Ladakh Ladakh is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places in the world. It is blessed with an incredibly breathtaking desert-mountain landscape, magnificent lakes, amazing sand dunes, breathtaking snow capped peaks and snow fed rivers. Ladakh lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is bordered by the Great Himalayan and Karakoram ranges. The region shares its border on the right with China. The magnificent snow covered peaks and cold dessert terrain provide panoramic views at every turn.
The highest motorable passes in the world, Khardung La and Chang La lie in this region. Apart from scores of Buddhist monasteries, Ladakh also boasts of jaw droppingly beautiful high altitude lakes – Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. Adventure enthusiasts can undertake many activities ranging from trekking, mountain biking, motorcycling to the high passes, rafting etc. Visitors can also enjoy jeep, yak and camel safaris.
The spectacular city of Leh is the capital of Ladakh and lies at an altitude of 3500 m asl. It is a rugged cold desert city and offers nature at its rustic best. The lively people and their colorful clothes and customs are a beautiful contrast to the barren and rusty landscape. Buddhism is widely practiced in the region making it famous as the land of Monasteries. Amongst the many Buddhist monasteries accessible from Leh are Hemis, Lamayuru, Likir, Sankar, Shey and Phiyang Gompas. These monasteries or Gompas are treasure chests of ancient art, paintings; scrolls, scriptures; sculptures and architecture. Travelers to this mystic land require at least a week to explore the region and do justice to its splendor.
Summers are pleasant during day and cold in the evenings. Winters are extremely harsh in Ladakh with sub zero temperatures and both the highways are closed for 6 months due to heavy snow.
Travel to Leh:
By Road: Leh is connected by 2 main highways, the Srinagar – Leh Highway and the Manali – Leh highway.
- Srinagar – Leh Highway (434 kms, 10 hrs ): Srinagar – Sonamarg ( 79 kms, 2 hrs) – Drass (63 kms, 2 hrs) – Kargil (64 kms, 2 hrs) – Saraks ( 57 kms, 1.5 hrs) – Likir ( 114 kms, 3 hrs) – Leh ( 48 kms, 1.5 hrs).
- Manali – Leh highway (474 kms, 15 hrs): Manali – Palchan – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Turn left – Khoksar – Sissu – Jagle – Raling – Khangsar – Gondhla – Thorang – Tandi Junction – Keylong (118 kms, 6 hours) Yurnath – Kawaring – Gemur – Jispa (22 kms, 1 hour) – Lingkyam – Darcha (7 kms, 20 mins.) – Patseo (15 kms, 30 mins.) – Deepak Tal – Zingzingbar Cafe – Suraj Tal – Baralacha (Pass at 4891 m) – Sarchu (62 kms, 2.5 hrs) – Gata Loops – Drive along Tsarap River – Naki La (Pass 4739m, 15547 ft) – Pang (78 kms, 3 hrs) – Tanglang La (64 kms, 2.5 hrs) – Debring – Gya – Upshi (62 kms, 2 hrs) – Leh (49 kms, 1 hr 20 mins).
Nearest Airport: Leh airport. Leh is also connected by air with flights from Delhi, Jammu etc.
Acclimatization: On reaching Leh, travelers are advised to rest for a day, get acclimatized to the high altitude of this region and only then venturing out on the road trips to Pangong Lake and Nubra valley.
Best season to travel: July – September.