Quest to spot snow leopard
The post speaks about my journey to the beautiful valley of Kashmir in search of the snow leopard.
This crazy streak hit me from different wildlife channels. The snow leopard is considered to be an introvert animal who lives in tough habitat and can be seldom captured by the camera! In a vow to capture it, we decided to go to the Hemis national park.
A strong will and a fair gear to achieve the target are not always enough for you to achieve the goals and hence you need the helping hands.Some people know you very well,they are closet once,their hands always ready to fill a gap between your fingures. but some timessome strangers came into your life as they know you from your infancy. I met new friends with similar interests, Yuvraj and Gurmat who helped me achieve this feet.
By 31st of May, we reached Jammu and shopped a little for our bike trip and it was here when I was acquainted with a dangerous pass waiting ahead for us on our journey. Next morning, nature was not pleasant and seemed to demotivate us. However, determined to make it to the top, we started our voyage and rode to Sonamarg. After 14 hours long ride of 420 km, we started hitting the base of the Himalayas. Sonamarg, which means ' meadow of gold '. Sonamarg gives rise to The Three Sisters (Kashmir). In its vicinity lies the great Himalayan glaciers of Kashmir Valley namely Kolhoi Glacier and Machoi Glacier with some peaks of above 5000 metres.
Keeping the security point in view, the Indian army had blocked two-way traffic to the world's most dangerous pass, Zozhila. Zozhila pass is a gate of heaven made by horrific Phantom.
It was the first time we realised that we may fail but in place of dimming our motive, this further motivated our spirit. Without uttering a single word and dry throats, we crossed this pass and finally caught the hold of our breath only after reaching the Drass.
Before I mention further, I will take a moment to acknowledge the fact that Indian army is the real saviour. For Indian army, no mission is too difficult and no any sacrifices are too great. They make even the toughest of the tasks easy and this is what they must be saluted for! Salute to our Army who guard our borders without worrying much about their lives.
Moving on, we saw the highest peak of that sector, Tiger hill and reached Leh on the same day. On reaching Kargil, a small town between Leh and Drass, a local person guided us to take Batalik road in place of Kargil-Leh Highway and trusting him was one of the best things that we have ever done! Why? We saw such diverse eye-catching panorama, that couldnt be arrested by any camera.
The sun rays of the next morning met us at the world's highest motoring road, Khardungla top, 18300 feet above the ground. Being tired of riding for more than 1100 km, we decided to take a rest for a day and later continued with our journey.
On reaching Hemis national park, we were excited to be at the dream destination. However, the locals assured us that it is tough to spot a snow leopard in that area and if we wish to spot one, we need to move to Stoke, a small town.
Full of passion, our bikes were rolling towards Stoke and it was one of the worst days of my life. We began trekking at 2pm and were lost in the wasteland. We trekked for 8 hours straight without any food and water. To add to it, all we managed to spot was a blue sheep. Coming back, we were shredded and lost all hope to see a snow leopard.
Heavy-heartedly, we decided to ride back home! Our hearts were sinking for we could not achieve what we were here for! However, catching those beautiful sights and riding back we were in Dachigam. We had little time to explore Srinagar and in place of going to popular Dal lake, we moved to Dachigam, I do not know why!
It was here when a miracle happened and we saw a leopard sitting on a branch of the low trunk tree while walking into the jungle.Even though we had no protective devices with us we were ecstatic and fearless.
I will extend my gratitude to all the people having different religion which helped us to reached our challenges, we salute our truck drivers who transport various goods to our Indian army in harsh nature and our families who extended their support to us.
I have held many things in my hand and have lost them all but whatever I placed in Gods hand that I still possess.
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