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Laddakh- An Amazing Destination for You

Awesome landscapes and high mountains filled with the divine purity of Religious chants are a few of the arrays of attractions that make Laddakh the best place to visit in the world. Leh and Laddakh are gaining popularity now a day among bikers especially for the amazing bike trip to Laddakh and its adjoining beauty passes through the highest passes and mountains.

Bike Trip to Laddakh
Bike Trip to Laddakh @ Tourfetch.com

An area blessed with serene beauty and a clear atmosphere having Buddhist culture spread all over it make this geographical location widely popular for adventure and religious practices. Laddakh having a number of monasteries, passes, mountains, and lakes that equally dominate this region with respect to its cultural, adventurous, and religious significance.

Why Laddakh region is famous

This region still remains untouched and unexplored among the many wonders of the Himalayas, also known as ‘Land of Passes’. Situated at an elevation of 2750 – 7672 meters above sea level, this region is equally famous for adventure lovers plus spirituality seekers. Laddakh region consisted of many great monasteries that will give you a complete feel of Buddhist culture whereas having tough terrain with high altitude passes will be enjoyed by adventure lovers.

Awesome Laddakh drive

Some of the adventure activities you can undertake are river rafting, trekking, cycling, Biking, Safari, and many more. The region is rich with its ancient heritage and culture and is home to rare wildlife including the Tibetan antelope, yak, and ibex.

How to Reach Leh

Laddakh region has Leh as its main headquarter with broad connectivity to the rest of the country. The region is connected with mainly Air and Road while the Rail network is not accessible to reach Leh. You can explore different options available to reach this amazing location from the capital city of Delhi. And I tried my best to put together all possible means of commute till Leh so that it can be of any help to you in planning your trip.

By Flight To Leh

Leh city has its own airport named Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, which is connected with major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Srinagar, and Jammu. This airport is located at a distance of just 9 Km from the main Leh city and taxi can be easily hired from the airport to reach Leh conveniently. There are direct flights from Delhi and Srinagar while connecting flights from Mumbai in a day and frequency of flights is continuously increasing as this location is gaining popularity among tourists

You also have the option of taking a flight from Jammu to Leh, Air India is the only airline that operates on this route.

By Road to Leh

An alternate way to reach Leh is by road by own vehicle, bike, or hired taxi. State govt buses also available in both luxury and ordinary classes to reach Leh. There are two approach routes to Leh from Delhi:

One is from Delhi- Jammu – Srinagar – Kargil – Leh

& other one is

Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Sarchu – Leh

Among these two options, the second one i.e. from Manali to Leh is usually adopted by travelers in common because of the good road and transport network connectivity. You can find both ordinary and deluxe type busses being operated by Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir UTs governments. Also, regular buses from Kargil to Srinagar and Leh are operated by the State governments.

If you are an adventure lover and loves driving then Bikes and cars can be hired on rent from Manali itself and can be returned at Leh. While opting for the second route you can explore another Charming hill station Manali en route.

Ideal Route: Among the two routes listed above, second route i.e from Manali to Leh is the best route. Actual detail of this route is like:

Manali – Rohtang La – Tandi/Keylong – Darcha – Sarchu – Tanglang La – Upshi – Leh (from Leh you can take separate routes to Khardungla and Nubra, Pangong and Tso Moriri and Hemis) – Lamayuru – Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Srinagar – Patnitop – Chandigarh

 By Train to Leh

There is no direct connectivity through rail between Leh to Delhi and the closest railway station is at Pathankot (746Km), Jammu (682Km), and Chandigarh (719Km). You can reach up to these two locations easily as they are connected with main Indian cities by rail network where trains run on a frequent basis. From these two stations, you have no options except taking the road to Leh by hired or govt transport.

Best Time to Go Ladakh

The best time to visit the Laddakh region is between April and August. The complete year consists of the three seasons out of which the summer season is best to visit.

Summer (April to June): Summers season here in the Laddakh region is very pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 25 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius. The sun can be a little harsh and direct, but the weather remains beautiful and clear, making it the perfect time to visit here.

