Planning a trip to Ladakh ? Here is a Leh Ladakh Travel Guide for your info
Right within Jammu-Kashmir state is an epitome of scenic beauty and the light of the Himalaya; an amazing tourist destination that never fails to charm and dazzle. It is a spot that’s so traveler-friendly, yet magical with stunning stupas, whitewashed houses and charismatic locals. It is Leh Ladakh! Here we are sharing a complete travel guide to visit Leh Ladakh, also please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Leh Ladakh, the “Cold Desert,” is a wonderful tourist destination with stunning sights and charismatic locals. Some of the absolute must-visits include lakes, palaces and monasteries and hike trails.
If you are visiting Leh Ladakh for your very first time, you might need to grasp the following travel tips:
What’s there to explore? Find in your Leh Ladakh Travel Guide
That’s right; visiting Ladakh, you will have over 14 best places to cover. And the list includes national parks, monasteries, lakes, palaces, stupas, hills and mountains, gompas and valleys.
Leh Ladakh’s Hemis National Park or the Snow Leopard Capital of India is definitely worth a visit. This park not only has the largest concentration of snow leopard in the world, but also hosts over a dozen animals and 73 bird species. Trekking is perfect if you’d love to see the rare, beautiful leopards, but birdwatchers have Rumbak Valley all for themselves.
If you choose to visit monasteries in Leh Ladakh, trust me you might not finish the entire batch on a single day. Diskit Monastery, the largest of them all is famous for the instant soothing and healing feel upon arriving. The 14th-century wonder is also the oldest and as white as it is, it is arguably the most beautiful.
Away from Diskit Monastery, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery is equally adorable. It is scenic and rightly so as it sits at the background of the Leh Palace. One reason to head here is that, on a regular visit, you will marvel at the panoramic view of the snow-capped Zanskar mountain range and the River Indus. Perhaps what you will love more about visiting Namgyal Tsemo Monastery is the statue of Maitreya Buddha, a 3-storey golden masterpiece.
Other monasteries worth visiting include Hemis monastery – the wealthiest of all monasteries in Ladakh, and the beautiful Lamayuru Monastery. At Hemis monastery, you enjoy the patronage of the royal family and if lucky, also see young lamas getting trained.
Still, when visiting Ladakh, it will undoubtedly be a grave mistake to miss seeing the world-famous Nubra valley. This tri-armed valley serves as the confluence of Shyok and Siachen Rivers, but what’s spectacular about the little sojourn in the double-humped camels inhabiting the valley. You may never know how magical being here feels until you dress like a local and hop onto a Bactrian camel!
Ladakh has a massive, hollow water body known as Pangong Lake. The lake, located 4350m above sea level, is arguably Asia’s largest saltwater lake and covers approximately 100km. Visiting Pangong Lake, you will love the breathtaking surroundings, if you luckily stop by during winter, the lake’s frozen waters will be a perfect ice skating venue.
Visit Ladakh’s Tso Moriri Lake, found right at the heart of Himalayan ranges, and enjoy the scenic views of this India’s largest alpine lake in India. This lake isn’t the most visited, primarily because of the rugged landscape around and the fact that it is often treacherous to reach the lake. If you manage to reach Tso Moriri Lake, trust me you will love its azure blue waters.
Yet another massive attraction that wows in this state is the breathtaking Shanti Stupa, a white-domed Chorten atop Chanspa. Of all stupas in Leh, this one is an instant stunner, primarily because of its architecture. The best views of this stupa are those seen before sunrise and again just before dusk.
I could go on and on and on, but regardless of your choice of attractions to visit in Ladakh, don’t forget to pay the stones, sand, wood, and mud-built Royal Leh Palace a visit. It is a giant, 9-storey structure at the top of the deserted Tsemo Hill, built in the 1500s, yet still standing, although under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Be sure to be there between 07:00 AM to 04:00 PM.
What is the average temperature ?
Being a land of contrasts, Ladakh’s temperature varies significantly. Summer turns the entire place into a paradise of some sort with passes opening up and locals engaging in endless festivities and celebrations.
But the moment winter sets in and temperatures go beyond zero, Leh Ladakh becomes an unforgiving tundra in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, the worst part of winter often starts in December and goes on towards the end of February.
