The description of Ladakh is masterfully executed, starting out with strong words such as “country of passes, region of unending beauty, and so on.” Tranquil lakes, dreamlike sky, uninterrupted loops of winding roads, beaming faces, and picture-perfect scenery all proclaim, “This is Shangri La; this is bliss.”
Ghost of Gata Loops
Whoever passes through this road with a car has to offer a bottle of mineral water to the ghost. It is a true story. This place is on Manali-Leh road.
Every driver passing through 22 turns near Nakeela, situated at an altitude of 16616 feet on Manali-Leh road, must offer a water bottle to the ghost temple here. For those who do not provide water bottles, untoward incidents happen to them. Not us, the people of the village tell this.
THE LEGEND/ STORY OF GATA LOOP
At this place, the soul of a young man wanders day and night. It simply asks for water from every passing vehicle driver. There are dozens of people who have already heard this voice. No one moves from here without offering a bottle of water. People say that the ghost drinks mineral water in this temple.
Eight years ago, a driver-conductor was taking a truck to Leh. The vehicle collapsed at 22 turns near Nakeela, about 35 km from Sarchu. The conductor was injured and stuck in truck.
On the other hand, the driver fled, leaving the injured conductor. At the same time, some people say that this driver went to a distant village for help, but it was too late to return. The same night, another driver passing by saw the injured conductor shouting for water.
By the time he brought the water, he was already dead. He died a painful death without food and water. Only after this, his soul started wandering here. Every driver-conductor passing through here gets a sense of his soul, and the sound of water and water screaming is heard.
It is said that the dead body of the conductor was buried here. Only after this suddenly scary incidents started happening here. A boy’s spirit started scaring the drivers as they approached. This boy was also visible to the people. It used to ask for food items from the drivers on the way. Those who did not give it to him started falling prey to some accident. Later a temple was built here.
Lahaul’s veteran historian Tsering Dorje said that this thing happened ten years ago. Truck drivers Surendra Kumar, Raju Ram, Nand Kishore and Bhagsen noted that while passing through that route, the driver-conductor leaves a water bottle for the soul there. Ramesh Lal, the driver of HRTC Keylong depot, said that many drivers had told him that they had heard the cries of the spirit who asks for water. So drivers leave water bottles right here out of fear.