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.

Place Of Visit-Sightseeing

Pangong Tso : - Pangong Tso, Tibetan for "high grassland lake", also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m. It is 134 km long and extends from India to China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km wide at its broadest point.

Tso Moriri :- Tso Moriri or Lake Moriri or "Mountain Lake", is a lake in the Ladakhi part of the Changthang Plateau in Jammu and Kashmir in Northern India. The lake and surrounding area are protected as the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. The lake is at an altitude of 4,522 m.

Shanti Stupa : -Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission.

Leh Palace :-Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. Modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century. It is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms.

Magnetic Hill :-Magnet Hill is a "Cyclops hill" located near Leh in Ladakh, India. The layout of the area and surrounding slopes create the appearance of a hill. The hill road is actually a downhill road. Objects and cars on the hill road may appear to roll uphill in defiance of gravity when they are, in fact, rolling downhill.

Khardung La :-Khardung La is a mountain pass in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The local pronunciation is "Khardong La" or "Khardzong La" but, as with most names in Ladakh, the romanised spelling varies. The pass on the Ladakh Range is north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys.

Nubra Valley :- Nubra is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh valley. Diskit the capital of Nubra is about 150 km north from Leh town, the capital of Ladakh district, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra.

Chadar trek :-The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is a winter trail in the Zanskar region of Ladakh, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Traditionally the only means of travel in the area during the harsh winter months, the trail has become popular with international adventure tourists.

Namgyal Tsemo Monastery :-Namgyal Tsemo Monastery or Namgyal Tsemo Gompa is a Buddhist monastery in Leh district, Ladakh, northern India. Founded in 1430 by King Tashi Namgyal of Ladakh, it has a three-story high gold statue of Maitreya Buddha and ancient manuscripts and frescoes.

How to reach Leh Ladakh

by Air: - There are various ways of reaching Ladakh but the most comfortable of them all is taking a flight. Several flights fly to Ladakh during the peak season and also during the offseason. However, it should be remembered that changes in flights are not unusual due to the unpredictable weather conditions during winters.The closest airport to Leh is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. It operates flights to major cities like Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar and Chandigarh, to name a few. This airport, being a military air terminal, is very strict when it comes to security checks. Therefore, it would be best to take a printout of your e-ticket before entering, not doing so may result in your being denied entry into the airport. From the airport however, you can avail taxis to reach your lodging or resort.

by Rail: -If you are planning to travel by train the closest railroad station is Jammu Tawi (700 km from Ladakh) which is all around associated with Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. You can enlist a taxi or board a JKSRTC transport to achieve Ladakh from that point. Pathankot and Chandigarh are the nearest railroad stations to Leh.

by Road :-There are a few of you who are waiting for that amazing bike trip to Ladakh. It is said that the beauty of Ladakh can be best enjoyed through bike trip. Riding through the amazing beauty of the region is something which will be cherished by you every day. There are two different routes that lead to Ladakh- one from Srinagar and the other from Manali: Srinagar to Leh and Manali to Leh.

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