Vehicle: Royal Enfiled Classic 500
Start Point: Jodhpur
Start Date: 05-July-2018
End Point: Ladakh
End Date: 29-July-2018
Ever since I was a child I used to wonder what it would be like to ride a motorcycle in the mountains. When I turned 18 and got my very first Motorcycle, a Pulsar 180 I started dreaming about my ride to the mountains of the mighty Himalayas.
Whenever I looked at the sun-kissed lands of Rajasthan, the lush-green fields of Punjab or the snow-capped mountains of Himachal and J&K, I felt a sudden urge to just hop on to my bike and ride up there.
I realised I must take time out to explore these lands. And at 28 years of age, after a lot of preparation, I started my journey from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. My only companion would be my tried and tested Royal Enfield Classic 500. I had a few doubts in my mind. Whether the 10 years I had waited to take this trip would be worth it. Whether I would find the reason why these scenic vistas seemed incomplete from the windows of a train or a bus. I also decided that my final destinations would be Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso but also promised myself to take each day as it comes and not be foolish or over confident.
On my way form Jodhpur to Pangong, I met a lot of people. You must be expecting that I’m going to say that I loved those people. I didn’t. Almost everyone I met told me I should not be taking this trip alone. Even the bikers I met told me to turn back, to stop this foolhardy mission at once. These conversations created an umpteenth number of doubts in my mind. Every time I stopped, I thought I will turn back at the next stop. But that stop never came. And the thought finally exited my mind when I got a glimpse of India’s Northern mountains. Suddenly, my thoughts were just pure happiness. I realised I was in the middle of an adventure.
There were two moments in this adventure that are stuck in my mind like paintings on the wall. The first one came when I was driving on the Manali-Leh highway. The 450 km long highway has to be one of the most beautiful roads in the world. When I reached the end of that road, I knew this will be a memory I will cherish forever. I remember stopping randomly, not to click pictures but just to absorb as much as I could of this paradise.
On the other hand, the road to Pangong was stark opposite. It’s treacherous and you don’t find people for miles. The bad weather added onto the troubles faced on that road. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy with that part of my journey but took it as a challenge. However, the irritation went away the moment I saw Pangong Lake. For in that moment, I realised what I was missing while riding in the plains.
After spending a night camping near Pangong Tso lake, the stop had finally come for me to turn my bike around, head back home. The trail that had started on 5th July, 2018 finally ended on 19th July, 2018. Within 15 days, my perspective on life had changed.
Our lives and problems seem insignificant when you compare them to the vast beauty that this World has to offer. And they remain small if you don’t take time out every now and then to appreciate that beauty. For that is when our small lives become significant. The mighty and majestic Himalayas humbled me beyond words. I’ve decided to call this 3400 km long trip my Pilgrimage. And there are plenty more to come.