If you wish to feel being on top of the world, then Ladakh is the place to go.
If you feel a connection with the mountains, then Ladakh is the place to go.
Where is Ladakh?
Ladakh is the adventure capital of India and Ladakh Tourism is gaining popularity. For all those whose wish for adrenaline filled vacation.
Ladakh is the perfect destination. Its also known as ‘Land of High Passes’ an extremely mountainous region in the northwest Jammu and Kashmir region of India. Ladakh comprises of 2 districts: Kargil and Leh. Leh still looks and feels like Tibet than a part of India. You will find plenty of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries across Leh area. The fastest way to travel to Ladakh is by air. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport located in Leh.
Biking In Ladakh
Many people have told me that traveling to Ladakh by road is an experience of a lifetime. The journey is more beautiful than the destination. Most of the people love to take their bikes and travel on those long dusty roads. Road trips to Leh Ladakh are filled with views of colourful monasteries, narrow roads with steep curves, the most scenic snow topped Himalayan range and Karakoram mountain ranges, and many other Apart from offering such stunning views of surroundings, these trips are also proven to be challenging for bikers. We have one such great biker in our family, actually, he is my son in law who has taken a solo road bike trip to Ladakh. You can read more about Binoy Parikh’s Travel stories to Ladakh here.
Ladakh is a high altitude barren land with a scarcity of oxygen. Reaching that great height may cause some issues where travelers may face dizziness, headaches or even breathlessness. This is termed as Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh. Decreased air pressure and lower less oxygen content are the main reasons behind this. I remember my Aunt who really fell sick so badly that she could not continue her trip to Ladakh and had to return back to Delhi.
Ladakh Tourism Offers
Ladakh Tourism offers a paradise on a platter for the adventure Junkie and Nature lovers. Tourism is the main source of livelihood for Ladakhis. The scenic beauty, the rugged terrain, the majestic mountains, and landscapes picture postcard perfect. A pair of good shoes, sunglasses, a warm jacket and of course, a camera is all you need to prepare for when going to Ladakh. Do not miss these top places when in Leh/Ladakh
1. The famous Pangong Tso Lake:
Better known as Hollow Lake, Pangong Lake is just like a landlocked sea. Nature’s Panoramic beauty that will take your breath away. One-third part of this beautiful lake falls in Indian territory whereas the remaining part lies in Tibet. During the winter season, the entire lake freezes completely despite being saline water. Magical, deep turquoise blue still water now isn’t that the top reason to visit Leh/Ladakh this 2019.
2. Diskit Monastery:
The oldest and largest Buddhist Monastery at Nubra. Another name for Diskit Monastery is Deskit Gompa. This place located in the small town Diskit, adjacent to highway surrounded by hill if the Himalayas. The monastery, with the support of ‘Tibet Support Group’, runs a school for the Tibetan children in the region.
3. Maitreya Buddha Statue
This Gigantic 32-meter tall statue of Maitreya Buddha can be seen from a distance as soon as one comes nearer to the Diskit Region. It is also referred to as ‘Ajita’ and is also considered as a guardian statue that protects, prevents and spreads peace in the entire Leh Ladakh region.
4. Drang-Drung Glacier
This is Ladakh’s Largest Glacier, it is accessible to tourist in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is known for being the most picturesque place with a view of snowcapped mountain peaks of the Himalayas.T his river of glistening ice and snow is sure to redefine your idea of beauty. This gorgeous glacier is 331 km from the state capital Srinagar.
4. Shanti Stupa
Around 5 km from Leh, you will get to see this white-domed Shanti Stupa, located on a hilltop in Chanspa. Overlooking the Leh town, it is one of the best attractions in Leh. The walls have gilt panels that depict the life of Lord Buddha. Sunrise and sunset are wonderful from here.
5. Khardung La Pass
Khardung La Pass is very popular with motorbiking enthusiasts as it is one of the highest motorable roads in the world at an elevation of 5359 m above the sea level. You can enjoy butter tea and biscuits at the army canteen here while you hear the fluttering sound of the colorful Tibetan prayer flags.
6. Nubra Valley
This place will leave you awestruck. Dessert terrain with wrinkled mountains all around, such is Nubra Valley, a masterpiece of God’s own creation. As you near Nubra Valley, you need to hand over the photocopies of your travel permits to the soldiers in the Khardung La pass, as the region is currently under military supervision. As the roads further lead to the Siachen base camp which happens to be the highest battlefield in the world.
7. Thiksey Gompa Monastery
This monastery is situated 25 km away from Leh. Thiksey Gompa is a 12 storey monastery complex is spread out over rocky terrain. The Complex consists of ten temples and shrines, a school, a museum, a medical clinic, a restaurant, a hotel, and few shops too. The actual monastery is the houses of the 120 resident monks on the slopes below.
8. Stok Palace
Stok Palace is another interesting place to visit. It is the current residence of the royal family of Ladakh. The village of Stok is about 15km. from Leh. This part you see here is converted to a museum, the royal family stays in the other part of the palace behind this on
9. Magnetic Hill
On the Srinagar – Leh highway, you would clearly see the road ahead going uphill. This Magnetic Hill is marked by a yellow signboard which says “The Phenomenon That Defies Gravity”. It tells tourists to park their vehicles in the box marked with a white point on the road, which is known as the Magnetic Road. When parked at the indicated spot. You have to turn off the engine and let your vehicle stand in neutral, it will slowly start moving and can go up to a speed of 20 kilometers per hour on its own. According to one of the theory, the hill emits a great amount of magnetic energy, thereby pulling vehicles that are within its range towards it.
10. Shop at the Local Market to Promote Ladakh Tourism
The market of Leh Ladakh is filled with local produce and artifacts. You can always pick up a few relics and handicrafts to take back home The prayer wheels, pashmina shawls and Buddhists relics will grab your attention. Tourists should make it a point to encourage Ladakh Tourism and help out the local people who strive hard to make a livelihood.
“Travel to Ladakh while you are still young” but then I say, ” Don’t wait, the time will never be just right’ I have given Ladakh a clear cut place on the top of my bucket list to enjoy the least explored land in our country and make the most out of it.
I have written this post for letter L , BlogChatter #A2ZChallenge Here is my previous post K– Kolkata Konnection
Photo Credit – Binoy Parikh