Nestled in the lap of mighty Himalayas, Ladakh is one of the most gorgeous places in India that delights the travelers with an incredible range of opportunities that can be experienced only here. Right from its unique topography to vibrant Buddhist culture and serenity of course, it is not wrong if we call it a Heaven on Earth. Bordered by two of the world's largest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, Ladakh lies on the crossways of Ladakh and Zanskar ranges adding an extra dimension to its beauty. A perfect place to grab a heavy dose of tranquility and also to pump up your adrenaline, Ladakh gives major goals to travelers who visit here from across the globe.
Best Time To Visit Leh Ladakh
If you are planning to visit this unadulterated land then you must consider traveling between the months of April to July as the weather in Ladakh is extremely bone chilling. Also, due to its high altitude, that is about 2750 to 7672 meters above sea level, travelers need to acclimatize themselves prior to hitting the spectacular gems of nature studded in this beautiful mountain place.
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. During this time Buddhism established its roots in Ladakh. 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, Buddhism emerged as the prominent religion majorly followed by the natives of Ladakh.
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 Kashmir’s origin. When the Britishers left India, Kashmir was ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh and it became a part of India under the ‘Treaty of Accession’ that was signed between the Union of India and Maharaja Hari Singh. Later in October 2019, the reorganization act was passed by the parliament of India under which Ladakh gained recognition as a newly formed Union Territory of India and Leh was declared as its capital.
Best Places To Visit In Leh Ladakh
Set amidst mighty Himalayas, Ladakh is dotted with a number of tourist hotspots that are totally worth witnessing at least once in a lifetime. Check out some of the stunning tourist places in Ladakh that are truly magical.
One of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Pangong lake is a must visit on your trip to Lake as it boasts an exceptional feature of changing hues from blue to green and grey all through the day. It is one of the most stunning endorheic lakes as there is no water outlet and also the highest brackish water lakes in the world.
Located on the famous Leh-Kargil highway, Magnetic Hill is one of the prominent tourist attractions of Ladakh. Also known as gravity hill, the vehicles parked close to the hill are pulled upwards with ignition off which defies the logic of gravity. Many tourists visit this spot to witness this magical phenomenon.
Also named as Khardzong La, it is a vital strategic motorable pass that leads you to Siachen glacier. One of the most popular passes in Ladakh, Khardung La claims to be the world's most notable pass located at a height of 5,359 m above sea level.
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.
Also called Spituk Gompa or Pethup Gompa, it is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh that is visited by a large number of Buddhist devotees and tourists alike. The monastery was founded in the 11th century and is known for popular Buddhist paintings and artifacts from the bygone era.
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 sea level.
7. Chadar Trek
Chadar Trek, also known as Zanskar Gorge is a 105 kilometers trek route that is highly rated in the worldwide trekking circuit. Trekkers from across the globe arrive here to check their endurance level by trekking along the long trail in the spine-chilling cold weather especially during the months of January and February.
8. Hemis National Park
With a global recognition of preserving a large number of snow leopards, Hemis National Park is the largest and highest National Park in India that is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Home to some other endangered species such as Eurasian brown bear, red fox, Tibetan wolf, etc, people can also view some exotic species of birds in this park that is known for its unique fauna.
Things To Do In Ladakh
Ladakh is a dream destination for adventure junkies as there are many exciting things to do here that adds more charm to the trip. Check out!
1. 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.
2. Mountain Biking
Generally named the heaven for mountain bikers, Leh has many tourists coming in every year to experience the excitement of riding on its risky slopes and experiencing the adrenaline rush.
3. Ladakh Trekking
From crossing over the icy masses, climbing long lengths of Ladakh, going through the uneven landscape and making way through long and sharp edges, all this and more aptly defines the Ladakh trek. There are many trekking routes in Ladakh that will boggle you with the top rated difficulty levels even if you are an avid trekker.
4. 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
Despite being at high altitude, reaching this beautiful destination in India is not a task since it has good connectivity through various means of transportation.
The nearest airport is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) which is about 4 km away from the main city. 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.
Distance from Airport. 3.8 km
List of flights available from different Indian cities to Leh Ladakh
There is no railway station in Ladakh, however, you can consider Jammu Tawi station which is the closest railhead to the region. 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 or you can travel by road through bus or a cab.
Distance from Jammu Tawi Railway Station. 700 km
Leh can be easily reached by roads as there are well metalled highways from Himachal Pradesh as well as Kashmir which connect you to this beautiful land of passes. You can consider an onward journey by private vehicle, cab or bus from ISBT Delhi. You can also easily book a bus online at J&K State Road Transport Corporation to reach Ladakh.
Q. What is Ladakh famous for?
Ladakh is famous around the world for an array of breathtaking locales, vibrant culture, unique topography, beautiful monasteries, serene environs and unimaginable thrilling activities. Also there are Some festivals in India such as Thiksey Gustor, Galdan Namchot, Ladakh Festival etc which are very popular among tourists.
Q. Is it safe to travel to Leh Ladakh?
Ladakh is definitely a safe place to travel since it falls under a protected area. Every year, a large influx of tourists is registered here and their enriching experience speaks volumes about its serene and safe surroundings.
Q. Is Leh Ladakh expensive?
Ladakh is a dream destination for many, however, there are many options to make it light on your pocket. If you want to make it cheap then you can opt for homestays instead of hotels. You can travel by state buses to make it cheaper for you. Food is not so expensive in Ladakh so you can save a lot of money there. You can also consider booking your trip to Ladakh with Adotrip to get heavy discounts on flight tickets, hotels, tour packages and buses to make it economical for you
Q. What are the top things to do in Leh Ladakh?
Some of the top things to do in Leh Ladakh include visiting the Pangong Tso Lake, the Khardung La pass, the Shanti Stupa, the Leh Palace, and the Hemis Monastery.