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Leh in 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 its each and every aspect. 

History of Ladakh 

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

Also Read: An offbeat destination that's home to adventure sports, lakes and enigmatic caves

Places to Visit in Ladakh

Pangong Lake 

An exceptional feature of the 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 set amidst the gigantic mountains. 

Khardung La Pass, Leh Ladakh

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

Nubra Valley, Leh Ladakh

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. Read More

Spituk Monastery, Leh Ladakh

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. Read More

Zanskar Valley, Leh Ladakh

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. Read More

Things to do in Ladakh

White Water Boating, Leh Ladakh

Making way through the rapids among the twists and turns on 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. 

Chadar Trek, Leh Ladakh

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 spine chilling cold weather of January and February.   

Mountain Biking, Leh Ladakh

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. 

Ladakh Trekking, Leh Ladakh

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.

Bactrian Camel Safari, Nubra Valley

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.  

Events & Festivals in & Around Leh-Ladakh

Thiksay Gustor

Ladakh is home to a lot of monastic festivals which are celebrated at many different monasteries of the place. The Thiksay Gustor is a 2-day festival that is celebrated near Spituk monastery. Read More

Losar Celebrations

Losar is one of the most elaborately celebrated festivals of Ladakh and people get along like a family to celebrate this festival with one another. The festival marks the new year according to the Tibetan calendar. Read More

Galdan Namchot

Colorful dance-dramas are performed by the monks to commemorate the birth and death of the Buddhist scholar Je Tsongkhapa. People from various parts of the country arrive to witness this festival. Read More

Food and Fashion of Ladakh

The food of Ladakh is unique and has the flavor of the local spices that are found locally in Ladakh. Owing to its geographical location, the food of Ladakh is primarily non-vegetarian as it provides a good source of protein and fat to the people to survive in the extremely cold climate. If in Ladakh, one must try the following dishes Chutagi (dumpling soup), Paba (barley flour bread), Butter Tea, and Thukpa. 

Ladakhi men and women have a unique set of traditional dresses that they wear on special occasions. Ladakhi men wear a woolen robe which is called Goucha. This is worn with a sash that is called Skerag. Women wear a similar kind of robe but that is called Kuntop. Besides these clothes, Ladakhi people also wear accessories like hats, etc.   

Best time to Visit Leh Ladakh

If you are planning to visit Ladakh then, months between April to June are great to visit. During the rest of the year, Manali-Leh expressway isn't affected and the main operational way which is the Srinagar-Leh roadway also gets influenced by incidental landslides.

How to Reach Leh Ladakh

Leh is a cold desert, primarily famous for its adventurous vistas, nature's beauty. It is also a hotspot destination amongst the 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.

By Air. The nearest airport is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL). This airport is considered as 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.

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

By Road.  Leh can be reached by road 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. 

  1. Delhi - 1,007 km via Leh Manali Highway
  2. Ludhiana - 808 km via Leh Manali Highway
  3. Amritsar - 867 km via Leh Manali Highway or NH154
  4. Patiala - 813 km via Leh Manali Highway
  5. 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 as 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.

  1. Delhi - Board Jammu Rajdhani from New Delhi Railway Station and deboard at the Jammu Tawi Station
  2. Lucknow - Board Himgiri Express from Lucknow NR and deboard at the Jammu Tawi
  3. Agra - Board Malwa Express from Agra Cantt and deboard at the Jammu Tawi 
  4. Jaipur - Board AII Jat from Jaipur station and deboard at the Jammu Tawi station
  5. Jodhpur - Board ADI JAT Express from Jodhpur Junction and deboard at the Jammu Tawi
  6. Amritsar - Board JU JAT Express from Amritsar Junction and deboard at the Jammu Tawi
  7. Indore - Board Malwa Express from Indore JN BG and deboard at Katra
  8. Ludhiana - Board BTI JAT EXP from Ludhiana Junction and deboard at Jammu Tawi
  9. Kanpur - Board CNB JAT EXPRESS and deboard at Jammu Tawi

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here


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