Monsoon (July to September): Monsoon seasons can be very rough, with heavy rainfall and landslides causing blocked roads which in turn leads to disturbance and leading to halting in your movement. It is suggested better to avoid the area during this time.

Winter (October to March): winter here, for this reason, is a bit harsh where the mercury drops down to 6 degrees in the daytime while to negative at night. Generally, people avoid this time for their tourism in Laddakh, but if you love the winter season then you can enjoy this season as well. Trekking can be the best option in the winter in and around this location.

Laddakh can be accessed throughout the year but as in the winter season, the region attracts heavy snowfall and driving becomes tough, so taking flight is the only option remains. However, in the summer season as snow melts, the road becomes clear and you can drive up to Leh easily.

Also, summer is the season when the local and popular Hemis festival is held in the region which attracts a large number of tourists. Hence generally you can find the maximum number of travelers adopting the summer season for their tour to this region. Accordingly months of July to September are the best for travelers traveling by road to Laddakh.

Road to Leh commute through many high altitudes passes which remains closed due to snow during the winter season. Main passes through which road moves are Khardung La, Rohtang, Darcha, and Sarchu Pass.

Permit to Visit Laddakh Region

As this area located near the border area, it is strategically important for India. Hence before visiting here, you have to obtain permits or can say passes from the authorities. Domestic or Indian tourists need an Inner Line Permit, which can be obtained both offline and online. To have an offline permit, you have to visit the Tourist information center at Leh town or DM office in person.

For the foreigner tourists, a protected area Permit is required to visit the Pangong lake which can be obtained online or through registered travel agents.

The inner line permit can be obtained online by visiting the Official Website of Leh District Permit Tracking System. For Indian nationals, the option of ‘Domestic client’ can be clicked and permits will be issued online after filling in the required details. The fees for issuing permits is very nominal at the rate of 420 (400 as environmental fees and 20 as inner line fee). 

Things to Do in Laddakh

Ladakh is one of the best places to visit in the world with a variety of things to do for everybody. High Altitude Mountains and passes with snow during winter make it tough to commute but at the same time best thing for adventure seekers to attempt.

There are many beautiful places to visit and many things to do in Ladakh. Being located at a high altitude, it is very much required to get acclimatize with the environment of this region, as people having some issues with their health can have breathing problems there. I will try my best to explain every bit of information for you so as to explore the region fully. Let us move on to:

Pangong Lake

When you hear the name of Laddakh, a lake comes to mind always and that lake which is portrayed in many movies is nothing but this beautiful Pangong Tso lake only. Situated at a distance of 222 Km from Leh, this magnificent lake is easily approachable with a drive of 5 hours from Leh city. This amazing lake is located at an altitude of 4350 meters and it is a glacial lake. This lake is a saline water lake and that is the reason its water remains in a liquid state throughout the year.

Pangong lake in Laddakh
Pangong Lake by @Tourfetch.com

Pangong lake is a must-visit place once you are in the Laddakh region. This lake is roughly around 130 Km long and it is spread out over both the countries of India and China. This lake is so adorable in the evening time that you can’t miss its beauty when in Laddakh. This lake seems to change its colors throughout the year with different in different seasons.

This beautiful Pangong lake is pictured in many Indian Movies and you must have come across this magnificent lake through your television screen once. High mountains on its side make it further awesome with weather dipping too low mercury at night time.

Further, read about this beautiful lake in detail by visiting other Blogs dedicatedly written on this mesmerizing Pangong lake.

Royal Leh Palace

Palace was built in the 17th century in the very town of Leh and it acts as a cultural heritage for the people of this region. This structure of the palace is considered as of large importance in the Leh region and this is built as per the palaces built in medieval Tibet. This royal palace is built atop a hill serves as a major attraction among the travelers traveling to Laddakh.

