Julley from the Magical Ladakh

“So we have news for you” Vineet Rajan (CMO,ScoutMyTrip) over a call, maintaining his favourite straight face look

“I am coming to Ladakh” I said

“Hmm. You guessed it. Are you excited to be in Ladakh? He asked

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~Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better~Albert Einstein. Pic Credit: Ami Bhat

It has been over a week that I am back from Ladakh but I am still struggling to get back to my normal routine. My bag is still packed, tucked away into one extreme corner of my room, waiting to get offloaded. But I doubt that I am going to do it soon. Ladakh has always done this to me. It has never allowed me to settle down quickly as the flashes of the epic trip keep tickling my mind. Wheter its 2011, 2012 ,my solo tripping in 2013 or 2017, the miraculous air of Ladakh has never let me move on easily and it’s high time that I accept it.

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Jump’ed

So when Vineet asked me if I am excited about visiting the land of lamas I was confused . I didn’t know what to answer. I thought that I am done with Ladakh which is precisely the reason why I didn’t re-consider visiting it.

But you cannot forget Ladakh. You simply cannot forget Ladakh!

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Pangong Blues. Pic Credit- Ami Bhat

The Universe conspired and I was on the panel of 20 travel bloggers selected out of 500 applicants, set to make history at the Highest Bloggers Meet at Khardung-La in association with ScoutMyTrip and Oyo Rooms.

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I was scheduled to fly in and out of Leh along with other 4 bloggers, who weren’t part of the 12 day road tripping. But to make a return from Leh in 3 days is injustice and especially when you connect with the land so closely

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Grateful that I could catch a slight clear view of the mountains finally from Delhi-Leh flight. Hop onto the left window for this view

My original plan was that I had NO plans. Though I got my tickets extended for 6 days post the bloggers meet but nothing concrete was in store. I wanted to visit Turtuk- a small village near Diskit, (Nubra), catch my local Ladakhi friends and may be roam the streets aimlessly.

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Aimless walk gave me a mother-daughter #CandidMoment

But the twist was that I actually ended up joining the rest of the team for the remaining part of the road journey, when one of the fellow blogger friend got hit with AMS (and of-course some emotional blackmail in the background shh 😛 ) And what a journey it was where each day was an adventure in itself.

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My companions for the epic road trip 🙂 Pic Credit: Raza Raahil

 

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We did this too 😉 Pic Credit: Ami Bhat

This calls for another blog story but for now lets  talk about the record breaking #HighestBloggersMeet and what was in store for us:

Upon Reaching Ladakh

I always maintained that Ladakh holds a special place in my heart and my countless travel here is a proof of my growing affectation with this enchanting beauty. Ladakh brew the traveller in me and obvious that the land holds a special connection.

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Notice the sky. The blues. Incredible

I have been left mesmerised and in awe many a times which only drew me closer to this impeccable beauty. I remember the thrill and excitement the naïve in me had when I touched its ground for the 1st time. I jumped with joy while witnessing its majestic glory unfold in front of my eyes.

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Throwback. Memories of 2011 🙂

I  sat to gaze the master-piece, still wondering if it’s true, while still trying to accommodate some breathe back in my body. I felt like seeing God’s own canvas and the feeling still continues. The charm of Leh still left be spellbound, though I am not quite happy with the rapid commercialisation that has taken at this place

Upon Meeting Dalai Lama

You can call it my luck or sheer co-incidence, but I have always got blessed from His Holiness Dalai Lama whenever I am in Ladakh. Not been this lucky at any other place. Not even Dharamshala.

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The blessings poured in. Pic Credit: Johann

While I was getting ready to go out and explore Leh street in the morning, I was stunned as well excited when my friend Abhinav Singh called me to inform that Dalai Lama will soon going to pass the roads. Blessings were hanging over already 🙂

Call it a land connection? May be…

On Reaching Khardung-La, attending, Highest Bloggers Meet and Creating World Records

None of us had any clue what was in store for the highest bloggers meet. Honestly I visualised it as yet another blogger meet where we shall be doing a usual chit-chat. A part of me also kept questioning if a bloggers meet is really possible at Khardung-La because the army doesn’t permit to stay at this pass beyond 20 mins, owing to the attitude. But my questions started getting answered soon where OYO rooms also announced its special initiative for the travel community. We were a part of a history. We were part of a landmark record not one but two, which went into India Book of Records.

Highest Bloggers Meet in India and also the First Bloggers Meet at Khardung-La. Claps 🙂

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OYO Rooms announced OYONauts

After flagging of the initiative at Khardung-la, we moved 30 Kms towards North Pullu where the actual 2 hours session was planned.

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Pic Credit: OYO

I admit that the team has done a wonderful job for selecting such non-conventional location for organising a blogger meet. Away from the usual hotel lobbies, to chit- chat sitting amidst the mountains & glacier lake. And off course giving you company is the Maggie. Enough to set the mood right 🙂

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For the last few months I have stopped calling myself a traveller, tourist or a backpacker. I have started calling myself a learner because I have come to believe that there are ample learning’s to pick from any and everyone. Sitting here and hearing my fellow blogger friends I felt happy. You know them, you know their journey as well but listening it straight from their mouth was intriguing. You just know how passionate everyone is for the work they are doing

And the perfect setting also had a perfect announcement waiting by OYO. OYO rooms announced a special initiative for travel enthusiast called OYONauts – a community of storytellers, travellers & bloggers who have been bitten by the travel bug! It is a group of people who love to travel & love to share their experiences with friends & followers.

OYO will provide a platform to travellers where they are giving an all paid expense trip  in India, Nepal and Malaysia. All you have to do is share your amazing awesome experiences with the world. Though I felt that OYO should also compensate bloggers monetarily but you never know they might in future! Hopeful 🙂

Heartful Gratitude to the Scouts and the entire team of ScoutMyTrip & OYO

This goes without saying that nothing would have been possible without the relentless effort that the team has put together, to make it a comfortable journey for everyone. It is really not an easy task to carry out a bloggers meet in a rustic land.

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Hats Off Guys 🙂

Anything can go wrong anywhere but making sure of everyone’s safety and comfort at the same, I must accredit the team. Special mention to the scouts who roughed it out and drove in extreme conditions each day. You can see when the experience speaks

Check out the complete profile of Bloggers who attended the Highest Bloggers Meet and the team of ScoutmyTrips here

Stories from Ladakh coming up! Stay Tuned !

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5 thoughts on “Julley from the Magical Ladakh

  1. When we started on that day from Leh, we really didn’t know what to expect. It was scary to know that we were winging a record attempt. Actually, literally winging it. Khardung La being at that altitude it’s also hard to stay there for too long. I’d like to attribute the success of the meet and the location too to one gentleman in Leh by the name Ismail who runs the ‘Northernland Tour and Travel’ agency. A man Friday for everything in Ladakh, he took a lot of load of us and ensured we pulled of the record attempt. And we did!

    And we’re all learners and so happy to see that you accept it. A lot of people who go to Ladakh end up proclaiming themselves as experts with half baked and half learned knowledge which is dangerous for everyone. So keep learning and keep going back to the mountains once in a while, because we can never have enough of it. We need to detox in the true sense.

    Wish you all the best, and many more travels! Looking forward to reading more about this trip Swati! 🙂

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