Leh Ladakh


Jammu And Kashmir

5°C / Clouds

Leh Ladakh is an incredible land occupied by a wide number of attractions. These include remarkable vistas of nature, welcoming inhabitants, and its unique culture. The place is genuinely a paradise on Earth. Bordered by two of the world's largest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, Ladakh lies in the crossways of two other ranges namely - the Ladakh Range and the Zanskar Range. Truly, the land of Ladakh is magical in each and every aspect. 

If you are planning to visit Ladakh then, the months between April and June is the best time to do so. 

History of Ladakh 

Ladakh region is inhabited by Indo-Aryans since the Neolithic times. Historians even claim that the Kushan Empire was prevalent in Ladakh during the 1st century and Buddhism established its roots in Ladakh from the 1st and 2nd centuries.

By the 8th century, the region was captured and controlled by the Tibetan empire. Sometime later, Ladakh was set free of the Chinese and Tibetan kingdom which led to the advent of the Ladakhi dynasty rule in the region. Amidst all these political scenarios and changes in power dynamics, Buddhism emerged as the most followed religion. 

In the 13th century, Ladakh accepted the rule of Dogra kings of Tibet, and once again it was administered by Tibetans. This continued for a long period and later Ladakh became a part of Kashmir. After that, the colonization of India by Britishers took the center stage and the politics began revolving around that. When the Britishers left India Kashmir was ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh and it became a part of India with the ‘Treaty of Accession’ that was signed between the Union of India and Maharaja Hari Singh.     

Newly Formed Union Territory Ladakh 

After a passed reorganization act in the parliament of India in October 2019, Ladakh granted the status of a Union Territory, while Leh has been declared Ladakh’s capital. Before this, Ladakh was part of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Major Attractions in and Around Ladakh

1. Pangong Lake 

An exceptional feature of the Pangong lake is that it doesn't stay blue consistently for the whole year, rather it changes color from sky blue to light blue to green and grey and even red as well! The lake is a hot tourist spot where people from across the country arrive. 

2. Khardung La Pass

Khardung La Pass, usually expressed as Khardzong La, is a vital strategic motorable pass that leads you to the Siachen glacier. The Pass is claimed to be the world's most notable pass located at a height of 5,359 m above sea level.

3. Nubra Valley

Nubra valley is a sprint of lavish greenery in Ladakh's desert and moonlike landscapes and slopes. The valley is known for its local markets, beautiful monasteries, and two rivers: the Nubra River and the Shyok River.

4. Spituk Monastery

Spituk Monastery is additionally called Spituk Gompa or Pethup Gompa. The monastery was founded in the 11th century and is known for popular Buddhist paintings and artifacts from the bygone era.

5. Zanskar Valley

Zanskar valley is an ancient Buddhist kingdom that was ruled by the kings of the Kushan dynasty. The valley is a popular spot for adventure travelers as they get to trek and enjoy several adventure sports here. The valley is spread across 7,000 km² (approximately) and it is sited at a height of 13,154 above ocean level. 

6. White Water Boating

Making way through the rapids amid the twists and turns of the Zanskar River makes rafting a memorable experience in Ladakh. The Zanskar Rafting trip is outstanding among the other river trips globally and to believe this you have to try it on your visit to Zanskar valley. 

7. Chadar Trek

Chadar Trek, also known as Zanskar Gorge is a 105 kilometers trek route. People from across the country arrive here to trek this long distance in the spine-chilling cold weather of January and February.   

8. Mountain Biking

Generally named the heaven for mountain bikers, Leh has many tourists coming in every year to experience the excitement of driving on its risky slopes and experience the adrenaline rush. 

9. Ladakh Trekking

From crossing over the icy masses, climbing long lengths of Ladakh, going through the uneven landscape, and making way through a long and sharp edge, all this and more; aptly defines the Ladakh trek. There are many trekking routes in Ladakh that will surprise you with troublesome difficulties, even if you are an expert trekker.

10. Bactrian Camel Safari

How about getting attracted by a camel ride in the midst of uplifting sandhills? This can only happen in Ladakh. These camels are different from the ones you see in Rajasthan and riding on them is a unique experience.  

How to Reach Leh Ladakh

Leh is a cold desert, primarily famous for its adventurous vistas and nature's beauty. It is also a hotspot destination amongst seasoned bikers. Leh in Ladakh is located at a distance of  1,000, 3,178, 2,425, 2,524 km from Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kolkata respectively. Here is how you can reach Leh via the following routes.

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By Air

The nearest airport is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL). This airport is considered the 22nd highest airport situated in the world, located at 3,256 m above sea level. Named after the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, it is very well connected with other Indian cities like Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

  • Delhi - Board Spicejet, Air India from Indira Gandhi International Airport. The airfares are starting at Rs.12,000
  • Mumbai - Board Spicejet, Air India from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The airfares are starting from Rs.15,000
  • Jodhpur - Board Air India, Spicejet flights from Jodhpur Airport. The airfares are starting from Rs.18,000-Rs.20,000
  • Bengaluru - Board Air India, Spicejet from Bengaluru Airport. The airfares are starting from Rs.13,000
  • Jaipur - Board Air India from Jaipur Airport. The airfares are starting from Rs.16,000

By Road

Leh can be reached by roads as well. The best time to travel here by road is between the months of May to October. This is so because the climatic conditions during this time are good and roads are in prime condition during this time. Also, make sure that your vehicle has good ground clearance before planning your trip. Here is the route you should take to reach Leh. 

  • Delhi - 1,007 km via Leh Manali Highway
  • Ludhiana - 808 km via Leh Manali Highway
  • Amritsar - 867 km via Leh Manali Highway or NH154
  • Patiala - 813 km via Leh Manali Highway
  • Shimla - 717 km via Leh Manali Highway and Keylong Leh Road

From ISBT Delhi, you can also take a bus. It is one of the longest road routes in India and it will take you 24 hours to reach here. The fares are starting from Rs.1,300. Apart from that, you can also easily book a bus online at J&K State Road Transport Corporation. 

By Train

Depending upon your convenience, you can choose to deboard at multiple railway stations like Pathankot, Kalka, Chandigarh, Jammu Tawi. However, Jammu Tawi is considered the primary railhead. It is the largest railway station in Jammu and Kashmir and is well connected with other Indian cities. After deboarding, you will need to further take a flight to Leh from Jammu.

  • Delhi - Board Jammu Rajdhani from New Delhi Railway Station and deboard at the Jammu Tawi Station
  • Lucknow - Board Himgiri Express from Lucknow NR and deboard at the Jammu Tawi
  • Agra - Board Malwa Express from Agra Cantt and deboard at the Jammu Tawi 
  • Jaipur - Board AII Jat from Jaipur station and deboard at the Jammu Tawi station
  • Jodhpur - Board ADI JAT Express from Jodhpur Junction and deboard at the Jammu Tawi
  • Amritsar - Board JU JAT Express from Amritsar Junction and deboard at the Jammu Tawi
  • Indore - Board Malwa Express from Indore JN BG and deboard at Katra
  • Ludhiana - Board BTI JAT EXP from Ludhiana Junction and deboard at Jammu Tawi
  • Kanpur - Board CNB JAT EXPRESS and deboard at Jammu Tawi

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