Photo credit : Hari’s clicks @https://instagram.com/haris_clicks?igshid=j83jluq6tpwq

This palace is called a royal palace because the royal family was residing in it. The Foundation of this palace was laid down by the founder of the Namgyal Dynasty, Tsewang Namgyal, but it was Sengge Namgyal who completed its construction. This palace later was later invaded by Zorawar Singh Kahluria and presently not in that royal condition physically, but you will get a feel of the culture of that time once you enter here.

The palace offers a panoramic view of the town of Leh spread out against a backdrop of the Stok Kangri and Ladakh ranges. There is a museum situated inside the compound of this royal palace which is holding artifacts dating back nearly 450 years. This museum will surely reflect you with the rich culture and history of the Laddakh region, which makes this particular part of the palace a must-visit place for you.

Magnetic Hill

 Everybody learns about the law of gravity which states that everything is attracted to earth because of its gravitational energy. But here at Magnetic hill, you will be amused to watch acting things against this law of gravity. This hill is one of the most visited natural spots where you will experience a different type of illusion that will amaze you. The Magnetic Hill is actually a “gravity hill’, which creates an illusion of acting things against the law of gravity.

When you are on the way from Manali to Leh, you will come across this Magnetic hill, and actually, this hill can not be separately identified, so a signboard is placed for reference. Once you stopped there, you will see a white box marked with the letter “Park your Vehicle Here”. You should park your vehicle in neutral gear condition in that box, and you will see that vehicle is moving by itself against the gravity towards uphill at a speed of around 15-20km/hr. This act against gravity attracts many travelers to it and there are many theories suggested by scholars for the reason behind this act. You can have some rest for time being and also enjoy this beautiful natural phenomenon.

Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri is another beautiful and pristine lake situated in the Ladakh region, where you can have mesmerizing panoramic views of this lake amidst mountains. This lake is at an altitude of 4595 meters and is located around 250 Km distance from Leh, which takes another 8 to 10 hours of journey from Leh to reach Tso Moriri. But your long journey to this Crystal Lake is made worth by the awestruck panoramic and scenic beauty. This Lake is located at the end of Changthang Plateau within changthang wildlife sanctuary, with many small streams and melting snow feeding water to this lake. Lake is on an average 100 feet deep and spread over 28 km in terms of its length.

IMAGE CREDIT : blog.untravel.com

You can enjoy the awesome views here at the lake at the time of sunset and sunrise by camping near the lake. You cannot pitch your tent at this lake because the lake is situated in the wetland reserve area, but you can choose accommodation around this lake to have access to a beautiful view.

This lake and its crystal clear water are still untouched by human intervention as it is with Pangong Tso lake. So this lake provides you with a beautiful reflection of the snow-laden mountains in the calm and undisturbed water. Exotic migratory birds at this lake are also an opportunity for the photographers to have the best frames with scenic reflection at the backdrop in the water of the lake. This lake is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photographers to have a lifetime opportunity with crystal clear water in the cold desert region. Hence, if you are really in love with nature and want to explore the best of nature, it is recommended to Plan your Trip efficiently.

Zanskar Valley

 As the name signifies, it is a beautiful valley region located between the Great Himalayan ranges and Zanskar mountain ranges. This valley is named so after the name of river Zanskar which flows through this valley. Zanskar valley is one of the most isolated places to visit in Ladakh and the valley is surrounded by lofty mountains and deep gorges. The rough population of the valley is around 15000 who mainly follows the Buddhist religion and culture.

Photo credit: Hari’s clicks @https://instagram.com/haris_clicks?igshid=j83jluq6tpwq

This valley receives heavy snow during the winter season and actually remain closed for around eight months in a year due to this heavy snow. Zanskar river gets frozen during the winter season, which actually opens the route to one of the beautiful and toughest trekking expeditions in India that is Chadar trek. Chadar trek is also known as ‘the frozen river trek’ because of the state of the Zanskar river only, and this trekking is undertaken by many adventure lovers every year.

