The dramatic road to Kargil

Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of India  , Jammu and Kashmir,
Saturday, June 9, 2012

Road to Kargil, Kashmir, India - Srinagar to Kargil - This truly beautiful 200km drive takes you from Kashmir's very alpine valleys over the remarkable double loops of the 3529m Zoji La. Beyond this, we descended into a series of high sided valleys like Scottish glens that have been stretched vertically for the added effect. Along the way, we passed Sonamarg, an Indian tourist destination for riding Ponies and seeing snow flakes. Before we reached Kargil, we stopped for Chai at the 'Second Coldest Location in the WORLD'!! The Muslim town of Drass boldly makes this claim after meteorologists recorded a freak temperature of -60 degrees C on January 9th 2005!! (The Coldest place on record is Oymyakon in Sakha-Yakutia, Russia) The surrounding attractive wide valleys make hiking ideal, if it were not so close to the line of control.

The route to Kargil was made very dramatic by the tight mountain trails and numerous lorries attempting to pass our bus. At one point, we stopped for an hour on the side of a steep mountain due to a lorry that had fallen from the road. It had lost its cargo and smashed into a
rock. We assumed the driver was ok. Sadly, many drivers never return home from this route and frequent memorials are located alongside the dusty road. The experience was pretty terrifying, especially when the bus while moving forward was also rocking side to side. One assumed the end was near, we'd either topple over the edge or hold our breathe and end up in Kargil. A French traveller on our bus, had the bright idea of opening the door, to lean out and take pictures. At this moment, Sonja linked arms with me, ensuring I didn't fall out the bus myself!! When we finally arrived into Kargil, we were exhausted, and ready for food and rest.

We found a cheap place to stay, found out our onward bus to Lamayuru left at 4am (oh man!!) and found a cool little place to enjoy some cooked food. Needless to say, we were asleep early and subsequently, awake very early.

Next stop, Lamayuru.

Thank you to Sonja for sharing her photo's on this blog.
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charlotte on

Love these entries, just read a few of them. Seems like beautiful views but tough trips, as ever with any travel, no pain no gain eh?!

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