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The Road to Zanskar, Vol I - Gonbo Rangjon


motorcycle after crossing shinku la

I finally arrived in Zanskar's magnificent valley. one of the most pure, undisturbed valleys in the region of Ladakh, India. After years of planning, I finally decided to go overnight to Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, via the Zanskar region. This time, however, I was accompanied by my friend Sai, who was riding his Hero Xpulse 200, a perfect match for my Royal Enfield Himalayan.


camping at gonbo rangjon

I'd already undertaken an adventurous attempt to cover the Zanskar valley in 2021. After leaving Srinagar, Kashmir, and riding through the Pangi Valley, one of the most difficult off-roading tracks in the Indian Himalayas, and exiting at Darcha in Lahoul, Himachal. After Darcha, the Manali-Leh route splits, with one road leading to Shinku La, the high mountain pass required to enter Zanskar Valley.


My motorbike had died just before reaching Shinku La, where my clutch plates had burned up due to excessive acceleration, and I had to turn back and follow the more regular Manali-Leh highway to reach Ladakh. Even though I wasn't sure if my ageing Royal Enfield Himalayan (Eskimo) would be able to make it to Zanskar, I made the decision to try.


drone shot of gonbo rangjon campsite


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