Good Morning from Tangste
After sleeping in the thoughts of pangong lake last night, opened my eyes only in the thoughts of Lake this morning too. For a moment I thought or I dreamed that i’d waking up by lake side but it was a guest house in tangste 🙁
Well, this was the coldest night of the trip but somehow we managed in 3 layers of heavy blankets. It snowed in night as we got to see fresh snow this morning. The night temperature had fallen upto -26° resulting in freezed everything including deisel too. Rigzin had to make a lot effort to bring it back into liquid form again.
In the meantime we got ready and even packed our luggage and were called downstairs for breakfast by one of those beautiful girls. Eggs and breads are in the menu. So far, we were accustomed to eating breads and eggs in the breakfast. We are going back to Leh and will be crossing world’s third highest mountain pass “The mighty Chang La Pass”. It was a good start of the day so far.
We started towards Leh after breakfast. The roads were quite maintained (Salute to diligent BRO) and in about one and a half hours we reached Chang la pass. The climb to reach Chang La from Tangste’s side was gradual but from Leh it’s a good steep and tough ascent and this is the reason it is called ‘Mighty Chang La’.
Chang La Pass
The pass is at an altitude of 5360 meters (17590 ft). It was completely snowed out and there were no other tourists apart from us but only few army personnels. There is an army base and a small cafeteria at the top & a temple of “Changla baba”. It is believed that changla baba protects people from any kind of mishap in such extreme conditions.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the world’s highest research station at Chang la. Surprised?
Going into such high passes in summer can be adventurous enough but in winter it can take a toll on you. The temperature drops considerably at any time of the day here. The pass felt more powerful when we got out of the car. It was freezing cold up there, mercury was around -20 degrees & oxegen was quite low. Icy cold wind was stinging like needles in our body. At the same time we did tolerate the extreme weather conditions along with enjoyed it – Magic of Ladakh.
In such extreme conditions, We could stop for 15 minutes only. We did some photography & got out of there. After crossing the pass the road curves steep down to the valley and provides amazing view of daunting mountains.
After a while we stopped at Thiksey monastery. It was a beautiful structure as visible from the road, which was equally beautiful too as seeing from inside.
The monestery was closed that time so we did not stop for much time and came out after doing a little photography session.
After that we had a short stopover at Shey monastery. Monastery has a two-storey statue of Sakyamuni Buddha decorated with gold & copper. It also provides the panoramic views of surrounding mountains and valley.
We spent sometime and returned to Leh and then directly to our hotel.