Where sun mirrors on bouncing streams, where blinking stars knit heavenly dreams, where wrinkled skin has tales to tell, and shy eyes cast a romantic spell and the purest breeze with joy serene, cradle the essence of life within, the earth with heaven merges. Where O my Lord Just lead me there for the rest of life. Let’s read the best places to visit Leh Ladakh in Himalayan Wonderland, the best time to visit, the best places to stay, the most delicious food to have, and other travel things.
Ladakh is the highest Plateau in India. Earlier it was part of the part of Jammu & Kashmir State. In 2019 the Government of India declared it as the Union territory. Ladakh is 9800 ft above sea level and 1000 KM from the capital city Delhi. As the meaning of Himalaya is “Abode of Snow”; the king of all Mountains. It has a cultural mix of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan communities. Most people speak the Tibetan language. Most of the people are Buddhist (World’s Peaceful Religion). It is located in the middle of the Karakoram and Himalayan Ranges, the most deadly and dangerous roads and highest passes.
Ladakh is not just a popular tourist place in India. Travellers have deep passion and emotions attached to Leh-Ladakh. The world’s purest community, “Aryans” live here. In Ladakh UT, Leh is the biggest town. Biggest battlefield, motorable road, petrol pump, civilian colonies are here only. Buddhist monasteries can be seen everywhere. Ladakhis have a long history with Tibetans and Mughals.
Mighty Himalaya, frozen lake, tracking to high rise mountains, beautiful small farms, the purest form of water, Snow-leopard, yak snow dog and Himalayan sheep are the centre of attraction for travellers, tourists and visitors.
2. Why Visit Leh- Ladakh:
“Although I deeply love oceans, deserts and other wild landscapes, it is only mountains that beckon me with that sort of painful magnetic pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty. They keep me continuously wanting to know more, feel more, see more.”
“When the wind calls, you know, that somewhere in the mountains, it has found the answers that you were looking for. The pull of the horizon overcomes the inertia of reason…Moreover, you just have to go.”
- To see scenic beauty with your nacked eyes along with cuisine, to taste the pink tea, colorful festivals, outdoor events; exploring monasteries and gompas; relaxation and rejuvenation, lakes and for kindling romance.
- Now if you want to lose yourself in the barren panorama and to conquer the highest trekkable peaks and mountain passes; must-visit Ladakh. Also for it being an abode of some of the ancient Buddhist monasteries and gompas; you must visit Ladakh.
- For crazy riders or travellers, Ladakh is perfect to acclimatize your driving skills and snaking through mountain passes.
- It is the best gateway from the hustle and bustle of life which brings you away from the Hi-tech life; live like a nomad.
- If you want to limber up your photography skills, then the pristine beauty of Ladakh is going to win your heart with every single click of your DSLR Camera. The blog tells the story of “Why to Visit Leh Ladakh- Himalayan Wonderland “.
Travellers Dream and Aspirations for Leh-Ladakh:
It is an untouched paradise with the mighty Himalayas and Karakoram Ranges and the world’s highest motorable road Khardungla, Changla and Tanglang Pass. You must not miss the various kind of heaven in your entire life — the world’s highest monastery, War memorials, stupas, remote civilian society. And one of the toughest people in the world who are fighting a daily battle with dangerous weather in frizzy mountains.
If you want to experience a remote village challenging life and camping in the world’s deadliest place, driving on toughest and dangerous roads, climbing frozen mountains, Buddhist Monasteries, Blue light skies at night with stunning food in the Indus riverside then Ladakh is yours. People are so kind in nature and yes!! You can call them the toughest civilians.
Feel the dare Mountains connecting through your heart, imagine the three layers of winter clothes; you are having a cup of hot Tea/Coffee and watching the sky rise mountains. Such a Numerous feeling makes you live there till the last breath. Dear Travelers- this is the beauty of the Himalayas.
If you still have not visited Ladakh- a heavenly piece of earth, then you are missing a lot of memories and experiences to add in your travel diary.
Location of Leh-Ladakh:
Land of High Passes (Ladakh) is a region that covers about 117,000 km and contains the Ladakh Range which is the extension of the Karakoram Range and the upper Indus River Valley. On 31 October 2019 as per the J&K Reorganization Act 2019, now it is a Union Territory. It is located between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Himalayas to the south.
The geographic location of Ladakh Valley starts from 9000ft to 25170ft at Saser Kangri place. Due to high altitude, you will face suffocation with the insufficient amount of oxygen in this place.
It is one of the highest regions of the world. Its natural features consist mainly of high plains and deep valleys. The high plain predominates in the east, diminishing gradually toward the west. In southeastern; Ladakh lies Rupshu, an area of large, Brackish lakes with a uniform elevation of about 13,500 feet (4,100 metres). To the northwest of Rupshu lies in the Zaskar Range; an inaccessible region where people and cattle remain indoors for most of the year because of cold. Zaskar is drained by the Zanskar River, which, flowing northward, joins the Indus River below Leh.
