TIPS AND SUGGESTION – LADAKH TOUR

Ladakh, open to tourism only since 1974, is a land of high passes, bounded by the Karakoram and the mighty Himalayas. The Indus with its tributaries acts is the lifeline for Ladakh’s scanty population.Ladakh covers an area of 97,000 sq kms, and has an average elevation of 3,500 m. It is often called ‘Little Tibet’, because of its topographical and cultural similarities with neighbouring Tibet. The rugged, arid Ladakh mountain-scape has been the subject of many a photographer and destination of world-class mountaineers. Its brackish lakes at high altitudes, picturesque peaks, charming mountain villages, expansive meadows, wildlife, monasteries, rich heritage, awesome physical features, and remoteness sets it apart from other favourite holiday hot-spot.


Owing to its rigid climatic conditions and other features, tourists are required to certain necessary precautions during their Leh Ladakh tour. Read the tips and suggestions mentioned below.

Area: 97,000 sq kms out of which nearly 38,000 sq. kms are under Chinese Occupation since 1962.
Population: Approx. 2.40 lakh in the 2 districts of Leh & Kargil.
Languages: Ladakhi including Balti / Purgi, Shina or Dardic, Urdu / Hindi.
Ethnic composition: Mongoloid/Tibetan, Dardic and assorted Indo-Aryan elements.
Altitude: Leh 3505 m, Kargil 2750 m
Rain-fall : 15cm, 6″ (annual average)
Clothing :Cotton & light woollens in summer and heavy woollens including down-filled wind proof upper garments in winter.

GET AROUND

Leh is small enough to walk most places, most notable exception being the airport, for which it’s advisable to take a taxi for around 100 to 150 Rupees. DO NOT walk the first day as you may be a victim of AMS. To go to tourist destinations around Leh like Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, etc., private taxis are available at taxi stands. The rates are decided by unions. A bargain of 10-15% is possible on theses rates if you directly contact the taxi driver and not go through travel agencies or through hotel taxi bookings. Alternatively, if you want to travel in a shared taxi, you can contact travel agencies and they fill find travel partners for you. This is payable on per person basis. As everywhere else, solo travellers may have more difficult time booking the tours as despite the abundance of flyers stating ‘Daily departures’, it is not a certainty. Even the popular tours like Nubra Valley may not be available daily for solo travellers. So, make sure that you book early.

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.

TEMPRATURE

When it comes to temperature and climatic conditions, the summers have a pleasant temperature. In winters, the temperature touches the extreme level. In winters, the temperature can go as low as -30 degrees in Leh & Ladakh and -60 degrees in Drass. Almost all the feasible water resources get frozen. During July and August, the maximum temperature can rise up from 20 to 35 degree Celsius.

CLIMATE

In peak winters the temperature in Ladakh goes down to – 30 Degree Celsius in Leh and Kargil and – 50 Degree Celsius in Dras. Temperatures remain in minus for almost 3 months from December to the month of February. But on clear sunny days it can become very hot and one can get sun burnt. Rainfall is very less due to the geographical location of Ladakh. The rainfall is around 50 mm annually. It is the melting snow which makes the survival of human and animals possible. In the desert like landscape one may come across the dunes or perhaps occasionally to the dust storms.

PERMIT & PASSPORT

For traveling in Leh, tourists do not require permits. On the other hand, all foreign travelers are required to get themselves registered at Drass, Sarchu and Rumste if they are traveling through the land. For some restricted areas such as Tsokar & Pangong Lakes and Tsomoriri, Nubra Valley and Dhahanu, tourists require permits. It can be obtained from the District Magistrate of Leh through travel agents.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

 Anybody can fall prey to acute mountain sickness at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level. Therefore, it is necessary to take full rest on the day of arrival and get yourself acclimatized. People with high blood pressure and heart ailments should refrain themselves from planning a trip to Ladakh.

Note: Acute mountain sickness can occur to any one at an altitude above 10,000 ft. from the sea level. The most common symptoms of acute mountain sickness are headache disturb sleep loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lassitude and lack of concentration. Since Leh Town is situated at an altitude of 11,500 ft. above sea level. It is advisable to take the following precautions, so as to acclimatize your body properly.

