Leh Ladakh is a dream destination for every traveler seeking adventure and thrill amidst the serene and tranquil surroundings. It is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in India, known for its picturesque landscapes, rugged terrains, and mesmerizing beauty. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive travel guide to Leh Ladakh to help you plan a memorable trip.
When to Visit:
The best time to visit Leh Ladakh is from June to September. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and most of the roads are open, making it easier to travel. However, it’s important to note that Ladakh is a high-altitude desert, and temperatures can drop significantly at night, so be sure to pack warm clothing.
How to Reach:
The best way to reach Leh Ladakh is by air, as the nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh. The airport is well-connected to major cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Srinagar. Another option is to take a road trip from Manali or Srinagar, as both routes offer stunning views of the mountains and valleys.
Where to Stay:
Leh Ladakh offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels and resorts to homestays and guesthouses. The best areas to stay in Leh are Changspa, Fort Road, and Old Leh City. If you’re looking for a unique experience, consider staying in a traditional Ladakhi homestay and getting a glimpse into the local way of life.
What to See and Do:
Visit the Monasteries: Leh Ladakh is home to several monasteries that are worth visiting. Some of the popular monasteries include Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Monastery, and Alchi Monastery. These monasteries offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Ladakh and are a must-visit for every traveler.
Trekking: Trekking is one of the most popular activities in Leh Ladakh, with several trekking routes available for all levels of experience. Some of the popular trekking routes include the Markha Valley Trek, Stok Kangri Trek, and Chadar Trek.
Camel Safari: Nubra Valley in Leh Ladakh is famous for its sand dunes and Bactrian camels. Taking a camel safari through the sand dunes is a unique and memorable experience.
Pangong Lake: Pangong Lake is a must-visit destination in Leh Ladakh. The lake is famous for its crystal clear blue water and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The lake is located at an altitude of 4,350 meters and is a five-hour drive from Leh.
Khardung La Pass: Khardung La Pass is one of the highest motorable passes in the world, located at an altitude of 5,359 meters. The pass offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts.
White Water Rafting: The Zanskar River in Leh Ladakh offers excellent opportunities for white water rafting. The river flows through rugged terrain and offers a thrilling adventure for adventure enthusiasts.
What to Eat:
Ladakhi cuisine is a blend of Indian, Tibetan, and Central Asian influences. Some of the popular dishes to try include Thukpa (noodle soup), Momos (steamed dumplings), and Butter Tea. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Chang, a traditional Ladakhi alcoholic beverage made from fermented barley.
Leh Ladakh is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The stunning landscapes, rugged terrains, and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit destination for every traveler. Be sure to plan your trip well in advance.
Arrival at Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport, one of the highest operated airports in the world (3500 meters above sea level). On a clear day, the majestic peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, and Gasherbrum greet you on one side, while the Nun Kun peaks and Zanskar valley offer you a warm welcome on the other. Upon arrival, our representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. You are advised to take complete rest, followed by an evening visit to Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, and Leh Market. This will help you to acclimatize to the high altitude Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast, we drive towards the western part of Ladakh, along the beautiful Indus River on the Leh – Srinagar highway. Our first destination for the day is the legendary Hall of Fame, which is a museum founded by the Indian Army as a tribute to the gallantry of those Indian soldiers who lost their lives to protect the country. A visit to the Hall of Fame is bound to spark that patriotic spirit within. We proceeded further to the Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, nestled snugly in the laps of the Himalayan Mountains. This 15th-century gurudwara is a mere 5 km drive from the iconic Magnetic Hill, a scientific anomaly that defies the laws of gravity! Further along the journey, we halt at Sangam – the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers. You can see the two, distinctly coloured rivers merge beautifully in the laps of lofty mountains. After visiting above places we drive back to Leh via Spituk Monastery. Towering over the pristine Indus River, the monastery dates back to the 11th century and presently houses about 100 monks.
The monastery used to follow the Kadampa school of Buddhism until the 15th century, when the Gelukpa school of Buddhism was founded, and can still be seen in practice with the Gelukpa order. Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast checkout from hotel we drive to Nubra valley. The journey from Leh to Nubra spans 159 km and passes through the iconic Khardung La Pass. At an altitude of 17,582 ft., it is one of the five highest motorable roads in the world. Shrouded in a blanket of snow, the pass affords you sweeping views of the Indus Valley, along with the seemingly endless Zanskar range in the south. To your north, behold the magnificent Saser massif in all its glory. Adorned with fluttering prayer flags, Khardung La top is arguably the most picturesque location in Ladakh. From Khardung La, we continue the journey to Nubra valley, also known as Ldumra or the Valley of Flowers. Sitting at an altitude of approximately 10,000 ft., it is nestled in the north of Ladakh, right between the Ladakh Himalayas and the Karakoram range. Once at Nubra, we check into our camps/hotel in Hunder for the night. Take in the breathtaking views of the lush oasis villages set as a stark contrast amidst barren mountains. These villages give you a rare glimpse into the fascinating lives of the locals. A visit to a Ladakhi home can also be arranged. Dinner & Overnight stay at camp/hotel.
After breakfast checkout from hotel/camp this morning drive to Pangong Tso (lake), which is the largest brackish lake in Asia. A large part of it extends into Tibet. The lake is 80 miles (130 km) long and 3 miles (5 km) at its widest point. It freezes completely in winter and there’s no marine life here, except for a few migrating birds like gulls and Brahminy ducks. As this is a border region, the furthest point you’re allowed to go to is Spangmik, from where there are spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, as well as their reflections in the ever-changing surface of the blue-green lake. Above Spangmik are the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Pangong range. Spend the night on the shores of Pangong Tso. Dinner & Overnight stay at camp/hotel.
After breakfast checkout from Camp morning at leisure to explore the beauty of lake and later we drive back to leh enroute visiting Hemis monasterya, the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyut Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Drive further to Leh and check in at our hotel for Overnight In the evening you can stroll around the market place for some last minute souvenir shopping. Dinner & Overnight stay at hotel.
Early morning after breakfast transfer to Domestic Airport to catch the flight for your onward Destination. Fly back with the sweet memories of Ladakh.