Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina - Jammin thru India

Day 38 - Leh to Kargil

In Leh, Jay is on top of the world and it is heartbreaking to leave this beautiful landscape, but leave he must

Just north of Leh at Magnetic Hill where supposedly your vehicle will move uphill in neutral, but doesn't work …

I wish I could've spent more time in Leh, but the road was calling, so sanDRina and I headed out but not before stocking up on Yos, the Ladakhi snack made of roasted barley and assorted nuts. Leaving the capital of Ladakh, National Highway 1 rides along the Indus River and it was flowing fast and full. I could only imagine what it must be like at the end of summer with the full force of the snowmelt. 

A few kilometers out of Leh, there's a place called Magnetic Hill, where if you park your car in the designated spot and leave it in neutral, it will supposedly move uphill due to the way the magnetic field is aligned at that point. But of course, it doesn't work on a bike, because the kickstand is down. There, I met up with the Taj Royals, a big group of Bullet riders on a tour from Agra. 

Riding National Highway 1 all the way from Leh to Delhi.

After some time, the landscape changed and looked very moonlike with white rocks all over the hill and then came Lamayuru, an old monastery said to be a thousand years old. It's a beautiful structure perched on top of a hill framed with beautiful snow peaks all around.
The monastery at Lamayuru, dating back a millennium.

I crossed two more passes, Fotu La and Namika La, but after the really high passes of the Manali-Leh Highway, these seemed like hills. And then it was down into Kargil, the northernmost point of my trip around India. It was near Kargil in 1999 that India and Pakistan fought their last war and after reading so much about it and seeing those events transpire in the news, it was interesting to see that it's just a regular old mountain town. Traffic is busy, street vendors are selling all sorts of items and there's fresh bread being made.    

A vegetable vendor in Kargil, looking peaceful in this town whose name is associated with a major war.

Watch Jay's video diary from Kargil:  

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The Man. The Machine. The Story

There are love stories and love stories, but none tugs more at the heart than a tale of infinite departure. In March 2010, Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina, his beloved Suzuki DR650, left on a great journey back home to India. Jay quit his secure corporate job, sold his Chicago townhouse and every household possession, and left with sanDRina on a journey that saw them through 94,933 km, 32 countries, and 1,150 days on the road through the Global South -- from the USA through Latin America and Africa, heading towards India. At the core of this seemingly mindless pursuit was Jay’s desire to raise awareness about sustainability and a unique sentiment best described by an archaic Greek term, eudaimonia – the search for things that are true, good and beautiful. 

Homecoming isn’t complete unless you experience the country you call home in all her varied terrain and temperaments. And so Jay and sanDRina will embark on a journey of discovery through India. 

Yahoo India Travel follows Jay and sanDRina on their exhilarating discovery of India with daily updates from the road in words, pictures and video. If you have questions to ask, or words of encouragement for Jay and sanDRina, follow Jammin India on Twitter (hashtag #jamminindia). Also visit JamminGlobal.com for comprehensive accounts of his journey so far as well as snippets and trivia.