LADAKH TRAVEL

Ladakh experiences considerable fluctuations in the day and night temperatures, even during the summer. While the days are pretty warm, sometimes even hot due to the landscape’s desert effect, the evenings can become chilly, requiring additional clothing. It is, therefore, advisable to keep a pullover and / or an anorak or jacket handy. A sturdy pair of walking shoes with strong rubber or synthetic soles for grip, thick cotton socks (woollen for late autumn treks or glacier walks) are other essential items for the trip. Situated at the height of about 3,505 meters above sea level, Leh is the most beautiful and easily accessible place in Ladakh. The town is the most common entry point to Ladakh region. Leh serves as the ideal base to tourists travelling Ladakh, India. Leh has a number of beautiful monasteries and historical monuments that are the biggest draw to Leh. The rugged terrain with snow covered mountains in the backdrop under the clean blue-sky form a stunning picture perfect postcard. Leh is an ideal place for trekking and mountaineering.

Location

The valley of Ladakh is situated at quite a high altitude, which varies from one place to the other. Infact, the geographical location of Ladakh ranges from 9,000 ft (2,750 m) high at Kargil to 25,170 ft (7,672m) high at Saser Kangri, in the Karakoram Range. Due to its high altitude, Ladakh experiences a very cold climate, where even the summer temperatures rarely exceed 27 deg C. Due to the high altitude of Ladakh the air is very thin and makes the heat of the sun very severe. As far as the geography of Leh Ladakh is concerned, the region abounds in physical beauty. Encircled by the Karakoram in the north and the Great Himalayas in the south, it presents a picturesque sight. Now a high-altitude desert, Ladakh was covered by an extensive lake system, at one point of time. The remnants of this system are still found on its southeast plateau of Rupshu and Chushul, in the drainage basins or lakes of Tso-moriri, Tso-kar and Pangong-tso. However, snowfall still remains the main source of water in Ladakh.

Sites to visit

Among the popular places of tourist interest include Leh, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace,  Drass valley, Razi khar (Chiktan Khar), Suru valley, Kargil, Zanskar, Zangla, Rangdum, Padum, Phukthal, Sani Monastery, Stongdey, Shayok Valley, Sankoo, Salt Valley. Popular treks are Manali to Ladakh, the Nubra valley, Pangong tso, Tso moriri, the Indus valley, Markha Valley, Ladakh monastery trek, South Zangskar, Trans-Zangskar Expedition, Spiti to Ladakh, Spiti to Pitok to Hemis, Rupshu, the Great Salt lakes, Chadar Ice trek, Padum-Phuktal, Padam to Darcha, Panikhar to Heniskot, Padum to Manali, Lamayuru-Martselang, Lamayuru – Alchi, Kala Pattar trek etc.

Trekking in Ladakh

Ladakh is one place which is considered as a heaven by those who search places to gain the thrill of adventure. Ladakh trekking tour is always a thrilling and a great experience for every tourist. While a lot has been written about Leh Ladakh but, people are still unaware of the hidden getaways in Ladakh. There are lots of interesting and exquisite offbeat destinations in Ladakh. The best way to thoroughly enjoy the place is to experience the adventurous and fun trek. There are many ‘must do’ treks in this paradise Ladakh. Trekking in Ladakh offers a vast diversity with its unique landscape and exquisite culture, from the green oasis of the hidden Valleys and Plateaus with abundance of wildlife, nomads, wetlands, pastureland, fresh water springs, streams, and the famous lakes such as Tsomoriri, Tsokar & The Pangong. There are a lots of trek trails and options available here for trekkers such as Chadar Trek, Markha Valley trek, Indus Valley Trekking, Lamayuru-Alchi trek and many more.

Sports

The most popular sport in Ladakh now is ice hockey, which is played only on natural ice generally mid–December through mid–February. Cricket is also very popular. Archery is a traditional sport in Ladakh, and many villages still hold archery festivals, which are as much about traditional dancing, drinking and gambling as about the sport. The sport is conducted with strict etiquette, to the accompaniment of the music of surna and daman ( shehnai and drum). Polo, the other traditional sport of Ladakh is indigenous to Baltistan and Gilgit, and was probably introduced into Ladakh in the mid–17th century by King Singge Namgyal, whose mother was a Balti princess.  However Polo is still popular among the Baltis and the sport with some support from financial bigwigs is an annual affair in Drass region of District Kargil .

How to Reach

By Air

Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport of the area. The flights are directly connected from Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu; by the flights run by Air India, Go Air and Jet Airways. The schedules are set already though, but these are subject to change according to the weather. It is advised that you keep your plans flexible.

Distances by Road

  • Srinagar – Leh: 434 Km
  • Manali – Leh: 473 Km
  • Srinagar – Kargil: 204 Km
  • Delhi – Leh: 1047 Kms
  • Leh – Kargil: 234 Km
  • Kargil – Padum (Zanskar): 240 Km
  • Leh – Deskit (Nubra Valley): 118 Kms.

