WHEN AND HOW TO PLAN YOUR VISIT TO LEH LADAKH
During the months of July / August, the temperature can reach up to 30 ° C during the day at 3,500 m altitude and it is rarely below 5 ° C at night. In winter, temperatures are, on the contrary, very low and can reach -25 ° C. The climate is dry whatever the season, so the region accumulates very little snow. However, snow falls in abundance in the Himalayan piedmonts from September / October, which condemns all access to Ladakh by road. The months of July / August are the best months to visit this beautiful region, but June or September are more suitable if you want to avoid the full tourist season!
HOW TO REACH LEH
To reach Ladakh, it is necessary to go to one of the big cities of the north of the country: the most direct and fastest flight is that from the city of Delhi (capital of India). You save yourself a road journey that is probably very beautiful, but challenging.
By Air: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee is the only airport in Leh Ladakh and there are several flights from Delhi and couple of flights from Mumbai.
By Road: There are 2 main highways to reach Leh by road. One is Manali – Leh highway and second is Srinagar – Leh Highway. The first approach is Srinagar – Leh Highway is mostly open between July and November and this route covers a distance of 434 km. The second approach is Manali – Leh Highway which is mostly opens from mid-June to early-October and cover around 473 km.
By Rail: Closest railway station is Jammu Tawi, located at a distance of approximately 708 km from Leh. In order to reach Leh, you have to take taxi/bus service to reach and this will take around 15 hours.
HISTORICAL VALUE OF THE AREA
The history of Leh Ladakh goes back to the Neolithic time. It is known to be home to the Indo-Aryan people before the first century. After that, it was a part of the Kushana Empire before Buddhism spread in the 2nd century. There were many more conquests, from the Tibetan Empire to the spread of Islam to the European influence. After all this, the valley stood strong and today is home to hundreds of Buddhists. Leh can be reached through the Srinagar-Leh highway in India. However, the route is closed due to snowfall during the winter time.
PLAN YOUR VISITS IN LEH LADAKH AND AROUND
Leh is one of those tourist destinations where the tourist attractions won’t end. There is a long list of sightseeing choices you can consider. The Pangong Lake is a great option. It is only 114 km away from the center of the city. The destination can be reached easily through locally available transport. The Shanti Stupa is a very convenient option to consider. It is only 4 km away from the city center. The visit to the palace will help you learn a lot more about the Buddhist culture. It is an easy location to fit into the tour schedule. Magnetic Hill, Nubra Valley, Leh Palace, and Tso Moriri Lake are other sightseeing options that are convenient and easy to reach.
It is also necessary to know that an authorization of access is necessary to go in certain regions of Ladakh, like for example the Nubra Valley or Lake Tso Moriri. If you have to go to one of these regions, the access permit can be obtained in Leh or in Manali (city located between Delhi and Leh) within 24 hours.
Staying in the Leh valley isn’t an issue. You can find comfortable hotels near the city center. Most hotels are located near the Leh city bazaars. Your accommodation will be near the local markets which will make it easier for you to shop around and discover the place.
To discover the Ladakh District in more detail, it is best to stay in several places. The choice is great because Ladakh has almost 100,000 km² of surface. The landscapes are breathtaking and differ from one place to another … Many beautiful lakes are also to be discovered in the south-east of Ladakh. There is even a mini desert with camels in the north! You will be captivated by the dizzying peaks that are everywhere, the most famous of which are in the Zanskar region. There are also many monasteries, all more beautiful than others (example: Lamayuru), authentic villages and a very welcoming people. You can also head to the far west, near the Pakistan border, but beware, this area is unfortunately subject to tension between India and Pakistan.
To discover Ladakh, two solutions can be envisaged: by road or on foot. By road, you will have to settle for the places most frequented by tourists. Many agencies on site offer tours or just 4×4 rentals (preferably with driver). The area is sufficiently crisscrossed with roads and tracks to not be bored for several weeks!
If you opt for walking, you can either organize small walks for the day, or a trek, that is to say, a journey over several days and several stages by taking an option as per your choice. A trek will allow you to discover remote sites, far from the crowd and close to the locals. Treks have varying degrees of difficulty from one to the other (hiking, passing passes, climbing or mountaineering), so find out about the difficulty of the route before your final choice. In any case, it is recommended to have good walking shoes and clothing adapted to cold and heat.