Here's how to plan your Ladakh trip

Published: Sep 11, 2019, 14:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

While touring Ladakh, the visitor has a chance not only to experience a unique way of life but also to see some truly amazing scenery such as the snowcapped mountain peaks of the Himalayan Mountains

Here's how to plan your Ladakh trip
This picture has been used for representational purpose

Ladakh is a beautiful landscaped region, untamed by humans, nestled between the cold confines of the mountains and adorned by the shimmering horizons of sand draws tourists from across the world. A place where the predominant influences are the dictates of nature and traditions of Buddhism. A place where life is dictated by nature rather than the clock.

The name 'Ladakh' is derived from the Ladakhi word Ladags, with 'La' meaning 'pass' or 'passes' and 'dags' meaning 'land of'; hence this translates into 'The Land of Passes'. While touring Ladakh, the visitor has a chance not only to experience a unique way of life but also to see some truly amazing scenery such as the snowcapped mountain peaks of the Himalayan Mountains, or beautiful high altitude lakes of the region. One can also spot some interesting and rare wildlife whilst touring the region.

Ladakh was an area prohibited for Indian and Foreign nationals until mid-1970s. Lack of much development and industrialisation in the modern era has also ensured the preservation of a natural environment in Ladakh. Ladakh is situated between the landmasses of India and Central Asia. The region provided a vital Link from India to Central Asian Silk Route that ran from China to Europe. Until modern times when the trade ceased due to closing of the borders, trade was Ladakh’s only lifeline and the traders using these routes were virtually the only contact Ladakh had with the outside world. The traders not only generated wealth for Ladakh but were also of importance as they brought knowledge and culture of the neighbouring regions to Ladakh and made Ladakh what it is today.

Jay Kantawala from WIYO Travel says Ladakh is one of the finest tourists attracted place in the country and always gives a pleasant experience every time you travel. It has an essence of spiritual belief and at the end, one learns to travel.

Climate

Ladakh is considered to be a high altitude semi-desert region as it falls in the rain shadow area created by the Himalayas which normally prevent the monsoon from reaching as far as north as Ladakh. The average annual rainfall is just 15 cm. Even in winter although the temperature drop to -30 degrees centigrade, there is relatively little snow due to the lack of precipitation.

People and lifestyle

The majority population of Ladakh consists of Buddhists. Some parts of Eastern Ladakh and Changthang are populated by Shia Muslim and Chang-Pa (Nomads), Chang-pa is also Buddhists. A vast majority of Ladakhis are settled in villages and live off the land. The Agriculture growing season in Ladakh is extremely short and starts around June and harvesting has to be completed by Mid-September or earlier. Village life in Ladakh depends on co-operation of all and many tasks such as building and harvesting are shared amongst all the families of the village. The women enjoy equal status with their man folk. Their staple crop is barley as wheat does not grow above 3000 metres altitude. Medical care in villages still depends on complex Tibetan system of herbal medicine whereby all the ingredients are available locally. For those who can afford, there is an option of western medical care usually found in larger populated places.

A few Travel ideas to Ladakh from 3 - 10 days from Mid-April to End September

  • 3-4 days: Explore Leh, Khardungla Pass, Hemis Monastery or Alchi / Likir Monasteries along with Rafting on Indus River
  • 5-7 days: Explore above along with Pangong OR Tsomoriri Lake
  • 8-12 days: Explore all of above and you can explore the beautiful drive from Srinagar to Leh via Kargil OR Leh to Chandigarh via Manali
  • Trekking in Ladakh: Duration as per preference

A few suggested travel Idea during winter in Ladakh
Chaddar Trek: Trek on the Zanskar River in Ladakh when the river in Frozen in the winter months
Explore the snow leopard of Ladakh during the winter months at Uley town

Leh is situated at approx. 11,000 feet and the oxygen levels are low while travelling by air, one needs to rest for 24-48 hrs with minimal activity to acclimatise to the low oxygen levels. So one needs to factor in extra 1-2 days for the same.

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