Once a famous expedition hiker said ‘go to the mountains for chasing angels or fleeing from demons’. Ladakh is located in the northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, extends from the Siachen glacier of Karakoram Range into the Greater Himalayas of further south. The boundaries of this province culminating into the mighty Himalayas speak for the beauty, grandeur, and serenity of Ladakh.
The answer to this question lies in the name ‘Ladakh’ itself. Ladakh means the ‘land of high passes’, pristine land in the laps of the mighty Himalayas surrounded by mountains and entangled with passes.
1. The magnificent Zanskar Valley
This serene valley entwined with the Zanskar River is beautiful, pristine and one of the most desolated places in the world. The steep terrains, snow-covered levees, and occasional white river rafting on Zanskar tributaries assemble to craft the grandeur of this valley.
2. The cerulean Pangong Tso Lake
If camping is your thing then this breathtakingly beautiful lake on Changtang plateau on the east of Ladakh is your place. If your dream is to enjoy a nice nap in low temperatures with the entire galaxy of stars guarding you against the top, then this lake should be a must visit on your tour itinerary.
3. Adventurous Kargil
Kargil is the second largest town of Ladakh, and it’s the hub for mountaineering and trekking. Thus a visit to Ladakh is definitely incomplete without dropping in at Kargil. Kargil also acts as a transit hub for roads leading to Zanskar, Leh, and Srinagar, thus while passing through Kargil just drop in and explore this heaven for adventures.
4. Thrilling Khardung-La pass
Going by the true connotation of the name ‘Ladakh’ a trip to this place can’t be complete without visiting a couple of passes and what can be more thrilling than a ride on one of the world’s highest motorable claims. This beautiful passes act as the gateway for Nubra and Shyok valleys connecting the extreme North to Tibet and is regarded as a pilgrim for adventure junkies.
5. Astounding Nubra valley
Many know that barren mountains are considered as cold deserts, but how about a real sand desert with mighty sand dunes and two-humped camels in the middle of subzero temperature. Nubra valley is that place of Ladakh where you find sand dunes, camel hump rides and everything amidst the greatest mountain of the world.
6. Supernatural Magnetic hill
Amidst all the beautiful and majestic experiences in Himalaya, how about getting the taste of something bizarre. This place can be accounted for as one of the world’s most bizarre places as it defies gravity. Just park your vehicle with brakes unlocked at the base of the mountain and get baffled seeing that your vehicle starts moving uphill on its own!
7. The Royal Leh palace
If you haven’t visited Potola Palace in Lhasa, you can get an essence of that by visiting this royal palace of Leh. Situated on the Cliffside of mountain looking over the entire valley and town of Leh with the statues of Lord Buddha, this place is a must visit for all travelers.
8. Landing to Moonland
Walking on the moon’s surface is a dream we all saw while growing up that never got fulfilled. But you can actually land on the moon’s surface by visiting this unique valley on your way to Lamayuru. Walking on this valley that has a close resemblance to the moon’s surface on a moonlit night is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
9. The mountain lake of Tso Moriri
A twin to Pangong Tso Lake, Tso Moriri is the lesser known lake in the Changtang plateau. This desolated lake has been declared as wetland reserve for its exotic faunas like Brahmin duck, brown-headed gull, bareheaded goose, and great crested goose. So if you are looking for a campaign experience where you can stay star-struck amidst the sound of exotic fauna, then this lake is the place for you.
10. The monasteries
A trip to Ladakh is not just about losing yourself amidst the pristine mountains. It also includes experiencing the rich cultural heritage of the hamlet province. Thus, a Ladakh trip is incomplete without its monasteries.
Some of the most famous monasteries in Ladakh are well-known across the world. The Hemis monastery, a stand-alone relic carrying the remnants of Indo-Tibetan paintings of 11-12th century and statue of Maitreya. The Alchi monastery, theDiksit Monastery at Nubra valley with its breathtaking décor, solemn ambiance and the rituals of ‘Yellow Hat’ sects speaks volumes about Buddhism. The Stakna monastery on Tiger nose, by the banks of Indus valley, and the Likir Monastery offering a glimpse into the ancient Buddhist mythology, add to the mesmerizing beauty of the place.
11. The Gompas
The Buddhist Gompas are religious pastoral fortifications built a center of learning and cultural exchange. Thus exploring the nooks and corners of Ladakh stays incomplete if one doesn’t visit its breathtaking Gompas.
Some of the state’s most famous ones include the popular Spituk Gompa with its chilly wind and pristine beauty, the Shanti Stupa on Chanspa with the majestic yet serene statue of Lord Buddha, the 11,800 feet high attitude Thiksey Gompa carrying the heritage of Yellow Hat Buddhists, and the impressive Phyang Gompa of the ‘red hat’ Buddhists, which is also the biggest learning center for Digung techniques.
12. Trek calls
While talking about Ladakh and the mighty Himalayas, the first thing that comes to the mind is trekking. Ladakh is the pilgrimage for adventure junkies and ‘trek-a-holics.’ From high altitude to medium altitude to treks for newbies, Ladakh has it all.
Some of the most famous treks include the highest trek-able summit of India, the Stok Kangri trek in the mighty Zanskar valley. This trek requires high stamina, where you reach a height of almost 70% ofMt Everest.
The Lamayuru to Darcha trek through the moon valleys and moon reliefs of Ladakh, entwined with riverine banks of Indus, Zanskar, Chandra and Bhaga with beautiful lush fields and rose bushes will transport you to an entirely new world of excitement. The breathtaking Rupshu valley trek to the heart of twin lakes Pangong Tso and TSoMoriri will surely enthrall you. The most thrilling Chadar trek that offers you a walk over frozen waterfalls, lakes, snowcapped mountains in a spine chilling subzero temperature is something you can look forward to!
Land in the home of adventure, beauty, and heritage
Ladakh has been gifted with mystified beauty and a divine rustic charm from Mother Nature. The picturesque surroundings, the adventures, the delectable local cuisine, the rich heritage of Tibetan Buddhism and the love and warmth from the locals make Ladakh the perfect holiday destination. So this holiday season grabs your bags and land in the home of adventure, beauty, and heritage.
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