Markha Valley

Laddakh region has another beautiful valley which offers the adventure lover with lots of adventure and beautiful landscapes. Markha valley consisting of undulating Himalayan terrain with snow-clad mountains at the backdrop makes the trekking to this valley magnificent. Trekking here at Markha valley usually undertaken in the months of June to September and it lasts for 8 days and 7 nights. Trekking starts from Leh town and follows the path of Leh-Zinchen-Skiu-Markha- Thochuntse- Nimaling- Shang Sumdo. On the final day of your trek, you will be back to Leh by Gongmaru La pass and the total trek is almost 90 Km.

Nubra valley

Another beautiful valley that you will come across while visiting the Laddakh region is Nubra valley. This valley stretched up to 150 km distance and got its name from the river Nubra which flows through this valley. And mind it, you should not miss visiting this beautiful valley as it has many things to enjoy for you within. Some of them are Nubra and Shyok Rivers, Diskit Monastery, Trekking, jungle safari, and camping which you can enjoy there.

Photo credit: Hari’s clicks @https://instagram.com/haris_clicks?igshid=j83jluq6tpwq

The summer season is the best time to explore the beauty of Nubra valley with the help of local guides in the best possible manner. Villages falling under this valley are Hunter, Turtuke, and Diskit. Visiting these villages and interacting with locals there will provide you an ultimate touch of Buddhist culture.

You can read in detail about every minute information of this valley through clicking my other blog on Nubra Valley- Gem of Laddakh. 

Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa in Leh is one of a total of seven Buddhist Shanti Stupa across the world. This place is a must-visit for you if you really want to have a beautiful view of the entire Leh town and want to spend some good moments in a peaceful sphere. The Shanti stupa located at an altitude of 4265 meters is made by a Japanese national and is in close vicinity of the Leh town. Located on a hilltop, Shanti Stupa offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Leh town.

The stupa offers great scenic views at the times of sunrise and sunset which makes your visit worth. A purely white-domed tower in the structure has a different architectural style from local Ladakhi architectural designs. The different architecture of this stupa located on a hilltop makes this place more beautiful.

There is a Buddhist temple inside the compound of this Shanti Stupa which was inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama. Stupa reflects beauty in the daytime but it becomes even more amazing when this place is lit up from the inside. Located on a hilltop with high snow-laden mountains at its backdrop further adds to its beauty offering great views for nature lovers.

Kargil (Kashmir – Leh Highway)

Kargil is the second-largest city in the Laddakh region after Leh and it was all-time popular for ages and situated in the west of Leh. The city is located at an altitude of 2675 meters on the bank of the Indus River. Kargil has extreme temperatures with the minimum mercury dipping to -45 degrees in the winters. The population of this city was earlier Buddhist until the late 18th century but later got converted to Islam.

Earlier this city was a popular and busy town because it was situated on the trade route between China, India, Afghanistan, and Turkey. But it becomes popular for the modern period after a deadly war fought over this region between India and Pakistan in 1999. Some Insurgents from Pakistan backed by the Pak military tried to capture this region by disguising as Kashmiri insurgents. Both militaries were engaged in war and finally as expected, India won the war by pushing opposite parties back to the neutral position. After the war, this region is so far peaceful and becoming a hub for tourists day by day.

Kargil city has many tourist attractions and scenic places to enjoy some luxury time here en route to Leh or Srinagar. The city is located amidst the high snow-laden mountains with the clear and pristine water of Indus River flowing nearby the city. There are many options available for you to stay during your trip, and you can book your cheap hotels in advance or at the counter itself.

Hall of Fame

This is actually a museum that is built and maintained by the Indian Army in the memory of Brave Martyrs during the famous India Pakistan Kargil war in 1999. In this museum, the Indian Army proudly displays the arms and weapon of the Pakistan army seized by Indian Soldiers during the Kargil war. The museum is given a patriotic look by placing the photos and related things of Brave martyrs of Indian Forces.

Hall of Fame is located at a distance of 4 km from Leh town and it is a place to pay tributes to the supreme sacrifices made by our actual Heroes in wartime. History, culture, wildlife, and vegetation are also showcased here by the management by the collection of items related to these attributes.

