The five senses of the human body are the foundational core of our personalities and our reliance on them and the stock we put in each of them shapes the fabric of our reality. The way we see, hear, touch, smell and taste is central to how we perceive the world. Some find the taste of seafood appealing while others can’t stand the umami, some find relaxation in the fast paced, bass heavy beats of electronic music, while others find their place of Zen in slow jazz. Our world experience is quite literally shaped by our senses and through my journey past Manali and Ladakh, I experienced the absolute pinnacle of sound and sight that the world has to offer. Next, my journey led me to the olfactory oddity that is Srinagar, the capital of the magnificent Kingdom of Kashmir. On this Leh Ladakh bike trip with India motorbike tours, every new experience that came my way was a reality altering paradigm shift.
As you ride into the valley of Kashmir and make your way toward Srinagar, your sense of smell starts acting up. At first it is just an unfamiliar feeling, it makes you do a double take, not quite sure if it is your surroundings or just your mind playing tricks on you. Then as the floral undertones and the mountainous overtures take over your olfactory senses you settle into your new reality and are made properly aware of the immense amount of new, sensory information that is flooding your system.
The incredible floral smells in the tulip garden or on Dal Lake, the lake of flowers simply overwhelm your senses as you try to internalise the sensual nature of raw unadulterated nature. The floral aroma winds itself, latching onto the misty scent of the lake and creates an incredible amalgamation of sweet olfactory goodness. When I set out from Manali on this Leh Ladakh bike trip, the smell of petrol and engine oil was heavy on the nose. Never did I imagine that I would undertake this incredible journey of senses on a bike trip through the mountains. It came as a shock to me that the world could smell as beautiful as it did in Srinagar, it changed the way I appreciated nature and changed the way I viewed daily life.
I realized in those moments, that life is bigger than its moments and though we should step back and appreciate the big picture, it doesn’t hurt once in a while to just stop and take in everything around us in the moment, just to create a sensory photograph in our minds of a moment that needs to be remembered for all eternity.
At the end of this journey from Manali to Ladakh and Srinagar on this incredible Leh Ladakh bike trip I was left with contentment and I would like to thank India Motorbike Tours for taking me on this extremely well curated adventure through some of the most beautiful terrain the world has to offer and to those that have read this, I would like to implore you to take the leap and set out on your own adventures into the world and see, hear and smell the spiritual glory of exploration.