Earth and Sky

Misty Mountains
Pixabay image by fermiart

Misty mountains beckon
Slippery stones scare
Where clouds adorn the valley
Illusionary world comes alive here

Rivulets dance with abandon
Sunbeams play a dazzling game
Songs of nature mystify you
Tricky pathways meander

Dew never dries here
Fragrance floats forever
Positive vibes permeate around
Seeping within your soul

Where we could touch the mist,
Inhale tranquility of waning light
Be one with the dreamy duo –
Earth and sky

Heaven below our feet, grandeur above
Purging all our doubts
Silence speaks in thousand dialects
Concert only senses could hear!
© Balroop Singh, June 2019

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Symphony of Surroundings

clouds touching the hills
Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto

When dawn heralds peace
Breeze blends with serene clouds
When they kiss the hills
Blushing in the new light,

When glow of Mother Nature
Outlines the meadows
A golden ribbon flutters
Adorned by Aubrietia

Who can move further?
Mesmerized by the surreal environs
Dazzled by the beauty of dawn
We watch with delight

Until the sun starts its journey
And the day reminds us —
It’s the symphony of surroundings
That whisper life into us.
© Balroop Singh, June 2019

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #photoprompt Choices

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When I Visited the Roof of the World…

Leh – A Page From My Travel Diary

Snow covered mountains
The Himalayan range as seen from the room of Grand Dragon Ladakh

Leh – ‘the roof of the world’ is not just a spiritual town, interspersed with Buddhist monasteries and stupas but also an epitome of serenity, a quintessence of unparalleled unique beauty, which keeps changing with its mesmerizing views and seasons.

Any trip to India would be incomplete if you have not visited this desert of mountains. The hallmark of this place is its tranquility and simplicity, untouched and unexploited by commercial tourism. There is no mad race of fleecing the tourists like you may see at Srinagar or Manali.

It was a little unpopular due to lack of nightlife and poor digital connectivity but it is an extraordinary experience in itself. New luxury hotels (only a few) with all modern facilities and Wi-Fi have come up recently.DSC01886 2

When we visited in 2011, the only centrally heated hotel was The Grand Dragon at old Leh road, Sheynam. If you are not very fond of crowded places, if you like trekking, biking, mountaineering and rafting, you can find all these activities here to make your trip more memorable.

When we checked the best time to visit Leh, we were told that April to June is the peak season. We decided to visit in mid April to avoid the summer rush but we found very few tourists, which made our trip all the more enjoyable.

We didn’t have to wait on the roads, which is a common spectacle on narrow hill roads. When we landed at Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport, situated at the highest altitude in the world, the effect of winter could be seen all around in the form of bare trees and snow-clad Himalayan peaks, with no greenery around.

The landscape aroused a very distinctive feeling as if we had entered an absolutely new world of bare mountains. The view from our room was absolutely heavenly, with snowy mountains touching the horizon, a lower brownish range merging into the plains and few simple looking houses, which seemed sleepy!

A chilly breeze welcomed us in the morning as we stepped out to bask in the glorious sun, shining splendidly. Soaking in the sun, on the arid lawns of our hotel, we made the plans for the day, keeping in view the advice that we must get acclimatized to the high altitude before going further.

Road covered with snow
Enroute Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake was topmost on our list but it is 160 kms from Leh. As we were contemplating to order a taxi, another couple approached us and suggested that we could make this journey together. It appealed to us because we could split up the expenses and also have nice company for the day.

We decided that we would start early next morning as the journey to and fro would consume the whole day and nobody could stay at the height of 14,256 feet for the night. There are no hotels nearby to accommodate any tourists.

The journey by SUV cab was long, arduous but breathtaking. The snow had not melted and as we went uphill, cold kept creeping into our bones. As we travelled on the third highest motorable road in the world, covered with snow from all the four sides, we felt on top of the world.

The local driver knew exactly where to stop for refreshment and photography. Chang La Pass at the height of 17,585 feet was incredibly stunning with mounds of snow all around us. Indian army guards this pass as it is very close to China border and mythological Changla baba sits there to keep them warm and inspired.

Chang La Pass and temple at the height of 17,585 feet
Chang La Pass and temple at the height of 17,585 feet

Prayer flags could be seen all around Changla Baba temple. The stopover was very short, not more than 20 minutes due to high altitude, deficiency of oxygen, extreme cold and unpredictable weather.

This pass is the gateway to the Changthang Plateau and Pangong lake. The descent from this pass towards Darbuk is again very steep and the journey seems endless. Another amazing spectacle enroute Pangong Lake is a valley of rocks and boulders, formed by avalanches. You can’t see any greenery around though some pictures of late summer show it.

DSC01824
Standing on frozen Pangong Lake

At last we could see the magnificent lake, surrounded by bare hills of various hues of brown, black and golden. We were told that it is 134 km (83mi) long and extends into China. Almost 60% of this lake is actually in China. Alas we couldn’t see its deep blue color as shown in the pictures because it was completely frozen! We walked on it and took some memorable pictures.

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Then was the time to start the long journey back and we came back extremely tired but in high spirits for exploring other parts of Leh next morning.

To be continued…

Have you visited such an amazing place?

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©Balroop Singh.

Forlorn

derbyshire-lambs-hawk-kestrel-crone-stone-tideswell-lillingstone-025
Sue Vincent’s #WritePhoto

I stand alone
Reminiscing my glorious past
I rot but the decay dawdles

Storms that I endured
Echo around me
Accentuating their power

Power that reeks
Of unaccomplished goals
Will they ever fathom the futility?

Shrouded by deafening silence
Of ruin and devastation, of
The land that nobody dares to tread

Dark moments cling to me
Even waters run deep
Avoiding the valley

Indifferent seasons secede
Wind forgets to sing here
Birds sit confounded

Clouds pass by
Intimidated by the water
Whose colors run deep red

Slime on the stones has subsided
Trees recede to reflect
Muted tones ask but

Only sky that envelops me
Can tell the story
Of my collapse, of your debacle.
© Balroop Singh, February 2019

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #photoprompt Timeless

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Memories and Moments

Nature picture
Sue Vincent’s #photoprompt

Our favorite meeting place
Where we found solace,
Love still blooms there
With fragrance and care.

Breezy silence of your eyes
That could stir the skies,
When our dreams took flight
Spring sang with delight.

Clouds carried our joy far
Our love, lighted by every star
Lingered languidly on our lips
When our hearts chose ellipse

Memories and moments merge here
Today when we return to share,
Nuances of nature and love
That permeates this alcove.

Your fragrance still abounds
Blends in the melodious sounds,
Echoing its infinite power
In the grandeur of this bower.
© Balroop Singh, February 2019

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday #writephoto Fragrant

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