The museum is located next to the airfield and remains open for all days to visitors and you can enjoy a beautiful evening parade there. There is a marginal entry fee of Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 50 for foreigners to visit this museum. You can also watch a documentary over operation Vijay or Kargil war which is screened here at the museum from time to time. You can visit this place from 0900 AM to 0100 PM & 1500 PM to 1900 PM but for photography, you have to pay extra cost.

Lamayuru Monastery

Lamayuru Monastery is the oldest monastery of the Tibetan Buddhist sect. It is located at a distance of 128 Km from the town of Leh and at an altitude of 3510 meters.

Situated at a height of 3510 meters and about 127 km from Leh this is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The monastery is the oldest Gompa in this region and popularly known as “the place of Freedom”. This monastery is maintained by the Red Hat sect of Buddhism. Monks from this Red Hat sect administer and meditate here in this monastery while more than 250 other monks are also present there to learn the teachings of Buddhism.

Photo credit: At tourfetch.com by Hari’s clicks @https://instagram.com/haris_clicks?igshid=j83jluq6tpwq

The beautiful collection of wall paintings rich in color, murals, thangkas, and scriptures make the visit to the monastery worthwhile. The landscape here resembles a mainland terrain and has led to a spurt in camps and road trips conducted in this region.

Alchi Monastery

Alchi Monastery is among the oldest monasteries in Laddakh after Lamayuru Monasteries and situated at a distance of just 65 Km from Leh town. It was constructed by legendary Guru Rinchen Zangpo between the era of 958 and 1055 AD and that’s why considered the most sacred and holiest place in the world for the followers. It is situated in the Laddakh region and acts as a prime learning center for the teachings of Buddha in northern India.

Shey Monastery

Laddakh region is full of monasteries and one among them is Shey monastery which is located at a distance of just 15 Km Leh town on the Leh-Manali highway. This iconic monastery located at an altitude of 3410 meters and situated in the Shey village and is among the famous Gompa in this region. The monastery was built in the memory of his father by Deldon Namgyal in the year 1655.

This location was used to be the summer capital of Laddakh once upon a time in history with the palace situated here. Presently the palace is in ruined condition but it is worth visiting the monastery. Monastery has a 12-meter high man-made statue of Buddha which is a wonder in itself. The monastery is decorated with beautiful paintings and it also houses a library with ancient books on the ground floor. 

Entry to this monastery is chargeable at a rate of marginally 30 Rs and remains open from 06:00 AM to 01:00 PM and 01:30 PM to 06:00 PM.

Diskit Monastery

The oldest and the largest monastery in the Ladakh is Dikshit Monastery which is located in the Nubra Valley and it is aged back to the 14th century. This monastery is located on the banks of the river Shylok at an altitude of 3145 meters. Perched on high ground with a 100 feet high statue of Buddha at the entrance making this monastery more beautiful.

You can reach here from Leh by Khardung La pass and it remains open from 0700AM to 0100PM and 0200 PM to 0700PM. It is to be noted that Nubra Valley remains isolated in the winter season because of heavy snow. A Festival of the Scapegoat is held by this monastery in the month of February, which is one of the best festivals in the entire region. Entry fees for this monastery are very marginal at the rate of 30 Rs per person. You can get an awesome view of the village and mountains from this monastery because of its beautifully located space.

Gurudwara Pathar Sahib

Being a land of Buddhist culture, the Laddakh region has many monasteries but it also has one Sikhism pilgrimage site known as Gurudwara Pathar sahib. This holy shrine is located on the Leh Kargil highway and it is at a distance of about 40 Km from the town of Leh at an altitude of 12000 feet. This Gurudwara was built in the memory of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji who is regarded as the founder of Sikhism.

IMAGE CREDIT: lehladakhtourism.com

The name of this place originated from a historical tale, according to which a huge stone was thrown by a demon over Guru Ji was turned into wax like thing when touched the feet of Guruji. After seeing it, the demon realized its mistake and seeks an apology from Guruji. So the site got its name as Gurudwara Pathar sahib and it is not so much popular, but must visit the place.  You can find this stone structure to date in the premises, and nobody was able to move it away.

