Camel ride in Nubra

‘Le Ladakh’ – Bawray Banjaray In Ladakh, June – 2019

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
Oprah Winfrey

We believe, we are made of our dreams; the ones which we have fulfilled and the ones that ignite the soul. And it is for the realization of these very dreams that we have decided to chase them, quite literally, on a one-of-its-kind journey. Come June 15, 2019 and we set off on a 13-days self-supported expedition to Ladakh from Delhi through as many as 9 high mountain passes, 5 rivers and 4 states.

However, lately, the reports stating the impact of mass tourism and lack of preparedness of destinations like Ladakh have been unsettling. According to the Neeti Ayog Report of 2017 on Travel & Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region, this much sought-after travel destination is facing challenges such as water insecurity, mass tourism and inadequate infrastructure for sustainable means, among others. On the other hand, while travel and tourism in India contributes to the 8% of GDP, the investment and care that the industry needs does not even match up to actual requirement.

In light of such a plight, we thought, why not add a cause to the quest that we have been planning.  So we sat and brainstormed with the folks of our community and came up with an idea to create a unique experience

Bawray Banjaray expedition to Ladakh

We set off on a project to bring the people of many talents together and create a unique composite experience; a cinematic journey for which we have been able to gather talents which have ecstatically come together and fit in like a piece of a puzzle. Our film, ‘Le Ladakh’ is a traveling carnival of a Clown, a couple of yoga acrobats, a dancer, a drummer who plays metal, a motorbike curator who sings, a filmmaker and a sketch artist.

‘Le Ladakh’ – What is the Film About?

Le Ladakh is our dream film through which we wish to raise awareness about sustainable and responsible means of travel. We believe that it is our simple efforts that can truly help reduce carbon footprints in sensitive places like Ladakh. The artists get to play the supporting character to the landscapes and issues of Ladakh and idea of travel while they grow along with their creations on the expedition. Here is the team of artists that are traveling along on this carnival to Ladakh:

Bhaskar Jha

Clown by choice- Rambo (his character) has been traveling in the realm of theater for some years now. He is a professional theater actor and writer who also teaches acting in schools and colleges. He has worked with international Clown Director Camila Persson (Sweden) for her clown piece ‘Chaotic Adventures of a violin’. He wants to try his art form in the entire and surprise himself with the happenings and mishaps he will encounter in the wake of reaching out to the beauty of nature. He is on a voyage to catch a fish and make it learn to clown!
Nationality: Indian
Lives in:
Delhi
Work Profile:
Clown Artist, Actor, Writer
Portfolio/Social Media Profiles:
Instagram
Project on the Expedition

Michelle Kaufmann

An international yoga teacher, Michelle travels the world capturing her journey with Yoga and Acroyoga pictures and films. She finds unique and beautiful places to artistically display the beauty of yoga. This will be her goal during this expedition.
Nationality: Canadian
State: Saskatchewan
Work Profile: International Yoga Teacher
Portfolio/Social Media Profiles: Instagram
Project on the Expedition: Exploring the journey and the idea of an on move carnival through my acro expressions and formations. I would be performing acro yoga flows with my partner/base Jose.

José Schwenke

Biotechnology engineer by profession, Josés’ work at home in beautiful Patagonia is that of a beekeeper and he spends most of his time farming. He has also got his hands in multiple tasks such as property maintenance, construction, animal care, natural building, and organic farming. Josés has been travelling for the last couple of years. HIs physical practice is focused mainly on yoga, meditation, movement and circus.
Nationality: Chile
State: Patagonia
Work Profile: Acroyoga and movement, Beekeper, Farmer
Portfolio/Social Media Profiles: Instagram
Project on the Expedition: Artist performing Acroyoga, and some circus fun

Deepakshi Mishra

A filmmaker by profession, Deepakshi has worked in advertisements, feature films, and has directed music videos and short films. When not in Bombay, she loves spending time amidst nature. She believes in travelling sustainably and wants to expand this idea of respecting the ecosystem of a place along with learning with the local people.
Nationality: Indian
Lives in: Mumbai
Work Profile: Freelance Director and Cinematographer
Portfolio/Social Media Profiles: Instagram
Project on the Expedition: Director and Cinematographer

Hằng Dương

Hang is a Nurse by profession back at her home in Melbourne, Australia. She quit her job to travel and explore the inner creativity through traveling and experiencing different cultures. In her spare time, she sketches her vision of several influences in the world around her. Hằng also designs tattoos and for some time, she has been sketching her clients’ pets as a side job. She is currently studying advanced yoga and its philosophies.
Nationality: Australian
Lives in Melbourne
Work Profile: Yoga Teacher, Dancer, Artist, Nurse
Portfolio/Social Media Profiles: Instagram
Project on the Expedition:

Utkarsh Srivastav

Utkarsh started his musical journey as a drummer in 2012 when he got to be 21. After working on his craft for a few years and playing with other musicians, he joined his first full-fledged working band, Poltergeist. The band later parted ways. He is currently working on some other projects in their initial stages. When is not with his drums, he likes to read, write and compose music, instrumentals in particular. Traveling for him is an escape from the city’s daily noise.

