Ladakh is a land of unusual natural beauty and projects a picturesque glimpse of how heaven looks like!
Also known as the Land of high passes, Ladakh is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It extends from Siachen to the Great Himalayas in the north, and the beautiful Indus River flows out through Ladakh. Famous towns where you may visit when you make a trip to Ladakh, like Shey, Leh, Basgo lies along the River Ladakh is separated from the borders of China by the Karakoram Range.
Ladakh is famous for its mystic charm, Buddhism monasteries, and trekking areas. Surrounded by barren mountains and possessing a cold desert type climate, the place can be best explored if you take a road trip to Ladakh. If you look month wise, then the time from the month of April to the middle of May, is the best time to go to this place. During this time, the snow starts melting and the weather becomes quite congenial. Moreover, Ladakh does not get rain like the rest of India. So, the monsoon months are also a suitable time to make a journey to this amazing place.
Now, what could be the reason that compel explorers to visit Ladakh. Well, truth be told, there is no dearth of reasons to plan a Ladakh trip is.
Here is a few of them –
1. This place is basically the Land of High Passes. At about nearly 18000 feet (5.49 kilometers), lies Khardung La Pass which is the highest motorable road in the world. It is the gateway to Shayok and Nubra valleys. If you are going for a road trip to Ladakh, then you will have to go across this pass. Rohtang La pass connects the Kullu valley with other valleys like Lahaul and Spiti valleys. Though covered in thick layers of snow in winter, this pass comes alive in summer, and it’s even possible for you to get stuck in traffic jam during this period!
2. The town of Leh is just pure beauty and will lure you with its majestic surroundings. It is the capital part of Ladakh and lies at a height of nearly eleven thousand feet. The oxygen supply at such a height is quite less but you can get used to it over some time. Don’t rush at things and you will feel completely fine. You can roam around in Leh to visit the Leh Palace. The palace was once the residence for the royalty in the place. It was built on the Namgyal peak. The palace also possesses a museum that exhibits collections of old coins, jewelry, and traditional dresses. Your Ladakh trip will basically start off from Leh.
3. Traditional and ancient monasteries, stupas and gompas are another reason to visit Ladakh. Some of these monasteries and stupas are old enough to tell the stories of Buddhist culture and history. They have valuable storage of Buddhist artifacts, ancient armory, and thangkas. The largest gompa in central Ladakh is in Thiksey Monastery. It comprises a forty-nine-foot high statue of Maitreya Buddha and several murals and frescos. A few other popular monasteries in this area are at Alchi, Stok, Shey, and Spituk.
4. A number of rivers and lakes also do provide a magnificent aura to the place. Located at a height of fourteen thousand feet, the Pangong lake is an ideal site for an excursion. If you want to go for a road trip to Ladakh, know that it would take nearly five hours to drive from Leh to Pangong.
Another wonderful lake at this place is Tso Moriri. The water in this lake is crystal clear, and it reflects the surrounding mountains to every detail. This place is home of several flora, fauna and wildlife species that are unique to this place.
5. Another reason to visit Ladakh is the option of trekking expeditions. Most of the trekking routes are open from April to October. The months of May and June are the most suitable for trekking to higher altitudes. But be aware that access to a few places requires a permit from the government body. You can take the help of your travel agent to obtain permits. The Chadar trek across Zanskar Lake is one of the most adventurous and demanding treks in the world. The Zanskar Lake freezes during the winter and trekking during this time might be more challenging and difficult.
6. Even at this altitude, the colorful traditional festivals will not cease to amaze you. The famous traditional Hemis Festival is held at this place. During the time of this festival, traditional masked dances are performed. You must attend the Spituk Gustar festival as well. The locals take part in the traditional masked dance festivals. Other well-known festivals include Stok Monastery festival, Matho monastery festival and the festival organized by the senior Lamas-Dosmoche festival.
7. Ladakh is home to many rare species of wildlife. Himalayan animals such as Tibetan Hare, blue sheep, mountain wolves, wild hares, magpies, golden eagles, and snow leopards can be spotted at higher altitudes during summer. But in winter, these animals come lower to survive from the freezing blizzards. Wild Yak, Tibetan wild ass, ibex, Brown bear, mountain wolves, and lynxes are also found in these areas. Flora and Fauna of Ladakh have a great diversity. The climate of this place is ideal for the survival of these rare species making it an exotic destination for wildlife viewing.
The local peoples of Ladakh are amicable and are always ready to welcome you with warmth and affection. You will always find interesting stories and mountain myths from them. The mythological creature, the ‘Yeti’ or the ‘Abominable Snowman’ holds the name ‘Migoo’ amongst the locals and the locals have stories to make you believe that they truly exist.
A completely different land surface, free from the commotion, mess and crowd and vegetation too (well, almost!), you can always opt for a trip to Ladakh to spend your vacation.
So, now that you have enough reasons, what’s stopping you from visiting amazing Ladakh, the doorway to heaven!