There are plans and then there are plans. We named our small group – Yayawar.

0. Yayawars

Little did we know that the name would tower upon the future of our trip. After all, if you have a firm plan and you follow it to the hilt, what’s being Yayawar in that? A Yayawar is the one who has no plans and no destinations… Ours was a solid plan, thanks to the guidance provided by various threads on various forums including Team-BHP, BCMT, DOW and HiVayKing, including that one of Tanveer and multiple reviews by HVK, all the destinations were marked and itinerary fixed. But only if the plans could remain…

Our plan was smashed and washed out by various factors, including bandh, curfew and breakdowns, got extended by 3 days, missed by quite a couple of destinations and we were literally forced to become Yayawars with no plans, no destinations, no dates…

And so it happened… the making of Yayawars

The Yayawars crossed these…

Zoji La Pass

Pass # 1. Zoji La Pass -Altitude 11649 Feet – The gateway to Ladakh, Highest point on Srinagar-Leh highway

Namik La

Pass # 2. Namik La Pass – Altitude 12198 Feet

Fotu La Pass

Pass # 3. Fotu La Pass – Altitude 13479 Feet

Khardung La Pass

Pass # 4. Khardung La Pass – Altitude 18379 Feet – World’s highest pass on highest motorable road (or claimed so!)

Wari La Pass

Pass # 5. Wari La Pass – Altitude 17300 Feet – Tough ascent from Agham side, challenge to the driver and the machine!

Chang La Pass

Pass # 6. Chang La Pass or the Mighty Chang La – Altitude 17586 Feet – World’s Third Highest Pass

Unnamed Pass

Pass # 7. An unnamed but peculiar pass between Merak and Chusul along Pangong Tso. Lots of Horns!!! And it’s not Polakang La.

Tanglang La Pass

Pass # 8. Tanglang La – Altitude 17582 Feet – World’s Second Highest Pass – Highest point on Manali Leh Highway

Lachlung La Pass

Pass # 9. Lachulung La – Altitude 16616 Feet

Nakee La Pass

Pass # 10. Nakee La – Altitude 15647 Feet

Baralacha La Pass

Pass # 11. Baralacha La – Altitude 16040 Feet

Rohtang Pass

Pass # 12. Rohtang Pass – Altitude 13051 Feet – Relatively low on elevation, but dreaded due to muck and slush



The Yayawars saw these…

Dal Lake

Dal Lake at night. The pic should have been dark, I guess!!

Zanskar-Indus Sangam

Zansakar Indus Sangam near Nimmoo

Tso Talk

Tso Talk – Much Before you reach Tangtse from Leh

Chagar Tso

Chagar Tso – en-route to Pangong, but no one stops in a tearing hurry to reach Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso

The “Three Idiots Lake” – The Pangong Tso – Saltwater lake at an altitude of 14270 Feet

Unnamed lake

Unnamed lake on return from Chusul to Tangtse route.

Suraj Taal

Suraj / Vishaal Taal near Baralacha La. Sweet water lake formed of glacial waters. Third highest in India and 21st highest lake in world. Source of Bhaga River.

Deepak Tal

Deepak Tal enroute to Baralahca La. Man made small lake.

Chandra Taal

Of course The Chandra Taal, situated at an altitude of 14100 Feet in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. The crescent beautiful lake has no visible glacial source!!!


The Yayawars were greeted by these…




Birdie.. which one is this?


Another birdie!


Yet another birdie!!!


entire group of birdies


Butterfly came looking for juice, we told them juicy stories 😉


Chicken – No! We didn’t bar-be-queued ’em! 🙂


Cow grazing in meadows


The poser doggie!


Doves met with a peace message…


The Ducks went crakalacking on meeting us!


The muttons (Oh Sorry! the Goats), just met and ran away. Their life was in danger…


Horses were plenty.. both wild and domesticated

The Ibex family came visiting...

The Ibex family came visiting…

k-la frog

The Khardung La frog remained stationary


The Kiangs were curious…


The marmots were cute…


The molluscs and jelly fish also said “Hi”…

snow leopard

Snow Leopard came meeting.. he was swift!!


The goats brought their kinsfolk – the Sheeps…


The native Yak also met us…

And so did the migrants.. the donkeys!

And so did the migrants.. the donkeys!

The Yayawars slept here…

Hotel Vivek

Jammu – Hotel Vivek

Trikuta Bhawan

Katra – Trikuta Bhawan

Hotel D'Zozila

Kargil – Hotel D’Zojila

Hotel Jorchung

Leh – Hotel Jorchung with good apricots and apples and homegrown veggies

Turtuk Holiday Camp

Turtuk – Turtuk Holiday Camp’s tented accomodation

Serthi JKTDC

Serthi / Sarkti / Sakti – JKTDC – avoid!!!

Padma Shop

Spangmik / Pangong – Padma Shop & Restaurant – good sunrise view!

Upshi Lodge

Upshi Lodge – The room where we stayed is at the far end, first floor.


HPTDC Chandrabhaga

Keylong – HPTDC Chandrabhaga – nice hotel and nice hospitality!

Chandratal - Jamaica's camp

Chandratal – Jamaica’s is the best!

Batal shelter

Batal – Our shelter for four nights. Windproof and comfy…

Batal -Chandra dhaba

Batal – The Chacha’s Chandra Dhaba – our shelter during the daytime…

On Tow Truck

Ummm… we did spent a night on the road, on this tow truck, after the descent from Rohtang, between Marhi and Gulaba. Courtsey – the truck driver #@#$%$#^@


The Yayawars went like this…

went loaded

Fully loaded we went!


Did this…

Got guts

We’ve got guts!

…and returned like this…

return pose

Notice any difference between the two car pics??


via of course the pic you saw earlier… yes! via the tow truck!!!

What a journey it had been! A great experience which we shall cherish forever…

More and details to follow…

P.S.: All the pics as of now are just resized and without any processing. The same will be replaced later.

Update: Added the Upshi Lodge pic. Courtsey: Tony.