What are most motorbikers/bike riders missing this season?

Stay home no travel

The ongoing tension between India and China for the border of Ladakh is something that is causing a lot of chaos for everyone. So, what is it exactly and how does it affect the adventure enthusiasts who thrive on taking motorbike ride to Ladakh and Pangong Lake?  What is there in store for motorbikers who are looking forward to visit Ladakh this season?

sad biker

Reasons for chaos

Ever since the battle of Kargil in the year 1999, India is again facing the worst border related issues, China marching in the LAC or Line of Actual Control with 5000 troops in Ladakh without honoring the LAC rules. It all began in early May when Chinese soldiers broke the rules related to the LAC. Intrusion by the Chinese soldiers in Ladakh went out of control when they began erecting tents and setting up guard posts, even after repeated warning by the Indian army they were unwilling to comply. The flare up began with stone pelting and then fist fights ignoring the warnings by our army.

Apart from this another political issue is regarding the building of road by India through the valley that connects the region to the airstrip. It is possible that this issue is political and boundary related control over the territory that runs along the border that is yet to be clearly defined by both the countries.

The road initiative is a multibillion-dollar belt that involves Road building initiative, which is not yet accepted or welcomed by China.

All this is causing a lot of trouble to the tourism industry and the worst hit is the locals who are suffering due to political cold war between the two countries.

Leh Market - People Evacuated in Lockdown 3.0

Who all are suffering due to the political chaos?

Now that both the countries are hitting hard against the border dispute, the tourism industry, the adventure enthusiasts, the riders/ motorbikers and the locals are the worst who have to bear the brunt of it all, let us find out how.

Greener pastures no more

Pangong Lake is again the pivotal point for the locals due to the nomadic communities dependent on the lake for feeding their livestock.

  • Locals living near the lake are nomads who are solely dependent on the green pastures surrounding the lake. Due to the political tension between the two countries, the worst hit is these nomads who are not allowed to move towards the pastures. All this may result in increase in the mortality of livestock.
  • These locals are not into any other trade practices; they are completely dependent on rearing cattle for their livelihood. The grazing cycles are disturbed due to the deployment of Indian troops guarding the border.
  • Communication language too is causing a lot of complication for the nomads who are not able to explain the troops anything regarding the situation they are facing.
  • The stand-off may also affect the pashmina wool industry. The goats that are reared in the region will suffer and starve due to restrictions imposed on free movement towards pastures.
  • The locals are willing to support the Indian government decision to maintain peaceful borders, but they are also looking for a solution that will favor them in feeding their livestock without the intrusion of the army.  
Army Patrolling in Ladakh

Is Ladakh ready for motorbikers and adventure enthusiasts?

With the given tension of political pressure on both the countries, it is hard to say if the tourism industry will pick up the pieces anytime soon.

Restrictions at Ladakh border

  • Restrictions on entering the border of Ladakh remain and there is no such clarity on when will the access be provided.
  • As per the speculations, due to the political tension and the COVID-19 guidelines of lockdown the only possibility of inter-state travel especially to Ladakh for travelers and tourists may only be accessible in next three months.
  • Another thing to note is that even after the restrictions are lifted, entry for motorbikers and travelers are under restriction with lots of security checking. Ladakh police will be doing extensive checking and the Indian Army too deployed at various check-points will ensure safe travel.
  • The camp-site is still not accessible by anyone due to the political stand-off and the pandemic.
  • Seeking permits to visit the lake and to enter Ladakh may go through strict rules and newly laid norms that everyone may have to follow.
  • Entry to travelers and riders are restricted in Lahaul- Spiti where hoteliers in the tribal belt have sealed their borders. Same is the case of monasteries that are inaccessible to any outsider. It is all about staying safe and staying healthy for the locals who are not allowing any entry outside their region.

Restrictions at Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong Tso Lake in eastern Ladakh is a major tourist attraction and it has been in the news recently due to the scuffle between the soldiers of India and China.

  • Even though the lake is beautiful to visit during spring and summer season, but as per the latest reports by HT Hindustan Times, no tourists are reported to have visited this picturesque lake.
  • It is to be noted that even when there were no political tensions given the border dispute between China and India, the lake has always been a contested terrain. The challenging path towards the lake for bikers / travelers has always been difficult to access with given restrictions of seeking permits.
  • The route to Ladakh is not going to be easy to access due to the current political tensions with various restrictions imposed on entry to the area. It is especially for the tourists who will have to go through numerous checks and security clearance to visit Pangong Lake and the surrounding area.

The resolution

Although it is that time of the year when both the countries year marked the forging of diplomatic relations with the 70th anniversary, political talks are going on that may lead to the following:

  • Both the sides of military and diplomats are engaged in seeking a viable solution that would ensure tranquility on the border.
  • Army commanders of both the countries are already in the process of resolving the tensed situation regarding the LAC or the line of actual control with regard to the Eastern Ladakh.
  • Bilateral agreements are forged for the betterment of both the countries involved in the dispute.
  • The situation is still developing where a possibility of building a congenial and positive atmosphere is on the horizon with series of meetings that are ongoing at the moment.
  • Viable solutions are being looked for and diplomatic and military level dialogs are taking place to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

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