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.
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.
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
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.