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Suru Valley

Heading to the Suru Valley we pass through Drass – claiming to be the second coldest village in the world with an average winter temperature of -20° centigrade.

Just before passing through the town of Kargil we get within spitting range of the Pakistani army, as the LOC (line of control) that defines the border between India and Pakistan is just about 3km down this valley.

The lower Suru Valley at an altitude just under 3’000m is very fertile and the farmers get two harvests per year.

The Imambara at Trespone is a beautiful example of Tibetean-Persian mixed architecture. An imambara is not a mosque but an assembly hall where the muslims gather to celebrate on special occasions. The population of the Suru Valley is mostly muslim.

Further up at Karchay Khar there is a magnificent 7m high statue of Maitreya Buddha carved out of a shere rock face. It dates back to the 7th century when Buddhism spread from India into the region and before Islam took over.

Coming around a bend in the valley we are struck by this magnificent view of Nun (King) and Kun (Queen) – the two highest peaks in the western Indian Himalayas. For two nights they grace the view from our camp. There are tents for each of us to sleep in and an open air kitchen provides excellent fresh food for us.

We even dwell in Nespresso from a fancy hand powerd contraption that produces outstandig cups of espresso with perfect foam on top! It is our gift to coffee crazy Gulzar.

Well above the floor of the valley the people at Purtukchey Village still lead a very traditonal and harsh life. They live in simple and partly crumbling houses and all chores are still done manually.

Heading further up the valley we pass one of the many checkpoints along our route. Again details from our passports have to be filled into forms that will end up somewhere in the nirvana of Indian bureaucracy …….

Reaching 3’600m we are awed by the sight of mighty Parkachik glacier that extends from the Nun-Kun range.

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Navigation: Drenmo Wildlife Lodge | Rangdum

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