In the heart of Ladakh, farther to the north, cultivation utilizing manuring and irrigation is practiced by farmers living in valley villages at elevations between about 9,000 and 15,000 feet (2,750 and 4,550 meters). Shepherds tend flocks in the upland valleys that are too high for cultivation. Leh, the most accessible town of Ladakh, is an important trade center located 160 miles (260 km) east of Srinagar.
Weather of Leh-Ladakh:
The weather of Ladakh sojourn “sunny side up”. Temperatures are pleasant and remain around 16°C during the day. It becomes barely manageable at about 3°C
From May to Mid-October, maximum travellers and tourist visit Ladakh. The average temperature in May-October summer season is -5 to +15 degree C in night. In winter it goes to -30 degree C in Leh and Siachen, it goes to -50 degree C. I would say deadly weather due to extreme height. November- April, it closes and all roads blocks.
Best Time to Visit Leh-Ladakh:
Every year Ladakh’s routes are closed and disconnected with the rest of the world for six months due to heavy snow-fall. You should plan a trip in the month of June to August. Few crazy travellers plan their journey in the month of November to January. But it is too risky for your health and life both. In these months normally temperature lies in between -5 to -40 Degree Celsius.
How to Reach Leh-Ladakh:
Ladakh has only Roads and Air connectivity. The Government proposes rail connectivity, but it will take another (5-100 years).
There is daily flight connectivity from Delhi to Leh. Also, there is a daily flight from Jammu & Kashmir to Leh.
You can reach Ladakh via Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh only.
Route-1: It passes from Delhi to Manali to Leh; which is 1000 KM via road. You will pass through the world’s highest motorable road “Rohtang Pass”. It is also known as one of the deadliest ways in the world. Here you need to take a permit from Manali for crossing Rohtang.
Route-2: Second way to reach Ladakh via road is; Delhi to Srinagar to Kargil to Leh, which is 1230 KM.
Route-3: Third and last routes are via Delhi to Pathankot to Dalhousie to Keylong to Leh; which is 1250 KM. The most extended way and will take more time due to the road conditions.
The best thing is to plan your trip via flight from Delhi to Leh if you are not a crazy traveller.
Where to Stay in Leh-Ladakh:
Most important thing which strikes in our mind is that in the frizzy cold where bones can melt; where should we stay? But this is not a question to worry about. You will get accommodation everywhere.
For budgeted hotels or homestays you need to pay 400-1500 INR. If you want a luxury hotel, it goes up to INR 10000, depending on your comfort zone. I would like to recommend to you Ladakh Sarai Cottage and Homestay; which is everywhere. For a Luxury stay, you can try the Grand Dragon and Ladakh Palace hotel. In Pangong, lake camps are the only option.
Don’t depend on online booking. These remote places don’t have network connectivity. You can easily find warm and welcome home stays in every town because it is the only income source for Ladakhi’s.
What to Eat- Local and Delicious Food of Ladakh:
If you are a traveller or visiting any new place then I must say; you all should try local dishes and local food of that particular place. My recommendation is; you must try Rogan Josh, Khambir, Phirni, Momos, Chang and Paba Tangutur.
Other Delicious Local foods and Dishes are;
The cuisine of Ladakh – Tibetan Food
Kashmiri Dishes – Non-Vegetarian
- Mutton Roghan Josh
- Gushtaba (soft meatballs cooked in natural yoghurt, white curry)
- Rishta (Soft MeatBalls in delicious Gravy, Red Curry),
- Tabak Maaz (Deep fried ribs of a lamb)
- Kanti(small chunks of meat cooked with many onions).
- Seekh-Tuji – Marinated and freshly barbecued meat pieces eaten with chutney
- Grilled Mutton called Tilli or Tech
- Marzunga Korma
- Shami Kabab
- Meet Maaz
- Kashmiri Pulao (Both Veg and Non-Veg) / Also known as Ladakhi Pulao
Kashmiri Dishes – Vegetarian
- Veg Dum Aloo
- Tamatar Zaman (Paneer)
- Nadru Yakhni (Lotus Stem prepared in Yogurt)
- Haak (Kashmiri Saag)
- Kashmiri Pulao (Both Veg and Non-Veg)
- Butter tea or Gur Gur Chai
- Sea buckthorn juice
- Kashmiri Chai
- Namkeen Chai
- Chhang (Alcoholic)
Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh:
But obvious and the most curious question should be asked; if there is so much fear of the road, problems of the route, freezing and unbearable cold, then why it is the most attractive destination in India and across the world also. And if we are full of zeal and enthusiasm and arrive in Ladakh later what places we should visit. The areas which can change my world of memories and are going to be stuck with me till my last breath.
List of 31 best places to visit Leh Ladakh are;
Pangong Tso Lake- Most Beautiful and Top Place to Visit in Leh Ladakh:
One of the stunning and breathtakingly beautiful blue water lakes; which make it perfect landscape mode in white mountains. It is one of the biggest lakes in India where it covers more than 900 km² long route with crystal clear water. Try to stay there and enjoy the real night skies where your eyes see the actual space satellite. To avoid crowds, visit in the off-season.
