Kashmir, in slow motion

This is a guest post by Harshad Sharma, a professional photographer, a software developer and a motorcycle tourer based out of Ahmednagar. Harshad shares his experiences during his bike ride to Ladakh.

Kashmir, in slow motion

Motorcycle tours are my drug. I can’t do without a decently long tour every once in a while. And last year, I had the chance to undertake the ride of a lifetime – travel with my buddies through Ladakh. We would be passing through Jammu and Kashmir regions on the way, but since we were following advice from many travelers who had been to Leh, we had no plans to spend any time in between.
Kashmir, in slow motion

Our plan was a fast-paced ride through everywhere else and spend more time in Leh and around. However, as any adventure goes – plans have to scrapped and re-made often. We started from Srinagar on day 3 and reached Sonamarg valley around 3pm, stopped for lunch.
Kashmir, in slow motion

Drass was our target for the day, however barely 4 km away from Sonamarg, we were stopped at Nilagrath checkpoint and informed that the Zojila pass was closed for civilians for the day. We were an hour late and would have to spend a day in the tiny settlement.
Kashmir, in slow motion

Two among the four of us were unhappy, two welcomed the change. We went walking up on the road. Chatted with locals at a restaurant. I got the opportunity to make some of the best images of the whole journey during this slowed down time. We had absolutely nothing to do and since we were barely three days into the trip, we didn’t have much to talk about either – so we kept roaming about, exploring the hills around Nilagrath.
Kashmir, in slow motion

As the sun finally decided it was time to shine elsewhere, I was ready with my camera to capture the golden hour – something I had missed photographing previously since we were riding from noon to late into the night. Turned out Nature had plans to make me happy, very happy!
Kashmir, in slow motion

Also got this photograph of a full moon rising just as the sun cast out its last rays on the mountain peaks.
Kashmir, in slow motion

Went back to Sonamarg for dinner, as we had already decided we ordered only the local delicacies. On getting back, I couldn’t resist the urge for some night photography. The full moon lighting up a stream flowing just beside our guest house made for a beautiful 30-second exposure.
Kashmir, in slow motion

We finally decided to let the journey take its time, and it probably was the best change in our plan. Witnessing new lands in slow motion is a great way to enjoy the trip and make lasting memories.
Kashmir, in slow motion

Harshad Sharma with complete gear during his bike ride to Ladakh. He has been to Leh and back from Maharashtra, till Central India (Nagpur) to the east, and till Bangalore and Chennai in the South. He frequently travels distances of 300–400 kilometers a day for photography assignments.
Photographs by Harshad Sharma


  1. You know Jammu & Kashmir is a place of immense natural beauty, lying in the
    northern region of India. The Himalayas sweep almost the entire state
    into its folds, providing numerous opportunities of leisure, fun and
    winter sports.
    Jammu, the winter money with the state, even though not as famed for
    its natural beauty, is identified for its religious sites of Mata
    Vaishno Devi located on a neighbouring hill, the shrine of Peer Budhan
    Ali Shah and the Raghunath Temple, a single of the largest temples in
    north India.

  2. Superb images!!It is so unfortunate that still now people are hesitant in visiting this beautiful place due to disturbance.

  3. Beautiful photos!!India is such a beautiful country.Would have love to see some photos of Pahelgaon. 

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