On the other side of Khardung La lies the famous Nubra valley – the land of the sand dunes (Hunder), double humped camels (Hunder), beautiful monasteries (Diskit, Sumur), hot water springs (Panamik) etc.

It snowed when we were at Khardung La. Being from the hot-hotter weather of Chennai, it became extremely cold for us to bear it any longer. We quickly made a move. Gloves and jackets were of no use. The cold pierced through every fabric and sent shivers through everyone’s spines. The road to North Pullu from Khardung La was bad. Small melt-water streams made sure the bad roads turned in to slush in no time. Frozen and irritated, we made our way towards North Pullu. Sun peeked from behind the clouds after a long time and the warmth was very soothing. We stopped our bikes and soaked in the warmth … sun bath if you may say. Beyond North Pullu and until Khalsar, the roads were fantastic. Zipping through those curves was super fun.

Icicles near Khardung La

Icicles near Khardung La

It was about 4 PM when we reached the Khalsar village and I was quite hungry. There were only 4 shops in the town of which only one was a hotel. It was a cozy home-cum-hotel, handled by a small family.

A drop dead beautiful Ladakhi girl, wrapped up head to toe, in nice warm clothes was standing outside her hotel. Insanely gorgeous. Her scarf was damn cute too. My bike suddenly seemed to have a mind on its own. It leaned on one side and stopped right outside the shop. Apparently, my jaws had dropped and took a lot of time to recover. My eyes were fixed on her and didn’t move an inch away. My lips had automatically curled in to a smile. She smiled too … SHE SMILED ! Wow!

Chubby Ladakhi baby

Chubby Ladakhi baby

She turned around and walked inside. Minutes later, she stepped out again and in her arms was an ultra cute kid 😀 … I heard a loud POP sound. Probably that was my heart 😛 … The world came crashing down and I was back to my normal self. One and a half years later, this moment of the amazing bike trip remains unforgettable :)

Hebbe Falls in Monsoon

November 1st, 2011

Hebbe Falls is located near Kemmannugundi in Karnataka. Without doubt, it is one of the most beautiful places. We picked peak monsoon for a bike trip through the Western Ghats and had NO IDEA how beautiful Hebbe Falls would be in peak monsoon. Visiting that waterfall was one of the best things of the bike trip. To know our route and which places we covered during the trip, read Sudar’s blog post.

Initially, we had to take a small detour to get on the “road” to Hebbe Falls. The road was actually no road. It was full of huge and slippery boulders. When it’s pouring cats and dogs, 24×7, during monsoon, it becomes a slushy mess that can be navigated only by cars with good ground clearance. As we neared the place beyond which cars can’t go, the rain slowed down. As soon as we stepped down, leeches attacked us from all directions. The only way to escape them was to run :) . The earth around us was dripping wet, fresh and aromatic from the recent rain.

Jeep Trail to Hebbe Falls

Jeep Trail to Hebbe Falls

After a short 15 minute trek and crossing three streams, we heard the thunder of the waterfall. As with the thunder, my heartbeat also increased. What we saw next was a sight to behold!

Hebbe Falls

Hebbe Falls

My jaw dropped at the sight of the waterfall. Tremendous amounts of water was cascading down two levels of the waterfall. Each level was at least 50 feet high. The photo above shows only one level. The other level was misty and couldn’t be captured well. The water spray was too much to handle. We couldn’t even keep our eyes open. There was no one else around except the few of us and we spent a looooong time sitting near the waterfall and getting wet in its spray. I even dared to go in to one of the side streams and spent some time under one of those countless tiny waterfalls. The soul was cleansed. No one in the world would have been happier than the five of us at the waterfall that morning.

For all this, people were telling us not to visit the place during monsoon! Off season it seems! Off season travel is definitely worth it. Gratification is high :)