If you happen to be planning a vacation to Ladakh, then this is the article for you to read.
Ladakh is a very mysterious destination that will be engraved forever in your memories. Located in the Himalayans, Ladakh is the largest province in Jammu & Kashmir that is home to many mountains, peaks, trekking routes, and generally everything else that mountains can be associated with.
But perhaps to most exotic things that can be found here are the very famous blue lakes in the east part of the region, near the border with Tibet. These lakes attract many visitors across the globe into a paradise destination that everyone agrees on.
Without dwelling too much on it, let’s start our travel guide.
When to Visit?
Due to its very high altitude of nearly 3,000 meters, it’s advised that you pack heavily for your trip. High altitudes always mean that the place you’re visiting is quite cold. As a matter of fact, the winters here can last up to six months. The remaining months are warmer and temperatures in summer are pleasant during the day (around 20 degrees). However, nights mostly remain cold due to, again, the high altitude.
During the winter periods, the snow can be so overwhelming that people living in the local villages can be completely cut off from the rest of Ladakh. During the winter months, most of the roads within Ladakh remain open but the road to Zanskar is closed until the month of May.
However, once the snow melts, the place is a paradise destination of clear and fresh air and breathtaking scenery.
As a general rule of thumb, visiting in the summer months between May and August gives you the best chance of experiencing everything this place has to offer.
How to Get There?
There are two ways to reach the mountainous range of Ladakh. The most convenient way would be to catch a plane directly from the city of Delhi.
Reaching Delhi, however, is far easier than reaching Ladakh, and you’ll probably have to reach that before reaching Ladakh. On another note, there is an airline that boards from Bakula Rimpochee Airport.
And your second option would be to drive up there yourself or go on the bus. However, the route is quite long, almost 1000km from Delhi. This means that you’ll have to travel for a whopping 28 hours.
To explore the different parts of Ladakh, you can book yourself a taxi for a few days. All taxis in Ladakh are registered with the Ladakh Taxi Union and online reservation can be done on Leh-Ladah Taxi Booking. All the tours start from Leh, the capital of Ladakh. From there, you can access all the places of interest in the region
Things to See
And now let’s move on to the best part of the article, the things that you can actually see when visiting this place.
First, let’s start with the magnificent scenery that you can enjoy during the duration of your trip. The best thing that nature provides here is the Zanskar and Ladakh mountain ranges which feature mountains from every direction. There is nothing like these two mountain ranges in the world, and they are bound to be breathtaking.
Here, you’ll have numerous options to go and experience the snowy peaks that decent slowly into the entire region. The most you can do here is trek the mountains. The Khardung-La pass is probably the road you’ll mostly be taking when trekking the mountains. If trekking is not your thing, you could drive to Khardung-La pass, the highest road in the world which offers incredible views on the mountains.
From there, the Drang Drung glacier, the Chadar Trek, and Zanskar River are all easily accessed.
Nubra Valley and Star Gazing
If you ask any of the locals what’s the best thing to do as a foreigner, they will instantly tell you about a thing called “Arabian Nights”. What they mean by this is the Nubra Valley, which is essentially covered with sand dunes that mimic ocean waves during windier days.
It gets pretty cold here during the night, so you should always pack more. You can reach the Nubra Valley by car, just make sure to park it on the hill and not in the sand.
During the nights, you can experience the Arabian Nights; thousands of stars glowing in the night sky, without anything to interfere with it. This is only possible due to the high altitude of Ladakh, and the fact that there is no light pollution in the air.
Zanskar Valley is one of the most iconic places in all of Ladakh. If you happen to be visiting it, it will leave you breathless. The sheer beauty of Zanskar can only be explained with an actual visit. Writing about it is only doing its dishonesty.
The Zanskar River flows through the valley, and one of the most popular activities you can do is rafting. Also, the teal waters of Zanskar make for a pretty good picture.
Pangong Tso Lake
And yet another very popular tourist destination is the Pangong. Located in the eastern regions of Ladakh, the Pangong is a camping hotspot for thousands of people each year. It gets pretty crowded during the season, May to August, and you can always visit it during the off-season if you truly want to sample the beauty of the lake.