This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Vishwas Raj, founder of the adventure travel company - Adventure Sindbad (www.adventuresindbad.com). Adventure Sindbad specializes in a variety of adventure activities across the Himalayas, right from hiking, cycling, whitewater rafting to family adventure tours. Sit back and enjoy as Vishwas takes us to Changthang, the land of the Pashmina!
Today's destination: Changthang, Jammu & Kashmir
Nearest Airport: Leh Airport
Nearest Railway Station: Udhampur Railway station
Prerequisites - Inner line permits may be required for a few areas. This is taken care of by Adventure Sindbad if you travel with them.
Packing - Warm clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, good walking boots
Time of the year - August
Length of the itinerary: 10 days
- This experience is a part of a photography trip led by Adventure Sindbad. The trip begins with acclimitization in Leh for 2-3 days in order to get used to the high altitude. The guests get to go around and explore the old Leh city during the acclimatization process!
- The group then heads off towards the Changthang area, a highland plateau in Kashmir that extends to Tibet and covers about 1600 kms into Tibet.
- The first stop is close to the picturesque Tso Moriri lake, albeit at some distance from the touristy points around the lake. One gets to experience the beautiful colors of nature while camping close to Tso Moriri.
- The group then heads off towards the camping site close to the nomads of Changthang - the Changpas. The Changpas are a nomadic community that wanders across the Changthang area with their herd of sheep and goats.
- The famous pashmina wool is made from the wool of the sheep and goat of this region, which is then crafted by Kashmiri artisans and is very valuable.
- The adventure sindbad team does a recce of the area well in advance and establishes contact with the nomads in order to ensure the group isn't being intrusive. As a part of the photography trip, the patrons get to document the life of the Changpas and their nomadic lifestyle.
- The rebo or yak wool tents of the Changpas are the epitome of minimalism and simplicity. The tents contain a kitchen, a dining area, sleeping area and a prayer room.
- Once the group has made contact with the nomads and set up tent in the vicinity, the patrons get a chance to observe and document the lifestyle of the Changpas, considered a dying lifestyle with the younger generations prefering to move away.
- The Changpas usually own anywhere between 100-800 sheep and start the day early by milking the goats and sheep. Some of the family then heads off to graze the sheep, while one or two family members stay back and take care of the household chores.
- The group gets to experience the various aspects of nomads life and also get some exotic shots of the arid plateau.
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