- Location: Located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the northern part of India.
- Attraction Type: Mountainous Region.
- Significance: Awesome views of the Himalayas and Karakoram. A perfect destination for adventure tourism as well.
- Best time to Visit: Certainly the summer months, especially from June to September.
- How to Reach: Your visit to Ladakh, in all probability, would be based at Leh. And the easiest way to reach Leh is by air. Regular air services are available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu, and Srinagar. You can also reach Leh by road from Manali or Srinagar. However, check the condition of the road prior to your travel, because the road remains closed for a specific period of time due to snowfall.
- Nearest Airport: Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXB), located in Leh.
It is the “land of high passes” as the name suggests, Ladakh is a paradise for the travelers, especially those who crave for hills and its panoramic beauty. The land of endless discoveries, the moon land or the little Tibet, whatever you call it as, Ladakh is a gift from the god as well as a gem on the earth with a range of varied characteristics. Bounded by the Himalaya and the Karakoram — two of the mightiest mountains in the world, Ladakh lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India at the altitude ranging from about 9,000 ft at Kargil to 25,170 ft at Saser Kangri.
Ladakh is unique in the characteristics of its landscapes, which is barren and desert like in nature. Though there are a number of rivers in the region including Indus River, the Zanskar, the Suru and the Shyok, the major population is centered on the Indus River that runs through the east to west across the center of Ladakh. The basic contours of the place have been modified by erosion due to wind and water to make the place sculpted into the form what one can see today — a land of varied characteristics. It is said that, Ladakh is possibly the only place where a person sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade can suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.
Things to Do
There are plenty to explore in Ladakh. The attraction that you start visiting with will surely be the biggest town of the area — Leh. Originally developed as the trading and market centre of the region, Leh is currently the hub of tourism in Ladakh. Visit the ‘Leh Palace’ — a historical building and a distinguished monument in the region as well. Built by the 17th century illustrious ruler of Ladakh, this 9-storeyed building is known for its imposing structure and is believed to have inspired the famous Potala Palace of Lhasa.
Monasteries: Ladakh is the land of monasteries. While visiting Ladakh, you must go to some of the monasteries like Spituk Monastery, Shanti Stupa, Tsemo Gonpa, The Namgyal Tsemo, Sankar Gonpa, Gonpa Soma, Stok Gonpa and Palace, Shey Gonpa and Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Matho Gonpa, Stakna Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Takthok Monastery, Phyang Monastery, and Sumda Chun Monaster etc.
Kargil: It is the headquarter of Kargil district, located 234 km west of Leh. Visit the Suru Valley for some of the most beautiful landscape views. You can also visit the Kartse Khar, an ancient village known for its 7 m tall rock carved statue of Maitriya Buddha. If you love adventure, go to Panikhar and undertake some mountaineering expeditions. Drass is known for its beautiful pasture grounds and magnificent mountain peaks. Buddhist remains are also popular attractions here.
Zangskar: This valley, surrounded by the Himalayan and Zangskar ranges, is known for its awesome beauty. Zangskar consists of two main valleys viz. Sood and Lunak. You can also visit Padum.
Nubra Valley: One of the popular attractions in Ladakh, Nubra Valley, also known as Ldumra is the famous for its panoramic beauty, Bactarian Camels around the sand dunes, Deskit and Samstanling monasteries. You need to pass through the Khardongla Pass, the highest motorable road in the world, in order to reach Nubra valley, which constitutes another attraction of the place.
Changthang: This is the land of Nomads. This flat land is the home to two of the most beautiful lakes in this part of the world — Tsomoriri Lake and Pangong Lake. These two lakes are surely among the biggest attractions of Ladakh.
While going to visit Ladakh, you need to travel a lot. However, your visit will be centered at Leh, the biggest town of the region. You will find a number of options for accommodation in various places in Ladakh. Some of the hotels in Ladakh can be named as Hotel Dragon, Hotel Shambha-la, Hotel Laser Mo, Lotus Hotel, Mandala Hotel, Hotel Mahay, Pangong Hotel, Royal Palace Hotel, Spic n Span Hotel, and The Ule Ethnic Resort etc.