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Khardung La

At Khardung La Top, Khardung La Rd, Jammu and Kashmir 194101
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On top of the world   India

On top of the world

Ladakh, a region in the northernmost Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is as surreal as it is captivating. We were there last autumn, and decided to drive up one of the world's highest motorable passes to get to the other side - Nubra Valley, a high-altitude desert complete with sand dunes and bactrian camels.

Khardungla Pass is at a height of 18,380 feet; we got out of the car only to be frozen to the marrow in a few minutes. At -20 degree Celsius on a cold autumn morning, the place was bereft of tourists. We had tea at a small army canteen perched precariously at the snow-covered cliff. Wonder how the army men survive the brutal winters there.

There are daily flights to Leh from New Delhi.