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As high and beautiful as heaven

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tso and La (A Journey in Ladakh) by Vikramajit Ram is a picturesque account of a trip into one of the beautiful high spots on the Earth. The descriptions of terrain, fauna and flora are very well written, and the camaraderie of the author and his traveling companion P. Singh, their interactions along the way and with the locals is heartwarming. Many sets of colourful pictures interspersed through this colourfully written book are an added bonus.

Go along NH-1D up Zoji La at 11, 630 feet, and into Drass where 527 soldiers died between May and July 1999 defending Kargil against Pakistani infiltrators. Enter the guesthouse run by an irritated local, and learn that the diet is exclusively non-vegetarian and muttony (mok mok). An egg is a thul, a shaggy mountain dog a zhankey, villagers are yulpa and the unisex gowns they wear are goncha. The author takes you into the homes and lives of the Ladhakis, something tourist brochures and armchair travelogues manage to miss.

Tso and La

by Vikramajit Ram

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