Insanely gorgeous landscapes, this place is a must-visit for all travel junkies! Hundreds of travelers from around the world visit the terrains of Ladakh to be awestruck by its serene beauty! I remember seeing snow for the first time in my life at Changla Pass and being blown away by the view from the top. The landscape is a treat to the eye and every photographer’s delight. If you think I am exaggerating, have a look at my photos below and I am only an amateur photographer!
Our first day in Leh and we were already in love with this beautiful town. There is a market where you can have an evening stroll, buy a few souvenirs for your loved ones or sit in a cafe and watch the crowd pass by. The people in Ladakh are shy but also very helpful and sweet. Taking it easy on the first day is very important. Because of the altitude change, our bodies need time to adapt to this new environment and putting it under any kind of stress might ruin the rest of your stay.
Once your body is accustomed to this new terrain, you can start by exploring the local areas of Leh. The first one I would recommend is the Shanti stupa. Although there are about 500 steep steps to the hilltop, the view is worth the climb. The stupa is open to tourists from 5 am to 9 pm which gives you ample of time to capture the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset.
During the winters, the Zanskar River is a frozen piece of land where the Chadar Trek takes place which is one of the toughest things to do. During summers, this river starts melting and white-water rafting is in full swing. The water is actually fresh and so cold it will send shivers down your spine. It covers about a 28 kilometer stretch and takes up to 2-3 hours. The rapids are fantastic. If you love adventures, white-water rafting will be the highlight of your trip. The Nimmu Sangam is the point where the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus rivers takes place. Well, they don’t actually blend in together and you can see the difference in their colors which is very photogenic with the spectacular backdrop.
On our way to Nubra Valley, we stopped at the Khardungla Pass, the highest motorable road in the world. It becomes difficult to breathe after staying at the Pass for more than 25 minutes, so one needs to be careful about their health. Double humped camel rides in the Nubra are very famous, so try to take one while you visit, it’s a lot of fun. We had an overnight stay in the tents with camp-fire, super fun!
At Changla Pass, although Maggi was banned at the time in India, there was a small cafe at the Pass, which served Hot Masala Maggi with tea, a sheer bliss in the chilly weather. We proceeded towards the Pangong Tso Lake where the view is breath-taking! Overnight stay is highly recommended. Lying under millions of twinkling stars and capturing the Milky Way on your camera is not to be missed. The temperature is very low at night, so carry a lot of warm clothing with you. We visited the Thicksey monastery on our way back.
Leh to Manali was covered by road and the stay at Sarchu has been one of the most chilling experiences of my life! I could not stop shivering and it took all my strength to get through that one night in the tent.
From April to May, the snow on the mountains starts to melt, the temperature slowly turns warm. The best time to visit Ladakh is from May to September if you want to soak in more sunshine. You will be able to enjoy a beautiful weather. Mind you, it will be rush hours during these months. During October, the weather starts to turn a bit chilly. If you wish to opt for the Chadar trek and don’t mind the chill and negative temperatures, then you can plan your trip from January to mid-February. The temperature drops to an unbearable low. The bright side during winters is that you won’t encounter too many people on your trip and can have the whole view to yourself!
We chose the month of June for our trip, nonetheless, this was truly a trip of a lifetime, made some new friends along the road. These memories will be cherished forever!
Are you guys planning a trip to Ladakh anytime soon? I hope this inspires you to take one this year!