Access: Permits and Passports
Like almost every part of India, Kashmir isn’t strict on travel documents. International tourists will, however, need to register before traveling by road. One can register at Sarchu, Rumtse, and Drass. At the same time, anyone planning to visit Tso Moriri, Pangong, Tso Kar, Dhahanu and Nubra Valley must obtain a Protected Area Permit. This permit we can arrange for you.
Altitude-Induced Sickness and Medicines to pack
The first and perhaps the most prevalent ailment upon arriving in Leh Ladakh is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Its main symptoms include headache and dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and vomiting. The best remedy for this sickness is lots of rests, especially after covering a 2000ft ascend. Oxygen cylinders and conventional medicines, especially Aspirin and Dexamethasone, also come in handy.
Are there any hospitals?
Leh has a well-equipped medical facility that deals with ordinary medical cases and emergencies satisfactorily. SNM hospital is the primary facility, although several medical dispensaries and private clinics throughout the state. The Army’s General Hospital also offers top-quality medical attention, especially during emergencies.
Security: Police Stations
Leh has a police station with officers who respond to emergencies as soon as they are requested to. The station falls under the state police, and together with Nubra Valley’s Nubra Police and Nyoma Police Station, it is responsible for the calm and security in the region.
Mobile phone and Internet Services
BSNL cellular connection – a post-paid service is the sole provider of mobile phone network and internet services in Ladakh. Within Leh, there’s a strong connection, and anyone can easily buy and register one at any mobile shop. However, areas further away from the town, including Rohtang Pass and Srinagar Leh highway often have zero network reception.
Banks and ATMs
Unfortunately, ATMs that dispense international currencies don’t exist in Ladakh; the last one is situated somewhere on the Manali-Leh highway. That essentially means that before heading there, be sure to carry an adequate amount of cash. In case you bank with any of SBI, J&K Bank and PNB, you will comfortably withdraw some money as Leh has several ATMs of these local banks.
What to Eat and Where to Stay in Leh : Leh Ladakh Travel Guide
A vast majority of hotels, eateries and restaurants in Ladakh are family-owned and serve a range of authentic dishes. But there’s a chain of luxury hotels, led by Hotel Charu Palace Leh, Grand Dragon, and Hotel Shangrila. Homestays are quite popular though, ideally because tourists get to experience the real lifestyles of the locals. Gangba Homestay, Tukchu Homestay, and Gangs Shun Homestay are perhaps the most popular choices.
Choices of Clothes
Summertime tends to get extremely hot and often forces everyone to wear light attire. The season, which usually runs from mid-June to September, soon gives way to winter, which then kicks off from November to February. Winter turns Ladakh into a super-cold enclave, and the best way to beat the cold then is to dress in jackets and heavy clothes. As a tourist, you must be aware of what season the region is so that you plan on your choice of clothes accordingly.
Transportation across the city
Traveling from one spot to the other in Ladakh isn’t hard as the whole state has lots of buses and taxis. Buses are a lot cheaper and more convenient and leave Leh city to all significant parts and back. However, their schedules tend to change as a result of erratic weather patterns. Taxis, however, come in handy and can be found in almost every region. Please contact us to reserve the taxi service during your entire stay in Ladakh.
The General Condition of Roads
The most significant impediment to proper road access across the state is the heavy snowfall. Furthermore, roads in the entire Himalayan region aren’t of the best quality, thanks to landslides and roadblocks that are quite commonplace throughout the year.
Other Important Tips to complete your Ladakh Travel Guide
First, always keep copies of your DL, travel insurance and registration papers as most checkpoints ask for them. Along with that, keep several copies of your identity proofs, especially if you are planning to travel to Pangong Tso.
If possible, travel with your camera and a few more electronic gadgets, including chargers and power banks. English isn’t the most widely spoken language in Ladakh. Still, you’ve got little to worry about since staff in restaurants and offices communicate in English quite well.
The best time to visit Ladakh is summer when the roads are open, and the weather is pleasant enough to go on an outdoor adventure. Winter is equally perfect for a visit as that’s when most festivals and festivities happen.