The Road Less Travelled
The most intensely gratifying aspect of travel is to explore areas that are still untouched and in proverbial terms, are 'virgin'. The way to Pangong Tso via Chusul and Tsaga La definitely falls in this category. Pangong as we know, is one of the highest salt water lakes in the world and extends into the Chinese territory for another 80 kms. This route is only open to Indian citizens because of its proximity to the LoC with China and one must obtain an inner line permit from the office of the District Magistrate in Leh, to take this road. Here, the brilliance of the trans-Himalayan desert is at it best and the road less travelled, if taken offers a great opportunity to experience it first hand.
The serpentine-like dirt track, moves along the Chinese border on a barren yellow landscape, often dotted with bunkers on either side. The Tsaga post manned through the year, even in the harsh cold winter offers a hawk-eye view of the entire area and is considered as one of the most strategic frontline outposts of the Indian army. There is a sense of uneasy calm, a hint of nervousness that one could feel while traversing through this part of Changthang. Survival of the fittest if clearly the mantra be it a beast or man
PHOTO COURTESY SMRITHI RAO