Every year streams of travellers visit Leh Ladakh to experience the most vivid facades of nature that one needs to see to believe. Leh Ladakh brim with seamless attractions, including beautiful high passes, serenity oozing Buddhist monasteries, tiny hamlets and vibrant local culture. Do not forget the delightful festivities of Tibetan Buddhists which add multihued colours to the canvas of Leh & Ladakh.
The locals of Leh Ladakh enjoy a simple life among the natural environment. Where women folk can be seen wearing Goncha (a loose thick woollen robe tied on waist), men wear loose pyjamas with a hat. The local culture of Leh Ladakh is mostly influenced by Buddhism, which can be seen in various festivities rejoiced by the locals.
Leh Ladakh is all about being close to the Mother Nature. Visit the mountain ranges of Zanskar to eye steep terrains blanketed with pearly white snow. The foaming rivers rushing down these mountains make the landscape look jaw dropping. Pangong Tso Lake is another gem that attracts travellers looking for a perfect location for camping. Many travellers also consider the trip to this charismatic land incomplete without visiting Kargil, the second largest town in Ladakh.
In addition to this, to eye the mind blowing sights of far stretched desert among the snowy hills, a visit to the Nubra Valley is a must.
Leh Ladakh is surely an ideal destination for dare devils seeking some serious adventure. The rugged landscapes bring to you a range of trekking sites that can be cherished by both beginners and experienced. Trekking along the Zanskar River from Lamayuru Gompa to Chilling via Konze La and Dung Dung La is the most preferred journey among trekkers.
Mountaineering is another popular adventure activity that lures travellers planning holidays to Leh Ladakh. The region offers some of the most challenging peaks, including Stok Kangri Peak (6121 m) and Kangyaze Peak (6400 m), which give goose bumps even to the most veteran adventurers. Apart from this, travellers can also partake in White Water Rafting in the swift-flowing Indus and Zanskar Rivers.
A unique wildlife destination, Leh Ladakh acts home to numerous wild animals and birds residing amongst the unique flora. Travellers visiting the region get to see Yaks, ibex, Tibetan hare, Blue sheep, wild ass, Bharal, Marmot, the Tibetan antelope, etc. Leh Ladakh also houses 310 species of avifauna, including Golden Eagle, Lamagier, Wall creeper, Rock Bunting, Black necked crane and Himalayan Snowcock to name a few. The Hemis National Park remains a popular wildlife attraction among travellers, and it offers shelter to various conserved and endangered species. The park is known for housing a considerable population of snow leopards, which entice travellers from near and far.
The region of Leh Ladakh has been ruled by numerous dynasties in the history resulting in the multiculturalism sprinkled here. Buddhism is the most practiced religion, and thus, one can find numerous monasteries dotted here. Diskit Gompa is a popular monastery located above the flood plains of the Shyok River in Diskit village. Lamayuru Monastery is another imposing Monastery situated on the main Kargil Leh highway between Bodhkharbu and Kha-la-che. Those who wish to explore the stunning Ladakhi architecture, Thiksey Monastery is a masterpiece. This 12 storey monastery houses stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a huge pillar inscribed with the Buddha's preaching.
One can bag numerous curios and souvenirs on the trip to Leh Ladakh. The region is known for Pashmina shawls, stoles and other Pashmina wool garments, which can be found in any local market here. Hand-woven rugs, carpets and shawls are also available in abundance. Do not miss the Tibetan silver jewellery and traditional Ladakhi jewellery which are a hit among women travellers. Some of the most popular markets that please the heart of shopaholics include Tibetan Handicraft Emporium and Ladakh Art Palace on the Main Bazaar Road; Cottage Industries Exposition and Women's Alliance in Changspa; Tibetan Market off Old Leh Road; and Moti Market near the Leh bus stand.
Thanks to Ladakh's Himalayan ecosystem, a distinctive agricultural economy and lifestyle breathe here. Many locals practice farming and use the produce to make delectable dishes. Ladakhi food is known for being nourishing and mildly flavoured. Thukpa, a thick soup with vegetables, remains popular among locals. There are also a number of bakeries here selling freshly baked bread and Apricot Jam.
Though the beauty of this pristine heaven remains same all year long, the months from May to August are highly popular among travellers. During these months, the weather becomes pleasant enough to partake in various adventure activities while enjoying beautiful vistas. The months from September to February are the coldest months of the region when weather remains chilling with temperatures hovering around -20C. Travelling in these months can be difficult as most of the terrains remain blanketed with thick snow. The months of March and April are though not so cold, one can experience occasional snowfall.
Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport of the region. Direct flights are available from Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu. Travellers can also take bus services from Jammu and Kashmir or from Manali to visit Leh. In addition, Pathankot and Chandigarh are the closest railway stations to Leh.
The best way to travel locally is by public buses which usually have a fixed route and schedule. One can also hire taxi service to enjoy a private travel experience to areas like Nubra, Dah-Hanu, Tsomoriri, Tsokar and Pangong Lakes.
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