This holy temple is looked after by the Indian Army at present, and not only Sikh but Buddhists also visit this shrine regularly. You can visit this beautiful and serene temple any day from 0600 AM to 0700PM without any entry fees.

Sangam Point

Sangam in Hindi literally means for the confluence of two things and here in the respect of the Laddakh region, it is taken for the confluence of two rivers. Here at this Sangam point river Zanskar and River Indus confluence with each other and you can distinctively spot the waters of both rivers. Because the water of the Indus river having a texture of somewhat green or blue color while Zanskar water is of muddy or brown color. This point falls near the National Highway only and you don’t have a need to divert to any direction to enjoy this majestic view.

Samgam Point Laddakh Region
Sangam Point in Laddakh Region

Spituk Monastery

This beautiful monastery is located at an altitude of 3305 meters and was built in the 11th century. It is at a distance of just 8 Km from Leh town on Srinagar Highway and is a religious center for the community of Buddhism. Almost 100+ monks reside here in the compound and you can seek any information about the history of Buddhism from them.

Another important part of this monastery is the giant statue of goddess Kali inside the premises which boasts tourists to it. Yet, this site is not so famous among tourists but it is a major religious hub for the community. The temple remains open every day from 0800 AM to 0100 PM and you can explore the beauty at nominal entry fees of 20Rs each.

Namgyal Monastery

Namgyal monastery is becoming the center of attraction nowadays for tourists in the Laddakh region as it is the private monastery of Dalai Lama. It is located just behind the Leh Palace on a hilltop.  This place is famous for tantric practices among the locals and it is called Dalai Lam’s temple by them. Also, this monastery is famous among tourists because of its awesome location from where you can have a breathtaking scene of the Himalayas. A gold statue of Buddha with a height of covering almost three-story makes it more enchanting.

 Monks from Shankar Gompa visit here on daily basis to worship the idol and light the butter lamps. You can have a visit here from 7-9 AM & 5-8 Pm daily at a nominal entry fee of 20 per person.

Highlights: On a daily basis, the monks from Shankar Gompa come to Namgyal Tsemo to worship the idol and light the butter lamps at the gompa and it is considered to be a precious sight to witness.

Hemis National Park

If you really love nature, you should not miss this place which is a national park. The park is named after the famous Hemis monastery in the region and located at a distance of just 5 Km from Leh town and easy to approach by all means of transport.  Located at an altitude of 3000 meters, it has the most number of snow leopards within it. Besides the snow leopard, you can also spot Bharal, Brown Bear, Tibetian wolf, and other species of fauna there.

This park is so beautifully surrounded by the Indus river, that its geographical location in itself is mesmerizing. Located on the west bank of this river and spreads around 4400 sq km in area, this park is home to many unseen and rare species of animals. There are many trekking routes to explore this beautiful park and you can explore it to the best from Mid June to Mid October. But if you want to see a snow leopard then you have to visit here in the winter season only.

Tso Kar Lake

One of the three saltwater lakes is this beautiful lake which is not so much popular among the tourists, but you can explore it. This lake is situated in the southern part of the Laddakh region and is home to rare and beautiful birds. It is situated at a height of 14600 feet and you can reach here from Manali-Leh highway. This lake is around 3o km sideways to this highway and 160 Km from Leh.

Marshland region around the lake makes its best for the birds and dark neck cranes come here to lay eggs. So in the season of laying eggs, this lake becomes a hub for bird watchers and photographers. You can best visit here from June to August.

Drass Valley

Drass valley acts as an entrance for you while visiting this beautiful region and so-known as the Gateway to Ladakh. This beautiful Valley of Drass starts from the moment you crosses Zozi la pass and spreads over the town of Kargil. This valley is the second highest and coldest inhabited area in the world after Siberia and during the summer months, the valley turns completely green.

While in winter it changes to white because of heavy snow in the region in season. Summer is the best season to explore the valley, with a variety of flora that will give you amazing feeling with splendid meadows. You can visit another dedicated blog over this beautiful valley of Drass to explore it further and plan your trip.

