MTV Roadies host Rannvijay Singh strikes riding to Ladakh off his bucket list, as he rides a Mahindra Mojo up to this high altitude desert with 30 other riders – one of whom just happens to be his dad.
It’s been a long time since I strapped on my riding gear, so when Mahindra invited me to join the Mojo Tribe on a journey to Ladakh I jumped at the chance and immediately said yes. Riding to Leh with a group of riders is something that I’ve always wanted to do, so here was my chance.
The Mojo Tribe included around 30 riders from all over India. They set off from Delhi, and I joined them from Chandigarh. My father, now 60 years of age, decided to join us as well. He’s now retired from the army, and we thought it would be a good father-son bonding exercise.
The full journey would be covered in 15 days, and would go from Manali to Keylong, with an overnight halt at Sarchu, and onwards to Leh. After a day or two of rest, the riders would head to Pangong Lake, then to Kargil, and also ride up to the Nubra valley. Time constraints, though, meant that I could only join the group till Leh.
The first day we covered the most distance – 310 kilometres from Chandigarh to Manali. The next morning, we set off early for Keylong through Rohtang, a distance of 155 kilometres, 27 of which were on terrible roads.
The following day was where things started to get more serious. We started off for Sarchu around 8am, targeting to reach before dark. En route we were to cross two major water crossings to reach a beautiful lunch spot at a small place called Xing Xing Bar. Once we reached Sarchu, we found our campsite and readied our tents for the night. It wasn’t an easy journey, as we were just starting to acclimatise to the altitude. And while this band of brothers interacted throughout the day, around the campfire at night was the best time to really bond with this diverse group of riders.
The next morning, a long 250-kilometre journey lay ahead of us all the way to Leh – through the Gata Loops. Along the way, we conquered all kinds of treacherous terrain. We crossed two mountain passes, namely Lachulung La and Naki La. We stopped at small dhaba at Pang for lunch, where a wonderful local family gave us delicious food – which gave us the strength to continue to brave the difficult conditions and the altitude sickness. Just as darkness fell, we arrived in Leh after experiencing some of the best views Mother Nature could throw at us.
I must compliment the Mojo on being very easy to ride. Even my father, who hadn’t ridden a motorcycle in 35 years, found it easy going. As I made my way back to Chandigarh, the rest of the riders continued forth. The things I missed the most was the comradery and respect between the riders. It was amazing how this group of strangers were behaving as though we were long-time buddies from school. We all earned our stripes on our respective Mojos, and these are stripes that I’ll always wear very proudly. This is certainly one of those bucket list journeys, and one that I’m proud and happy to strike from the list…