Nationality: Indian
Lives in Delhi
Work Profile: Drummer, composer, arranger, and lyricist with Mulch of Perpetual Murder/ Ex- Drummer with Poltergeist
Portfolio/Social Media Profiles: Instagram
Project on the Expedition: Music Composer, Background Score

Expedition Level: Advanced

Current Status of the Expedition: Post Plan Phase

Le Ladakh – Detailed Itinerary

After doing almost 5 different versions of the final itinerary, here is what would be the course of our entire expedition:

Day 1 – The Journey Kicks Off For Jammu from Delhi – Jun 15th, 2019

Ride & Course: We will start from Delhi, sharp at 0400 hrs. We would be travelling to a distance of 600 km approximately. We have to reach Jammu – maximum by 1800 hrs without any delay. We will certainly have on-way halts to loosen up. We would have our stay booked in advance. It is expected that we freshen up asap and go to bed so that the next day, our expedition can be resumed easily.
From, To: Delhi to Jammu
Distance traveled: 593 km
Duration of Drive: 12 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0400hrs – 1800hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Panipat, 0800 hrs | Lunch at Jalandhar, 1300 hrs | Dinner at Jammu, 2100hrs

Day 2 – We Watch the India Pakistan World Cup Match on way to Srinagar – Jun 16th, 2019

Ride & Course: Today is the India Pakistan World Cup Match. Yes, like normal Indian Kids, we are cricket frenzy and we would be watching the match on way through Peer ki Ghali Pass. We start for Srinagar, sharp at 0500 hrs. We would have our breakfast on the way towards Srinagar. The route we will be taking is the less popular yet extremely scenic Moughal Road. We intend to stay in houseboats in Srinagar. The dinner, hence, would be on the boats.

From, To: Jammu to Srinagar
Distance traveled: 330 km
Duration of Drive: 14.50 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0500 hrs – 1930 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Sunderbani, 78 km, 0800 hrs | Lunch at Peer ki Ghali, 157 km, 1300hrs | Dinner at Srinagar, 93 km, 2100 hrs

Day 3 – First Camp site at Mulbekh, one of the oldest Villages we would be visiting on the expedition – June 17th, 2019

Ride & Course: Today we will be crossing through Sonamarg, the treacherous – Zoji La, the coldest – Drass valley, & The Kargil War Memorial. Today’s ride brings us to Mulbekh – one of the oldest villages in Kargil. We would camp here, hence reaching the camp site would be of utmost priority as we would also need time to hunt for an appropriate camping spot. We then prepare for the dinner by a rivulet.

From, To: Srinagar to Mulbekh
Distance traveled: 239 km
Duration of Drive: 10 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0600 hrs – 1600 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Sonmarg, 80 km, 0800 hrs | Lunch at Drass, 63 km, 1300 hrs |Dinner at Mulbekh, BB Camp, 101 km, 2100 hrs
Fuel Recharge: Srinagar, Sonmarg, Kargil
Halts: Sonmarg, Jozila, Mughalpura, Drass, Kargil, Mulbekh


Day 4 – A Ladakhi day at the Monsatries, Camping near the Sangam of Indus & Zanskar – June 18th, 2019

Ride & Course: We will be headed to Leh via Fotu La. Small halts at Lamayuru Monastery, Alchi monastery and the likes is what we are expecting today. We would want to call it a day at the Sangam (Zanskar & Indus). We would set up the camp and follow the similar course of dinner.

From, To: Mulbekh to Nimu (Leh)
Distance traveled:
Duration of Drive: 10 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0600 hrs – 1600 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast to be prepared at BB Camp, Mulbekh, have it on way, 0800hrs | Lunch at Aalchi, BB Kitchen, 122 km, | Dinner at Nimu, BB Camp
Fuel Recharge: Mulbekh
Halts: Fotu La, Lamayuru, Alchi, Magnetic Hills

Day 5 – Today we just get Leh’d! The Permits get arranged today – June 19th, 2019
Shanti Stupa

Ride & Course: Today we will be exploring Leh and around. We would be trying the traditional food and a shoot is inevitable. We would be covering monasteries and places like Hemis, Thiksey, Stakna, Shey Palace, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa. And the campsite would again be near the Indus river.

