Sunday, July 22, 2012

Leh Laddakh and Dharamshala.

I left Tala in mid June to lead a Tour of Photographers visiting Leh Laddakh. I was really nervous about this tour as how my body will cope with this high altitude situation. You don't want to be sick while leading a tour.
On our first day in Delhi we visited Jama Masjid. Group had some really nice pictures from that visit. Other places that were visited in Delhi were spice market, Humayun's Tomb,Lotus Temple and a Shanti town for some nice colourful doors and wall paintings.
Flight to Leh gives you an idea about the topography of the area. Snow capped mountain peak and snaky village trails looks nice from that height.
We stayed at Hotel Mansarovar. Free WI FI in reception area was a great relief for many guests staying there. Taste wise food was always good but sometimes they serve a pretty odd menu. many of the small Hotels in India are managed by non-professionals who had no idea of anything related to Catering and Housekeeping. Owner at Mansarovar is very helpful and courteous gentleman. He helped us a lot even some time going out of his way. That's the beauty of these people. While camping once we were served Omelet with Pan cake and no Toast or bread. Although this was a different caterer. When you are camping just don't go to look in to the kitchen or the place where they wash utensils.

One of our friend told us that he stopped his tour to Laddakh only because the services were not up to the standard or he was cheated for every service. We had the same problem. We should have had the cars for our entire trip means group could use cars for entire day but a simple de tour may cost you extra half day charge if you are not careful. It was very frustrating. I will suggest people to do some homework on Google and support the local people who provide accommodation in their houses. I think that accommodation will be better than camping. these houses have electricity so easy to charge your batteries. I did this while camping and offered them Rs 50 for each camera and laptop battery and twenty for mobile phone. That was a fantastic arrangement at Hemis and Kurzok village. I am always in favor to support the locals in Tourism.With more support they will be able to provide better facilities to you on your next visit. In Ladakh it's better to have a solar panel for charging your battery. In-fact taxi drivers can do this easily for extra income if they fit a solar panel at car roof and batteries are charged while travelling. 

Most of the Hotels, except Mansarovar in Leh, I stayed were run by most inefficient owners. I always found Housekeeping and service in dining hall little poor. 
When you are visiting these monasteries keep looking for wall paintings. They are superb.
In one of the monastery when me and Jeremy were photographing prayer none of our camera could record the video. God knows what mistake we were doing??  It happened with me twice.
After Ladakh we went to Dharamshala to see His Holiness Dalai Lama's birthday celebration. None of the tourists were allowed to go with camera or any other electronic gadget. I applied for photographers pass. They asked me to show my published work? It was difficult. 
His Holiness Dalai Lama shook hand with every person who came across to him that day. I also got the chance.  
I should have wrote my diary everyday but I was never in a good mood of doing so due to my physical fitness. I was always in pain and worried about my own health. I had to go to doctor thrice in this tour. Now all those things are in my head but words are not coming through. Sorry for that.  


1 comment:

Wade Kenneth said...

If You want to Visit Dharamshala the wonder world resort is best option for accomodation as it has situated on the National Highway, 6kms from the Kangra airport,provides lots of facilities like spa, Bar Dharamshala,Swimming pool and lots more. You Can say its a Complete world in its own.