I have heard that Ladakh offers the travelers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Buddhist Ladakh offers a very different experience and culture than the rest of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Here tourists from all around the world experience a culture that is refreshingly different and unique. The place is filled with beautiful photo opportunities, so stunning is the scenery. But remember the altitude takes some adjusting to especially for city dwellers. So take some time to get acclimatized. Let us see some amazing sights that one must explore while in Ladakh.
Leh: The lovely city of Leh is the capital of Ladakh. A spectacularly beautiful city it has stupas and quaint mud houses and has an imposing Tibetan style fort and palace overlooking the city. Roam the old bazaars or take treks, you have lots to do here. Remember take it easy the first couple of days. Don’t miss the Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa while here. Samker Gompa in the valley is a short distance from Leh town. It is the seat of the head Lama of Ladakh.
Monasteries in Ladakh: Ladakh offers some beautiful monasteries. Thiksey monastery is located on a mountain. It has a passing resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is a 12-storey building and houses many Buddhist artifacts. Do not miss Hemis monastery. Also worth visiting is Shey which was the ancient capital of Ladakh much favored by the royalty.
Pangong Lake: This lake of brackish water is high up in the Himalayas. It is spectacular framed as it is by the lofty peaks. It is a 5 hour drive from Leh city via Changla Pass. During the summer months, you can see lush green villages as you go by. The lake extends right into Tibet across international border. It must not be missed for a truly marvelous experience. In winters , the lake is completely frozen.
Khardungla Pass: Often called the highest motorable road in the world, Khardungla Pass is located almost 39 kms. from Leh city. At that elevation, all the views are stunning. This Pass also leads to the famed Nubra Valley. This is situated right at the very top of the Indian peninsula. It leads to the Siachen glacier which is often called “World’s highest battlefield” and has seen a ceasefire between India and Pakistan since 2003. Siachen is out of bounds for tourists. But Nubra valley offers a quaint insight into the culture of history of a people who still leave very rustic lives.
Ladakh offers an experience parallel to none. Don’t forget to include it in your travel plans. The peak tourist season starts from April and goes on till August.
All pictures courtesy: en.Wikipedia.org