Best Time to visit

Discover Ladakh clearly suggests all tours to Ladakh be planned in the months of May-September. Ladakh travel in months other than these may get really inconvenient.

FESTIVALS OF LADAKH

Ladakh celebrates lots of famous festivals and one of the biggest and most popular festival is Hemis festival. The festival is celebrated in June to commemorate the birth of Guru Padmasambhava. In the month of September the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department with the help of local authorities organize Ladakh Festival. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir also organizes the Sindhu Darshan festival at Leh in the month of May–June. This Festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Guru Poornima)


Festivals of Ladakh are an important part of life there which mark several occasions such as harvesting, commemoration of the head Lamas of the founding monastery, New Year etc. The festivals of Ladakh conducted by various monasteries often have religious masked dances which are an important part of Ladakh’s  culture. The dances typically narrate a story between good and evil , which typically end up in victory of the former.


[one_third]HEMIS FESTIVAL LADAKH

[tg_accordion title=”HEMIS FESTIVAL LADAKH” icon=”” close=”1″] The most famous of all monastic festivals in June (a three day affair) to commemorate birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. The sacred dance drama of the life and mission is performed wearing facial masks and colorful brocades robes. The monkey year festival is a special treat which comes at a cycle of 12 yrs. The four-storey Thanka of Guru Padmasambhava is displayed during the festival.[/tg_accordion]
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[one_third]Matho Nagrang

[tg_accordion title=”MATHO NAGRANG” icon=”” close=”1″]Matho Monastery of Leh Ladakh hosts the Matho Nagrang Festival, on an annual basis. The festival takes place on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar. All the monks participate in the sacred dances, performed at this annual event. The festival is famous because of appearance of the two oracles during the festival after a full month of meditation in complete isolation. Matho Monastery also boasts of housing an amazingly rich collection of four hundred years old Thankas.[/tg_accordion]

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[one_third_last]Dosmochey

[tg_accordion title=”DOSMOCHEY  (February)” icon=”” close=”1″]Celebrated with much fervor and delight in the month of February  at the courtyards of majestic Leh Palace. Masked Lamas from different monasteries perform the Chams every year turn by turn. This festival is also celebrated at the Diskit monastery and the Likir with great enthusiasm. The start and end of the Tibetian calendar marks the occasion.[/tg_accordion]
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[one_third]Thiksey, Karsha and Spituk Gustor

[tg_accordion title=”GUSTOR FESTIVAL LADAKH ” icon=”” close=”1″]Gustors takes place at Thiksey, Karsha & Spituk  monasteries at different times of the year. A two day celebration, to mark the  victory of good over evil. Gustor literally means “Sacrifice of the 29th day” and it ends with burning of effigies representing evil.[/tg_accordion]

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[one_third]Stok Guru Tsechu

[tg_accordion title=”STOK GURU TESCHU ” icon=”” close=”1″]Stok Guru Tsechu held in February, a week before the Matho Nagrang. Monks from Stok monastery perform masked dances, but the highlight being appearance of two oracles who are laymen prepared and cleansed by the lamas to receive the spirit of the deities.[/tg_accordion]
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[one_third_last]Festivals of Ladakh

[tg_accordion title=”LOSAR CELEBRATION” icon=”” close=”1″]Losar stands for the Tibetian new year. The Losar festival is celebrated in the eleventh month of Tibetan calendar, two months ahead of Tibetan New Year. In early 17th century, King Jamyang Namgyal decided to lead an expedition against the Baltistan forces in winter; therefore he decided to celebrate the festival two months before. Later it became a tradition and being celebrated in the eleventh month. It lasts for over a month when Gods, deities, ancestors and even animals are fed without fail. Everyone in the family joins in for the celebration and if anyone is missing, they will have a cup of tea filled in their name.[/tg_accordion]

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[one_third]Sindhu Darshan Festival

[tg_accordion title=”SINDHU DARSHAN” icon=”” close=”1″] Sindhu Darshan is a three-day festival held from 1st to 3rd June, in Shey Manla around 8 kms. from Leh on the bank of Indus river (Sindhu Ghat). For the first time it was organized in October 1997, as a symbol of unity and communal harmony and national integration.[/tg_accordion]

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[one_third] Phyang Tsedup

[tg_accordion title=”PHYANG TSEDUP” icon=”” close=”1″]This festival is held in the Phyang monastery in July/August. The monks as usual perform the Chams but the festival gets its popularity from the huge Thanka of Skyoba Giksten Gonbo hung during the celebrations.[/tg_accordion]
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[one_third_last]Ladakh Festival

[tg_accordion title=”LADAKH FESTIVAL” icon=”” close=”1″]From September 1st to 15th every year in Leh and in the villages around, the Ladakh festival is celebrated in the grandest style. With cultural troupes performing from different parts of Leh, forming the part of the procession which leads to the Polo ground, for the big inauguration. Regular programs are held at the nearby villages during the 15 day period.[/tg_accordion]

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