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Ladakh Ride Day 7 – Srinagar to Kargil

Ladakh Ride Day 7 - Srinagar to Kargil Feature Image

We woke up from a comfy blanket in freezing cold surroundings and that too in a Shikara at Dal Lake, is quite challenging. We had no choice left though. I packed all the luggage and asked the staff for a cup of tea. Frankly speaking, wanted to stay there for one more day but we had to explore Leh, that day’s plan was to cover Srinagar to Kargil. Sitting on a couch at the edge of Shikara, having a cup of tea and seeing through beautiful surroundings was one of the best things one can do here.

Dal Lake, Srinagar
Dal Lake, Srinagar

Once done, we requested to drop us in Shikara stand and went to the parking lot to take out our motorcycle. We cold started the motorcycle and loaded all the luggage. By 07:15 AM, we started to ride very slowly along the side of the beautiful Dal lake, it was a pleasure. After a few kilometers, we stopped for a tea break and then we came to know, that day was Muharram. They also advised us to cross Srinagar at the earliest, so that we can avoid congestion.

Once we reach Leh – Srinagar highway, roads became smooth again. Stopped at a few places to take pictures and inform our parents about our location. We were feeling hungry by then so decided to stop at Sonamarg for breakfast and then to ride towards Zoji La pass.

On the way to Sonamarg
On the way to Sonamarg

Sonamarg has a lot of scenic beauty but the people’s behavior somehow we felt odd. Firstly, local people stopped us to collect entry fee, while asking receipt, they told us not needed and just walked away. Second, we stopped near a Hotel & Restaurant for breakfast, while walked in they told us, we serve only who stays here. Then we rode a little ahead and took our breakfast, it was overpriced, two-piece bread butter cost INR 50.

Yatri Niwas, Sonamarg
Yatri Niwas, Sonamarg

On our way to Zoji La, we met a guy from Switzerland who was also going towards Leh. We shared our plan for the day and wished all the best to each other. All these years, during our preparation we saw multiple videos about Zoji La. But to our surprise, it was not that bad. Roads were indeed full of gravels and broken but quite manageable. In some places, it was quite narrow and stiff. The feeling to reach Zoji La without a single hiccup was great.

There are multiple shops to have snacks and beverages. We enjoyed coffee and Kawa (made with herbs and Kesar, good for AMS), watching others climbing towards Zero points. We met a lot of families from several parts of India. Few of them clicked the photo with our bike motorcycle. We felt lucky to be there along with our motorcycle.

Once we start from there, the condition of the road again changed to broken. It was a quick descent to a valley. There, in the middle of the mountains surrounding the road, we stopped to take photos. My wife started to get vomiting tendency, credit to food at Ramban. One fellow Rider from Delhi stopped and asked if we need any help. Once we confirmed we are okay, he bid us and left. He was on a long vacation (more than two months) on his own Bajaj Dominar.

Few kilometers later we reached Kargil check post. There we had to list our names for security purposes. We met two fellow Riders from our native state, West Bengal. We talked for almost half an hour about our plans, luggage, etc.

Beyond these point roads till Leh was awesome except few sections where roads were under construction which is okay, keeping in mind we are riding Ladakh. We stopped at Drass, second coldest inhabited place in the world to take a picture of that world famous board.

The next stop was on the Kargil war memorial, it felt great to be there as an Indian. We submersed our-self in the story of the historical war. A lot of original ammunition that was captured during the war is on display here. A place for all brave martyrs and our flag hoisted with all its dignity will surely give anyone goosebumps. We had Samosa and Tea in the cafeteria.

After spending a great time being here, it was time to move towards Kargil town where we planned to stay for the day.

Onward road was a pleasure to ride, we rode slowly because of scenic beauty. We met a few other riders from Kerala and Karnataka. Witnessing the Indus and Zanskar river confluence during sunset was great. We entered Kargil, paid Entry fees, and this time we got a receipt if I recall correctly INR 50. 

Indus River Before entering Kargil
Indus River Before entering Kargil

Finally, we stayed at Hotel Silk Route inn for Rs 900. The room was good with a wooden finish. We did not get food in the hotel due to the absence of Cook, so we had all the biscuits and cakes at dinner. Later the caretaker made bread-toast and omelet for us which costed little more.

You may also like to check our Srinagar to Kargil Ride video below. This our first series of Moto-Vlog videos. Share your feedback to improve us.

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Being a remote place, a lot of preparation needed before Leh Ladakh Tour, be it mentally or physically. Don’t forget the weather in the Ladakh region is extreme and most of us are not accustomed to it.

So, be prepared and everything in your Leh Ladakh tour will definitely go well. You may also check out below generic posts to make your Leh Ladakh trip successful and memorable. I am sure you will love it.

If you are doing a road trip to Ladakh, you may find my Kolkata – Ladakh – Kolkata on a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 journey helpful.

Lastly, get Leh’ed soon.

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Don’t forget to check out our complete Ladakh Ride Blog series.

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