  1. Take complete rest for the first 36 hours of your arrival at Leh. However, this period may vary with different people.
  2. Your body should get used to the lower oxygen levels.
  3. Incase you develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please consult a Doctor.
  4. Rescue and precaution for mountaineering and trekking in Ladakh
  5. Tourist undertaking mountaineering and trekking in Ladakh, whether in groups or individual, should take some precautions. There is no private aerial rescue agency in Ladakh and only as a life saving measure; engaging the Indian Air Force help in evacuation.

MONEY & CURRENCY

There are a very few hotels and tour operators which accept credit card (aka plastic money) but charge 2% service tax. In the main Leh city, various private banks such as State Bank of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank and Axis Bank have placed their ATM machine.

COMMUNICATIONS

 Since most of the markets and STD booths in Leh Ladakh region gets closed before 10 PM, it is better to get in touch with your near and dear ones before evening time. The General Post Office and Telegraph Office available in the Leh town also helps in communication. The state tourism board has its own wireless radiophone network that connects its offices at Leh, Kargil and Padum with those in Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi.

INTRA -CITY TRANSPORT

 Leh  offers a large fleet of tourist transport facilities with more than 2000 vehicles. Their taxis include Innova, Mahindra, Scorpio, Xylo, Toyota, Tata Grande and Maruti Van. There are several mini deluxe buses that are available in excellent conditions. The local drivers are well mannered and well acquainted with all the tourist sites in the region.

Unfortunately the Leh bus station is far from a highlight, it’s chaotic and poorly organised. There are two sections, one for local transportation within Ladakh, and one for the state run buses. The local buses get exceptionally crowded, times of departure fluctuate greatly, and there is no ticket office (just board the bus, and pay to the conductor). When planning a trip to a destination in Ladakh ask around to find when the departure time roughly is, and show up at the station half an hour early; ask people there what bus to take, don’t trust the destinations marked on the buses; take a seat and wait for the bus to depart. Then expect to spend at least an hour at the bus station. The state buses run to Srinagar, Manali, and even a direct service to Delhi (3 days away), there is a ticket office, and bookings are taken days in advance. The process here is more straight forward and less time consuming. Taxis have fixed prices (updated every 2 years) and can be arranged from the Taxi Stand along Fort Road. When available, you may also purchase a copy of the fare-booklet for Rs 20.

Dos and Donts in Ladakh

Do’s

  • Always carry drinking water and dry food.
  • Take Disprin with you if you want to go to Khardung La, as it is very high altitude of 5359m.
  • If you are not able to go further from a particular spot in day, do not move stay there, as road condition is very bad in some places and it would be very difficult to travel in night.
  • Temperature in Ladakh is too low and if you will throw any biodegradable item, it will remain in the same state for very long time, especially in snow, people defecate and the shit remains in the same form for years, so please try the Ladakhi winter toilets.
  • Use vehicles, which have good-ground clearance and are in good condition. SUVs like Tata Sumo Grande, Toyota Qualis and Highlander, Mitsubishi Pajero work best over there.
  • Make a first-aid box and carry proper medicines for headache, fever, and vomiting also in it.
  • There is electricity problem in Leh, so it is better to take extra batteries for digital products like camera, mobiles phones, etc. Charge them fully before leaving for the tour. You may not get electricity at some remote places and also because of the cold, the battery gets discharged soon.
  • If you are planning to visit Leh-Ladakh on your bike, please make a group of 2 or more. Please do not go alone on bikes, especially Royal Enfield Electra or Bullet as it is very dangerous.
  • People there are very friendly and hospitable. Respect them.

Dont’s

  • If you reach Leh by air, stay that day and do not plan to go anywhere for that day, as you will need a day or two to acclimatize yourself. Drink plenty of fluids (that does not include alcohol), do not move much for the first two to three days.
  • Don’t use Polythene bags. Ladakh is a “no polythene” zone. Kindly respect this and please carry back all the plastic you take with you.
  • Refill your water bottles instead of buying new ones. Mountain water is good. If you have doubt, boil it and refill.
  • Wear nice clothes covering your body while on roads, especially while visiting a Buddhist Gompas.