Places we shoot in Leh: Hemis, Thiksey, Stakna, Shey Palace, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa.
Distance traveled: 150 km
Duration of Drive: Depends/Vary
Schedule for the Day: Depends/Vary
Meals: Breakfast at BB Camp, Nimu, 0630 hrs | Lunch at Leh, 1400 hrs | Dinner at BB Camp, Shey Palace

Day 6 – Exploring the Balti Tradition of Turtuk & Nubra, June 20th, 2019

Ride & Course: It’s an important day. Our permissible journey will start today while crossing the world’s highest motorable Pass Khardungla, Diskit Monastery. We will reach Turtuk as early as possible so that we can have a sunset view from Turtuk. Turtuk has nurtured the Balti tradition and would host you with their rich food and culture. We are expcting a dinner of once in a life time kind.
From, To: Leh to Turtuk
Distance traveled: 210 km
Duration of Drive: 10.50 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0600 hrs – 1630 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Khardung Village, 1000 hrs | Lunch at Diskit, 1300 hrs |
Balti Dinner at BB Home, Turtuk, 2100 hrs
Fuel Recharge: Leh City and Diskit
Halts: Shanti Stupa, Kharadung La, Kharadung Village, Diskit, Hunder

Day 7 – Witnessing the Nubra Sunset, Campsite by Shyok River – June 21st, 2019

Ride & Course: The morning starts with exploring Turtuk. We would have the traditional Balti breakfast. We then, start for Nubra to have a proper shoot of the village, people & culture. We would end up the day by putting up camp near Shoyk river. The sunset from Nubra is one of a kind experience. Keep ready your camera, painting canvases to catch the colorful sunsets in the foreground of bactrian camels. Will be ending our day camping in the sand dunes while playing music with Shayok river.
From, To: Turtuk to Hunder
Distance traveled: 85 km
Duration of Drive: 5 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0600 hrs – 1630 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Bb Home, Turtuk, 0830 hrs | Lunch at BB Camp, Hunder, 1400 hrs | Dinner at BB Camp, Hunder, 2100 hrs

Day 8 – Soaking in the cross-country breeze in Merak Village near Pangong Tso – June 22nd, 2019

Ride & Course: We move through a long strech from Nubra valley towards Pangong Tso via Agom-Shyok corridior. We will try and reach Merak village at our earliest. We set up the camp amidst the cold breeze blowing in from Pangong Tso.
From, To: Hunder to Merak
Distance traveled: 193 km
Duration of Drive: 12 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0500 hrs – 1700 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast on Way, Breakfast prepared at BB Camp, 0500 hrs | Lunch at Durbuk, 1300 hrs | Dinner at BB Camps, Merak, 2100 hrs
Fuel Recharge: Diskit
Halts: Agom Village, Durbuk, Tangstay, For the first View of Pangong Tso

Day 9 – Lunch at Meerpaal Tso, Dinner at Tso Moriri – June 23rd, 2019

Ride & Course: Today we will travel to Tso Moriri via Chusul & Mirpal Tso. Lunch happens at Mirpal Tso and then we resume our journey to Tso Moriri. Ending the day with a view of Tso moriri while sunset.
From, To: Merak to Karzok (Tso Moriri)
Distance traveled: 160 km
Duration of Drive: 11 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0500 hrs – 1700 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast ready at BB Camp, Merak, On way meal | Lunch at BB Kitchen, Meerpal Tso, 1300 hrs | Dinner at BB Camp, Karzok, 2100 hrs
Halts: Chushul, Meerpal Tso, Yayatso, Kaksang La, Tso Moriri

Day 10 – From Tso Moriri to Jispa, through
Tanglang La, Nakee La & Baralacha La – June 24th, 2019

Ride & Course: We will wake up with the beautiful sunrise over Tso Moriri. We are going to drive this long day through 3 major passes (Tanglang La, Nakee La & Baralacha La) on way to Jispa.
We will be camping near the river at Jispa.
From, To: Karzok to Jispa
Distance traveled: 304 km
Duration of Drive: 13 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0500 hrs – 1800 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Tso kar, prepared at BB Kitchen, Karzok, 0800 hrs | Lunch at Sarchu, 130 hrs | Dinner at BB Camps, Zispa, 2100 hrs
Halts: Tso Kar, Tanglang La, Pang, Gatta Loops, Sarchu, Baralacha La