Donkey Sanctuary

Visiting this sanctuary by road will surely make a beautiful road trip for you. By the name you can presume clearly that it acts as a home to Donkeys. The name of this place is Home for Helpless Donkey which attracts everybody towards it. Located at just 3 km from Leh town at the Korean temple road in the Khaskhal village, it can be visited anytime throughout the year.

It is a private set up established by Stany and Joanne to provide shelter to the animal that was left homeless by owners after their services. Presently a person who is a native of Laddakh is taking care of this sanctuary and feeding to the poor animals and providing medication as well. Government Veterinary hospital nearby supports this sanctuary by making a doctor available to check donkeys on monthly basis.

Leh Post Office

Regarded as the highest post office in the world because of its location at a height of 3500 meters, it forces us to salute the Employees of Indian Post for their hard work in the service of people. You can buy picture postcards from this post office and can also enjoy the beautiful road trip till here.

Thiksey Monastery

This monastery is one of the largest in this region and beautifully located in the Indus valley. At a distance of just 18 Km from Leh town, this temple has a 40 feet high statue of Buddha. It is a 12 story structure with 10 temples, an assembly hall, and a residence for monks inside it. It is a beautiful structure with amazing wall paintings and carving over the walls. You can visit this temple by taking buses, taxis from Leh and it will take another 30 minutes for you to reach here at Thiksey. The best time to visit this place is from May to November where you can avoid excessive snow and cold waves. You can contact any monk there to explore the history of this monastery and tales behind it.

Cycling

Laddakh region throws you some challenges in the form of adverse weather but at the same time, it is a boon for adventure lovers. People who all are cycling enthusiasts can enjoy here with the beautiful nature and quiet peaceful roads. The region has many trails suitable for cycling which will drive you to the utmost beautiful landscapes under the shadows of snow-covered mountains. You can enjoy the tough terrain with a nice blending of smiles and a friendly atmosphere provided by locals en route.

Motor Biking

Laddakh region is nowadays becoming a major tourist attraction especially for Bikers, and presently many top companies like Royal Enfield conducts biking trips every year. You can explore this region and its beautiful location on wheels by rented Bikes or by personal vehicle. There are many trails available for you to explore your driving skills by bike in the Laddakh area and you will surely enjoy it.

Laddakh Bikers

Generally, Bikers take a route from Manali to Leh and back via Srinagar to Delhi. While moving for Manali, you will cross many high passes like Rohtang La and other with River flowing majestically sideways. You can extend your Biking trip to Tso Moriri and Pangong lake and Khardung La pass. Khardung La pass biking expedition will allow you to drive at the highest motorable road in the world.

People who don’t have a personal bike, have an option to take bikes on rent and drive it to Leh. There are many owners or agencies in Manali where you can hire the bike on rent, and return it back in Leh, which means you don’t have come back to Manali for returning the bike. It is highly recommended that you must have enough confidence and driving skills with you before undertaking Biking in tough terrain.

River Rafting

If you love river rafting with a bit of challenge then you can explore river rafting in the Indus rive here in the Laddakh region. Rafting trail passing through many gorges and speedy turns will surely thrill you. Indus river passes through this region after originating from Mt Kailash and Mansarovar lake.

Festival in Laddakh

Region celebrates festivals where you can get in touch with the local culture and traditions. Famous among them are Hemis and Lossar Festival, where local people perform depicting local tales. Hemis festival is celebrated in the Hemis Monastery is a two-day affair and one of the biggest included in the Ladakh travel guide. Lamas participate in mask dances and religious plays with the sound of drums, cymbals, and longhorns in this festival.

Losar festival is the most popular and eagerly-awaited festival in Ladakh. It starts on the first of the eleventh month of every year. People dress themselves up in new attires and women adorn themselves with fine pieces of jewelry to join the festive spirit. Chang, a local beer made from Barley, flows freely as a part of the celebrations.

Losar is also the name of a small but beautifully located village in the Awesome Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh. You will find that the landscape of Spiti Valley is a bit the same as Laddakh.

