Standing on the Frozen Indus River - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Standing on the Frozen Indus River

How many people can say that they stood right on the middle of a flowing river? Underground rivers and standing on bridges don’t count. But, a frozen river definitely counts.

Standing in the middle of the frozen Indus river
I can convincingly say that I stood right in the  middle of the frozen Indus river at a place called Mahe in India’s Ladakh region. This place is situated right at the junction where one road leads to the Tso Moriri lake, while the other leads to Nyoma, Loma and the astronomical observatory at Hanle.

The Indus is completely frozen here. Throw a rock on it and see it break into a hundred pieces
It was end of December and the Indus river here was completely frozen. Not frozen in bits and pieces, but completely frozen end to end. One could stand on it and jump as hard as possible and not even a teenie-meenie crack would appear. Only thing was that it was a bit slippery and we had to watch our footing.

In the middle of the frozen Indus river at Mahe
Such was the strength of the ice that when I threw a huge rock onto it, the rock broke into many pieces. And it was unbelievably cold here too. The shade factor added to the misery.

Mahe Bridge where the road splits into two - one heading towards Tso Moriri Lake and the other to Nyoma, Loma and Hanle
Generally, as a thumb rule, the Indus river is completely frozen from Mahe and upstream into Nyoma and Loma and the rest of it in the Changthang Cold Desert. The winter temperatures here are always below minus 20 degree celsius even during the day time.

Getting photographed on the frozen Indus river
Sometimes I think…Why don’t people walk on the frozen Indus river like how they do on the Zanskar river as part of the Chadar trek. Of course, I do understand that the Chadar was then part of the winter trade route and no one lives in the Changthang Cold Desert and thus needed no frozen river trek. But, in today’s world of adrenalin junkies, I am sure the frozen Indus river trek would find a lot of takers. Considering that the terrain is much more ruthless when compared to the Zanskar valley, this place should offer a memorable experience. I am definitely kicked to do it at least once.

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