Day 11 – Back to Himachal, Campsite at Hudan Batori Village – June 25th, 2019

Ride & Course: So from now, we are back in Himachal Pradesh. The ride would be shorter as well as scenic. Will refuel our vehicles at Tandi and then start for Killar via Udaipur. We expect to reach Killar and then climb a bit to put our camp at Hudan Batori Village.
From, To: Jispa to Killar (Hudan Batori)
Distance traveled: 156 km
Duration of Drive: 11 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0600 hrs – 1700 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Keylong, 0800 hrs | Lunch at Udaipur, 1300 hrs | Dinner at BB Camp, Killar, 2100 hrs
Fuel Recharge: Tandi, Udaipur
Halts: Keylong, Tandi, Triloknath, Killar

Day 12 – Through the treacherous Saach Pass, Camping at Dalhousie – June 26th, 2019

Ride & Course: We will resume our journey to Chamba Valley via Sach Pass – the most trecherous and the last pass on the expedition. We will wrap our day finding a place for our camp site in Dalhousie.
From, To: Killar to Dalhousie
Distance traveled: 190 km
Duration of Drive: 10 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0500 hrs – 1600 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Killar, 0800 hrs | Lunch at Kalhel, 1300 hrs | Dinner at BB Camp, 2100 hrs
Fuel Recharge: Killar
Halts: Sach Pass, Dalhousie

Day 13 – From D for Dalhousie to D for Delhi – journey back to where it all starts for us! – June 27th, 2019

Ride & Course: And eventually the last day of the expedition dawns. We start our journey back to Delhi. We would want to have a celebratory dinner once we are in our home city.
From, To: Dalhousie to Delhi
Distance traveled: 578 km
Duration of Drive: 10 hrs
Schedule for the Day: 0600 hrs – 1600 hrs (IST)
Meals: Breakfast at Pathankot, 0800 hrs | Lunch at Ludhiana, 1300 hrs | Dinner at Murthal, 2100 hrs

Now that you know the itinerary, we think it’s time you know us. So, here is

Who we are?

bawray banjaray in meghalaya
Bawray Banjaray Team In North East India

We are a bunch of storytellers, poets, writers, photographers and film makers who bond over a common passion – of travelling and telling stories.

Do you remember those fireflies in the silence of the nights?

Bawray Banjaray Team in Sainj Valley
The Bawray Banjray Nights in Sainj Valley

Sometimes, we become those fireflies and silence on some others. The places we travel to, act as the nights that ignite both of our sides. We have tried to keep ourselves from questioning Nature, as we are scared to know the answer. We ‘do’ crib about humans when they become a self-inflicting horror set upon the only place we can call home, the earth.

So, it’s ‘amidst and due to’ all this cribbing that we chose a happier path – of traveling to the un-mapped and exploring the unknown on planet Earth. We left, we came back, we left again, we came back again and this has now become a routine – a routine that has now empowered us to take up something that, in turn, has enabled us to know a lot of like minded happier folks.

What Do We Do?

We travel. We meet people. We make stories and films. And, when we share them out with our community, we get those friends and fans to drop by at the places we have been to and share similar experiences.

Yes, we have got homes – the ones that are not ‘home stays’ but the real homes of the families that we have befriended over the years of our travels.

We host guests in some of the most unheard locations in different parts of India and currently, we have got homes and hostels in 15 physical locations in North India.

The 2 years of this small effort have gotten us to know and host almost 4000 guests from around the globe who left as friends from our homes. We have moved on from just one home in 2017 to 19 listings on Airbnb today.

Our Presence in the Travel Market

We have very categorically chosen to limit ourselves to impulsive travelers who are popularly refereed to as the Backpackers. The Indian Travel market has seen an unprecedented surge in the growth of this domain, 23% (Niti Ayog Report on Travel and Tourism In Indian Himalayan Region, 2018) of the entire travel-based customers have turned out to be those who do not want travel to be served as a dish.

Our team, collectively, has traveled to almost every corner of India, have had hands-on experience of working with Travel Agencies (both private and public) and are widely recognized in the Travel communities, both offline and online. We are in direct control of around 700,000 travelers/prospective leads through social media channels and our website www.bawraybanjaray.com. Our own social media platforms enjoy the support of close to 50,000 (all organic) strong community. Such an exposure has only helped us understand the challanges and problems that the current Indian Travel scene is facing.

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