LEH LADAKH JEEP SAFARI

Ladakh is a barren high altitude desert in one of the most remote regions of India. The beauty of its barren and rugged landscape, unique flora and fauna and culture have much more to offer than just a good holiday. Ladakh is perfect objective for experiencing real Jeep safari. Once you do this, it’s almost certain that you will go through the highest motorable road in the world Called K-top 5600m on the way to Nubra Valley, not only that but you will also drive across Changla 5360m on the way to Pangong & Taklangla 5328m on the way to Tsomoriri & Manali.


Leh Ladakh Jeep Safari takes you from Manali to Ladakh through some of the highest motorable roads in the world as we visit breathtakingly beautiful places like Leh, Sarchu, Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley etc.

HIGH PIONTS OF LEH LADAKH JEEP SAFARI:-

ROHTANG PASS

Rohtang Pass, is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.

PANGONG LAKE

Pangong Tso, Tibetan for “long, narrow, enchanted lake”, also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m. It is 134 km long and extends from India to Tibet.

KHARDUNGLA TOP

Khardung La is a high mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The local pronunciation is “Khardong La” or “Khardzong La,” but, as with most names in Ladakh, the romanised spelling varies.

NUBRA VALLEY

Nubra is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh valley. Diskit the capital of Nubra is about 150 km north from Leh town, the capital of Ladakh district, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra.

TSOMORIRI LAKE

Tso Moriri or Lake Moriri Tibetan: is a lake in the Ladakhi part of the Changthang Plateau in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The lake is at an altitude of 4,522 m.


Beside these, it’s always going to be a different experience driving through the high altitude deserts and wetlands of Kadakh through rugged terrains, sculpted canyons, fantastic rock formations, medieval villages, Buddhist gompas and snow-capped Mountains. Also there is always an opportunity of spotting rare species of wild animals.


Major jeep safari regions in Himalayas are : Trans Himalayan Region The trans Himalayan Tracts are something that will really attract the explorer in you to unwind the natural and manmade wonders situated within the picturesque landscapes. Take up any of the customised jeep safari tours offered by the tourism board of India to the high altitude destinations of Leh, Ladakh and Kinnaur – Spiti, where the wilderness is still intact from commercialisation.


Ladakh Jeep safari at the high altitude lake of India is another new attraction that has recently come up in this adventure activity. The high point trip of a trip to Leh is the drive to Pangong Lake . The drive takes round about four hours to Changla Pass. At the first sight of the lake through the ‘V’ of the ridges of the valley all cameras, digital videos etc. came tumbling out. The azure lake beautifully set off the golden yellow of the mountainside, painted thus by the mellow rays of the evening sun, on a canvas of crisp blue sky.The jeep safaris in the Himalayan range are particularly popular among the adventure sport lovers. Tibet


Being a high altitude plateau area, the accessibility in Tibet is very hard and to reach certain remote areas you have to travel on certain un-metalled stretches. That’s why travelling in these remote areas is best done by a strong, Jeep type vehicle. These jeep safari tours, gives a golden opportunity for travellers to visit the monasteries and lakes situated in the high reaches of the Tibetan Himalayas.



ADVENTURE SPORTS IN LADAKH

The trans-Himalayan district of Ladakh is simply a storehouse of adventure. Travellers from all across the globe keep flocking to Ladakh almost all the year round. When it’s about adventure in India, Ladakh happens to be second to none. Adventure in Ladakh has its own taste and meaning. You have a good number of adventure sports in Ladakh to choose from. Most famous adventure sports in Ladakh include mountaineering, jeep safari, trekking, cycling and river rafting. Ladakh adventure holidays have everything to offer an adrenaline junkie might be looking for. There are high mountain ranges, scenic trails, expansive lakes, deep valleys and high passes that add to the joy of your adventure in Ladakh.


Before you actually arrive in the adventurous land of Ladakh, we would like you to enrich your knowledge about various adventure options available in Leh-Ladakh. Give below is a list of some of the most famous adventure sports in Ladakh. Start planning your adventure holidays in Ladakh right away!


