Thursday, August 09, 2007

Leh Town and Around - Day 4

Day 4 of our honeymoon; and we had Hav. Mange Ram to show us around. Hav. Rahul had an upset tummy; and we were really happy to have Hav. Mange Ram accompany us; he was so knowledgeable and was very pleasant to talk with.

He took us to this Kargil war memorial. And it was soul stirring. Not just memoirs and captured stuff from Pak soldiers, it also had various guns, BMPs etc on display. There was one full room dedicated to the soldiers and their life in Siachen glacier. There was on display a full set of clothins worn by soldiers - 4 pairs of boots (yes, boots to be worn one on another), a long, sharp hammer like thing used to assist them in walking through snow, what they eat, etc etc. Hav. Mange Ram told us that all soldiers move in groups of 4s at least, tied to one another by a rope. This is to ensure safety; none goes down to avalanche or anything. The Govt. he said, spends 30 million Rs. per soldier per year, in Siachen.
Then, the room where ammunitions captured from Pak soldiers was kept. We saw revolvers (heavy!), howitzers, guns you shoot by hoisting them on your shoulder (way too heavy!), binoculars and many others. There was even a family album, a scrapbook and a diary - all belonging to Pak army soldiers. And there was a HUGE list of Indian soldiers who fought bravely but lost their lives in the war. No one should ever fight; koi jung na ho kabhi bhi. Really. Trupti got fully senti.

A lone house in midst of mountains! And look at the mountains behind! Dont they look enthralling?!!!

Trupti standing near a BMP-like tank. They didnt let us take pictures inside the war memorial you see...

Mountain range!

We went to Patthar Saheb, a gurudwara! Yes, in Ladakh! Legend has it that this region was terrorised by a demon living in the mountains in 15th century. Baba Nanak came there and the people thronged to him for help and protection. Seeing this, the demon got angry and decided to kill Babaji. He rolled over a big HUGE stone down to Babaji, where he was doing prayers. The minute it landed on Him, it melted and became wax. You can even see the posture of Baba Nanal etched on it! See the pic below! The demon, sure that he'd killed Baba Nanak, came down and kicked the stone hard with his right foot. He was shocked to see Babaji protected by this stone, that had turned into wax! He understood that He was no ordinary man, and realising his folly, asked for forgiveness from Babaji. He readily forgave and the demon, now reformed, spent the rest of his life in helping people and praying to God.

In the pic below you can see the demon's foot etched when he kicked the stone.

And guess who maintains it. Yes, the Indian Army. And though in such difficult terrain, they conduct langar every sunday and manaofy all festivals. To do it at a feet of 15000 feet, is no mean achievement! Really, I laud them! :-)

Bhavdeep inside the Gurudwara.

Now Trupti.

Thats Hav. Mange Ram. Sheetal Mallar was there, with 2 of her friends. I didnt know her, Trupti told me. She followed us everywhere - right from the time we landed at Leh to the last day, she was at all the sightseeing places that we were at! Am sure she wanted our autographs, but please, we wanted a break from all that and so escaped to Ladakh in the first place! C'mon! ;-)

Thats Bhavdeep again. Look at the expression on his face. LOL!

Next we went to this Magnetic Hill. You wont believe, it pulls iron objects towards it! No kiddin'! We parked our Scorpio, gear neutral, engine off - all it moved slowly towards the hill. Amazing!!

Magnetic hill close up.

Some more...

Beautiful? Definitely!

And take this. World highest LPG gas bottling plant, from Indane, at 11800 feet!! Right next to it was FCI's office too!

An entrance to Leh market built in monastery like fashion.

A video of the entrance. :-) Super Skills.

This video is from the Mahakali Mandir, which overlooks the Leh town. You can check out the Airport Runway also. :-)

Trupti with local Ladakhis and Hav. Mange Ram. She thinks the girls are there are really pretty!

We both with the same people. We hijacked their fields to take these pics hehehehe....

Ooooooh the army tanks at the place where we were staying! Everytime I teased Trupti or pulled her leg, she used to say, "Chup kar warna tank se band karke udaa doongi". Brr I shivered!

Thats Bhavdeep with Sep. T. Inga Remba, our help. He was really nice.

We left Ladakh the same night for Manali. We hired a jeep from Leh to Manali. The journey had to start from 208 EME at 2.30 AM. We didnt have a great sleep also. As sad as we were to leave Ladakh, we were both looking forward to the exciting road trip we were taking to reach Manali! Thats in the next post!

Well the journey from Leh to Manali is not for the faint hearted. Also its a long journey around 17 hours with bad and even sometimes no roads.

More about the journey in the next post. Cheers !!! 48 hours no sleep. :-)



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