12th June 2017 To 22nd June 2017
Lucknow To Khardungla
It all started off when I started riding 4 years back in the year 2013. Always had a dream to take bullet to ladakh it became true this year in 2017 June, when I planned the ride to Khardungla from Lucknow along with a rider friend from Allahabad. I started my ride on 12 of June 2017 from Lucknow. I planned to go to Ladakh via Kashmir to Leh, so we crossed Agra, Delhi, Sonipat, Panipat, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala, Patniotp, Sonmarg, Lamayuru and Leh. My bike never got punctured in so many of long rides but this time it happened near Patiala. First time I took the rear tyre open and got it fixed with the help of a local puncture mechanic.
I was confused whether to stay at Patiala or moved on to Ambala because my target was to reach Ambala. But it was late at night so I got a call from my friend Tejinder Bhai from Patiala who is also a rider and gem of person who convinced me to stay at Patiala because it was too late at night. So he took us to a hotel where he hosted us with fabulous dinner. I rode 788 kms on the first day. Next day we moved on for Patinitop. I reached Patnitop after riding 440 kms at night and it was chilly so we lodged in a hotel over there. Next day we were informed by our club Roar Lucknow that there was some tension going in Kashmir with militants and India Army, so it will not be good for us to start for Sonmarg. However coming so far yet not completing the target was disappointing so we moved out for Sonmarg withoug halting at Kashmir and competed the stretch of approximately 250 km stretch in one day and reached Sonmarg in the evening.
It was raining heavly when I reach Sonmarg the conditions were adverse, so I lodged at Sonmarg in a hotel and moved on next morning for Leh. The worst part of the ride just started when we reached Zojila pass. I have never climbed so high on treacherous route having no tarmac, it was just boulders and nothing else. Some how I crossed zojila pass and reached Drass, where I saw army base camp. From Drass I started off for Kargil from where the road was superb but there were too many of turns and slopes. I did not stop at Kargil as I had to reach Leh on the same day which was another 220 kms. So I started with a strong heart that I had to reach Leh but it was not possible as the weather became very unpredictable. When I reached Fotula top the level of oxygen was very low but some how I thought of riding safe and halting at Lamayuru, in a hotel from where I moved on next morning for Leh which was another 120kms approx.
Finally reached Leh lodged in a hotel saw the local sights and started off or Khardungla top world’s highest motorable road in the world. From Leh Khardungla is just 50 kms but it was the toughest climb of so far. There were black ice, temperature was 0 degrees and oxygen was also negligible. However finally reached my dream destination of reaching the top of Khardungla at 18380 ft. The journey was tough but the destination was even more beautiful with snow everywhere. The experience I would always cherish till the end of life. Now the tougher task for me was to coming back to Lucknow via Leh Manali, which is known to be the one of the toughest ask for any rider. Started from Leh to Manali crossing Tangla La Pass which is second highest pass 17582 ft of the world crossing it via Pang and reaching Sarchu, was the first stop in a tent. Next Day moved on for Manali crossing Baralach La pass, Zing Zing Bar, Gypsa, Keylong and Rohtang La Pass. At Rohatang La pass faced tougher conditions because it was raining again the roads were pathetic at Rohtang La pass at 13000 ft.
Though managed to reach Kullu Manali and lodged in a hotel. I also had an infection in my left eye and it got swollen badly almost closed and I rode with one eye to New Delhi via Chandigarh meeting Dr. Mohit Admin Mod of F.B.I. Club of Chandirgarh. I also met with Tejinder Bhai from Panipat with whom I shared few of my experiences of the ride. I reached New Delhi at night and stopped at my cousins Soumen place in Friends Colony, New Delhi and moved on next day morning for Lucknow via Taj Express Highway and reached Lucknow in the night at 8 p.m. on 22nd of June 2017. I rode approximately 3859 kms in ten days from Lucknow to Khardungla. The excitement of accomplishing the dream is truly out of the world but it surely is very risky and needs a lot of preparation and planning. Though I could not go to Pangong Lake and Spiti but however I was satisfied with my accomplishment and not can call myself as Ladakh Return.
I really want to convey my thanks to my family, riding friends and all the well wishers who prayed for me during the ride.