October 8, 2007

Hundar - Retracing the Silk Route


From Diskit is a sand dunes and boulder-strewn route that took me to Hunder. At one point in Hundar, there is a roadblock for tourists with a sign explicitly stating "No Visitors Permitted Beyond this Point." Only locals and military vehicles are allowed to pass beyond that which is the way to the Line of Control (the glacier that India and Pakistan have been sadly fighting over for several decades).


The main attraction here is the domesticated Bactrian camels found among the sand dunes of the Hundar Village. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the Dromedary which has one. The wild variety of Bactrian are apparently found only in Northwest China and Mongolia otherwise.

I went on a short camel safari for about 30 minutes - short, since a mild dust storm began and therefore, it was not very comfortable to continue. By the time I finished the safari and headed back to Diskit, the road looked like this:


The Hundar valley was originally part of the trading Silk Route and these camels were used in earlier days as means of transport on that Road. The villages in the Nubra Valley that I explored in the jeep safari are the ones that fall along on the ancient Silk Route to Central Asia with Panamik being the last halt for the caravans before they crossed the high Karakoram passes.




I found cattle grazing in the broad expanse of the valley. I stopped by to take a few shots of a herd of sheep and goats grazing happily in the sand dune valley against the brown mountain backdrop. It was an enchanting scene.




I came across more military personnel here. There was particulary one I chatted with who hailed from Kerala and his Bengali wife and two daughters travelled from West Bengal to visit him. It was a family reunion for them in the Hundar Village of the Nubra valley of the Himalayas!

21 comments:

Kalyan said...

WoW...some wonderfully captured shots & just loved reading your descriptions...EXCELLENT!

indicaspecies said...

kalyan: Thank you. :)

Pijush said...

This is a rare sight and nice reading your post. Awesome experience. Cool shots :-)

indicaspecies said...

pijush: Thank you. A rare and awesome experience indeed. :)

Crazy Me said...

Your blog is so cool. I love it!!

eve's lungs said...

Glorious - words are totally superfluous here

Priyank said...

Camels? Not Yaks??

indicaspecies said...

crazy me: Thank you very much. :)

eve's lungs: Welcome to my blog, and thanks for your kind words. Please drop by sometimes. :)

priyank: Bactrian camels they are - with two humps! These are not common. I've seen yaks and they have a different morphology. :)

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh my goodness, what a fascinating life you lead. Thank you for sharing these experiences with us. It is the beauty of the internet that folk such as us cross paths - I certainly feel richer for the experience (smile).

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

A. Celine!

Lovely Blog....love your pictures & how lucky you are to have experienced so many fabulous places & people...

Ananda Niyogi said...

A very thought evoking place - to think of it, many of the men who shaped India's ancient & medieval history have passed through this Route.

I found the photos to be a tad soft & out of focus though :-)

AJEYA RAO said...

Nice place, good pics...Wondering when i can make it to all these places. :-(

indicaspecies said...

shrink wrapped scream: Thank you. That's the kinda life I live when I am on holidays. It's so different here otherwise.

I fully agree with you on the "beauty of the internet." Out of approx 990 million internet users, we "cross paths." I am delighted that you found this post useful. Do drop in sometime. :)

indicaspecies said...

~ms. cute pants~: Thank you for your visit here, and for the sweet words. :)

indicaspecies said...

ananda niyogi: Thank you for your valuable comments. I'm writing more about the area in my next posting on Panamik.

I do agree the pictures are not the best as I was busy enjoying the camel safari then, which was followed by a dust storm. The goats grazing shots were shot as soon as I reached the place and those turned out better.

indicaspecies said...

ajeya rao: Thank you. :)
What else can I say? Don't plan much, just go. It will be worth it.

Trée said...

Such magnificent looking animals. Don't see many of those where I live. :-D

indicaspecies said...

trée: I agree the mountain animals are magnificent. The ones dwelling on the plains look different from these. :)

niki yokota said...

sooo many cute animals!!
ur pics are magnificient!

indicaspecies said...

niki yokota: Thank you Niki-chan. :)

Anonymous said...

I seldom leave comments on blog, but I have been to this post which was recommend by my friend, lots of valuable details, thanks again.