep in the valley,
What if kids fall sick in a remote place, oh god forbid, AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)...I have had it once and it is NOT funny!!
What if the adults have severe Altitude sickness - who will drive if I get it??
What if their eczema flares up??
What if it rains or there's a landslide???
Oh and yeah, add to it that 6 people got killed, in the same route that we drove in the morning...surely you dont want to be in the middle of a "problem"?
What if? What if??? What if??
And Lakshmi and I thought through it and said......SO WHAT!!
Special thanks have to go to the Highway King of India - HVK who took the time and effort to talk through the whole trip. What was going to be a train - rent a car - taxi - flight trip became a drive from Chennai trip.....and what a trip it was!! Also thanks to Ejji my guru when it comes to driving and my friends Dr. Kumar and Dr. Sushma who had done this trip a few years ago.
There is so much to write but let me take this time to thank all of you for being with us during the trip....we never felt alone. Your comments were all read and kept us energised through these 23 days.
I have to close my message with this couplet by Amir Khusro
Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.
This has been the longest we have driven but something tells me it won’t be the longest for too long.....