[one_third]WHITE WATER RFTING LADAKH

[tg_accordion title=”WHITE WATER RAFTING LADAKH” icon=”” close=”1″]River Rafting is an adventurous sport for the strong hearted. If you want to enjoy the experience in the Himalayas there is no other suitable destination than Leh-Ladakh. River rafting in Leh-Ladakh takes you through picturesque landscape. Traversing through the deep waters amidst deep canyons and soaring snow-covered peaks it is an experience every rafter would love to enjoy. There are many options for river rafting in Leh Ladakh; the main ones being Indus River rafting and Zanskar River rafting.River Rafting in Indus River and its tributaries provide the rafters with many opportunities. The best of the stretches in River Indus is the one between Spituk and Nimu or Saspol. But those who are new into the sport should choose the easiest stretch upstream from Spituk up to Karu. River Rafting in Zanskar River provides some exciting though difficult stretches. Through a deep ravine in the Zanskar Mountains there is a stretch between Padum and Nimu that can be the most exciting of all stretches. River Rafting in Leh-Ladakh can be a fulfilling way of enjoying the mountains. Discover Ladakh offers you the facility to book River Rafting tours in Leh-Ladakh well ahead in advance.
The best time for river rafting in Leh-Ladakh is from June to October.
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[one_third]MOUNTAIN BIKING

[tg_accordion title=”MOUNTAIN BIKING” icon=”” close=”1″]A bike ride to Leh, Ladakh passes through some of the most breathtaking, challenging and awe-inspiring landscapes found on Earth. But by any means it is not an easy ride since most parts of the road are at altitudes of 13,000 feet and above in the Himalayas. You have to Buckle up for the most precious bike trip of your life time. Stopover in sapphire lakes, rusty terrains, peaceful outback and almost anywhere your heart wants to. Discover Ladakh welcome you all to come, visit our region and be a part of the experience & thrill of riding a motorbike and travelling around the beautiful region through – mountains, valleys, high plateaus, crossing – villages, streams, rivers, high mountain, high mountain roads, visiting – temples, monasteries, small towns and making numerous friends all around. We guarantee you that the touring experience would be a lifelong memory and to cherish for times to come. Did you know that the road leading to Ladakh is the same trail that was used by caravans going to the Silk Route centuries and centuries ago? If this isn’t awe inspiring enough, the roads leading into the region are only open four months of the year – for the remaining eight, they are covered in snow. For many riders, the highlight of bike tours to Leh Ladakh is Khardung-La, the highest motorable road in the world. To pass from Leh into the Nubra Valley, you will need to drive your motorcycle along a road that sits at 18,380 feet. It is surely a terrifying, yet exhilarating experience.
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[one_third_last]MOUNTAINEERING LADAKH

[tg_accordion title=”MOUNTAINEERING” icon=”” close=”1″]Ladakh offers many challenging peaks for a mountaineer. Stok Kangri Peak (6121 m) in Zanskar, Kangyaze Peak (6400 m) to the south east of Leh and the Nunkun Massif, which can be reached from the Leh-Kargil road are popular with serious mountaineers. All climbers need to get permission from the Indian Mountaineering Federation in Delhi, before attempting the ascent of an peak in Ladakh.[/tg_accordion]
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[one_third]DARCHA LAMAYURU TREK

[tg_accordion title=”TREKKING” icon=”” close=”1″]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.
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[one_third]ARCHERY LADAKH

[tg_accordion title=”ARCHERY” icon=”” close=”1″]Archery is a traditional sport of Ladakh and Archery contests are held regularly in villages and at the National Archery stadium in Leh. Archery contests are accompanied by festivity including drinking singing, dancing and betting on the result. Watching an archery contests is sure to offer an interesting adventure into the cultural life of the Ladakhi people.[/tg_accordion]
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[one_third_last]POLO LADAKH

[tg_accordion title=”POLO” icon=”” close=”1″]Polo is a popular sport in Ladakh and is usually played every Tuesday and Saturday in summer on the Leh polo ground. There are usually 6 men in a team riding on sturdy Zanskari ponies. A polo match in Ladakh consists of 20-minute halves and is played in an exhilarating atmosphere with the crowd cheering on both teams with great enthusiasm. Polo tournaments are also held during the Ladakh Festival held in the first half of September[/tg_accordion]
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WILDLIFE IN LADAKH

Ladakh is rough area where only the fittest animal and plant life survives. Although the environment is harsh, it boasts of a bounty of wildlife, endemic to this region. Its exotic highland flora springs up in the summer and engulfs the landscape in various colour. The fearsome predators include the elusive snow leopard, lynx, mighty brown bear, Shanko or wolf, fox and wild dog. The herbivores include the wild yak, the kiang, marmot, wild hare, niyan marcopolo ship, shapo, bharal ibex marcher, goat and the chirru, now almost hunted to extinction for its downy under coat worth it weight in gold for the shatoosh shawls made from it. Ladakh is also home to some beautiful and rear birds like the critically endangered black necked crane. Bar headed geese, woodpeckers, ducks, partridges, barbets, kingfishers, parakeets, swifts eagle, owls to name a few are some birds commonly seen in Ladakh. This rich rather exclusive wildlife however, is severely threatened by habitat loss and poaching.

