The scenic destination and Barren beauty of Ladakh in India has been spell bounding, since the time it was first open to tourist in 1970. Leh is the capital of Ladakh and a land which is wedged between the snow-capped Himalayas fascinating with its extravaganza scenery.
The rugged terrains and magnificent Mountains around make it a favourite place for trekkers, mountaining enthusiasts and adventure lovers. The beauty of the lakes, villages, Himalayas, valleys and calming Buddhist monasteries leave you mystified and bewildered.
In addition to its beauty, Ladakh is home to wonderful trekking route and adventures like diving through the mountain pass. Leh Ladakh is one of the most sought after road trips on earth with lots of exploration opportunities in place, culture and tradition.
The popular activities in Leh Ladakh have been carefully crafted and some of the best amongst it have been stated below.
1. River Rafting
This adventure sport in Ladakh gets you real adrenaline rush gushing through the waters of Zanskar River and Indus river. River rafting through these rivers exposes to you the majestic view of the mountains and a perfect challenging sport to indulge in.
Indus River Rafting allows you to choose the level from beginners to professionals through grading system starting from Grade 1 (for beginners) and Grade 5, there on.
Experience the thrill through gushing fresh water through the deep canyons, running down the valley and gorges combating several obstacles.
The best time for river rafting, span from the months of June till October, uncovering the nature to you that had been covered under snow in the winters.
2. Biking in Ladakh
The rugged terrains of Ladakh is the most exciting experience for riders and is considered most memorable and sought after trips in Ladakh.
Every year, Ladakh witnesses and welcomes thousands of riders to explore the magnolias land and its crisscrossterrains. Riding at 18,000 ft. might be challenging as some might face high altitude sickness but, once conquered can be quite rewarding and joyous.
Whether you’re a travel junky or an adventure freak, this bride is definitely one hell of a ride and enjoyed by all kinds of travellers.
The views you witness while the ride is amazing and will have you awestruck most of the times.
3. Chadar Trek
While vacationing in Ladakh, Chadar trek is thrilling track on the thin sheet of ice.
‘Chaddar’ refers to blanket of the river as the Zanskar River transforms into a blanket of ice, during the winters. This is one of the main reasons why Chadar trek is best enjoyed during the winters.
Also known as Frozen River Trek is best enjoyed in winter season, with some stunning sights to witness. The snow-capped mountains look mesmerizing around this time of the year.
Keeping the winters in mind, Chadar Trek is usually taken during mid-January to end of February with the climatic conditions that can be faced once you’re well equipped.
The total distance of 105 km. is covered by 15 to 18 km. of walk every day.
4. Markha Valley Trek
You can explore the beauty of Hemis National Park, Gandala La and Kongmaru La, which is surrounded by greenery and streams and is situated at a height of about 15,748 ft. and 17,060 ft., respectively.
The Markha Valley Trek is best taken in summers in the months of May to September, where you can get to engage in sights that are breath taking and ravishing. The glimpse of deep river of Markha, the Stok Kangri and Kang Yissay Peaks and Zanskar Ranges make it alluring as ever.
This 9-day trek needs you to surpass 75 km. paving through the waist deep waters of Markha River exploding you to views of Buddhist village and rock monuments.
5. Khardungla Top
If you’re an adventure freak and a rider, this is one of the best motorable and highest roads.
With conflicts to which one is the highest motorable roads, amongst Khardung La and Marsimik La, are challenging and exciting. Located at an attitude of 5582 metres, Marsimik La has tricky and rough roads, wanting you to be an experiences and skilled driver as a pre-requisite.
However, the roads of Khardung La are located at an altitude of 5359 metres are smooth with little or no obstacles, making it the highest motorable pass in the world.
Some of the other thrill rides are to Tanglang La, Lachalung La, Wari la etc.
6. Jeep Safari
Jeep Safari opens you to a lot of beautiful places at challenging altitude and lets you enjoy the moonscape.
The best way to enjoy the Jeep Safari in Ladakh is by travelling to monasteries, high passes and icy lakes. There are various routes offered but, the most famous being Shimla-Leh, Manali-Leh and Trans Himalayan Safari.
Jeep Safaris are suitable and convenient for all age groups, spanning from 5 to 15 days as per the package selected.
7. Nubra Valley Sand Dunes
To explore the highest motorable regions with an ATV ride is exhilarating and capable to quench the adventure thirst within you.
Apart from squad biking, you can enjoy a camel ride while wandering in the deserts of Nubra Valley, located on a high altitude. Camel safari is gaining popularity among the people visiting these striking landscapes as they get to enjoy and discover the remote areas through rocky and rough terrains.
Among other popular Safaris include ones in the Diskit and Hunger Valley, taking you through nooks and canny of the valley, quite impossible to reach by any modern vehicle.
8. Morning Prayer at a Monastery
A peaceful expedition could be to a Buddhist monastery, refreshing and pleasant to the heart. They also allow overnight stays, letting you wake up early to attend the morning prayer.
This rejuvenating experience is highly recommended with some of the mesmerizing sights from these monasteries. One such monastery is Hemis Monastery.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Leh Ladakh
- Carry Government issued ID proof like PAN Card, Driving License, Aadhaar Card, etc, which are needed in case of permits required at various check points.
- The weather here is unpredictable, thus, advisable to carry warm and comfortable clothes, to keep you cozy during severe winters. The rains are also unpredictable and there are showers anytime during the day and night; waterproof luggage is highly recommended.
- Plastic bags are banned in Ladakh and thus, carry biodegradable and paper bags along with you, for ease of carrying things around.
- While in Leh and areas nearby, avoid drinking alcohol and instead drink lots of water to avoid dehydration as the dry air here drains the moisture from the lungs.
- Make sure you’re carrying a postpaid SIM, as prepaid SIMs doesn’t work in Leh. However, there are multiple STD booths in main market of Leh, facilitating connectivity.
- Roads during off season are closed limiting movement around the area and experience, hence, plan your trip accordingly.
- Drivers here need to be extremely experienced to drive in the terrains with constant physical and mental capabilities being tested. It’s a challenge to drive long distances at a stretch and must be avoided. Recommended distance a day would be 50 km.
- If you’re carrying your DSLR, make sure you’ve enough batteries as the cold and the high altitudes drain out the battery ions, very quickly.
- There’s lot to see in Leh Ladakh, so have ample time to enjoy the true beauty of the place.