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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Morachi Chincholi - Part 3 - The Natural Potholes at Nighoj, and much, much more...

Please read the first two parts of this series at

Having had enough of peacocks for the moment, and sated with the delicious Pohe, we turned to some other activities our hosts had lined up for us – the first of these was a bullock cart ride, which we adults enjoyed as much as the kids did! Amidst squeals of delight, we all managed to climb in and have a tour of the farmhouse, probably making the bullocks wonder why we humans were making so much of noise!

The one thing we missed was milking the cows, since that was done early at dawn, even before we awoke. But we made the most of the other resources at the farmhouse, walking on the fields and seeing the irrigation mechanism and in general, learning more about rural life! Samhith and his new-found friend even had a wonderful bath with well water pouring out of the motorized system. Hurrying them up and getting them out of the water was a difficult task, but something we had to do, to avoid wastage of water. However, our host was a lot more pragmatic, delaying the watering of the field so that the bath water could irrigate the fields. This was a first for Samhith, and he made the most of it!

We still had a lot more time left for lunch, and decided to go off to see the natural potholes at Nighoj. You haven’t heard of them, have you? Neither had I, but it is a beautiful place, and a must-see if you are ever in the vicinity!

The Kukdi River once flowed peacefully along these plains. Sudden geological disturbances caused a huge canyon to be formed into which the river flowed with a great force, forming huge holes in the rocks. There are so many of these holes of all shapes and sizes, which resemble potholes. These natural potholes are some of the biggest in Asia, but few of us have even heard of them!

Instead of wasting more words talking about a wonder I can never manage to describe in words, let me take you there through my photographs…..

We saw a few birds roosting in the crevices… here are a pair of swifts….

And here is a pic of me and Samhith… for once, a decent picture of me, right???

The water was way down inside the canyon, and Shankar not being around, my adventurous instincts were rather low. I was even afraid of letting Samhith alone, afraid of what antics he might get up to, which of course, succeeded in irritating him! While some of the youngsters in our group climbed all over the place, exploring it thoroughly, I managed to engage Samhith by looking out for stones to take home…..

Usha, these stone pics are exclusively for you! I really wish you were there. If only I had known of this place earlier, we could have gone together!!

The stones in the next pic were collected in the farm, but I put them up here on Samhith's request...

It was interesting to see the geological structure of the area… the usual black stones were the most obvious, but if you looked closer you could see the veins of marble running trough it here and there. When we began collecting the pieces of stone which had chipped off the solid rock, we realised that there was a lot more to see just under the surface… we saw lots of green-coloured stones, and also a few with a tinge of red, indicating the presence of different minerals just under the surface. This place is apparently of great interest to geologists, as I found when I searched on then net after I returned. I just wish I had heard of it before so that I could have read up and done a bit of homework before actually going there!

Ok, now that the natural wonders are dealt with, let me talk about something else that we learnt about the place. While we ‘youngsters’ were busy staring at the natural formations, one of the ladies in our group showed some initiative and went to speak with one of the locals hanging around. She then informed us that the temples on the banks were dedicated to 7 sisters – three of them at this place, and four were further down the river bank. She also told us that apparently, the seven sisters were some form of the Devi, and that the Devi was believed to rest at the bottom of the canyon. Well, as you can imagine, I was quite curious about this, and googled it when I returned. To my surprise, there was lots and lots about it on the net! So many people had been to this place (and to think that I hadn’t even known that such a place existed!!). Apparently, every year, around the time of Janmashtami, an earthen pitcher or pot appears in the canyon from the bottom of the river. This is considered the appearance of the goddess, and the place which was deserted when we went, is apparently packed with people at that time!

The heat managed to get to us finally, and we started back, stopping only to take a few pictures along the way. We stopped a little way upstream the same river, to take some pics of some ancient-looking structures, probably temples, on the banks, and decided to head off to the river to cool down a bit. The water wasn’t too deep, thanks to the rains having been delayed, but the water was clear and cool, and we had a wonderful time!

Fort Walls in the middle of nowhere!

By the time we returned, we were hungry, and ready to eat anything our host set before us. But there was still a little time for that, and we decided to use the time for a photo session, posing all over the place for single as well as group photos. A small tree nearby beckoned, and the kids climbed up one by one, while we indulged and encouraged them by taking lots of pics and videos.

