“The land of high passes” Ladakh, situated in Jammu and Kashmir State of India, is in almost every Indian traveler or Non Traveler’s bucket list. Whether physically able or not, may they have a flair of travelling or not, every Indian long to experience the majestic Himalayas of the Indo-Tibetan Plateau not just because of the natural abundance but because of the people who inhabit it, and the culture that it has produced.
The Summers of Ladakh, is when you would want to visit this place. From April to October the place opens up its arms in accepting you in it lap, a paradise of snow-clad mountain peaks, stunning views and lush greenery.
Read below our 10 reasons why you should visit Ladakh this Summer
Jewel in the crown – Pangong Tso Lake
Remember the Last scene lake in the movie 3 Idiots. Shot on the banks of Pangong Tso Lake is an absolute must see. Pangong Tso, meaning “long enchanted lake” is very aptly named as the crystal clear water, the image of the long capped mountains and blue skies over the equally glittering lake surface can be described as enchanting. With options for overnight stay at the Eco friendly tents one can have a spectacular experience which they might cherish for life.
Biking in these hills is one heck of an experience
For a more closer experience in to the wild Biking would be a better choice. Ladakh happens to be every biker’s Dream were bikers from across the world reach to experience the best routes to ride in the world, the 475 kms long Manali-Leh Highway, more than half of which is higher than 13000 feet. With minimal infrastructure support Ladakh Biking is not for everyone, but for those who decide to conquer the inner drive of winning over the Himalayas driving through the Manali-Leh highway will leave you dumbstruck and give you memories to cherish for lifetime. The best time is June- September.
River Rafting in Zanskar River
Zanskar became famous after the Discovery Channel documentary on the Zanskar Valley, and the yearly hard ship those brave men bear to bring wood to the low lands to fetch salt, and grain for their family above the valley where it is impossible to reach 9 month a year. Well river rafting in Zanskar River is one of the most eye opening things to do in Ladakh, and an experience worth taking one for sure as the water comes down from the glaciers upstream. It is these stream in the Mid winter that the Zanskar people use to climb down. About an hour drive from Leh, it is some 3 hours of rafting from Chilling to Nemo, which includes class III rapids. There are number of tour operators who might charge between 1300-1500 Rs a person. Best time is June to September.
Trekking in Ladakh
Ladakh will make you empty of your pre occupied notions of self-identification, with respect to society, success, life and will take you to a complete different journey of self-realization. With so much that the place has to offer more than experiencing the Himalayas, just walking and hiking through the remote valleys, and tiny villages, hanging monasteries over the cliffs, will bring in your gratitude towards these people for their humility who chooses to live a content life despite of all the everyday hardships. It offers some incredibly picturesque treks, some of the treks are in the Indus Valley, Spituk-Stok, Nubra Valley, Chadar etc.
Celebrations at Thiksey Monastery
With more than 100 monasteries Ladakh “the Mini Tibet “ the land of Buddhist culture were the Hymns and Chants echoes and travels through the air even when you cannot hear them. Some of the famous monastaries that you just cannot ignore are Hemis, Diskit, Phugtal and Thiksey. An experience here in the back drop of the Himalayas will make you experience the heritage and diversity of this sub-continent which has given birth to such wonderful culture more a way of life. Try learning some meditation in an open monastery from the Lamas there and try to observe the patience they practice while painting a Buddhist Thanka.
The heritage site and former Royal Palace “Leh Palace” built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century is a must see place that you cannot afford to miss. As per the history the royal family had to abandon the Palace and move to Stok Palace when the Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the 19th century. The palace has 9 storeys and is almost in ruins now, but has been preserved as a heritage in which one can still experience the royal glory and can make you feel it’s enamor.
Camel Safari In Ladakh
The Tibetan Plateau is also known to be the Desert at the Highest Altitude of the World. Moreover, as the altitude rises slowly with the drop in atmospheric pressure vegetation also becomes minimal so do not be surprised, if you are offered Camel Safari in Ladakh. Yes, today Camel Safari has become asn another popular thing from the back of which watching the cold deserts of Ladakh is a whole different experience. This is recommeded from July to September.
Jeep Safari In Ladakh
Experience the thrill of Jeep Safari while you move around the roads of Ladakh swinging up and down, through gravity defying valleys and passes. All the more popular destinations of leh, Ladakh and Spiti can be reached on your SUV or JEEP Safari that can be hired through tours offered by the Tourism board of India.
Ladakh is not just about enjoying adventure sports, but it would just mix in your blood like opium. The environment and terrain will make you realize that trekking, mountaineering or Safaris has more to add in your life just than leisure. Ladakh gives you the opportunity to even experience flying via paragliding to experience that closeness to the mightiness of the nature that has manifested in the Himalayas from above the sky. In the ranges of Khardungla Top, the highest motorable road in the world, tourists from all over the world try the paragliding.
Ladakh has modernized in recent times since tourists from all across the world flock to this wonderland and food is one of them that offers you a blend of Indian, Tibetan, and continental. But, traditional Ladakhi cuisine is as much as a delicacy than any else, so do try the cuisine most of are soupy by nature. Ladakh’s population is mainly engaged in agricultural activities, hence vegetarian food is plenty and also popular. Non Veg food mainly consists of chicken, lamb and mutton. Some of the liked cuisines of Ladakh are Momo, Thukpa, Thenthuk, Skyu, Paba and Tangtur etc.
Local market in Leh is goldmine for buying unique jewelry and stones
Pick up some great souvenirs that you would like to carry back home as reminiscence from the shops in Ladakh like Copper Samovars, Buddhist relics, Tangkha Paintings and Prayer Wheels, Wooden Masks, Silver Jewellery, Turquoise and Coral Stones that grow in the high land lakes of the Indo-Tibetan plateau; with more saleable items like Pashmina and Yak Wool Shawls and stoles, hand-woven blankets and rugs, woolens etc. Everything wears serene and subtle beauty in Laddakh, which determines that though in midst of continuous conflict and insurgency in Kashmir and why the people here still wears a peaceful smile and live their hard lives blissfully; Buddhism indeed is a way of life.