Secret spot at the Aryan Valley

For the longest time, I was unaware that valley called ‘Aryan Valley‘, actually exists. But it does, in Kargil District, Ladakh. And its breathtaking!

Aryan Valley has four small villages – Dha, Hanu, Garkon, and Darchik, and its believed that the native of these villages are blue-blooded Aryans, although I’m not sure about this claim. I traveled to Garkon with my friend Aman and a few others, and we spent a night at the Garkon Village.

Gullies of Garkon village

People are super hospitable in this region and eager to explain their way of life to Non-Ladakhis. While strolling through the village gullies, I met three super friendly kids. I got chatty with them, and while I was curious to know more about them, they were curious to know more about me. They had a ton of questions to ask me. And of course, they were just so amused with my ultra-bad Hindi 😂

Garkon kids

But my bad Hindi helped. I asked the kids to show me around the village, including their secret hang-out place, and they readily agreed. Their secret hangout place was a good 90 mins trek; while the kids effortlessly walked, I struggled to keep pace.

Note to self – high altitude trek (9000 mts) is not easy!

But the trek was worth it, the kids took me to a viewpoint that blew my mind. Pristine turquoise blue Indus river straddled in a valley, and a snow cap mountain at the far end.

Indus river, view from the secret hangout place

While I was soaking in the beauty of this place, one of the kids was curious to know more about me and my family. He insisted I do a video call and introduce him to my family.

Curious kid

4G works like a charm, I made that call, and he spoke to my family. As he hung up the call, I promised him I’d be back with my family soon, and I hope that happen. But the kid didn’t believe I’d keep up my promise 🤷‍♂️

On an immediate basis, he asked if I could visit him and his friends at his school the following day and spend some more time with them, to which I readily agreed.

School kids at the Garkon panchayat school

Walking around the Garkon village in the Aryan Valley, doing that 90 mins trek, and clicking portraits of the people in their tribal attire has been an amazing experience. Here are a few portraits of people from the valley and a few other images from Leh.

I know I’m going back to the valley soon and I hope the kids will remember me then 🙂

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