Braving the extreme temperatures of Ladakhi winter, a group of bike riders and adventure enthusiasts from the city recently set out on an exhilarating adventure. As part of this first-of-its-kind ride, the riders also daringly rode on the frozen Pangong Lake at minus 20 degrees!
Pruthu Mehta, Kushal Takkar and Vijay Patel from Hyderabad, along with Manish Dhall, Akshay Jain and Deepak Gupta from Delhi, embarked on their journey on February 24 armed with a well-planned itinerary. “We reached Leh and stayed there for a day to get acclimatised to the weather. The next day, we started our ride to Hanle, a village in Ladakh. We rode 250 kilometres, at times off-roading, in a 10-hour non-stop journey at a temperature of minus 8 degrees and heavy crosswind,” recalls Pruthu, who planned the entire trip.
This group of riders then visited the observatory and monastery at Hanle apart from visiting some local sites. Then they began their journey to Kargil, about 220 kilometres from Leh. “We crossed two mountain high passes — Fotu La Pass and Namika La Pass. The journey was harsh as we had limited food resources, hardly any human presence and low oxygen level. But we kept on riding till we reached Kargil in the evening,” says Pruthu.
After spending some time at Kargil, the riders drove to a town named Dras, where they visited the Kargil/Dras war memorial. “We were surprised to receive such a warm welcome from our Indian army,” the riders recall.
Interestingly, during most of the journey, the limbs of these six adventurers remained frozen. But they did not give up! “We rode back to Leh and from there we went to Pangong Lake. We crossed the Chang La Pass, which is claimed to be the second-highest motorable road in the world. The place was totally frozen... we got an amazing opportunity to ride on the frozen Pangong Lake,” shares Pruthu excitedly, adding, “The lake was slippery, but this experience was worth the risks we took. After spending a few hours at the chilly lake, we headed back to Leh.”
“It was an amazing ride and the memories will be close to my heart forever,” adds Kushal. And for Vijay, “Riding for me is going wherever we want to and be one with nature. The passion and the thrill we experienced is unimaginable.” Finally, after catching up with their friends at Leh and enjoying the local cuisine for a few days, the group ended their bike journey on a high note....