We’ve all heard the saying, “Getting there is half the fun”. But where exactly is “there”? Our Explore series tells you where to go, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. From incredible places to visit in Leh-Ladakh, best time to visit to travelling options, we have everything here. Let’s explore Ladakh..
Best Time To Visit Leh-Ladakh
The best time visit Ladakh is between June and October.
4 Places To Visit In Leh-Ladakh
Ladakh is geographically blessed with a location that extends from the lap of the Himalayas, aptly giving it the title “the land of high passes”. The largest town in Ladakh is Leh, which is famed for its stunning landscapes and captivating culture. It was also the summer seat of Ladakh during the British rule.
A few of the famous valleys in Ladakh are the Upper Indus Valley, Zanskar, Spiti, Aksai Chin, Nubra, and Khardung La. There are three important rivers in the region, in the valleys of which the majority of the population resides: Zanskar, Indus and Shayok. Let’s take a look at few beautiful places to visit in Ladakh that you must experience on your Ladakh tour.
#1 Frozen Rivers
Ladakh is a trekker’s paradise. Each year, when River Zanskar freezes, the famous and formidable Chadar (meaning blanket) trek is held here. Seasoned trekkers spend close to a week walking on this sheet of ice and enjoying the scenic beauty around the region. Other outdoorsy activities include the Markha Valley Trek, biking to Khardung La pass (highest motor-able road in the world) and cycling from Manali to Leh, among others. River rafting on the Indus river can also be quite an adventure with the many Grade rapids to keep you company, along with the picturesque surrounding. It’s one of the best places to visit in Leh Ladakh for enjoying camel safaris on the ‘exclusive-to-the-region’ Bactrian camels (double-humped) in Nubra Valley from Hundar to Diskit.
#2 Picturesque Lakes
This destination is ideal for family holidays too. The climax of the blockbuster movie, 3 Idiots, commercialised the clear blue waters and the fluffy cloud reflections of Pangong Lake. The absolutely still water body is 134 km long but more than half of it belongs to China. TsoMoriri Lake in the same region is a fresh water lake. Guests are invited to stay by the lake and enjoy the views and vegetation it has to offer, one of the most popular places to visit in Leh Ladakh.
#3 Scenic Valleys
With the presence of 3 important rivers, Ladakh is a hotspot for lush green valleys. The Nubra Valley is arguably the most famous one here. It is also fondly known as the Valley of Flowers for the beautiful flora that it is home to. Located about 150 kms from Leh, the village of Nubra can be reached via Khardung La pass.
Zanskar Valley is another important destination here, but it is also one of the most isolated locations. The majority of its population (mere thousands) is Buddhist. Zanskar Valley connects the Himalayan range to the Zanskar range of mountains through which the eponymous river flows. This valley is closed through most of the year because of heavy snowfall.
#4 Beautiful Monasteries
Ladakh is the land of monasteries. It is home to some of the oldest and most intricately built prayer houses in India. The oldest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, is located 127 kms from Leh. It features vibrant paintings, murals and scriptures that attract visitors, along with the “moonland-like” terrain that is one of the ideal places to visit in Leh Ladakh for camping. Alchi Monastery is possibly the only one to be located on a flat ground in the region. It is also home to beautiful and intricate wall paintings that are well-preserved. For typical Tibetan architecture, the Hemis Monastery is a must-visit. Largest in Ladakh, it is also considered the richest, thanks to its extensive antique collection and gold, silver, and cooper artefacts. This monastery is pretty vivid, in stark contrast to its geography. Families or animal lovers must also make a trip to the Hemis National Park nearby to get a glimpse of its endangered and rare inhabitants.
How To Reach Ladakh
The closest tourist town to Leh is Manali at 473 kms. The road connecting the two is operational between mid-July to the beginning of October, before snowfall begins. Both the Himachal Pradesh Tourism as well as the J&K Tourism boards ply buses between the 2 destinations regularly during these months. This journey takes at least 19 hours. Further, Srinagar airport is 435 kms from Leh by road.
Direct flights are available between Leh and Delhi, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Jammu. This is the most convenient and quick choice to reach Ladakh. However, you have to spend a day acclimatizing if you fly into the region.
Jammu Tawi is 700 km from Ladakh, and is the closest railway station. Trains from Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai stop here regularly.
Looking for more detailed travel guide? Check out our Tour Guide on Ladakh with all required information!
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