FAUNA

The fauna of Ladakh have much in common with that of Central Asia generally, and especially those of the Tibetan Plateau. An exception there is huge variety of birds, many of which migrate from the warmer parts of India to spend the summer in Ladakh. For such an arid area, Ladakh has a great diversity of birds — a total of 225 species have been recorded. Many of these birds reside or breed at high-altitude wetlands such as Tso Moriri.

WILDLIFE

In Ladakh there is also a famous wildlife Sancturity called “Hemis National Park” covers around 4,000 square kilometre, is now the largest national park in India, extending from Hemis to north of Zanskar, and this park is considered prime snow leopard (Panthera uncial) habitat, which have a breeding population of more than 200 snow leopards. Hemis National Park is also home to four species of wild sheep and goats that form the prey base for this apex predator, including Great Tibetan Sheep, locally called “Nyan” or “Tinetan Argali”,(Ovis ammon); Himalayan blue sheep, called “Bharal” or “Napo”, (Pseudois nayaur); Uriel, locally called “Shapo” (Ovis orientalis), Asiatic ibex Skin(Capra sibirica), and among the predators are Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf, Lynx, Pallas Cat, and many others.

BIRD WATCHING

For bird watchers, it’s a dream destination. Besides golden eagle, Lammergeier vulture and the Himalayan griffon vulture, the park is home to Brown Accentor, Robin Accentor, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Streaked Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowfinch, Chukar, Fork-tailed Swift, Red-billed Chough, Himalayan Snowcock, and the Fire-fronted Serin. Pollution free environment and noise free surroundings make birding a joyful experience.

HEMIS NATIONAL PARK

LOCATION

Located in the eastern part of Ladakh district in Jammu and Kashmir in north India, Hemis National Park has the distinction of being the largest national park in South Asia. Hemis National Park also has the distinction of being among the largest contiguous protected region, second only to Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.

FAUNA

Spread over 4400 sq km, the park is home to 16 species of mammals and 73 of birds. The park is protected home for endangered mammals like leopards, Asiatic ibex, Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear and the red fox. The park boasts of 200 leopards and is the only habitat of Shapu or the Ladakhi Urial in India. It is also home to small mammals like Himalayan marmot, mountain weasel and Himalayan mouse hare.

BIRD WATCHING

For bird watchers, it’s a dream destination. Besides golden eagle, Lammergeier vulture and the Himalayan griffon vulture, the park is home to Brown Accentor, Robin Accentor, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Streaked Rosefinch, Tibetan Snowfinch, Chukar, Fork-tailed Swift, Red-billed Chough, Himalayan Snowcock, and the Fire-fronted Serin. Pollution free environment and noise free surroundings make birding a joyful experience.

Fast Facts:

  • Major Attraction – Snow Leopard
  • Established – 1981
  • Total Area –  4,400 sq km (1,700 sq mi)
  • Nearest Airport – Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (5 km)
  • Nearest Railhead – Kalka (Haryana)
  • Nearest Highway – Leh-Manali Highway and National Highway 1D (Srinagar – Kargil – Leh)
  • Nearest City – Leh (10 km)
  • Nearest Town – There are a few villages, and Monasteries (Gumphas) in the national park

Six villages exist within the confines of the park. The villages –Rumbak, Kaya, Sku, Shingo, Urutse and Chilling – are home to about 16oo people. Several gompas and chortens are also located within the park. The 400-year-old Hemis Monastery is also located within the park. Revered as the largest monastic institution in Ladakh, a trip to the monastery is a thrilling experience. Camping and trekking are other popular activities that can be indulged in the park.

The national park is also known for its scenic beauty. Lofty mountains and alpine forests of juniper and subalpine dry birch make it a treat for the eyes. The Stok Kangri peak is situated withing the park. The confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers acts as the park’s boundary and is a treat for the eyes. It also includes the catchment area of Markha, Sumdah and Rumbak, and some portion of the Zanskar Range.