Shop at the Leh Market

If you are fond of shopping then, you can explore the crowded market of Leh. You can purchase many beautiful items from here and can bring memento for a cherishable trip to Laddakh. Apart from Leh, there are small markets in Kargil and other locations to purchase items related to Buddhism.

Hotels in the Leh

There are lots of options available for you to stay in the Leh town, but if possible try to explore home stays option which will give you a feel of local culture. Except for leh, the entire region has very minimal options for a smooth stay and you will find accommodation which will be a comfortable but not luxurious one. You can book cheap hotels at convenient prices in both offline and online mode by paying through Plastic money like credit cards easily.

Services available in the Laddakh region

Mobile connectivity – Mobile connectivity can be assumed as Not available because, in most of the region and valleys, you don’t have access to it. Mobile network is found only around the major towns like Leh and Kargil.

Medical facilities– No, Medical Facilities and Hospitals are not available in the region. The only town of Leh has some good facility and no other part will be serving you with any of it except some basic first aid.

ATM– ATM is available only in the town of Leh. You will not find ATM anywhere in the entire region except here. So it is recommended to carry enough cash while traveling to the region.

Fuel Station– Fuel station or Petrol Pumps are available on the highway only and that also not so frequent to access. So it’s better to drive with enough fuel so that can catch another station located distantly. After Leh- Manali highway the first petrol pump you can find is at Tandi village. However, black fuel can be found in the village Karu, Spangmink, Chusul, Tangtse, Chumthang.

Automobile Repair shops will be accessible in major towns like Leh and Kargil only. In the rest part of the region, there is hardly any repair shop for your vehicle, so be mentally prepared for handling any contingency of breakdown.

Tips for traveling to Laddakh

There are some small tips that will help you in Planning your Trip efficiently. These tips must be kept in mind before boarding to the beautiful region of Laddakh. To get details you can go through other blogs on Things to carry on the trip as well.

Driving by Bikes: If you are a bike rider and visiting the lake by bike, then you should carry enough fuel with you. As there is no fuel station available from Leh/Srinagar onwards and you have to be self-sufficient for that purpose. Also, an option of bike repair will not be found easily, so must have a mechanic with you or else have arrangement prior.

Laddakh Drive

Do carry necessary documents to prove your identity, in case asked. As you are traveling to border areas where frisking can be there by the security forces, you should be in a position to furnish all details to them when asked.

Don’t Disturb the Beauty: You are traveling to a beautiful location, and it is our moral duty not to disturb the beauty. Don’t throw garbage and keep all your used baggage with you and dispose of at designated place only. Please don’t throw Plastic and other garbage in this hill area, and if possible collect and dispose it of at the designated place.

Be polite with the local people out there, because they welcome travelers with a warm smile. It is our duty to maintain harmony so as to benefit future travelers.

Be Free and always plan your traveling in such a way that you have enough time available with you to explore to destination fully. Because traveling with a disturbed mind or under paucity of time will spoil your entire trip.

Medical Facility: If possible carry some minimum required medicines in your First Aid Box with you because the availability of medicine is scarce in the region. You can go through the checklist of minimum required medicines in the other dedicated blog on the Travel medicine kit.

Required Clothing items must be carried along in the trip to this region. Proper winter clothing including socks, undergarments, shoes, pants, and shirts keeping the harsh cold weather of the region in mind.

Carry enough cash while traveling, as there will be no ATM or internet banking facility in the far-flung areas of the valley. Most of the iconic places are located in the deep valley or on the border area where there is no cash-dispensing mechanism.

Mobile Network is now a day that serves as a prime requirement to undertake essential activities like communication, internet banking, etc. There is no or near to no availability of mobile network connection in the Laddakh region, except the main towns of Leh, Kargil. Be mentally prepared that, you are going to be disconnected from the rest of the world for the rest of your trip.

Capturing the beautiful visits is another thing we must stick to while visiting any place. When you are visiting such a nice place, it is recommended to carry a good quality camera with additional batteries and storage space to let you capture the landscapes fully to cherish forever.

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