After all the activity, we were ready to hog, and the lunch was a treat – Bhakri, Bharleli Vangi (Stuffed Brinjal in gravy), Pitla (a dish made with gram flour, difficult to describe in English), and of course, Daal – Bhaat with pure ghee! We ate till we could eat no more, and spent some time just relaxing. We all would have slept off, except for the fact that the family which was to occupy our rooms for that night had already arrived, and we had to reach Mumbai too!

As we readied to leave, our hosts surprised us with a gift - you guessed it - peacock feathers!!!! Apparently, the peacocks shed their feathers during Diwali, so that's the time to go if you want to collect some...The peacocks dance from June to November, so if you just want to enjoy the sight, plan your trip accordingly...

For now, we managed to find a few feathers.... They are either those of a peahen, or from the under-side of the peacock... any ideas???

It was with a heavy heart that we turned back, and the journey was surely an anti-climax after the trip, for each and every one of us (including Samhith!!!) slept off the moment we started!!

Note: As usual, I took lots and lots of pics at the place... But many of the pics had the others in them, and I was a bit apprehensive of how they would like to see their pics on the blog, hence have not put any of them here... There are many more interesting pics, though, so please click on the photograph below and have a look at my Picasa Album. 

Morachi Chincholi

This finishes off my series on our trip to Morachi Chincholi….Before I conclude, I must commend Rushikesh Kulkarni of Breakfree journeys for his initiative. Thanks to him, I have met many more interesting people and made some new friends. The experience was like going for an outing with friends, not as part of an organized tour. As Samhith would say, “Thank you, organizing uncle!”


Accommodation at Morachi Chincholi:

  1. Mauli Krishi Paryatan :
  2. Mayur Baug :

Breakfree journeys:

·  Rushikesh Kulkarni:
·  Breakfree on Facebook:


  1. I managed to reach your comment box finally. What a wonderful place it is, and in your neighborhood too!

  2. Lovely post; how about the monsoons in this place? The old temple structures might be surrounded by water then...

  3. Beautiful post. The Narmada river at Bheraghat (Jabalpur) also has some such formations.

  4. Wow superb fotos and detailed description as usual. Those rock formations are spell binding. As u rightly pointed out this might be a archeologists research paradise.
    Well I was suprised to see that this place has quite a similarity with Perunthenaruvi. I blogged it here

    thanks and happy touring

  5. Wow... thats a whole lot of activity...:D :D... Lovely post and nice place.. !!!

  6. Aah! Bharleli vang and genuine marathi pohe and peacocks! Why did I move from Mumbai? I could've gone on this trip :( And don't tell me Samhith is not giving me even one of those pebbles! But yes, S has moved out of the colony so there is no way the pebbles would reach me even if Samhith had such wonderful intentions :D

  7. your an intrepid wanderer..
    and so is yr son

    it was wonderful reading your trip sheet!!

  8. @Mridula: Was there a problem leaving a comment? a couple of people have written in saying they had.....

    but yes, we are so lucky to have so many wonderful places so near, yet such a pity that we cant go off whenever we please!!

    @? : The monsoons apparently used to be quite heavy in this area, but of late, the rains have decreased... but even then, i guess the water would reach the temples then.... but the canyon has never been filled... even during the heaviest monsoon, the water level remains quite low!! should go and see sometime!

    @PN Subramanian: Yes, I have heard of the Marble rocks.. have to go sometime..... our country really has some fantastic stuff.. but we know little of them!

    @subu: thanks so much! for the appreciation as well as the info.... i hadnt even heard of that place before... have left a comment there too..... the list of places i want to go is growing by the minute! surely a lifetime wont be enough to cover all of them!

    @Shilpa: actually, yes, it was hectic, but we werent the least bit tired...after all, we didnt even walk anywhere... all we had to do is get from one place to another,, and appreciate it :)))

    @Usha: I told you so!!! not really, well, but u get the idea!!! as to the stones, i really think u have no chance.... he has to see u in person to even think of it.... so u better think of a vacation here soon... and maybe we can go there again!!

    @ssstoryteller: thanks so much, sowmya... yes, we both are interpid wanderers, and just wish we could travel more often!! aah.. if only we didnt need to work, didnt need to go to school, didnt have to manage a house.....

  9. I'm so happy to see that photographs you have taken at Morachi Chincholi and Nighoj. I envy, in a good way, that you have taken better photographs than I could have taken :)

    Is Nighoj still a place to visit, season-wise? I thought water level must have risen up, but of course, was doubtful due to mad human dams.

  10. Dam cool place, like to visit soon.. nice post keep updating.


  11. hey those are not MARBLE veins in those rocks (Basalt)....those are QUARTZ veins....

  12. maybe... but thats what we were told.....


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