This beauty of nature can not be described in words by any writer or blogger. It merely is charismatic and the most beautiful lake. It is a highly protected lake in the Changthang region. Its height is almost 4522 mt above sea level.
Zanskar Valley is located above 12000 feet in the Guge Kingdom; an earlier part of Tibet. Now it is an integral part of India. Zanskar has located 105 km from Leh and is popular with its adventure’s Junkies. Zanskar is a SWEET SPOT for trekking, paragliding and water rafting. Some famous treks are Lamayuru to Darcha, Lamayuru – Padum trek.
The majority of the people in Zanskar are Tibetan Buddhists. People in Zanskar speak Zanskar, and they also speak Hindi, Ladakhi and Urdu. The temperature in Zanskar is frigid around minus 300C during winter.
Kargil, Leh Ladakh- The Pride of India and Indian Army:
Apart from War, Kargil has a long history of being on the crossroads of trade routes that connected to the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Persia, Tibet, Baltistan and now China also. The town is an amalgamation of many different ethnic groups known as a Balti and Tibetans groups. They have their own cultural, social and culinary traditions.
A trip to Leh Ladakh is incomplete without a visit to Kargil. It is the second largest town in Ladakh, situated on the banks of the Indus River. It is a transit hub with roads leading to Leh, Padum (Zanskar), and Srinagar. Also, it is a haven for adventure enthusiasts as they can enjoy sports such as trekking and mountaineering. The blog tells the story of “Why to Visit Leh Ladakh- Himalayan Wonderland “.
Nubra Valley is 150 km from Leh Town over the Indus River. Bactrian camel Safari, one of the rare species of Camel in the world; you will find it here. This town has its dignity. Baltistan culture among the people will give you the feeling of remote Mongol structural homes or little Mongol of India.
Over the “Shyok River” this desert place is surrounded with muddy Himalayan ranges mainly known for 14th-century monastery and culture. Most of the people are Buddhist. Where you can feel the lifestyle among the people during your homestay
Hall of Fame:
History and facts about Ladakh in one in one place will fall in love with Ladakh, where you can reach the account of Namgyal dynasty of Ladakh which was founded by the Basgo King, he was known for overthrowing the likes of Leh and bringing together the beautiful land of Ladakh.
It is known as one of the biggest battles in the world where many shoulders are hit by an avalanche. The situation is so terrible that the temperature was the killing machine throughout the year -40 to -55 degree Celsius.
It is the symbol of Peace and Prosperity. This white-domed structure is located on a hilltop at Changspa in the Leh region; which is built by Japanese Buddhist Group. It is named ‘The Japanese for World Peace’. Shanti Stupa was inaugurated by his holiness, The Dalai Lama in 1985. Build-in commemoration of 2500 years of the spread of Buddhism, Shanti Stupa is Promoting World Peace.
Hemis National Park:
Hemis National Park is also exceptional. Because it gives the shelter for two kinds of species, which are not to be seen anywhere else in the country. These are the “Shapo Sheep” and the “Snow Leopards”.
Approximately 200 snow leopards are living in the premises of the national park.
The best location to view the moonscapes of Lamayuru is to climb up. It is known as a “Meditation Hill”. Monks from the Lamayuru Gompa stay here, on the top of this meditation hill. They have a medical laboratory up, where the monks churn out medicines from the local herbs.
Another majestic mystery where a tourist is attracted by himself to see this beautiful valley; where a signboard is placed; which says, “The hill defies gravity completely and invites everyone to experience the magical phenomenon. If you keep your vehicle in neutral at a position marked on the road and wait, you will be surprised to see, and the vehicle starts moving uphill at the speed of 10-20 mph”. This magical phenomenon is still unexplained by science. It is located on Leh- Kargil-Baltic Highway on the east of Sindhu River.
Most Frequent and Best places to visit Leh Ladakh Are;
- Pangong Tso Lake
- Zanskar Valley
- Khardung-la Pass
- Nubra Valley
- Magnetic Hill
- Spituk Gompa
- Hemis National Park
- Shanti Stupa
- Hemis Monastery
- Royal Leh Palace
- Tso Moriri Lake
- Chadar Trek
- Thiksey Gompa
- Diskit Monastery
- Stakna Monastery
- Phyang Gompa
- Likir Monastery
- Phugtal Monastery
- Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
- Stok Palace
- Chemrey monastery
- Tso Kar
- Lamayuru Town
- Sankar Gompa
- Dha Hanu
- Changthang Wildlife sanctuary
- Hall Of Fame
I must agree with Victoria Erickson when he very rightly says “Although I deeply love Blue oceans, deserts and other wild landscapes, it is only mountains that beckon me with that sort of Painful Magnetic Pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty. They keep me continuously wanting to know more, feel more, see more’’.
Dear folk, this journey will change your personality if you travelled to remote villages and met with “Lone Survivals” in the mighty Himalayan Mountains. The meaning of surviving will change when you see local tribal people who are fighting every day with this kind of terrain.
The respect for the military increases many folds when we see the sentence written on the exit gate “When you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we gave our Today”. This line was very heart-touching and brought tears to my eyes.
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
“No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied – it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.” And keep in your heart that “he who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.”