Leh Takes Your Breath Away – Quite Literally!

Leh and the whole Ladakh, left me speechless and later converted me into a story teller. Every mountain, every road, every human in Ladakh has a story to tell! In the lap of this grandeur, I felt like a minuscule nothing.

For me, the more I plan my holiday, the more the plan keeps getting screwed. Leh was in my mind since 3 years now and just when me and my friends were in the middle of nothing, we decided to hit Leh.

We were 6 friends and our travel dates were just 20 days away when we booked our tickets, just to make sure no one ditches! I know, taking a Himalayan from Manali to Leh would have been a lot of fun, but even flying above the Himalayas, was not bad.

Everyone takes the road to Leh from Manali. I took a flight and what I witnessed was also something to remember. The snowcapped mountains in Lahaul and Spiti valley looked splendid in the sun.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVPJs0Dff7k[/embedyt]

I know those mountains were in Lahaul and Spiti because – Thanks to my Iphone location services that works offline as well!

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This was around 6:30 in the morning when the sun slightly began to rise and shine. We were flying from Mumbai, knowing that it would be a bit cold in Leh. This was in the month of September.

But, the moment our plane landed and we came out, all we could do was wait for the bus and shiver! We were literally shivering like anything because one jacket just did not work alone.

Plus, that place has 25% less oxygen than the rest of India. Anyway, we managed to catch our breaths and hire a taxi. After seeing a few guesthouses, Katapa residency caught our attention and we checked in.

  Katapa Residency Leh

This is Katapa Residency for you! Did you notice the reflection on the glass doors? Yes, this was the view I woke up to, like daily.

This guesthouse has some 18 rooms and is run by a very simple and sweet family. The uncle takes care of the finances while the aunty takes care of the kitchen. They have a mini farm in their backyard where they grow cauliflowers, cabbage, tomatoes, etc.

We used have farm fresh vegetables daily, and that too in Leh! Aunty made some amazing Aloo Parathas, and Rajma Chawal, which was certainly not expected from a Ladakhi.

  Room with a view

This is my room window. My room had window in both the walls. One side is this view and the other side is the view of Katapa residency’s mini farm. Isn’t that something to drool over?

One thing I was super excited to taste, was the Kahwa. Now, Kahwa is a marvellous health drink, for those of you who don’t know. It is a special kind of tea that has dry fruits like Almonds and walnuts.

Kahwa helps you to stay away of acidity, which Leh will gift you most definitely. And yes, it is also added with the very aromatic, Elaichi (Cardamom).

  Kahwa

What you can do on the very first day in Leh is, try to acclimatise and also, check out the market area. If you are into handicrafts, Leh market will certainly fascinate you.

I collected some village art jewellery from there, that I wouldn’t have got anywhere else. You can also shop for the woollens there, in case you have forgotten to get enough and as required.

  Handcrafted Jewellery

To my surprise, Leh has some cool cafes that will not make you miss your city life, just in case you are missing it. We were strolling along the market and suddenly we saw a sign board pointing towards a narrow lane inside.

We were very inquisitive to find out what and how the place was. And, woah! It was such an amazing cafe cum dine out place full with youngsters high on beer, seated all around the bon fire.

The place is called Bon Appetite! Go during the night or after dark with all your fancy lenses. This place is an amazing place for star gazing.

  Bon Appetite Leh

Inside of this is the fine dine where as outside is a hub for all the Star-Gazing freaks like me. While Leh is a more than spectacular place to visit, you should also take care of certain things here like low oxygen and altitude sickness.

This is all about Leh, but I have explored a lot in Ladakh. Stay tuned for my next posts. If you like this article or have any questions, please use the comments section below.

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