In India we miss colours of fall (autumn) as they are in many other parts of the world. Only place in India to come close to the beautiful golden colours of fall is Kashmir. Kashmir is indeed spectacular during fall. Fall colours are always amazing and to me they are as beautiful as colours of spring.
So, while on my solo biking trip to Ladakh this month I was looking everywhere for the changing colours as I was fully aware that autumn was just round the corner. And the difference in colours was very stark from Delhi to Leh. See for yourself:
These are the lush green fields of our Haryana, no signs of autumn-
The scene was quite unlikely to change until this side os the Rohtang Pass. But after crossing Gramphoo and moving towards Spiti, some wild flowers brought the joy-
But then, shortly after Gramphoo till Chandratal, the terrain is almost barren.
It was life on hills to see, only when we reach back towards Lahaul and move towards Tandi and further to Keylong. Keylong, though still had some touch of green and colour. But with snow falling on surrounding hilltops, autumn might not be too far-
But the green was gone, once I entered deep into Lahaul valley. Just after the Gata loops, I could see this touch of golden yellow on bushes-
But it is quite different once you enter the Ladakh region. Even in Ladakh, the areas adjacent to Indus or Shoyok rivers are quite different from the ones away from them. But roads near Leh, started to give a glimpse of autumn, like this…
This is a view from Thiksey monastery of surroundings-
Even this image from top of a hill of the tents pitched for the Naropa 2016, near Hemis monastery gives a shot of some golden bushes in green surroundings. Its changing, isn’t it!
Once you cross Khardungla and move towards the Nubra valley, you are in store for some more surprises. Texture gets further different from here. Its a long valley sandwiched between two mountain ranges-
Karakoram sanctuary near Diskit and Hunder has another round of flowers-
But its the sunset at Hunder which gives the hue of autumn-
In almost two weeks, the signs of autumn are surely making there mark in the Lahaul valley. The hills around Tandi and Keylong too have started to covert to golden hues. I actually missed some better shots than the one below to my folly and anxiety to escape imminent rains-
Back to the normal lands in hills overlooking Una, life was still green and a bit to early to call autumn here. Leaves would have turned yellow in Kashmir… to welcome the Harud.