ACCOMMODATION

No hotels are available in or near Hemis National Park. There are six villages in the Hemis National Park where home stay facilities are available. The villages are Rumbak, Kaya, Sku, Shingo, Urutse and Chilling. In addition, Hemis Monastery also offers rooms for visitors to stay. Options to eat are limited. It is advisable to carry food. Hemis Monastery does provide food to visitors. It also follows the tradition of offering butter tea to the visitors. Locals do also provide meals.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Hemis is between May and September, when the weather is pleasant. Most of the trekking routes and passage to jeep safari are closed after November due to heavy snowfall.

CUISINE IN LADAKH

Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thupka (noodle soup) and tsampa , known in Ladakhi as ngampe (roasted barley flour). Edible without cooking, tsampa makes useful trekking food. A dish that is strictly Ladakhi is skyu, a heavy pasta dish with root vegetables. As Ladakh moves toward a cash-based economy, foods from the plains of India are becoming more common. As in other parts of Central Asia, tea in Ladakh is traditionally made with strong green tea, butter, and salt. It is mixed in a large churn and known as gurgur cha, after the sound it makes when mixed. Sweet tea (cha ngarmo) is common now, made in the Indian style with milk and sugar. Most of the surplus barley that is produced is fermented into chang, an alcoholic beverage drunk especially on festive occasions.


Tourists in Ladakh can try local Ladakhi food, which is nourishing and usually mildly flavored. Favorites include Thukpa, a thick soup with vegetables that provides a complete meal and delicious Momos or steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables, accompanied by a fiery chili sauce.
There are also many bakeries in Ladakh where you can buy freshly baked bread and enjoy eating it with locally made Apricot Jam. There are many restaurants in Leh, where you can have an international meal or choose from Tibetan or Ladakhi fare if you prefer.

Some Ladakhi Cuisine
Apart from Tsampa there are few other delicacies too that one should get a taste of while visiting Ladakh: 

  • Pava – peas and barley flour boiled in water for a long time until the peas are hard.
  • Chalak – a mixture of tea, butter, sugar and Tsampa.
  • Khambish – bread made from wheat flour.
  • Thukpa – water and wheat flour made into noodles and dropped into boiling water and then served with a flavoured meat sauce.
  • Gugur Chai– salt tea, made from green tea, salt, soda from the Nubra valley, butter and milk.
  • Curd– made from yak milk.
  • Moe Moe– steamed Tsampa dough, usually with meat in the middle like dumplings.
  • Gyatug – a dish of long, vermicelli like strips of Tsampa over which minced meat and a flavoured sauce is poured.
  • Skir – a hotpot of meat, potatoes, grain and sometimes vegetables.
  • Kambir – small round breads, sometimes tasting sweet.
  • Holkur – Ladakhi biscuit made of sugar, nuts and grain meal. Normally baked by the host himself to be served to the patrons.

Chang – The Local Beer 

Beware of the effects of the native beer – Chang. High altitude and too much alcohol do not mix well! Nevertheless one should try some of this local alcoholic beverage. One should also try Chang in a village at some stage, as it usually tastes much better. Chang is a beer, home brewed from barley and millet partially seasoned by the addition of pepper and sugar. It is not filtered before serving so dregs and grains are found ‘swimming’ in the liquid. In short, Chang is a most unusual pleasure for the palate. In Ladakh one finds, as in the other Himalayan states with a population, which belongs to the Tibetan group, no manufacture of spirit liquors.

Some good restaurants in Leh are:

  • Shangri La –offers Korean cuisine
  • Himalaya Café – for good Tibetan fare
  • Penguin Bar and Restaurant – has a German Bakery with a wide choice of baked goods.
  • Mentokling Restaurant – offers pizzas cooked over a traditional wood-fired oven
  • Pumpernickel German Bakery –offers lasagna and a fixed-price breakfast, as well as picnic meals.
  • Dreamland Restaurant – offers Tibetan, Kashmiri, Indian and Italian food.
  • Budshah Inn – offers Chinese and Kashmiri cuisine

Restaurants in Ladakh offer many kinds of cuisine including Tibetan, Korean, Chinese, and Western dishes.