Leh Ladakh - India's Own Moonland
A land like no other with superabundance of attractions to visit and phantasmagoric and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth.Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. Ladakh is mystical in all the spheres it covers, from nature, geography, sceneries to the modest cultures that it fosters. Right from gompas to the sensational momos, the superabundance of attractions to visit makes this city make it heaven on earth. It is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.
For someone who thrives on adventure and lives his life on the edge, Ladakh is their Mecca. There's nothing more satisfying than traversing such high peaks with nothing but daunting yet majestic snow clad mountains in the backdrop. Every minute you spend here becomes a memory. From bike riders to cycling enthusiasts, this is the place to test your endurance and skill. For those who aren't afraid of the water, do not miss the river rafting in Zanskar river at the confluence of Indus and Zanskar. The price per person is around INR 1000 for the long-distance rafting. This is an absolutely unforgettable experience for people who seek thrills. The largest city in this region is Leh and although this city has many monasteries, visit nearby cities like Nubra Valley, Pulu for magnificent views of the scenic beauty. Visit one of the highest motorable roads in the world- Khardung La while on your journey to the Nubra Valley.
Permits are required (also for Indian Nationals) to travel the inner line areas of Nubra Valley, the Durbuk Block, Khardung La, Dha-hanu, Tso-Moriri and Tsokar Lakes and Pangong Lake. These are available in the Leh town and you are advised to get them from trusted travel agents. Take the photocopies of the Protected Area Permit (PAP) or Restricted Area Permit (RAP) with you wherever you go in Ladakh. Government authorities have launched a web portal http://lahdclehpermit.in/ on June 1, 2017, making it easier for the travellers to obtain a permit. A fee of INR 400 + INR 20 per day as an Inner line fee is applicable. Note: There is no online payment option on this portal. Take the printout of the permit and visit TIC Office, Opposite J&K Bank, Main Market, Leh. You can get permit signed and stamped there. The timings of the office are 9.00 AM to 03:00 PM.
Best Time To Visit Leh Ladakh : -This is when the climate here is most pleasant, with the snow from winter all thawed and balmy weather. During the rest of the year, Manali-Leh highway is not functional and the only operational way is the Srinagar-Leh highway which also gets affected by occasional landslides. The Frozen River Trek, one of the most famous treks here is carried out in the months of December and January along the river Zanskar. However, winter in Ladakh has an exceptional charm of its own. For the adventurous-at-heart, winter is the perfect opportunity to experience Ladakh in its authentic self; all covered up with inches deep snow. Every season in the beautiful stretches of Ladakh is a treat to the wanderer's soul unless of course there is too much snowfall or a scary blizzard.
Local Cuisine of Leh Ladakh : - Leh is a multicuisine city serving Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and even Korean. The cuisine here exhibits tints of these foreign influences. Visitors must try out the local dishes which almost define the cuisine here such as Thukpa, noodle soup;Tsampa, known in Ladakhi as Ngamphe (roasted barley flour), and Skyu which is a heavy pasta dish with plenty of veggies as well as the very popular and delicious Momos which are steamed dumplings stuffed with vegetables or meat.Drinks include Tea, coffee, beer and Chang which is an alcoholic beverage drunk especially on festive occasions.
Places to Stay in Leh Ladakh !
Here are my select set of hotels with great views of the snow peaks. Visit the links and read detailed reviews to know about all aspects of the hotel including service and amenities before you decide on one. Remember, only a great view isn't just enough to make a hotel a great one.