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Srinagar – Kargil: The Best Guarded Road

"Highway" from Srinagar, Kashmir, to Kargil, Ladakh, India

“Highway” from Srinagar, Kashmir, to Kargil, Ladakh, India

One of those trips you could rave about and rave about without finding the proper words. Spectacular? Breathtaking? Amazing? Whatever … The windy road was hewn right into the steep mountain slopes and has many faces: from a super narrow, bumpy one-lane track to a brand new smooth asphalt road. It snakes its way up high passes, down into narrow valley and follows the milky-blue river faithfully like a good companion. We cannot remember ever, ever, a nine-hour road trip passing like the blink of an eye: snow-capped mountains, green slopes fed by gushing water coming straight from a mountain face. Add fierce-looking, wind-beaten trees and once in a while colorful dots giving away the tents of Gujjar and Bakarwal nomads tending their large flocks of goats. These fearless creatures balance on the steep slopes nibbling the juicy grass.

It’s not only the landscape that entertains you- the road across Zoji La Pass (3.500 meters) is narrow and a strict one-way system monitored by the army. We were luckily enough to watch one of their never ending convoys passing by, while we had to wait. We counted about a hundred trucks. How much money is pumped into this kind of transport, we do not even want to imagine…

Now that we were leaving Kashmir behind and entering Ladakh, another superlative was waiting for us – Drass, the second coldest inhabited village on earth (second after some place in Siberia). We could not say whether this is true or not, as it was a really hot day when we passed through…


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